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Archive 2013 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4
  
 
Almass
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p.1 #1 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


I am house bound nurturing the stars, so I thought I do a shoot out between some controversy in relation to the 80/90 focal length.

I do not have all my lenses with me at the moment but better than nothing.
The one that I had to drop out is the Nikon 85/1.4G as it is in my other house.

The shoot was tethered using C1 and focus made at 100% with 200% to dbl check.

All shots on a Nikon D3s with neutral values all throughout.

Same lighting and same camera to object distance.

Same apertures and same speed.

Focus on the teddy bear left eye.

No corrections whatsoever and all processed in C1.

The lenses:

1- Leica Summilux 80/1.4
2- Zeiss ZF2 85/1.4
3- Nikon 85/1.8 G
4- Leica Summicron 90/2 Apo Aspherical

You would have to kind of pixel peep on each pic as we are talking nuances and not differences.

Exif is present in each shot to enable determine which is which.

Let me know in case anyone wishes a 100% crop of any particular shot.

The first is the Lux 80@1.4, The second is a crop of the Lux 80@1.4
The third is the Lux 80@2.0 and the fourth is a crop of the Lux 80@2.0



Enjoy...

























Edited on Apr 04, 2013 at 12:09 PM · View previous versions



Apr 04, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Almass
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p.1 #2 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


The first is the ZF2@1.4 and the second is the crop of the ZF2@1.4

The third is the ZF2@2.0 and the fourth is the crop of the ZF2@2.0






















Apr 04, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Almass
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p.1 #3 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


The first is the Nikon 85@2.0 and the second is the crop of the Nikon 85@2.0

The third is the Lux 90AA@2.0 and the fourth is the crop of the Lux 90AA@2.0






















Apr 04, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #4 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Conclusion.. Nikkor is bargain.


Apr 04, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Svenning
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p.1 #5 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


The Winner is the Leica Summicron 90mm F/2 Apo Aspherical. What a fantastic lens (!)



Apr 04, 2013 at 03:21 PM
JaKo
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p.1 #6 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Almass; Thank you for your comparison. Itís helpful and very timely for me as I am deciding between two of the four lenses in your shootout.


Apr 04, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Almass
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p.1 #7 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Now you know why the 85/1.4G fell out of grace

On a more serious note. It depends what you are looking at and whether the render variation is important to your photography.

Yes. The 85/1.8G is a great lens at an unbelievable price. It is a go getter, an all rounder.

All lenses are pretty good at 72px sRGB. If this is the objective then the 85G is a no brainer.

Now, when we want to print at over 180 lpi we need to look at micro contrast and blown highlight or in this case at the details in the whites.

Look at the details in the whites. Which lens holds better?

You need to look at the chrome CA of the pen.

You need to look at the cat whiskers.

You need to look at the Bokeh rendition.

and so on....

This is why I said in my opening post, that you need to look at "nuances" and not "differences".

Which is the best?
There is no best!

What did I learn today? I am surprised to find out that the Zeiss ZF2 85/1.4 has a slightly heavier front OOF than the Leica!.
Does it matter? Probably not, but for me it is fun to find out.

It all depends on the subject matter and the look as well as the objective of the shoot.

I like them all. I also like the 85/1.4G. I like very much the Canon 85/1.2L II and the Contax Anni 85/1.2. Unfortunately, I don't have them where I am and it would not add any difference.

I think it is simply being finicky or call it discerning or call it anal about it.

Yes. the 70/135 range is my preferred range and I have most of the range even to the extent of getting a Canon to use the 85/1.2...but it is more for the fun of it than anything else.

They are all great lenses.

And, yes, you are right: Nikkor is a bargain.




Apr 04, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Almass
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p.1 #8 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


JaKo wrote:
Almass; Thank you for your comparison. Itís helpful and very timely for me as I am deciding between two of the four lenses in your shootout.


You are welcome.



