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Thread: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

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    Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    I am looking at purchase of 35mm lens that will be used on NEX7 (and maybe 5N). Criteria is:

    1. Performance
    2. Reasonable compactness (to give an idea: CV 35/1.2 is too big for my personal taste, ZM 35/2 is perfect size wise)
    3. Reasonably fast-ish (2.8 might be acceptable, 2 preffered) for primarily DOF/subject isolation when needed, and secondarily speed when needed, while I love lens that have great punch (contrast & sharpness) when stopped down
    4. Affordability (in ZM level at most)
    5. No focusing by tab (tab is not for me)

    So with that in mind I have following questions:

    A. How ZM 35/2 and 35/2.8 compare when it comes to performance?

    B. Which other lens you would recommend? It doesn't have to be M/LTM, it can be something else if it is better performing as long as size in hand together with adapter is compact (to give an idea: I find Zeiss 24/1.8 for Sony way too big for my taste, it is completely opposite of what I look for when I think of NEX).

    P.S. I know I am asking this in Leica forum while intended target is Sony and final lens might not even be M/LTM, but I figure RF is good place to start looking for compact but great performing glass.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    If you are looking for performance, no tab, compact, and affordable, it really comes down to just Zeiss.
    I don't know exactly what you mean by performance, and if you are referring to sharpness and contrast, I would go with either of the Zeiss lenses you mentioned already.
    Out of the two, if you don't need f/2, go with the 35/2.8 as I believe that is the only thing inferior. Only you can make that decision.
    Scott

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by SYGTAFOTO View Post
    I don't know exactly what you mean by performance, and if you are referring to sharpness and contrast, ...
    Thank you for your input By performance I mean sharpness, contrast and especially rendering/bokeh.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    The Zeiss 35/2.8 has received excellent reviews, in Sean Reid reviews he mentions that he felt it was the most impressive lens in terms of technical performance from the group of 35/2 lens he reviewed. He has a paid subscription site and a subscription is worth the money for the insight provided when making a decision into lenses.

    Another lens that has received high reviews is the Voigtlander 35/1.7 LTM if you can find one.

    Good luck with your search/decision.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    I took a calculated risk when I bought my C-Biogon f2.8. At the time there was very little information about the lens available, but I had read what there was, including Erwin Puts contention that the Zeiss 35mm f2.0 Biogon was a little stretched at f2.0 and his suggestion that Zeiss would have been better designing that lens as an f2.8. Mr. Puts Biogon f2.0 review pre-dates the release of the C-Biogon f2.8.

    I am not surprised in the least by Sean Reid's conclusions in '35mm lenses on M9', it is a fabulous lens. For MY work, I think I probably have the best 35mm 'M' fit lens I could have at any price. But there again, any of the best of the rest would be a pleasure to seriously work with.

    .............. Chris

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    The Zeiss 35/2.8 has received excellent reviews, in Sean Reid reviews he mentions that he felt it was the most impressive lens in terms of technical performance from the group of 35/2 lens he reviewed. He has a paid subscription site and a subscription is worth the money for the insight provided when making a decision into lenses.

    Another lens that has received high reviews is the Voigtlander 35/1.7 LTM if you can find one.
    Dan, thank you for being helpful as ever

    Do you happen to know what would be advantages of ZM 35/2.8 over 35/2 @ 2.8?

    When it comes to CB 35/1.7, I am aware of it but I couldn't find anything that would compare it against ZMs @ F2 and 2.8, and samples I came acrosss were insufficient for me to form any kind of opinion.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
    I took a calculated risk when I bought my C-Biogon f2.8. At the time there was very little information about the lens available, but I had read what there was, including Erwin Puts contention that the Zeiss 35mm f2.0 Biogon was a little stretched at f2.0 and his suggestion that Zeiss would have been better designing that lens as an f2.8. Mr. Puts Biogon f2.0 review pre-dates the release of the C-Biogon f2.8.

    I am not surprised in the least by Sean Reid's conclusions in '35mm lenses on M9', it is a fabulous lens. For MY work, I think I probably have the best 35mm 'M' fit lens I could have at any price. But there again, any of the best of the rest would be a pleasure to seriously work with.

    .............. Chris
    Chris, thank you for your input Could you please clarify what is meant by "35mm f2.0 Biogon was a little stretched at f2.0"?

    Also, do you happen to know what would be advantages of 35/2.8 against 35/2 at F2.8 and F4?

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    I wouldn't rule out the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tele_player View Post
    I wouldn't rule out the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35.
    Could you please let me know why?

