Quote Originally Posted by edz
Nope. They selected and tuned aberations as compromise for effect. Have a look at the wide range of special purpose "designer" and portrait objectives one had back in the early part of the last century. If it was about the "best" and "best" was objective then why should a vendor (beyond cost considerations) have ever offered such a wide selection? Why would one have ever given a thought on selection when one could just chose the best?

They violate the laws of physics in that they claim to have tested the resolving power of a camera optical system using a film ("Gigabit" which is Agfa Copex): Camera Lens News Issue 20 of Sept. 2004, "Gigabit is not a Hoax".
In the article they claim they measured 400 lp/mm on Agfa Copex using ZM objectives in a real camera system. This is not possible. This is complete hogwash when one considers that this claim is even being made for pictorial tonality/contrast (the point of the Gigabit developer) with a film that can't even in "ideal laboratory conditions" resolve 400 lp/mm (and we are not talking yet about objectives, cameras and optical systems).

Erwin Puts did a good intro write-up on this: Zeiss and resolution and fairy tales (October 15, 2004).

Looking through the 20 issues of that "magazine" I've found many marketing claims that push the laws of physics to support Zeiss marketing. I like some Zeiss products but their marketing is these days no better than... Seems like they hired their copy from writers that don't know the difference between nm, mw and ml. :-)
Hi, Ed -

I think that we are largely in agreement about lenses from 50 - 100 years ago. Knowing that lenses with uncorrected aberrations were the best that they could do at the time, lens makers offered lenses with different "looks", i.e. different degrees of corrections of different aberrations. These compromises were the best way of meeting the varying needs of different photographers who were using lenses for a wide variety of purposes. However, the goals of the lens makers remained the same: as accurate a 2-dimensional representation of reality as they could achieve. With aspherics, computer-assisted-design, newer coatings, etc they have come closer to achieving this today. Erwin Putts, whom you quote elsewhere, makes exactly this point in his writings.

Regarding Zeiss marketing claims, I agree that the Zeiss marketing Dept. has been over the top. But I do not agree that their claims "violate the laws of physics." Rather, they seem to have stressed technical qualities of their lenses that will not make much difference to the vast majority of photographers. So, I don't want to defend their marketing decisions. However, the claim of 400 lpm was explored on photo.net 9 months ago. Surprisingly, Kornelius J. Fleischer, the man who did the testing, posted on this discussion & explained his claims. He also addressed Erwin's criticism. You can read his post at the link provided below & make up your own mind on this one. I, for one, am convinced that in this case, Erwin got it wrong & is not the expert of choice here.