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Archive 2011 · Which first Zeiss ?
  
 
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p.1 #1 · Which first Zeiss ?


I shoot Nikon D700. Made the mistake of peeking into the alternative systems thread. Now I want to try Zeiss. Narrowed my selection down to the new .2 35/1.4 or the 35/2 or the 50mm Makro Planar. Which one do you suggest I get first ? I'm new to MF but want to try it out with a great lens. I've read good things and seen stunning shots from both. Any advice would be appreciated.

Also most places seem to be out of stock on the 35 1.4 .2..



Apr 15, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Gary Clennan
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p.1 #2 · Which first Zeiss ?


melbmanu wrote:
I shoot Nikon D700. Made the mistake of peeking into the alternative systems thread. Now I want to try Zeiss. Narrowed my selection down to the new .2 35/1.4 or the 35/2 or the 50mm Makro Planar. Which one do you suggest I get first ? I'm new to MF but want to try it out with a great lens. I've read good things and seen stunning shots from both. Any advice would be appreciated.

Also most places seem to be out of stock on the 35 1.4 .2..


I would first decide which focal length you would use the most and go from there. All these lenses are great so you really can't go wrong with either. 35/2 might be a good starting point....



Apr 15, 2011 at 10:04 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #3 · Which first Zeiss ?


Those three lenses are all great. What are some of your previous favorites, and what is your current lens lineup?


Apr 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM
j.liam
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p.1 #4 · Which first Zeiss ?


The 35/2 and 50 MP are great starting points; depends on your type of shooting and preferred FL. The 50 has the added benefit of macro capabilities and may prove to be a more versatile starting point. Both have no appreciable field curvature and stellar performance wide-open.

The 35/1.4, from the limited information out there, is showing itself to be a more specialized optic with a steeper learning curve and might not appeal as a general use lens like the other two. It's also 50% heavier as well as larger (in fact, the heaviest Zeiss ZE/ZF produced thus far).



Apr 15, 2011 at 10:37 PM
magiclight
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p.1 #5 · Which first Zeiss ?


I must admit if you need a 50mm the MP is brilliant. I could shoot at f2 all day long with this lens

In the end there is no right or wrong answer here. When I chose my first Zeiss lens I chose the 21mm because I was a landscaper. But of course not all landscape shots are at 21mm so I had to by a couple more

If you own Lightroom you can filter by focal lenght to see what focal lengths you use most often. It is a rather interesting exercise.



Apr 15, 2011 at 11:20 PM
dj dunzie
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p.1 #6 · Which first Zeiss ?


ZF.2 100/f2 Makro-Planar, of course!!

I have the 35/f2D and the 50/f1.4P in addition to the 100MP, and have yet to use a Zeiss lens that didn't make me smile. I think narrowing down what FL is more important to you - outside of the macro capability of the 50 - is the best starting point. You won't go wrong either way, just nice to get the one you'll use more.



Apr 16, 2011 at 12:00 AM
JR Magat
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p.1 #7 · Which first Zeiss ?


ZF 35/2 was great! Definitely was my favorite in my short time with Zeiss lenses...

















I am more partial to 35mm on full frame... but i'd suggest the 35/2 or 50 MP for your first Zeiss - you really can't go wrong either way



Apr 16, 2011 at 12:10 AM
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p.1 #8 · Which first Zeiss ?


thanks guys.

@JR, those are some cool shots. Thanks for sharing.

I should've included my current lens lineup:
14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 85 & 105mm VR2 macro

I want something that I can use on people and also landscapes especially when I travel. Macro is not important as I love the VR2. I may eventually get the 100 zeiss but for now, I want either the 35 or 50. The 50 mp appealed as I've heard its very very sharp being a macro. Downside is its not 3d as the 35/2.

Is there going to be a significant difference between 35/2 and 35/1.4 sharpness (at f/2) ?



Apr 16, 2011 at 02:12 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #9 · Which first Zeiss ?


The 35/2 is sharper at f2 than the new 35/1.4.


Apr 16, 2011 at 02:19 AM
j.liam
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p.1 #10 · Which first Zeiss ?


melbmanu wrote:
Is there going to be a significant difference between 35/2 and 35/1.4 sharpness (at f/2) ?


The 35/1.4, according to Lloyd Chambers, does not reach the 35/2's sharpness until f/2.8. The faster lens' transition from in-focus to OOF is more gradual and therefore doesn't give the famed 3D rendering of the slower lens. The haze of spherical aberration, pretty much absent in the f/2 @ f/2, is prominent in the faster lens and seriously reduces contrast at the wider apertures.

Edited on Apr 16, 2011 at 02:51 AM · View previous versions



Apr 16, 2011 at 02:27 AM
 

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p.1 #11 · Which first Zeiss ?


wow, that is good to know. I'm kinda glad I didnt order the 35/1.4 in a haste.

What about the sharpness of the 50 MP vs 35/2 at f/2 ?



Apr 16, 2011 at 02:45 AM
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p.1 #12 · Which first Zeiss ?


Sorry I have more questions.

- Which is sharper 50MP vs 35/2 ?
- I read some posts about CA issues with 35/2. Is this a concern ?
- Is the NIkon 35G in the same league as the 35/2 ?



Apr 16, 2011 at 02:53 AM
j.liam
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p.1 #13 · Which first Zeiss ?


Both the 50MP and 35/2 are pretty impressive. Boils down to which FL speaks to you.

