How bad is Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar?
/forum/topic/1163096/6

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

helimat wrote:
Of course most fast lenses are going to have trouble with bright areas, which would induce spherical aberrations...


Spherical aberration isn't "induced" in certain lighting situations. Either it's there or it's not there, all the time at a given aperture and distance.


alundeb wrote:
Very convincing color and object definition in that photo, Martin. I like your style.

About "who said that", the "tack sharp" was from the OP on page 5, post 12. I have read numerous times in different threads on this forum that the veiling haze is supposed to be gone at infinity. Thanks for confirming that my copy is as expected.

When you said in your first reply in this thread that the lens is "only soft at short distances, wide open", I may have confused softness with veiling haze.


I would not say that "not soft" is the same as "tack sharp". Plus, I don't pixel peep, but rather look at the whole image at a reasonable size (24" monitor most of the time). Of course any lens will be "soft" at any aperture if you magnify the image enough.

As for perfomance stopped down at infinity, the CV 58 is sharper than the Planar even at f/4 and with no trace of color aberrations. The most striking difference between those two lenses is the cooler color of the CV. Then there is a lot to like or not to like about the rendering as we move out of the focus plane. I agree than in the right circumstances, the Planar 50 gives a look that few other lenses can.


Are you sure you are focusing the Planar correctly? The shperical aberration makes it shift focus quite a bit and I don't think you can focus stopped down with live view on the D800. At least you can't on the D700.
I'm asking because I've owned several Voigtländer lenses, and none of them have been better than any of the several Zeiss lenses I've also owned (and certainly not the Planar, stopped down at distance).



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4243
Country: Norway

Makten wrote:
Are you sure you are focusing the Planar correctly? The shperical aberration makes it shift focus quite a bit and I don't think you can focus stopped down with live view on the D800. At least you can't on the D700.
I'm asking because I've owned several Voigtländer lenses, and none of them have been better than any of the several Zeiss lenses I've also owned (and certainly not the Planar, stopped down at distance).


My experience for center sharpness at f/4 is:

Canon 35L >= Nokton 58 > Makro-Planar 50 > Planar 50 > Ultron 40 > APO-Lanthar 90

I do critical testing with the Pentax Q, but such results are not very interesting to this forum. I hesitate to present such results here. It is an eye opener, but to things you don't want to see (pixel peeping)

Another thing is that my experiences with center sharpness of these lenses at medium to long distance happen to match those results found on Photozone. *shrugs*.



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

alundeb wrote:
My experience for center sharpness at f/4 is:

Canon 35L >= Nokton 58 > Makro-Planar 50 > Planar 50 > Ultron 40 > APO-Lanthar 90

I do critical testing with the Pentax Q, but such results are not very interesting to this forum. I hesitate to present such results here. It is an eye opener, but to things you don't want to see (pixel peeping)

Another thing is that my experiences with center sharpness of these lenses at medium to long distance happen to match those results found on Photozone. *shrugs*.


That's strange. I don't think I've tried any lens that is sharper stopped down than the Planar (on 24x36). Not even the 100/2 Makro-Planar is sharper, but it gives higher local contrast.



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4243
Country: Norway

We are only talking about tiny differences, like the effect of diffraction when stopping down from F/4 to F/5.6.

I could also throw in my Distagon 21 ZE. That one and the Canon 35 L are the only lenses I have that are sharper in the center at F/2.8 than F/4.



Rodluvan
Registered: Sep 01, 2010
Total Posts: 663
Country: Sweden

I can't really back it up with photos of charts and such, but when I want homogeneous (and silly) sharpness and exposure (no vignetting) and low distortion and flatness of field I reach for the 50P and stop down to 5.6-11.

The 2.8/21 has distortion.
The 2/35 is too funky and contrasty.
The 1.4/35 has some distortion.
The 2/28 is too dreamy and unreliable flattness of field.
The 1.4/85 is just as good and sharp and have 0 distortion, but is often too narrow.

Typical example (@f/11)

@f/4



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15144
Country: Germany

Makten wrote:
Are you sure you are focusing the Planar correctly? The shperical aberration makes it shift focus quite a bit and I don't think you can focus stopped down with live view on the D800. At least you can't on the D700.


Huh? Isn't that the default behaviour on both D700 (well, D3 for me) and D800? I have to check...



Hulyss Bowman
Registered: Mar 08, 2012
Total Posts: 118
Country: France

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Hulyss Bowman
Registered: Mar 08, 2012
Total Posts: 118
Country: France

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Hulyss Bowman
Registered: Mar 08, 2012
Total Posts: 118
Country: France

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mortyb
Registered: Feb 15, 2009
Total Posts: 1361
Country: Norway

"Death and the maiden" is awesome.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3722
Country: Canada

Makten wrote:
helimat wrote:
Of course most fast lenses are going to have trouble with bright areas, which would induce spherical aberrations...


