Lens review

Carl Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8

30 August 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

There are very few fixed-focal lenses with really wide angles of view (90 degrees or more) designed for small sensors available on the market. In the case of mirrorless devices the Zeiss has, by and large, just one rival, the Fujinon 2.8/14; looking further, among the reflex cameras lenses, you can also find a Pentax and the announced, but still unavailable on the market, Samyang 2.8/10. The following chart shows a comparison between all these instruments. However, as all the lenses differ in parameters and their purpose, it would be difficult to draw any binding conclusions.

In the photo below the tested lens is positioned between the Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 and the Fujinon 1.4/35. .

Carl Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

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The Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, 19 mm in diameter. The element is mobile – at infinity it is situated almost on the same level as the mount and when you pass to the minimum focus it hides several millimeters inside the tube.

Carl Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a black, metal ring; behind it, on the one side you can find a blue dot, making the alignment with a camera body easier, and the name of the mount. On the other side there are parameters of the lens, its serial number and information that it was produced in Japan.

If the lens is designed for mirrorless Fujifilm cameras, an aperture ring 11 mm wide will be the next part of the lens. It moves smoothly and is well-damped, setting the aperture every 1/3 EV step. Sony mount lenses don’t feature that ring because you can control the aperture on the camera menu level.

Further on you can find a narrow, immobile ring made of metal behind which there is a manual focus ring, 12 mm wide and devoid of any scale. There are also no ribs on it – like the aperture ring, it is covered by smooth, rubber material which sticks well to your fingers, allowing you comfortable movements. It’s only flaw is the fact that the padding catches easily all dirt and specks of dust; they are perfectly visible as the rubber is black; I admit they spoil your esthetic impressions of this otherwise quite stylish instrument. The ring’s work is based on servomechanisms and, with a standard speed, running through the whole scale takes a turn through about 200 degrees.

Carl Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

Behind the manual focus ring the lens gets wider very quickly, increasing its diameter from 62 to 88 mm. On that widened part, also made of metal, you can find an inscription ‘Touit 2.8/12’ ; the instrument finishes with a hood mount.

The front element of the lens is 35 mm in diameter and slightly convex. Around it you can find a part of the casing with inscriptions: “Carl Zeiss” (only “Zeiss” in the newer versions) and “Distagon 2.8/12 67 T*”; then there is a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter.

Carl Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

The optical construction of the Zeiss 2.8/12 consists of 11 elements situated in 8 groups. Three elements are made of atypical dispersion glass and two elements are aspherical. Inside you can also find an aperture with nine blades which can be closed down to f/22. The producer boasts of using the famous T* coatings which are supposed to ensure high transmission and contrast.

Carl Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

Buyers get both caps and a petal-type hood in the accessory kit. The lens is sold in a stylish box.

Carl Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8 - Build quality