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Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*

100mm
Review Date: Apr 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,210.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: bokeh, build quality, IQ, micro contrast
Cons:
no weather sealing

The Makro-Planar T* 2/100 and I have had a long painful courtship of unrequited love. Despite its Makro moniker, I've lusted for it for portraiture application.

The lack of distortion makes the lens perfect for pano or Brenzier style photography.

While the 85L and Sigma 50mm can melt background/foreground to goo, the MP 2/100 gives a smoother transitional gradient between focus and OOF. The focal plane is thin and I'm having to stop down more then I originally anticipated. In that way it's similar to the 85L despite beng f2 vs. f1.2.

I'm currently using it with a 60D + EF-S Screen but find Live View necessary to get razor sharp focus. Makes me wish I'd hung on to my 5D2 or 1DMIV.

Color has typical Zeiss pop but lacks the "warmth" that Canon L users may be accustomed to and it's easy on a once over to dismiss the Zeiss as perhaps a bit desaturated.

The manual focus is nuanced, smooth, and precise.

My only complaint on a lens of this price and quality is the lack of weather sealing but given that no lens in the ZE line is weather sealed, it's more a nitpick then a true flaw.

It's more expensive then the Canon 100L. It doesn't have IS or AF. And in terms of absolute quality it's not 2x-3x the lens of Canon. But it is superior. The question, like all arguably best in class lenses, is if that 10% is worth the price difference.

For me the answer is - yes.