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Archive 2010 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2
  
 
jfreak
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p.1 #1 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


I got my zeiss 100mm f2 this weekend and I did some test shots to compare it to my canon 100mm L. To my disbelief the canon, which I used to feel has a dull image and so never used it for tight portraits of my son, shots are indistinguishable from zeiss shots. I have zeiss 35mm as well and with it I very well see the color pop and contrast as everyone talks about for zeiss lens. This zeiss 100mm I felt is more strong lens in the zeiss lineup to display the zeiss look. Everywhere I read about zeiss 100mm f2 the impression is that it is the best lens in 100mm focal length. I, however, am not that impressed and would consider selling it. I will take some more comparative shots and if I reach on the same conclusion then this zeiss is up for sale soon.

The canon has only one drawback, which is f2.8 but the advantages with it like the IS, autofocus and 1:1 macro, will outweigh for me. I will post the comparison shot soon my website as soon as I get some time. So far I am feeling a little disappointed.

Anyone else to share their experience on these two lenses.



Jun 21, 2010 at 02:11 PM
denoir
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p.1 #2 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Edit: To summarize the performed test that is distributed across this thread.


Test Series A:
Canon 100mm @ f/2.8
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2.8
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2

Test Series B:
Canon 100mm @ f/2.8
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2.8
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2




=========================================
Seriously? I have both and there is no comparison. I mean IMO the difference between a 18-135 kit lens and the 100L is smaller than the difference between the 100L and the 100MP. The Canon 100L colors are dull, bokeh mediocre and while it is sharp, it's not nearly in the same league as the 100MP. I've completely stopped using the 100L - the only reason why I'm keeping it is that I could in theory sometime want a 1:1 macro. Not likely that it will happen though.

The last time I used both was shooting a ladybug. After some shots with the 100MP I switched to the 100L to get closer..

100MP:




100L:


Look at the colors on the ladybug. See that metallic specular look on the 100MP that is so dulled on the 100L? These images were all taken within three or four minutes and the light was identical.

Here are a few other 100MP pictures that there is no way you could get with a 100L:






































Edited on Jun 21, 2010 at 10:06 PM · View previous versions



Jun 21, 2010 at 02:33 PM
philber
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p.1 #3 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Fine shots, Luka!


Jun 21, 2010 at 02:37 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #4 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Is the Zeiss 100/2 a Contax or Z* version - macro-planer? What body are you using?


Jun 21, 2010 at 02:41 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #5 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Not that I'm a disbeliever, but the shot of the lady bug with the 100L doesn't seem to have good focus and looks a little under exposed. For the few of you who have both the 100L and the 100 MP and can post a direct comparison (i.e. same scene)... that would be interesting (to me anyway).

If the 100 MP is all of the 50 MP and then some I could hardly believe that the 100L would best it in terms of IQ; but I still think a direct comparison would be neat.



Jun 21, 2010 at 02:43 PM
jfreak
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p.1 #6 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


These are some amazing shots. I am still wondering why am I lacking the same colors and contrast in my pic. I know what I want to see and I am sure it has to be true that zeiss 100mm outshines the canon L but I haven't so far. Could it be the zeiss lens copy I have? If so how do I know. The 35mm zeiss I have shows better colors than zeiss 100mm. I don't want to sound like a paranoid and freak talking about colors and contrast but I know it is not what it should be. Any suggestion to settle this convincingly for my own good?

@nMontang : I am using ZEISS 100MM F/2 ZE MAKRO-PLANAR T* CANON EF on 1d MKIV

Edited on Jun 21, 2010 at 02:56 PM · View previous versions



Jun 21, 2010 at 02:47 PM
denoir
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p.1 #7 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Thanks jfreak.

Thanks Philippe, I think you've seen most of these already

Anyway, a couple at larger focusing distance just for good measure:







































Jun 21, 2010 at 02:50 PM
denoir
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p.1 #8 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


jfreak wrote:
These are some amazing shots. I am still wondering why am I lacking the same colors and contrast in my pic. I know what I want to see and I am sure it has to be true that zeiss 100mm outshines the canon L but I haven't so far. Could it be the zeiss lens copy I have? If so how do I know. The 35mm zeiss I have shows better colors than zeiss 100mm. I don't want to sound like a paranoid and freak talking about colors and contrast but I know it is not what it should be.
...Show more

It's difficult to say. You are using a crop camera - perhaps that could have something to do with it, but I find that difficult to believe.

For me it's exactly the reverse - the 35/2 shows more depth and gives a more 3D appearance while the 100MP give me somewhat better colors and greater sharpness. As a rule I don't color correct anything in PP when using Zeiss so the colors you see in the images I posted should be unmodified.



Jun 21, 2010 at 02:56 PM
denoir
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p.1 #9 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Jacob D wrote:
Not that I'm a disbeliever, but the shot of the lady bug with the 100L doesn't seem to have good focus and looks a little under exposed. For the few of you who have both the 100L and the 100 MP and can post a direct comparison (i.e. same scene)... that would be interesting (to me anyway).

If the 100 MP is all of the 50 MP and then some I could hardly believe that the 100L would best it in terms of IQ; but I still think a direct comparison would be neat.


Yes, the 100L ladybug is not entirely in focus (shallow DOF, this is at MFD, f/2.8). Don't compare sharpness - only colors in those images.

