Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 is a classical manual focus lens for the now defunct Contax/Yashica mount. The lens origins date back to 60s, with the first mass-produced version of the lens manufactured for Rollei SL35 mount. The lens remained quite popular among photographers who wanted a fast, but reasonably priced medium telephoto. Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 was not really the fastest (there were, and actually still are, a couple of even faster 85mm primes, including the anniversary edition of 85mm Planar, Contax Planar 85mm f/1.2, which these days costs a few thousand dollars, as well as equally expensive and fast Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L), nor the cheapest. However Zeiss struck a balance with this lens by pricing it within the reach of advanced amateurs and obviously professionals. The continued popularity of the design contributed to the deciding factor when Zeiss resurrected its line of SLR lenses for Nikon, Pentax and now Canon mounts - Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 is alive and well these days, and is available for purchase at most photography retailers near you.
Like most of its other C/Y lenses, Carl Zeiss used to manufacture the 85mm Planar in AE and MM variants. The lens was initially manufactured in both West Germany, at the original Zeiss factory in Oberkochen, as well as in Japan, first by Yashica and later by Kyocera, which acquired Yashica. However, while it is relatively easy to find an AE version of the lens that was manufactured either in Germany or Japan, majority of MM versions of the lens that are being sold these days on used markets were made in Japan.
The optical construction of the lens consists of 6 elements in 5 groups - this simple by modern standards design has not changed since the first introduction of the lens. The build quality is superb - like most of Carl Zeiss lenses of that period, the barrel is made from metal, with rubberized focus and aperture rings. The focusing ring is pretty smooth and the aperture ring snaps into position with ease. The minimum focusing ditance is 1m (3.5ft) and the minimum supported aperture is f/16 (with the aperture ring moving in one full f-stop increments). The lens is not the lightest 85mm lens on the block (partially thanks to its large maximum aperture which requires a pretty large front glass element), weighing 595g (1.3lb) but the weight actually adds to the overall impression of sturdiness. The lens measures 7 x 6.4 cm (2.75 x 2.5in), but the barrel extends slightly when the lens is focused towards the closeup. Filter diameter is 67mm.
Like all Contax lenses, Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 is a full frame lens, so when used on an APS-C type cameras with 1.6x crop factor, the field of view of the lens will resemble that of a 136mm on a full frame body. Planar 85mm f/1.4 is easily adaptable to a number of alternative camera mounts, including Canon's EF/EF-S cameras, as well as Olympus/Panasonic Four Thirds systems. Within the scope of this review, the lens was tested on both full frame as well as APS-C type Canon cameras.
|Lens Composition||6 elements, 5 groups|
|Angular Field||28 degrees 30’|
|Minimum Focus||1m (3.5 ft.)|
|Diaphragm Action||MM fully automatic|
|F stop scale||f1.4-2-2.8-4-5.6-8-11-16|
|Filter connection||Screw in type|
|Lens Hood||67mm G-13 soft hood, screw-in type No 4 metal hood (with 67/86 ring), screw in type|
|Weight||595 grams(1.3 lbs)|
|Lens Size||70x64mm(2-3/4x2-1/2 in)|
|Lens Cap||67mm K-61, snap type|
Product ($1199) SN: ***2953
Condition: Like New (LN)
Warranty: 2 weeks shop warranty, covering manufactural defects
What You Will Get
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