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 Makro-planar T* 50mm f/2

RRP: N/AStreet price: Around £1,070-£1,100
Filter diameter:
Lens elements:
Diaphragm blades:
Minimum focus:
Lens mount:
Canon EF, Nikon F

Chart analysis

Tested on a Nikon D600

Like its f/1.4 counterpart, the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 suffers from quite bad vignetting when shooting wide open, with the edges around -0.6EV darker than the centre. However, it has less curvilinear distortion.

Again, the aperture needs to be stopped down by more than 2 stops to get the best from the lens. At its sharpest, the lens is one of the best on test, although to achieve this it needs to be used in a restrictive aperture range of between f/8 and f/11.

Score: 4 out of 5

  1. 1. 50mm lens test - Introduction
  2. 2. Page 2
  3. 3. Page 3
  4. 4. Specificiations: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  5. 5. Specififications: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  6. 6. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
  7. 7. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
  8. 8. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM
  9. 9. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8
  10. 10. Specificiations: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  11. 11. Specifications: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG
  12. 12. Specifications: Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 SSM
  13. 13. Specifications: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM
  14. 14. Specifications: Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4
  15. 15. Specifications: Zeiss Makro-planar T* 50mm f/2
  16. 16. Our verdict
Page 15 of 16 - Show Full List