Sure, I can take a comparison shot - give me a few minutes.



Jun 21, 2010 at 02:58 PM
jfreak
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p.1 #10 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


For 35mm I generalized about color and contrast to say that it is better and what I want but on finer note I would say the same for 35mm. I can see the 3D look in some shots. I guess I need to take a lot of shots out with 100/f2. The colors of flowers on your pics are what I wanted to see. In fact on one shot of flowers I felt the canon gave me more saturated colors then Zeiss although the color separation seems better on zeiss while canon seem to be mixing the colors on the transitions parts in the pic.


Jun 21, 2010 at 03:01 PM
 

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tollefsonmw
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p.1 #11 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


denoir;
I appreciate the beautiful pictures but you are comparing apples to oranges, different shots, and its hard to generalize from the one (slightly out of focus) shot with the 100L vs all of the great shots with the 100MP.

Compare apples to apples and I will become a believer. Thanks for the great images.
MT



Jun 21, 2010 at 03:32 PM
denoir
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p.1 #12 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


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



Jun 21, 2010 at 03:33 PM
jfreak
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p.1 #13 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Here is the flower shots I was talking about
Canon 100L as shot..

Canon 100L at 100%

Zeiss 100/f2 as shot

Zeiss 100/f2 at 100%


What is your impression?


Edited on Jun 24, 2010 at 02:47 AM · View previous versions



Jun 21, 2010 at 03:56 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #14 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Thanks for posting those.


Jun 21, 2010 at 03:58 PM
denoir
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p.1 #15 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


jfreak wrote:
Here is the flower shots I was talking about

What is your impression?
canon as shot
canon 100%
Zeiss as shot
Zeiss 100%


That you need to sharpen your resized photos before and after resizing. I use an iterative approach where I sharpen and then resize in four steps. Otherwise you are destroying the fine detail and it will be difficult to tell the two apart in terms of sharpness.

Second, you are shooting at f/18 which means that you are seriously diffraction limited on a crop sensor. I don't like to go above f/16 on a full frame and it is less sensitive to diffraction than a crop sensor. So you are losing detail and color precision.

As for the 100% crops, the Zeiss wins hands down by any metric. Much better color separation and micro contrast. The resolution seems somewhat better as well. It may not seem dramatic in a small 100% crop but if you preserve that detail when scaling it down to viewable size then you'll see the impact.



Jun 21, 2010 at 04:13 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #16 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


In any event, yes it does take more than a few comparisons to draw any conclusion. I had done some comparison type shots with the 50 MP and at first thought that for the most part my 35L would cover it (not talking "macro" stuff here)... but after taking it out for practical use I realized a significant difference in the color and contrast right out of the camera with the Zeiss, which I prefer over the more-neutral images of the Canon.

From what I've seen of the 100L macro so far it appears to have the typical Canon look; which isn't necessarily a bad thing if that's what you prefer.



Jun 21, 2010 at 04:21 PM
jfreak
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p.1 #17 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


That you need to sharpen your resized photos before and after resizing. I use an iterative approach where I sharpen and then resize in four steps. Otherwise you are destroying the fine detail and it will be difficult to tell the two apart in terms of sharpness.

Second, you are shooting at f/18 which means that you are seriously diffraction limited on a crop sensor. I don't like to go above f/16 on a full frame and it is less sensitive to diffraction than a crop sensor. So you are losing detail and color precision.

As for the 100% crops, the Zeiss
...Show more

I did not want to alter the images in any way. The resolution may be little better because of the little difference in FOV. I do see the difference in colors now looking at it again. But it still seems not as much or may be I am just expecting too much. But I do feel I need to take more shots than one or two as I have so far to see the difference really. Thanks for your replies on this thread denoir and everyone else; much appreciated.

Edited on Jun 21, 2010 at 04:24 PM · View previous versions



Jun 21, 2010 at 04:23 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #18 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


With the Zeiss costing $1,000 more than the Canon w/ auto & IS - that Canon is looking pretty good - PP, sharpness and colors are relative - bokeh will of course be subjective. Post this over on the Canon Forum for opposing "point of view".


Jun 21, 2010 at 04:24 PM
jfreak
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p.1 #19 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


Not to offend anyone but why does the cost ever come in the discussion of the quality of pic comparison for two lenses. We are not talking about the cost effectiveness of the lenses. It is for the pic you get out of the lens. I guess if one wants to know what is better for this much budget than it is ok to talk about the cost but otherwise I feel the issue of cost is not part of the deal. I agree with the IS and autofocus as valid points.


Jun 21, 2010 at 04:29 PM
denoir
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p.1 #20 · Canon 100mm IS L vs Zeiss 100mm f2


jfreak wrote:
I did not want to alter the images in any way.


Ah, but you see when you resize it, you are altering it. Bicubic resize averages for each pixel the surrounding pixels, smearing the image. So it's not a question of altering or not altering - it's a question in which way you alter it.


I do see the difference in colors now looking at it again. But it still seems not as much or may be I am just expecting too much. But I do feel I need to take more shots than one or two as I have so far to see the difference really. Thanks for your replies on this thread denoir and everyone else; much appreciated.

No problem. And yes, taking more pictures is a good idea.



Jun 21, 2010 at 04:35 PM
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