In one of my articles about the most interesting lenses, available on the market, I listed the Tamron SP AF 60 mm f/2.0 Di II LD (IF) Macro 1:1, praising it for its versatility and a skillful combination of good fastness and a fully-fledged macro mode. Still, from the point of view of many users that lens had one, quite serious drawback – it is not a full frame instrument. Could the owners of reflex cameras with a 35 mm class detector find something similar? The answer is ‘yes’ due to the Carl Zeiss company which offers you two interesting macro lenses, joining a macro mode with other functions. The first of them is the Carl Zeiss Macro-Planar T* 50 mm f/2 which, on full frame works as a classic standard, not very slow either because the f/2.0 aperture is very decent, and it offers the macro mode with a 1:2 reproduction ratio. The second lens is the Carl Zeiss Macro-Planar T* 100 mm f/2 – a nice, quite fast portrait device and a macro 1:2 magnification ratio instrument as well. Both these lenses are available with mounts for Canon (ZE), Nikon (ZF/ZF.2) and Pentax (ZK) cameras; still it should be noticed that the last mount variety is being withdrawn from the Zeiss offer so if you want to buy such a lens you should hurry.
I was toying with the idea of testing those two Zeiss devices for a long time but there was always something more important to do and when I finally had more time there was no lens in the Polish distributor’s warehouses. Both instruments are so interesting that I knew I had to test them anyway. The right opportunity presented itself all of a sudden when we tried to improve our testing methods and, so to speak, it was a kind of by-product of that effort – more about it you can find in the next chapters. Here we would like to thank the Fototechnika company for lending us the Zeiss Macro Planar T* 50 mm f/2 mind you with all mounts available.
You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.
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