Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 Review

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Introduction

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 is a modern standard prime version of the classic Trioplan f2.8/100 lens, known for its ‘soap bubble’ bokeh and sharp focus. This updated Trioplan optic is manufactured using high-end coated glass made by Schott, features an iris diaphragm of 12 steel blades for a near-circular aperture, has a minimum focuising distance of 25cm, and comes in 9 different mounts, including Canon, Fuji X, Nikon, M42, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Pentax K, Leica M and Leica TL. The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens costs €1,399.00.

Ease of Use

With a maximum diameter of 60mm and a length of 78mm, the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 is well-suited to Sony’s full-frame mirrorless camera bodies. Weighing in at around 220g, it’s a surprisingly light lens.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II body

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II body

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II body

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens mounted alongside a Sony A7R II body

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 boasts superb build quality. The lens has an all-aluminium casing and it features a metal bayonet. With no need for a zoom ring, the manual focusing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate, complete with a useful depth of field scale.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Side of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Front of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Rear of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens

At the end of the lens is the aperture ring, with the aperture ranging from f/2.9 to f/22. Note that this ring rotates smoothly throughout the range, with no actual hard stops (except at f/2.9 and f/22), which is perhaps better suited to movie recording than shooting stills.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Side of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Side of the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 is a relatively simple lens with just 3 lens elements in 3 groups. A 12-bladed rounded diaphragm, combined with the fast maximum aperture, helps provide incredibly smooth bokeh blur. There’s no optical image stabilisation, but the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9’s short telephoto focal length and fast maximum aperture largely alleviate the need for it.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens in-hand

A small round metal lens hood that screws into the front of the lens is supplied in the box. The filter diameter is 35.5mm.

Focal Range

The diagonal angle of view is 42°, i.e. the same as that of a 50mm lens in a 35mm system.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Field of view at 50mm

Manual Focusing

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9’s manual focusing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate, complete with a useful depth of field scale. It also has a large rotation angle which enables precise focusing and moves smoothly without any play. The precise engravings in meters and feet help make manual focusing a veritable pleasure, especially in conjunction with the excellent Peaking feature offered by the Sony A-series cameras.

Chromatic Aberrations

Lateral chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, are well controlled with the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens. The crops below give you an idea of what you should expect in a worst-case scenario.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9
Light Fall-off

Wide open at f/2.9, there’s some noticeable light fall-off in the corners, but this clears up quickly upon stopping down.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Vignetting at 50mm

Macro

The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 has a special macro function that provides a close-focus point of 25cm and magnification ratio of 1:4, making it quite a useful macro lens. The photo below shows how close you can get to your subject.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9

Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. The Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens has an iris diaphragm with no less than 12 circular aperture blades, which has resulted in outstanding bokeh, as you can see in the crops below.

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9
Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9
Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Sharpness at 50mm

For this test, the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens was attached to a Sony A7R II camera, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. The self-timer was used in order to avoid any vibrations that may result from tripping the shutter. Slight tonal changes are due to slight changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame

The full frame at 50mm

In the centre of the frame, sharpness is acceptable wide open at f/4, improving at f/5.6 and reaching peak performance at f/8-f/11. Diffraction sets in at f/22, which is decidedly soft. The edges aren’t anywhere as sharp as the centre, throughout the aperture range.

Aperture Center Crop Edge Crop
f/2.9 f2_9.jpg f2_9.jpg
f/4 f4.jpg f4.jpg
f/5.6 f5_6.jpg f5_6.jpg
f/8 f8.jpg f8.jpg
f/11 f11.jpg f11.jpg
f/16 f16.jpg f16.jpg
f/22 f22.jpg f22.jpg

Sample Images

The thumbnails below link to full-sized samples taken with the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens mounted on a Sony A7R II compact system camera.

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 125 – 0mm (35mm)

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 500 – 0mm (35mm)

1/400s · f/0 · ISO 100 – 0mm (35mm)

1/200s · f/0 · ISO 100 – 0mm (35mm)

1/125s · f/0 · ISO 125 – 0mm (35mm)

Specifications

  • Aperture: 50mm
  • Mounts: Canon, Fuji X, Leica L, Leica M, M42, Micro-Four-Thirds, Nikon, Pentax, Sony E
  • Filter diameter: 35,5mm
  • Rangefinder Coupling: not supported
  • Minimum focusing distance: 0,25 m with front focus element
  • Angle of view: 42°
  • Weight: ~ 220g
  • Blendenlamellen: 12, steel, special anti reflex coating
  • Light intensity: f2.9 – f22
  • Optical design: 3 elements in 3 groups

Conclusion

Just like the Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 that came before it, the Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens can create some equally wonderful bokeh effects thanks to that famous bubble bokeh. We found the shorter 50mm focal length to be more versatile and therefore used it more than the 100mm version, although your mileage may vary. The variable macro front lens adds further to the Trioplan 50mm f/2.9’s versatility, shortening the focusing distance to just 25cm.

It remains a specialist tool, however, that needs to be used in the right shooting conditions, both from a subject, distance and lighting point of view, even coming with a quick 4-step guide which you’ll need to refer to to get up and running. Build quality is again outstanding, although we did miss having hard stops on the aperture ring.

Priced at €1,399.00, once again it’s not exactly an impulse purchase, although we can’t think of any other “nifty-fifty” lens that will give you these kind of images straight out of the camera.

(photographyblog.com, https://goo.gl/8aqaUE)

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