I don't have personal knowledge of the relative pricing schemes, but it's possible you were paying for the brand name or very marginal gains. Zeiss still does this today, for example the Zeiss 50/1.4 Planar is actually worse than the AF-Nikkor 50/1.4 on full frame wide open/near wide open performance (Photozone.de), but it costs twice as much. $350 isn't chump change even today, but that's the premium you pay for the Zeiss brand name and (in this case inferior) performance.
Originally Posted by Whiteymorange
Given that both lenses have a pretty much identical formula, I'd have to see proof to accept a claim that one was better, and it would have to be a statistically large enough sample to overcome unit variation. There's also the fact that these things are ancient, so the lenses can come out of sync, be repaired or realigned improperly, filled with fungus, reground, recemented, who knows what.
From what I've seen, unit variation exceeds any broad-level performance variation, especially given the age and uncertain provenance.
Last edited by PaulMD; 01-27-2012 at 02:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.