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Thread: To keep C Sonnar or not?

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Having used the C Sonnar for a couple of weeks now, I'm still very undecided about it. My copy is optimized for wide open shooting, which means it back focuses strongly when stopped down. When shooting at infinity, I need to pull back the focusing ring by about 3 mm to get the best sharpness at f/8. The Planar remains obviously sharper for this kind of shooting and has no focus shift. So if I keep the Sonnar, it's only to shoot it wide open in low light, where it really shines. Here is a little comparison handheld at 0.90m:


    C-Sonnar 1.5 by edward karaa, on Flickr


    C-Sonnar 2.0 by edward karaa, on Flickr


    Planar 2.0 by edward karaa, on Flickr
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    What's your opinion, guys?
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Member StephenPatterson's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    This lens caused me nothing but frustration when I owned it.

    Of course with the new M and live view you would be able to work around the focus shift issues, but that is a slow way to shoot. I am using the live view and EVF only for very low light of ultra shallow DOF shots, but the rangefinder is so much better and faster I always prefer it.

    Ditch it and get a 50 Summilux ASPH. Problem solved. Check, please!

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Edward, If you are going to use it stopped down more often than wide open, then the Planar is better. C-Sonnar's aperture dependent focus shifts are well documented.

    The description that a lens sample is "optimized for wide open shooting" is a new twist to an old problem that this lens suffers from.

    If by any chance you are going to buy an MM, keep it. If you are going to get an M, also keep it- both for very different reasons. With the former the focus shift will still be in play but with the latter and using liveview it should not be a problem.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Thank you Stephen for your comment. I totally agree about the frustration. It's almost impossible to get sharp results stopped down. But I really love the rendering WO. The cheaper option is to keep both lenses, one for bokeh, and the other for high contrast biting sharpness

    Vivek, thank you as well. Wide open optimization refers to the RF mechanism. It gives you the best sharpness at 1.5, but the problem is that the focus shift becomes too strong to be covered by DOF when stopped down.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Hi Edward,

    Although a bit different and somewhat less that the C-Sonnar, the Leica 35mm Lux asph prior to the current FLE model also exhibits a well known focus shift and it also frustrated me at times. One way that partially circumvented it's impact was to have the lens achieve (optimize as some would say) precise best focus at approx f2.0 or f2.4. This way when at close range and shooting wide open there would just be a very small amount of front focus (primarily at close range with it's smaller depth of field), then at approx f2-f2.4, focus would be dead on, and finally at approx f4-f4.5, just a small amount of back focus as the larger depth of field at that aperture would cover most of the slight mis-focus.

    Although I've never owned my own copy of the C-Sonnar, I often see that some have a copy designed for best focus wide open which would then have quite noticeable back focus at f2 thru approx f4.5 or beyond....too much for the growing depth of field to simply cover most of it. Then there are the well known copies of this lens that came from Zeiss adjusted for best focus at f2.8. These have quite noticeable front focus at f1.4 and not at just close range. There is no reason that DAG or some others, maybe even Zeiss couldn't have their lens adjusted for best focus at approx f2.2. This way it splits the difference as described.

    The one difference though to note is the following. Where I personally have had this adjustment done with two copies of the 35mm Lux asph (pre FLE) and it worked wonderfully as I just described, my feeling is the C-Sonnar has a somewhat bigger focus shift than most copies of the C-Sonnar, so even with the lens adjusted for best focus at a "compromise aperture" of approx f2.2 or thereabouts, some focus shift (although much less) will be seen in either direction at f1.5 and f4.5...but at least I personally feel the lens would be more usable at at given aperture when adjusted this way. My 35mm Lux asph (pre FLE) lenses certainly were and frustration in using them was significantly reduced. Only when I examined the files at 100% would it really be noticeable or a factor for me.

    The idea of using a lens primarily only at say wide open and then again at f8, and nothing in-between doesn't appeal to me personally.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Thank you Dave. Exactly my thinking. I was kind of hoping the lens would be optimized for f/2.8 when I ordered it, but it seems after so many owners were very vocal about wide open optimization, Zeiss decided to optimize all new batches for f/1.5 instead of the original f/2.8.

