Sell my Zeiss 21/2.8 ZE for a 25/2 ZE?
/forum/topic/1165435/0

1
       2       3       end

rji2goleez
Registered: Jun 24, 2003
Total Posts: 4718
Country: United States

Since acquiring the Distagon 15/2.8, I've been wondering how much I will actually use my Distagon 21/2.8. So I'm wondering if the 25/2 would be a better choice but wondering what you good folks might say about the differences between the two beyond speed and focal length. At first glance, the 25 might fill out my Zeiss arsenal more consistently. I have the 15, 35/1.4, 50MP and 100MP. The 15 and 21 seem really close in focal length and the 25 would be smack in the middle of the 15 and 35.

So, anyone have some opinions of the differences between the 21 and 25 besides the obvious?

Thanks in advance . . .



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 21508
Country: Canada

Sometimes the obvious is OK. For example, I decided today, that I will sell my 21/2.8 ZE, because I use my Canon TS-E 24/3.5L II a lot more. Also, it will help to pay for the Canon TS-E 17/4L that I just ordered. Given that I will have the TS-E 17/4L and 24/3.5L II, I figure it's obvious that I should sell the 21/2.8 ZE. Don't get me wrong - I love the ZE, it's just that I don't use it. OTOH, my Contax 28/2.8 and 35-70/3.4 are staying. OTOOH, my Planar 85/1.4 MM is going. Damn balance sheets!



tsdevine
Registered: May 26, 2006
Total Posts: 1177
Country: United States


And I sold the 24 TS-E 24/3.5L II since it was so close to my 21/2.8 ZE....to help pay for my 15/2.8 ZE. My only experience with the 25/2.0 ZE though was last year at PhotoExpo in NYC. Maybe rent one for a week?

-Tim



rji2goleez
Registered: Jun 24, 2003
Total Posts: 4718
Country: United States

Thanks Tim. That's an option but I'm hoping to find some opinions on the subtle differences between these two lenses if there are any . . .



akul
Registered: May 30, 2010
Total Posts: 1611
Country: United States

HI Bob,

Interesting route you are taking. I can see you will make use of that focal length more. I have been wondering about 25 too. In my case, I am not interested in selling 21. I finally feel I get this lens, so there is no point of getting rid of it. I am also interested in 2.8 25 ZF.2, the one that gets bad reputation. I am thinking about finally letting go of my ZF.2 f2/35 and replace with 2.8 .25 One thing about the 25s is that neither of them seem to get the absolute sharpness to the corner, which 21 is quite good at in comparison. I am not that of a pixel peeper, so that may not matter that much to me, but that would be one thing you might want to consider.



rji2goleez
Registered: Jun 24, 2003
Total Posts: 4718
Country: United States

akul wrote:
HI Bob,

Interesting route you are taking. I can see you will make use of that focal length more. I have been wondering about 25 too. In my case, I am not interested in selling 21. I finally feel I get this lens, so there is no point of getting rid of it. I am also interested in 2.8 25 ZF.2, the one that gets bad reputation. I am thinking about finally letting go of my ZF.2 f2/35 and replace with 2.8 .25 One thing about the 25s is that neither of them seem to get the absolute sharpness to the corner, which 21 is quite good at in comparison. I am not that of a pixel peeper, so that may not matter that much to me, but that would be one thing you might want to consider.



I'm not much of the pixel peeper either. I shot the Canon 14mm for a while and the corners didn't bother me at all. In fact, I find it helps lead the eye to the subject. Same with wide open vignetting. I love it. I know what you mean about the 21 though. The lens is so natural for me to shoot with. The 15 is becoming that quite quickly too.



philber
Registered: May 21, 2008
Total Posts: 7568
Country: France

Bob, as you are familiar with 35 f:1.4, you already know 25 f:2.0, as the two lenses are very close in rendering. I did a 3-way comparison between 21, 25 and 35, and the results showed the 21 to be showing its age, and it went. The main criterion, which is very important for me, is a lens' ability to differentiate colours, and the 25 and 35 are just better, more subtle than the 21. I posted the results, and indicated that the 25 was, for me, just a tad better than the 35, but others felt the other way. Now the flaws. The 25's bokeh isn't quite as glorious as the 35's. It also has a well-documented few un sharp pixels in the extreme corners. OTOH it doesn't exhibit the field curvature or the wide open haze of its narrower sibling. Any way you go, 21 and 25 are both fine lenses, especially in your able hands. Have fun!



