Zeiss Lens Photos and Discussion
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Toothwalker
Registered: Jan 24, 2009
Total Posts: 1494
Country: Norway

wfrank wrote:
Some really good work last pages.

Toothwalker, really like the car graveyard shots. Where in Sweden did you find that? I remember places like that from youth but those are gone - doomed illegal and therefor removed by official bodies.


It is a place called Bastnäs, south of Töcksfors and only a few km from the Norwegian border. Here is some
history. As you can read, official bodies want to clean this place up too, for the sake of the environment. Don't wait too long



akul
Registered: May 30, 2010
Total Posts: 2698
Country: United States

Carsten, this is a beautiful shot !

carstenw wrote:
Zeiss ZF 35/1.4 wide open:








rirakuma
Registered: Jan 26, 2012
Total Posts: 573
Country: Australia

Lots of nice pics, I particularly like hauxon's waterfall shot



redisburning
Registered: Jul 16, 2011
Total Posts: 1095
Country: United States

oops sorry double posted somehow.



redisburning
Registered: Jul 16, 2011
Total Posts: 1095
Country: United States

Since this is the Zeiss Discussion thread, I want to discuss Zeiss lenses

I am overwhelmingly a ~50mm shooter. I own more of them than some people own total lenses. The current count is 5 and I have owned 10 ADDITIONAL ~50mm lenses. Those 10 were 2 Zeiss, 3 Zuikos, 3 Nikkors, 1 Leica and 1 Rokkor. And don't think I'm done, either.

The previous 'jewl' of my collection, by which I mean the most valuable lens I owned, was the Zeiss 50 Planar ZM, which I bought new shortly after purchasing my Leica M2. I didnt have my own scanner and was still shooting a bit of color film at the time and to be honest since I couldnt evaluate sharpness I was pretty happy with the color handling and flare suppresion, which to that point were the best I had seen.


A shot from my first roll

Things changed for me when I got a film scanner. It's not the fanciest thing in the world but it's served me well for it's price and I've always dumped money into lenses over anything else. When it comes to gear, lenses are my true love. But like I said, the arrival of a film scanner ushered in a completely new way of photographing things for me. It didnt help that I had moved from bustling Boston to borderline rural Texas. But, I went back to developing myself and even using a touch of digital here and there. Which subsequently meant scanning my own film. It may not be a D800, but this was a big step up from Walgreens, lol. But, unfortunately, it was also the beginning of the seed of doubt for me with the ZM50P


An early Scan

The sharpness of the 50 Planar should never really bothered me. Sure you can look at the MTFs and you'll notice that it's 40 lp/mm measurements aren't so great, but it does a great job with contrast at coarser levels. I will admit before I applied the usage of a loupe to my negatives, I had some misconceptions. It certainly showed some good lenses who was the boss at relevant levels. But after a while, it sort of dawned on me that I didn't really like the Planar's contrast presentation and transition to OoF. But I couldn't admit it. It was hard for me to accept I had spent three or four times what I had ever spent on a lens on something that I wasn't 100% happy with. I had been continuously in school for nearly 18 years including going to a graduate school in an expensive city and had never bought such an expensive toy for myself. Sound familiar? I believe the term is cognitive dissonance.


foreground bokeh, the only part of the OoF rendering of the ZM50P I actually liked

What sealed the deal for me was when I purchased an OM 50/2 Macro off KEH. To be honest, I was exceptionally close to purchasing a 60/2.8 Macro Elmarit R, but when I saw the Zuiko for a few dollars less and it was for my other film system I jumped on it since they dont come up for a good price from reputable dealers very frequently. And, sadly, I finally had the lens I wanted. For half what I paid for the Zeiss. What I had was a faster version of my beloved 50/3.5 Zuiko Macro. A lens which has vanquished TWO 55/3.5 Micro-Nikkors and which has some of the most electric bokeh Ive ever seen. You could make a Geico commerical about how much I love the OoF transition of the 50/3.5 Zuiko. But, for me anyway, it's a one aperture lens. F5.6. I use F8 5% of the time, f3.5 1% of the time and f5.6 the entire rest of the time. And while it wasn't as "sharp" as the Zeiss under a loupe, my scans always made me feel like it was sharper. And more 3D. For no money.


I don't feel the ZM50P is weak at reproducing detail, I just don't like HOW it does it

And now, I had that. But it went to F2. And after a few rolls of shooting the Zuiko, I was done with the Zeiss. I tried so hard to like it, but in the end I failed. So, I put it up for sale. And for a while, I thought I was done with Zeiss. I evaluated a few options, you know, mostly the ZF 50P and the C/Y 50P, I took another look at the 60 Elmarit-R and the 50 Summicron-R. But I never could quite convince myself to go for one of those. Sure I would see the occasional shot where it looked amazing, but nothing too much. And so I nearly gave up.


Of all my shots, this is my personal favorite from the ZM50P.

The 50MP has always been a "sort of" interest for me. I like Macros, and I do own quite a few as you can probably tell by now. But I had just sort of forgotten about it since not a lot of people use it on film which is my primary interest. But, being pretty obsessive about lenses, I convinced myself I ought to take a good look at the lens and I noticed that while there are a lot of toolbags who can't post-process at all (hey, Im not necessarily separating myself from them), even they couldn't hide that the 50MP has a pretty special OoF rendering/transition. Of course it is sharp, all Zeiss 50s that are meant to be sharp are sharp. At least where it matters to me. But OoF transition is one of those areas where if you like a specific type you are going to obsess over it. To this day I still believe the 105/2.4 SMC takumar is the finest lens Ive ever used, even though the Mamiya 7 80mm was sharper and 135 format lenses are a lot more convenient. Of course FM doesnt help my pocketbook here as the shots were pretty good. A special shoutout to Luca, whose lens examples were really helpful to me. So, I got a 50MP from a fellow FMer and got a cheap Nikon F3HP off KEH.


