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Thread: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

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    Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    I am in the honeymoon phase of shooting the ZM1.5/50 Sonnar lens and am admittedly head over heels in love with it. The rendering is very rich, sharp enough - but never too sharp, and the contrast and color rendition mate so well with the M8 that I have yet to even shoot on black and white film with it.

    On the negative side, it does show off a lot of chromatic aberration at larger apertures. This appears to be a side-effect of the spherical aberration that gives its distinctive "glow" at the same apertures. Thus it may not be a contender for the ultimate all-rounder 50, but at the moment I am quite tempted to learn how to work around that issue. I love all that it does well enough to possibly learn to adjust.

    Long intro complete!

    So now I'm curious to know if Zeiss' entire range of "C" lenses share these characteristics, or if they're limited to the Sonnar lens. Both the 2.8/35 and 4.5/21 are Biogon designs - do they render similarly to the Sonnar?

  2. #2
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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    the 21/4.5 is a typical high contrast lens, sharp from the word go without
    minimal distortion.

    I do not know about the 35/2.8.

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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    I have noticed the Spherical Aberration of the 50 Sonnar but not any Chromatic Aberrations and I have about 300 shots with it so far. On the flip side, I have CA with some of my 50 Lux shots. I shoot at 1.5 99% of the time with the Sonnar. Do you have an example of a shot with CA as I would be interested in seeing it. Thanks!

    Steve
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    Subscriber Member jaapv's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by j. white View Post
    I am in the honeymoon phase of shooting the ZM1.5/50 Sonnar lens and am admittedly head over heels in love with it. The rendering is very rich, sharp enough - but never too sharp, and the contrast and color rendition mate so well with the M8 that I have yet to even shoot on black and white film with it.

    On the negative side, it does show off a lot of chromatic aberration at larger apertures. This appears to be a side-effect of the spherical aberration that gives its distinctive "glow" at the same apertures. Thus it may not be a contender for the ultimate all-rounder 50, but at the moment I am quite tempted to learn how to work around that issue. I love all that it does well enough to possibly learn to adjust.

    Long intro complete!

    So now I'm curious to know if Zeiss' entire range of "C" lenses share these characteristics, or if they're limited to the Sonnar lens. Both the 2.8/35 and 4.5/21 are Biogon designs - do they render similarly to the Sonnar?
    Generally the Biogons are modern lenses, sharp and contrasty, whereas the Sonnar is more "classic"
    JAAP
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    The colours of my generation are black and white.

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    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    If you are shooting RAW, try using Capture One if you're not already. Only C-One can deal with some types of color fringing on the M8--Lightroom and all the others can't.

    --Peter

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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Steve, here are a few examples of the CA that I mentioned. First the shot that alerted me to its existence - note the blue haloes around the light fixtures and in the specular reflections of the cars. The second is a full-framed version of the test sequence I did, to give a reference of the scale. And lastly, 100% crops of the central image area. These were processed in Lightroom with nothing more than an import & export.

    The fringing is not surprisingly most prominent at full aperture and arguably a non-issue at f 4.0.

    JaapV, that is perhaps just the sobering news I needed to hear!

    Peter, I will check out C1 - the ability to conquer the occasional shot that needs this kind of correction would be worth getting over its poorly laid-out interface!


    -J.

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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    The crop below shows what looks like CA in the lower right corner, but most of the images you posted look more like sensor bloom to me.

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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    ^ I was actually wondering about which effect it was. I read Erwin Puts review of the ASPH Noctilux over the weekend, in which he showed examples of chromatic aberration that looked precisely like the blue flaring I noted with the Sonnar.


    -J.

  9. #9
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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    It's easy to get confused when reading reviews and comparing them to your own results. A lot of people use the term "chromatic aberration" for any form of color fringing, regardless of what actually causes it (such as sensor "bloom.")

    In its traditional technical usage, chromatic aberration is a specific lens design fault (or compromise) in which light of different wavelengths is brought to focus at different distances; the amount and direction can be measured precisely on an optical bench, and sensor type (etc.) shouldn't make any difference. Color fringing is one symptom of classical chromatic aberration... but it has other symptoms, too, while other things also can cause color fringing.

    So when you're interpreting reviews, sometimes you have to do a little digging to find out whether the writer is using the term "chromatic aberration" in its traditional sense, or in its modern "casual" sense as simply a synonym for color fringing.

    I'm sure Puts knows all about all the classical theoretical aberrations, but he may have decided to succumb to contemporary usage on this one...

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZM "C" Lenses

    What a Lovely thought or way of seeing...'Sensor Bloom' I LIKE IT !

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