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Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Ze...
  
 
Fr3d
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Hi forum!

To make a short story long:

I had the Canon 28mm f/1.8 for a while and truly loved the FOV on FF and how light and uncomplicated it was to handle. Even though I shoot with a 24mm f/1.4 II and love it’s IQ, I often wished I had a narrower FOV while keeping the great IQ that the 28mm lacks.

Having said that, I don’t care for the sharpest lens, but I do care about how the image renders. Many sharp lenses render images that lack depth and look flat. I am willing to give up a little sharpness if I can get some microcontrast / 3d pop that draws the viewer more into the scene.

So, after reading and googeling, and more reading and even more looking at images, I narrowed my choices down to two lenses which have lovely rendering:

1. Voigtlander 28mm f/2.8 Color Skopar SL II
2. Zeiss Distagon 28mm f/2 ZE (classic version)

Now my newb question:

Is the Zeiss the real deal and worth twice the price?
Or should I start slow and go for the Skopar because it is good enough, and later start eyeballing the Zeiss 35mm f/2 ZE instead of the 28mm ZE?

Thanks in advance guys and gals!



Jul 02, 2017 at 07:35 PM
carlitos
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


>>>Is the Zeiss the real deal and worth twice the price?<<<

1) Yes. It, the 25/2.8 and the 35/2 have a strong family resemblance. Though I guess there is no ZE25/2.8
2) I'd say yes, worth the price, but it's up to you. You could rent the 28/2, and find out with little risk involved.



Jul 03, 2017 at 04:38 PM
WhyFi
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Are you looking to avoid adapters and/or used lenses? If not, why not a C/Y Contax Distagon 28/2.8? Sharp, has the rendering that you seem to be looking for and a good example can be had for $300-400.


Jul 03, 2017 at 05:29 PM
Fr3d
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Thanks for the suggestions. Renting sounds like a good idea that I have never tried before.
I do like to have EXIF recording and auto aperture, for now I am staying away from fully manual lenses




Jul 03, 2017 at 08:58 PM
hmzimelka
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


The Voigtlander 28mm f/2.8 is an average performer... very good centrally, but not great at the edges.

The Zeiss Distagon 28mm f/2 is excellent, and sharp centre to corner. It's a very interesting lens, with some field curvature. Unfortunately it has some lateral CA which is a bit higher than some might like, but it corrects well and easily in post processing.

I used the 35/2 for many years but I should have bought the 28/2 instead. That and the 25/2.8, which I loved to use.



Jul 04, 2017 at 07:02 AM
Keith B.
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


hmzimelka wrote:
The Voigtlander 28mm f/2.8 is an average performer... very good centrally, but not great at the edges.

The Zeiss Distagon 28mm f/2 is excellent, and sharp centre to corner. It's a very interesting lens, with some field curvature. Unfortunately it has some lateral CA which is a bit higher than some might like, but it corrects well and easily in post processing.

I used the 35/2 for many years but I should have bought the 28/2 instead. That and the 25/2.8, which I loved to use.


This assessment agrees with my experience. Note: I have owned the Zeiss lenses mentioned but not the Voigtlander 28/2.8. I was a subscriber to Digi-Lloyd when he reviewed the Voigtlander 28. I like the 28 FL a lot, and the Voigt looked like a nice potential addition to the collection. But Lloyd's results with it were disastrous. Maybe he got a bad copy?
The Zeiss 28/2 ZF/ZE classic is a real professional lens: Useable at all stops and focused distances. Wide open it's sharp, but it does have the deep convex-to-the-sensor(most WA lenses have concave) curvature of field, but the field focus can be treated as flat by about f/4.



Jul 04, 2017 at 08:24 AM
dbehrens
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


WhyFi wrote:
Are you looking to avoid adapters and/or used lenses? If not, why not a C/Y Contax Distagon 28/2.8? Sharp, has the rendering that you seem to be looking for and a good example can be had for $300-400.


Sounds like you are shooting a Canon SLR? If so I would also recommend checking out the CYZ 28mm f/2.8 Distagon.




Jul 04, 2017 at 06:59 PM
Cadaver
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Of the lenses you ask about, I only have the Zeiss 28mm f2 ZE. As other have said, it certainly is sharp wide open, and it does have some field curvature. I have grown to love the curvature as it makes your subject stand out almost like a 3D effect. Stopped down to f8 or f11, I like it for architecture. I also have the Contax Zeiss 28mm 2.8. It has pretty much the same IQ as the newer ZE model, but of course you don't get f2. If you didn't want to spend the extra cash on the ZE, the Contax is a nice alternative.


Jul 04, 2017 at 07:14 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Zeiss have always engineered curvature of field into their 28mm offerings, including some zooms - the focal length seems to produce better imagery as a result of 'judicious' midfield curvature. You get a fine wrap around look rather than the vanilla flat look so beloved of checkbox lens testers. A good example is vignetting, still spoken of a major fault by some.

