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Mark, I see your point perfectly, and that is what has prevented me from doing the "impulse" purchase yesterday.
Although, to be true, the Zeiss is at a level that really leaves you with your mouth wide open...
What shocked me is that the "dot" inside my D4 never fails to confirm positive focus... portrait distance (2/3m) and longer distances (12m, 30m), it's always spot on. Never, I never found a lens behaving like this, it means its correction wide open is superlative.
Of course it'll be difficult to focus moving subjects, but the reliability of the focus dot means that it'll probably be used much more easily than one foresees (I tried a little yesterday, and didn't really have too much trouble with people walking around...).
Maybe there'll be slight focus mistakes in fast situations, but to be true, none of my lenses (not even the 200/2) are really that reliable, both on the D3s and the D4... precision is always acceptable, but hardly ever dead on. It's just the way it is...
Also, to be true... I was simply left shocked by how sharp this thing is.
I'm used to set sharpness in Lightroom at 50 Sharpness, 0,7 Radius, 50 Detail, 20 Mask, and this gives very good results with my normal lenses (24 1.4G, 35 Sigma, 105 DC, 200/2, 70-200 VR II; the 17-35 likes a bit more).
Well, the Zeiss changes the game: set Sharpness at 0, and it is already plenty sharp enough...
Never seen anything like this.
If Sigma hadn't put out the Sigma 35 1.4, I'd have the Zeiss already. The latest Sigma quality is what is making me feel like waiting... maybe
I feel like the longer zeiss lenses and af lenses are different tools. The zeiss will probably turn out to be the better performer but to see that with no af you probably need to lock it down on a tripod and use live view to focus. The AF lenses will have af which is more accurate than manual focusing (still not really good enough though) and will have VR/OS to improve handheld pictures.