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I rented the 100/2MP ZF2 from lens rentals and I gotta say that it beats the pants off the 105/2.5 for sharpness at 36MP - especially away from the center and it has a bit less PF at highlights, but does have some LaCA. The 100MP is great for shooting wide open - it doesn't get all that much sharper stopping down (the contrast increases a bit). On a D800 I found my beloved 105/2.5 AIS goes a bit soft in the edges and corners stopped down while the Zeiss, at any aperture, is just about equally sharp across the frame even into the last pixels of the corners. Very very impressive. It also focuses very close (like, 'cause it's a "macro" lens) and has surprisingly pretty decent flare/ghosting resistance. However the 100MP is NOT the end-all-be-all of absolute sharpness as at infinity my 70-200/2.8 AFS at 105mm at f/5.6 is an equal match for the Zeiss, though the zoom just can compare at f/2, f/2.8, or even f/4.
What the Zeiss is NOT includes: compact, lightweight, inexpensive, built-in hood (the metal hood I found to be a bit cumbersome to use and annoyingly loose), half-click/stop aperture reporting to the camera.
The 105/2.5 has it's place, but the two are very different beasts for sure. The 105/2.5 does well as a casual lens (throw it in the bag and go) while with the Zeiss you have to really want to take it someplace due to it's size and weight.
Not sure how this 100MP vs. 105/2.5 thing got started - they both allow for fine images when used to their fullest extent, but are very different beasts for sure.
I think Todd did not notice much difference because he was shooting portraits (so border/edges/corners did not come into play), was using a 12MP camera, I don't recall any high contrast scenes, and perhaps was more attune to color differences than most (especially if artificially lit). He also, like many (myself included) had a sample size of exactly 1 for each lens.
I did not find the color of the Zeiss to be noticeably different than any of my other lenses when shot side-by-side (perhaps I'm not as sensitive to those things). I also did not find the fabled/mythical Zeiss "pop" in colors either.
I shot both in landscape-type situations with a D800 and perhaps that's why I've seen differences.
I got my 105/2.5 for $125 (or something obscene like that) while the 100MP is $1K+. One could argue effectively that for most situations the price difference is not worth it.
Edited on Mar 09, 2013 at 03:24 AM · View previous versions