Apr 04, 2013 at 04:10 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #9 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Alamas, Thanks for the setup and comparison. I know how it is time involving for this kind of test. Since this is an almost extension of our discuss about short-tele lens (80lux vs other 85mm) in different format I feel obligated to have my comments about it. Here are few of my thoughts.

1. The test can certainly tell me sharpness of each lens (of your copy) at this distance.
2. The test can tell me one scenario of rendering at this subject distance and background distance, and ratio between. I have to also add under this lighting condition and background condition.

As your description indicated, the difference is in nuances than differences under this condition. (But if look carefully, it still can be seen that Leica has slightly less contrast than Zeiss (soft rendering) but also less CA. that is match my personal experience.)

The lens difference is small and lens character can only be found by using it under all condition such as aperture, lighting, subject, distance of subject, and ratio between subject and background. Over extensive usage, the difference can be magnified under right condition. For example, if you put same test with tree with lots of small leafs in back-lit at different subject and background ratio, you will find the difference getting bigger.

As human being, there is no way we donít inject our personal feeling into each lens, the subtle difference may not be the thing for others, but may means big to you. We also have different priority in terms of lens performance, rendering. I personally no longer care a dime about sharpness as long as it meets my not so high threshold at 1.4 and as long as it can be sharp once stop down for the case I need it sharp. If there is a universal standard for 85mm lens, then, we may end up have 85mm 1.2L in everyoneís bag.

80lux become my favorite short tele lens, quickly. it fit my need, from MFD 'glow' to slow down performance. From handling, build....

I like Leica's handling, build and optics and having big problem about their keeping rising price, simply rude and ignorant. and I don't blindly love Leica's lens, for example, I never truly love 50lux ASPH, I never echo 35cron 8 elements's rave even though I use it a lot for its handling and size and sharpness slow down. Just because I feel 35cron V4, ASPH all overpriced for a f2 lens and have no better rendering than this V1 which I paid about $1200, not low but worth it for its overall lovely handling.

I never feel exciting viewing MP100 and 90APO images as well as 200 f2 canikon images. But that is just me, and I have no problem understand why people love theirs.




Apr 04, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Almass
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p.1 #10 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Svenning wrote:
The Winner is the Leica Summicron 90mm F/2 Apo Aspherical. What a fantastic lens (!)


Svenning

I have a soft spot for the 90AA and it is one of my prefered lenses.
It performs beautifully on the D800/E and is the best and lightest street DSLR camera/lens combination ever.
The size is small to fit in the pocket and it is as bright as they come. What a great lens.

The 90AA is considered a reference lens similar to the CO 60/4.0.

It is accepted that the CO 60 specially performs well for UV and IR. However the 90AA has not been tested for UV and IR to my knowledge, so we don't know and I am not into IR and UV, so I never bothered testing it. Maybe do a normal shootout one day.

Edited on Apr 04, 2013 at 09:08 PM · View previous versions



Apr 04, 2013 at 08:28 PM
 

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Almass
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p.1 #11 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


zhangyue wrote:
.......
The lens difference is small and lens character can only be found by using it under all condition such as aperture, lighting, subject, distance of subject, and ratio between subject and background. Over extensive usage, the difference can be magnified under right condition. For example, if you put same test with tree with lots of small leafs in back-lit at different subject and background ratio, you will find the difference getting bigger.....

As human being, there is no way we donít inject our personal feeling into each lens, the subtle difference may not be the thing for others, but may means
...Show more

zhangyue

I use the 80/85 focal range for portraits. And yes you are right to say each his own.

The Lux 80 has a dreamy look and the ZF2 85 a more pronounced render WO and they balance out stopped down. For me, each lens prefered usage has to do with light temp and skin complexion.

Lately, I have the Nikon 85/1.8G glued to my camera and the Lux 80 and ZF2 85 are sleeping in the dry cabinet to be used only for special portraits. I don't shoot landscapes with this focal range. Actually I don't shoot landscape pretty much!

