Zeiss 50mm F/2 Planar
The Zeiss 50mm F/2 Planar is a semi fast 50mm lens available for Leica M – mount. The lens has a full metal construction and weighs 230 grams. This makes using this lens on a daily basis fantastic as it feels good in the hands and doesn't weigh too much. It has the classic Planar lens design with six elements in our groups, as well as ten aperture blades that go from F/2 to F/22 in third-stop clicks. This allows for some very nice backgrounds and colour rendition. In addition to this this lens features Zeiss’ T* coating which reduces flaring and other artifacts.
In practice this lens must be one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used only being rivaled to the Nikon 105mm F/2 DC Nikkor. Throughout the range from F/22 all the way to F/2 the whole image is very sharp with minimal sharpness fall off on the corners. From the images shown here you can see how the lens renders both black and white as well as colour photographs. I found this lens performs very well when using colour film due to its accurate colour rendition and lack of aberrations and flaring due to the T* coating, though it also performs exceptionally well for black and white photographs giving a rich tonal range and tack sharp images.
The reason I ended up selling this lens was due to one small design aspect of this lens. The focus. I found that this lens had a very soft and long focus throw which some people may like but I just couldn’t bond with it. For me this was a big problem as I was finding myself missing focus or taking longer to focus on a subject than usual. Though this being said I know some people who prefer this type of focus so it's not to say it’s a bad design just after owning this lens for over three months I was still finding this to be a problem so decided to sell it. You can usually find this lens used for about £500 in very good condition and is defiantly worth a try if you are searching for a 50mm lens that suits your needs. I personally prefer lenses with more character and that are not 100% technically perfect so did not see any point in keeping this lens.