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Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Strong contrast, sharp from f2.8 including extreme corners, build, colour, flare control, bokeh, macro or distance shooting, smooth focus
CA with intense bright white reflections

I found my lens is sharp on the extreme corners starting at F2.8 as long as the corners are within the DOF. The contrast is terrific. Smooth focusing, flare is controlled very well, can be used as a macro or scenic lens. Good Zeiss colors. Flare is strongly controlled. Bokeh is smooth especially with macro shots. Onion effect for bright oof highlights.

The only issue is in the intense white highlight will have CA associated with it.

Zeiss 28mm f/2 Distagon T*

Review Date: Apr 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Close focusing corner sharpness, color, contrast, edge to edge central sharpness, build, little to no CA
Vignetting wide open, light loss on edges

Light loss wide open is most pronounced at F2 especially with scenics during daylight. Vignettes at F2 , F2.8 gone by F4.

When shooting MFD the corners have excellent sharpness wide open but this softens as you shoot further out.

The central areas very sharp edge to edge, colours have traditional Zeiss coloring, terrific contrast

Zeiss 18mm f/3.5 Distagon T*

Review Date: Apr 15, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Sharpness across the middle, color, contrast, closeups, controls flare and CA extremely well
Light loss at wider apertures also causes noise, uneven color in the sky, distortion, hood

Light loss in corners of about 1 stop in the corners upto F5.6. At F3.5 the loss adds noise to the image. There is distortion for straight lines, not really noticeable for landscapes. Hood does not allow you to easily rotate a slim polarizer. The hood mounts in multiple ways but only one way is correct. When you mount the hood look through the viewfinder to confirm it does not block out part of the scene. Watch out for unevenly lit skies in the final image.

Only use slim mount filters otherwise it will cause vignetting.

Good contrast like other Zeiss lenses, color is excellent, does excellent closeup shots. Controls flare and CA extremely well. Excellent center sharpness.

For IR shooters hotspots with RG715 starting at F8 and F5.6 with a B+W 093.

Knowing the shortcomings of this lens is half the battle. This lens can deliver some outstanding images and I like what it can producs for landscapes and extreme closeups. If you are looking for edge to edge sharpness wide open with no light loss get a 14-24. If you are into IR, get the 1st version of the Leica 19mm. If you like landscapes and Zeiss drawing, colors or extreme closeups this is the one for you. My copy is the ZF version and I use an adapter to mount it on a Canon when needed.

Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 


Great contrast control on the edges, makes the object stand out very well. Smooth bokeh. Beautiful color rendition

CA on the frame edges of a high contrast areas at infinity such as tree branches against the sky. In the center CA is strongly controlled. I shot a waterfall wide open near inifinty and the whitewater cascading down the falls had no color fringing or CA. Though shooting flowers near minimum focus distance shows some blue fringing in out of focus area.

Slight loss of sharpness when going from F11 to F16 and F1.4 in flat or dim lighting. Sharp edge to edge at 1.4 in good lighting.

This lens has some tough competition Hartblei 80 T+S, Canon 85L, Nikon 85 PC, Leica 90 APO, Canon 90 T+S. Each has its strenghts and makes it tough to choose one over the other.

For IR shooters RG715 starts to hotspot at F8 and with a B+W 093 at F5.6.

I also have the 85 ZF-IR and it has no hotspots exceptional for IR at F11, terrific contrast and 3D look. My favorite 85 for IR.

When used as a regular lens on a regular digital camera there is a slight red cast and softness.

Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Contrast, colors, build, focusing, sharp
Bokeh, darkened edges upto 2.8

Great contrast and of all the Zeiss ZF's it naturally gives the 3d ish look more often without trying to deliberatly get it.
Of all the 50s I have compared this with (Canon 1.0L, 1.2L, 1.4, 1.8, 2.5 macro, Nikon E Series 1.8, zooms at 50 50-200L, 24-70L, ZF 50 F1.4 IR) this is by far my favorite 50mm landscape lens. The colors are more saturated than the others, it is sharper, and focuses more precise than the others. I will usally shoot at F11 but will go down to 4 for landscapes.

Don't like the Bokeh when shot wide open too harsh for my liking, so will often opt for a different 50 for flowers or landscapes when shooting F4 or less.

The corners have some darkeness upto F2.8 but this is very minor and not really an issue.

For IR users with RG715 it starts hotspotting at F8, with a B+W 093 it starts at F5.6.

I also have the IR ZF-IR version of this lens and it has no hotspots at all, but one time and one time only, I did get a hotspot at F8 with a B+W 093 but have never been able to duplicate it. The ZF-IR version has a slight reddish color when shot on a regular 5D,D700, S5 and is slightly softer than the non IR version.

Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp details, colors, contrast, bokeh

Edge to edge sharp, excellent contrast and drawing style
The blues and greens produced by the lens are unmatched by any other macro lens. Beautiful smooth bokeh. Has some CA but not an issue. Feels heavier than it really is. When I first got this lens it was used all the time, but I now grab the Leica R 100 APO or Voigtlander 125 APO more often but I wouldn't hesitate putting the Zeiss on for 1 second because it delivers.

