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Archive 2010 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE
  
 
Bobu
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p.1 #1 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


On friday I got my new 50 MP ZE. Today I tested it against my 3.4/35-70. To my surprise the corners on the 50 MP are very soft, even stopped down to 5.6. Center-performance and contrast is very good
Assuming that the corner performance is not typical for this lens, I will send the lens back and try another one. Has anybody compared the 2.0/35mm ZE with the 2.0/50mm MP ZE? Which has the better corner-performance (for landscape shots)?
Here are two corner-examples at 100%, zero sharpening.

Boris

2.0/50mm MP ZE @ f/4.0:






3.4/35-70mm @ f/4.0:









Feb 07, 2010 at 04:07 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #2 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


Interesting - it keeps being asked about a 35-70 vs the ZE 35 & 50 comparison. More color and contrast in the prime - could probably brighten up the zoom in post. The 35-70 holds it's own & sure is a nice sub $400.00 lens.

Boris thanks for posting.



Feb 07, 2010 at 04:58 PM
mark1958
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p.1 #3 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


It looks like the shooting angle might have changed a bit when changing your lens. THe 50mm is sharper than the zoom on the left side of the image.. right side of the object


Feb 07, 2010 at 05:01 PM
Bobu
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p.1 #4 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


mark1958 wrote:
It looks like the shooting angle might have changed a bit when changing your lens. THe 50mm is sharper than the zoom on the left side of the image.. right side of the object


I don't think so. During the lens change, the camera was still mounted on a very stable Series 5 Gitzo tripod.
The two images are 100% crops of the lower right corner of the picture. So the right side of these image is at the real corner. All 4 corners look similar.

Boris



Feb 07, 2010 at 05:43 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #5 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


I agree with Mark. Something is wrong with the test shot setup. BTW how far away are you from the target?

I have some test shots iwth my 50 ZE,35 ZF and contax N 50 1.4 taken in front of Stanford Memorial Church, our favorite lens test site which I can put up later tonight if I get the time. They are both excellent across the frame.



Feb 07, 2010 at 05:45 PM
Bobu
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p.1 #6 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


wayne seltzer wrote:
I agree with Mark. Something is wrong with the test shot setup. BTW how far away are you from the target?

I have some test shots iwth my 50 ZE,35 ZF and contax N 50 1.4 taken in front of Stanford Memorial Church, our favorite lens test site which I can put up later tonight if I get the time. They are both excellent across the frame.


This is the whole picture.






The distance was between 3 and 4 m.

Boris



Feb 07, 2010 at 05:52 PM
Specularist
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p.1 #7 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


Bobu wrote:
To my surprise the corners on the 50 MP are very soft, even stopped down to 5.6. Center-performance and contrast is very good


This should not have surprised you. Have a close look at the MTF charts for the two lenses, paying particular attention to the corners:

Makro-Planar 2/50 (Zeiss PDF)

Vario-Sonnar 3.4/35-70 (PDF)



Feb 07, 2010 at 10:45 PM
erichard
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p.1 #8 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


You are right at the very lower right corner of the picture, and that 35-70 looks excellent. Amazing zoom performance, especially at f/4. The crop is such a small portion of the photo, and the drop off is sudden enough for the 50, that I doubt his setup was off, though it would be interesting to know if each corner looked the same (ie. symmetrical corner softness.)

edit: reread the posts, and he says the 4 corners are the same. Very interesting. Wonder if this is typical of the lens. Seems hard to believe with a macro lens, where you'd expect a flat plane of focus, or flatter than normal. I have a hard time deriving equivent MTF's on those links as they never use the same f/stop at 50mm, which I'd think would be necessary in order to control the variables.



Feb 07, 2010 at 11:57 PM
Bobu
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p.1 #9 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


Specularist wrote:
This should not have surprised you. Have a close look at the MTF charts for the two lenses, paying particular attention to the corners:

Makro-Planar 2/50 (Zeiss PDF)

Vario-Sonnar 3.4/35-70 (PDF)


If you are right, it would make no sense to try another 50 MP. Is the corner performance of every 50MP really that bad? That 100 MP has great corners, even wide open. Should I buy the 35/2 instead? Or just keep the zoom (but I don't like the handling of the zoom and the low contrast)?

Boris



Feb 08, 2010 at 05:52 AM
philber
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p.1 #10 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


It seems to me that 35 Z* exhibits most of the good properties from 2 "styles" of Zeiss lenses, the MP Planars, and the non-MP Planars. As such, it is just as excellent really close up as it is at infinity. It may not have the greatest qualities of the whole range, which is probably either the 21 or the 100, but it could well, at least IMHO, be the most flawless, even if it does not mean that it has absolutely no flaws whatsoever...


Feb 08, 2010 at 06:19 AM
 

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magiclight
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p.1 #11 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


Try shooting a "3D" scene and see if you still have the same problem.

Do all side of the image show similar softness? Is one side is worse than the other?

I had a problem with my 21mm ZE where the far left hand side was soft. My replacement copy is fine. No problems.



Feb 08, 2010 at 06:50 AM
fluffybug
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p.1 #12 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


I had a similar issue when I had a 50 MP (ZF)... This was typically with more distant subjects, however, and not so much with close range (<1m)...

I didn't enjoy the corner softness (although it doesn't matter for a lot of the shots I take, it was one of the factors that put me off in the end)... Also, I tend to prefer 35mm for general photography, so I kept the 35 ZF and sold the 50 MP ZF...

