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Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

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Reviews Views Date of last review
11 25526 Jan 16, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $795.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
10.00
9.50
9.7
25mm

Specifications:
The Legendary Wide-angle Lens with Close-focus Capability
This wide-angle lens is the most advanced version of the legendary Distagon, a high performance lens with close focus capabilities, that was first introduced in 1961. The Distagon T* 2,8/25 is a recalculation of this design for use with modern SLRs and DSLRs using either full-frame or smaller sensors. The close-focus capability increases the versatility of this lens, providing a wider perspective than the usual macro focal lengths. Combined with a digital SLR with a 1.5 crop factor, the lens has an effective focal length of 38 mm and becomes a moderate wide-angle lens. The Distagon T* 2,8/25 is available with the F bayonet (ZF), K bayonet (ZK) and M42 (ZS) lens mounts and is
ideally suited for nature and landscape photography or for any situation requiring a wider perspective.

Focal length 25 mm
Aperture range f/2.8 f/22 (1/2 steps)
Focusing range 0.17 m infinity
Number of elements/groups 10/8
Angular field, diag./horiz. 80/70
Coverage at close range 83 x 55 mm
Filter thread M 58 x 0,75
Dimensions (with caps) 64 mm, length 90 mm
Weight 480 g
Camera mounts F Mount (ZF)
K Mount (ZK)
M42 Screw Mount (ZS)


 


      
dadgummit
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Registered: Sep 12, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 134
Review Date: Jan 16, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Lots of the Zeiss Micro-contrast, Almost a Makro, Great colors, size
Cons:
They don't make this in ZE form

I love the Zeiss 21/2.8 but its size, weight and strange shape means it stays home more often than not. I was planning on getting the Contax 28/2.8 but ran across a great deal on this lens with a leitax mount already installed. I was skeptical since this lens takes a beating in most prof lens reviews but looking here on FM it seems that people WHO ACTUALLY OWN IT seem to love it.
Wow what a great lens. It is very sharp in the center always and sharp in the corners both at infinity and/or at small apertures. It has about as much micro-contrast as the Zeiss 35/2. It has a magnification ratio that is almost equal to the Zeiss Makros and it is so small that there as always room in the bag so I have it just in case. The Zeiss 21/2.8 is a little better and I will never part with that one either but the old saying is true: The best lens in the world is the one you have when you need the shot.


Jan 16, 2013
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johnahill
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2472
Review Date: Jan 21, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: A nearly perfect landscape lens, dead sharp at infinity corner to corner.
Cons:
I wish it came in ZE mount

At infinity it is sharp corner to corner, even at wide apertures this lens is super sharp right out to the edges of the frame. Great colour and contrast. No flare. Has a very close MFD for a wide angle lens, this can make some interesting compositions.

In original ZF mount this lens is an absolute bargain. This lens is a serious challenger to the Leica R28 v2 for best 28mm lens crown (Ok the Zeiss is 26mm but close enough).


Jan 21, 2012
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martyn.
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Registered: Jul 29, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 324
Review Date: Sep 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Overall image quality, sharp, resolution and colours, build quality, close minimum focus distance, the images it produces.
Cons:
The lens cap (as usual replaced with a Nikon one)

I thought long and hard about buying this or the 21/2.8, reviews of the 25 were so so, however actual users spoke very highly of the lens.

What swung it for me was that on full frame 21/2.8 was getting just a little too wide for my taste, and I also preferred the smaller size of the 25/2.8.

Overall I am really pleased with the lens and the images it produces, not quite the punch that I see in the images from my 35/2 ZF.2, but there is not much between them.



Sep 29, 2011
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Sami Ruusunen
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Registered: Jul 29, 2010
Location: Finland
Posts: 696
Review Date: Aug 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: build quality, very nice focusing, long focus throw, sharp wide open, capable of focusing very close
Cons:
price, field curvature, crappy lens cap

I was rather sceptical when I first get the lens since the reviews of it were not very admiring. I also tried the lens earlier but was not impressed. After couple of months of regular shooting with the lens I must say I like it a lot. It's now my go-to lens with a crop camera. Perfect for landscapes, close focus shots and everything between.

The focusing action of the lens is superb, the almost 360 degree focus throw makes the manual focusing very pleasing.

Sharpness is good from f2.8 and gets very high at f5.6.

The field curvature of the lens is not relevant at landscape shots when you focus to infinity, but it might drag the corners out of focus at closer focusing distances so you need to watch out for that.

Close focusing distance from front element to object is just 6cm or so, that helps me achieve some artistic stuff I can't do with other lenses.

For many the price can be too high, with this price you might expect f2 lens. But on the other hand the size of the lens is just perfect with current speed so I would probably not switch to faster version even if zeiss introduces one later.


Aug 3, 2011
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markloy
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Registered: Apr 23, 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 9, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: a fantastic lens - excellent color rendition, good contrast, and sharp even at F2.8 in the center. Solid build.
Cons:
none

This is an excellent lens for most occasions. Strong 3D effect. Very reliable lens with no worry about high rejections. Just make sure you do the right things when taking photos, and the lens will produce extremely satisfied results.

Apr 9, 2011
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fsiagian
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Registered: May 23, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1769
Review Date: Feb 16, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful rendering. Great focal length for travel. Build quality. Smooth focus.
Cons:
None.

One of the first ZF lenses that I have. I really love it with my D700. The size and FL is about right for travel.

