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  1. #1

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    Carl Zeiss or Nikon 85mm lens?

    Hi, I'm going to invest in an 85mm lens for my FM2n & F100. Not really interested in the auto focus so was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on whether a Zeiss 85mm was better/worse than the Nikon equivalent? Thanks, Andy.

  2. #2
    Java's Avatar
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    Well I have a 85mm f1.4 AIs lens and love it. I have seen images and reviews about the 85mm Zeiss and it looks very nice but not sure it is way better than the Nikon.

    Personnaly I love the Nikon one.
    Stack of 35mm stuff, some 120 stuff and lots of other junk to make it work

    Keep it simple. ~ Alfred Eisenstaedt

  3. #3
    Jesper's Avatar
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    They are both very good lenses, and you can't go wrong with either one of them. You will not regret buying either one of these.
    If you are looking for a used lense you are more likely to find the Nikon since it has been around for almost 30 years.

  4. #4

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    For what it's worth, I own the 85 mm f/2 AI Nikkor and it is one of my favorites. That lens, along with a 50 mm f/1.8 and a 24 mm f/2.8, make up my basic kit whenever I go out street shooting. The 85 Nikkor is one fantastic piece of glass and brass, and never fails to deliver far better than average results. Now, the Zeiss lens may be better by the numbers, I don't know. Is is worth the much higher price? I don't think so, but I do know this. If I lost the 85 Nikkor, I could replace it with another from the used market without breaking a sweat. If I lost the Zeiss lens, I'd probably have a heart attack.
    Frank Schifano

  5. #5
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    The inimitable Ken Rockwell is doing a series on 85mm for Nikon right now, and though he didn't look at the Zeiss, he compares the Nikkors with the new Vivitar.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  6. #6
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Most of the incarnations of the Nikon 85mm compete very well with the ZF, at far lower cost. You might peruse photodo and photozone.de.

    In my opinion, the Nikon 50s and 85s and 105s are mostly all very strong, even the 'non-pro' versions. The main weakness in the Nikon lineup has been the 35s. It's an oddity because the wider nikkors are again very good.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I looked at the Zeiss 85mm lens in the Canon EF mount, and it's a very nice lens--sharp where it should be and very smooth out of focus rendering.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8

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    85mm Zeiss or Nikon?

    If you prefer a super crisp precise manual focusing to obtain a max. quality, than pick the 85/1,4 Zeiss ZF, if you like the definately more un-precise quick AF function, especially with full open f/stop, then pick the Nikon!

    Cheers

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I used to shoot the Zeiss 85 1.4 in a Contax mount, and I can say for certain that some of my all-time favorite images were shot with that lens. While it would have been painful to replace it had something happened, I would have gladly spent whatever required to get it again.

  10. #10
    kivis's Avatar
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    That Vivitar looks mighty nice.
    Akiva S.

    Nikkormat FTN, Nikon F, Nikon FE, Leica M3

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kshapero/

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