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Archive 2013 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM
  
 
Smridevan
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p.1 #1 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


Got a chance to do a quick comparison between these two lenses. Feel free to download and compare the original images on your own. All shots taken on a D800, tripod, with timer, and manual WB. Converted to JPG with NX2 and no processing. Both lenses had a B&W clear filter on; I was too lazy to take them off. Live view manual focus at infinity at the Atlantic stone. Unfortunately the lighting conditions are less than ideal. What do you guys think? Is Zeiss worth the extra $800?

Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2
f/4
1/1250s

DSC_4847 by smridevan, on Flickr

Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM
f/4
1/1250s

DSC_4851 by smridevan, on Flickr


Sigma vs Zeiss f4 by smridevan, on Flickr

Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2
f/8
1/320s

DSC_4848 by smridevan, on Flickr

Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM
f/8
1/320s

DSC_4849 by smridevan, on Flickr


Sigma vs Zeiss f8 by smridevan, on Flickr


Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2
f/1.4
1/4000s

DSC_4867 by smridevan, on Flickr

Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM
f/1.4
1/4000s

DSC_4868 by smridevan, on Flickr



Mar 24, 2013 at 06:03 AM
dweekie
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p.1 #2 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


Which images do I like better? Zeiss.
Is the Zeiss worth the extra money? No.
Which would I buy? I don't know......

Nice choice of comparison images. The first two actually show differences in rendering and color. The wide open shots don't show any difference at all to me - some comparisons only post these kinds of pictures, thus ignoring a true comparison - just my opinion. The Sigma art line lenses are really pushing to shed their past reputation. Thanks for the pics!



Mar 24, 2013 at 06:27 AM
itai195
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p.1 #3 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


Nice comparison. I've used the Zeiss on several occasions in the past and now own the Sigma. Even though I do prefer the Zeiss rendering, I can't argue with paying 50% of the price, getting a very similar technical performance (if not better), and also gaining AF.


Mar 24, 2013 at 06:35 AM
philip_pj
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p.1 #4 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


"But I get a bit sick of all the sharpness talk. Sharpness is like crack to photo enthusiasts. They just want more more more without limit and never mind that there are sixty other considerations that go into the integrity of a lens image."

"...the "Zeiss Look" has an overall integrity I really appreciate. The best Zeisses all share a common house characteristic that I can best describe with the words "microcolor" and "microcontrast." They discriminate very well between very close shades of color on a minute level, and they have very good large-structure (5 lp/mm or 10 lp/mm) contrast. They tend to even their sharpness out across the image height (i.e. the whole frame) and tend to be balanced for consistency up and down the aperture range. Add very good flare and veiling glare resistance and a warm bias, and you get an image morphology that goes far beyond simpleminded notions of sharpness."

No, not my words, though I agree 100%. This guy has many decades in the business, edited a photo magazine, etc...Mike Johnston:
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2013/03/day-1-sony-and-zeiss-up-in-a-tree.html

And I guess it depends how long you will keep at it...my Zeiss lenses average 18 years old, work like new, are great on digital and are worth multiples of their new price. Will the same by true of your Sigma AF 35mm f1.4, in 2031? Then again you can consume a lot of crack in that timeframe. ;=)




Mar 24, 2013 at 06:54 AM
dweekie
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p.1 #5 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


philip_pj wrote:
Will the same by true of your Sigma AF 35mm f1.4, in 2031? Then again you can consume a lot of crack in that timeframe. ;=)



It could happen. The Voightlander 125mm.... wow. Didn't Cosina have a worse reputation than Sigma before their Zeiss collaboration? I'm still hoping for a re-issue



Mar 24, 2013 at 07:13 AM
user222
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p.1 #6 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


The Zeiss images appear to have a yellow cast to them, which is odd because when I photograph the sky with mine, it looks like I have a polarizer on (love how Zeiss lenses handle sky and water).

If Sigma is making a nice 35 1.4, I think that's great. More options for us photographers the better. Sigma has been known to have some QC issues, so hopefully that won't be an issue with this lens.



Mar 24, 2013 at 07:24 AM
AlexDROP
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p.1 #7 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


Has anybody looked at these shots in full res? Has anybody been interested in parts of an image out of the center? Open f/4 shots in full res and compare edge sharpness of both lenses and get shocked of how biased the OP is (comparing centers only). Never the less thanks Smridevan for the time you spent and shots you provided.
And here's what I've been able to see: sigma lens has far less LoCA yet at infinity it makes details smeared around R/2 region. Maybe sigma has weird field curvature I don't know. OTOH Zeiss microcontrast can be obviously seen and is quite well spread all over the frame.
I personally will buy sigma if anybody is interested.



Mar 24, 2013 at 09:51 AM
Smridevan
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p.1 #8 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


I also noticed that the Zeiss lenses tend to be a little bit "yellow" even when compared to the Nikon lenses. The Sigma lens seems to be a little bit wider than the Zeiss lens, hence image is not identical in the crop but the position of the image in the sensor is the same. Here is one comparison of the left corner at 100%. The Zeiss lens seems to have slightly better microcontrast here.


Sigma vs Zeiss f4 left corner by smridevan, on Flickr



Mar 24, 2013 at 04:59 PM
hiepphotog
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p.1 #9 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


To me, it's quite a noticeable difference with the Zeiss being sharper; fuzzy "Pennsylvania" and wreath in the Sigma shot. It's interesting to see that the Sigma consistently had higher structural contrast but the Zeiss resolved little bit more detail. Paying half the price with AF is not such a bad trade unless one wants that specific look.


