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Archive 2011 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?
  
 
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Just wanted to see what the alt community here thought of the recent lens designs from Zeiss.
Also, with the recent Samyang fast lens designs competing now.



Dec 01, 2011 at 08:12 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Too niche marketing, Wayne, although what thye have done for disaffected Canonistas is wonderful - the ZE range. The ZA range, less so.

I'd like a return to a fuller range for all mounts with traditional characteristics from their golden years: Contax 35mm and MF, Blad, etc. How about a good 70-200/2.8 also.



Dec 01, 2011 at 08:56 PM
sebboh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


zeiss has yet to produce a modern lens i really want. i liked what they were doing with contax more. if they made a 28/2.8 that improved on the c/y i would be interested. the 100 mp looks very good to me, but there are other lenses in that focal length i'd rather have (leica and voigtlander APOs). the 35/2 and 25/2.8 are actually the most attractive looking lenses to me, this is largely because i don't care much for the zeiss look at large apertures and i don't want a giant lens for stopped down shooting. i should say that i actually do like the wide open look from the new 35/1.4, but from all the shots i've seen i think i prefer the look of the older smaller c/y.


Dec 01, 2011 at 09:07 PM
denoir
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


The new 25/2 looks great and although I prefer the older 35/1.4 rendering I wholeheartedly approve of the general design approach. They had the guts with the 35/1.4 ZE/ZF to go with character over raw optical performance.


Dec 01, 2011 at 09:13 PM
Makten
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Some smaller f/2.8 or even f/4 primes would be nice. I almost never shoot the 35/2 wide open anyway. Unfortunately, modern FF dSLR:s are so large that most people wouldn't care for such lenses.


Dec 01, 2011 at 09:20 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


I'm good with it. Less expensive would be nice, of course, but sometimes you have to pay more than a "would be nice" amount.

I'm very happy with my 21/2.8 ZE. I might pick up a 25/2 ZE next year. I'm also very happy with my Contax Zeiss C/Y lenses, but I have to admit that the ZE auto-aperture is a good thing.



Dec 01, 2011 at 09:56 PM
bluetsunami
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


I think they've been good. I prefer balance and interesting character over an absolute clinical rendering but its obvious that what one person considers character could be consider a bad optical defect by other. With that said it'd be cool to see a unrestrained Z* line lens. I could see this being a T/S lens.

Makten wrote:
Some smaller f/2.8 or even f/4 primes would be nice. I almost never shoot the 35/2 wide open anyway. Unfortunately, modern FF dSLR:s are so large that most people wouldn't care for such lenses.


This too. I think sub $1K small and moderate speed lenses would be really interesting.


Edited on Dec 01, 2011 at 10:05 PM · View previous versions



Dec 01, 2011 at 10:04 PM
plasticmotif
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Most of new line should be considered near the top of all lenses in that focal range. That's impressive.




Dec 01, 2011 at 10:05 PM
johnahill
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Makten wrote:
Some smaller f/2.8 or even f/4 primes would be nice. I almost never shoot the 35/2 wide open anyway. Unfortunately, modern FF dSLR:s are so large that most people wouldn't care for such lenses.


I wouldn't mind a ze pancake of some sort.



Dec 01, 2011 at 10:47 PM
j.liam
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


johnahill wrote:
I wouldn't mind a ze pancake of some sort.


That would directly compete with the CV 20 and 40, therefore unlikely.



Dec 01, 2011 at 10:50 PM
 

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Jochenb
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Good job Zeiss.

I really love my 35/1.4 ZE. The rendering appeals to me. I've chosen it over the old C/Y because I don't like that triangular bokeh of it at all. (Don't shoot me, personal preference )

The new 25 also looks good.



Dec 01, 2011 at 11:15 PM
sebboh
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Jochenb wrote:
Good job Zeiss.

I really love my 35/1.4 ZE. The rendering appeals to me. I've chosen it over the old C/Y because I don't like that triangular bokeh of it at all. (Don't shoot me, personal preference )


the triangle bokeh is the rollei version not the c/y version. the c/y version has 8 aperture blades and makes either octagons or ninja stars depending on the version (AE vs MM) and aperture i believe.



Dec 02, 2011 at 12:01 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


I'm somewhat disappointed that they've totally ignored their ZM line. Was hoping for a 35 f/1.4, but the CV 35 f/1.2 II is an excellent lens for the money, so maybe there's no point. A redesign of the ZM 21 f/2.8 to bring it closer to the new Leica 21 f/3.4 in performance would be good... though if that ever happens I'll probably already have the Leica. But looking at it more critically, I wonder where Zeiss could offer anything additional to their current ZM line? Maybe it's run its course?

