Which Zeiss for landscape at the price?
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Sunny Alan
Registered: Aug 13, 2012
Total Posts: 149
Country: India

I am buying a Zeiss wide for my 5d Mark2, say Distagon T 28, 25 or 21mm. Price vary @ $1283, $1700, $1843. B&H.
And I found a 25 used Mint @1000.

All 3 are good for landscape.
Which is 'value for money'?

All ?

Is it make that much difference in landscape photography if 28, 25 or 21 width wise, assuming IQ is same?
For me 25 is enough, and if need wider, better go for an ultra-wide 18 or 16mm. I use 24-105 and 24 is enough wide for landscapes for enlarge printing upto 36+ inches on canvas.

But IQ is not same. I am heard 21 is exceptionally high quality. But I think it is too wide for the above purpose.

I request expert advises, comments, please...

Should I go for the 'used' ?



martines34
Registered: Jun 23, 2008
Total Posts: 2993
Country: United States

Have you looked at the "Reviews" portion of this board??

You will get actual user comments/results.

It is a very good guide to lenses you are considering and posted ratings.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12951
Country: United States

The wider you go, the more optical compromises (i.e. mustache distortion, size, weight, etc.) must be encountered in the design. That being said, many praise "The King" i.e. the 21, but ... when you say "assuming IQ is same", they do have differences.

Even within the 25 (there's more than one) ... they vary in some ways relative to IQ drawing style. Not sure which 25 your are referring, but if I didn't already have my 24L TS-E II, I'd be opting for one of the 25's. I find it to be a good FL for many things, but we all have our own perspective of what we like.

Hard to go wrong with any of them ... but as to value, it's hard to say without knowing which 25 (used) you are referring to.



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2495
Country: United Kingdom

Many here will know i keep singing the praises of the original ZF.1 25mm f2.8.
It's dead sharp at f4 and sharp right into the corners at f5.6 and has all the usual zeiss contrast and colour.

The newer 25 f2.0 may be a more interesting design but for stopped down landscapes the 25 2.8 is a real bargain.

You could probably get a used one for well under half the price of the 21.



Gary Clennan
Registered: Mar 29, 2007
Total Posts: 4992
Country: Canada

ZF25/2.8 is superb!



taemo
Registered: May 23, 2006
Total Posts: 365
Country: Canada

while they are all great, I find the 25 or 28 to be not wide enough.
and there's lots of great lenses that covers that range that are relatively sharp (not as sharp as a zeiss)



Steve Spencer
Registered: Nov 08, 2006
Total Posts: 7506
Country: Canada

What is wide enough? To me that is like asking how long is a piece of string. IMO, it depends on what you shoot, i.e., the particular scene. The Zeiss 21mm is an exceptional lens for lanscape with very high microcontrast and for the scenes I typically shoot, a very nice perspective. I find the distortion of the new ZE lens a complete non-issue for landscapes (I can occasionally see it for architecture). I think from seeing others images the 25mm f/2 ZE is in many ways as good as the 21mm, except at the extreme corners (and really just the last few). Both are exceptional lenses, but both come at a steeper price. For landscape, I agree with the above that the ZF 25 f/2.8 is the best bargain. It isn't available new anymore, but is available used fairly regularly. It doesn't have a floating element like the other lenses you are discussing here, so its performance will probably not be as good when shooting images at close focus distances, but for distance landscapes it should be great.



Xtobolic
Registered: Oct 17, 2010
Total Posts: 106
Country: Netherlands

Is there a reason you are not looking at the 18mm zeiss?



crazeazn
Registered: Jul 16, 2005
Total Posts: 1722
Country: United States

cy 28 2.8 if u dont need the width.



carlitos
Registered: Feb 12, 2010
Total Posts: 292
Country: United States

what about c/y 25/2.8? especially for 5d II



Cadaver
Registered: Dec 03, 2008
Total Posts: 472
Country: N/A

The samples I've seen of landscape photography from the 25mm 2.8 are outstanding. Another vote for this underrated lens.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3735
Country: Canada

+1 for Contax 25/2.8. Not super impressive wide open, but stopped down it is ridiculous.



