which lens has the most 3D POP?

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Registered: May 14, 2008
Total Posts: 884
Country: Germany

which lens has the most 3D POP?

i guess a Zeiss, but which one?
did anybody compare the 4 zeiss 50ies (2x C/Y, N, ZE)?


Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 28221
Country: Canada

In my experience, it's the C/Y Carl Zeiss Planar 85/1.4 at f/4 to f/8. The EF 85/1.2L II is probably just as good in this department, but it's a more specialized lens. IMO, 3D pop and separation from the background are two different things.

Registered: Sep 25, 2009
Total Posts: 1300
Country: Canada


Registered: Aug 09, 2008
Total Posts: 2034
Country: United States

Depending on focal length, some of my favorites for "3D-ness" are:

Contax 25/2.8 (perhaps its poorer corner performance at wide apertures gives near-center subjects a little extra pop over the also good 28/2.8)

Contax 35/1.4 (the wide aperture background separation often helps, but the lens also delivers stopped down)

Contax 35-70/3.4 is a good 5th choice for comparing Zeiss' 50mm offerings; it is a bit ahead of the Contax 50mm primes for stopped-down work.

Contax 100/2 is extra good at "pop" at any aperture (I've never tried the Contax 85mm options for comparison, but I like the 100/2 over the rendering of my now-sold EF 85L)

Just so I don't seem completely biased towards Contax, the Oly 90/2 macro is also good (perhaps pulling ahead of the Contax 100/2 at shorter working distances, unsurprising for a macro lens).

Paul Yi
Registered: Dec 10, 2004
Total Posts: 5324
Country: United States

From the ones I've used....

C/Y 100/2.0
Leica Apo R 180/2.8
Canon 200/2.0L IS

These were very very very good.....

Registered: Jun 04, 2008
Total Posts: 455
Country: Germany

A cheaper one Leica-R Vario-Elmar 3.5/35-70mm

Jim Schemel
Registered: Oct 18, 2006
Total Posts: 4931
Country: United States

Samples on a question like this area always fun to look at.

I had a Carl Zeiss Jena(purchased from Paul) that had some surprising 3D to it when you nailed the focus.The shot below is @f2.8 on my 5D.I really liked the lens but my left elbow has never been the same after carrying it around NYC for several days(the lens is very heavy)


Registered: Dec 15, 2008
Total Posts: 2118
Country: United States

I'm reading the original post as needing information comparing the 50mm C/Y, "N", and Z**

If so -
reinhard, in the beginning pages of the "Contax N Image Thread" there was a lengthy discussion and images reviewing the 50's - starting about middle of page two and going on....for a while. Hope that helps.


Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 17901
Country: United States

38 pages of 3D discussion from Jan 2009 - Oct 2010 (almost 2 years). One of the most prolific threads on the subject in recent past. Has some missing pics along the way by now, but there's still plenty of examples to see.


I carry the C/Y 50/1.7 as my chosen "3D" 50, but typically grab my 35-70/3.4 when I'm looking to make some "3D-ishness" in that appx. FL. I also have a C/Y 50/1.4, but haven't done much with it ... likely to sell. The 50/2 Macro holds its own pretty well, but you're starting to split hairs between the 1.7 vs. the 2.0 Macro on the 3D-O-Meter.

Registered: Sep 17, 2004
Total Posts: 628
Country: United States

Contax or Rollei Zeiss, especially 35/1.4. But many others are not too far behind.


Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2210
Country: Australia

KIRON 28/2 at F2

It has such poor edge resolution wide open that a subject in the central area, which is quite sharp, stands out like dogs balls!


Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Total Posts: 1128
Country: Germany

So far for me the Zeiss 35 2.0 ZE (beginning wide open), C/Y 35-70 3.4 (at f5.6) and the Zeiss C/Y 85 1.4 (stopped down) delivered the most 3D-impression (in this order). The Zeiss 21 2.8 and 28 2.8 (in the center) are also very good. The aforementioned Contax 100 2.0 did not impress me that much in this regard.

Registered: Jul 14, 2008
Total Posts: 4106
Country: Sweden

For the sort of 3D that does not involve short DOF, the Z* 35/2 is the one...


But of course it pops even better with semi-short DOF...


Registered: May 25, 2008
Total Posts: 711
Country: Netherlands

Not the first lens that comes to mind, but the Sigma 50/1.4 has some 3D-talent. Not as much as some Zeiss lenses, but it can show some pop.

Jim Schemel
Registered: Oct 18, 2006
Total Posts: 4931
Country: United States

those are very nice samples

Registered: Jul 25, 2010
Total Posts: 134
Country: United States

I have seen 2 lenses which I think for sure do it:

the zeiss 100mm f2 makro-plannar

(here is the best example, it's not my photo so Ill leave it in link form: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nivandri/4885653416)

and the zeiss 80mm f2.8 T* planar.

I went to a little exhibition of Michal Chelbin's work and was really blown away by it. Im not sure if it was the lens, or the printing. Im not very experienced with looking at pro prints, but some of her work just had that look.

to me what I think matters most is whatever it is that people call "microcontrast", which is something I am not well read on. Ive been blown away by pictures made with the 65mm mamiya for the 7, but it doesnt have that same sort of look. the same is true of the 58mm f1.2 rokkor, 90/2 zuiko, 90 cron, 50 cron, 50mm f1.4 SMC, etc. they all draw in a way that's out of this world but every one to me is different then what I see from the zeiss lenses.

Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9306
Country: Japan

The FD 24/2.0 has nice pop. So does the Yashica ML 24/2.8

Many say that the Yashica is better than than the Zeiss is pop and sharpness but I don't have the Zeiss so I dunno for sure.

Registered: Jan 03, 2010
Total Posts: 2163
Country: United States


Sigma seems to be moving up in regards to separation, or even pop. Even the inexpensive 30/1.4 has a fair amount when shot wide open.. not in the class of some of the images posted here, but just saying.. for the money...



Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 4170
Country: United States

Are 3D cameras/lenses supposed to give us more 3D pop?

Registered: Dec 27, 2008
Total Posts: 317
Country: Germany

3D means good (micro)contrast sharp and a gaussian blur background.
You can get that all from Distagon 1.4/35 Rokkor 2.8/24 Rokkor 2/28 2,8/200 Zuiko Auto Macro 2/50 and of course the famous 2/90

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