Spherical aberration isn't "induced" in certain lighting situations. Either it's there or it's not there, all the time at a given aperture and distance.


Yes, you are right, bad wording on my part. I should have said most fast lenses are subject to spherical aberrations, and the effects of which are most prevalent in images with brightly lit areas.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2870
Country: Sweden

helimat wrote:
That was my point from the beginning, to say that one should expect similar performance to that from any fast lens is ludicrous.


Well you keep on bashing around your personal interpretation of a statement. There's no reference in my comment towards Alundebs examples. I was talking about close performance - where usage of F/1.4 becomes natural and interesting. At infinity it is not. The only ludicrous thing here is you if you think landscaping at F/1.4 is a great way of determining capability of a lens.



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

carstenw wrote:
Huh? Isn't that the default behaviour on both D700 (well, D3 for me) and D800? I have to check...


I think it uses whatever aperture that saturates the sensor at a desirable rate for usable continuos readout. Which means wide open at low light and stopped down in good light, and you have no control over DOF preview or anything.

wfrank wrote:
I was talking about close performance - where usage of F/1.4 becomes natural and interesting. At infinity it is not.


Wide open performance at distance could be very interesting for those shooting at night without a tripod.



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4243
Country: Norway

When using a lens with an aperture ring on the D800E, I cannot activate LiveView unless in the stopped down / locked position.

However, once activated, I can open up the aperture ring, and LiveView continues, and the camera doesn't seem to try to adjust the aperture (In A and M modes).



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3722
Country: Canada

wfrank wrote:
helimat wrote:
That was my point from the beginning, to say that one should expect similar performance to that from any fast lens is ludicrous.


Well you keep on bashing around your personal interpretation of a statement. There's no reference in my comment towards Alundebs examples. I was talking about close performance - where usage of F/1.4 becomes natural and interesting. At infinity it is not. The only ludicrous thing here is you if you think landscaping at F/1.4 is a great way of determining capability of a lens.


That's not what you said, but fine.

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

Nor at any point did I argue that wide open shots at infinity is the be all end all.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2870
Country: Sweden

So for whom was the statement "to say that one should expect similar performance to that from any fast lens is ludicrous" directed to then? You cited it yourself.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3722
Country: Canada

wfrank wrote:
So for whom was the statement "to say that one should expect similar performance to that from any fast lens is ludicrous" directed to then? You cited it yourself.


My god. You said all 1.4 and 1.2 lenses have some sort of haze wide open. I thought it was a rather bold statement.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2870
Country: Sweden

helimat wrote:
wfrank wrote:
So for whom was the statement "to say that one should expect similar performance to that from any fast lens is ludicrous" directed to then? You cited it yourself.


My god. You said all 1.4 and 1.2 lenses have some sort of haze wide open. I thought it was a rather bold statement.


I know. You have kept going on about that for a couple of pages now. Why not try to loosen up a bit.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3722
Country: Canada

wfrank wrote:
helimat wrote:
wfrank wrote:
So for whom was the statement "to say that one should expect similar performance to that from any fast lens is ludicrous" directed to then? You cited it yourself.


My god. You said all 1.4 and 1.2 lenses have some sort of haze wide open. I thought it was a rather bold statement.


I know. You have kept going on about that for a couple of pages now. Why not try to loosen up a bit.


Ha ha, now that is funny. I have had a discussion with various members on the subject, in a *gasp* open forum. Sorry if I disagreed with you in the process.



uscmatt99
Registered: Jan 18, 2012
Total Posts: 325
Country: United States

alundeb wrote:
Makten wrote:
Are you sure you are focusing the Planar correctly? The shperical aberration makes it shift focus quite a bit and I don't think you can focus stopped down with live view on the D800. At least you can't on the D700.
I'm asking because I've owned several Voigtländer lenses, and none of them have been better than any of the several Zeiss lenses I've also owned (and certainly not the Planar, stopped down at distance).


My experience for center sharpness at f/4 is:

Canon 35L >= Nokton 58 > Makro-Planar 50 > Planar 50 > Ultron 40 > APO-Lanthar 90

I do critical testing with the Pentax Q, but such results are not very interesting to this forum. I hesitate to present such results here. It is an eye opener, but to things you don't want to see (pixel peeping)

Another thing is that my experiences with center sharpness of these lenses at medium to long distance happen to match those results found on Photozone. *shrugs*.


Wow, I'm going to have to test my CV90 and CV40 against my Zeiss 35/1.4 and 100/2. Lots of time now that cold gray weather has arrived in Michigan. On my D700 I always found the CV90 to be excellent across the frame, albeit at f/5.6, but at least better than the CV40. In fact from a sharpness/detail perspective it was up there with the 100/2. I have a D600 to try these on now. Thanks for posting your findings.



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