Planar vs. Sonnar vs. Planar
/forum/topic/1095523/1

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atran
Registered: Apr 23, 2011
Total Posts: 122
Country: United States

Makten wrote:
This is a bit scary, because I have no idea of what to use this lens for. It's obviously good, but awful for the things I usually shoot. And it's bloody expensive too!
The Hawks adapter allows for some interesting closeups.
I'll probably end up selling it for a Planar instead, but tomorrow I will play some more.

Looks like a dreamy and very gentle lens for very specific application for me. I would probably buy one when I have a girlfriend cause I don't think girl will be happy seeing the lens captures her acne



aleksanderpolo
Registered: Jan 18, 2010
Total Posts: 880
Country: United States

It's a great portrait lens at F1.5, and a great Zeiss at F8, I would avoid using it for landscape at large and in-between aperture as the aberration and bokeh can make the image look busy in those situation.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10680
Country: United States

aleksanderpolo wrote:
It's a great portrait lens at F1.5, and a great Zeiss at F8, I would avoid using it for landscape at large and in-between aperture as the aberration and bokeh can make the image look busy in those situation.


i've not seen a lot of evidence that it is a great zeiss at f/8. more like it is an average 50mm at f/8 with zeiss color. i think it's a great lens for many things, but not a landscape lens.



aleksanderpolo
Registered: Jan 18, 2010
Total Posts: 880
Country: United States

Sample like this looks pretty good to me:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalevkurg/6280333870/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalevkurg/6279816715/

But I guess it doesn't count as landscape



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10680
Country: United States

aleksanderpolo wrote:
Sample like this looks pretty good to me:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalevkurg/6280333870/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalevkurg/6279816715/

But I guess it doesn't count as landscape


yes, those shots are not at all demanding of the corners. it's a very sharp lens away from the edges at f/8, but it doesn't seem to ever get super sharp in the corners on aps-c. that doesn't make it a bad lens, but it is a different look from most all current zeiss lenses. i'm personally a little disappointed by it because i would love it to be a do everything 50 that i can take with me when i travel (also, i have a bunch of much cheaper lenses that perform much better at the edges), but 50mm (on aps-c) is my most used focal length for landscape and the sonnar won't cut it.



redisburning
Registered: Jul 16, 2011
Total Posts: 1094
Country: United States

Sebboh, if you look at the MTFs the sonnar has a huge dip in contrast levels where the corners would be on a APS-c lens.

the ZM planar has pretty even performance, especially on APS-c, so maybe you should swap your sonnar out for that.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10680
Country: United States

redisburning wrote:
Sebboh, if you look at the MTFs the sonnar has a huge dip in contrast levels where the corners would be on a APS-c lens.

the ZM planar has pretty even performance, especially on APS-c, so maybe you should swap your sonnar out for that.


i use the contax g 45 for that. i just want one lens that does both and is smaller than my rokkor 50/1.4 (so picky).



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 6080
Country: United States

redisburning wrote:
Sebboh, if you look at the MTFs the sonnar has a huge dip in contrast levels where the corners would be on a APS-c lens.

the ZM planar has pretty even performance, especially on APS-c, so maybe you should swap your sonnar out for that.


Granted, the mtf chart is only at f4. There is a noticeable corner improvement at f5.6, but it still isn't great or anything. I haven't had a chance to test it much at f8, but I'd image that the corners are even better, with a slight drop in center resolution.

p.s. Of course, this is all in regards to a flat field. If you have a scene with objects at various depths, high field curvature like this can lead to interesting dimension in the scene.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7572
Country: Thailand

redisburning wrote:
Sebboh, if you look at the MTFs the sonnar has a huge dip in contrast levels where the corners would be on a APS-c lens.

the ZM planar has pretty even performance, especially on APS-c, so maybe you should swap your sonnar out for that.


Agreed. The Sonnar draws much better on FF. From what I've seen it works very well with three dimensional subjects where there is a foreground to background energy, stopped down naturally. I also agree that it is most useful either WO or at f/8. I opted for the planar for a more contrasty, uniform sharpness from WO, and accentuated 3D look. It never disappointed me.