    I can still send it back to Zeiss for re-calibration, but it's going to cost me shipping to Zeiss, and import tax/VAT when I receive it back, so I would rather sell it and be happy with the Planar.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    I'd buy one of the C Sonnar lenses to use with the Ricoh GXR and Leica M (240), as the focusing frustration disappears with Live View focusing. 50mm is a bit too long for me with the GXR on APS-C format, though ... I seem to want 40mm most of the time, then jump to 90mm with this camera.

    So maybe the solution is to wait for when I buy a new M and include this lens with that purchase...

    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Thank you Dave. Exactly my thinking. I was kind of hoping the lens would be optimized for f/2.8 when I ordered it, but it seems after so many owners were very vocal about wide open optimization, Zeiss decided to optimize all new batches for f/1.5 instead of the original f/2.8.

    I can still send it back to Zeiss for re-calibration, but it's going to cost me shipping to Zeiss, and import tax/VAT when I receive it back, so I would rather sell it and be happy with the Planar.
    Hi Edward,

    As much as calibrating to f1.5 is a headache with regards to focus shift, so is calibrating it to f2.8! My suggestion is have someone like DAG calibrate it for approx f2 or if possible f2.2. In other words, split the difference between f1.5 and f2.8! Hope that makes more sense based on my more lengthier explanation in my post above.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Thank you Dave. Yes, it definitely makes sense, so if I decide to keep the Sonnar, I should probably have it adjusted as you recommend.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Easy. Don't stop it down!

    I loooove my C Sonnar. But mine's optimized as Zeiss and god intended - at f/2.8. So yeah, it requires a little mental work before tripping the shutter... With a little use, you get the hang of it.

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    Senior Member Hosermage's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    I've own a ZM50 C-Sonnar (optimized at f/2.8) as my only lens for a long time. To me, worrying about focus shift only on the wide end is much better than worrying about focus shift in the mid range, even though I shot a lot at f/1.5. You can simply learn to tweak the focus ring by a bit to adjust for the focus shift.

    In the end, I traded up for a 50'Lux ASPH for many other reasons: slide out hood (save space), focus tab (ergonomics), 6-bit coding for EXIF (laziness), and knowing exactly who to blame for OOF shots (me) was a plus. I was never, however, displeased with the IQ from the sonnar.
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Thank you DN and David. Yes, it seems that having the lens optimized for WO makes it difficult to use at other apertures. But on the other hand, I can't think of any other reason to get the Sonnar except to shoot it WO, as this is where it really draws nice. I think the Planar is much better for "non artistic" photos.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Edward I think your shot at 1.5 is better than the other 2 from every point, the background is lovely and the sharpness is spot on and you lose that great creamy BG with the f2 Planar. Shoot some portraits and not still life and see what makes it so magical at 1.5.
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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Hi, Edward. I used the C-Sonnar on NEX, and I considered it when purchasing the M9, but I decided against it, because of both the focus shift and the across the field sharpness even when stopped down. I'm a one lens at a time kind of guy, so I would rarely carry two 50s with me, and I wouldn't want to give up some of the f4-5.6 performance across the field. Interestingly, I've read a few threads where those shooting the C-Sonnar for portraits actually think that the f2-f2.8 range is where the lens really shines. If I did buy one again, I'd likely get it optimized for f2.8 and learn the offset for wider apertures...or lean a little forward.

    To be honest, Edward, simply judging by your photographs that I've seen over the last several years, I would think that the Planar is the right 50 for you, but I certainly can't tell you what is right for your own art. Heck, if it were up to me, I'd probably just tell you to use that ZM 25 and throw everything else away, because I think it really works with your eye. Really great work with that lens. I don't think I could shoot a 25mm to save my life!

    The wide aperture, small size, flare suppression and interesting bokeh are all certainly alluring with the C-Sonnar. Tough call.
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Thank you Dave. Yes, it definitely makes sense, so if I decide to keep the Sonnar, I should probably have it adjusted as you recommend.
    The one thing to consider is by having it adjusted for most accurate focus at approx f2, will still result in the lens having some front focusing at f1.5 and some back focusing at F4.5, but far less at one or the other if you had instead had it adjusted for either F1.5 or f2.8. That's because the focus shift of the C-Sonnar is greater in magnitude that the focus shift found in Leic"s 35mm Lux asph (preFLE). With the Leica, having it adjusted for f2 results in just a little focus shift at f1.4 and f4.5.

