Leica 28 v ZF25 ?
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johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

While my Leica Elmarit-r 28mm (e55/v2) was away for CLA i aquired a Zeiss ZF 25mm/2.8.

The Leica is famous for being 'probably the best 28mm slr lens ever', the ZF25 is maybe more under-stated.

So when the Leica returned after it's pampering at Leica Solms, I tested both side to side (they are close-ish in focal length terms).

The Leica was tested on Novoflex and Leitax adapters, the ZF25 tested on a Rayqual adapter.

Camera was 5d2 focus by liveview at 10X mag, remote cable and mirror lock.
These are all at f2.8

Firstly the complete images in order Leica/Leitax, Leica/Novoflex then ZF25/rayqual.

I must add that the Leica/Novoflex shots were performed on a different day than the other 2, so the framing a light are a little off.



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

Now centre crops (around 65%)

R28 leitax, R28 novoflex, ZF25 Rayqual.
All again at 2.8



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

Now right hand side crops (still at 2.8)

R28 leitax
R28 Novoflex
ZF25 Rayqual



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

And lastly top-right crops (f2.8)

R28 Leitax
R28 Novoflex
ZF25 Rayqual



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

Needless to say that both lenses are stunning in all areas at f5.6 and above, but given the Leica 28's reputation for awesome performance at f2.8 I was surprised to see the ZF25 keep up in terms of edge performance.

The Leica seems to be rendering more information in the brickwork in the centre crop.

Both seems to have some vignetting and a touch of distortion.

In terms of my line-up I think the ZF25 fits in nicely with my ZE21, ZE35 and ZE50 lenses and the extreme close focus can be interesting.

I think the Leica can be limted by adapters and it's been mentioned here before that the R28 V2 needs some fastidious adapter tuning to get the best performance.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7152
Country: Thailand

There must be something wrong with your ZF 25. Where are the blurry borders and corners? Your lens must be defective

Thanks for the comparison. Very interesting!



martyn.
Registered: Jul 29, 2007
Total Posts: 324
Country: United Kingdom

Thanks John, I am looking to add a wider ZF.2 to my bag, and have been doing extensive research into the qualities of the 25 / 2.8.

Your results tie in with what I have been finding when looking at full size images taken using the lens, I had struggled to find images that replicated the faults that I kept reading about on various 'testing' sites.



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 10309
Country: United States

edwardkaraa wrote:
There must be something wrong with your ZF 25. Where are the blurry borders and corners? Your lens must be defective

Thanks for the comparison. Very interesting!


Indeed, it looks very good. I would be curious to see these areas at 100% crops. Things might look a bit more blurry.



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

Just to add some more 'real world' shooting (who shoots wide lenses wide open anyways), here are some crops at f5.6.

These are Leica 28 on Leitax



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

And the ZF25/Rayqual combo at f5.6



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

Tariq Gibran wrote:
edwardkaraa wrote:
There must be something wrong with your ZF 25. Where are the blurry borders and corners? Your lens must be defective

Thanks for the comparison. Very interesting!


Indeed, it looks very good. I would be curious to see these areas at 100% crops. Things might look a bit more blurry.


I used to look at 100% crops on my 5D but with the 5D2 100% seems too much, maybe thats just my view though.

I can post some 100% or maybe 75% crops if you want to see them.



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

OK, so here are 100% crops of right edge at f2.8

R28 Leitax
R28 Novoflex
ZF25 Rayqual



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4944
Country: Germany

I like how the Leica shots look cleaner because the lateral CA is better controlled in them. In my short experience with the ZF25 I noticed too that there is some LaCA.

Have you compared them at shorter focus distances too? The Zeiss will start to show its huge field curvature there.



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2449
Country: United Kingdom

I've not tested the close-range abilities head to head.
In my quest for a 28mm-ish lens i've managed to aquire a Nikon 28mm f2.8 ais, which i love the performance of in terms of close-up shots.

My 28ish collection has been growing and will soon be culled to clear some space.
I have:

Oly 28/2.0 - lots of marks on the front element. Very fun to use close-up and wide open.

Oly 28/2.8 - My first Oly 28 bought at a camera fair for about 30quid. Pretty good stopped down to around f11.

Oly 28/3.5 - Bought after reading that the 3.5 is supposed to be better than the 2.8, another bargain buy from Ebay this time. Again good closed down

Leica Elmarit-R 28/2.8 e55 - Bought to try and find the ultimate 28mm lens, nice rendering, good contrast and lovely colours. Has been a real trial to get the best performance from it. I've tried Leitax with various shims, Novoflex and ended up sending it to Leica Solms for CLA where they fixed the focus guide.