The 70 - 80 - 85 at 1.5/1.4 is not easy to nail focus and shooting tethered is prefered.

I looked at your nice family shots and I would not be bothered lugging a Lux 80 or ZF2 85 for such shots when the 85G would be light and ideal. But I understand that you would prefer to use the Lux 80.

As for the other lenses you mentioned. Each has it's own strenght and weakness and I have the flexibility to use them for specific shoots.

I am not crazy about the Leica 100/2.8 APO or the ZF2 100/2 Makro. For me they are macro and landscape lenses and not for portraits. I much prefer the great Canon 135L and the Nikon 135D.

The Lux 50 E60 is a dream of a lens with colors reaching out to you.
The Nikon 200/2 G VII is a superior lens with superior Bokeh and I enjoy it very much.
As for the 90AA, well this is probably the best lens ever and you should try it if not done so. You will change your opinions when you shoot with the 90AA. It is simply unbelievable. Try it sometime.



Apr 04, 2013 at 09:06 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #12 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


The last set are magmificent. The Nikon images have a brassy crude unsubtle representation, the other two are workmanlike, I like the CZ a little better. So it's a one horse race. If it was my area of interest, it's the one I would have.

'and so on....'

We are all going about this differently; here is what I do: I look for the most authentic-appealing-photorealistic representation of the scene in its entirety, and almost always find that the best lens (for me, personal obviously) is the one in which the details and the harmonious interplay of scene elements are more easily witnessed, as though more content can be seen in the image more easily...



Apr 04, 2013 at 09:10 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #13 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


philip_pj wrote:
The last set are magmificent. The Nikon images have a brassy crude unsubtle representation, the other two are workmanlike, I like the CZ a little better. So it's a one horse race. If it was my area of interest, it's the one I would have.


I just grabbed the Nikon and Zeiss images, cropped them as close to the same as I could, and flipped back and forth between them. Apart from the slightly different exposures, and the slightly different white balances, the only differences I could see were in the favour of the Nikon. Better contrast, equal or better sharpness, less aberrations. So I would have to say that I don't know what you are going on about. I think your post was a much better example of "brassy crude unsubtle" than this lens test

I say this as a staunch Zeiss fan, and an owner and lover of the ZF.2 85. I am not about to switch to the Nikon, and I am confident that I prefer the Zeiss rendering in the general case, but this shot isn't the one to bring it out.



Apr 04, 2013 at 09:38 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #14 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Almass wrote:
The 70 - 80 - 85 at 1.5/1.4 is not easy to nail focus and shooting tethered is prefered.
I looked at your nice family shots and I would not be bothered lugging a Lux 80 or ZF2 85 for such shots when the 85G would be light and ideal. But I understand that you would prefer to use the Lux 80.


I have to disagree with respect. No, 85G simply doesnít have the 80lux quality we are talking about here unless your priority is different than mine.

Some samples will be helpful to show that 85G can achieve the same results. I have browse tons of images on flickr for them as well as others like 85L. I donít see the same rendering.

I have used both 85mm 1.4G and 1.8G extensively,(I sold 85mm 1.4 G and give 1.8G to my brother in Law) yes, both of them are slightly sharper than 85 Zeiss before f2.8, (I own both Nikkor and Zeiss at the same time), I will choose ZF85 over them at any day of the week. They sharp, they even POP, but they donít have DOF transition I am after. And both have a slight green/yellowish tint with them, it can be easily removed but still bother me. And they build like a crap compare to Zeiss. And there is no fun to let camera do the shooting unless I am a professional that forced to do so.
As for 80lux and ZF85.

