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Thread: E-P1 or E-P2 with ZEISS DISTAGON T* 4.0/18

  1. #1
    gglimer
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    E-P1 or E-P2 with ZEISS DISTAGON T* 4.0/18

    Hi,
    Has any one tried this combination? If so, did it work for you? What was the overall impression? Many thanks for sharing.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Annna T's Avatar
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    Re: E-P1 or E-P2 with ZEISS DISTAGON T* 4.0/18

    The general wisdom is that short focals don't work well on digital MFT sensors, the older rangefinder lenses being the worse. The consensus is that one shouldn't go under 35mm. The problem is that on wide angle lenses, the rays of light coming out of the pupil of the lense strike the sensor too obliquely. I own an E-P1, which I use with both Contax G Zeiss lenses and Leica M lenses. The performance of my M lenses are decreasing with focal length, the 90mm F2 being better than the 50mm F1.4, which is better than the 35mm F2 (an older model which was not so sharp on film either, granted). After reading about the problem caused by the light reaching the sensor too obliquely, I didn't try to modify my widest Contax G lenses (28, 21 and 16mm). There is someone on this list who modified his 28mm and who has posted pictures taken with it (look for the Contax G thread). The corners are clearly soft, but the center of the picture is OK. That said, each lenses design is different and if the light coming out of the Distagon strikes the sensor less obliquely you may get better results, although 18mm is really wider than 28mm.

    Concerning the choice between E-P1 and E-P2, go for an E-P2 : if you are shooting outdoor in bright light, you won't be able to focuse manually using the lcd; it will even get difficult to frame your picture precisely. The E-P2 has an excellent viewfinder and it is well worse it, especially if you want to use MF lenses outdoor. When using MF lenses, you can activate a magnifyier which allows you to check sharpness. It slows you down somewhat (you have to press several buttons in order to navigate through the different info screens and then on Ok in the center of the wheel, then to adjust focus with the mangnifiyer and then the ok button to get back to full view, so that you can check your framing again before shooting). This forbides taking fast candid shots; for instance, unless you can use zonefocusing, you won't be able to take candid portraits, only paused ones.
    Last edited by Annna T; 20th June 2010 at 23:14.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: E-P1 or E-P2 with ZEISS DISTAGON T* 4.0/18

    I have that lens, but sadly no Pen, I've an E3 and a 5D


    This lens vignets like crazy on full frame, but not so bad on 4/3rds. My problem with it is the corners draw soft even at F8. Got some brick wall shots and a comparison to Sigma 18-50 if you want to see them.
    Last edited by Riley; 21st June 2010 at 21:55.

  4. #4
    gglimer
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    Re: E-P1 or E-P2 with ZEISS DISTAGON T* 4.0/18

    Thank you so much for sharing Riley! This is a good shot and I presume on the 4.0/18 with your 5D. So far no one has an example on MFT yet. Now I am really curious, although I suspect AnnnaT is correct in her assessment. Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: E-P1 or E-P2 with ZEISS DISTAGON T* 4.0/18

    nooo, thats a shot of the Distagon on E3 from the lowly 28-75/2.8 Tamron zoom on 5D (optically better than the Canon it replaces) at F4.5. Another thing about the Distagon is it doesnt have fractional stops

    I dont think it will behave a whole lot better on mFT but FWIW heres a brick wall shot from the Distagon wide open at F4, followed by the Sigma 18-50/2.8 at F4 both on E3 and focussed through liveview. These were shot jpeg and just downsized and uploaded to the net.

    E3 Distagon 18/4 at F4


    E3 Sigma 18-50/2.8 at F4


    you can see by the grain of the mortar joints in the brickwork that the Sigma (which is a sharp lens) absolutely smokes it all over the frame, and still shows finer detail out at F8.

  6. #6
    Super Duper
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    Re: E-P1 or E-P2 with ZEISS DISTAGON T* 4.0/18

    I used to have the ZM version of this lens. Worked well on the M8, but very soft corners on m43.
    Carl
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