Mar 24, 2013 at 10:26 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #10 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


I guess we might be seeing the fairly high QC standards of the Zeiss here. Some tests show the Sigma to be fantastic, others less so. One fellow whose blog I read has sent back two and a repaired one for being decentered, and isn't replacing them.

In fact, I am surprised that we haven't seen an influx of images from this lens yet. It has been out for some time now, and lots of people were thinking of picking one up. Why?



Mar 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM
 

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R.Young
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p.1 #11 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


I think there is a thread in the canon section, and there is a healthy group on Flickr that is adding some 5-20 shots a day, quite a lot of family and dog shots to skip through though.

I'm still tempted but simply don't shoot enough with what I've got to feel comfortable buying yet another lens



Mar 25, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Smridevan
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p.1 #12 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


I'm surprised there hasn't been more comparison with the Zeiss or Nikon lens. I'm just an amateur at this. The Sigma lens does feel more plasticky compared to the Zeiss lens. The turning of the focus ring during manual focusing on the Sigma is definitely not as smooth as the Zeiss lens.


Mar 26, 2013 at 02:36 AM
curious80
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p.1 #13 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


I am not sure what difference in rendering are people talking about. I see the following differences:

1. Zeiss shot seems slightly brighter
2. Zeiss shot seems slightly yellower
3. Sigma shot seems to have more contrast, though part of that might be that the zeiss shot is slightly washed out due to higher brightness.

Don't see any other rendering difference. Overall I might prefer the sigma shot though there is not much in it.

In terms of details they seem to be very similar in the center crops. In the left corner crop the zeiss seems crisper, though there is something odd about the "pensylvania" part as it seems smaller and farther in the sigma shot so I don't think it is quite representative.

So Overall it seems zeiss has slightly better corners and sigma has slightly more contrast and thats pretty much it. Not much else between the two for these specific test shots.



Mar 26, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #14 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


I think I heard something in distance like..

"King is dead..."

Nah, just kidding, but Sigma seems as really amazing lens. Unless you own SD1M.



Mar 26, 2013 at 03:27 AM
philip_pj
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p.1 #15 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


Yeah, you wish them well. We want to bring standards up and prices down. But the lower end market dwellers do need to do the hard yards, and it takes time to convert people.

Anyone care to nominate a high performing Sigma lens from 5 years ago that sells well second hand for much the the same, or even a higher price than new? I hear the macros are fine lenses.



Mar 26, 2013 at 04:28 AM
sebboh
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p.1 #16 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


philip_pj wrote:
Yeah, you wish them well. We want to bring standards up and prices down. But the lower end market dwellers do need to do the hard yards, and it takes time to convert people.

Anyone care to nominate a high performing Sigma lens from 5 years ago that sells well second hand for much the the same, or even a higher price than new? I hear the macros are fine lenses.


i don't believe any currently available production lens sells for more than new, only a complete idiot would spend more for used when they could get it new. what makes used lenses increase in price is an increase in demand when there is no way to increase supply (e.g. when there is a 2 year wait for a leica lens the used prices increase).

the sigma 50/1.4 is around that 5 year age(?) and better in most measurable ways than most OEM 50/1.4 lenses (excluding leica but not zeiss) and has smoother bokeh than all the other 50s (at least at large aperture). i don't see them depreciating much faster than other current production lenses. honestly though, most AF lenses are pretty useless 10 years after their released. technology marches on and leaves them behind and prices drop accordingly.



Mar 26, 2013 at 07:00 AM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #17 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


And often AF motors tend to give up..


Mar 26, 2013 at 02:06 PM
uscmatt99
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p.1 #18 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


Nice comparison, I haven't seen too many controlled ones between these two lenses. When I shoot my Nikon D600, it's almost exclusively with the ZF.2 35/1.4 and 100/2. I was almost certain the Sigma was going to resolve more fine detail based on some early posted full-sized images presented wide-open where the Sigma is very impressive. At the edges with a near infinity shot the Zeiss is prone to field curvature curving towards you. But at f/4, it's better in this instance. Looking at the chain link fence and square white sign, the fence pattern holds on the Zeiss photo and is much less visible on the Sigma photo.

Did the distant tree branch detail at the very edge of the frame hold up better in the Zeiss images as well? For what it's worth, I shoot at f/5.6 to max out central detail, and stop down to f/8-f/11 if I want the edges/corners to sharpen up a bit at the expense of central detail.



Mar 26, 2013 at 09:27 PM
ulrikft2
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p.1 #19 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


curious80 wrote:
I am not sure what difference in rendering are people talking about. I see the following differences:

1. Zeiss shot seems slightly brighter
2. Zeiss shot seems slightly yellower
3. Sigma shot seems to have more contrast, though part of that might be that the zeiss shot is slightly washed out due to higher brightness.

Don't see any other rendering difference. Overall I might prefer the sigma shot though there is not much in it.

In terms of details they seem to be very similar in the center crops. In the left corner crop the zeiss seems crisper, though there is something odd about the
...Show more

Indeed, I think people are emotionally siding with the zeiss here. Might be sunk-cost-fallacy playing up? I don't know.

The sigma has me wanting a new nikon fullframe slr-body again. I have the 50 1.4 sigmalux already, with a 35 and 85 1.4 as well, It would be an amazing kit.



Mar 27, 2013 at 10:05 AM
grahamb3
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p.1 #20 · Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM


philip_pj wrote:
Anyone care to nominate a high performing Sigma lens from 5 years ago that sells well second hand for much the the same, or even a higher price than new? I hear the macros are fine lenses.


My Sigma 20mm f/1.8 was $385 in 2006. KEH is offering the lens at $449 (EOS ex. condition).




Mar 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM
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