80lux has 80mm MFD over Zeissís 1M (very important), has better/shorter focus ring design at MFD to be able to track movement of subject faster, has smoother Out of focus rendering, has less CA, has smoother DOF transition (which are all important for me as a tool to be used for its specialty) at expense of less sharp at 1.4, less POP, less transparent. But is also noticeable more tolerant to focus error.
I have used 80lux for several weeks over several sessions, I donít have any problem nail focus, I especially like shooting it at MFD and place my subject/eyes anywhere in frame. The manual lens is even preferred here than AF since the focus accuracy requirement for AF non-center spot at 1.4/1.2 at MFD is out of most DSLR capability. Following the slightly movement of subject with my own body is such a nature response than mess around with AF point and decide on composition at the same time.

Almass wrote:
As for the other lenses you mentioned. Each has it's own strenght and weakness and I have the flexibility to use them for specific shoots.
I am not crazy about the Leica 100/2.8 APO or the ZF2 100/2 Makro. For me they are macro and landscape lenses and not for portraits. I much prefer the great Canon 135L and the Nikon 135D.
The Lux 50 E60 is a dream of a lens with colors reaching out to you.
The Nikon 200/2 G VII is a superior lens with superior Bokeh and I enjoy it very much.
As for the 90AA, well this is
...Show more

As I said, I have no problem to understand your personal preference. The lens I quota above (MP100, 90APO, 200f2 Canikon) all has their strong signatures that dominate images. Basically: subject sharp, POP, vivid, and background blur blur blur. All images getting similar no matter who is the photographer, but that is just my problem, not others.



Edited on Apr 04, 2013 at 11:55 PM · View previous versions



Apr 04, 2013 at 10:15 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #15 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


I also want add since lens is a tool (with soul ), once you have found your campaign, you will work with it over times to adjust your shooting and post process procedure to achieve the result/look within your ability to maximize its quality.

the same as improving shooting skill, manual focus skill to work with the tool you chosen, if enjoy it, then it is for you, if not, just move on.

I can't get the look with 85G I got from 80lux, I can't even have the same frame/composition of some images I have now. every detail in lens design counts in this case. Say 85G is better than 80lux or ZF85 at my case is over the top.





Apr 04, 2013 at 10:31 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #16 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


'So I would have to say that I don't know what you are going on about.'
Good for you. Expressing a succinct opinion is what I am 'on about' - same as you ;-)

Except I am expressing a reaction to an image, you are referring to a person's expression, there is quite a difference. We call this kind of unbecoming behaviour 'playing the man, not the ball'.

I'll refrain from giving you the same treatment. So now have a fine day ;-)



Apr 05, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Almass
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p.1 #17 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


zhangyue

You are not going to get the same look from the 85G and the Lux 80. You are not going to get the same look from any other lens to that matter.
However, do you think it is fair to compare a Lux 80 at approx $2500 with a Nikon 85/1.8G at approx $500?
Based on the results of the shootout, one cannot deny that the 85G is defending it's corner pretty well!

What I am saying is that if I want to go to the beach and shoot the kids, I would rather carry the 85G...then again if I am shooting a beautiful model, I might take the Lux 80...but I rarely take a camera to the beach although I live by the beach!

You cannot say that such lens or the other is best as each is good in it's own rendition. You can like this one over that one and you can prefer this one over the other one.

But. as you know, I am rather easy on the subject because I have them all and pick and choose based on my mood. The reason I like the 85G is because it is a lens which is so simple to use and transform your DSLR into a P&S.

Maybe you can walk around and snap pics at 1.4. I can go as low a 1/10sec, with few or many misses obviously, but what is the point of doing that. The Lux 80 and the ZF2 85 are not your friendly lenses WO. They are great stopped down. Do you think I would have been able to do this shootout handheld? No Way! I also have the Canon 1.2L and the Contax Anni 1.2 and probably some other lenses I forgot about. Nailing focus WO is not easy task. Yes it will look good at web resolution but inspect your pic at 100% and you will see the real result.

Having said that, I am not trying to convince you of anything. You are satisfied with your Lux 80 and that is what count. I am also satisfied with my Lux 80 but for different reasons.
It is a great lens but if I had to go to an island with one lens, it would be....the 90AA.

