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Zeiss Sonnar T 50mm f1.5 opinions?


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I'd like to try a 50mm focal length to judge if this will work alongside or perhaps suit me more than my current 35mm length.

 

Of course I don't want to spend a fortune and a Zeiss Sonnar T 50mm has come along. What are the thoughts on this lens? Is it in any way comparable to the IQ of the Leica stuff and does it work well on an M9 in terms of size?

 

Thanks

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I have a bunch of 50mm's including the Noct 0.95 ASPH, 50 lux ASPH etc but the ZM Sonnar impressed me. A LOT!   It's small, light, not built as well as a Leica but it's not not too bad. The 1/3 aperture stops of Zeiss lenses fcuk with my brain as I'm used to the 1/2 stops of Leica. I find the flare resistance so good that I shoot without a hood. Which also means almost no VF blockage!   I had mine optimized for f1.5 at Oberkochen.   The lens does focus shift but I use mine at f1.5/f2 wher

Quite a lens for women environmental portrait; especially, when converted to B&W. The skin tone is simply quite impressive.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!  Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!

An answer to the question about the current "optimization" from Zeiss might be of interest:   When used with live view on a Leica M240 or adapted to a CSC camera, the unavoidable focus shift of the C-Sonnar T* 1,5/50 ZM plays no role at all.   Here are some details about this special lens:   The C Sonnar T* 1.5/50 ZM is a very special lens; based on a classical lens design concept from the 1930´s. The additional letter “C” in the name of the lens expresses this designation.   Thi

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It's cheaper than a Leica and has good sharpness.

 

I haven't used it though. I do, however, feel that the focus-shifting issue is something that turns me off to the lens.

 

Could you please explain further... That doesn't sound good :-s

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The lens is optimized for f/2,8 by default you can let Carl Zeiss change this to f/1,5.

 

The focus shift means that when you stop the lens down, the plane of focus shifts, so you either back or front focus... It is how ever tack sharp at f/5,6 and above, or at the 'intended' aperture, either being f/1,5 or f/2,8...

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I'd like to try a 50mm focal length to judge if this will work alongside or perhaps suit me more than my current 35mm length.

 

 

 

Of course I don't want to spend a fortune and a Zeiss Sonnar T 50mm has come along. What are the thoughts on this lens? Is it in any way comparable to the IQ of the Leica stuff and does it work well on an M9 in terms of size?

 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

I have a bunch of 50mm's including the Noct 0.95 ASPH, 50 lux ASPH etc but the ZM Sonnar impressed me. A LOT!

 

It's small, light, not built as well as a Leica but it's not not too bad. The 1/3 aperture stops of Zeiss lenses fcuk with my brain as I'm used to the 1/2 stops of Leica. I find the flare resistance so good that I shoot without a hood. Which also means almost no VF blockage!

 

I had mine optimized for f1.5 at Oberkochen.

 

The lens does focus shift but I use mine at f1.5/f2 where I nail focus or at 5.6 - f8 where there is no shift. Beyond f8 I don't typically shoot due to diffraction.

 

Here are some shots on my M9 with some thoughts, hope they help:

 

 

 

Sharp and great contrast. Bokeh is pleasant and neutral if you place the subject close and the background at a distance.

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20125/2221_L1027154_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20125/2221_L1027338_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20128/2221_L10290522_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20128/2221_L1030117_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20125/2221_L1027297_1.jpg

 

 

 

If you can't manage to isolate the subject from the background at a good distance, the bokeh is very nervous and edgy

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20125/2221_L1027292_1.jpg

 

 

 

Stopped down, it still does an excellent job

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/201211/2221_L1036118EditEditEditEdit_1.jpg

 

 

 

The Zeiss T* coating is really effective

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20128/2221_L10275432_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20128/2221_L10275532_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20128/2221_L1029997_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20125/2221_L10272222_1.jpg

 

 

 

The light transmission seems better than the usual f1.4 and f1.5 lenses. These were shot in extremely low light conditions

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/201211/2221_L1036948_1.jpg

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/201211/2221_London_Diptych2_1.jpg

 

 

 

It is a high contrast lens and can work for some types of b&w images

 

http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/20125/2221_L1027615_1.jpg

 

 

 

All in all, do I find the IQ comparable comparable to Leica lenses?

 

Right up there with the latest and greatest of Leica lenses in my opinion.

 

I find the T* coating even better than Leica's own.

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This is my main lens. I recently got a 35 but that's just because I want something wider. I wouldn't trade anything against my Sonnar. Mine is optimised for f2.8 but I can handle the focus shift pretty well.

Almost all pictures on my website are with the Sonnar (www.jessestr.be) most with the Leica M8 & M6. Some shots made with a Canon 7D but you'll notice the difference

 

It is sharp but softer on f1.5 BUT that is the character of the Sonnar design. At f2.8 it's as sharp as Leica glass.

