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Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17
  
 
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #1 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Someone asked me to comment on Zeiss 15mm f2.8. I have decided to compare it my other favorite short lens - the TS-17. The TS-17 is a very good lens

A comparison is:
Zeiss f2.8 is twice as fast
Zeiss has hard stop at infinity and canon goes beyond
Canon has shift which permits easy stitching or removal of UWA bowing of trees
Canon has tilt which I use very little because 17 has pretty good depth at f8 anyway and the plane has to be flat and its challenging to use
They are both manual focus
They are both heavy
The zeiss can take a very expensive filter whereas the TS/17 requires extensive work to create filters manually
The TS/17 has a very large protruding lens that is subject to flair more than the Zeiss
They are both pretty expensive - Canon $2200, Zeiss $2900

My conclusion is that zeiss is really good. I prefer TS/17 if there is no star trails (not night shooting) because of the versatility of tilt/shift, quality and ability to avoid bowed trees. In addition, when you shift horizontally from 1 extreme to middle to other extreme and take it into photoshop, it stitches perfectly without any waste to deliver a 11mm wide pano. And if you put the 1.4x on, it works well as a 24mm TS.

But at night, the twice as fast is important for lower ISO and avoidance of star trails.

Surprisingly the zeiss 15 seems to perform better in corners than the TS17 or TS24.

Anyway I am happy with both my lens - just passing along my thinking.

Scott




First the reference - TS17 on Bow River - at f11 - uncropped focussed near horizon

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/11.0    1/125s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






Zeiss 15mm is wider and possible more micro contrast - your decide

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    15mm lens    15mm    f/11.0    1/80s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  



Edited on Apr 24, 2013 at 05:09 AM · View previous versions



Apr 24, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #2 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Bottom left corner




  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    15mm lens    15mm    f/8.0    1/160s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  




Apr 24, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #3 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Middle

After fixing the post - much embarrassment in concluding one was better than other when they were the same :{ plus the screw up - it looks like TS17 is better in the centre.

This might suggest a different (shorter zeiss focus point) or field curvature effects. I am going to investigate.

[PS. As pointed out below - I screwed up and posted the ts-17 twice. Which points out that I should not do this kind of thing late at night.]




  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    15mm lens    15mm    f/8.0    1/160s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  



Edited on Apr 24, 2013 at 01:18 PM · View previous versions



Apr 24, 2013 at 04:23 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #4 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


And given the big difference between 24 and 15 of 17 maybe this is not fair but here is same of 24/TS which is widely considered to be the best wa canon

Clearly the 24TS is resolving more of the trees but it should given that it is 1/3 less cropped.

However, the real surprise is that the corners of the TS/24 are not as sharp as the Zeiss. This might be just the greater depth of field between 15 and 24mm but still the zeiss is noticably better.




corner TS 24 for reference

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/100s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






middle TS 24 for reference

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/100s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  



Edited on Apr 24, 2013 at 05:04 AM · View previous versions



Apr 24, 2013 at 04:25 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #5 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


And here is an example of why the TS/17 performs better in the day. In order to get a similar picture to the TS/17 you have to tilt the lens up causing the trees to bow like crazy.

Avoidance of this UWA distortion when the lens is tilted by itself causes me to use the TS over any other lens.




  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    15mm lens    15mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  



Edited on Apr 24, 2013 at 05:06 AM · View previous versions



Apr 24, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #6 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


For reference according to photozone.de the TS 17 has very little distortion, low vignetting, and quite high resolution at centre and borders ( >3000), putting it at one of the best UWA. However it performs less well when shifted and if you shift to extreme it starts losing resolution. As long as you keep it to 10/12 it seems to do well on the shift.

Comparing it to samyang 14 2.8 - the samyang has about 10% higher resolution but very high distortion and vignetting that requires lots of post processing correction.

Comparing it to the other great uwa nikon 14-24 with high 3000's resolution, the TS 17 is within 20% of resolution with way less vignetting and distortion.

So the Zeiss 15 must be pretty good to keep up and exceed the resolution in corners of TS17.

I did not check to see how far I shifted on the sample so I might have given the TS/17 a handicap but phtozone says that it can reach 3500 centre and 3000 border at f5.6 as compared to 4000 and 3500 respectively for the Nikon.



Apr 24, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #7 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Thanks Scott! Very interesting visual information, as well as your experiences.

I hope others become inspired to do some more comparisons among these UWA lenses we talk so much about.

I'll try to add something to the collective knowledge base in a few days.



Apr 24, 2013 at 05:23 AM
Monito
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p.1 #8 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Thanks for doing the test, Scott.

If the middle pictures of the 15, 17, and 24 all show the same extent of the scene, that means that 2 of the three and possibly all three have been run through some resizing software. In other words, there is some magic behind the curtain that hasn't been detailed.

I would rather see the 100% crop pixels, unadulterated.

Have you done the same thing with the corner pictures? Can we see 100 % crop pixels, unadulterated?



Apr 24, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #9 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


I'd say comparing real images side-by-side is more valuable than any chart test.
Thanks for posting it Scott!