You did not say whether you tried the 90AA or not?

As for the 200/2. This is not a lens but a money making machine



Apr 05, 2013 at 07:53 AM
Almass
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p.1 #18 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Maybe one day I do the Mother of all Shootouts and include all lenses from the Biotar 70/1.5 up to the ZF2 135.

So it will look something like this:

- CZJ Biotar 75/1.5 VI and VII
- Leica R Lux 80/1.4
- Leica R Cron 90/2 (not in my possession)
- Leica R Cron 90AA
- Zeis ZF2 85/1.4
- Zeiss ZF2 135/2 (not in my possession....yet)
- Canon 85/1.2 L
- Contax Anni 85/1.2
- Nikon 85/1.4G
- Nikon 85/1.8G
- Nikon 105/2 (not in my possession)
- Leica R 100/2.8 APO
- Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8
- Zeiss ZF2 100/2
- Nikon 135/2 D
- Canon 135/2 L
- Voigtlander 125/2.5

And I can tell you the result now. They are all great lenses which cost a bucket except the poor and lonely Nikon 85/1.8 G.

My preferred lens is still the 90AA. Heck, I even got two copies just in case....for redundancy purpose....

Do I earn bragging rights now?










Apr 05, 2013 at 08:47 AM
carstenw
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p.1 #19 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


philip_pj wrote:
'So I would have to say that I don't know what you are going on about.'
Good for you. Expressing a succinct opinion is what I am 'on about' - same as you ;-)

Except I am expressing a reaction to an image, you are referring to a person's expression, there is quite a difference. We call this kind of unbecoming behaviour 'playing the man, not the ball'.

I'll refrain from giving you the same treatment. So now have a fine day ;-)


Come, you don't hold back when you write either, except that you tend to aim at classes of people ("people who like X...", "hairy-chested people...", etc.), one member of which is often present to hear the accusation.

In any case, why don't you explain what you meant with the Nikon looking brassy, crude, etc., and don't forget to refer back to the images posted.

As mentioned, I can agree in general that I prefer Zeiss lenses over Nikkors (or most other brands), but in this shot I don't see much evidence of the characteristics which make me feel that way.



Apr 05, 2013 at 10:17 AM
nixland
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p.1 #20 · Leica 80/1.4 - Zeiss 85/1.4


Almass wrote:
Maybe one day I do the Mother of all Shootouts and include all lenses from the Biotar 70/1.5 up to the ZF2 135.

So it will look something like this:

- CZJ Biotar 75/1.5 VI and VII
- Leica R Lux 80/1.4
- Leica R Cron 90/2 (not in my possession)
- Leica R Cron 90AA
- Zeis ZF2 85/1.4
- Zeiss ZF2 135/2 (not in my possession....yet)
- Canon 85/1.2 L
- Contax Anni 85/1.2
- Nikon 85/1.4G
- Nikon 85/1.8G
- Nikon 105/2 (not in my possession)
- Leica R 100/2.8 APO
- Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8
- Zeiss ZF2 100/2
- Nikon 135/2 D
- Canon 135/2 L
- Voigtlander 125/2.5

And I can tell you
...Show more

Thanks for the comparison shots.
Sigma 85/1.4 and Samyang 85/1.4 UMC are great lens too At least at wide open.
And I like to try the Nikon 85/1.4G too (I had the AF-D year ago but have sold it).
Also wanna try the ZA 85/1.4 but I don't have Sony camera
The Zeiss 85/1.4 N is too expensive (price + modification to EOS).
The last one is Minolta 85/1.4 G Limited Edition (too expensive due to rarity)

I have tested my 80-85mm and 100-105 lens for portraits shots and bokeh (at MFD, close up, head & shoulder, full body sitting, from f1.4 to f5.6). All of them are great lens, but fun to know the character of each lenses








Apr 05, 2013 at 10:39 AM
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