Planar vs. Sonnar vs. Planar
/forum/topic/1095523/3

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zhangyue
Registered: Jan 28, 2011
Total Posts: 2630
Country: United States

Makten wrote:
Thanks for the example! Is that on FF or APS-C? I get even worse results on my NEX, so then mine is decentered too. But I really don't think so since all corners are equally unsharp.

M9. Thanks.



philber
Registered: May 21, 2008
Total Posts: 7344
Country: France

Makten wrote:
Right now it looks like I'm buying a Contax 45/2 Planar as well, and then I can decide later if I'm gonna keep the Sonnar or not. I really want to like it, so maybe I just need some practice. But for my standard "flat abstracts" I still need something else and that could be the Contax.



Martin the Contax G 45 is a great lens, don't get me wrong. But whether it is your cup of tea, I am really not sure, considering your reference to your Z* 50f:1.4 Planar, a lens which I also have. The 45 is much contrastier, less warm and romantic. But of course, that is just my opinion...



bluetsunami
Registered: Sep 03, 2008
Total Posts: 1151
Country: United States

Makten wrote:
Thanks for the example! Is that on FF or APS-C? I get even worse results on my NEX, so then mine is decentered too. But I really don't think so since all corners are equally unsharp.


Judging from the MTF it looks like the lines slope right where the corners would be on an APS-C sensor. Makes sense they would look as they do even when stopped down...



Very different than the ZE/F 50/1.4 where you get uniform sharpness across the frame.



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5896
Country: United States

bluetsunami wrote:
Makten wrote:
Thanks for the example! Is that on FF or APS-C? I get even worse results on my NEX, so then mine is decentered too. But I really don't think so since all corners are equally unsharp.


Judging from the MTF it looks like the lines slope right where the corners would be on an APS-C sensor. Makes sense they would look as they do even when stopped down...



Very different than the ZE/F 50/1.4 where you get uniform sharpness across the frame.



Yep, that's why we've been talking f5.6, or really f8, at minimum for anything with a flat field. However, if you focus into the corners, even f2.8 is sharp, so it depends on your usage.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10024
Country: United States

zhangyue wrote:
Actually, I'd love to see a sharper lens at f1.4 than sonnar other than 50lux. Examples ? There are no much choice if you demand f1.4 in M size.


cv 50/1.5, pentax 50/1.4, sigma 50/1.4, rokkor MC PG 50/1.4, canon nFD 50/1.4, FL 55/1.2, etc. the sonnar is by far the smallest i agree, but it isn't winning any sharpness wide open contests.

Makten wrote:
Thanks for the example! Is that on FF or APS-C? I get even worse results on my NEX, so then mine is decentered too. But I really don't think so since all corners are equally unsharp.


it looks worse on aps-c, the CA is more noticeable and, of course it less sharp with the AA filter and higher pixel density.



Makten
Registered: Jul 14, 2008
Total Posts: 4042
Country: Sweden

sebboh wrote:
it looks worse on aps-c, the CA is more noticeable and, of course it less sharp with the AA filter and higher pixel density.


Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. The higher magnification combined with a bit of different use due to the narrower angle of view can probably make it look "worse than it is". Also, we don't know at what distance those MTF charts are shot at and if they are compensated for curvature of field.



zhangyue
Registered: Jan 28, 2011
Total Posts: 2630
Country: United States

sebboh wrote:
zhangyue wrote:
Actually, I'd love to see a sharper lens at f1.4 than sonnar other than 50lux. Examples ? There are no much choice if you demand f1.4 in M size.


cv 50/1.5, pentax 50/1.4, sigma 50/1.4, rokkor MC PG 50/1.4, canon nFD 50/1.4, FL 55/1.2, etc. the sonnar is by far the smallest i agree, but it isn't winning any sharpness wide open contests.

Makten wrote:
Thanks for the example! Is that on FF or APS-C? I get even worse results on my NEX, so then mine is decentered too. But I really don't think so since all corners are equally unsharp.


it looks worse on aps-c, the CA is more noticeable and, of course it less sharp with the AA filter and higher pixel density.