You are right about the 100, which is stellar, and does not exhibit the same falloff in performance towards the corners...



Feb 08, 2010 at 07:45 AM
Mirek Elsner
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p.1 #13 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


When looking at 100% magnification in LR, I see the same in the corners at f/4. Don't know about 35mm, but the 28 is better. I don't think this would be visible in prints, though. This is in the last 1cm or so on a 30x45cm print (or 1/3" on 13x19")


Feb 08, 2010 at 08:49 AM
Bobu
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p.1 #14 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


magiclight wrote:
Try shooting a "3D" scene and see if you still have the same problem.

Do all side of the image show similar softness? Is one side is worse than the other?

I had a problem with my 21mm ZE where the far left hand side was soft. My replacement copy is fine. No problems.


All 4 corners show similar softness.

Boris



Feb 08, 2010 at 06:08 PM
Bobu
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p.1 #15 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


philber wrote:
It seems to me that 35 Z* exhibits most of the good properties from 2 "styles" of Zeiss lenses, the MP Planars, and the non-MP Planars. As such, it is just as excellent really close up as it is at infinity. It may not have the greatest qualities of the whole range, which is probably either the 21 or the 100, but it could well, at least IMHO, be the most flawless, even if it does not mean that it has absolutely no flaws whatsoever...


Thanks philber (and fluffybug), sounds like I should try the 2.0/35mm instead.

Boris



Feb 08, 2010 at 06:20 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #16 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


Boris,

What about the center sharpness and other parts of the frame beside the far corners and edges of the fram? I bet the 50 MP beats it there.Why not present the whole story in a lens comparison? If you look at other zeiss prime mtf's like the 35, 21, they fall off in the corners. 85 and 100 don't. Looks like from the mtf the 50 MP falls off sharply at the edge of the frame. I haven't noticed this so far in my shooting but I will go back later tonight and show some crops from my copy.
The 50 MP will blow away your vario-sonnar at larger apertures and is also a faster lens and does macro.

I don't understand all you guys getting the 50 MP and then looking and jumping to other focal lengths like 35 and 100 (snowboarder) just because the 50 focal length is not your favorite.Seems like you would get the lens with focal length you shoot most often first.



Feb 08, 2010 at 07:51 PM
Bobu
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p.1 #17 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


wayne seltzer wrote:
Boris,

What about the center sharpness and other parts of the frame beside the far corners and edges of the fram? I bet the 50 MP beats it there.Why not present the whole story in a lens comparison? If you look at other zeiss prime mtf's like the 35, 21, they fall off in the corners. 85 and 100 don't. Looks like from the mtf the 50 MP falls off sharply at the edge of the frame. I haven't noticed this so far in my shooting but I will go back later tonight and show some crops from my copy.
The
...Show more

Thanks Wayne for the answer. The center sharpness and contrast of the 50MP is great. The contrast is much better than that of the 35-70. But since I want to use this lens mainly for landscapa shots I want sharp corners. Even at 5.6 the extreme corners are not sharp. The corners of my 21mm Distagon and my 100MP are wide open better than the corners of the 50MP at f/4.0.
And you are right I'm jumping between different focal lenght. The reason is, I really love the my lenses in the 21-24mm range (for example the 21mm Distagon) and my lenses in the range 85-100mm (for example the 100 MP). 50mm is not at all my favorite focal length, but the gap between 24mm and 100mm is to big, I need something in between. I once had a Canon 24-70L and was not satisfied with the sharpness. I sold it and bought the Zeiss 3.4/35-70mm. Good lens, but too low contrast for my taste, not the best bokeh and I don't like the handling (for example turning the filter when I change the focus). Next thing I tried was the 50MP, hoping to get something comparable to the 21mm Distagon and the 100MP. If the 35/2.0 doesn't work I will keep my 35-70mm and wait for something new. I hope this explanation makes sense to you.

Boris



Feb 08, 2010 at 08:09 PM
Toothwalker
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p.1 #18 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


Bobu wrote:
Thanks philber (and fluffybug), sounds like I should try the 2.0/35mm instead.
Boris


Then you get lateral color instead of soft corners.



Feb 08, 2010 at 08:16 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #19 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


Bobu wrote:
Thanks Wayne for the answer. The center sharpness and contrast of the 50MP is great. The contrast is much better than that of the 35-70. But since I want to use this lens mainly for landscapa shots I want sharp corners. Even at 5.6 the extreme corners are not sharp. The corners of my 21mm Distagon and my 100MP are wide open better than the corners of the 50MP at f/4.0.
And you are right I'm jumping between different focal lenght. The reason is, I really love the my lenses in the 21-24mm range (for example the 21mm Distagon) and my
...Show more

Thanks for your reply and that makes sense. I hope you like the 35/2 which I also have and love for landscapes. Some people also use the 50 MP for landscape panoramas, for which the softer edges and corners could be eliminated.



Feb 08, 2010 at 08:36 PM
Mirek Elsner
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p.1 #20 · Zeiss 2.0/50mm MP ZE


This is upper left corner from 21mp from my copy of the 50MP@f4, actual pixels. Default LR sharpening (25), no output sharpening. Handheld shot at 1/125. It is really just 100 pixels or so out of 21MP and it should not be difficult to crop it if it really is a big deal. I am not sure if any other 50 would do much better. Again, this is 1/3 - 1/2 of an inch in a corner of 13x19 and unless somebody examines it very carefully, I don't think it would show up. I am not going to print it to prove that though.










Feb 08, 2010 at 08:48 PM
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