The world is full of dreary lenses. Most of the new ones, today, are refreshes of the old. So when Zeiss invited us to try something new, my interest was piqued. We, the Phoblographer members in attendance, were introduced to the New Zeiss Touit 32mm 1.8 and the 12mm f2.8, both rather clever lenses. However these lenses are for Sony NEX 7 and Fujifilm X Pro cameras, which I don’t own. Luckily Zeiss brought LensRentals along to loan me a Fujifilm XPro. While I am not a fan of the X Pro 1 personally, the Zeiss Touit 32mm f1.8 was rather nice.
Let’s see why.
Zeiss 32mm f/1.8 Specifications from Adorama
|Aperture range||f/1.8 – f/22|
|Focusing range||1.21 ft / 0.37m to infinity|
|Angular field, diag./horiz./vert.||48° / 40° / 29°|
|Coverage at close range||214 x 142 mm (8.43 x 5.59″)|
|Dimensions (with Caps)||2.83 x 2.99″ / 72mm x 76mm|
|Diameter of Focusing ring||2.56″ / 65mm|
|Weight||0.44 lb / 200g|
The lens, was a lot lighter than I thought it would be. I am used to Zeiss lenses having a little weight to them due to our testing with the DSLR lenses. Overall the lens is a respectable size and easy to hold. The focus ring is rubberized instead of plastic and pleasant to the touch. In a presentation, the company decided to go with this so that the rings are easier to touch in colder weather.
Zeiss stated that the aperture ring was rather nice to move. Both rings were easy to maneuver even with my fat fingers. There were no other buttons to hit on the lens, so it was very little to think about. I preferred the lens hood on, when reversed you had to keep the lens on auto mode for the best results.
The construction of this lens was rather fantastic. The Zeiss 32mm f1.8 oozed quality throughout its DNA. I have handled a few mirrorless lenses, and this is the first that felt truly well built. However, the lens hood really felt plasticy, considering it was a Zeiss. We’re much more used to the metallic build of them.
The lens was well marked and easy to read. I did not use the manual focus a lot however this lens has a very nice manual focus ring.
This was the first ime that I ever used a lens made by Zeiss that had autofocus. It was decent. It works quickly in well-lit situations but in low light, it was lacking at times. The Zeiss 32mm f1.8 occasionally focus-hunted. When I used the focus assist light of the Fujifilm X Pro 1, it made things better. It was easier to focus the lens manually when in low light. When working with the Touit 32mm f1.8, outside on the terrace of our meeting space and on the High Line, the auto focus was fantastic and precise.
Ease of Use
This lens was beyond easy on the Fujifilm XPro. I had a bit of a learning curve with the camera, but once I got use to it, lens was intuitive. The one thing I had to get used to was the last selection on the aperture ring was A (Auto) instead of f22. I realized this when I thought I was shooting at f22 and I was actually at f2.8.
I essentially had to pay a little bit more attention to how I was shooting. The lens, on a quick photo walk was great. It focused fast I got my shots and was able to move around quickly. With the lens hood off the camera and lens was less noticeable.
The image quality was really nice. The Zeiss 32mm f1.8 had a rather pleasant depth of field , it got razor then at f1.8. The bokeh was superb. The colors were crisp and clean. Skin tones were nice and even. The images had a nice contrast to them and colors were easily distinguished. Here are some other samples.
The lens was very sharp. You could see a lot of detail in in the image. I chose this half lens because you could really see the lines when cropped.
Overall the Zeiss 32mm f1.8 was a pleasant lens to use. If you are in a market for an upscale, fast lens for your Sony NEX or Fujifilm X series, theZeiss 32mm f1/8 is a very good choice. The fascinating thing about this lens is it was like shooting with my Nikon 50mm f1.8 G, making it a good choice for most styles of photography. It could be used from a coffee house to a park with no issues. While costing $900 USD, it is a little expensive, but you do get what you pay for.
The Touit 12mm f2.8
I did use this lens a little. It was rather nice. I did not use it enough to give a proper report though. However that is coming soon from another member of our team.
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