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Archive 2013 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L
  
 
Sven Jeppesen
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p.7 #1 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


alexdi wrote:
Sven, nobody's said anything you're asserting. We all agree the Zeiss is a better optic. The question's been, is it better enough to merit buying when it costs twice as much and doesn't have AF. For most folks, the answer will be no.


For the people that don't like to do MF, the price doesn't matter. Or would they suddenly like to do MF if the price was low?

So all people writing have used the new Zeiss then? Because if i was wrong in everything it must be like that?



May 01, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Lasse Eriksson
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p.7 #2 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Albi86 wrote:
Honestly, the Canon 135L is a great lens and we all know that. A Zeiss lens, however, is a different specimen. You can say the same by comparing the 100L and the 100 MP: the only sensible conclusion would be that they are two great, yet different lenses that only share the same focal length.

This new Sonnar doesn't take anything away from the Canon. It's just better and costs more. You want a very good 135mm with AF? You buy the Canon (or soon enough the Sigma, if rumours are true). You want the best optics and the best build
...Show more


+1



May 01, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Rajan Parrikar
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p.7 #3 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


alexdi wrote:
Sven, nobody's said anything you're asserting. We all agree the Zeiss is a better optic. The question's been, is it better enough to merit buying when it costs twice as much and doesn't have AF. For most folks, the answer will be no.


But in this you are not adding anything we didn't already know. This is true for every specialized optic (the 'no' answer, I mean).



May 01, 2013 at 06:13 PM
alundeb
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p.7 #4 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Rajan Parrikar wrote:
But in this you are not adding anything we didn't already know. This is true for every specialized optic (the 'no' answer, I mean).


This is indeed also true for every discussion about specialized or high performance optics. We just have to live with that in a discussion. Beyond some arbitrary performance point defined by some arbitrary persons, improvements will no longer be significant for some unspecified group of photographers. If you know what you need, and why, and are seriously interested in the differences, you will try to overlook that and try to find the interesting parts.

In this discussion, the interesting part to me is correction of longitudinal CA in software. I have to say that the results shown in the links from alexdi look impressive. But since I know that these aberrations are results of different wavelengths focused at different distances, there is much more to this than just removing unwanted colors found by an algorithm. A side by side comparison of optically and software corrected LoCA would be very interesting.



May 01, 2013 at 06:36 PM
theSuede
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p.7 #5 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Longitudinal CA is not correctable by software. Not in any way - except in the very small "best focus" plane. If you sharpen the channels differently, you can correct SMALL amounts of LoCA in focus.

Out of focus LoCA is impossible to correct, since there are no reference points to use. The only thing you can do is blur color in a smart way (what Adobe does). And blurring (or more accurately: removing color detail!) should not be referred to as "correcting".

It is a way to make the error less visually disturbing, less obvious. For those that think that this is enough, fine.



May 01, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Invertalon
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p.7 #6 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


If it had AF, I would be all over it.

But it does not, so there is no way. 135L it is!




May 01, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Tom Dix
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p.7 #7 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Does the Zeiss have superior IQ? From the charts, yes.

If the Zeiss had the AF similar to the Canon, I would find the money to add it to my kit.



May 01, 2013 at 10:45 PM
SKumar25
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p.7 #8 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


ggreene wrote:
What good is all that IQ if you can't precisely focus on the subject at f2?


What do you base this on?



May 01, 2013 at 11:53 PM
ggreene
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p.7 #9 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


SKumar25 wrote:
What do you base this on?


With the DOF at that FL and f2 how much margin of error do you have shooting moving subjects? If you are the least bit off your intended focus point you'll have an OOF shot. I realize this is a lens that appeals to people who probably don't need/want AF but if you are going to compare it to the Canon it's a factor nonetheless.



May 02, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Rajan Parrikar
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p.7 #10 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Tom Dix wrote:
Does the Zeiss have superior IQ? From the charts, yes.


