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Archive 2013 · leica vs zeiss
  
 
sebboh
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p.6 #1 · p.6 #1 · leica vs zeiss


zhangyue wrote:
OH! Sorry I shut this thread down. Enjoy your Leica and Zeiss lens if you can afford them. You will never regret it.


i've been on vacation without a computer so i haven't been keeping up. i fully agree there are plenty of fantastic performing (even superior performing) non german lenses and that when it comes to the zeiss/leica look if you can't measure it you can't really talk about it or even prove it exists. as a manual focus lover i tend to be turned off my most of the AF brands though and there are lots of things besides resolution that can be measured.

haven't had a chance to really look at your comparison, but am looking forward to doing so.

Kingfishphoto wrote:
Derek - did you ever restore my old FL F1.2 lens ?
Thanks
Harry Palmer


it's been sitting in the sun to kill any remaining fungus. i've been quite overtaxed at work and at home lately so i haven't had a chance to do more than that yet. hopefully i'll be able to get it fully restored as my other copy is an amazing performer and such lenses shouldn't be allowed to rust.



Feb 28, 2013 at 06:54 AM
zhangyue
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p.6 #2 · p.6 #2 · leica vs zeiss


Last two set. Since these are for rendering. I made them 1024.

Forget about orange blow up, they are overexposed and red channel is always problematic.
Derek, don't waste your time on my previous sets, they are just trying to tell people which one is more sharper at what distance, I can't even see much Bokeh difference on first set, at least not very meaningful.


50lux R, Nikkor, Zeiss, ASPH











































For most people include me, these two set are more relevant for purchase decision. (I did f2 and f2.8 here also, not shown) You will judge by yourself. They all hand hold, and wind is crazy that day. full sun over exposure all of them. so bare that in mind when you judge sharpness, color and bokeh.

But you will not be surprised that I am enthusiast about my 30 years old lux R. ASPH certainly good but men, it IS expensive.

These set of 50mm comparison somehow do show Leica's special Bokeh rendering. The thing(lens performance) is really complicated, I will shut myself here. You guys judge by yourself, I will not further pollute this thread

I might do more tests later given better light condition. with different background ratio and something like big building, car etc at background. But, my work load start getting higher with new project. so this can be indefinitely delayed. I will post in this thread again in the future if I do.



Feb 28, 2013 at 08:11 AM
rscheffler
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p.6 #3 · p.6 #3 · leica vs zeiss


zhangyue wrote:
This is a lot work involve than I thought and kind of boring.(I should not have promised to do this) I personally always trying to avoid do test like this, at least not compare 4 lenses at the same time


Wow, very informative - thanks for doing this! BTW, I totally know what you mean. When I did the 21mm 4-way shootout, I actually went out over the course of three days, probably around 4 hours on average each day.

As you can imagine, from your tests, I was primarily looking at the Lux ASPH. The infinity shot is impressive indeed. The midrange shot though I find the most interesting. You can really see signs of the mid zone dip in the somewhat unsettled background rendering. This shot also confirms that the nasty edge/corner drop off seen in the MTF is field curvature. The edges are practically in focus! IMO the background looks better stopped down to at least f/2 for this kind of shot.

Regarding the ZM50/2 vs. the 50AA. I suspect central performance will actually be quite similar, but the main difference between the two will be field curvature and how bloody sharp the AA is across the frame for distant scenes wide open. At least based on my copy of the ZM, there is no way it can do that and was the only aspect with which I was unhappy. Not that I shoot landscapes wide open all the time, but because it was necessary to always stop down past 5.6.



Feb 28, 2013 at 08:16 AM
rscheffler
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p.6 #4 · p.6 #4 · leica vs zeiss


MIchael, you just posted the close ups... thanks for this too! Man, for this distance, I like all of them. The Lux ASPH is so telltale here - pure gaussian blur practically. I actually like the Zeiss rendering style a lot, as seen in the vertical shot, though not entirely sure it works the best this time around. The second set is a lot closer, other than the ASPH. Couldn't you have tried to squeeze in a M-series Lux pre-ASPH as well?


