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  Reviews by: RickPerry  

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Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderful color, clarity, contrast and resolution.
A tad soft at 1.4 - but not an issue for me.

This lens rejuvenated my passion for Photography. I switched to digital in the early 2000's and was always disappointed in the results compared to my workhorse film camera for 20 years - a 35mm Contax RTS with Zeiss c/y lenses. Finally - this ZE mounted on a Canon 5D mk II body equaled not only my 35 but gave me images that looked like they came from my Linhoff 6x9 view camera with Schneider lenses. At last the veil had been lifted.

The Zeiss Planar lens was designed by Dr. Paul Rudolph in 1896 based on the double Gauss design (in 1817, C F Gauss). The Planar has been the basis for many lenses - almost all the high-aperture lenses supplied on Japanese cameras are modifications on the Planar. This ZE is the culmination of 150+ years of Zeiss lens design

This lens is compact, this lens is useable at 1.4 and gets wicked sharp by 2.5 - IMHO this lens gives a "painterly" effect that has the potential to turn your photos from mere records into "Works of Art".

The rendition of this lens is spectacular - Contrast, clarity, sharpness, resolution and color are all magnificent. The bokeh is gorgeous. Beautiful glass. Great workmanship. Thank you Zeiss

Gitzo G2227 Explorer

Review Date: Jun 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: FEISOL CT- 3442 Well made, Solid, Good Looking, Lightweight, Total Function, Reasonable Cost
None that I have noticed!

Feisol CT- 3442

For the serious photographer: maximum strength with minimum weight.

I had never heard of this company until I caught a reference in another FM blog that just mentioned their existence. I am glad I came across that post - there are no reviews of Feisol in this forum - that is why I am taking time to list this - FM-ers should know about this choice!

The money that the famous tripod companies get is really a little outrageous. Let's face it - a tripod is not that complicated! I can see paying $800 - $1000 for a lens or a camera body - but a tripod ?? I read all reviews I could find on everything out there - the Feisol was the only one that got great reviews and didn't require another mortgage on the house.

I use a Canon 5D mkII with Zeiss lenses most of the time -(50 1,.4 , 85 1.4 also 17-40 Canon L and a 70-200 f4). The body is big and the Zeiss lenses are heavy metal construction. This camera equipment is spectacular - it begs to be on a tripod to get every bit of resolution available - which is lots - believe me!

No sense in buying heavy metal tripods - you never use them - except in the studio. So lightweight was the challenge - yet it had to be strong enought to hold this Canon beast! I wanted something that would improve my images that I would bother taking into the field. Behold Feisol! It features a body frame construction of 7075 aluminum alloy - not the cheap cast stuff that usually shows up in the lower priced units. They say the legs are carbon fiber material that offers a far superior strength when compared to common carbon fiber - I believe them!

Less than 2.4 lbs, the Feisol 3442 is rated at 22.5 lbs - and I am sure that is real - this is a strong platform! I got the CB-50D Ball Head ( $159) which is also realistically rated at 41 lbs - Wow - what a nice unit - smooth as silk -total control and when you lock it - it IS locked! I really can't see paying $300-400 for a tripod head - this Feisol is a bargain!

This is a High Performance Tripod at a reasonable price - thank you Feisol.

Here are a few of their sites to check:

see -