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Archive 2013 · leica vs zeiss
  
 
lovinglife
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p.8 #1 · leica vs zeiss


No doubt the Rokkor looks pretty amazing - but I would be curious using some modern lenses for the purposes of comparison..


Jun 05, 2013 at 03:49 AM
philip_pj
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p.8 #2 · leica vs zeiss


JaKo, the propellor image is interesting.

In the ZF 35/2: the main subject is better drawn 'dimensionally' (contour definition), has more depth and shape. It has greater tonal range and is noticeably sharper in the big resolution decline zone for the R lens - seen in the twigs and small branches at the top of the photo. Differences in depth show clearly in the footpath pavers.

The R35/2 has less life and is more painterly and photographically it is appealing. Both are, I think.

Note the fall off in detail in the front corners, yet the R35/2 is well sharp in the plant box bottom left and shop window as well as having a strong image centre. It is this inconsistent drawing across the frame that sometimes catches it out, as here. The ZF handles the challenge with more aplomb, As Zeiss aim for a steady drop off in sharpness as image height (distance from image centre) increases.

R35/2 shadows are less open and more muddy, and contribute to general sense of flatness.

The ZF/ZEs are supposedly warmer but wouldn't a little cooling in WB largely negate that? Colour temp must serve the image for the photographer.



Jun 06, 2013 at 07:25 AM
sebboh
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p.8 #3 · leica vs zeiss


lovinglife wrote:
No doubt the Rokkor looks pretty amazing - but I would be curious using some modern lenses for the purposes of comparison..


yeah I'd be curious too, but my disdain for AF keeps me from actually owning any modern lenses. any recommendations for what you'd like to see? the 50 lux asph would be most interesting to me. I'm sure it would crush the rest at wide aperture and maintain a contrast advantage over the rokkor stopped down. it might not win in the extreme corners though, as the NEX-7 sensor seems to weaken it a bit.

i have a sigma 30/2.8 and 19/2.8 for my wife to use, but comparing them to a bunch of fast lenses I use for portraits seemed a bit pointless. the only modern lenses I'm terribly interested in are the modern Leica m lenses but I don't have any yet (I've pretty much decided to get an rx1 instead of one of them though). I would have thrown my contax g 45 into the mix to see 20 year old lens compared to all the 50 year old lenses except I've lent it out.



Jun 06, 2013 at 04:34 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.8 #4 · leica vs zeiss


RE: JaKo's propeller pictures, one thing of note (at least in my own subjective perception) is how much color balance alone influences the sense of "dimensionality" in the images. As shown, I agree that the Leica image has a more "flat, painterly" appearance versus the stronger sense of "3D" in the Zeiss image. However, if I tweak color balance to shift the blue cast of the Leica image towards the warmer color palette of the Zeiss, at least in my opinion the Leica image comes considerably closer (though not identical) to the Zeiss in "3D-ness." Also, my subjective opinion of what the "right" color balance should be also coincides with my strongest sense of depth from the image: go too far in either direction from neutral, and there seems to be a "flattening" effect from an apparent "color haze" over the image.

After equalizing color balance, I think the second strongest contributor to the spatial rendering of the lenses is the field curvature (moving strongly backwards for the Leica, much flatter for the Zeiss). While the field curvature is most obvious in the lower corners (given a "blur vignette" from the Leica), I think it influences the propeller most towards the middle left blade, where the Leica has shifted focus to the texture on the grey wall behind (while softening the propeller blade edge, visually confusing the image depth cues), while the Zeiss maintains a sharp-edged propeller blade against a defocused background.



Jun 06, 2013 at 05:02 PM
lovinglife
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p.8 #5 · leica vs zeiss


sebboh wrote:
yeah I'd be curious too, but my disdain for AF keeps me from actually owning any modern lenses. any recommendations for what you'd like to see? the 50 lux asph would be most interesting to me. I'm sure it would crush the rest at wide aperture and maintain a contrast advantage over the rokkor stopped down. it might not win in the extreme corners though, as the NEX-7 sensor seems to weaken it a bit.

i have a sigma 30/2.8 and 19/2.8 for my wife to use, but comparing them to a bunch of fast lenses I use for
...Show more

Yep the 50 or 35 ASPH lux were the ones on my mind as well
Or even a Sony RX1 in comparison would be interesting..



Jun 06, 2013 at 05:06 PM
JaKo
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p.8 #6 · leica vs zeiss


Thank you philip_pj for very thorough and detailed 'dissection' of my test images. I absolutely agree on ZF 2/35 characteristics. It's my favorite Zeiss lens and what is does with dimensionality, it does exceedingly well.

I feel that this thread should be called 'Leica & Zeiss' as both brands have great glass and to me it would be difficult to pick up one over another.
Point in case; Cron-R 50 and Zeiss MP50 infinity shots I posted somewhere else show that one lens can be better than the other at specific distances [yes, it is possible - sebboh wrote: I should also point out the rokkor is sharpest at infinity while the other lenses are sharpest at mid distance.]
, but both are fantastic overall.