In real photographic situations, too, according to Diglloyd who has given it a good workout.



May 02, 2013 at 12:44 AM
 

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SKumar25
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p.7 #11 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


ggreene wrote:
With the DOF at that FL and f2 how much margin of error do you have shooting moving subjects? If you are the least bit off your intended focus point you'll have an OOF shot. I realize this is a lens that appeals to people who probably don't need/want AF but if you are going to compare it to the Canon it's a factor nonetheless.


For certain types of photography (E.g. product, fine art, portrait (some types), landscape, movies etc), what is more important than AF is the ability to precisely control the focal plane.

The buttery smooth long throw mf of the Zeiss would be better than the Canon implementation for many such applications.

Despite lack of AF, these lenses are very versatile.



May 02, 2013 at 01:00 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.7 #12 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Uh, the Canon MF's just fine - again, you might feel that the Zeiss "buttery smooth long throw" MF will provide some significant advantage - and since neither of us has used it, I suppose all we can do is speculate - but the idea that the Canon 135 poses any real problems when AF'ing sort of amuses me. ;-)

Seems to me that you'll have the same ability to "control the focal plane" with either lens.

Here's what we think we know so far:

1. Both lenses will be among the sharpest lenses available.
2. Both go to f/2
3. One can be AF'ed and the other cannot.
4. One achieves higher MFT50 resolution values on the test bench at f/2
5. One costs less than $1000 and one costs more than $2000.

The "better" idea is perhaps true, but it might be sort like telling me that $100,000,001 is better than $100,000,000. Can't argue with that. However, both amounts are huge and the difference isn't more than background noise. And if you already had $100,000,000, how much effort/cost would it be worth to you to get that extra dollar of betterness?\

Some of you probably would do anything to get that extra dollar, but many would also think that the having $100,000,000 is more or less the same.

Back to practical matters, we might be able to agree that if you often manually focus at f/2 while shooting from the tripod and then make extremely large prints of your f/2 shots you might be able to demonstrate, probably with the help of side by side comparisons and a strong magnifying lens, that your f/2 Zeiss shot is, indeed, sharper than the f/2 Canon 135 shot.

An interesting question to consider: If you would consider the Zeiss lens, would you consider buying it if the mtf50 spec at f/2 was identical to that of the Canon at f/2? If so, why? If not, what specific increment of better MTF50 resolution at f/2 do you think would be significant? If the difference at f/2 were only 10% of the difference measured in this case, would you still buy the Zeiss over the Canon? What if the difference were 1%? Would you buy the Zeiss if Canon measured 10% better? For the "buttery long throw MF" or something else?

:-)

Dan

SKumar25 wrote:
For certain types of photography (E.g. product, fine art, portrait (some types), landscape, movies etc), what is more important than AF is the ability to precisely control the focal plane.

The buttery smooth long throw mf of the Zeiss would be better than the Canon implementation for many such applications.

Despite lack of AF, these lenses are very versatile.




May 02, 2013 at 01:58 AM
SKumar25
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p.7 #13 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


gdanmitchell wrote:
Uh, the Canon MF's just fine - again, you might feel that the Zeiss "buttery smooth long throw" MF will provide some significant advantage - and since neither of us has used it, I suppose all we can do is speculate - but the idea that the Canon 135 poses any real problems when AF'ing sort of amuses me. ;-)

Seems to me that you'll have the same ability to "control the focal plane" with either lens.

Here's what we think we know so far:

1. Both lenses will be among the sharpest lenses available.
2. Both go to f/2
3. One can be AF'ed
...Show more

For me, comparing the two is like comparing a Honda racing bike vs a Harley in the big picture.

The discussions here amounts to comparing engine performance (IQ), handling / acceleration (AF) and other such things, but in reality they were designed with a different purpose and target market. It is impossible to compare them. The joy a Harley enthusiast gets out of the Harley won't be the same with the Honda, and vice versa. Sorry, crappy analogy.