Nikon 28/2.8 Ais - Bought on ebay at a bargain price to mess around with the close-focus. Very nice lens, great to use close-up with surprisingly nice bokeh for a wide. Decent performance closed down too.

Zeiss ZF 25/2.8 - Since getting the ZE21, ZE35 and ZE50 I was curious about the ZF25 performance. Various folks here have very good things to say about it. As i'm using it on an adapter, the premium for ZF.2 does not really make much sense and as such I went for a moderately priced ZF version. Not had it long enough to get a really good opinion on it, but so far I like the slightly wider view, great contrast and colour and very fun to use at the really close focus distance.

In the past I also had the C/Y 28/2.8 AE but when I went digital and got a 5D it would not clear the mirror so I sold it. I would consider getting one again because stopped down it's stellar.



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 10309
Country: United States

johnahill wrote:
Tariq Gibran wrote:
edwardkaraa wrote:
There must be something wrong with your ZF 25. Where are the blurry borders and corners? Your lens must be defective

Thanks for the comparison. Very interesting!


Indeed, it looks very good. I would be curious to see these areas at 100% crops. Things might look a bit more blurry.


I used to look at 100% crops on my 5D but with the 5D2 100% seems too much, maybe thats just my view though.

I can post some 100% or maybe 75% crops if you want to see them.



The 100% crops interest me because they show what to expect at very large enlargements. Thanks for posting them.



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 10309
Country: United States

johnahill wrote:

Zeiss ZF 25/2.8 - Since getting the ZE21, ZE35 and ZE50 I was curious about the ZF25 performance. Various folks here have very good things to say about it. As i'm using it on an adapter, the premium for ZF.2 does not really make much sense and as such I went for a moderately priced ZF version. Not had it long enough to get a really good opinion on it, but so far I like the slightly wider view, great contrast and colour and very fun to use at the really close focus distance.

In the past I also had the C/Y 28/2.8 AE but when I went digital and got a 5D it would not clear the mirror so I sold it. I would consider getting one again because stopped down it's stellar.


I'm impressed by the wide open performance of your ZF 25.

Just anecdotal, but I have owned two copies of the C/Y 28 2.8 MM. The first one was amazingly sharp wide open in the center but the corners really never sharpened up critically. It also suffered pretty bad CA in tricky lighting. My current version sharpens up nicely in the corners between 5.6 - 8 and does not quite suffer CA near the degree of the first version. I really think it's somewhat luck of the draw with many lenses - even Zeiss and Leica - when going for that nth degree of performance.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7152
Country: Thailand

AhamB wrote:
I like how the Leica shots look cleaner because the lateral CA is better controlled in them. In my short experience with the ZF25 I noticed too that there is some LaCA.

Have you compared them at shorter focus distances too? The Zeiss will start to show its huge field curvature there.


I prefer the Leica shots too, they look a bit more lively, but they do show more CA than the Zeiss in some areas. Performance of both is excellent though.



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 10309
Country: United States

edwardkaraa wrote:
AhamB wrote:
I like how the Leica shots look cleaner because the lateral CA is better controlled in them. In my short experience with the ZF25 I noticed too that there is some LaCA.

Have you compared them at shorter focus distances too? The Zeiss will start to show its huge field curvature there.


I prefer the Leica shots too, they look a bit more lively, but they do show more CA than the Zeiss in some areas. Performance of both is excellent though.


I briefly owned the Leica 28 2.8 v2 and was surprised to see it exhibit CA when I tested it at 2.8 and 4 off axis. Contrast and color was amazing but I expected the lens would have been better corrected for CA.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4944
Country: Germany

edwardkaraa wrote:
I prefer the Leica shots too, they look a bit more lively, but they do show more CA than the Zeiss in some areas.


Can you give an example where you see that? When I compare the crops I see more CA in each of the Zeiss shots, anywhere I look. I can't really find any CA in the Leica crops except the 100% ones.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7152
Country: Thailand

AhamB wrote:
edwardkaraa wrote:
I prefer the Leica shots too, they look a bit more lively, but they do show more CA than the Zeiss in some areas.


Can you give an example where you see that? When I compare the crops I see more CA in each of the Zeiss shots, anywhere I look. I can't really find any CA in the Leica crops except the 100% ones.


I might have been wrong on this. The only place I can see is the white door frame in the first shot, but it is not in the Zeiss shot. :~



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