- Extremely well-built and solid lens made of solid metal and rubber
- Good manual focus feel and firm, clicky aperture ring
- Outstanding central sharpness at all apertures and focus distances, and very good edge and corner sharpness stopped down
- Truly exceptional color and contrast yield beautiful tonality in the images
- Very nice and smooth bokeh at close focusing distances
- Practically apochromatic – excellent control of chromatic aberrations
- Resists flare and controls vignetting well
- Focuses down to 1:1 magnification for true macro shooting
- Quick and quiet autofocus in good light with excellent accuracy, even when tracking moving subjects
- Desperately needs a focus limiter
- Focus is slow in the macro range and has difficulty locking on to subjects in dimmer light
- Working distance at 1:1 is extremely short
- Bokeh is somewhat busy at medium focus distances
The Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar T* is the first true 1:1 macro available for the Fuji X-Mount and adds another high quality macro lens to the Sony E-mount as well. Optically, the lens is predominantly exceptional. It’s extremely sharp at all focus distances, provides some of the best contrast and color of any lens I’ve used, and produces gorgeous bokeh close up. Add to this the outstanding CA control and you’ve got a truly outstanding optic. The only real downside optically is the fact that the bokeh gets somewhat busy at further focus distances.
The major downsides to the lens are all in operation. While the lens is built extremely well, it could use some usability tweaks. The lack of a focus limiter causes some major problems with autofocus in the macro range, and can further slow the autofocus when shooting indoors at all focus distances. The fact that it’s only a 50mm lens that uses internal focus also means that the working distance at high magnifications is extremely short, making it a difficult lens to work with for extreme closeups of insects.
The usability concerns aside, the Zeiss 50mm macro is an excellent lens. While I would prefer a longer macro lens, it’s a great option for 1:1 shooting on the Fuji X cameras and a great addition to the Sony E-Mount as well. While the lens isn’t cheap at $999, given the optical quality, it’s not an unreasonable price. It’s the best of the Touit lenses in my opinion and a top-notch optic all around. Well done, Zeiss!
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12 thoughts on “Review: Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar T* (Fuji X)”
What’s with all the cartoon levels of color? Really odd to say the least.
I did push the one shot of the Trinity Church a bit much, and I’ve backed that off a bit. The rest look pretty natural to me, and I didn’t do a ton to them. The butterfly shots (which do look slightly surreal) I actually backed off saturation a bit. The colors in those are due to the surrounding backgrounds…there’s super bright pink and red glass sculptures in the butterfly garden that made for the colorful backgrounds. I’m viewing on a hardware calibrated high end monitor and things look pretty normal to me.
I think the colors look pretty good. With macro especially, bold colors make a lot of sense to me.
Very nice review. I wanted to buy one, since the colours and contrast are great, but I don’t like the small working distance. That’s why I am using my FF macro on the Fuji with good success. Is this a lens you would buy, or would you personally wait for a 100mm macro (or even consider the Fui 60mm + close-up lens)?
Great review as always Jordan.I haven’t yet taken the plunge and ditched my FF kit for a Fuji setup, but the existence of a true macro removes one of the final obstacles. The lineup of X-mount lenses is now very impressive but I’m struck by just how many options there are in the 50-60mm range. If I’m not mistaken when the two new weather sealed zooms are released there will be ten (!) X-mount lenses that fall into that range. It would be nice to have a few longer primes and in particular a macro with a longer working distance. Still, reading over your reviews makes a compelling case for the switch. Thanks for producing such a thoughtful, informative site.
The review talks about how the 50 compares to the 60 in working distance at 1:2, but how do they compare at 1:2 in terms of sharpness, contrast, and bokeh?
Having this lens less the a week so far I glad I got this over the FUJI 56 as I needed a copy lens and portrait lens. Boken of this lens is fine for me as F5.6 – 8 or so is what I shoot at.
Have you tried the AF of this lens with the firmware updated to version 2? Which focus mode were you using when the lens hunted in low light?