Cost wise, we all know the Canon lenses reduce in cost over time. The L is an old lens. Judging from recent releases, a newly released one would be a lot costlier. For example the 135L seems like a bargain vs the 24-70LII.

I think you're giving sharpness too much significance. Other apsects of IQ you didn't mention are things like colour, contrast, microcontrast, bokeh and other elements of the image character (sunstars, flare, distortion, falloff, CA etc). You don't need to large prints to see differences in these. Preferences to these are largely qualitative which brings it back to the Harley v Honda type comparison.



May 02, 2013 at 03:57 AM
steve.chang
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p.7 #14 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


It is not only lack of AF, but also questionable to get focused at F/2 when handheld and looking through the viewfinder. I feel I will miss the main point to get the Zeiss if not shooting at F/2


May 02, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.7 #15 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


steve.chang wrote:
It is not only lack of AF, but also questionable to get focused at F/2 when handheld and looking through the viewfinder. I feel I will miss the main point to get the Zeiss if not shooting at F/2


Have you used it
Because that's not what the people that have used it say. Or what the tests and comparisons with this lens say. Here is the one from dig diglloyd Lloyd Chambers 28 pages test-review of it.

"The 135/2 APO offers stunning contrast wide open, and this is plain to see when focusing both by eye and with Live View. Totally absent from the 135/2 APO is the veiling purplish /2 haze of the 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar, which for the 100/2 introduces an ambiguity in accuracy no matter how focus is done (by eye or with Live View). With the 135/2 APO-Sonnar, the image is crystal clear wide open at /2.



May 02, 2013 at 05:00 AM
Gunzorro
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p.7 #16 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


I never had a problem focusing tele lenses manually. Wide angle is an different story!


May 02, 2013 at 05:18 AM
SKumar25
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p.7 #17 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Read the 135 is Lloyds new reference tele. The 100 MP has been dethroned...

Some samples:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/2208107@N22/pool/



May 02, 2013 at 05:43 AM
alundeb
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p.7 #18 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


gdanmitchell wrote:
Here's what we think we know so far:

1. Both lenses will be among the sharpest lenses available.
2. Both go to f/2
3. One can be AF'ed and the other cannot.
4. One achieves higher MFT50 resolution values on the test bench at f/2
5. One costs less than $1000 and one costs more than $2000.



Regarding point 4: Roger Cicala measured 18% better MTF at f/2 (average) and 12% better even stopped down to f/4 (average).

What we do not know, but is possible, is that the difference will be more significant at longer distances than used in the test bench. The reasons why it is possible are:
A) Some people who have been using both Zeiss lenses and the Canon 135L stopped down for landscape, have reported disappointment about the perfomance at infinity focus for the Canon lens.
B) Zeiss lenses are generally optimized for infinity, and the published MTF charts are also measured at the focus distance the optics is optimized for.



May 02, 2013 at 06:41 AM
Yakim Peled
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p.7 #19 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


SKumar25 wrote:
For me, comparing the two is like comparing a Honda racing bike vs a Harley in the big picture.


Up to about a week ago I'm sure everyone would compare the 135L to a racing bike. And BTW, as a motorcycle enthusiast I think the comparison is flawed. From the IQ and BQ standpoint alone I'd say the 135L is a 2012 race bike while the Zeiss is a 2013 race bike. That said, it can't AF so I don't know how to equate this into this analogy. For me (who is awful at MF) it's like a race bike with carburetors and no ECU. Yes, it can ride, but with a lot less power.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



May 02, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Yakim Peled
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p.7 #20 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


alundeb wrote:
A) Some people who have been using both Zeiss lenses and the Canon 135L stopped down for landscape, have reported disappointment about the perfomance at infinity focus for the Canon lens.


I am not one of them. For years I used the 135L for portraits and landscapes with nothing but staler results.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



May 02, 2013 at 11:54 AM
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