The Otus 28mm has curvature, as does the ZEF 28/2. The Zeiss guys understand that lens performance is a balancing of aberrations, and they leave particular 'faults' in their lenses to deliver better images. It's one reason so many modern lenses lack zing, verve, character - makers just work feverishly to improve each and every 'fault'. You end up with lenses that produce with as much character and interest as a field of astroturf, every fake blade a perfect facsimile of grass.

28mm is at that point in the angle of view progression where the loss of normal perspective won't carry the image, DOF is deep for regular working apertures, yet it is very hard to make an optically refined lens. The CY 28/2.8 (and several of the other D28s) is a total bargain, guaranteed to produce great color in organic representations of your subjects with a classiness lacking in so many boilerplate modern counterparts. Little known fact - in the center it is as strong as the Loxia 21/2.8 at f5.6. The Distagons have been excellent for a very long time.



Jul 04, 2017 at 10:11 PM
Fr3d
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Seems like Zeiss is the way to go. I am going to try the 35mm f/2 ZE next week and hope to get my hands on the 28mm f/2 ZE soon after.


Jul 05, 2017 at 07:01 PM
 

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jcolwell
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


I have the Classic 25/2 and 35/2 ZE (and 50/2 and 100/2). You won't regret buying any of them, or the 28/2 ZE, for that matter.


Jul 05, 2017 at 09:38 PM
WhyFi
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Fr3d wrote:
Seems like Zeiss is the way to go. I am going to try the 35mm f/2 ZE next week and hope to get my hands on the 28mm f/2 ZE soon after.


I've loved the 35/2 ZE when I've rented it. If I didn't keep telling myself that I'm going to move away from Canon bodies, I'd probably buy one, too.



Jul 06, 2017 at 01:26 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


You only live once! Try the Otus 28 and see the difference in performance. It really renders exceptional images. Love my copy and overlook her plus model size and weight because of the beauty she renders.


Jul 06, 2017 at 04:48 PM
DannyBurkPhoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


wayne seltzer wrote:
You only live once! Try the Otus 28 and see the difference in performance. It really renders exceptional images. Love my copy and overlook her plus model size and weight because of the beauty she renders.

Do you, or anyone here, happen to have both? I like my 28/2 ZE very much, but I can't help but be curious to see a comparison with identical compositions.




Jul 06, 2017 at 05:04 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Sorry, I Don't have the ze 28/2, only the Otus 28/1.4. Although quite a few like the ze 28/2 as more of an artistic lens, it has several weaknesses. It has quite a bit of CA relative to other zeiss lenses and strong field curvature. The Otus 28's color correction is almost APO, like the other Otus lenses designed to be sharp across the frame at 1.4 with good microcontrast too and that clarity. I would think that these differences would be noticeable between the two, just like the price and weight difference.


Jul 07, 2017 at 03:52 AM
genji
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Although I only recently acquired a copy of the Contax C/Y Distagon 28/2 (the "Hollywood"), it quickly become one of my favorite lenses of all time. Jannik Peters' review succinctly explains why:

"The dreamy bokeh wide open, the field curvature which reduces the depth of field towards the corners, the good close-up performance, the great colors and the good flare resistance make this lens predestined for close-up wideangle photography with shallow depth of field. The Distagon 2/28 is an expert lens for that purpose and can create images with high plasticity and three dimensional rendering. If this is your style of photography, this lens is for you."



Jul 07, 2017 at 04:01 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


The Contax Zeiss 28/2 and SMC Pentax 28/2 have the same optical design (I have the Pentax). The Classic 28/2 ZE has a slightly different design (9 vs. 8 elements), and so it would be interesting to compare them, head to head.


Jul 07, 2017 at 12:24 PM
bjornthun
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


I have owned the Voigtländer 28/2.8 SL II in Nikon mount, which is optically the same as the Canon mount version. The performance in the center was good, but very poor off-center and in the corners. It improves only little on stopping down. In summary, I definitely advice against buying it.

If you shoot Canon I would look into the Zeiss 28/2 ZE, or check out the performance of the Canon 28/2.8 IS. I know nothing about the Canon 28/2.8 IS, except it's a rather new design.



Jul 07, 2017 at 06:20 PM
frezeiss
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


Zeiss ZE 35 distagon is a more punchier lens than the 28. Had both in my dslr days, the 35 has better micro contrast, 3D etc.



Jul 07, 2017 at 06:39 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Advice 28mm MF: Voigtlander Skopar 28mm f/2.8 SL II or Zeiss 28mm f/2.0 ZE (classic)


frezeiss wrote:
Zeiss ZE 35 distagon is a more punchier lens than the 28. Had both in my dslr days, the 35 has better micro contrast, 3D etc.


The ZE 25/2 and 35/2 are very similar.



Jul 07, 2017 at 08:58 PM
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