Zeiss with the offending Zuiko. Yes I use an OM-2SP and like it. The series 2 focusing screen makes it my user over my two OM-1s.

I have had the lens for one half of one day, but I already know that even if I don't keep it forever, this lens ticks more of the boxes for me than the ZM50P was ever going to, no matter how hard I tried to pretend it wouldnt. Close focus for little plants? Check. Absurd 40 lp/mm contrast levels? Check. Shouty, crunchy contrast? Check. Energetic transition to OoF that has nothing in common with the tame ZM50P? Check Check Check.


Bokeh should aid in your picture feeling alive, IMO. In the absence of human emotion, I at least want to have energy project from my images.

It was hard to say goodbye to my M2. I tend to be an absolute and in the face of an M2 every other camera is "junk". Especially Nikons But for now, I have a lens that I hope will better suit what I like. I know it won't make my pictures better (afterall, it's not like I'm wanting for macro lenses that are sharp enough). I know it's big and heavy and only goes to 1:2. However, I think I made the right choice. Only time will tell if I did.


1024-2048s, but mainly 1600s are available if you click through, should you actually care to see my pictures larger.

Sorry for the blog post of length that is sufficient to be the next book in A Song of Fire and Ice. I hope I have included enough images so that as you skipped through at least you had something to look at. But I just wanted to talk for a bit why I made what I consider to be a major gear change in going from a RF to an SLR, even with a lens of the same focal length and aperture.



zhangyue
Registered: Jan 28, 2011
Total Posts: 4159
Country: United States

Mp50 is 'perceptely' best 50mm lens at f2 I have used. And I have used tons of 50mm lens include many reputable performer.

Nice write up, glad to hear you find tool suit you better



wuxiekeji
Registered: Sep 06, 2012
Total Posts: 374
Country: United States

I took 3 Contax-Zeiss lenses to Myanmar in January. These are my workhorse lenses on any trips and the first 3 to go in my bag

Planar 1.4/50











Distagon 4/18











Sonnar 2.8/135











wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 4783
Country: United States

zhangyue wrote:
Mp50 is 'perceptely' best 50mm lens at f2 I have used. And I have used tons of 50mm lens include many reputable performer.

Nice write up, glad to hear you find tool suit you better

+1
I have both 50P and 50MP, and they both have their own different rendering and thus serve different uses for me.
But I usually prefer the 50MP most of the time.
Waiting for the new 55/1.4 whose contrast wide open is special.



Cadaver
Registered: Dec 03, 2008
Total Posts: 962
Country: N/A

wuxiekeji... great photos. Numbers 3, 4 & 5 are quite special.



Cadaver
Registered: Dec 03, 2008
Total Posts: 962
Country: N/A

Ronny... never get tired of those outstanding photos of your dog. The one on the previous page is one of the best.



Ronny Olsson
Registered: Jun 24, 2012
Total Posts: 5063
Country: Sweden

Thanks Cadaver



redisburning
Registered: Jul 16, 2011
Total Posts: 1095
Country: United States

zhangyue wrote:
Mp50 is 'perceptely' best 50mm lens at f2 I have used. And I have used tons of 50mm lens include many reputable performer.

Nice write up, glad to hear you find tool suit you better


I figured you would understand. However Im pretty sure Edward is on a plane from Thailand to beat me over the head.

wayne seltzer wrote:
Waiting for the new 55/1.4 whose contrast wide open is special.


like I mentioned I love 50mm and I am absolutely rabid in anticipation for the 55/1.4 distagon. I don't know if Ill be able to make it happen right away, but I would be lying if I said that anything other than shooting it myself will do it for me. Even if I don't like it enough to own long term.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 3217
Country: Sweden

More images. Here's CY 35/1.4 and some 3D in late evening sun.


IMG_1886 1280 by Wilhelm Frank - Stockholm, on Flickr



robin bush
Registered: Dec 29, 2003
Total Posts: 105
Country: N/A

Quick comparison between Contax 21mm @ 5.6 and New Zeiss 21mm EF fit @ 5.6.
!00% crops using Canon 1ds3, tripod, live view.
Had a good look at both these files very little difference with optical performance except the Contax has a cool look compared to a warmer look on the Zeiss, pictures taken within seconds of each other.



Frogfish
Registered: May 20, 2011
Total Posts: 5058
Country: China

...... and the added Zeiss sharpness just jumps out at you too.



michael49
Registered: Jun 09, 2006
Total Posts: 5748
Country: United States

ZE 35 f/2 on 6D.....



Lieutenant Z
Registered: Nov 21, 2010
Total Posts: 3777
Country: France

Chandolin, Switzerland



Ronny Olsson
Registered: Jun 24, 2012
Total Posts: 5063
Country: Sweden

Great shot Z




Carl Zeiss 1.4/85 ZF by Ronny Olsson, on Flickr

Sony Nex 5R Zeiss Makro-Planar T * 50mm f / 2 ZF.2 by Ronny Olsson, on Flickr



akul
Registered: May 30, 2010
Total Posts: 2698
Country: United States

wuxiekeji - Nice series. I really like the #2
Z- Brilliant shot
Ronny - Great composition on #1. Superb exposure work on #2



Ronny Olsson
Registered: Jun 24, 2012
Total Posts: 5063
Country: Sweden

Thank's luka



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