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Archive 2011 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go
  
 
obik
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


Hi, I was just wondering if any altizens can shed some light on how the Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar handles coma at f2.0 and 2.8 on FF135--I've searched the web and trawled the various Zeiss threads here, but haven't found any info. If someone has some sample photos (or even an aperture series!) I'd love to see them.

Edited on Dec 04, 2011 at 10:21 AM · View previous versions



Nov 25, 2011 at 12:37 AM
carstenw
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


I don't recall seeing any, but I don't really shoot the kind of thing which would show it. With Christmas coming up, I am sure that you will see some shots in one of the two Zeiss threads


Nov 25, 2011 at 09:55 AM
denoir
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


I was going to say the same thing as Carsten, but I actually found one relevant shot:


@f/2:








100%, showing coma:







Stopped down it goes away of course (@f/5.6):









Nov 25, 2011 at 10:45 AM
carstenw
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


That's pretty minimal though. 100% on a 21MP frame. My guess is that, like other characteristics of this particular lens, it gets much worse into the extreme corners, but I haven't tested it.


Nov 25, 2011 at 11:31 AM
phuang3
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


The stress test of a lens is to shoot astrophotography wide open.


Nov 25, 2011 at 11:37 AM
carstenw
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


For coma, yes, but for other characteristics, not necessarily, for example distortion. I presume you mean for coma.


Nov 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM
obik
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


carstenw wrote:
I don't recall seeing any, but I don't really shoot the kind of thing which would show it. With Christmas coming up, I am sure that you will see some shots in one of the two Zeiss threads


Your Christmas comment has inspired me to dig through the Zeiss thread again, focusing on November/December posts.



Nov 25, 2011 at 09:24 PM
obik
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


denoir wrote:
100%, showing coma:
http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss50-191_coma.jpg


Very nice, thanks.



Nov 25, 2011 at 09:24 PM
jotdeh
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


obik wrote:
Your Christmas comment has inspired me to dig through the Zeiss thread again, focusing on November/December posts.

I'd focus on December / January posts...



Nov 26, 2011 at 12:44 AM
 

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phuang3
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


carstenw wrote:
For coma, yes, but for other characteristics, not necessarily, for example distortion. I presume you mean for coma.


I think distotion figure was known even before manufacturing, and it does not related to mechanical errors.



Nov 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM
obik
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


I bought the Makro Planar, and I have to say that the more I stop it down, the less I like it. At f2.0 it's excellent, miles ahead of the Canon and something I'd have no reservations about shooting wide open. At f2.8 it's great, still ahead of the Canon. At 4.0, the Canon is starting to catch up, but I'm seeing more coma than I expect from the Zeiss--which is a stop slower and $1000 more expensive than the Canon. At f5.6, I don't think I can fault either the Canon or the MP in terms of sharpness or contrast, but the MP can produce some really nasty flare, whereas the Canon doesn't. The MP also produces hideous sunstars, whereas the Canon's are merely ugly.

I've made some direct comparisons between the Canon 50mm f1.4 and the Zeiss 50mm f2.0 Makro-Planar. You can download web sized layered PSDs at (warning--BIG FILES):

Coma (close focus), vignette, contrast:

http://www.dementlieu.com/users/obik/fpics/canon_50_14_zeiss_50_20_01_websize.psd (I kicked the tripod while changing lenses, so the C/Z comparison isn't perfectly centered)

Coma (infinity):

http://www.dementlieu.com/users/obik/fpics/canon_50_14_zeiss_50_20_02_websize.psd

Flare, contrast, medium detail:

http://www.dementlieu.com/users/obik/fpics/canon_50_14_zeiss_50_20_03_websize.psd (from f4.0--will probably reshoot)

I set the white balance in ACR (the matching it for each series), but otherwise everything is ACR default. The files were downsized with a simple bicubic reduction.

I still need to test color (first impression: "Zeiss warmth" = horrible orangeness), distortion (first impression: good), pseudo-macro capabilities (first impression: good), and skin tones (no impression yet).



Dec 04, 2011 at 10:40 AM
obik
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


Also, I'm not gonna keep hosting these files up forever--they're huge. When I'm finished with my comparisons I'll put together a simple web page with jpgs and crops and pull the PSDs.

I'll also pull the PSDs if I start running into bandwidth problems.



Dec 04, 2011 at 10:42 AM
AhamB
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


I'll wait until you convert them to jpeg.


Dec 04, 2011 at 11:18 AM
Specularist
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


I doubt you're seeing much coma from the Zeiss at f/4; astigmatism in the extreme corners, more likely.

Veiling flare is low with the 50 mm Makro-Planar, as with almost all Zeiss lenses, but it has a tendency to ghost.

I've yet to meet a Canon EF lens that produces decent starbursts. They usually have even numbers of aperture blades, producing a mushy haze around specular highlights. Zeiss and Nikkor lenses have odd numbers of blades precisely to produce crisp starbursts.

In any case, downsized, layered PSDs aren't suitable for sharing the results. We need full-size JPEGs.



Dec 04, 2011 at 03:14 PM
obik
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


Specularist wrote:
I doubt you're seeing much coma from the Zeiss at f/4; astigmatism in the extreme corners, more likely.


Points of light turn into triangles--it doesn't really matter if it's astigmatism or coma.
It's there and it's just as nasty as the Canon at that aperture.

Veiling flare is low with the 50 mm Makro-Planar, as with almost all Zeiss lenses, but it has a tendency to ghost.

I'd take veiling flare over big purple blobs any day of the week.

I've yet to meet a Canon EF lens that produces decent starbursts. They usually have even numbers of aperture blades, producing a mushy haze around specular highlights. Zeiss and Nikkor lenses have odd numbers of blades precisely to produce crisp starbursts.

I don't like sunstars at all. With the Canon I can get in there with the clone stamp tool or healing brush and reduce it, but the spokes of the Zeiss sunstar are too densely packed.

In any case, downsized, layered PSDs aren't suitable for sharing the results.

Howso? 1920x1280 onscreen is larger and sharper than most prints will ever be, and much larger than any web image will ever be (and much nicer given that there are no jpg compression artifacts). The only thing it's unsuitable for is pixelpeeping nonsense...not that I have anything against pixelpeeping nonsense.

We need full-size JPEGs.

I'll post 100% crops at some point, but not full size jpgs.



Dec 04, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


obik -- I'd appreciate smaller example photos posted within the thread. So far, I haven't seen any of the images.

I'm curious if you have the EF 50/2.5 Macro or could borrow one to include in the comparisons. I've always wondered how it stacks up against the 50MP. I know it is an older design with poor number of aperture blades, but otherwise I am quite happy with that Canon lens' IQ, especially for $200, used!

Thanks for doing the comparisons.



Dec 05, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Specularist
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar - reviewed as I go


Layered PSDs are tens of megabytes in size, require the viewer to have Photoshop, and still don't show as much detail as a small, full-pixel-count JPEG. But it's your review!

I've always thought the EF 50 mm f/2.5 Compact Macro to be optically impressive, but it faired poorly in diglloyd's direct comparison with the Makro-Planar (subscription review).

Extreme corners aside, there just aren't many lenses that can compete with the overwhelmingly high contrast of the 50 mm Makro-Planar at large apertures. Several lenses are as crisp by f/8, notably Canon's various fifties (which tend to have a flat field and high stopped-down performance).



Dec 05, 2011 at 03:47 PM





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