Lens review

Carl Zeiss Touit 32 mm f/1.8

29 September 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

There are a lot of classic or almost classic mirrorless standard lenses on the market so you can find plenty of instruments the tested lens can be compared to. The following chart makes such a comparison easier. You have to admit the group, shown here, is quite diversified. Fujinon offers the best aperture fastness and the Sigma is the slowest. The Sony, for a change, is the only lens with the optical stabilization. The Zeiss sticks out in a positive way because of nine diaphragm blades but its minimum focus is worse than that of other lenses; it also remains physically the heaviest due to a casing made completely of metal.

In the photo below the Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 is positioned near its direct competitor, the Fujinon XF 35 mm. It is obvious that, despite the inferior fastness, the Zeiss is noticeably bigger than the Fujinon.

Carl Zeiss Touit 32 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

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The Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element of the lens, about 20 mm in diameter. The element is mobile but situated all the time inside the tube, over 1 cm; it is also surrounded by black, nicely matted and ribbed plastics. Between the edge of the casing, supporting the element, and the proper tube there is a small crack but you can’t glimpse any electronic elements through it.

Carl Zeiss Touit 32 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a black, metal ring; on one side of it there’s a blue dot making the alignment with a camera body easier, on the other – the parameters of the lens, its serial number and the information that it was produced in Japan.

If the lens is designed to work with mirrorless Fujifilm cameras the next part is an aperture ring, 11 mm wide. The ring works smoothly but it is well-damped, changing the aperture value every 1/3 EV step. The Sony mount lenses don’t feature that ring because, in their case, you can control the aperture at the camera level.

Further on you find an immobile narrow, metal ring and a manual focus ring right behind it. The manual focus ring is 12 mm wide and devoid of any scale or ribbing. Like the aperture ring, it is covered by smooth rubberized material which sticks well to your fingers, allowing you comfortable movements. However, such a solution isn’t flawless – the rubber padding also catches specks of dust and dirt easily and they are very visible against the black background, ruining your esthetic impressions of the otherwise very stylish instrument. The ring’s work is based on servo mechanisms and, with the standard turning speed, running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through well over 200 degrees.

Carl Zeiss Touit 32 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

Behind the focus ring there is a black, immobile ring made of metal on which you can find the „Touit 1.8/32” inscription; it turns into a hood thread.

The front element of the lens is 22 mm in diameter. Around it there is a part of the casing with an inscription “Carl Zeiss” (just “Zeiss” in newer versions), “Planar 1.8/32 ⌀52 T*” and a non-rotating filter thread, 52 mm in diameter.

Carl Zeiss Touit 32 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

The optical construction of the Zeiss 1.8/32 consists of 8 elements positioned in 5 groups. Inside there is also a circular aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22. The producer boasts of the famous T* coatings which are supposed to ensure high transmission and contrast.

Carl Zeiss Touit 32 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

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

Carl Zeiss Touit 32 mm f/1.8 - Build quality