Feb 28, 2013 at 08:25 AM
zhangyue
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p.6 #5 · p.6 #5 · leica vs zeiss


I plan squeeze 55mm Zeiss in the group You know I am joking, right.

rscheffler wrote:
Couldn't you have tried to squeeze in a M-series Lux pre-ASPH as well?


Ron, I hope you can loan me one I will try to figure out how I can manage get a 5dIII first

I didn't spend as much time as you do. Certainly not as good quality of your review as well. But still a lot of works to sort, load and post here. But I think it worth well for people want see what exact Zeiss of Leica can do.

Zeiss 50 planar used to be my favorite lens. (big part is from its handling, best of whole ZF line I had) Especially at f2.8 or so. the color and rendering is very beautiful from what i see, though I am not sure I can survive a blind test if I carefully match the color etc at f2.8 with my nikon. But now, I slightly prefer 50lux R for purely its sharpness near range and 'magic' focus transition (DOF) rendering. (forgive me using 'magic' here, it is very subjective term)

I can also imagine why people call 50lux ASPH king of 50mm. Really, if you don't think about its over smooth bokeh as negative, it is almost flawless.(even with FC, who don't)

I look forward to seeing New Zeiss 55mm.



Feb 28, 2013 at 09:03 AM
AhamB
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p.6 #6 · p.6 #6 · leica vs zeiss


The 50 lux asph keeps impressing, but the relatively strong field curvature is the one flaw that would annoy me in some cases. Same (but probably more often) with the Summicron-R 35. Having the background in focus at the edges in low dof shots is a detractor for me.

I'm glad that my Planar 50/1.4 doesn't have significant issues with FC, but it's really hit and miss with close-ups. Sometimes the bokeh works with the subject, but many times it would be much nicer to have the rendering of the Lux-R (or Lux-M).



Feb 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM
JaKo
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p.6 #7 · p.6 #7 · leica vs zeiss


Few sets to compare primarily colour and rendering between Leica Summicron-R 35 E55 and Zeiss Distagon 2/35 .ZF
All images, taken at f/2.0, were post processed with identical settings. Lens profiles in ARC 7.4 were used, but only to correct distortions.















































Mar 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM
philip_pj
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p.6 #8 · p.6 #8 · leica vs zeiss


Jako, thank you. Two very different lenses, and with very characteristic Leica and Zeiss characters, masked to a large extent by the bokeh that dominates large portions of images 1-3 and to some extent, 4.

Which it must be said, masks the strong drop off in resolution the L35/2 suffers almost right form image centre (IC) wide open, so you could say the comparo suits the Leica in that sense. All are close focal distances, which also helps the L35/2, and most focus points are not even close to the image centre, or are surrounded by OOF data.

Nevertheless, the last image shows the Zeiss sharpness superiority in mid-frame (12-15mm IH) in the foreground detail, along with the artifacts caused by the huge separation of sagittal and tangential lines the L35/2 shows at 15-18mm IH. The shaping of the red bin is much more faithful in the CZ lens as well. All the dark tones also help out the Leica. You see res weaken in the pebbles and padlock/chain in 2 as well, and the railway line looks quite bent.

..the interesting thing about these two is that the character of each does not change a great deal with stop down, so a repeat with say f5.6 would simply show these differences much more starkly, as DOF would extend much further from the focal plane, further favouring the CZ lens.

The foreground of 3 looks very strange in the L35/2, much better in the CZ lens, in fact this image is maybe the most instructive of the set, regarding DOF, definition and what looks like pretty significant residual curvature. Puts calls this problem at 12mm the result of 'aberration compensation'. There is heavy vignetting as well, to the point of hue disruption in 4.

Leica colour looks more insipid, less convincing.

As Puts says:

'As with the Summilux-R the design goal was to achieve a very good performance in the central part of the image as this will benefit the intended type of pictures with this lens.' I have to say, I agree entirely. Portraits. Bokeh.



Mar 17, 2013 at 02:52 AM
zhangyue
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p.6 #9 · p.6 #9 · leica vs zeiss


Wow, Nice comparison! #1 is very convincing to me. I love that 35R rendering, very special.
Though, your high PP skill will make any lens shine and hard to detect the minor difference. But Leica 35R's rendering is very dominate hard to mask out.
Agree what Philip said about foreground of 35R. Zeiss is more neutral.

Both top quality lenses, I have to say.





