Roman KlimenkoBlogPhotography

Zeiss Loxia 50mm F2 Planar

October 22, 2023


With mixed feelings, I sold my Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 lens (SEL55F18Z). In this article, I want to share my personal experience with it – this is not a full review but rather some facts I didn't see in the others' reviews before I bought this lens.

loxia with blend loxia without blend

Why did I buy this lens?

I was looking for a nifty-fifty lens for my mirrorless Sony camera. It had to be something lightweight I could have on my camera by default.

One option was SEL50F25G - small, 179g, fast autofocus – love it! The only downside is that sometimes I'd want something faster than f/2.5.

Another lens I had and sold earlier – SEL50F18F – was also small, 186g. It delivered some good photos, but I had more missed shots with this lens than with any other lenses I tried. The main reason is unreliable autofocus.

SEL50F12GM is an excellent lens, except for its size and weight (778g).

So, this is how I ended up buying a used Loxia.

What did I love in this lens?

When I first unpacked it, I thought, "This is the most beautiful lens I had in my hands". Made from metal, smooth focus ring, lightweight but doesn't feel cheap. I was very impressed.

The focusing was slower than with the auto-focus lenses but acceptable. So I generally loved the experience the last time I had decades ago with my father's Zorki.

Also, manual focusing forces you to think differently when you take photos – you don't rely on auto-focus but can see the depth of field and move it back and forth mindfully.

The image quality was fine - not as supersharp as Sony's G or GM lenses, but good enough. In some photos, I almost see what people call "micro-contrast" or "Zeiss-pop," but I'm still not convinced these things exist.

What didn't work well?

However, in the long run, I had to admit that this lens was not for my requirements.

First, I wanted a lens I could carry daily with my camera – with or without the lens cap. Unfortunately, the aperture on this lens doesn't close automatically, so every time I turned off my camera, I saw this:

do not leave

Then I started to put the lens cap on, but it could be way more convenient when you have the lens blender on. I didn't have this problem with any of my Tamron, Sony G, or Sony GM lenses, but on Loxia, it's inconvenient to put the lens cap on the lens when you have the lens blender on.

Next, even in the "click" mode, it was too easy to change the aperture accidentally. I had the same problem with the focus ring, so I could not just set the focus distance in advance and trust these settings.

It's a minor issue, but still - the DoF scale is useless if you don't shoot at f/8 or slower.

loxia close up


The problem is probably with my skills; however, I found the SEL50F25G more convenient for my needs. So, while I still regret selling my Loxia, it was the right decision.