Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f1.4

Nikon ZF Ai-S Mount

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July 2006


Announced in January 2006 together with Carl Zeiss 50mm F1.4 ZF lens, but only available to the public in July 2006. After a long wait...I have finally received my first stock of the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 mm ZF lens!


For those who are new to Zeiss lenses, T* stands for the special coating that Zeiss applies to their lenses. Not all Zeiss lenses have T* coating, some are specially made without the T* coating (eg. for astronomy or space use).


Comes in the typical white + blue zeiss packaging. Similar to the Zeiss 50mm, hence no surprise here :)


Open up the box you will see the official price tag in Japanese yen, beneath are Zeiss lens test certificate and manual (in Japanese).


This is what comes in the FULL PACKAGE. Note the dedicated lens hood which is supplied together with the lens. Full metal built lens hood.


Here's the actual lens itself. As you can see from the photo, there is no rubber focusing ring. The focusing ring is crafted from metal, no rubber covering it. In fact, the whole lens is metal built, including the aperture ring. Very heavy and solid for a 85mm lens!

Note also the rabbit ear, Zeiss adds it...meaning that it is fully compatible with pre-ai Nikon bodies that require the rabbit ear! Though not many will find the rabbit ear useful but personally I like it as adding more classic design/feel to the lens!


The lens extended by around 1cm when focus to the minimum focusing distance.

The lens at its shortest physical length when focus to infinity.


Beautiful Zeiss T* coating! Rainbow like colours!


Rear side of the lens. As you can see here, no electronic contact at all. Fully manual lenses that do not communicate with your Nikon camera.

However, for Nikon D200, D2H, D2X, can actually set the lens particulars into the camera. You tell the camera that you are now using a 85mm f1.4 lens, then the camera will be able to read the aperture of the lens based on the turning (clicks) that you have selected when shooting.

For the Nikon D200 and D1/D2 series DSLR, you will still preserve metering with manual lenses. What you lost is just AF, which you should have well known of when buying a manual focus lens.

For Nikon D50, D70, D70S, Fujifilm S1 Pro, S2 Pro, S3 Pro DSLR, you don't get metering with manual lenses. You can't also set the lens particulars into your DSLR. However, you can still use the lens in M exposure mode. For experienced photographers, this is not a problem as they are well known with the tricky metering and exposure needed. For newbies, this can be a good chance for you to learn more about photography and exposure and think more before you click. The convenient of digital photography is that you can always check your exposure after taking the photos.


Last but not least, every Zeiss ZF lens comes with a Test Certificate!

Every Zeiss ZF lens is being inspected by Zeiss personal for the Quality Assurance of the lens! Zeiss ZF lens is made by Cosina nowadays, but this doesn't means that Zeiss is signing off the responsibility. In fact, with the tight and human quality assurance for EVERY SINGLE PIECE of Zeiss ZF lens, one can be sure that Cosina will not take for granted and push poor quality Zeiss into the market!

I have bought many Zeiss 50ZF lens for my customers, every single piece I dare say is clean inside out! Even the box is clean and perfect!


How's the photo quality delivered by the lens?! Buy one and you tell me :)