How bad is Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar?
/forum/topic/1163096/4

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eosfun
Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Total Posts: 2110
Country: Netherlands

David, Martin, could you please have a look at our forum rules, especially rule #1? Thanks for your cooperation!



David R.
Registered: Jun 10, 2011
Total Posts: 61
Country: Australia

eosfun thank you and noted. The rest of you could maybe relax a bit, I do get all hat and no cattle but that's not relevant to my original post.....yeah yeah but but....



bushwacker
Registered: Jun 12, 2005
Total Posts: 841
Country: United States

wayne seltzer wrote:



Yes, that is it and pages -40 is where they describe uncorrected SA effects on bokeh.
You would like the new 35/1.4 then too as distant OOF shapes are retained.



Wayne thanks, it is now clear to me, I read the whole white paper. Now I know why these zeiss lenses got its own character... the writer even describes it as "handwriting".

I prefer the rendering on this 50P compared to 50MP, the 50MP makes everything sharp.

Let's say I'll buy this what UV filter brand would you recommend? and also the lens surface cleaner what's a good one... I remember someone here says don't use any because it will destroy the T* coatings.... how true is this?



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6861
Country: Thailand

Zeiss make their own uv filters, microfiber cleaning cloths and solution.



Edgars Kalnins
Registered: Mar 09, 2007
Total Posts: 708
Country: Latvia

I have never needed a lens cleaning solution . I would not give a second thought to the brand as far as cleaning cloths go, microfiber is good, just make sure you rinse it sometimes to to get rid of any particles of sand or other dirt. T* coating is very durable, I rarely see Zeiss lenses with cleaning marks. But it does happen. E.g. I have handled some 15 contax G lenses, 3 out of which had some marks. Two came from a careless owner. Never seen a cleaning mark on contax slr or modern Zeiss lenses (have only had a handful of the previous and the ZF line has not had that much use yet).



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6861
Country: Thailand

Edgars Kalnins wrote:
I have never needed a lens cleaning solution . I would not give a second thought to the brand as far as cleaning cloths go, microfiber is good, just make sure you rinse it sometimes to to get rid of any particles of sand or other dirt. T* coating is very durable, I rarely see Zeiss lenses with cleaning marks. But it does happen. E.g. I have handled some 15 contax G lenses, 3 out of which had some marks. Two came from a careless owner. Never seen a cleaning mark on contax slr or modern Zeiss lenses (have only had a handful of the previous and the ZF line has not had that much use yet).


Actually I have a bottle of Zeiss cleaning liquid that I bought many years ago and it's still full. I almost never use it, except for hard to remove rain drops (or beer ). Usually breathing on the glass and wiping with the microfiber is enough. Not all microfiber cloths are created equal. I found the ones from Zeiss to be the softest and have the smallest knits and do not leave fibers behind even when old. I cannot say the same about other cloths I have used. I also agree about the T* coatings being very durable, but they are not scratch free. The Schneider coatings are much harder and scratch resistant, and claimed to be harder than the glass they are applied on. In fact I find T* coatings to be usually softer than other manufacturers coatings, which is ok, because their job is to eliminate reflections not to protect the glass



wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 3968
Country: United States

bushwacker wrote:
wayne seltzer wrote:



Yes, that is it and pages -40 is where they describe uncorrected SA effects on bokeh.
You would like the new 35/1.4 then too as distant OOF shapes are retained.



Wayne thanks, it is now clear to me, I read the whole white paper. Now I know why these zeiss lenses got its own character... the writer even describes it as "handwriting".

I prefer the rendering on this 50P compared to 50MP, the 50MP makes everything sharp.

Let's say I'll buy this what UV filter brand would you recommend? and also the lens surface cleaner what's a good one... I remember someone here says don't use any because it will destroy the T* coatings.... how true is this?


Sorry, I don't use UV filters on my Zeiss and Leica glass. I use B+W polarizers which use the Schott glass.
I use regular cleaning solution and lens cleaning cloths from local camera store.
Whether to use UV filters, which brands if you do, have been debated in some old threads here in this forum.
Good luck with the 50P, hope you enjoy it.



Edgars Kalnins
Registered: Mar 09, 2007
Total Posts: 708
Country: Latvia

edwardkaraa wrote:
Edgars Kalnins wrote:
I have never needed a lens cleaning solution . I would not give a second thought to the brand as far as cleaning cloths go, microfiber is good, just make sure you rinse it sometimes to to get rid of any particles of sand or other dirt. T* coating is very durable, I rarely see Zeiss lenses with cleaning marks. But it does happen. E.g. I have handled some 15 contax G lenses, 3 out of which had some marks. Two came from a careless owner. Never seen a cleaning mark on contax slr or modern Zeiss lenses (have only had a handful of the previous and the ZF line has not had that much use yet).