Mar 17, 2013 at 03:33 AM
plasticmotif
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p.6 #10 · p.6 #10 · leica vs zeiss


I'm no help looking at those last lenses...I'm completely biased towards the ZE&ZF 35/2.


Mar 17, 2013 at 04:13 AM
 

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Mirek Elsner
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p.6 #11 · p.6 #11 · leica vs zeiss


i'd like to see some direct comparisons of leica lenses versus zeiss lenses to see what the differences in rendering are and whether they can actually be generalized across different examples.

Some tendencies I observed:
- Most differences are observable in smaller prints or web size photos rather than at pixel level
- Zeiss is bolder and easier on tired eyes
- Leica is more subtle
- Zeiss is about analytical detail
- Leica is about gestalt
- With correct overall WB, Zeiss sometimes shows some in-focus objects with purple coloration (typically tree bark), which I find nasty

Disclaimer: I use Leica and Zeiss lenses each with different sensor. My experience is only with modern lenses (current production).



Mar 17, 2013 at 05:22 AM
sebboh
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p.6 #12 · p.6 #12 · leica vs zeiss


JaKo wrote:
Few sets to compare primarily colour and rendering between Leica Summicron-R 35 E55 and Zeiss Distagon 2/35 .ZF
All images, taken at f/2.0, were post processed with identical settings. Lens profiles in ARC 7.4 were used, but only to correct distortions.


great comparison, thanks!

the field curvature of the 35 cron really bugs me and in general i prefer the zeiss in all of these except for the last image. color wise i definitely prefer the leica though.



Mar 17, 2013 at 06:46 AM
JaKo
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p.6 #13 · p.6 #13 · leica vs zeiss


Thank you all above for your comments. Much appreciated.

“Zeiss vs. Leica” is more like the “Vanilla vs. Chocolate” dispute; both are great, both are champions for specific theme, day, subject, light conditions. I own both (actually, I recall I purchased them the same week as I couldn’t decide which one to opt for) and I would have a hard time to part with neither of them.
Some like Cron for its rendering, some like Zeiss for its much better geometrical properties and colour characteristics.
Again, both lenses are very unique and great at their virtues and both are worth having in a camera bag.

philip_pj: thanks for your detailed input. I shot each set at f/2.0, 2.8, 5.6 and 8.0; however, due to rapidly changing light same sets were not suitable for direct posting. Sets #1 and 4 were focussed in dead center (and yes, the center circle sharpness belongs to Leica, but Zeiss rules the rest of field/frame and uniformity) Also, Zeiss colour is closer to what was in reality.

zhangyue: Leica 32/2 is definitely a lens with a unique presentation. Not true to life like Zeiss or others, but addictively unique.

plasticmotif & Mirek Elsner: overall Zeiss has more modern, realistic look. Again, there is a reason I kept them both.

sebboh: Yeah, there is something odd or rather surprisingly nice about the Leica colour in the last set. Perhaps it's its balance shift towards blue(ish) that makes reds more standing out? It looks like Leica had extra sunlight that affected the shots. As I mentioned, not perfectly equal lighting conditions. Closer looks at 100% size clearly shows Zeiss' superiority sharpness-wise across the frame.



Mar 17, 2013 at 07:35 AM
zhangyue
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p.6 #14 · p.6 #14 · leica vs zeiss


35R is great for people, less so for others. Especially at close range, the focus transition usually slower, smoother which is great for face capture. Since it get stronger character, it will be unavoidable that suit one thing but not other.

I give it a short review in leica R thread after get it, and love it for what it is shine.
Modern Zeiss other than p50, p85 give you the feeling that subject are floating there with very fast roll off, POP? But 35R and a bunch of leica R are less so.



Mar 17, 2013 at 05:46 PM
bushwacker
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p.6 #15 · p.6 #15 · leica vs zeiss


zhangyue wrote:
Modern Zeiss other than p50, p85 give you the feeling that subject are floating there with very fast roll off, POP? But 35R and a bunch of leica R are less so.



The zeiss 50mm planar has faster OOF than zeiss 50mm makro.



Apr 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM
zhangyue
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p.6 #16 · p.6 #16 · leica vs zeiss


bushwacker wrote:
The zeiss 50mm planar has faster OOF than zeiss 50mm makro.