The CA of the 35/2 primarily manifests in high-contrast lighting.

The NIkkor 35/1.4 G is one impressive piece of glass, optically outstanding with high micro-contrast wide open and the perfect successor to the old 35/1.4 AIS were it not for lingering questions about AF accuracy and speed (purportedly unreliable on some bodies and slow on every body).

The 35/1.4 Zeiss is absent the CA of the slower lens, saturates colors more richly and delivers an impressively developed bokeh.

I found shooting portraits with the ZF35/2 somewhat unforgiving. The detail was often brutally honest and unflattering. The 1.4 is likely to be kinder.



Apr 16, 2011 at 02:58 AM
nsarcastic
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p.1 #14 · Which first Zeiss ?


After playing with the Zeiss 35 f/1.4 for a couple of days, I'm tempted to say that it gives you both the characteristics of the 35 f/2 in addition to the artistic flexibility of being able to open it up to f/1.4. I have a few Zeiss lenses (granted the ZE, not the ZF versions) and have used a friends 35 f/2, and I have to say the f/1.4 lens can get that classic 3D look when stopped down. As j.liam has said, the contrast increases as the aperture decreases, increasing the hardness of edges and more quickly isolating the subject from the background. However, when needed, it can open way, way up to present a more dreamy look depending on the light. My copy is by no means soft even wide open, but it can be rather problematic getting the focus dead on, leading some to think it isn't particularly sharp.

I know most seem to think that only way to shoot these lenses is wide open, but if you can bring yourself to stop it down, the 35 f/1.4 can be considered the complete package.



Apr 16, 2011 at 04:22 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #15 · Which first Zeiss ?


Lloyd Chambers of Diglloyd did a nice portrait shooting comparison between the zf 35/1.4 and 35/1.4G which you might want to look at but you have to subscribe.
He also compared it to the 35/2 and has reviewed all the other Zeiss lenses in the Z* line.




Apr 16, 2011 at 05:00 AM
Ajay C
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p.1 #16 · Which first Zeiss ?


I would go with either the 2/35 (may be 1.4/35) or 2/50. I've used 2/35 and have the new 1.4/35. They are very different lenses till f/2.8 or so. After that, I prefer 1.4/35 over the 2/35, if price was not a factor. I am starting to think 1.4/35 ZE will be a 'cult' lens if that makes sense. Also, wrt "haze" of the 1.4/35, I find that it's not as bad as LC states. There are very definite signs of low contrast, especially f/1.4 - f/2 / MFD. Change one of these variables, and it goes off really fast. Of course, it could be a big deal, depending on your shooting style.

And of course, 2/50 is very well one of the finest 50's out there. Having said the above, I have thinned my Zeiss 'herd' to 2.8/21, 2/100, 1.4/35 and added a Leica R 4/35-70, another strong contender for your landscape / portrait needs, if you are open to other alternatives.



Apr 16, 2011 at 05:30 AM
philber
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p.1 #17 · Which first Zeiss ?


melbmanu, if I were you, I would try out the 50 f:1.4. Reasons for this are: it is the cheapest and lightest Z* lens, so your "investment" before you know if you like such primes, will be less. Also, for people and landscapes, it is a superb lens, superior IMHO to the 50 MP, with wonderful colours and classic rendering. Now it does have a weakness or two, as others here who prefer the MP will be quick to point out. If you shoot wide open and MFD, it is soft. And when close to wide open and at very short range, it has some focus shift. But that is not exactly how one shoots street and landscapes.




  Canon EOS 5D Mark II    50mm    f/5.6    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 16, 2011 at 06:28 AM
carstenw
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p.1 #18 · Which first Zeiss ?


melbmanu wrote:
14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 85 & 105mm VR2 macro

I want something that I can use on people and also landscapes especially when I travel. Macro is not important as I love the VR2. I may eventually get the 100 zeiss but for now, I want either the 35 or 50. The 50 mp appealed as I've heard its very very sharp being a macro. Downside is its not 3d as the 35/2.


You pretty much have all "needs" covered with your lineup, so I would say buy a lens for your heart. If you like sharp, it would be the 35/2 or 50/2 MP. If you want something a little more ethereal wide open, but still sharp stopped down, then the 35/1.4 or 50/1.4.

I have tried the 35/2 and own the 50MP, and both are fantastic lenses, but ultimately, and as long as you understand the limitations, perhaps the 50/1.4 is a great place to start. f/1.4 is fast, and it renders beautifully. You just have to be careful wide open + close up, where it is not so great, and be careful of high contrast areas wide open, where you can get a fair amount of CA. Other than that, beautiful. Look through the ZF/ZE/ZM thread for lots of examples of all these lenses.



Apr 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM
AhamB
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p.1 #19 · Which first Zeiss ?


j.liam wrote:
The 50 has the added benefit of macro capabilities and may prove to be a more versatile starting point. Both have no appreciable field curvature and stellar performance wide-open.


Wide open and at medium focus distances the MP50 does have some noticeable field curvature (focus goes towards infinity at the borders while the centre is OOF). It's not a reason to skip this lens though.



Apr 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM
j.liam
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p.1 #20 · Which first Zeiss ?


I stand corrected. Checked into the 50MP and as Carsten says, the MP has rearward curvature at the edges. Still a great lens (used it but haven't owned it, unlike the 35 that I owned for several years).


Apr 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM
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