Lens review

Carl Zeiss Touit M 50 mm f/2.8

12 November 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Macro 2.8/50 instruments have already been present on the market but these are full frame devices, designed for reflex cameras. Among lenses for mirrorless cameras or cameras with smaller sensors the Zeiss Touit 2.8/50M doesn’t have a lot of direct rivals. The Samsung 2.8/60 comes the closest; also the Fujinon 2.4/60 can be compared to it but it is faster and has worse macro properties. The Panaleica 2.8/45 features similar aperture and focal length but it is designed to cooperate with Micro 4/3 sensors so its angle of view is narrower. As you see it is almost impossible to find a device fit for a direct comparison; still if you want any comparison at all the following chart might help.

In the photo below the tested Zeiss is positioned next to the Fujinon 1.4/35.

Carl Zeiss Touit M 50 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

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The Zeiss Touit 2.8/50M starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, about 18 mm in diameter. That element is situated about 1 cm deep inside the tube and there is black plastic area around it, everything properly matted and ribbed. Between the rim of the casing, supporting the element, and the proper tube you can see a small gap but no electronic parts are visible through it.

Carl Zeiss Touit M 50 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

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

If you deal with a lens designed to cooperate with mirrorless Fuji cameras an aperture ring, 11 mm wide, will be the next part. It works smoothly and is properly damped, setting the aperture every 1/3 EV step. The Sony mount lens doesn’t have such a ring because you can control the aperture in the camera only.

Carl Zeiss Touit M 50 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

Further on you see a narrow, immobile, metal ring with a manual focus ring immediately behind it. The latter is 22 mm wide and it comes without any scale or ribs. Like the aperture ring, described above, it is covered by smooth rubber which sticks to your fingers, allowing you very comfortable settings. Its only flaw is that it catches any specks of dust and dirt as well and they are clearly visible against its dark background, spoiling a bit the esthetic impression of the whole instrument. The work of the ring is based on servo-mechanisms and running through the whole distance scale with a standard speed takes a turn through significantly more than 200 degrees.

Behind the manual focus ring you find a black, immobile, metal ring with an inscription „Touit 2.8/50M” which turns smoothly into a hood mount. On both sides there is the blue Zeiss company logo and on the other side of the ring an inscription: „Macro Planar 2.8/50 o52mm T*”.

The front element of the lens doesn’t move and is 22 mm in diameter, surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 52 mm in diameter.

Carl Zeiss Touit M 50 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

The optical construction of the tested lens consists of 14 elements positioned in 11 groups. Among them you can find two aspherical elements and two other made of anomalous partial dispersion glass. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22. The producer boasts of employing the famous T* coatings, ensuring high transmission and good contrast.

Buyers get both caps and a hood along with the lens which is sold in a stylish box.

Carl Zeiss Touit M 50 mm f/2.8 - Build quality