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Archive 2013 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L
  
 
David Baldwin
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p.8 #1 · p.8 #1 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


thread still going on?

Summary:

If you stop well down there is no real difference between the 2 lenses

If you need to use the lens at wide apertures on static subjects the Zeiss wins

If you need to use the lens at wide apertures on moving subjects the Canon wins (AF)

If you need to save money but still produce great images the Canon wins

Fair summary?

BTW it strikes me that the Zeiss would be a cracking good lens for wide aperture star photography where great corner performance is king and AF performance is irrelevant.



May 02, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Albi86
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p.8 #2 · p.8 #2 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


gdanmitchell wrote:
Did someone bash the Zeiss lens?


Sorry, but going on for 7 pages repeating how the better optics of the Sonnar are not "field-relevant" sounds a lot like bashing to me, or at least willfully diminishing it.

As far as AF is concerned, this is not the first Zeiss lens that hits the market. We all know that a Zeiss lens comes without AF, and if you can't live without AF this lens is certainly not an option to begin with - disregarding price and performance. So I don't see the point of taking it into account.

Again, the arrival of the Sonnar is not making the 135L any worse; it's just an additional choice and tool for other people or other situations and the proof that it's possible to achieve better optical performance in that focal length.

Besides, competition is a good thing: I don't think Canon would have added f/8 AF support in the 5D3 if Nikon cameras weren't offering it already. The Sonnar and possibly the Sigma are likely to push Canon to release a revised, improved version of the 135L. Though let me remark again that it's already a great lens and a very good value for money at its current price point.



May 02, 2013 at 12:32 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.8 #3 · p.8 #3 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Albi86 wrote:
Sorry, but going on for 7 pages repeating how the better optics of the Sonnar are not "field-relevant" sounds a lot like bashing to me, or at least willfully diminishing it.


The only things I wrote about the optical performance of the Zeiss have been positive, including acknowledging the test results reporting its exceptional performance at f/2.

In fact, the real-world value of that difference is precisely the most practical issue to consider and understand. It isn't "bashing" to discuss that.

Dan



May 02, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.8 #4 · p.8 #4 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


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


+1

Lloyd Chambers 28 pages review have hundreds of pics, with every aperture on the lens. Also in full size if you like to study those. And also a lot of pics with other 135mm lenses for comparison



May 02, 2013 at 04:29 PM
alundeb
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p.8 #5 · p.8 #5 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


The difference in MTF between these two lenses at wider apertures is comparable in magnitude to what you get if you move up from 36x24 mm sensors to smaller Digital Medium Format sensors at 44 x 33 mm with similar resolution, and use the same lens on both cameras.



May 02, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Albi86
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p.8 #6 · p.8 #6 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


gdanmitchell wrote:
In fact, the real-world value of that difference is precisely the most practical issue to consider and understand. It isn't "bashing" to discuss that.

Dan



The real-world difference heavily depends on what your real world is

The world of a studio-based fashion photographer is very different from the world of a sport/action photographer or a reporter whose pictures are going to be printed in duotone at 150ppi. It's hard to be objective on something that varies so much from person to person. Not to mention the difference made by the personal comfort/pleasure of using one lens or another. Zeiss lenses often have some peculiar traits that make them attractive or unattractive to different people. The same is true for Canon, Sigma and Nikon lenses.

On an objective evaluation the IQ difference is there, and it appears quite tangible to me. The difference in usability only depends on the need of AF. In every situation where fast AF is not needed or when you can take 1000 shots and pick 1, the Sonnar will deliver more. Of course by f/5.6 or narrower the difference is going to be slight, but then again, at such aperture even the new 18-55 STM kit lens is a very good performer. In my opinion, given the good quality of f/2.8 and f/4 zooms (especially in the 70-200mm flavour), more and more the scope of primes is to be used wide-open.



