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Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
39 49073 Jul 15, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $1,579.29
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.97
8.61
9.7
21mm

Specifications:
The new horizon
This legendary super wide angle lens will set new standards in its focal length class. Exceptional color control allows for extraordinary high contrast pictures without any color fringes. Thanks to the Carl Zeiss T * anti reflection coating and its outstanding attenuation of stray light, the Distagon T * 2,8 / 21 provides brilliant results under all lighting conditions. With a close focusing of only 0.22 m (0.72 ft) it is as attractive for landscape photography as for subjects with dramatic perspectives. The Distagon T * 2,8 / 21 with F bayonet (ZF), EF bayonet (ZE) and K bayonet (ZK) is suitable for analog or digital full-frame SLR cameras. The large front fi lter diameter even allows for the use of standard screw-in fi lters when combined with the standard lens shade.

Focal length 21 mm
Aperture range f/2.8 f/22 (1/2 steps)
Focusing range 0.22 m infinity
Number of elements/groups 16/13
Angular field, diag./horiz. 90/81
Coverage at close range 18 x 12 cm
Filter thread M 82 x 0.75
Dimensions (with caps) 87 mm, length 109 mm
Weight 600 g
Camera mounts F Mount (ZF & ZF.2) EF Mount (ZE) K Mount (ZK)


 


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Xavier Rival
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Registered: Jul 21, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 3959
Review Date: Apr 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality (sharpness, contrast, color, absence of CA), perfect built quality.
Cons:
Moustache distortion...

This lens delivers fantastic shots in a very wide range of conditions. It is very hard to criticize the image quality (sharp from center to corners, even at wide apertures, contrast). The lack of CA is very impressive, even in shots where I would expect to see quite a bit of it. The bokeh is pretty nice too, which makes some creative shots possible (even though such a wide angle is not prone to reduced DoF photograpy, we can still create some nice effects).
The only issue is the moustache, but it is not a big issue at all, unless one plans to use it for architecture only. Compared to my Canon lenses with similar focal length (17-40L and 24-105L), this lens represents a very dramatic improvement.
The build quality is second to none.
It is expensive, but obviously we get what we pay for here, so it is well worth saving up for.


Apr 5, 2010
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charles.K
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Registered: Nov 6, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 3585
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp and detailed, but beyond that is the amazing rendition of color and contrast. A very well engineered product.
Cons:
MF only if you do not have alternative focusing screen installed.

I recently resonated with the expression on how the lens "draws", a feeling that is unique, beyond the sharpness and detail that is normally focused in forums. This lens is amazing as it sees colors and bring them to life, in a landscape without the PP. I still have the 24L, but I find I'm exclusively using the ZE 21.

Great engineering, and accurate focusing mechanism. Although the lens is not light, it is compact.


Apr 2, 2010
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snowboarder
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Registered: Aug 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2564
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,540.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, color rendering, amazing and unique "look"
Cons:
nothing

Zeiss 21 ZE was my first Zeiss lens. I waited for the release in Canon mount for years,
refused to buy an used overpriced copy requiring some awkward adapter and metering earlier.
What can I say? I'm not disappointed Smile This is my favorite landscape lens, started my Zeiss disease
which so far caused me more money spent for the amazing Zeiss optics.
It's not that it's sharp - yeah, of course it's sharp, at f2.8 it's sharper than anything else out there
at any aperture. It's the unique look you fall in love with. The color range, micro-contrast, separation.
It's also a joy to use, amazing quality, the focus is so smooth...
Run to buy one, but be careful - it will cost you more money, because there are other Zeiss gems
like 35 ZE or 100MP ZE which you will buy also (I know it, I did and many other guys did as well).


Apr 2, 2010
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philber
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 7342
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: A lens that fully justifies its legendary reputation. It produces an exceptionally high percentage of "Wow!" shots. Great build quality. Very easy to use, turns my 5D MkII into a point-and-shoot.
Cons:
Well-known "mustache" distortion

The Distagon 21 never fails to amaze even its owners, that's how good it is. It has a way of making shots dramatic and spectacular, due to its rendition of colour and contrast and to its almost preternaturally deep DOF. I set it at f:5.6 and can shoot anything from 8' on without even bothering to focus. It is also wickedly sharp right from minimum focusing distance all the way to infinity. All this makes it the undisputed king of landscape lenses.
For architecture, it has a well documented "mustache" distortion that can spook some potential users. I find such damnation overstated, plus it can easily be cured in post with PTLens.
This lens makes it frustrating that a picture cannot be added to a review, because that would be worth more than a thousand words...


Apr 2, 2010
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Mike M. Kraus
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Registered: Jan 14, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1330
Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, color, build, the zeiss ' look ', image quality
Cons:
Possibly the price, but it has increased since I got mine, nothing else that bothers me

You probably have read all the reviews and technical stuff so I'll just make it simple. Right now this is my widest lens and my main interest is landscape. I had the canon 17-40 and really liked that, but this 21 ze is really something else ! I love everything about it and the manual focus is no problem. I have the 21 and 35 and wish I had several more ze's

Apr 1, 2010
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kevphoto
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Registered: Jul 28, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 102
Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,725.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fabulous image quality. Very sharp wide open, great perspective. Great build quality. Easy to manually focus.
Cons:
None if you can afford it.

What a great lens. This will be my go to lens for landscapes. Just incredible.

Apr 1, 2010
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nazdravanul
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Registered: Jul 1, 2008
Location: Romania
Posts: 170
Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredible lens and surprisingly versatile.
Cons:
The famous mustache wave . Oh well ... :)

The legend is true ; everything you've heard or read about the sheer amazingness of this lens is totally true Smile .

Apr 1, 2010
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Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
39 49073 Jul 15, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $1,579.29
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.97
8.61
9.7
21mm


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