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Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews
  
 
uhoh7
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p.4 #1 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


Claus:
"Sony/Zeiss seems to follow the ugly trend of under-designing lenses based on the assumption that digital correction will fix the flaws. This may be an acceptable compromise when decreasing weight, size ... and price. However, the Zeiss lens isn't really a hell of a lot more compact than e.g. the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 USM L IS. Thus why is it necessary to design a lens with such massive distortions ? Now distortions aren't really a primary concern for most users but the lens is also not all that sharp - at least at the extreme ends of the zoom range. The corners are generally soft at 24mm and it's not all that hot at 70mm @ f/4 either - even with activated (lossy) distortion correction."

ouch.

then goes on to remark on the "rough bokeh"

what a shame.




Mar 29, 2014 at 07:21 PM
dennishh
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p.4 #2 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


I've been testing the Zeiss 24-70 for the past couple of weeks and must say it's performing better than both of the reviews that I've just read. I tested the Zeiss at 35mm heads up with my 35mm F2.8 and find the Zoom to be sharper in the center and hardly any discernible difference towards the corners. The acceptable range with this lens is about 28 mm to 67mm as far as I am concerned. I have looked at all the numbers from photozones reviews and am baffled by the final evaluation. If you look at the Nikon 24-70 2.8 the Zeiss numbers are almost always better or equal to that lens and the Nikon is considered one of the best zoom lenses next to the Canon version 2. The Zeiss is a great walk around lens and the OSS makes it even better. Right now my biggest concern with keeping the Zeiss is the cost factor, now that these reviews have come out the lens is probably nowhere near worth $1200.


Mar 29, 2014 at 07:25 PM
Julio Marcos
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p.4 #3 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


That's why at this point I pretty much don't go by the review site ratings on lenses; usually their verdict does not correlate with making my photography enjoyable. Example of cases where I was unintentionally "mislead": Thom Hogan's review of the old Nikon 24-85 AF-S (worst lens I've ever had), Voigtlander 180mm f/4 (superb lens that I never used), Fuji X100 after Roger Cicala's mentioned that he was going to buy it for his own use (I just could not work with such a beta piece of camera).

Conversely, other lenses that I enjoyed very much despite not great test ratings: Pentax 16-45mm f/4, Pentax 43mm limited, Tamron 28-70mm on full frame.

This does not mean that these free reviews are wrong or that I don't appreciate them - it's just that sometimes, somebody else's opinion or testing will not match my needs. Yep, there could be a fantastic Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with superb corners that I'll never even think of buying because of size & weight (and in the wrong mount )



Mar 29, 2014 at 08:45 PM
DavidBM
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p.4 #4 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


Been doing a bit of thinking about the 24-70.
Apart from being able to use my old Canon glass, this lens was one of the reasons I move back to full frame from M43; at last I could have a full frame camera I was willing to take on hiking trips.

well I have loved he A7r, but the 24-70 is not as good as I had hoped.

BUT

If you compare its the absolute performance of the lens+sensor combination at its worst with what you are getting out of the best m43 zooms (which are not that smaller) like the panny 12-35 and olympus 12-40 ON THIER RESPECTIVE SENSORS, the worst case performance is usually a bit better and the best case performance is very much better. To make this comparison you can use perceptual MP from DXO, or even the raw imatest numbers from photo zone (which you cannot compare between systems to compare lens quality by itself, but which you can roughly compare between systems to compare overall lens-sensor system quality - it's just hard to say how much is the lens and how much the sensor)

Now those lenses are in some sense better: they are getting much more of the potential performance out of their 16MP sensors. If we want to award well done you badges to lens designers that is maybe what matters.

But if we want to print images, what matters is total system performance. And I think I'm satisfied that the move was OK from that point of view. When hiking the 24-70/A7r is still giving me better performance (normalised to print size) than the m43 system; and when I'm not hiking and use primes I'm getting amazing quality.



Mar 29, 2014 at 09:26 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.4 #5 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


I guess I am a bit spoiled, but I actually returned my first FE24-70 for a second, thinking I had a bad sample. It's a decent lens with good build, OSS, nice zoom range, and great contrast throughout. However, I found the optics were pretty subpar compared the 24-70 a-mount. They both have bad corners as 24, but the a-mount was sharper in the middle at 2.8 throughout the range, and absolutely crispy at f4 and 5.6. Oh well. It's a nice lens and usable, but I don't find it a good compliment for the 24/36 MP sensors out right now, and I am sure the next gen of sensors won't be kinder.


Mar 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.4 #6 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


Is this lens really not that much bigger than a Olympus 12-40mm F2.8?

Is it weather sealed?



Mar 29, 2014 at 11:21 PM
 

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DavidBM
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p.4 #7 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


Well the Oly 12-40 weighs 382 g and the FE2470 weighs 420g: so it's a 38 g difference (a bit more than an ounce in Imperial speak)

The Fe is 28mm longer and only 2mm wider (i.e. as near as dammit the same diameter).

So about an inch longer, but similar width and weight.

Whether that counts as "not much bigger" depends on you; but it does for me in that it's (just) in the window I'm prepared to take hiking...

Oh the Zeiss is supposed to be weather sealed....though it doesn't have a lens mount gasket that I can see.



