Used Dept Feature - Zeiss Loxia Lenses
Published: March 25 2021
In our used department we get a wide variety of older and newer cameras, lenses, and accessories. Recently we got our hands on a Zeiss Loxia 50mm f2 and 21mm f2.8 for Sony E mount. The Sony Loxia lenses were designed by Zeiss specifically for Sony's E mount (full-frame and aps-c) with a compact and durable build, and superb image quality in mind. The entire Loxia line of lenses is manual focus only and the aperture is controlled on the lens as well.
The Loxia lenses are all built extremely well, the focus rings on both the 50mm and 21mm are well dampened making the hunt for critical focus that much easier. When using the 50mm the focus peaking combined with the zoom made finding focus that much easy, even at f2. The aperture rings on the Loxia lenses control the aperture blades mechanically so even with the camera turned off or the lens off the body you can change the aperture and it will stop down or open up. This shows you a live depth of field and allows for even more precise compositions.
The 50mm lens is well suited for any application that doesn't require lightning fast AF. The lens is very sharp wide open and at middle apertures, and as long as you're careful with focussing you'll have excellent photos that can be printed to the size limits of the sensor resolution.
The story is the same for the Loxia 21mm f2.8. Superb sharpness, excellent feel on the controls, and durable build quality just like the 50mm. The 21mm is the widest option in the Loxia line. The lens performs quite well with minimal distortion in straight lines and the depth of field is quite wide. The 21mm would do well in a street photography application since from around f5.6 on almost the entire focal range is in focus. The 21mm is also suited for landscape photography because, like the 50mm, it is incredibly sharp throughout the aperture range so prints are again only limited by sensor resolution.
All of the Loxia lenses have a feature specifically integrated for videographers. The aperture can be de-clicked using a screw on the lens mount to make changing it smooth and unjarring on video. Since the lenses all already have a smooth and well dampened focusing ring the option to de-click the aperture makes them a good tool for a videographer with Sony cameras already.
The Loxia 50mm f2 and 21mm f2.8 are both extremely good value for money now. They were designed specifically for Sony E mount cameras by Zeiss in Germany, unlike Zeiss AF lenses which are designed in partnership with Sony, and assembled in Japan, and their optical quality is quite impressive holding up to the reputation of the name Carl Zeiss. The Loxia line all feature lens mount contacts that transfer aperture data to the camera so that in post you can have aperture data integrated into the RAW file. This places them a few steps above adapting non-native lenses since you still get all the benefits of a top-of-the-line AF Sony lens but at a lower price and with the stellar image quality of German designed Zeiss class.
If you're in the market for a fantastic standard lens that can cover almost all the bases from portrait to documentary style photography the Loxia 50mm f2 is an excellent option. If a wide lens is more what you're looking for then the 21mm f2.8 is a strong option in the market of compact, sharp, low distortion wide lenses which are well suited for street photography, landscape, and more.
Overall both the Loxia 50mm f2 and the Loxia 21mm f2.8 are fantastic lenses. The image quality that they produce is impressive, to say the least. Anyone looking for a high quality 50mm for their Sony camera should definitely consider the Loxia 50mm f2, and anyone looking for a wide lens that doesn't sacrifice quality for price should consider the Loxia 21mm f2.8
For my personal shooting style, the Loxia 50mm f2 was a breeze to use. Coming from a mostly film camera background where 50mm lenses are the most common it took practically no time for me to get used to using the lens for both personal and professional work. The 21mm was just as nice to use in terms of handling but I personally struggled to compose shots I was happy with simply because I'm not used to a lens that wide. Using it was definitely a learning experience though and the build quality combined with the optical quality made it enjoyable nonetheless. (Click to enlarge)
Both the Loxia 50mm f2 and the Loxia 21mm f2.8 can be found in-store at or online through our new app or website!
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