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Archive 2011 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please
  
 
dj dunzie
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


Hi folks

I'm looking at picking up ONE of these three lenses very shortly. I've been sitting on the fence on a wider Zeiss lens to complement my 100mm and 50mm Zeiss lenses for some time now, and have been torn between the 25/f2.8 and 28/f2. Now I am starting to second guess myself again. I got some great thoughts from some of you in the Fall between the 25 and 28, but now I'm starting to think the 35/f2 is very well-liked and maybe the better fit for me.

What I would LOVE to hear is opinions from you fine folks who have had the benefit of owning or shooting one or all of these on which would be the best fit, mostly for landscape and general scenery work, where shooting wide open and very close focus aren't necessarily a priority, but to be able to mix in some people photography and even occasional portrait work would be great.

Samples would also be HIGHLY appreciated.

As a secondary question... for those of you that recommend the 35/f2... will I be better off selling the 50/f1.4 because the 35mm is a closer FL, and having a great 2-body 100/35 combo will likely negate the need for the 50?

Thanks in advance for any help you can lend!



Mar 04, 2011 at 10:10 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


I can't truly help you here, no one can

I can tell you my logic though. 50 is my favorite focal length, and I am in the market for a ZF.2 50MP. I already have the 21 and 100, so the 50 will give me a nice split. However, I have on a couple of occasions borrowed the 35/2, and I like it very much. I feel that there is enough difference between the 35 and 50 focal lengths for me to own and use both. However, I am not a 24/25/28 person. I get bored/lost in there and prefer to jump straight to the 21. I was tempted by the 28/2 after seeing some of Hauxon's shots though, but his style is very different than mine, so mine would probably suck.

From what I have read (and I have no experience), the 25 is not that great, and may be up for a redesign. The 28/2 has been called an artist's tool, and is probably in the same category as the 50/1.4 and 85/1.4, i.e. possibly somewhat soft wide open, but with nice rendering, and very sharp stopped down. Personally I prefer lenses which are sharp wide open, which is why I have chosen the way I have. I think there is some field curvature story with the 28/2 (and possibly the 25/2.8) which you should look into before deciding, since it could influence your work.

35/100 could be a very nice set. 25/100 or 28/100 is a very large gap, and you might want to keep the 50 then.

Edited on Mar 04, 2011 at 10:23 PM · View previous versions



Mar 04, 2011 at 10:17 PM
HerbChong
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


since they are different focal lengths, that is what matters first. if it's too wide or not wide enough, it's not the right lens.

Herb...



Mar 04, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Mirek Elsner
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


I have only 28/2. It is my most favorite lens right now. It is relatively small (for Zeiss ZE lens anyways). It is very sharp. Some people complain about field curvature, but it hasn't been a problem for me because I usually don't shoot brick walls and resolution charts. It exhibits purple fringing, sometimes quite strong actually. But it can be removed in raw developers.





?zz=1



Mar 04, 2011 at 10:25 PM
Makten
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


I think you should sort out which focal lengths you want and need, and then choose lenses. Especially since you aim for stopped down shooting.

My main trinity is the ZF 35/2, 50/1.4 and 100/2. The 35 and 50 renders quite differently, so I don't think they "interfere" at all. Had I owned the 50/2 MP, the 35 would probably feel too close though, since they are more of the same sort.

Edit: I seldom take all three with me. Either the 50 or 35 alone, or the 35 and 100 as a nice combo.



Mar 04, 2011 at 10:27 PM
cyra
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


I'd say it depends on how many lenses you ultimately want to own (or carry with you).
There are several possible combinations. I own a 25 and found I matched very nicely with the 85 for landscape. 100 mm is maybe a bit to far away and 35mm would match it better.

For a three lens combo 25, 50 and 100 are spaced out nicely, that will be my 3-combo now, since I just received a 50 MP a couple of days ago
21, 35 and 100 will work just as well. It just depends on what focal lenghts you prefer.

If you will end up with 4 lenses 21, 35, 50 and 100 will be good set.

I started with the 25, then got a 85, then replaced my Nikon 105 Macro with the 100, and just now couldn't resist a good offer for a used 50 MP (they are rather rare) although I rather wanted the 35.
I might replace the 25 by 21 and 35, we will see.

The 25 is rather versatile, and I really like the focal length since it is not to extreme but a lot wider then the 35 which I rather consider a wide "normal" lens then a wide angle. I find it a very good walk around lens for landscape.
- but it has a few limitations. When you shoot against the light it can produce some CA (purple and cyan). Also when shot against the light, the Bokeh can be a bit harsh at apertures around 4 and even 5,6. This is mostly true for certain distances in the mid range, say 1-3 m, not so much at distance or very close range.

For landscape sharp from front to back f8 works best. There it really shines.
It is very sharp from 2,8 on at wider distances (from 3m or so on).