Mar 30, 2014 at 12:05 AM
FlyPenFly
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p.4 #8 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


It does appear quite larger, if you put the Panasonic 12-35mm on, the difference is more. The handling also doesn't look so great. That's too bad because the A Mount CZ 24-70mm F2.8 was just superb.

http://j.mp/1psxdOB

Either way, it sounds like at the 24-30mm field of view, the edges will be much blurrier.



Mar 30, 2014 at 12:12 AM
DavidBM
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p.4 #9 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


Well how much larger is quite larger is up to you! Yes the Panny is a bit smaller. But the handling seems great. Beautiful build, smooth focus ring and good implementation of focus by wire, balances fine.

Actually the edges are a tiny bit better than with the Panny, and about the same with the olympus.
You can check this for yourself by downloading the VFA target photos from SLRgear, and resizing them to match (up down or in-between as you think is fairest). The different sensor resolutions mean that the absolute performance in the corners at 24 is very similar (though of course it is disappointing that on a 36MP sensor you should have similar resolution to another lens on a 16MP sensor) and of course much greater in the middle.

Of course if a M43 24 or more MP sensor ever comes out, the Olympus will likely have a good deal more system resolution in the corners on that than the Zeiss does with a 36MP sensor.



Mar 30, 2014 at 01:18 AM
mastroiani
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p.4 #10 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


I heard some negative reviews


Mar 30, 2014 at 05:06 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.4 #11 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews


DavidBM wrote:
Been doing a bit of thinking about the 24-70.
Apart from being able to use my old Canon glass, this lens was one of the reasons I move back to full frame from M43; at last I could have a full frame camera I was willing to take on hiking trips.

well I have loved he A7r, but the 24-70 is not as good as I had hoped.

BUT

If you compare its the absolute performance of the lens+sensor combination at its worst with what you are getting out of the best m43 zooms (which are not that smaller) like the panny 12-35 and
...Show more

There are a couple of problems with this analysis. First, photozone does not use the same version of ACR with all systems. So, in comparing between systems you can't say how much is the sensor, how much is the lens, and how much is the RAW converter. That makes comparisons between systems invalid. It might be the system creating the differences and it might be the RAW converter. One would only want to compare differences in the systems and not in the RAW converter.

Second even if there wasn't this problem at 24mm and 70mm in the corners the GX1 Oly 12-40 f/2.8 does a little better at least wide open (although the numbers are very close at 24mm but noticeably different at 70mm). These numbers should also be taken with a huge grain of salt. Only one lens and camera from each system is tested, at only one focal distance, with only three points across the frame tested. To say this is representative of the how the systems perform is quite a stretch. It is a very limited test. Also note that the sensors in the newest Olympus cameras are quite a bit better than the sensor in the GX1 (a huge difference in SNR--at base ISO it is a whole stop different--for example could well lead to higher resolution scores on the Oly cameras than on the GX1 that was tested). In fact, some evidence consistent with that reasoning is that the lens gets a 9MP rating at DXO Mark on the OM-D EM5 or EM-1 and only a 7MP rating on the GX1.

The same thing shows up when you look at the acutance profile measurements at DXO. The OMD and 12-40 at 12mm slightly outperforms that A7R and 24-70 at 24mm in the corners, although the A7R combo outperforms the OMD combo in the centre.

So of course with the much higher MP count the A7R is going to get more resolution in the centre than m4/3rds, but in the corners even with a huge MP disadvantage the m4/3rds camera is going to do a bit better at 24mm and 70mm where the Sony/Zeiss lens is weak. If it was me for hiking I would want a really small Olympus cameras which would make a much smaller kit and still have the pretty much the same IQ. For example if you went with the EPM-2 and a Panny 14 f/2.5, 20 f/1.7, and Oly 45 f/1.8, you would have a kit that would be a lot lighter (about a pound lighter), would take up a lot less volume and would come close to rivalling the A7r and Sony/Zeiss zoom.



Mar 30, 2014 at 07:27 AM
DavidBM
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p.4 #12 · Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 Reviews



So of course with the much higher MP count the A7R is going to get more resolution in the centre than m4/3rds, but in the corners even with a huge MP disadvantage the m4/3rds camera is going to do a bit better at 24mm and 70mm where the Sony/Zeiss lens is weak. If it was me for hiking I would want a really small Olympus cameras which would make a much smaller kit and still have the pretty much the same IQ. For example if you went with the EPM-2 and a Panny 14 f/2.5, 20 f/1.7, and Oly 45 f/1.8, you would have a kit that would be a lot lighter (about a pound lighter), would take up a lot less volume and would come close to rivalling the A7r and Sony/Zeiss zoom.



That's a pretty good kit, and what's more it's one of the combinations I've been using (swapping in the OMD for the EPM) and sometimes using the panny 12-35. It was, of course, excellent. But I've found that normalising to the same pixel dimensions the real world matches my analysis: better results with the sony in the middle, at the ends and throughout the mid range of the zoom, and not worse at the edges (that's taking the images and resizing them both to the same vertical dimension, which ought to favour M43.

I am tempted by the GM1 for this purpose, though...


Mar 30, 2014 at 08:39 AM
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