 

About the focus shift.. I was worried about it too, reading the forums wasn't a good idea. I picked up the lens, you get used to how it works.. It's amazing. The focus shift isn't an issue.

Edited by Jessestr
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The 50 c-sonnar is a great lens if you know what it is about.

 

Most new lenses now are optimized for f/1.5. At least my copy was which I bought a month ago.

 

The lens is great for portraits and has a great way of rendering due to the classical design.

Build isn't up to leica standards but nevertheless very good. The size is very nice as it is shorter than both 50/2 planar and summicron. Latter both being a little thinner though.

Without the hood there is almost no finder blockage.

 

I sold the lens because I all ready have the 50 summicron V5 and wanted to raise some funds for the FE 55/1.8 sonnar.

 

As much as I liked the 50 c-sonnar, I like the 50 summicron better as it is more of an all round lens for my M9P.

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...Build isn't up to leica standards but nevertheless very good...

Interesting indeed. Did you notice any flaw in its design or quality? I did not take apart the Sonnar nor did i use a magnifier to test it to be honest but how i feel it it deserves to be rated at the same quality level if not above current Leica FLE lenses like 50/1.4 asph or 35/1.4 asph and significantly ahead of otherwise very good Summarits like 50/2.5 and 35/2.5.

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Interesting indeed. Did you notice any flaw in its design or quality? I did not take apart the Sonnar nor did i use a magnifier to test it to be honest but how i feel it it deserves to be rated at the same quality level if not above current Leica FLE lenses like 50/1.4 asph or 35/1.4 asph and significantly ahead of otherwise very good Summarits like 50/2.5 and 35/2.5.

 

Maybe I didn't had luck with the ZM lenses I have owned. Some were good but multiple had play in the focusring and one had play in the entire front element.

 

Not much play, to little to send the lens back, but it was there.

 

 

Also, they are very good indeed but miss the solid hefty feel of the leica lenses in my experience.

 

I think its all about personal experience

 

About the summarits, I have owned 2, and still own 1 summarit lens and find their build to be very good. On par or even ahead of some of the regular leica lenses.

Both without any play at all. And the 50 summarit I owned had the smoothest focusring of any lens I ever used.

Edited by RobertJRB
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Sample variations then i guess. Same for Summarits as far as my copies are concerned. My 35/2.5's aperture ring si too loose to stay still when i turn the focus ring and that of the 50/2.5 is not as firm as the Sonnar's by far.

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Hi

 

I cannot advise of the optical performance of my Sonnar because I only received it 2 weeks ago and have not had any films back yet! I can comment on what it's like to use though. And in fact it is very nice. It is not quite as finely engineered as my CF Summicron, the aperture ring rocks everso slightly, the click stops are definite (but the 1/3rd stops are a PITA as previously mentioned). The focus is beautifully sweet with short throw, and with the small finger tab makes focussing delightfully simple. It balances very nicely on my M4-2 and is quite compact for a f1.5. The hood is vented so you can see through it, so as others have mentioned, it does not obstruct too much in the viewfinder, when fitted. When no hood is fitted, it does not impinge the 50mm frame at all, even when focussed close.

 

So, on the use ability front, I am happy to recommend it.

 

Good luck, Julian

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Thanks for all the opinions and replies. I have to admit that I didn't realise there'd been replies but went ahead and bought the lens anyway

 

It arrived this morning. I've had very little chance to use it but after having a quick look at the results... I like!

 

Small, well built (my version is absolutely on a par with my Summicron with no play in its current state etc) and it produces lovely IQ.

 

My 35mm will still be my main lens but this will be ideal as a 50mm. I'm not going to switch between them often enough to warrant a 28mm and 50mm setup so the 35mm and 50mm will hopefully work quite well.

 

The 35mm will be my travel lens and the 50mm my people lens, or at least that's how I expect it will work out. I think I can sell my fuji primes now without too much bother as my fuji camera will be used for event photography etc.

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Thanks for all the opinions and replies. I have to admit that I didn't realise there'd been replies but went ahead and bought the lens anyway

 

 

 

It arrived this morning. I've had very little chance to use it but after having a quick look at the results... I like!

 

 

 

Small, well built (my version is absolutely on a par with my Summicron with no play in its current state etc) and it produces lovely IQ.

 

 

 

My 35mm will still be my main lens but this will be ideal as a 50mm. I'm not going to switch between them often enough to warrant a 28mm and 50mm setup so the 35mm and 50mm will hopefully work quite well.

 

 

 

The 35mm will be my travel lens and the 50mm my people lens, or at least that's how I expect it will work out. I think I can sell my fuji primes now without too much bother as my fuji camera will be used for event photography etc.

 

 

Now now now ... You know you need a good 28mm

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What is the official line? Are these lenses now shipping optimised for f/1.5?

 

There are now two answers to my question, one indicating that new lenses are shipping optimised for f/1.5 and the other for f/2.8.

 

Can anyone who has bought a new lens recently confirm what f stop these lenses are now optimised for?

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