Those might be sharper as I never own them. Based on MTF, Sonnar will be similar sharp as ZF P50, but in real world, it get the IMPRESSION of much sharper lens as there is no Haze, and contrast is much better than P50.

to me, other than 50 lux which leap forward, all f1.4sh lens have similar performance one or the other. Fast glass I have owned or owning are Nikkor AIS 50f1.2, AIS85f1.4, AIS35f1.4, P50, P85, D351.4, and VC501.1, VC351.2.

P50 and AIS35f1.4 seems lag in the group in terms of wide open, rest of them are all about same based on real world use if I am not Pixel Peeping. Though each render differently. I feel Sonnar is a POP lens wide open compare to rest of the group. That is the impression I want to pass on.

The difficult of this judgement is Sonnar is for M9, others are for D700, so work flow and PP and Raw handling engine are different, So my judgement may not valid.

It would be nice to have someone conduct the test at the same platform with NEX. Still, there are too many variables like lens sample variation, adapter, handling error make it impossible to perfect.



bluetsunami
Registered: Sep 03, 2008
Total Posts: 1151
Country: United States

Makten wroteAlso, we don't know at what distance those MTF charts are shot at and if they are compensated for curvature of field.

I believe all Zeiss published MTF (in the zeiss provided PDF at least) are at infinity. And the slopes could definitely be field curvature.



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5896
Country: United States

FWIW, on the 5N, the CV 50/1.5 is sharper wide open than the ZM 50/1.5. The ZM 50/1.5 is sharper in the corners past around f2, but...that's if you focus into the corners. This lens is field curvature city, and I'm sure the sensor toppings on the 5N make it even a little worse.

I personally think that I'd like this lens better on aps-c than on 135. On 135, this would be my standard lens, and I think I'd prefer the more flat field of a Planar. On aps-c, this is a good portrait focal length, and that's where this field curvature looks great, IMO (or other uses where subject isolation is the intent.)



zhangyue
Registered: Jan 28, 2011
Total Posts: 2630
Country: United States

douglasf13 wrote:
FWIW, on the 5N, the CV 50/1.5 is sharper wide open than the ZM 50/1.5. The ZM 50/1.5 is sharper in the corners past around f2, but...that's if you focus into the corners. This lens is field curvature city, and I'm sure the sensor toppings on the 5N make it even a little worse.

I personally think that I'd like this lens better on aps-c than on 135. On 135, this would be my standard lens, and I think I'd prefer the more flat field of a Planar. On aps-c, this is a good portrait focal length, and that's where this field curvature looks great, IMO (or other uses where subject isolation is the intent.)

Why choose ZM over CV? I heard a lot of good thing about CV50 1.5, what is not to like?



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5896
Country: United States

The CV is a good lens. I just found purple fringing to be worse, and I like the unique look of the Sonnar. For whatever reason, I just never warmed to the CV, but it is a well regarded lens. I'm primarily a 50mm equiv. shooter, so having a character lens for my 75mm equiv. works for me. I essentially bought the Sonnar for taking pics of family, but I'll eventually get a chance to try it out in other areas.



JonasY
Registered: Aug 25, 2008
Total Posts: 416
Country: Sweden

douglasf13 wrote:
Hi, Jonas. You've got to check out a Hawk's helicoid adapter. It significantly shortens the mfd on your M lenses.


My M8 pretends he didn't hear that.



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5896
Country: United States

JonasY wrote:
douglasf13 wrote:
Hi, Jonas. You've got to check out a Hawk's helicoid adapter. It significantly shortens the mfd on your M lenses.


My M8 pretends he didn't hear that.


Ah, my bad.



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

bluetsunami wrote:
Makten wroteAlso, we don't know at what distance those MTF charts are shot at and if they are compensated for curvature of field.

I believe all Zeiss published MTF (in the zeiss provided PDF at least) are at infinity. And the slopes could definitely be field curvature.


most are.

I know one of the Makro-Planars was measured at 1:10 though.



Makten
Registered: Jul 14, 2008
Total Posts: 4042
Country: Sweden

I forgot to answer this...

philber wrote:
Martin the Contax G 45 is a great lens, don't get me wrong. But whether it is your cup of tea, I am really not sure, considering your reference to your Z* 50f:1.4 Planar, a lens which I also have. The 45 is much contrastier, less warm and romantic. But of course, that is just my opinion...