It is not about which has shallower DOF, but smooth focus transition. MP50, 35f2,MP100 all have very contrast WO performance giving viewer perceptely sharper impression, resolution wise, MP50 and35f2 may not have the advantage to other lens, this quality give them special look. Especially for people first transit from Canikon to Zeiss. And this mostly attribute Zeiss look most outside of zeiss loop people talking about. Once you into Zeiss, you feel there are a lot more than just that. I love lens has character but not this dominate way, thus I prefer p50, P85, 35f1.4 in their line.

Leica lens I have chosen have the character I am after as well, especially 80lux, 35lux, 35cron.
But we all know tool selection is very personal.

From Mobil device, sorry for typo.



Apr 20, 2013 at 02:54 PM
sebboh
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p.6 #17 · p.6 #17 · leica vs zeiss


zhangyue wrote:
It is not about which has shallower DOF, but smooth focus transition. MP50, 35f2,MP100 all have very contrast WO performance giving viewer perceptely sharper impression, resolution wise, MP50 and35f2 may not have the advantage to other lens, this quality give them special look. Especially for people first transit from Canikon to Zeiss. And this mostly attribute Zeiss look most outside of zeiss loop people talking about. Once you into Zeiss, you feel there are a lot more than just that. I love lens has character but not this dominate way, thus I prefer p50, P85, 35f1.4 in their line.

Leica lens
...Show more

it's not just that the f/2 zeisses have lots of contrast wide open, they are also very well corrected for a number of aberrations including SA. this makes the transition from in focus to out of focus more abrupt even if the dof is actually larger. i'm not sure because i haven't used them enough, but it seems that many of the new asph leicas still try to maintain a smoother transition despite being generally well corrected.



Apr 20, 2013 at 03:19 PM
zhangyue
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p.6 #18 · p.6 #18 · leica vs zeiss


sebboh wrote:
it's not just that the f/2 zeisses have lots of contrast wide open, they are also very well corrected for a number of aberrations including SA. this makes the transition from in focus to out of focus more abrupt even if the dof is actually larger. i'm not sure because i haven't used them enough, but it seems that many of the new asph leicas still try to maintain a smoother transition despite being generally well corrected.


I agree well corrected signature of Zeiss f2 lens. That is way they look so contrast in focus plain at the first place. (It is in my mind, but I didn't write it out) Though I feel Latest Leica have very similar look Zeiss have. For example, 90AA, 50AA, and pretty much all their latest slower lens. They all well corrected and contrast start from WO.

28cron is odd ball here which I like the most. 50lux ASPH is surprisingly smooth and at close range do give a little hint of glowing, but its bokeh is almost too smooth to me. Latest leica lens are certainly all good tool, but I don't feel emotionally attach to them.

I feel most lens manufactures will be go that direction given the technology permission and people judge lens by its paper quality from shooting Chart. Of course, horse for course, if we shoot landscape, and all in focus type, you want your lens well corrected and sharp. The things is most high quality character lens do decent job once slow down.

My problem is if lens all behave the same in Chart, what differentiate it, we may have hard time to tell Sigma and Lecia and Zeiss apart. I treat this thing not only for science but art, I like to see some personality in lens reflect designer's choice to balance science and art. I do feel old Leica certainly has that no matter what reason it is. (could be just because of limitation of technology)















Apr 20, 2013 at 04:18 PM
JaKo
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p.6 #19 · p.6 #19 · leica vs zeiss


Samuli wrote: Is 35mm Summicron-R better on magenta/green fringe than 50mm Summicron-R? I have only the 50mm and I don't remember it being this good with this kind of shiny subject, thou it's years since I have last shoot with the lens and many more years that I shoot anything else than nature with 50mm Summicron-R.

Here is a set taken few minutes apart. Lenses profiles in ARC were disabled and PP for both images was identical.













100% crops: Leica then Zeiss












Edited on Apr 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM · View previous versions



Apr 26, 2013 at 05:25 PM
redisburning
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p.6 #20 · p.6 #20 · leica vs zeiss


the MP gives me a slightly higher impression of sharpness here,

how does this bear out at 100%?



Apr 26, 2013 at 06:58 PM
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