At close distance it is rather soft at 2,8, but given the very close focusing abilities this is rather a good feature than a bug, since it creates a dreamy look.
Also field curvature helps in the very close range to separate the objekt from the background and create nice oof bokeh. For landscape field curvature is no issue. When in doubt one can always frame a bit wider and crop a bit, so the worst sections of the corners are cut out.

The 35 is certainly an easier lens from what I gather, then either 25 or 28 are. The 21 is a more spectacular lens then either 25 or 28.
I have never really shot people with the 25, so I can't really comment on that kind of use. But I don't think it can be used very well for portraits due to distortion, I guess 35mm would be the better FL for that (and 50 and 85mm).

The most limiting factor with that lens for me is that it's f2,8. This limits the amount of soft out of focus area. If it had 2,0 I'd probabely like it even more. Therfor I might at some point get the 35 instead, or wait for a newer faster version. Over here I find, that there are a few to be found at the bay right now, maybe people waiting for the newer version are dumping the 2,8? You might get a used one and try out for yoursef.

Mostly the 35 is valued over the 25 and 28, but it seems that few people have actually tried it. Hope this helps a bit.





Edited on Mar 06, 2011 at 09:33 PM · View previous versions



Mar 05, 2011 at 03:58 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


For landscape work, the sharpest one across the frame is the 25. I never tried the 28 though, but I have first hand experience with the 25 and 35. IMO one should have both. The 25 and 28 are too close in FOV since the 25 is really a 26. From the lens characteristics I would think the 25 is more like a landscape lens while the 28 is more suited for reportage.


Mar 05, 2011 at 04:12 PM
dj dunzie
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


That is excellent feedback all, very much appreciated.

I guess I'm concerned that if I get the 35, the 50 will become somewhat redundant and neglected, where the 25 or 28 might still have me wanting to keep the 50 around. I have to do some testing to see whether I think the 35 would be wide enough for my tastes and intended use.

I guess I'm also intrigued by the fact that the 28 has better results at closer distances because of the floating element design. Maybe that's the right choice right now. I just can't help but think a two-body 35 and 100 combo might be the ideal though. I'll play around with some focal lengths.

Seems like most have good things to say about all 3 lenses...



Mar 05, 2011 at 04:46 PM
j.liam
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


I've owned the ZF 28 and 35 (at different times). Very different beasts so you might consider renting them for a week and learning about each of the candidates before committing to the purchase. The 28 is trickier to master than the 35; strong vignetting, field curvature particularly wide-open & at close range are issues that may or may not be factors or advantages in your style of shooting.

Zeiss is releasing a 35/1.4 later this month and a redesigned 25 later in the year. It might be worth the wait to see what these offer before deciding.



Mar 05, 2011 at 04:58 PM
philber
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


Dj, your 35 will not replace your 50. Not only are the focal lengths quite different, but these two lenses have quite a different rendering. The 35 will look, up to a point like your 100MP in 35mm focal length. Übersharp at all distances, including MFD, slightly harsh, detail oriented rendering. The 50 f:1.4 is not very sharp when both at MFD and wide open. And when it is very sharp, at f:2.8 and beyond, its rendering is more painterly, with slightly softer contrast and colours. Not the same use IMHO.
The 28 is more specialised in its use than the 35. It can exhibit unpleasant amounts of CA, mine is lower in contrast and saturation than my other Zeiss, which makes it very useful in mid-day glare. That said, it is a very sharp lens, with a very useful FL, making a very good trio with the 50 f:1.4 and the 100 MP.
The 25 is not the most loved of Zeiss lenses. Zeiss is redesigning it, reason for which they never issued it in ZE form, only in ZF. I have the C/Y version. It can be amazingly sharp, but only when substantially stopped down.
Basically, neither the 25 nor the 28 can hold a candle to the 21, and the 35 is IMHO clearly the second best of the lot, a very good indeed second.
For reference, I own a 28, owned a 35 for over a year, own a 50 f:1.4 and a 100MP.
Hope this helps



Mar 05, 2011 at 08:10 PM
 

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ken.vs.ryu
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


2,8/28 + 3,4/35-70


Mar 05, 2011 at 09:03 PM
Gary Clennan
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


Hey DJ. You have got some good advice here from the other members. I have the 21/25/35/50MP and love them all. I would really just try to pick the FL that would meet your needs. For my shooting style, I actually ended up using the 35 more just because I use that FL more - not because the 25 is a poor performer. I really like the ZF35 and would recommend it to you - if the FL is good. A couple recent examples...








