Zeiss 35 1.4 ZE vs Canon 35L
/forum/topic/1073755/0



Light_pilgrim
Registered: Dec 26, 2011
Total Posts: 222
Country: Poland

Dear all,

This is my first post here. I have been directed here by some other folks and was told that people here might have a lot of experience with Zeiss 35 1.4 ZE lens.
I have purchase one and use it with 5D MKII, but I am having a lot of problems with hitting the focus while using focus confirm. Just not reliable. I have done tons and tons of tests, contacted Zeiss...etc

By now I understood that I need to rely on my eyes to nail the focus. I have installed the EG-s screen...not sure it is better now, but OK:-)

If somebody wants to learn how I was systematically testing the lens and trying to find how to use it, all is here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1029&thread=40175855

My question to owners and those who tested it - how do you rate it? How do you rate it vs 35L? Is this lens really worth it's price? Is it up to the high equity of Zeiss and by they way, is this equity is still valid?

Thanks for sharing your experience.
My gallery is here: www.dylikowski.com, not yet I have any good image with Zeiss:-)



Xavier Rival
Registered: Jul 21, 2004
Total Posts: 3959
Country: France

I think that the best place to ask a question regarding to the 35ZE/1.4 is the alternative board; there are a lot of ZE lenses experts there:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/55

(I do own the f/2 version, and am interested in the f/1.4, so I am definetely interested to see how it comes out for you).



Light_pilgrim
Registered: Dec 26, 2011
Total Posts: 222
Country: Poland

Xavier, thanks. I did not know there is a different board:-)



M Vers
Registered: Jan 01, 2008
Total Posts: 10982
Country: United States

Either place he posts it there will likely be strong bias one way or the other.



Massimo Foti
Registered: Dec 20, 2010
Total Posts: 434
Country: Switzerland

I follow both boards and I am having fun looking at total votes so far



h00ligan
Registered: Jan 03, 2010
Total Posts: 2141
Country: United States

Clearly based on your portfolio the choice is academic as to whether you need af or not. At your calibre I doubt highly the difference between the two would be of any consequence!

good stuff!



Xavier Rival
Registered: Jul 21, 2004
Total Posts: 3959
Country: France

M Vers wrote:
Either place he posts it there will likely be strong bias one way or the other.


Agreed as far as recommandations go.

However, I understand that he has the bought the 35/ZE1.4 already, which is why I recommended to look at the alternative board, as I think he will get some great help there.



crazeazn
Registered: Jul 16, 2005
Total Posts: 1710
Country: United States

live view good buddy for critical focus.



splathrop
Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Total Posts: 527
Country: United States

Try this. To eliminate any chance your problems are focus-point-related, select only the center point. Make sure your red focus point indicator is turned on. Then adjust your lens to be out of focus, and on the infinity side of in-focus. Get it as close as possible. When you want to shoot, put the center point on an area with adequate contrast and roll the focus away from infinity. When the center point flashes, shoot that instant. Practice doing that again and again in the lowest light you plan to shoot in. Concentrate on shooting quickly without moving the camera at all. The whole procedure is a bit of a knack. I learned to do it as a photo journalist in the 1970s, before auto focus. Then, of course, we had split prisms.

Doing it that way turned my Zeiss 35 f/1.4 from hit-or-miss into a super-reliable performer, even with moderately in-motion subjects. I still prefer the Canon for subjects in vigorous motion, howeverócan't roll that damped Zeiss focus ring fast enough. They are both great for image quality. I give the IQ edge to the Zeiss shooting into the light, and make it about even otherwise. But if you can master the manual focus technique, I think you may find the Zeiss a better bet at the widest apertures. Not a huge difference, but more keepers at f/1.4.

Also, where your subject matter permits (usually outdoors), using hyperfocal technique solves the problem.



Light_pilgrim
Registered: Dec 26, 2011
Total Posts: 222
Country: Poland

splathrop wrote:
Also, where your subject matter permits (usually outdoors), using hyperfocal technique solves the problem.


Thanks for suggestions. Can you say a bit more?
I have a great feeling that I can achieve great results with this lens...only I need to find a way to focus reliably and consistently. For now I spend too much effort thinking on how to focus and miss compositions and etc:-)



iunknown2008
Registered: Sep 15, 2009
Total Posts: 222
Country: United States

Light_pilgrim,
Get one of these. You zoom in and can attain accurate focus, but you sacrifice the ability to perfectly compose a shot.
http://www.amazon.com/Seagull-1x-3x-Viewfinder-Camera-screen/dp/B004GLDHFO/ref=pd_cp_p_2

Or you can install magic lantern which gives you focus assist (without having to zoom in). Focus assist adds yellow highlights around the areas in focus so its easy to accurately gage focus.

http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Release_2011Dec22



Mike K
Registered: Mar 01, 2002
Total Posts: 2251
Country: United States

splathrop wrote:
Try this. To eliminate any chance your problems are focus-point-related, select only the center point. Make sure your red focus point indicator is turned on. Then adjust your lens to be out of focus, and on the infinity side of in-focus. Get it as close as possible. When you want to shoot, put the center point on an area with adequate contrast and roll the focus away from infinity. When the center point flashes, shoot that instant. Practice doing that again and again in the lowest light you plan to shoot in. Concentrate on shooting quickly without moving the camera at all. The whole procedure is a bit of a knack. I learned to do it as a photo journalist in the 1970s, before auto focus. Then, of course, we had split prisms.


Very good suggestions on using focus confirm technique.

Alex, you will still need to MA calibrate your Zeiss 35/1.4 for focus confirm accuracy. It is not clear that your MA calibration is working properly, so I suggested doing MA calibration on some of your Canon AF lenses to check your MA technique. You need to convince yourself that your MA calibration can change the AF of a Canon lens to out->in->out of focus. Then MA the Zeiss lens so that focus confirm will accurately deliver in-focus results as compared to Live View 10X.
Mike K



Tom Dix
Registered: Jun 29, 2010
Total Posts: 1627
Country: United States

I have both and must say that they both produce excellent results. Each lens is different is 2 significant ways. Af/mf and the signature of each lens. If you like the signature or look produced by the cz and you have, or are willing to aquire, excellent mf abilities, you will love the zeiss. If you prefer the signature or look or the Canon, you will prefer it. If you suck at mf, you may also end up with the Canon.
This is one time, you are really gonna need to get your hands on each and let the experience and your preference dictate the conclusion. I would not want to be w/o either. good luck -Tom



anandnvi
Registered: Sep 17, 2002
Total Posts: 229
Country: United States

I own the 35L and it is as Tom says. Excellent results even wide open. It is not as versatile as a zoom (of course) which is why mine is on sale currently, but whenever I've used it, it brings a smile to the face.



digitalbug30d
Registered: Apr 01, 2008
Total Posts: 4238
Country: United States

cant really get excited about a M/F lens...over priced M/F for that matter...you nuts 1800.00 no way.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3720
Country: Canada

Have both... The Zeiss is much nicer. However if you are not accustomed to manually focusing, a fast wide is a difficult place to start IMO.



Lasse Eriksson
Registered: Sep 13, 2006
Total Posts: 2773
Country: Sweden

helimat wrote:
Have both... The Zeiss is much nicer. However if you are not accustomed to manually focusing, a fast wide is a difficult place to start IMO.



+1

yes the Zeiss is much nicer