I am not an expert in technical detail about the lens so I don't know how to explain this. The pictures have a beautiful rendering. May be what people call Zeiss' 3D effect. I just love it.


Feb 16, 2011
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edwardkaraa
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: Thailand
Posts: 7297
Review Date: Oct 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Corner to corner sharpness at infinity even wide open. Close MFD. Bokeh quality.
Cons:
Strong field curvature at very close distances (no problem from 1.5m upwards). Field curvature can be used creatively for unique effects.



Oct 25, 2010
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e_dawg
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Registered: Nov 14, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 117
Review Date: Aug 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, flare resistance, smooth and precise MF action, short MFD, pleasing bokeh, colour, contrast, works well on full-frame
Cons:
Longer and heavier than 24/2.8's from Canikon

This thing is built like a tank with a nicely damped, silky smooth and precise manual focus action -- a far cry from the focus ring feel on auto-focus lenses.

Has a very short MFD with near macro capability for those close-up shots. Maintains image quality even at close focus distances.

The bokeh is surprisingly excellent for a WA lens even at close focus distances.

Has that typical Zeiss colour, contrast, and resistance to flare.

Works well on full-frame. The usual corner softness and field curvature wide-open, but improves rapidly upon stopping down.

Only complaint is that it's a bit long and heavy compared to the Canikon 24/2.8's... but it does deliver better IQ and is built like a tank.

Overall, it's a fantastic lens, and it's definitely better than the old 24/2.8's from Canikon.


Aug 17, 2010
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mattrosc
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Registered: Feb 7, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optical quality, small size, typical Zeiss colour and contrast.
Cons:
Not available in Canon mount

It seems a shame that the average score this lens has so far is 9.0, which makes it look like a bit of a dud in the Zeiss lineup (apart from the 18mm, which is a dud!). This was the firt Zeiss lens I bought and I have used it on a Canon 5D and now 5D mk2 in a Canon mount with a Rayqual adapter. The results are typical Zeiss, fantastic colour and contrast with great build quality. I believe its real score should be 9.5 plus, and as such I would not hesitate to recommend it.

Jul 23, 2010
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burningheart
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Registered: Mar 20, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2401
Review Date: Apr 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Close focus, sharpness, color, controls flare
Cons:
Small amount of CA

With a minimum focus distance is under 7 inches, makes this a versatile lens for extreme close-ups to grand landscapes. On my Fujifilm S5 a 1.5 crop it is my favorite lens for scenics.

The lens is sharp and has terrific contrast. The colors are strong and flare is controlled. Has a small amount of CA.

I also use this lens on a 5D MKII and D700 and find no vignetting and the edges still maintain a good sharpness.

For Infrared shootings there are no hot spots for a RG715, but if you filter it with a true IR filter B+W 093 it starts hotspotting at F8.

I obtained one of the ZF-IR copies and it has no hotspots whatsoever.

Although Zeiss has announced a new 25 will be made and I will add it to my Zeiss lens collection, I plan on keeping this lens.




Apr 12, 2010
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Lotusm50
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Registered: Sep 26, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6228
Review Date: Apr 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $826.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Outstanding sharpness across most of the frame, Zeiss color, contrast and pop, wonderful bokeh and drawing style, high resistance to flare, wonderful look with close-focused subjects, low CA for a wide angle
Cons:
corners aren't perfect at large apertures on full frame sensor (due to some typical field curvature), modest (but typical) light falloff wide open

The ZF 25/2.8 quickly became one of my favorite lenses. I just love the way it draws, and love using it close-up and wide open. The resulting images are magical. Bokeh is wonderful, exceptional for a wide angle. Typical Zeiss qualities on clearly on display with this lens -- great contrast and color, and wonderful 3-D pop. Hard to make the lens flare and CA is well controlled for a moderately priced wide angle prime. The lens is exceptionally sharp in the center and across most of the frame, even wide open. On full frame sensors, the extreme most corner probably needs f5.6 to be sharp due to some typical wide angle field curvature. This is perhaps the only thing preventing me giving this lens a 10 out of 10. This aspect of performance is merely competitive and typical of competing product so it is really hard to fault it here relative to anything else. And all the other aspects of performance are exceptional. On a crop sensor, this disappears and the ZF 25/2.8 becomes an outstanding standard or walk around lens that you will love. Compared to the diamond standard of the Zeiss ZF/ZE 21mm Distagon, it's performance is perhaps off by a stop. the 21mm being better corrected is a little better in corner and CA performance. Of course the ZE 21mm is twice the price and bigger and heavier than the ZF25, and I find the ZF25's images to be more pleasing and less clinical than the ZE21. Accordingly, I find the ZF 25/2.8 to be an outstanding bargain, especially considering the excellent build quality. Start using this lens and get a feel for it and it will quickly become a favorite. It is seductive.

Finally, Zeiss has recently said that it is redesigning this lens. This worries me as the lens is such a wonderful image maker. the only way it could be improved is by adding further correct to get the corners a little better a large apertures on a full frame sensor, and maybe a little better correction for close focus (add a floating element?). However both these "improvements" while making the lens technically better on the MTF, could rob the lens of its wonderful drawing style, lovely bokeh, and seductive look. We'll just have to wait as see what they do. Message to Zeiss: Please don't ruin this lovely lens!

Get one of these lenses while you still can. You won't regret it. It get the highest of recommendations from me.


Apr 3, 2010
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Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
11 25526 Jan 16, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $795.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
10.00
9.50
9.7
25mm