Jabberwockt
Registered: Aug 22, 2011
Total Posts: 557
Country: United States

In your shoes, I would choose based on the focal length that works best for my shooting. A few MM may not sound much, but is substantial on the wide end.



kosmoskatten
Registered: Oct 11, 2005
Total Posts: 2980
Country: Sweden

Having had the Contax 25/2.8 I'd say it is quite fuzzy wide open at any range.
Close up from f4 and onwards a very fine lens.
Stopped down I like it a lot.



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

It might be subjective but I find the drawing from ZF 25/2.8 quite different compared to my other ZF lenses. Mind you I have not had 21 and 25/2. Has anyone else noticed it?



billsnature
Registered: Dec 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1371
Country: United States

I have owned all 3 lenses meanng the 28 f2.0, the 25mm f2.8, and the 21mm f2.8.

My answer would be different depending on if you are in a Canon camera system or a Nikon system.

When I was in the Canon system, the only one to own was the 21mm f2.8. It is stellar and the Canon lenses below 70mm suck (In my opinion) with the possible exception of the TSE 17mm and 24mm TSE. Therefore a 21mm ZE and a Contax 24-85mm N converted by Conurus to AF EOS mount gave a stellar landscape kit.

In Nikon system, I would buy a 16-35mm VR and maybe the 28mm f2.0. I am currently in the Nikon system and own the 16-35mm vr and the 25mm ZF.1. At $600-$650 the ZF.1 25mm f2.8 is a great bargin, and if you can't swing the 16-35mm VR, that is the way to go. The 25mm f2.8 is a great landscape lens at infinity which makes it a great bargain which was your question. It is not great close up where the 21mm and the 28mm are better. The only caveat is that the 16-35 is really good from about 19mm-26mm and therefore makes the 25mm (and to some degree the 21mm ZF) redundent. That is why I said I might go with the 28mm ZF if I had it to do over again as it or the 35mm ZF might pair better with the 16-35mm VR which is weak above 26mm.

If you ignore the "bargain aspect... The 21mm f2.8 is really quite stellar if you need that wide.

I hope that helps
Bill



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15627
Country: Germany

The 25s and the 28 are quite different though, so if lens character is important to you, they are not really interchangeable. The 25/2.8 is of course not as fast as the others, and its character is also that of a lens with a lot of depth of field, like the 21. Closer up, it needs stopping down at least once, but it is generally very sharp. The 25/2 I have not personally tried, but it seems to have some of the character of the 35/1.4, with subtle rendering and a more narrow depth of field, although of course a lot less than a 35. It has smudgy extreme corners until stopped down a bit, like the 50MP. The 28 is maybe the most different from the usual Zeiss look, with gentler colours and contrast (until stopped down somewhat), and it does have some CA (as does the 25/2, i think, but I don't think the 25/2.8 has much; someone else should confirm, it has been too long), but when you get the ratio between foreground and background just right, it has just gorgeous rendering. I own the 21 and 28 and they make a nice pair. Once stopped down to f/2.8 or f/4, the 28 also starts to have that sharp all-over Zeiss look, and it gets more punchy. IIRC, my current shot in Briantho's competition threads is with the 28/2.

By the way, when Zeiss lenses have weak corners, it generally means that there is strong curvature of field. Of these three, the 25/2.8 probably has least, wide open. Both the other two have significant amounts, but it can be used to advantage.



timballic
Registered: May 21, 2011
Total Posts: 770
Country: United Kingdom

johnahill wrote:
Many here will know i keep singing the praises of the original ZF.1 25mm f2.8.
It's dead sharp at f4 and sharp right into the corners at f5.6 and has all the usual zeiss contrast and colour.