Keith B.
Registered: Jun 06, 2010
Total Posts: 637
Country: United States

Ditto here on Philber's observation about the color transmission of the 21 vs. the 25/2. The difference is small, but noticeable.
The 25 is proving to be an attractive FL; 20/21 is a FL that I always THINK that I want, but end up not using much.



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 3104
Country: Australia

If you (i) like the 15mm a lot, which you do; and (ii) shoot a lot of nature where high impact deep scenes is desirable, which you may, then the 21mm is a must-have lens, I feel. I confess I don't see many images of that kind in the threads here from the 21mm. People seem to not enjoy the focal length, and many gravitate towards the 24/25mm area. It would seen to suit what you do, however.

If a 15mm floats the boat, 25mm is too much longer, remember even 2mm is very noticeable for super wides. It's hard to think of another lens that epitomises the Distagon genes more than the 21mm, and a special note of the film era version I have, which is more dreamy and yet sharper at f5.6-f8 than the ZE - which is clearly optimised for wide open use, a somewhat different lens. It (the ZE) is more in keeping with the new wide open use policy CZ uses for even its wide lenses nowadays. I like the old Contax line - film era preference.

Many people, I am sure think to themselves re the 21mm: 'what is all the fuss about?' and they should look elsewhere for satisfaction, perhaps the Leica 28mm v2 as well.

But I can't imagine working without it, and still stare at the large jpegs on my monitor at work. I see a lot in common in the 15mm and would aim to get one when I get back to more landcapes, it is a bit big and marginal for travel, for me anyway.

I am finding that 25-30mm a 'dead spot' and have very little trouble making the jump to 21mm from the wide end of (the medium wide to medium long) 35-70 FL range for 'normal' perspective shots. SO there is another view.



Jochenb
Registered: May 25, 2010
Total Posts: 1819
Country: Belgium

While I agree with the statements about the 25, I could never sell my 21ZE for it. The 21 still higly impresses me everytime I use it. I have large prints (1.5m wide) from it and the fine details are incredible.
Love the look it gives me. There's just something about it that really appeals to me.

However, that's just me. Bob, if you won't use the 21 anymore you might as well sell it and give the 25 a try. It's all so personal.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15949
Country: Germany

Bob, you say "I've been wondering how much I will actually use my Distagon 21/2.8". Why not wait until you know?



rji2goleez
Registered: Jun 24, 2003
Total Posts: 4718
Country: United States

Philippe - I knew I could count on you for some of the subtleties of these lenses. I haven't seen enough images with the 25 but the write ups make it sound attractive.

Keith - I hear on the use of the 21 but when it was my widest, it was a go to lens for me. Now with the 15, I keep wondering how and why I would select the 21 over it.

Philip_pj - You hit the nail on the head . . . the 21 is that good. It's an easy lens to shoot and the resulting images are, well, outstanding.

Jochenb - I feel the same way about the 21 and the look it gives. The 15 reminds me of that as well but I wonder if I would feel the same way about the 25. Frankly, I have yet to be disappointed with any Zeiss lens!

Carsten - Yes, you are probably right and maybe I should rent a 25 in the mean time in order to compare. However, that would be the rational thing to do. I'm not sure I could stand it!