May 03, 2013 at 01:31 PM
 

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warrenjrphotog
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p.8 #7 · p.8 #7 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


chez wrote:
Photoshopping in quality is never as good as an image with quality in it right from the sensor. Sure you can reduce CA, straighten distortion, increase sharpness, even reduce the effects of camera shake, but the manipulated image will never be as good as an image not requiring this manipulation. It might be good enough for sone, but lacking in quality for others...really depends on your view of what is acceptable. Some might have higher standards and take photos with different goals in mind.


This I disagree with. All of the photos that you see are made of is 1 & 0's on a very bottom level basic level. You can do anything that you can do with a camera in photoshop.

Sure it's more difficult but I've seen some amazing things done with photoshop regarding composites and correcting images and even creating bokeh to the point where I can not tell the difference between the "fake" effects and the "real" ones.
I quote fake and real because all of photography is an illusion, we're trying to create an image that appears 3D or "real" in our minds in image's that are made out of 1's and 0's.

But back on topic, manual focus prime lenses are still useful for stuff like astrophotography, portraiture, landscape, and still life photography.

You can buy some fast high quality manual focus primes for much much cheaper than the AF equivalents.

I've been shooting a lot of astro photography and landscape photography lately and honestly AF becomes obsolete in both and speed/quality is much much more important in a prime than the ability to AF when it comes to those two forms of photography alone.

It's also the same with macro/product photography as well.



May 04, 2013 at 07:32 AM
PM01
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p.8 #8 · p.8 #8 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


how well does the zeiss 135/2 perform on astrophotography, wide open, full frame? Any color errors or field distortions?


May 06, 2013 at 05:50 AM
skibum5
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p.8 #9 · p.8 #9 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


splathrop wrote:
I'm a huge fan of Zeiss lenses, but this is going to be a hard lens to use wide open, except off a tripod, using live view. The Canon 135L is great people lens. This one, maybe not so much.


Yeah the Zeiss IQ seems astonishing (since the 135L has incredible sharpness and insanely deep color/contrast) but 135 f/2 without AF has got to be rough. I think 135mm is fine for nature, not at all for people only, but man a what a pain that would be (the price is frightful anyway).



May 06, 2013 at 06:00 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.8 #10 · p.8 #10 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


PM01 wrote:
how well does the zeiss 135/2 perform on astrophotography, wide open, full frame? Any color errors or field distortions?



This is how diglloyd start his 28 page review about the lens:

"The 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar is a lens with exceptional contrast and sharpness, world-class correction of color errors, mild pincushion distortion, and exceptional flare resistance.
A hallmark of the 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar is its near absence of chromatic errors as per its 'apochromat' designation, which results in a color purity and color saturation seen only in the very best lenses. When combined with its exceptionally high lens contrast and bokeh, the visual impact can be gorgeous."



May 06, 2013 at 06:23 AM
PM01
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p.8 #11 · p.8 #11 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Lars - I wonder if Lloyd would be willing to put the lens under the stars, especially with a bright one like Vega in the field of view for one of his pictures? I've heard of many lenses claiming to be "APO" but when photographing a bright point source object, they are, at best, semi APO with a nice purple wreath around them.

If the Zeiss lives up to the APO designation on astro photography then I'll definitely buy one.

Or if there are any astro photographers within the forum that has the Zeiss 135/2 that is willing to try this.



May 06, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Yakim Peled
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p.8 #12 · p.8 #12 · Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar vs Canon EF 135mm f/2L


Lars Johnsson wrote:
This is how diglloyd start his 28 page review about the lens:

"The 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar is a lens with exceptional contrast and sharpness, world-class correction of color errors, mild pincushion distortion, and exceptional flare resistance.
A hallmark of the 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar is its near absence of chromatic errors as per its 'apochromat' designation, which results in a color purity and color saturation seen only in the very best lenses. When combined with its exceptionally high lens contrast and bokeh, the visual impact can be gorgeous."


Does that mean he likes it?

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



May 07, 2013 at 08:26 AM
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