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 6080
Country: United States

You should check out Marek's post from the middle of this page. I'd agree with him that stopping the Sonnar down a little is ideal in some cases: http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/00Tylv?start=10

I've not really seen anything in the Sonnar drawing better on FF, just different. I've seen tons of compelling, beautiful images from this lens on both aps-c and full frame (and the M8, for that matter.) I also think the lens has tons of pop.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7572
Country: Thailand

Thanks for the link Douglas. effectively, I see some beautiful portraits at around f/2.8. Very nice rendering.



zhangyue
Registered: Jan 28, 2011
Total Posts: 2863
Country: United States

Martin, I have ZF and Sonnar, I think Sonnar has better wide open performance compare to ZF definitely. No question about that, At least for my both copies, I feel its resolution about equal or slightly less than ZF351.4 at 1.5, but with more contrast, so the impression is sharper than ZF35. My D700 is 12M, so it is not apple to apple.

However, I agree with everyone that it is not a landscape or planar lens. The extreme corner never pick up even past f8. I am fine with its sharpness performance slow down other than corner, though I feel there is nothing special about it as any lens past f5.6 will have decent sharp center.

Overall, I feel it is not reach P50 level as for lens performance, I like its size, and wide open performance, but it is over priced IMO, especially compare to ZF P50.

Funny thing is: I keep telling myself the corner is really a non issue for most of time what I do. I see no reason I must care those four extreme corners, as I won't put any interested stuff there.

There is no much choice fast 50 with M size. I had VC50mm 1.1, but can't love it for its size/performance, other than f1.1.

I visit Marek's flickr page before, I like his portrait shots very much. But those can be done with any 50mm decent lens at f2.8 as well like P50 or ZM P50. My take on it: It is the photographer can make any lens sing. Many times, I see superb photos from particular lens, mostly comes from photographer's skill on lighting, composition, and PP skill. I see tons of soulless shots from Noct f.95, but it has nothing to do with the lens





douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 6080
Country: United States

The out of focus rendering of the Sonnar is different than the Planar, and, after all, that's why the Sonnar is desirable to so many, no?



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7572
Country: Thailand


Fully agreed.

douglasf13 wrote:
The out of focus rendering of the Sonnar is different than the Planar, and, after all, that's why the Sonnar is desirable to so many, no?



kosmoskatten
Registered: Oct 11, 2005
Total Posts: 3015
Country: Sweden

Yes, and Lebanese bread will always be easier to break than P.I.T.A bread.

Seriously, most of the time I prefer the Planar look/characteristics.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10680
Country: United States

douglasf13 wrote:
The out of focus rendering of the Sonnar is different than the Planar, and, after all, that's why the Sonnar is desirable to so many, no?


yup.

in all honesty, i don't like the look of the planar for much other than landscape, seems to contrasty (but maybe it's just the processing people do to it).



kosmoskatten
Registered: Oct 11, 2005
Total Posts: 3015
Country: Sweden

I think some people are pulling the same tricks in post with the really contrasty Planars as they do with other lenses, pushing the contrast to the hilt. Or, perhaps they just like it like that. I was really pleased with the Planars I've had on film. On digital it's been a mixed bag, but as a general I still prefer them.



Mike Tuomey
Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Total Posts: 2857
Country: United States

sounds like the sonnar isn't the right tool for you.

if you want consistency, then the planar is for you. if you want consistency and speed and a good price/performance ratio, the VC Nokton 50 f/1.5 is a good choice. price no object? Lux ASPH. among these fifties, the sonnar will seem eccentric and too demanding. in my case i took some time with the sonnar and like it a alot, but i don't expect it to behave like a planar or zm 35 f/2 stopped down for landscapes. not what i bought it for.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10680
Country: United States

kosmoskatten wrote:
I think some people are pulling the same tricks in post with the really contrasty Planars as they do with other lenses, pushing the contrast to the hilt. Or, perhaps they just like it like that. I was really pleased with the Planars I've had on film. On digital it's been a mixed bag, but as a general I still prefer them.


i don't care for the look i've seen on film either. i'm sure it could be manageable by pulling down a few sliders, but there are plenty of lenses i like the look from straight ooc or straight onto portra. nothing against the lens, i'm just not a big fan of the that look in most situations (unlike most here, i'm not a huge zeiss fan).



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7572
Country: Thailand

kosmoskatten wrote:
Yes, and Lebanese bread will always be easier to break than P.I.T.A bread.

Seriously, most of the time I prefer the Planar look/characteristics.


Henrik, what's Lebanese bread got to do with the planar

But yeah, I prefer the planar look too. It is sharp and fully usable from f/2 and I have learned how to obtain nice bokeh from it.



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