Upload & Sell: Off
Hi Everyone! Sorry for posting nothing for a while... Been traveling a bit and other things occupying my time. Happened to be in the NYC area the last couple days and stopped by the PhotoPlus Expo. There were a few things I wanted to see, but the number one priority was to have a look at the new Zeiss Distagon 35/1.4 ZM. Zeiss had a couple on display for actual hands-on use and I spent a few minutes running it through a few tests on my M240. Unfortunately I didn't have access to a Sony a7/R/S body to also try it on...
Initial impression is that it is somewhat large, but it's not gigantic, IMO. And it's lighter than its size implies, just as the spec sheet indicates that it's lighter than the CV35/1.2.
Focus feel was excellent - extremely smooth. And the throw seemed decent. Viewfinder blockage is there... it's creeping into the bottom right quarter of the frame, but should be manageable.
I managed to knock my M240's rangefinder out of alignment a few days ago, so had to rely on the EVF for critical focus. But in that respect, the Distagon seems to deliver very nicely. It's very sharp near or far wide open, with a hint of SA that cleans up a stop down. It also seems to be very sharp across the frame with a flat field of focus already from near wide open. Couldn't see any wavy field curvature typical of Leica glass. I could sometimes make out faint onion rings in the out of focus specular highlights... we'll see how bad this is in real life, but I suspect it probably won't be a major concern.
Difficult to judge rendering character with the limited time and location, but it seemed quite neutral. Double edged blur can appear in some situations and the blur balls towards the very edge of the frame sometimes take on odd, squarish shapes.
But so far, I'm very enthusiastic about the lens and plan to get one.
I also visited the Leica booth and the guy there very reluctantly allowed me to handle the 28 Lux, which was in the special edition stainless steel set... In this iteration, it's very dense/heavy, but seemed typical of the 21/24 Lux style of construction and design. Unfortunately I wasn't permitted to try it on any cameras... therefore couldn't tell how bad viewfinder blockage was or get any actual image samples...
Here are a few web-rez snaps from the ZM. I'll see about posting a link to some full-rez versions in the near future... I believe these were all wide open.