We could use a 24/25mm f/2 option to sit between the 24 Lux and current ZM25, but only if it has stellar wide open performance... I would also like to see the 85 f/2 return. From my understanding, they sold very few of them, likely due to the price point. Farm it out to Cosina, with slightly lower tolerances and a much lower price and I'm sure it would sell much better than the Zeiss assembled version... I'd opt for it over the 90 Cron AA.



Dec 02, 2011 at 12:37 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


Unfortunately, the pixel peeping forums are pushing Zeiss towards higher and higher resolution, which is somewhat counterproductive as very few print that large. I would prefer that Zeiss would stick with its old philosophy of emphasizing micro contrast and three dimensionality at normal printing sizes. But then it would be bashed by everyone here


Dec 02, 2011 at 03:06 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


edwardkaraa wrote:
Unfortunately, the pixel peeping forums are pushing Zeiss towards higher and higher resolution, which is somewhat counterproductive as very few print that large. I would prefer that Zeiss would stick with its old philosophy of emphasizing micro contrast and three dimensionality at normal printing sizes. But then it would be bashed by everyone here


Technology does not stand still. The upcoming 36MP+ sensors will actually require more resolution, particularly off axis. I noticed with certain Zeiss lenses, what once looked like super high micro contrast on my 12MP 5D all of a sudden looked much more pedestrian with regard to micro contrast when used on my a900. This would seem to indicate that lens resolution will need to increase with increasing sensor resolution to give similar effects. "Normal" printing sizes have been on the rise and, of course, one persons "normal" is not everyones. I really don't see why one would not ask for it all - more resolution, high micro contrast AND "three dimensionality". I don't buy the idea that these qualities are mutually exclusive.



Dec 02, 2011 at 03:32 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


AFAIK, high micro contrast and high resolution cannot coexist. It's either or.


Dec 02, 2011 at 04:29 AM
alundeb
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


edwardkaraa wrote:
AFAIK, high micro contrast and high resolution cannot coexist. It's either or.


You don't have much experience with modern (roughly the generation having SW Coating, the last few years) Canon L lenses? They have both.



Dec 02, 2011 at 07:28 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


High micro contrast by definition will kill very fine detail at the expense of medium frequency details. I don't see how a lens can have both. In the past, especially in R line, Leica decided to sacrifice micro contrast in order to produce very high resolving lenses, while Zeiss did exactly the opposite.


Dec 02, 2011 at 08:34 AM
denoir
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


edwardkaraa wrote:
AFAIK, high micro contrast and high resolution cannot coexist. It's either or.


Actually resolution is actually just a sloppy expression for micro contrast. It's a common mistake to separate them - I've done it myself in the past (as in sharpness = resolution + micro contrast). It's wrong however - they're describing the same thing.

The only thing that exists is contrast at a given spatial frequency. Resolution is usually expressed as being to able to distinguish detail at a certain spatial frequency with a given contrast (50% is typical AKA MTF50). Alternatively you look at the spatial frequency where the separation of the detail becomes nearly indistinguishable - this is usually at MTF10. Zeiss for instance brags that the 25/2.8 Biogon is the world's highest resolving lens as it can do 400 lp/mm @ MTF10.

Micro contrast equals contrast at a spatial frequency. The prefix micro is used simply to differentiate it from global contrast which applies to the whole image. In colloquial alt forum lingo, if you say that lens A has a higher micro contrast than lens B it is usually meant at a spatial frequency where both lenses have a decent amount of contrast so that you can distinguish the detail. What is usually and technically incorrectly left out in those cases is a reference to the spatial frequency (which is usually low).

Although there are some rare exceptions usually micro contrast drops off with spatial resolution in a consistent fashion with an exponential dropoff. It is also important to understand that the end result will depend on the sensor/film:








Anwyay, if a lens has a high micro contrast (compared to some other lens) at a low spatial frequency, chances are very good that it will also have a high micro contrast at a high spatial frequency - compared to that other lens. And subsequently it will reach MTF10 or whatever lower limit you choose later than that other lens - and we'll say that its resolving power is better.




Dec 02, 2011 at 08:44 AM
alundeb
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Zeiss on track with their recent lens designs?


edwardkaraa wrote:
High micro contrast by definition will kill very fine detail at the expense of medium frequency details. I don't see how a lens can have both. In the past, especially in R line, Leica decided to sacrifice micro contrast in order to produce very high resolving lenses, while Zeiss did exactly the opposite.


I understand that there are design compromises that have to be made, and that it in some cases may be possible to increase modulation at low/high frequency at the expense of modulation at high/low frequency. However, they can also both be maximized at the expense of some other properties, like field curvature, or bokeh and pleasing in focus - out of focus transitions.

IMHO both the new 35/1.4 and 25/2 are very interesting lenses, as they have integrated both pleasing out of focus rendering and potentially high modulation at all frequencies, but with a few exceptions as to where and when.



Dec 02, 2011 at 11:35 AM
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