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Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T*

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Reviews Views Date of last review
37 50991 Jul 15, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $924.07
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.94
9.52
9.8
35mm

Specifications:
The Versatile Reporter
This classic focal length with a moderate wide-angle perspective
is perfectly suited for commercial, location and nature photography. The Distagon T* 2/35 is designed to provide very high image quality over a wide range of apertures and focusing ranges. The fast f/2 aperture enables hand-held photography under difficult lighting conditions and the short focus rotation is well-suited for fast action photography. The Distagon T* 2/35 is available with the F bayonet (ZF), K bayonet (ZK) and M42 (ZS) lens mounts and is designed for use with full-frame SLR and DSLR cameras. A special floating elements design offers constant high performance over the entire distance range.
Combined with a DSLR with a 1.5 crop factor, the lens has an effective focal length of 53 mm and can be used as a standard focal length for a natural viewing perspective.

Focal length 35 mm
Aperture range f/2.0 f/22 (1/2 steps)
Focusing range 0,3 m infinity
Number of elements/groups 9/7
Angular field, diag./horiz. 62/53
Coverage at close range 19 x 13 cm
Filter thread M 58 x 0.75
Dimensions (with caps) 64 mm, length 97 mm
Weight 530 g
Camera mounts EF Mount (ZE) F Mount (ZF & ZF.2) K Mount (ZK) M42 Screw Mount (ZS)


 


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helimat
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Registered: Apr 6, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3722
Review Date: Mar 28, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, well built, smooth focus ring, signature Zeiss contrast & sharpness
Cons:
Well, no lens is perfect I suppose. I guess I could mention light falloff in the corners wide open, or even the lack of AF, but these 'issues' have ever really affected me.

A great lens wide open or stopped down. It seems to me that it is in my bag more often than not... In fact it is rarely out, so I guess that itself is pretty good testimonial.

Mar 28, 2011
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Jon Shafer
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Registered: Apr 16, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 47
Review Date: Nov 10, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,004.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Unparalleled build quality, fantastic image rendering, contrast, color, legendary Zeiss "3D".
Cons:
Price, lack of AF.

After reading the reviews here on FM I decided that I needed to own a piece of Zeiss glass to go with my collection of Canon lenses. At first I bought a 50mm Makro Planar which I played with for a week or so. Even though the IQ was fabulous I wasn't so impressed with the macro shots, and because I already own a Canon 50mm 1.4, I couldn't see tying up $1,200 plus for a redundant focal length. I returned the lens and studied the reviews for a few days until I decided to give the 35mm f/2 a try. It seemed like of all of the Zeiss offerings, if there was one single lens that people were truly stoked about it was this one. I have a Canon 24-70 and shoot with both a 1D Mk III and a 7D and I though the 35mm would fill a niche. I bought a 35mm and tried it the first time and was disappointed with the results due to out of focus shots. I have serious vision problems so lack of AF is a real challenge for me. Trying Live View to focus solved the problem, but I really wanted to be able to shoot on the fly, so I ordered a EC-s focus screen. Once I installed that, I was totally blown away with the results. I can't wait to get more opportunities to shoot surfing with this lens.

Here are a couple of sample test images:

http://santabarbarasurfer.com/images/J0NS7012-1024.jpg

http://santabarbarasurfer.com/images/J0NS7043.jpg

http://santabarbarasurfer.com/images/J0NS6773.jpg

http://santabarbarasurfer.com/images/J0NS6784.jpg

Buy this lens, it is a sure bet. Good as gold!!

Aloha Nui Loa,
Jon



Nov 10, 2010
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dimitris77
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Registered: Aug 28, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 535
Review Date: Oct 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, colors, bokeh, small size and build quality.
Cons:
Vignetting.

I replaced my 35L with this. Needless to say that I haven't regretted it my choice. The Zeiss has a lot better characteristics and it makes the Canon look plain and flat. Build quality is excellent and its pretty easy to use. It makes an excellent walkaround lens coupled with a 5D.

Oct 28, 2010
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edwardkaraa
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: Thailand
Posts: 7152
Review Date: Oct 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything is perfect or near perfect. 3D is very pronounced.
Cons:
Some CA in the corners.



Oct 25, 2010
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dstraton
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Registered: Jan 17, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Oct 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,004.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Color "Pop", build quality insanely good, rendition of fine details fantastic
Cons:
Seriously? None.

Believe everything you hear.

I wasn't really in the market for a new lens, and the 35/2 was not even remotely considered. I was researching for a wide-angle replacement for my 17-40 which I like, but have never loved due to it's edge performance which shows up in large prints.

