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Lens review

Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50 mm f/2 ZF/ZK/ZE

28 January 2013
Szymon Starczewski

8. Vignetting

The vignetting results can be compared to those of the distortion and other off-axis aberrations, which show a tendency to increase as you move further from the frame centre. The bigger the detector the more problems you encounter. Let’s start describing the vignetting performance from the smallest sensor of the Canon 50D. The appropriate photos are presented below.

Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50 mm f/2 ZF/ZK/ZE - Vignetting


In this case the brightness loss in the frame corners you can notice only at the maximum relative aperture, where it is 28% (-0.97 EV). Already by f/2.8 the vignetting becomes negligible, reaching just 10% (-0.31 EV).

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A bit higher values we got on the sensor of the Nikon D200 and the thumbnails below show the real life performance.

Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50 mm f/2 ZF/ZK/ZE - Vignetting


At the maximum relative aperture the vignetting is 33% (-1.16 EV) and it decreases to 15% (-0.48 EV) by f/2.8. By f/4.0 that aberration becomes already imperceptible, reaching just 5% (-0.16 EV).

Of course the biggest problems you have on full frame and those frames show it perfectly well.

Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50 mm f/2 ZF/ZK/ZE - Vignetting


Using the maximum relative aperture you must resign yourself to the loss of 49% of light in the frame corners (-1.92 EV). Applying f/2.8 allows you decrease that loss to 31% (-1.08 EV). The vignetting becomes moderate by f/4.0, where it is 16 % (-0.51 EV), and it disappears almost completely by f/5.6 where it reaches just 9% (-0.28 EV).

Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50 mm f/2 ZF/ZK/ZE - Vignetting