    I do believe that if you do have you lens adjusted for approx f2, since you will still have a small amount of front focusing at f1.5...you won't loose the beautiful OOF rendering wide open for the most part, but will also have a lens that's still worth shooting at other apertures. I'm of the school of thought that just because a certain lens renders both exceptional and unique at a given aperture, it still will be a lovely lens when shot at other apertures.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    I use mine, which is optimized for f/1.5, in two modes:

    - wide open
    - at f/5.6 and above at farther distances.

    I shot quite a bit with it and a (rented) Monochrom. I've shot it with an M8 and an M2 and have always loved it despite its fickle ways.



    mb & melody by mike thomas, on Flickr



    melody by mike thomas, on Flickr



    du campus by mike thomas, on Flickr

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    Member Kokoshawnuff's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    If I shot 50mm more I would have kept the C Sonnar to go with my lux ASPH. My sonnar was optimized for f/2.8 and I never had an issue with focus shift on film, and on digital one would just need to focus and lean forward a bit when wide open. If you love the 50mm focal length then I see nothing wrong in having a sharp and consistent performer (ie your planar), and a lens that has some character and a bit of softness (ie your sonnar).
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    Member teeraash's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Hi Edward:
    My copy is exactly the same as Kokoshawnuff, it is optimized at f2.8. At far and medium distances, I don't have to adjust anything. They are all tack sharp. Here are images I took this morning during my heavy breakfast from 1.5, 2.0, 2.8, 4.0, 5.6 and 8.0. The f1.5 is sharp enough already except to the extreme edges but it becomes really good at f2.8. So even at f2.8 it is already ok for landscape except that one may not have enough DoF. You can look at full size images at my Flickr pages.

    F1.5
    [IMG]
    L1002894.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr[/IMG]

    F2.0

    L1002895.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr

    F2.8

    L1002896.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr

    F4.0
    [IMG]
    L1002897.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr[/IMG]

    F5.6
    [IMG]
    L1002898.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr[/IMG]

    F8.0

    L1002899.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr

    All images were taken a fraction of a second to each others and with the same minor adjustments in LR. Should be noted that the F4.0 image is not as sharp as it should be and this may have to do with the operator not the lens.
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    Member teeraash's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    For a wide open f1.5 images at really close distance, say 1m to 2m, all I have to do is leaning forward about and inch to get perfect sharp image at intend focusing point such as the near eye of the model. With some practices, it has become my second nature. Here, are some at wide open aperture.

    [IMG]
    L1001133.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]
    L1001131.jpg by teera_ash, on Flickr[/IMG]
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Edward, I shot the C-Sonnar and Planar as a pair for 3 years. My C-Sonnar is factory "optimized" for f/2.8 which is where I like to shoot it most, and I like it a lot w/ my M9. It gives a certain dimensionality I value (apologies for lens-speak).

    If the sonnar at f/1.5 disappoints, you might have it optimized at f/2.8 (or as D&A suggests at around f/2.2-2.4) and try it at f/2.8 where it still really excels, produces lovely blur, and is quite a bit sharper. And you still have f/1.5 speed when you need it - just learn to lean in a bit when up close at f/1.5.

    If having two lenses to get sharpness and also speed when you need it is bothersome, there is always the 50 lux asph, as other have said. I started shooting with one late last year. It is a spoiler of the first order. I shoot in dim venues a lot. The 50 asph just seems to lift light so sweetly.

    teera: lovely portraits of a lovely child
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    Member teeraash's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Hi Edward:
    For your information, IQ Lab at Naratiwat road has a demo of M240. I will go there to play with it today. Haven't made-up my mind but patience isn't one of my virtue especially given that the IQ Lab's owner told me that I'm first on his list and thus I can become the first victim of the New M here.
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Thank you for all the responses and photo samples, guys!

    Greatly appreciated!
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by teeraash View Post
    Hi Edward:
    For your information, IQ Lab at Naratiwat road has a demo of M240. I will go there to play with it today. Haven't made-up my mind but patience isn't one of my virtue especially given that the IQ Lab's owner told me that I'm first on his list and thus I can become the first victim of the New M here.
    Great news, Teera! Please keep us updated
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member CharlesK's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Hi Edward. I have had 3 copies optimized for f/1.5, and still had problems getting the focus shift to agree with me I love the rendering with the Sonnar, but the ergonomics of getting the lens in focus forced me to buy the 50 Lux
    Charles Kalnins
    Tallai, Queensland Australia.

    http://kalnins.zenfolio.com

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    What an unfortunate situation Charles!