The Distagon 21 was my real target and then I started reading about the 35 f2, and Zeiss in general. It piqued my interest. I bought this and the 21 today, brought it home and snapped 100 photos or so on my 5D MkII.

I stayed at f2 a lot - yes there is vignetting. I was expecting it. But I don't care because at f2 this thing is sharp pretty much to the edges without PP, the colors are insanely saturated, and the fine detail was amazing...I have nothing in my Canon arsenal which compares except maybe - maybe- the 135L. f8? Whoa.

Well - I haven't even tried the 21 yet - and it is supposed to be even better. I can't even fathom that.

I don't care if I ever see another zoom or AF unless it is on a telephoto lens.

Next up the Makro 50mm f2...


Oct 8, 2010
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Choun W
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Registered: Jul 3, 2003
Location: Thailand
Posts: 27
Review Date: Aug 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp at center started from wide aperture, very creamy boken, color reproduction very rich, very easy to capture in low light condition with slow shutter speed.
Cons:
Non.

I love this lens (sure look at how I'm scoring), it very versatile as street photo as same as low light condition.
Very fun and enjoy with this lens even shooting video, the lens present a very bright clear and rich color video clip, in the same time it separated front subject out from the background in very pleasant mood.
find out some photo sample here..http://www.pbase.com/chounws3/gow_hong_100_years_market


Aug 16, 2010
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Kenneth Ling
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Registered: May 4, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 7, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: take a look at the photo and you will be amaze.
Cons:
Jul 7, 2010
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ic2foto
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Registered: Jun 19, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: I am currently renting this lens and an 18mm ZE from BorrowLens.com. I have very good lenses (selected Zeiss/Contax lenses) to compare them to and am satisfied that these are the next step up in quality. While expensive, you more often than not get what you pay for and these are the best that I've yet to experience. Are they perfect - no. Are they the best you can get - very likely! 35+ years of serious work can be found at www.Image-Circle.com Cheers
Cons:
Lens cap is nice looking - but problematic as others have stated. Buy a generic at your convenience give the Zeiss cap to a fellow photographer with ambition.



Jun 19, 2010
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denoir
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Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Location: Sweden
Posts: 4209
Review Date: Jun 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: remarkable rendering, colors, sharpness
Cons:
barrel distortion, slight CA at the edges

Those that think the Zeiss "3D" is a myth should take a look at the images that this lens produces. No other lens that I've used or seen produces such images where you really get a feeling of real depth in the image. Not even any of my other Zeiss lenses (currently 21/2.8, 50MP & 100 MP) come close to this type of rendering style. My guess is that it has something to do with the way sharpness-to-blur gradient changes.

It doesn't extract the fine detail in a scene like the Distagon 21 does and it does not have the raw sharpness and optical performance of the Makro Planars. Its unique rendering style on the other hand makes it excellent in its own right. Colors and contrast are fabulous and shared across the whole Z* line.


Jun 14, 2010
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Kenneth Ling
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Registered: May 4, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build like a tank, Focus very smooth, Sharp edge to edge, close range focus.
Cons:
B+W SLIM B+W 58mm Circular Polarizer filter wont fit with hood attached, have to get the Hoya CP-L and HD UV instead, noticeable fall off @ f2.

If I have only one lens, this is the one. Perfect for street photography, I like it so much, I dont use my Canon 24-70 2.8L anymore. with the new 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, you dont need to bring more lens when you travel (1.4x extender is a bouns too).

Taken with 5D mark II
Store front
http://www.flickr.com/photos/porsche911turbo/4651255044/
Old Montreal building
http://www.flickr.com/photos/porsche911turbo/4651195502/
Schwartzs
http://www.flickr.com/photos/porsche911turbo/4651177616/
Cherry Blossom
http://www.flickr.com/photos/porsche911turbo/4537969068/
Cake
http://www.flickr.com/photos/porsche911turbo/4490580642/
People
http://www.flickr.com/photos/porsche911turbo/4489738041/

Enjoy.


May 31, 2010
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j.liam
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Registered: Dec 13, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2286
Review Date: May 15, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image truly does "pop", wonderful color
Cons:
Vignetting wide open, peculiar color fringing, weighty

One can nitpick its failings and it does have them (color fringing, vignetting) but they haven't amounted to much when compared to the upside (flare-free, wondrous color, micro-contrast, out-resolves my D700's sensor, real 3D "look" I didn't believe until I saw it). I shot direct comparisons to my 24-70/2.8 and 17-35/2.8. The Zeiss just outclassed them both (so much so with regard to the 17-35 that I sold it). Fantastic at f/2, by f/4 I don't think any fast 35 holds a candle to it, even the legendary Nikkor 35/1.4.

