Excerpt: The Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZE Lens is the first available Carl Zeiss lens built specifically for the Canon EOS mount. Prior to the ZE lenses, Zeiss lenses required a special adapter to be used on Canon EOS bodies. People took the extra effort to EOS-mount Zeiss lenses because the image quality they obtained from these lenses was worth it. Zeiss' formal announcement of the ZE series of lenses triggered a flood of emails requesting Zeiss reviews.
Conclusion: It is impossible not to grade this lens without considering its price. From a portrait prime that costs almost 5000 polish zloty we demand perfection in every aspect. As far as the noticeable astigmatism at the wide-open lens can be understood and the slight sharpness less forgiven, the focusing mechanism must be heavily criticised. Its disastrous work is to such a degree noisy and inefficient that much better effects we will achieve treating this lens as a manual one.
Cons: disastrous autofocus work, a little too big astigmatism, outrageous price
Summary: A fast, high-performance prime lens that is ideal for portraits and candid photography.The name alone should be an assurance to knowledgeable photographers that the Sony CZ Planar T* 85mm F1.4 ZA is no ordinary lens and the 'Planar' tag reflects its noble ancestry. The original Planar was a six-element symmetrical lens designed by physicist, Paul Rudolph, at Carl Zeiss in 1896.
Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZA ( Sony SAL-85F14Z ) - Full Format Review / Test Report
4 July 2004
Conclusion: Are you listening Canon and Nikon? Welcome the new owner of the 85mm f/1.4 class - the Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZA. We were more than impressed by the results during our previous APS-C test and the lens remains great within the full format scope as well. It is capable of producing very sharp center and border at large aperture and it can even reach an excellent quality level across the image frame at medium apertures.