The 50mm focal-length lens is a true photographic icon and an essential piece of kit for any photographeru2019s kit bag, but there are quite a few to choose from. Richard Sibley and Andrew Sydenham test 12 such optics to assess their particular qualities
Specifications: Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4
Street price: Around £600-£620
Filter diameter: 58mm
Lens elements: 7
Diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum focus: 45cm
Lens mount: Canon EF, Nikon F
Tested on a Nikon D600
The resolution detail of the Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 is something of an oddity in this lens round-up. It clearly shows that the lens is very poor when wide open, and is actually sharper when shooting at f/11 rather than 2 stops down at f/2.8.
Conversely, it is the best lens when used at its maximum potential, and when paired with the Nikon D600 the results are excellent.
However, this lens does suffer from curvilinear distortion, and vignetting causes the edges of the image to be almost -0.6EV darker than at the centre of the frame.
Score: 4 out of 5