  NIKON D700    0.0 mm f/0.0 lens    35mm    f/2.0    1/640s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  NIKON D700    0.0 mm f/0.0 lens    35mm    f/2.8    1/500s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  NIKON D700    0.0 mm f/0.0 lens    35mm    f/2.0    1/100s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Mar 06, 2011 at 12:40 AM
carlitos
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


To me these 3 lenses are completely different. For the subject matter I'm interested in shooting, wide open is normally not necessary. And I tend to go out with only 1 lens, forcing myself to adapt to that lens's point of view. I use each lens in more or less in its optimum f-stop range. And, yes I prefer these lenses in their optimum f-stop range over the comparable Nikkor AI-S lenses. All are about the same sharpness, but the rendering and perspective is different. The 25 I have only rented, but it was very sharp. And for the time I had it, shooting into the sun made for some interesting landscape compostions especially in snowy winter conditions . The difference between the 28 versus the 35 is that I get greater depth of field with the the 28 with more open shadows. The 35 gives me a narrower depth of field with more contrast. The 25 gives me even greater depth of field. "Bokeh" is not really part of my photographic vocabulary, but sharpness across the frame is. Have come close to buying the 25/2.8, but I think I'll wait for the new 25/2.

I am wondering about the new 35/1.4 and whether it will be less contrasty than the 35/2 and more like the 28/2.



Mar 06, 2011 at 01:48 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


35, 50 and 100 are plenty far apart, to have them all.
I like my Z* 21, 35/2, and 50/2MP, and CZ 100/2 for normal landscape.
For narrower DOF type landscape I like my Contax N 50/1.4 and CZ 35/1.4.
For portraits I like my Contax N 85.1.4, CZ 35/1.4, Sony/Zeiss ZA 135/1.8, and Minolta Rokkor 58/1.2 and my latest lens , the Nikon 24G/1.4.
You might want to wait if you are are thinking about getting a 35 like people have mentioned above, since there is the new 35/1.4.
Really depends on what focal lengths you really prefer and type of shooting you do most.




Mar 06, 2011 at 03:28 AM
dj dunzie
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


Wow I gotta say this forum is honestly a wealth of great Zeiss knowledge, and I appreciate you all taking the time to try to help out a lost fella.

So what I'm reading is that going with the 35 won't necessarily mean the 50 becomes redundant, although like Makten I doubt honestly I would find many opportunities to take all 3 out in the 35/50/100 combo, and instead do exactly what he suggests and either 35/50 or 35/100. I love the sounds of the 35 rendering more like the 100, with more detail and microcontrast "punch". It's still wide enough that I doubt I'd miss too many shot opportunities for being to long. So that's the way I'm leaning now. I have a 14-24 Nikon that is really good for super-wide, and honestly hardly ever use it. I'm thinking that the 35 might be very versatile.

Gary and Mirek, thank you for the images... very much appreciated. That 35 looks like it's along the lines of what I'm aiming for.



Mar 06, 2011 at 03:50 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


Phil, just one remark about your post. The Contax and ZF/S versions of the 25 are quite different. At infinity, the ZF is sharp across the frame down to the extreme corners, even wide open, as I have shown on several occasions. It's weakness is at short distances, hence the redesign, but for landscapes, the lens is unbeatable.

philber wrote:
Dj, your 35 will not replace your 50. Not only are the focal lengths quite different, but these two lenses have quite a different rendering. The 35 will look, up to a point like your 100MP in 35mm focal length. Übersharp at all distances, including MFD, slightly harsh, detail oriented rendering. The 50 f:1.4 is not very sharp when both at MFD and wide open. And when it is very sharp, at f:2.8 and beyond, its rendering is more painterly, with slightly softer contrast and colours. Not the same use IMHO.
The 28 is more specialised in its use than the
...Show more



Mar 06, 2011 at 03:57 AM
Mirek Elsner
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


dj dunzie wrote:
Wow I gotta say this forum is honestly a wealth of great Zeiss knowledge, and I appreciate you all taking the time to try to help out a lost fella.

So what I'm reading is that going with the 35 won't necessarily mean the 50 becomes redundant, although like Makten I doubt honestly I would find many opportunities to take all 3 out in the 35/50/100 combo, and instead do exactly what he suggests and either 35/50 or 35/100. I love the sounds of the 35 rendering more like the 100, with more detail and microcontrast "punch". It's still wide
...Show more

You can also wait a little and get the upcoming 35/1.4. Canon version should be out any day now and Nikon version is expected in April, I believe.

Then I think the 50/1.4 might become redundant.



Mar 06, 2011 at 05:10 AM
cyra
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


here come a few pics with the 25.
My first try to upload and show stuff, so there might be need for improvement...
ZF 25 @2,8

ok, that is a link to a folder at Zeiss images,
still need to work out how to get them showing here



Mar 06, 2011 at 01:42 PM
cyra
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


another attempt
25 @2,8


Edited on Mar 06, 2011 at 02:54 PM · View previous versions



Mar 06, 2011 at 01:46 PM
cyra
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Zeiss 25/28/35 opinions please


ok, figured out how it works, so here are some more.
All ZF 25mm at 2,8 I believe








@f8


Edited on Mar 06, 2011 at 03:01 PM · View previous versions



Mar 06, 2011 at 01:52 PM
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