    I have already considered the summilux to be honest, but there are too many cases of focus drift that I read about.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Hi Guys, Thank you very much for all your replies and very helpful advice.

    I finally decided to keep the C Sonnar as a specialty portrait and low light lens and will keep it as is, optimized for f/1.5.

    Cheers,
    Edward
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    My copy is optimized for f/1.5 but practically the best focus seems to be at around f/1.8. Sorry for the makeshift scale but I like hand made stuff


    1.5 by edward karaa, on Flickr


    2.0 by edward karaa, on Flickr


    2.8 by edward karaa, on Flickr


    4.0 by edward karaa, on Flickr


    5.6 by edward karaa, on Flickr


    8.0 by edward karaa, on Flickr
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2
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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Yeah, I think that may drive me a little crazy if my lens focused like that. It's one thing to have to subtly adjust focus at f1.5, since you're already dealing such a shallow DOF that focusing errors may already occur from subject movement, focus and recompose, etc., but I wouldn't want my f5.6 to be that far off.

  30. #30
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Douglas, totally agreed. I have given up already on trying to focus it at middle apertures. To be honest, the Planar swipes the floor with the Sonnar at all apertures and distances. But the advantage of the Sonnar is in its beautiful rendering for portraits and the nice bokeh. Coincidentally the Planar may be too clinical for portraits and its bokeh is average. That is why I believe the main interest of the Sonnar is at close range WO or near WO shooting. It does create magical results in the right hands.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    I hear you. I even enjoyed it on the smaller format of NEX as a portrait lens, although I didn't have to deal with focus shift. Granted, I also followed the advise of some users and shot portraits in the f2-2.8 range, anyways, and I think that may be the sweet spot of the lens for portraits, so I think I'd still want it optimized in the f2-2.8 range.

    How is the ZM 85 for portraits?

  32. #32
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    The ZM 85 is really great for portraits despite the f/4 aperture. It has a silky smooth rendering and very nice bokeh. The problem is that f/4 forces me to use very high iso so the occasions I can use it are not very frequent.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    I guess it depends on what type of portraits you're shooting. I use my 90/2.8 for my family at f4, and it is nice. For street portraits, I don't mind the grittiness of a ZM 50/2 type of lens. Are you using the C-Sonnar for street portraits, or for more planned stuff?

  34. #34
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    To be honest, I only used the Sonnar on a couple of outings, mostly street shooting. I would normally use the Biogon 35 for this kind of shooting but I wanted to try the new lens, and I wasn't disappointed. I posted some in the image thread, both here and on FM. I like what the Planar does to the subjects, but I also like what the Sonnar does to the backgrounds, how it separates the subject from the surroundings. In fact, apart from the Contax lenses, the C Sonnar has the most 3D I have ever seen from a current Zeiss lens, equally as good or better than the Contax 35/1.4. This confirms my earlier theory that field curvature is behind all that Zeiss 3D.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Agreed, the C-Sonnar has a lot of pop. This was on a crop sensor, and it still pops (sorry about the crappy flickr compression)



    In regards to field curvature, the interesting thing is that my 35/2 Cron ASPH seems to have more 3D pop than my 35/2 Cron IV did, despite having less field curvature, which is odd to me.
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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I like these shots, although, to be honest, I think I might even prefer the bite of the Planar for this kind of stuff, but who am I to judge?

  38. #38
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Very nice shot Douglas!

    As for 3D pop, I think high micro contrast is also important and the cron asph definitely has a lot of that too. If you look at the MTF you will also see that typical Leica wavy graphs, so it certainly does have FC, though different from the old style bell shaped one.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I like these shots, although, to be honest, I think I might prefer the bite of the Planar for this kind of stuff, but who am I to judge?
    Thank you Douglas, and again I agree with you. The 50/2 or 35/2 would have been my choice for this outing but I wanted to try the new lens
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Very nice shot Douglas!