May 15, 2010
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grasmuc
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Registered: Oct 25, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 104
Review Date: Apr 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, colors, mechanical construction
Cons:
slight ca

After testing a 35L in a store without being convinced (sharpness ok but not overwhelming, boring colors) I tried the ZE35 in another place and bought it after a few test shots. Every single picture by this lens gives such an astonishing 3D effect and color rendition, it's barely believable, if you haven't seen this. This is also the sharpest lens at f2 of any wide or medium focal length that I know. CA is on the negative side but easily adjustable in PS raw conversion.
I also found it positively easy to focus manually, even with the normal 5D2 matt screen.
Highly recommendable lens!
(PS: I also tried the ZE21 in the shop but my particular sample showed clearly less corner sharpness at any aperture than the ZE35 or my CY21)


Apr 18, 2010
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Toothwalker
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Registered: Jan 23, 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 1294
Review Date: Apr 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: High image quality from close focus to infinity.
Cons:
Vignetting; barrel distortion; lateral color.

This is a good lens, excellent even, but not superior. Owing to the floating-element design, the image quality of this lens is high from its closest focus setting to infinity. Contrast and resolution are high and the flare resistance very good. However, I need to subtract one point for the unavoidable vignetting at f/2 and the moderate barrel distortion, and another point for noticeable chromatic aberration in the form of lateral color. Although lateral color does not depend on the aperture setting, the resulting color fringing becomes more conspicuous when the lens is stopped down because other aberrations are reduced. None of these imperfections should prevent people from getting this lens, because, after all, it is excellent. The competition doesn't do better.

Apr 7, 2010
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Makten
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Registered: Jul 13, 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 4042
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: +Sharp and contrasty straight from f/2. +Vivid colors and a micro contrast that makes the images "pop" +Great build quality and finish +Almost free from flare
Cons:
-Heavy vignetting on FF at f/2-2.8 -Quite a lot of CA in the cornes, even well stopped down -"Color vignetting", giving a magenta cast to the corners -Barrel distortion; enough to make architecture troublesome

This is one of the best lenses I've owned (out of ~45). Probably THE best. But I'm not sure everyone would agree.

The overall image quality is stunning, with a sharpness and contrast that I've never seen any Nikkor produce. It's more about local contrast than pure resolution. I didn't really believe all the "3D" talk, but now I do. It's there and you don't get it from most other lenses.

But, there's a backside of the coin, that you seldom hear of. The lens vignettes really much on FF. Much more than the old Nikkor 35/1.4, which still is smaller. The Zeiss is better though, but apparently not in every respect.
With the vignetting there's also a peciliar color cast to the corners, mainly at large apertures. Most of the time it won't be seen, but if you shoot for example a white building, it will clearly be seen.
There's also red CA towards the corners. Not evenly distributed, so correcting it in ACR gives either over correction in the far corners or under correction in mid frame. Not a great problem though.

An important thing is bokeh. It's a bit on the harsh side, but not worse than most 35 mm lenses. It gets better close up, and/or stopped down a bit.
Even more important is the transition from sharp to unsharp, and I have never seen something like what the Distagon produces here. Oh, except for the 35/2.8 Biogon that I've got for my M8. Zeiss again. The plane of sharpness just "melts" away into a very silky sort of "nowhere land" before the blur discs can actually be seen. Hard to explain, but I can't imagine how anyone could dislike it.

About the price. This is a cheap lens for what you get. It'll last a life time and you will not get anything as good for the same money, if speaking of new lenses.


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: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: absolutely flawless
Cons:
nothing

As good as the amazing Zeiss 21 ZE, sometimes I think it's even better...
I used to own Canon 35L, it was good, but boring, never used it really.
I though I didn't like the 35 mm focal length...
Zeiss 35 ZE is in my bag ALWAYS, this + 21 ZE and 100MP ZE
are my holly trinity Smile


Apr 2, 2010
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philber
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 7367
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tremendously sharp all the way from minimum focusing distance to infinity. Great colour and contrast. Considered the most consistently "3D" of all Zeiss lenses. Great build. Balances very well on a 5D MkII
Cons:
Still looking hard for any

The only lens I have owned, out of maybe 25, where I cannot find any even half-serious flaw. That, combined with its focal length, makes it a devastatingly effective walk-about lens, whether on FF or on crop. It is razor-sharp very close up and maintains this throughout, its rendition of colour has very strong contrast. Its "3D" prowess is unmatched. Only the comparison with its "big brother", the legendary 21 Distagon shows it to be very slightly on the clinical side of neutrality.

Apr 2, 2010
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Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T*

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
37 50991 Jul 15, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $924.07
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.94
9.52
9.8
35mm


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