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| p.1 #16 · Thoughts , the ZF digLloyd Review |
I just came across this thread today (June 28, 2008). I thank you Jammy and Kit for posting your impressions. I own all 7 of the ZF lenses, and expect to have one of the very first samples of the new new 18mm f/3.5 Distagon. I shoot the ZF lenses preferentially much of the time, in spite of owning 50 Nikkors or so. That's not to say that Zeiss ZF lenses are always better in every way—they’re not. But some of them are simply gems that can’t be bettered for the types of shooting I do.
One of the reasons I began writing reviews is my own personal frustration at not being able to find lens assessments that I can trust. My goal is to present enough information, based on studio and field shooting and vast past experience with many brands and formats (35mm, 617, 6X6, 6X7, 4X5, etc), so that the reader can make an informed purchasing decison, knowing in advance what can be expected.
Providing value is key: if the reviews aren’t worth it, I lose business (and I would disappoint myself). I have a very high percentage of repeat business. Once in a long while, someone wishes for something I didn’t think of (I'm a pretty thorough guy). Typically I address that in a subsequent update.
Part of the value is that my reviews teach along the way, offering all sorts of related ideas, tips and techniques; such things can take months of shooting to learn, if not more. I’m pretty quick on the uptake, but it has taken many years to “put it all together”. I want to share that with others, and that is value above and beyond review of any particular lens(es). Bottom line: my Zeiss ZF Lenses review costs about what a quality filter costs for just one lens.
I take considerable care in my reviews to check and cross check my findings. So much of what is read on the web today is erroneous, misleading, or simply wrong (fortunately fredmiranda.com maintains a much higher standard). The latest trend is computer-based testing (eg dpreview), which would have thrilled me in the past, but now I realize how misleading some of those tests really are, because they are based on invalid assumptions (eg a perfectly flat image field). Real-world images dispel the nonsense conclusions that arise with such testing (with some lenses). I spell out these areas in my review, with real images that don’t just persuade, but convince.
When done reading Zeiss ZF Lenses (for example), the reader should be able to pick up any of the lenses and <em>immediately</em> have a good idea of how to use them at their best—that’s a huge timesaver. And even if you never intend to buy/own a ZF lens, reading my Zeiss ZF Lenses review offers a great deal of material on lens performance and behavior that will be invaluable with any brand of lens. And of course there is the money saved by buying just those lens(es) that serve the reader’s goals, not to be underestimated when they range in price from $500 to $1500 each.
I have deliberately chosen the HTML format because it allows much higher quality examples and navigation than any other format. Unfortunately, the choice of an intangible medium triggers the reaction that because it’s not printed it’s not worth paying for. This is a “hit” I don't like, and sadly the truth is quite the reverse: in printed form the review would be less useful, couldn't be updated, etc.
Edited on Jun 29, 2008 at 09:01 PM