For IR shooters it has no hotspots for RG715, but put on a B+W 093 or equivalent and I have found it starts to hotspot at F5.6

Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

Review Date: Apr 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp including corners, excellent colors, no CA

Its been said by the others. A top notch lens.

I had an Oly 21 F2 that I sold after I got the ZF 21.
For IR shooters this lens starts hotspotting at F5.6

Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

Review Date: Apr 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Close focus, sharpness, color, controls flare
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.

Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T*

Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Edge to edge sharpness, terrific color, well built
Vignettes wide open, gone by F4

My first venture into Zeiss was a trio of ZF's 25 F2.8, 50 1.4 and 35 F2. The lens like all Zeiss is well built and has a nice feel to it. The focus is smooth accurate and hits infinity where is should.

The 35 soon became a mainstay in my kit and replaced my Canon 35L F1.4 for most shooting situations. The sharpness of the lens and colors it gives is just spectacular.

I don't see any noticable CA.

On my Fujifilm the colors really shine epecially when set to Landscape mode. Great contrast.

The only complaint I have is the vignetting wide open, but since I mainly use this as a landscape lens it is not an issue.

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

Review Date: Sep 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness. Colours rendered on 5D. Bokeh at 1.8 unsurpassed with any other lens. Handholdable.
The lugs in the hood. They fall off with no warning.

The best lens optically that I have ever owned. When I first got it it remained on my 5D for over a month. It never came off. Works great with 1.4x. Terrific colour, contrast,detail and bokeh. I shoot often at 1.8, lens is handholdable. Has replaced my 70-200 and 200 F2.8. My most used lens. The only complaint I have is the lugs inside hood fell off with no warning, the screws didn't hold it in place, now the hood doesn't hold snuggly.

Nikon 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR AF-S

Review Date: Jul 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful Bokeh, sharp at F4, easy to move from 200mm to 400mm, Great IQ
Little slow to autofocus on a Fujifilm S5Pro, the lens bag is too big for my liking. The lens hood shoud be builtin

I have pondereed this lens for a longtime, though not a Nikon user I do have the Fujifilm s3Pro UVIR camera and the Fujifilm S5 Pro. When the G adapter was developed to allow Nikon G lenses be mounted on Canon cameras that gave me one more reason to look at this lens. Though I do not yet have the adapter I have used this lens a lot on the S5.

The colors coming off this lens are just great, The Bokeh at F4 is terrific smooth and creamy. The detail is crisp at F4, I wish the Canon 100-400 gave this type of detail.

The lens is easily handheld, and easy to change focal length and manually focus when needed. The Canon 100-400 although also a good lens does not allow you took change focal length and manually focus as quick.

This lens has quickly become a favorite of mine, In good light fast to autofocus, not as quick is lower lighting as occasionally it would miss and then hunt all the way in or out before returning to the correct focus. This could be due to the Fujifilm.

I would have preferred a builtin hood versus the screw on type.

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quiet fast focus, excellent image stabilization, great IQ, lighter than thought, can be handheld for short periods of time. Terrific detail very sharp and takes beautiful shots on my modified IR 5D.
I would prefer a builtin hood like the old FD version or the 400 F5.6L, The case has no room for accessories and is a little hard to close if you don't get it in just rigt, no negatives on the lens itself.

As I moved from FD to EF lenses this was the only focal length that was not available tha I had in FD. Once this was announced I wanted it. Once it arrived was suprised how light this lens was and how well balanced. Though both weigh essentially the same. The old FD was very front heavy but the EF is better balanced in the center. The first tests were handheld with IS on and it worked great.

I find it very fast to focus, while mounted on my wimberley I was following a small bird quickly moving around the rocks by a creek, each time I depressed the shutter button halfway down it was instant focus.

The lens is tack sharp and even looks great at ISO3200 on a 5D.

Took a few shots with my modified 5D for IR and again extremely fast focus, sharp and great IQ.

What don't I like the is lens hood, you reverse it over the end of the lens and put the lens bag on. I prefer a builtin hood which would be much quicker to setup. For the dollars Canon charges they could have provided a builtin hood. as it turns out this hood is the same as the EF 400 F2.8, even the front lens bag identifies both lenses on it.

The image quality surpases the old FD version by miles.

You may pay a lot more than a shorter focal lengths, but the nice thing is it is 800mm without TC's. No loss of aperature or IQ. Extension tubes are handy to have when using this lens so you can decrease minimum focal length. Great lens highly recommend.

Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye

Review Date: Apr 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent color, Great detail even at minimum aperature F3.5. Minumum focus distance is closer then advertised.
Blue Vignette around the image circle. Occasionally the AF doesn't stop when shooting the picture

This is an excellent lens on the 5D. Colour and detail are excellent even at minimum aperature. The lens cap comes in two parts that you can use to advantage. Just take off the front cap and not the ring and you shoot a little less than 180 degrees. In this way you can block off the tripod leg, your feet etc. Watch out for stray light though as it will reflect off the ring cap. I found I could focus down to a couple of inches which is less than Sigma states. Fairly quick to auto focus but the odd time it continues to focus as the picture is being shot.

Here are some sample shots including Actual pixel crops.