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Ok, I'm doing this against better judgement. One should not come to conclusions from just one or few examples - you need to take hundreds of pictures to get a feel for the lens and you also need to learn it. This is especially important for Zeiss glass that is not as neutral as Canon glass but has a distinct rendering style. Work with it and you get fantastic shots, work against it and you'll get worse shots than with the Canon.
Anyway, with that in mind, here is a direct comparison. Tripod, liveview, manual focus, shutter release and timer. The focus was on that round extruding thing with the red/blue flower painted on it. It was shot in AV mode with live view metering at the focus point. I avoided manual mode for this as the lenses show very different amount of vignetting.
It was converted from RAW in lightroom with standard settings and reduced in size in photoshop using the same script.
There is a slight difference in exposure & FOV, but I did not want to do modify the images. You should still get the idea. Open the images in separate tabs and flip between them:
Canon 100mm @ f/2.8
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2.8
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2
I think the difference is pretty clear, but as I said this should not be taken as proof of any kind. Look especially at the extruding circular parts at the top. If you look closely you'll see that the Canon lens is very sharp but the micro contrast really sucks compared to the Zeiss.
Edit: The first Zeiss link was wrong (it pointed to the f/2 version) if you looked at the images before this edit comment, look again.
Edit2: tollefsonmw: Thanks! And you are quite correct - I never meant that ladybug to be a substantial comparison. It was just the last time I used the Canon 100. Unfortunately the bug flew away a second after the image was taken so I was not able to get a better one. The only interesting comparison there are the colors.
Edited on Jun 21, 2010 at 03:57 PM · View previous versions