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Carl Zeiss 100mm F2 ZK Makro-Planar T* Review RSS Feed

Carl Zeiss 100mm F2 ZK Makro-Planar T*

Sharpness 
 10.0
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 10.0
Handling 
 10.0
Value 
 10.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
6 26,676 Mon November 14, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,233.33 9.83
Carl Zeiss 100mm F2 ZK Makro-Planar T*
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Description:
Filter Size: 67mm
f/Stop Range: 2-22
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.4' (0.44 m)
Magnification: 1:2
Angle of View: 25°
Groups/Elements: 8/9
Length: 3.5" (89mm)
Maximum Diameter: 3.0" (76mm)
Weight: 1.5 lbs (680g)
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:



Add Review of Carl Zeiss 100mm F2 ZK Makro-Planar T*
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Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 1,911

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Legendary Micro-contrast, colors, 3D, Bokeh - The "best lens" for the K1
Cons: A bit on the heavy side, CA/purple fringing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k1   

nice lens
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Hanoi
Posts: 199
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: metal build, great bokeh, sharpness
Cons: manual focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K200D   

The unforbidden treasure!


Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 ZK, on Flickr


Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 ZK, on Flickr


Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 ZK, on Flickr


Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 ZK, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, color, bokeh
Cons: LoCA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-7, K-5   

















   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: eastern Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 143

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 31, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: build quality, bokeh, overall IQ
Cons: size, cost

I am going to keep this brief. The image quality of the Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar is the highest of any lens I have ever owned. (My Voigtlander 180 APO is its only real competition.) It is bitingly sharp, not just when close focusing, but at all distances. It exhibits typical Zeiss colour saturation and contrast, and with bokeh that is extremely smooth. The lens shows no sign of focus shift (as does its 85mm stable mate), and can be used for any application where the 100mm focal length is appropriate.

The only complaints I have concern its size and cost. But, as others have pointed out, this lens runs with the likes of the Leica 100mm f.28 APO-Macro-Elmarit R—a lens that is more than twice the price and a full stop slower. (See Lloyd Chambers's review at www.diglloyd.com.) True, if you are a hard-core macro user, the 1:2 magnification might be a problem. However, this can be overcome with extension tubes.

You should understand that this is much more than a macro lens. It does everything—and it does it extremely well (including, to my thinking, portraiture). If you can live with its size and price, you should seriously consider this lens.

I would add only this caveat: Zeiss lenses provide a different look than those from Pentax, and the Zeiss interpretation of a given scene may not be to everyone's liking. If you are trying to decide between brands, you should bear this in mind.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,998

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 24, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, focus feel, IQ
Cons: Cost, flimsy pinch-cap

First off, if you need a macro lens that will do 1:1, then you need to look elsewhere, because Zeiss "only" does 1:2. I wish they had called these lenses "close-focus" rather than macro to eliminate that criticism. That being said, if you are like me and don't care about 1:1, then you should seriously consider treating yourself to one of the finest-to-use lenses on the planet. The only other lens that I would personally put in the same category as this Zeiss is the Voigtlander 125.

Yes, it is heavy, as anything made of this much metal and glass would be. You could use this thing as a weapon and I'm pretty sure it would remain unscathed. I'd hate to see the guy you used it on, though. Even the fairly generous hood is metal and has a reassuring metallic click when you attach it. It is also usable on the 50/2 on an APS-C body. The plastic pinch-cap, however, is an abomination and has no business being on a lens of this price.

All ZK's under expose slightly on Pentax so you will need to dial in some compensation. Or, if you're using a K5, you may choose not to, as you may prefer to pull the details out later in post.

The only word to describe the focus feel of this lens is sublime. Simply the finest I have ever felt. Perfectly damped, smooth, and long-throw for ease of accuracy. Yes, the ring is all metal, so if you're using it in the cold you'll need a glove. Or perhaps a wide rubber-band.

The IQ of this lens is, as expected, beyond reproach. Obviously, there may be some who's taste is for the rendering style of other lenses, but there is no doubt that this Zeiss is truly excellent. Very unique bokeh (except in comparison to some other Zeiss'), fantastic, saturated colors, and sharpness from here to eternity. Not as "warm" as the FA Limiteds, but more "intense" than the DA Limiteds or DA*'s. You should note that the IQ of this lens is pretty much identical to that of the 50/2. So if you prefer a 50, you're not really missing out on anything. The 50/1.4, however, is a markedly different lens.

I intend to have my three Zeiss' for a lifetime. They are a guilty pleasure that allow me to connect with photography like no other lenses can, as much as I love my FA limiteds. Highly recommended.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: The Canadian WetCoast
Posts: 370

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 14, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Impeccable IQ & construction
Cons: Underexpose with K7 & K5, metal focusing ring hard to grip

Optically & construction wise, this lens is a solid "10", but subjectively I will rate it:

"6" in weight due to military grade construction. Hard to hand held for low light at low ISO.

"7" in ease of use in lens hood & front cap. Very hard to attach & detach

"8" in focusing because the focusing ring is a milled metal design. It is very cold & hard to grip.

"9" in exposure compatibility with K-r, K7 & K5. All ZK lenses need to dial in +0.5 to avoid underexposure.

I also advise against using this lens for portrait as it is mercyless on any imperfection.
Add Review of Carl Zeiss 100mm F2 ZK Makro-Planar T*



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