Carl Zeiss Touit Distagon T* 12mm f/2.8 Lens Review

Carl Zeiss Touit Distagon T* 12mm f/2.8 Handling and features

The external appearance of this lens is a bit of a departure from tradition for Carl Zeiss. Gone are the usual sharp angles, precisely grooved grips and silver filter ring synonymous with Zeiss manual focus lenses. Instead the old design gives way to a smoother, sleeker and generally more tactile finish, whilst retaining the same level of build quality. Despite being constructed mostly of metal, this 12mm lens is reasonably lightweight, tipping the scales at 260g for the E-mount version and 270g for the X-mount lens. This makes the lens balance extremely well with the Sony NEX-F3 used for testing.

Carl Zeiss has been working closely with both Fujifilm and Sony to develop a compatible autofocus system. Although autofocus is reliable, the speed of focus acquisition with this lens is noticeably slower than with other E-mount lenses, so a little patience or forward planning may be required in some instances. Carl Zeiss say this is something that may be resolved by future firmware updates on both Sony and Fujifilm camera systems. Manual focusing is silky smooth and precise and the smooth rubberised focusing ring a pleasure to use.

As focusing is performed internally, the 67mm filter thread does not rotate or extend during use, which should make this lens perfect for use with graduated or polarising filters. A relatively deep petal-shaped hood is supplied with the lens, which attaches flush to the body of the lens via a bayonet fitting. Closest focus is 18cm, which is ideal for exploiting distorted perspective at close distances, or for shooting in claustrophobic environments.

Carl Zeiss Touit 12mm F2 8 Nex Lens (3)

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