MP50 at f/8 at 0.6km distance ; no lens profile correction and minimum ARC sharpening.






MP & Cron-R or the other way around












Edited on Jun 06, 2013 at 08:20 PM · View previous versions



Jun 06, 2013 at 05:09 PM
 

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JaKo
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p.8 #7 · leica vs zeiss


mpmendenhall wrote: RE: JaKo's propeller pictures, one thing of note (at least in my own subjective perception) is how much color balance alone influences the sense of "dimensionality" in the images. As shown, I agree that the Leica image has a more "flat, painterly" appearance versus the stronger sense of "3D" in the Zeiss image. However, if I tweak color balance to shift the blue cast of the Leica image towards the warmer color palette of the Zeiss, at least in my opinion the Leica image comes considerably closer (though not identical) to the Zeiss in "3D-ness." Also, my subjective opinion...Show more


Thanks! I think you're right about the field curvature effect. Both the propeller and infinity/highrises shots had lens profiles disabled, but I noticed that indeed Zeiss has more uniform sharpness comparing to 1980s Cron-R.
I recall enlarging images to 100% in ARC and enabling/disabling profile had slight effect on perceived sharpness. I may have to double check it again once back at home as my remote connection from work to home PC creates a lag while refreshing images in ARC.



Jun 06, 2013 at 05:26 PM
philip_pj
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p.8 #8 · leica vs zeiss


JaKo, I really like your work and that you share so willingly, first to say that as I can come across as a trifle negative at times, an occupational hazard, it's unintentional...and I agree entirely - Leica and Zeiss.

I am gently trying to suggest that while curvature of field can be very effective for certain compositions, it does impact 'object shaping', Zeiss's term is 'contour definition' and they maintain that it conveys the appearance of sharpness to an image even where the actual lens performance is not strictly top class (as measured in MTF). This propellor is a perfect example!




Jun 07, 2013 at 04:47 AM
philip_pj
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p.8 #9 · leica vs zeiss


Some RX1 users are noticing that distortion profile correction does affect IQ a little, I do wonder at the trend of letting distortion grow as 'we can fix it in software' these days.

Michael, if you revisit I'd be interested in your thoughts on this matter...now CZ has published the Touit MTF here:

http://lenses.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/service/download_center/touit_lenses.html

see the data for the 12mm?

Am I missing something, as distortion levels of 0.1% would be unheard of in such a UWA lens. It's also measured at 0.7 metres but my understanding is that distortion does not vary with focal distances.

They also state the image height in decimals of an integer rather than the usual millimetres...OK if it represents the radius of the APS-C frame. The new 15/2.8 Distagon by comparison has just under 2% at IH of 21mm.

This looks very post correction to me, on the face of it anyway..



Jun 07, 2013 at 04:56 AM
mpmendenhall
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p.8 #10 · leica vs zeiss


philip_pj wrote:
Am I missing something, as distortion levels of 0.1% would be unheard of in such a UWA lens.


The data sheet has an asterisk on the distortion description, pointing to the footnote:
measured data: Touit 2.8/12 on Sony NEX 7
which very strongly indicates that this is only with distortion correction supplied by the NEX --- since actual distortion doesn't depend on the camera, or get special footnotes in Zeiss' data sheets. They've got the same footnote on the relative illumination --- so they're probably meddling with that in-camera, too.



Jun 07, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Toothwalker
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p.8 #11 · leica vs zeiss


philip_pj wrote:
http://lenses.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/service/download_center/touit_lenses.html

see the data for the 12mm?

Am I missing something, as distortion levels of 0.1% would be unheard of in such a UWA lens.


It looks very good indeed. When there is no mirror to clear, distortion control is much easier.


It's also measured at 0.7 metres but my understanding is that distortion does not vary with focal distances.


All aberrations vary with distance. This is the Y/C D2.8/21 at unit magnification:







That is not the typical application area of this lens, but a bit of drama adds to the clarity of the demonstration. The well-known, moderate mustache distortion at infinity focus has become strong barrel distortion, and little remains of its famous control of lateral chromatic aberration.





Jun 07, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Toothwalker
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p.8 #12 · leica vs zeiss


mpmendenhall wrote:
The data sheet has an asterisk on the distortion description, pointing to the footnote:

which very strongly indicates that this is only with distortion correction supplied by the NEX --- since actual distortion doesn't depend on the camera, or get special footnotes in Zeiss' data sheets. They've got the same footnote on the relative illumination --- so they're probably meddling with that in-camera, too.


If that is true, I will be disappointed with Zeiss. Their data sheets were already downgraded with the step from Y/C to ZE/ZF, and now this?



Jun 07, 2013 at 03:56 PM
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