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tele_player View Post
    I wouldn't rule out the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35.
    I've got one of these. It's a nice, compact little lens that has served me well. Interestingly enough, I've also got that LTM 1.7 CV, and don't really care for it. Maybe I just got a bad copy, but it's rendering is not inspiring to me. The color-skopar, on the other hand, is fantastic.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
    I've got one of these. It's a nice, compact little lens that has served me well.
    Yes, but please see requirement # 5: No focusing by tab (tab is not for me)

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    I would try the ZM 2.8. It is the most symmetrical design of any of the M lenses that are being sold today.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    Yes, but please see requirement # 5: No focusing by tab (tab is not for me)
    IIRC the 'tab' of the Color Skopar is a screw in stalk that is easily removed. I believe that they even provide a color matched screw to fill the hole should you decide you don't want the tab.

    The 35/2.5 Color Skopar is a sweet little lens that deserves consideration. It's primary weakness is softer edges on FF which wouldn't be an issue on the NEX.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    what about the 35/2.5 Summarit? Excellent lens, small and (for Leica) affordable price tag

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    all
    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    Chris, thank you for your input Could you please clarify what is meant by "35mm f2.0 Biogon was a little stretched at f2.0"?.....
    Hi - My apologies, I'm having computer issues and [from my laptop] I can't access the net. reference pages I have collected. I think you might be better off reading Mr. Puts article :

    http://www.imx.nl/photo/zeiss/zeiss/page65.html

    If you don't want to read it all, you could scroll down to "Biogon f2.0 35mm". Elsewhere on his site is an interesting review of the Zeiss C-Biogon f2.8 compared with the Leica 35mm Elmarit [sorry-- I can't access the page to give you the hot link because of my software issues, if need be; Google Tao of Leica and you will find it].

    Sean Reid's review site article "35mm lenses on M9" is highly recommended, the cost of admission to Sean's site more than repaid itself for me, and many other photographers needing serious reviews of the 'M' platform.

    I had a CV 35mm Colour Skopar, it was replaced by the 35mm C-Biogon which gave me a delightful increase in performance across the entire focusing range.

    All lenses, it seems, are a compromise of various design parameters, and the references above [Puts, Reid] can give you a feel of the design philosophy and parameter priorities of the principal makers. A masterpiece photograph is still a masterpiece whether it was made with a CV, Zeiss, or Leica lens. Forums can get fairly obsessive on selected minutiae of lens performance, 'M' fit lenses all [mostly all] have strengths and weaknesses; beware universally BEST-for-everyone lenses. I have a C-Biogon which is a lens-for-life, but no doubt I could happily work seriously with other 35mm lenses.

    Hope this helps, good luck with your choice.

    ........... Chris

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CVickery View Post
    IIRC the 'tab' of the Color Skopar is a screw in stalk that is easily removed. I believe that they even provide a color matched screw to fill the hole should you decide you don't want the tab.

    The 35/2.5 Color Skopar is a sweet little lens that deserves consideration. It's primary weakness is softer edges on FF which wouldn't be an issue on the NEX.
    Oh, so we are talking about C one, not P one?

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    what about the 35/2.5 Summarit? Excellent lens, small and (for Leica) affordable price tag
    Definitely out of my budget

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
    all

    Hi - My apologies, I'm having computer issues and [from my laptop] I can't access the net. reference pages I have collected. I think you might be better off reading Mr. Puts article :

    http://www.imx.nl/photo/zeiss/zeiss/page65.html

    If you don't want to read it all, you could scroll down to "Biogon f2.0 35mm". Elsewhere on his site is an interesting review of the Zeiss C-Biogon f2.8 compared with the Leica 35mm Elmarit [sorry-- I can't access the page to give you the hot link because of my software issues, if need be; Google Tao of Leica and you will find it].

    Sean Reid's review site article "35mm lenses on M9" is highly recommended, the cost of admission to Sean's site more than repaid itself for me, and many other photographers needing serious reviews of the 'M' platform.

    I had a CV 35mm Colour Skopar, it was replaced by the 35mm C-Biogon which gave me a delightful increase in performance across the entire focusing range.

    All lenses, it seems, are a compromise of various design parameters, and the references above [Puts, Reid] can give you a feel of the design philosophy and parameter priorities of the principal makers. A masterpiece photograph is still a masterpiece whether it was made with a CV, Zeiss, or Leica lens. Forums can get fairly obsessive on selected minutiae of lens performance, 'M' fit lenses all [mostly all] have strengths and weaknesses; beware universally BEST-for-everyone lenses. I have a C-Biogon which is a lens-for-life, but no doubt I could happily work seriously with other 35mm lenses.

    Hope this helps, good luck with your choice.
    Thank you for your very valuable input I have decided to pursue both ZM 35/2 and ZM 35/2.8 and find out for myself which one I personally prefer.

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    Re: Which 35? ZM 35/2 vs. ZM 35/2.8 vs. XYZ ?

    I've used both and ended up with the 2.8 as my keeper based on the f/2 biogon being too large for my taste. IMO, the f/2 biogon performed well at f/2, but I'm not a pixel-peeping geek like Erwin Puts.

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