The newer 25 f2.0 may be a more interesting design but for stopped down landscapes the 25 2.8 is a real bargain.

You could probably get a used one for well under half the price of the 21.


+1 (mine's the ZS with adapter though)



Sunny Alan
Registered: Aug 13, 2012
Total Posts: 149
Country: India

Thanks a lot friends for valuable advices...
1. RustyBug: I wish a 25 f2 Canon used in great preference, but not able to locate one, may settle with a 25 f 2.8 Nikon with suitable adapter. Any lead?

2. taemo: while they are all great, I find the 25 or 28 to be not wide enough.
and there's lots of great lenses that covers that range that are relatively sharp (not as sharp as a zeiss)>>>>>Ok. but my body is Canon 5d2. How far IQ affect with the 25 ZF+ adapter set up? And i need the best one in terms of sharpness: I am going to enlarge upto 36 inches o higher !

3. Steve Spencer: ....25 ZF doesn't have a floating element like the other lenses you are discussing here, so its performance will probably not be as good when shooting images at close focus distances, but for distance landscapes it should be great. >>>>My doubt: I have to enlarge the images to extra large sizes (36+ inches) to digital print on canvas. Do 25 ZF+ adapter still enough for IQ ?

4. Bill: 'If you ignore the "bargain aspect... The 21mm f2.8 is really quite stellar if you need that wide." >>> Bill, noting my above-mentioned end-product requirement, 21 or 25 best suitable? I think 25, because in a 36 widex24 inch canvas wall hanging, viewer must have something to make out from the pic. So moderately wide is the 'apt wide', some ultra wide too will work though. Am I correct?

>>>>So, as per majority advice, I am scouting for a 'used but LN 25 f2.8 ZF with some suitable adapter for my 5d2. Which reliable sellers in UK or USA ? Any advice please !







naturephoto1
Registered: Nov 09, 2005
Total Posts: 1611
Country: United States

Sunny Alan wrote:
Thanks a lot friends for valuable advices...
1. RustyBug: I wish a 25 f2 Canon used in great preference, but not able to locate one, may settle with a 25 f 2.8 Nikon with suitable adapter. Any lead?

2. taemo: while they are all great, I find the 25 or 28 to be not wide enough.
and there's lots of great lenses that covers that range that are relatively sharp (not as sharp as a zeiss)>>>>>Ok. but my body is Canon 5d2. How far IQ affect with the 25 ZF+ adapter set up? And i need the best one in terms of sharpness: I am going to enlarge upto 36 inches o higher !

3. Steve Spencer: ....25 ZF doesn't have a floating element like the other lenses you are discussing here, so its performance will probably not be as good when shooting images at close focus distances, but for distance landscapes it should be great. >>>>My doubt: I have to enlarge the images to extra large sizes (36+ inches) to digital print on canvas. Do 25 ZF+ adapter still enough for IQ ?

4. Bill: 'If you ignore the "bargain aspect... The 21mm f2.8 is really quite stellar if you need that wide." >>> Bill, noting my above-mentioned end-product requirement, 21 or 25 best suitable? I think 25, because in a 36 widex24 inch canvas wall hanging, viewer must have something to make out from the pic. So moderately wide is the 'apt wide', some ultra wide too will work though. Am I correct?

>>>>So, as per majority advice, I am scouting for a 'used but LN 25 f2.8 ZF with some suitable adapter for my 5d2. Which reliable sellers in UK or USA ? Any advice please !







I haven't kept up on this. Here is a Nikon mount Zeiss Distagon 25mm f2.8 ZF lens from KEH who is quite reputable and tends to be conservative in their ratings:

http://www.keh.com/camera/Nikon-Manual-Focus-Non-Mfg-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses/1/sku-NK08999099232J?r=FE

KEH is probably the largest dealer of used camera equipment in the US. I have purchased from them many times and have been quite pleased with their knowledge, service and products..

Rich



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