    As for 3D pop, I think high micro contrast is also important and the cron asph definitely has a lot of that too. If you look at the MTF you will also see that typical Leica wavy graphs, so it certainly does have FC, though different from the old style bell shaped one.
    Thanks! Good point about the MTF. The 35/2 ASPH is still pretty wavy, just not as much as the former version. Any idea whether whether the new 50AA has that pop? It's more flat field.

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    From what I've seen in the online samples and Leica magazine, the 50AA has an amazing sharpness and micro contrast, but I think the summilux has more 3D.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    From what I've seen in the online samples and Leica magazine, the 50AA has an amazing sharpness and micro contrast, but I think the summilux has more 3D.
    That would make sense. What about your ZM 35/2, since it is pretty flat-field? I didn't notice a ton of pop on my crop camera, but I've not used it on the M9.
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Wide open, my trick was always to simply focus "a little behind" what I really wanted in focus... For example, someone's ears instead of eyes. Works most of time.

    If you don't want to deal with that, hey, I get it. That's what pushed me towards mostly Leica glass, avoiding lenses like the 35 Lux "pre-FLE" or many newer CV lenses. But if you don't mind experimenting to get the knack of - and then enjoying immensely the results of the C Sonnar... It really does have a sweet rendering.

    It definitely has that Zeiss "pop/3D effect" going on...





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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Sweet bokeh...





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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    .... I also like what the Sonnar does to the backgrounds, how it separates the subject from the surroundings. In fact, apart from the Contax lenses, the C Sonnar has the most 3D I have ever seen from a current Zeiss lens, equally as good or better than the Contax 35/1.4. This confirms my earlier theory that field curvature is behind all that Zeiss 3D.
    +1 This is what I referred to above as the dimensionality of the C-Sonnar and why I've kept it. For me, as a practical, in-use consideration, f/2.8 retains a large part of the 3D and the bokeh of the lens's performance wide open while reducing focus errors, so that's why I shoot it mostly at f/2.8 and have it optimized at that aperture.

    Shoot the lens for awhile and you'll intuitively be looking for compositions that favor its subject separation (field curvature), I'm sure.

    Good examples, Edward, Douglas, and Michael!
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I like these shots, although, to be honest, I think I might even prefer the bite of the Planar for this kind of stuff, but who am I to judge?
    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    That would make sense. What about your ZM 35/2, since it is pretty flat-field? I didn't notice a ton of pop on my crop camera, but I've not used it on the M9.
    There is definitely some 3D but it's not over emphasized.

    IMHO, the ZM lenses with most 3D are the 18/4, 21/2.8, 28/2.8, 35/2.8, and 50/1.5.

    Unfortunately I selected my lens line up for clinical performance so I don't enjoy that 3D look so much, but otoh I get sharp high microcontrast corner to corner performance.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Michael, very nice examples.

    Mike, I agree that is easier to have the lens calibrated at f/2.8. With mine I can get sharp results from WO to 2.8, but I should forget about 4-5.6, while in f/2.8 calibration, I believe it is possible to shoot at all apertures.
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Bottom line, if it is bothering you, dump it! There are 80 years of fantastic lenses that fit on your camera, why spend the time being aggravated (and missing lots of shots!) because your lens only works reliably at certain apertures. If you want a balance for your super-sharp modern 50mm f/2, why not something like a 50mm f/2 collapsible? It is still sharp, but with lower contrast and beautiful bokeh. At least in my mind...
    Here's an old cat pic (laugh it up!) to illustrate...I would use something newer, but since getting the 50/1.4 ASPH that's all I really use.


    Or, better yet, consider in investing in something a little different. The 40/2 Summicron would be a great balance, or for a tighter view, perhaps a 75mm or 90mm. The 75/2.5 CV could be a good bet, or the 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M. They should give you a more relaxed look while still being very good modern lenses.
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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    Well, that is exactly what I did today. I like to keep it simple so I wasn't going to keep two 50mm lenses. Between the sharpness of the Planar and bokeh and 3D of the Sonnar, I chose the Planar.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: To keep C Sonnar or not?

    The C in the ZM C-Sonnar is supposedly for "classic". I am not sure the real Sonnar 5cm f/1.5 suffers from this aperture induced focus shift menace.

    I do not see it on a Jupiter-3 5cm f/1.5 (cost me ~1/20th of the C-Sonnar, including a coded adapter from Rong Jin)which is a clone of the real Sonnar.

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