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Zeiss ZF.2 50mm f/1.4 Planar for Nikon

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The Zeiss ZF.2 50mm f/1.4 Planar for Nikon

The Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 gives a nice wide-aperture standard range lens with superb Zeiss sharpness and contrast. The Zeiss lenses are all manual focus, of course, but cameras from the D300 and up will give focus confirmation through the viewfinder, making them fairly easy to work with.

The ZF.2 designation adds a microchip to the lens that automatically lets the camera know time, aperture setting, and manual exposure settings, including those for cameras that are not AI-compatible. Since the lens now transmits the EXIF data, photographers no longer need to set the parameters manually. Optically, the ZF.2 lenses are identical to the original ZF lenses, so if these functions aren’t important to you, you save some money by getting the original ZF mount.

Roger's Take

An excellent lens. It’s manual focus only, but don’t let that intimidate you. The results are well worth any extra effort you think you have to put in! At 50mm it's not particularly difficult to do, and if focus is critical Live View handles things well. In terms of absolute sharpness, the 50mm Makro f/2 is a bit sharper, but if you need the aperture, the f/1.4 is excellent.

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