Actually I have a bottle of Zeiss cleaning liquid that I bought many years ago and it's still full. I almost never use it, except for hard to remove rain drops (or beer ). Usually breathing on the glass and wiping with the microfiber is enough. Not all microfiber cloths are created equal. I found the ones from Zeiss to be the softest and have the smallest knits and do not leave fibers behind even when old. I cannot say the same about other cloths I have used. I also agree about the T* coatings being very durable, but they are not scratch free. The Schneider coatings are much harder and scratch resistant, and claimed to be harder than the glass they are applied on. In fact I find T* coatings to be usually softer than other manufacturers coatings, which is ok, because their job is to eliminate reflections not to protect the glass

Interesting about Schneider - I have been hearing lots of good things about them lately, pity that we rarely see any images from 35mm format here. I only have their 121mm f8 super-angulon which turned up from Germany covered in tiny scratches. I believe it is single coated though.
From my experience Zeiss usually age better than most other lenses, possibly because expensive lenses are more cherished. I think I read about the toughness of T* on Zeiss website - got to believe what's written. On the other hand I have not had any cleaning marks on Leica R and Minolta lenses which I have had a few as well.



bushwacker
Registered: Jun 12, 2005
Total Posts: 841
Country: United States

Edgars Kalnins wrote:
I have never needed a lens cleaning solution . I would not give a second thought to the brand as far as cleaning cloths go, microfiber is good, just make sure you rinse it sometimes to to get rid of any particles of sand or other dirt. T* coating is very durable, I rarely see Zeiss lenses with cleaning marks. But it does happen. E.g. I have handled some 15 contax G lenses, 3 out of which had some marks. Two came from a careless owner. Never seen a cleaning mark on contax slr or modern Zeiss lenses (have only had a handful of the previous and the ZF line has not had that much use yet).



Ok let's say I got some markings on the lens would you recommend the ZEISS, ROR (residual oil remover) or PUROSOL:?



bushwacker
Registered: Jun 12, 2005
Total Posts: 841
Country: United States

Okay guys,

I finally got access to this Zeiss 50P a friend loaned to me for 2 months, actually he is tired of this lens & might give it to me for free.

Any pointers maximizing its IQ?

Tnx.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 14905
Country: Germany

If you go closer than about 2m, stop it down a couple of stops. In high-contrast situations, stop down a couple of stops, or get ready to remove CA. Test it lots to figure out which apertures you require at various distances, for various looks. Try shooting at 4-5m or so, maybe at f/2-2.8 or so, and if you nail the focus, you will have a good chance of some really nice 3D



bushwacker
Registered: Jun 12, 2005
Total Posts: 841
Country: United States

carstenw wrote:
If you go closer than about 2m, stop it down a couple of stops. In high-contrast situations, stop down a couple of stops, or get ready to remove CA. Test it lots to figure out which apertures you require at various distances, for various looks. Try shooting at 4-5m or so, maybe at f/2-2.8 or so, and if you nail the focus, you will have a good chance of some really nice 3D


about the 3Dness please me what's the sweet spot? (I meant camera-subject distance and aperture combination?).

btw I did some initial tests wide open... it's true what you guys say, it is tack sharp at 5m distance but up close it is not that good...--pic is still usable though maybe for WEB only.

thanks carstenw




wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 3968
Country: United States

Try. -8 feet to subject, f5.6, and at least 15 feet to background which is not high contrast.
ie. no backlit tree leaves.



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4194
Country: Norway

I don't understand how the Zeiss 50 mm f/1.4 Planar ZE / ZF.2 can be said to be "tack sharp" and without veiling haze at infinity, wide open.

Here is my ZF.2 at approximately 100m distance.
On the D800E, 100% crops at f/1.4 and f/2.8













And the Vogtländer Nokton 50 1.4 wide open:







wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2732
Country: Sweden

I dont agree that this lens "is bad" close:ish and one must not shoot close or anything. The BW portrait F/1.4 I posted on page 2 in this thread is close for all I care and useful for any portrait purposes I know of.

Pixelpeeping is too often mixed up with imagery. Any 1.4 lens produce some kind of haze wide-open, 1.2-lenses more so. This lens is not a bad example and judged comparing to a F/2 lens it will inevitably look worse. But again: not bad.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2732
Country: Sweden

alundeb wrote:
I don't understand how the Zeiss 50 mm f/1.4 Planar ZE / ZF.2 can be said to be "tack sharp" and without veiling haze at infinity, wide open.



What other 1.4 lens would have that characteristic?




alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4194
Country: Norway

wfrank wrote:
alundeb wrote:
I don't understand how the Zeiss 50 mm f/1.4 Planar ZE / ZF.2 can be said to be "tack sharp" and without veiling haze at infinity, wide open.



What other 1.4 lens would have that characteristic?




I edited my post and added the CV Nokton 58, by best bet for an affordable lens in that range. You can see that it produces aliasing wide open, the Zeiss not. But even the Nokton benefits significantly from stopping down of course.

The new 55 will be another story.

I don't say the 50 Planar is a bad lens, even wide open, I just don't beileve that it improves that much at infinity like some say.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3702
Country: Canada

wfrank wrote...Any 1.4 lens produce some kind of haze wide-open, 1.2-lenses more so.

A rather bold statement, don't you think? Any 1.4 lens?



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2732
Country: Sweden


Well which then?



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3702
Country: Canada

Of the lenses I have owned: Sigma 50/1.4, Zeiss ZE 35/1.4 & Canon 35/1.4L. Additionally I have had two Contax 85/1.4's, while both exhibited CA wide open the AEg version had some haze while my MMG does not.



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