Thing is, I liked the Planar mostly for its versatility. It could do both super smooth OOF backgrounds with subtle rendering, and yet it was/is extremely sharp stopped down. Only the extreme corners was a bit soft on FF until f/5.6 or so, which is great.
This Sonnar on the other hand, is a different animal altogether. Nothing is like the Planar but I'm beginning to like it for what it is. But it wasn't what I wanted initially, so I'm still looking for a lens to shoot "flat stuff" that is sharp all over the frame (at least on APS-C). Bokeh doesn't have to be great, but it would be a plus of course.

This leads me in a different direction. I do have the awesome Summicron 28 which is good for most things, but it doesn't always look right to me. A bit too "bold" perhaps. I've been thinking of selling it, but I'd probably kick myself in the head for that, later.
Maybe the ZM 35/2 would be a better choice? Or even the 35/2.8 that I liked so much on the M8 (except for focusing issues).

I can pick up a 45/2 tomorrow for a great price, but I'm not sure about the build quality, which is quite important. And it's an odd FL on APS-C too.

--------------------

Crossposted from the NEX image thread, this is the Sonnar wide open, uncropped. The bokeh is really not what I would expect from a Zeiss, but rather some very old lens (which the design is) with a lot of spherical aberration. It's much nicer closer up.


Hide-and-seek by Martin Hertsius, on Flickr



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5896
Country: United States

Makten wrote:

Maybe the ZM 35/2 would be a better choice? Or even the 35/2.8 that I liked so much on the M8 (except for focusing issues).

I can pick up a 45/2 tomorrow for a great price, but I'm not sure about the build quality, which is quite important. And it's an odd FL on APS-C too.


I've got both the 35/2 and 35/2.8. On the 5N, the 35/2 has better corner performance, likely due to the interaction with the 5N's sensor filters, but the 35/2.8 is still one of the better 35s I've tried at the edges. The 35/2.8 also vignettes a lot, which kind of gives it a "full frame vibe." Both lenses exhibit purple color shift on the 5N, but many shooters don't think it is enough to bother correcting (I do.) The 35/2 is currently my most used, do everything, kind of lens, and, on the 5N, I'd imagine it is about as close as you'd get to the ZM 50/2 on a 135 camera.

I haven't really tested the 45/2, yet, but it seems super sharp, with a little bit busy bokeh at wide aperture. I'm curious how the performance compares to my ZM 35/2. They should be pretty similar in resolution, although the 45/2 may play a little better with the 5N's sensor. I agree that the focus ring is a kludge on Contax G lenses, but I actually like the build. The lighter weight works nicely with NEX, IMO, and I've been considering getting my 3 Contax lenses converted to M mount.

All of this being said, if you like the 75mm equiv. focal length, you should probably just get the ZM 50/2. It looks great, and is relatively reasonably priced.



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

If Summicron 28 is too bold, perhaps ZM 35/2 will be too... It is extremely flat with almost no distortion and field curvature if I remember correctly. Bokeh can be busy at times. At F4 it is a fantastic all-round lens.



rico
Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Total Posts: 3800
Country: United States

redisburning wrote:
I know one of the Makro-Planars was measured at 1:10 though.

For sure, CZ spec sheets are becoming ever more truncated. Even the MP120 ZV (reissued Hassy mount) gives only one distance (I presume infinity). In the more technical Contax RTS era, MP60 included four complete MTF graphs (inf, 1:10, 1:2, 1:1), and similarly for the SP100 (inf, 1:4, 1:2, 1:1). The 1:10 and 1:4 measures were, respectively, the optimized distance and gave guidance for purchase and usage of the lens. Hard to make an informed decision these days.



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5896
Country: United States

Just saw this little Sonnar write up. http://www.bmupix.com/journal/2012/3/17/carl-zeiss-c-sonnar-t-50mm-f15-zm-image-quality.html



cbcbell
Registered: Jan 18, 2004
Total Posts: 27
Country: United States

There's also Ron Scheffler's blog, where he usefully compares the Sony 50/1.8 with the Zeiss ZM 50/2:

http://www.ronscheffler.com/techtalk/?p=98

For other Zeiss, Voigtlander, Leica and Sony lenses, see the other two review sections:

http://www.ronscheffler.com/blog/



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