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  1. #11
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Same here Mike and I've tried a few.
    The Planars and Sonnars have their distinctive looks and now see why the leica guys dig all their flavors. Dont discount the Distagon.

    The older sonnars can draw a portrait and bg very distinctive indeed. (if this was FM now someone would challenge me to pick the zeiss 85 1,4 vs the Rokonon or Nikon out of a series) hahahah

  2. #12
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    I have a friend who used to use a ZF 100/2 MP and ZF 35/2. He was very pleased with the 100mm but eventually sold both lenses because it was difficult for him to hit the focus. He changed the ZF 35 for the Nikon 35/1,4 G and never looked back. Not that the Zeiss was bad (it had a very nice rendition from what he showed me), but the Nikon is f1,4 and has AF and that was the point for him. As far as I know, some of these new Zeiss designs really stand out (the 100/2 and especially the new 135/2 APO as well as some of the wide angles.). The 50/1,4 and 85/1,4 are not that different from their Nikon counterparts if you compare them to the latest lenses from what I´ve read.

  3. #13
    Arcturus's Avatar
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    I rented a bunch of premium lenses a while ago, Zeiss included, and maybe I'm crazy but I didn't notice any difference between them and mid-range lenses except maybe wide open or at extreme enlargement. The build quality was much better for the premium lenses, but the size of a 35mm negative seemed to set the image quality limit, not the lens.

  4. #14
    Trond's Avatar
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    Expectations about performance will always influence comparisons like these.

    The only way to find out if there is a significant real world difference is to do some kind of blind experiment. Has anyone here done that?

    Trond
    Last edited by Trond; 03-13-2013 at 09:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ted_smith View Post
    Anyway, my question is whether the more 'normal' Carl Zeiss lenses are really as good as they claim to be (I can't afford that 55mm one so not even interested in that!)? It's obvious that they must be better than your standard Nikon lenses, but are they so much better to justify the cost? I've never used one and never seen a non-biased side-by-side comparison of a shot taken with, for example, the 50mm 1.8 Nikon or even the 1.4 pitted against a comparable CZ lens? Curious to know if it's worth spending about twice as much?
    Not at all. Beautifully made. Not better in terms of image quality, and therefore not worth the money in my opinion. I bought 4 of them for my Nikon and have so far sold 2 and went back to the Nikkors. Since you've asked specifically about a 50mm I'll say my lowly Nikkor AF-D 50mm f/1.4 is every bit is good as the 50mm f/1.4 ZF Planar I ended up selling.

    Save your money.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Not at all. Beautifully made. Not better in terms of image quality, and therefore not worth the money in my opinion. I bought 4 of them for my Nikon and have so far sold 2 and went back to the Nikkors. Since you've asked specifically about a 50mm I'll say my lowly Nikkor AF-D 50mm f/1.4 is every bit is good as the 50mm f/1.4 ZF Planar I ended up selling.

    Save your money.
    Geee... Do you think that's because they're the same design?
    Guys, you're all talking about Planars and Sonnars... the Planar is a double Gauss type, and so is virtually every f:1.4 and f:2 50 - 58mm lens.

    Sonnars? 105/2.5 Nikkor, the first version. The one which replaced it was a... double Gauss!
    A well designed, well made dG will have the same look as any other well designed, well made dG. And so on.
    Having handled a ZF lens once, (which was enough) I would buy one only to resell at a profit. The haptics suck badly.

  7. #17

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    I love the fact that Zeiss brags about how everything they do is in the name of top image quality, yet they put a shiny filter ring on it...

  8. #18
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Then again don't forget that there is some crazy good Nikkor glass. Play with a 28/2.8 AI-S or a 105/2.5 (any version).
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    Then again don't forget that there is some crazy good Nikkor glass. Play with a 28/2.8 AI-S or a 105/2.5 (any version).
    Or even a 50/2 Nikkor-H.C

  10. #20
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    It depends on who is using them, my Canon FD lenses after more than twenty years of my ownership are still much better lenses than yours truly is a photographer if I'm honest about it
    .Zeiss lenses are without doubt very good from a purely technical aspect, but there are many other excellent lenses available that cost a fraction of the Zeiss ones that are more commensurate with most photographers ability s and pockets.
    Ben

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