Carl zeiss 35mm f/1.4 or f/2.0?
I've been brooding over this for a while now, currently I have 2 film bodies.
I'm trying to decide to either get the f/2 version or the f/1.4 but right now I'm stuck because I don't know which one will meet my needs.
I shoot predominantly black and white with some occasions using color. I love to shoot contrastsy photos that are tacked sharp. I've been doing usually by increasing the development time but I was wondering if if the lens plays a role it in as well.
This is what I have so far, both lenses seems to be very well built but the f/1.4 is said to be very massive and heavy while the f/2 is smaller and and lighter. Price is also a factor as the f/1.4 is much more expensive than the f/2 version.
What I am wondering is, is the f/1.4 worth the extra cost? Or would I be very happy with the f2?
In very general terms I would buy the f/1.4 only if I thought that I need the narrower depth of field, or if I needed easier focusing in low light conditions, and if I needed the extra stop of light.
Either than that, the f/2 is the winner. Cheaper, smaller, lighter.
There is no reason why the f/1.4 should be better than the f/2 as far as general optical quality is concerned. In general Carl Zeiss does not produce "entry level" lenses or "kit" lenses. They all respect a very high standard of optical quality and uniformity of production.
The f/1.4 costs more because it is intrinsically more expensive to build.
What other lenses do you have and use?
I ask this because it will help us to determine what you are looking for the lens to do for you.
If you are mostly interested in the lens to add to your choices in focal lengths, and you have other fast lenses (e.g. a 50mm f/1.4) the advice would be different then if you are looking to the 35mm lens to provide you with your best low light option.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Well, for the manual lenses, I already have a nikkor ais 28 f/2.8, 50 f/1.2, 105mm f/1.8 . Also forgot to mention context, recently saved up some money and wanted to find out if what they say about zeiss are true or not.
Originally Posted by MattKing
What do they say about Zeiss?
In general you can expect excellent build quality and focussing.
Very nice micro contrast and sharpness.
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That it's like made of heaven in term of photography? I'm not too sure anymore....
Originally Posted by brucemuir
Low light lenses are more difficult to design successfully , If you look 10000 dollars Noctilux tests - you cant find them at American magazines but German ones - color MTF graph is like crazy , same at every low light lens , successful color correction is impossible , I used and found higher the f factor , better the lens. Buy f:2 and use one stop faster film if you really needed. Zeiss slow lenses produces excellent snappy colors on skin tones with tungsten lights at darker scenes.
And what was the lens design ? Planar ? Planar is excellent , really !!!
I think it's distagon?
Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac
It's difficult to know what you mean by contrasty, but if it's the high contrast look of, say, 1960s fashion photography or some branches of reportage, the process may have more to do with the look than the lens. Nikon lenses were recognised as among the most high contrast glass available - it was a form of criticism by Leica fans - and were often the lens of choice for the types of photography I've described.
Originally Posted by dreamingartemis
If you already own Nikon glass, I don't think you'll get more of it from Contax. I suggest you might want to look closer at film choices, development and printing or digital post processing.
I only use Zeiss, on a D700 and now an F100.
Many of us chose not to move from the /2 to the /1.4, very different lenses and more than a simple matter of speed. The 35/1.4 and the 25/1.4 stand quite differently from the others and we see them as another family.
Your "needs" description is absolutely the 35/2 ...absolutely no doubt.
The 1.4 didn't give us a lens worth upgrading to and instead its a very different render. The /2 excels in subject isolation where it produces a 3D effect, the feature of the 1.4 is the fine detail it produces. This description I've given is vague I know but means everything.
The 1.4 has been very difficult to use for applications like street and seems to be more a landscape lens.
The detail it produces is something else but its transition between subject and surrounds is very gentle and somehow too gentle for street.
The zf35/2 was my 1st zeiss along with the ....zf28/2 (because I couldn't decide between the two).
Ive since sold the 28. Anyways I went and bought more and the poor 35 has sat in my bag as I've bought
...then the 21/2.8
and the 50Makro-Planar
I love 35/2 but its only now I've taken it out of the bag again and its giving me some really good stuff...
This is SOOC.
and plenty more on my site.
Its a bit of money to spend so come visit us at the FredMirands alt forums
Hope I helped but absolutely get the zf35/2, its the lens that dragged us all into buying more of them
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