Apr 24, 2013 at 05:38 AM
tsdevine
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p.1 #10 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Scott...the 100% crop of the tree line (middle)....they look REALLY similar and underneath the photos they both say 17mm. Are you sure you didn't upload the 17 TS-E shot twice??

It's early in the morning...so maybe I'm imagining the exactness of how they match.

-Tim



Apr 24, 2013 at 10:07 AM
 

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jcolwell
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p.1 #11 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Hi Scott,

Thanks for posting the comparison images.

Are you using the Mk I or Mk II version of the TS-E 24/3.5L lens? I've compared the TS-E 24/3.5L II and Zeiss 21/2.8 ZE, and found they have very similar performance in the corners. Here's one example taken in Jan 2012, comparing 100% portions of lower left corners on a 1DsIII. The TS-E 100% crop is from the absolute corner of the image, while the ZE image is slightly "in", because of its wider FOV. The images are not resized, and so what you see is what you get.

I think the TS-E is slightly cleaner than the ZE, but they're both excellent.








Apr 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #12 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Monito wrote:
Thanks for doing the test, Scott.

If the middle pictures of the 15, 17, and 24 all show the same extent of the scene, that means that 2 of the three and possibly all three have been run through some resizing software. In other words, there is some magic behind the curtain that hasn't been detailed.

I would rather see the 100% crop pixels, unadulterated.

Have you done the same thing with the corner pictures? Can we see 100 % crop pixels, unadulterated?


They were shot in raw so they have to be processed by something. I imported these into aperture, then duplicated twice and cropped one to middle and one to bottom edge. So its resized in aperture by cropping. And exported at jpg 1024 x 1024.

What do you suggest for a better cropping - I could use DPP to process and then open photoshop and go actual pixels and then crop and post.



Apr 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #13 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


tsdevine wrote:
Scott...the 100% crop of the tree line (middle)....they look REALLY similar and underneath the photos they both say 17mm. Are you sure you didn't upload the 17 TS-E shot twice??

It's early in the morning...so maybe I'm imagining the exactness of how they match.

-Tim


Fixed - thanks for helping me get it right. Much appreciated. Scott



Apr 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM
molson
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p.1 #14 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Scott Stoness wrote:
Bottom left corner


Scott, from the example photo you posted, I would say you either have a bad copy of the 17 TS-E, or perhaps you didn't have the tilt lock engaged...?

I noticed a few of my shots weren't quite tack-sharp with the 17 TS-E, and discovered that if you don't use the tilt lock and don't have the lock knobs really tight, the front of the lens can sag a tiny amount, just enough to cause slight unsharpness in the image.

Regarding filters, my take on the comparison is that the Zeiss 15 is limited to using 95mm screw-in filters only (very expensive polarizers, no graduated filters) while the Canon TS-E can use the Lee filter system, allowing the use of graduated filters as well as the (also very expensive) Lee 105mm polarizer, albeit with limited shift capability.



Apr 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #15 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


jcolwell wrote:
Are you using the Mk I or Mk II version of the TS-E 24/3.5L lens?


I have v2 of the TS/24 and thats what I posted.



Apr 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #16 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


molson wrote:
Scott, from the example photo you posted, I would say you either have a bad copy of the 17 TS-E, or perhaps you didn't have the tilt lock engaged...?



My tilt lock is always engaged. However, the TS17 might have been shifted 1/3 way so that is a bit of a handicap.

I suspect that the zeiss has more field curvature and when you focus at near infinity the field of focus on the edges is further back.

One of the things I realize in this testing is that you have to make lots of choices in comparing (like where to focus and focus is critical).

The thing to keep in mind is that I am comparing a $2900 dollar, best in class prime non tilt with a $2200 best in class tilt. When you crop as much as I did they are going to look bad. You may have cropped less?




Edited on Apr 24, 2013 at 01:08 PM · View previous versions



Apr 24, 2013 at 01:04 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #17 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


jcolwell wrote:
Are you using the Mk I or Mk II version of the TS-E 24/3.5L lens?

Scott Stoness wrote:
I have v2 of the TS/24

Thanks for clearing that up.

Scott Stoness wrote:
...and thats what I posted.

I looked carefully and couldn't find that. Maybe you could add a "II" to your profile gear listing.


Edited on Apr 24, 2013 at 01:12 PM · View previous versions



Apr 24, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #18 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


jcolwell wrote:
Thanks for clearing that up.

I looked carefully and couldn't find that. Maybe you could add a "II" to your profile gear listing.


Thanks - jcolwell - I have fixed the profile.



Apr 24, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #19 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


I have both lens and am going to try another time, because I am concerned that my ts17 was shifted a bit and the exposure was a bit different, so any suggestions about:
1) Whats fairest for where to focus in scene
2) Whats fairest height above ground 15mm in theory is effectively further from the ground
3) What fstop - photozone suggests that TS17 is sharpest at f5.6
4) What resizing technique.

I likely won't get around to it until friday though.

Scott



Apr 24, 2013 at 01:14 PM
molson
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p.1 #20 · Zeiss 15mm 2.8 vs Canon TS/17


Scott Stoness wrote:
You may have cropped less?



No, I'm one of those anal people who always looks at 100% crops and is seldom satisfied by what he sees...



Apr 24, 2013 at 01:32 PM
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