Thanks guys . . . exactly the kind of opinion I knew I could count on!



wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 4174
Country: United States

Yes, the rational thing to do is rent the 25/2 and do your own comparison shooting.
That is what I did when the 25/2 first came out and I posted some comparison shots with 21/2.8 and 24G in the 25/2 thread.
Personally I preferred the 21 over the 25/2 for stopped down landscape shooting because I like the focal length better and preferred its color rendering better for nature. The 25/2 seemed to me optimized and it's main strength is it's sharpness across the frame wide open and at 2,8.
For me I like the 21 and 35 focal length combo spacing and find 24/25mm often not wide enough.
I wish Zeiss had made the 25 f1.4 instead of f2 as I do shoot my 24G wide open In low light or when I want the subject isolation. The abrupt smudging of the extreme corners even at f5.6/f8 was too noticeable and disappointing as it was not a gradual loss of sharpness due to FC but was like falling off a cliff bad.
The 25/2 is still a good lens and has its supporters. Right now I have 21/2.8 in both ZE and ZF.2 flavors after getting the D800E earlier this year.



Steve Spencer
Registered: Nov 08, 2006
Total Posts: 7681
Country: Canada

rji2goleez wrote:
Since acquiring the Distagon 15/2.8, I've been wondering how much I will actually use my Distagon 21/2.8. So I'm wondering if the 25/2 would be a better choice but wondering what you good folks might say about the differences between the two beyond speed and focal length. At first glance, the 25 might fill out my Zeiss arsenal more consistently. I have the 15, 35/1.4, 50MP and 100MP. The 15 and 21 seem really close in focal length and the 25 would be smack in the middle of the 15 and 35.

So, anyone have some opinions of the differences between the 21 and 25 besides the obvious?

Thanks in advance . . .


When you write, "The 15 and 21 seem really close in focal length and the 25 would be smack in the middle of the 15 and 35," I think you are forgetting that in terms of perspective 15 to 25 mm is a lot bigger jump than 25 to 35mm. In terms of perspective 25 to 35 is a lot more similar than 15 to 21 and in fact 21 is more in the middle between 15 and 35 than 25 is. The 25 might well have some advantages, but I don't see balancing your focal lengths as one of them.



mcbroomf
Registered: Mar 18, 2003
Total Posts: 2453
Country: United States

I would 2nd Carsten's comment. I remember when I got the 17mm TSE I used it and pretty much forgot my 21mm C/Y while in the "euphoria" phase.

Mike



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2565
Country: United Kingdom

Another option is to keep all of your current lenses and add an older ZF25/2.8
It's a great lens for stopped down landscape/cityscape and is corner to corner sharp by 5.6



rji2goleez
Registered: Jun 24, 2003
Total Posts: 4718
Country: United States

mcbroomf wrote:
I would 2nd Carsten's comment. I remember when I got the 17mm TSE I used it and pretty much forgot my 21mm C/Y while in the "euphoria" phase.

Mike


Ah, yes, the eurphoria phase. I'm definitely in that phase right now with the 15mm . . .



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 3104
Country: Australia

Fashion is ephemeral, style is eternal. The 21mm is in the latter category for many. Had to laugh at philber's suggestion that it is 'showing its age', lol. Like all of us, my friend, like all of us. Hopefully the spouses don't kick us out.

Am reminded also of some wisdom from Mike Johnston - the Online Photographer - who believes that when you find a good lens, hang onto it. But - it is a gear forum with implications that photographic tastes are mere fashion, the latest is the greatest, and for those inclined to believe that, so be it.



rji2goleez
Registered: Jun 24, 2003
Total Posts: 4718
Country: United States

philip_pj wrote:
Fashion is ephemeral, style is eternal. The 21mm is in the latter category for many.
Am reminded also of some wisdom from Mike Johnston - the Online Photographer - who believes that when you find a good lens, hang onto it. But - it is a gear forum with implications that photographic tastes are mere fashion, the latest is the greatest, and for those inclined to believe that, so be it.


+1



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15949
Country: Germany

Btw, Mike Johnston is in the process of selling off most of his gear, having just bought a D800.



1
       2       3       end