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Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 Vintage Review : Verdict

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Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm F2,8 Vertical View

Value For Money

Traditional 50mm lenses are plentiful enough and £20 should find an optic technically as good as this one. However, it has potential to be a lens with a bit of character, it has an unusual mount and hence the price asked tends to be more around the £50 mark. This is still reasonable VFM for a fine West German Carl Zeiss lens.

For more modern options, have a look at the Top 10 Best Zeiss Lenses, or the Top 23 Best 50mm Standard Prime lenses.



Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 Verdict

The Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 lens is awkward to use and hence slow, and the metering with the Canon EOS 5DS R is very variable. However, using Live View and taking time to make an image, the results are very attractive indeed. Mindful of the difficulty using the lens it is hard to recommend it as such, but in the right hands and with practice it could become a very favoured optic for perhaps portraiture, landscape or architectural photography.


Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 Pros

  • Iconic lens
  • Collectable
  • Well controlled CA
  • Solid, traditional construction

Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 Cons

  • Slow operation
  • Difficult to focus
  • Care needed with breech mount


Overall Verdict

With thanks to CliftonCameras who provided the Canon EOS 5DS R used for testing. 

Own this lens? Let us know what you think of it in the EQDB

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