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Thread: Zeiss Wide Angles?

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    Member losta's Avatar
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    Zeiss Wide Angles?

    While I am holding my breath until Photokina to see what Nikon may come up with I am considering some of the Zeiss wide angles 25 or 28 and perhaps 18 and 35. I have been reading the posts here about them and just wanted to check with people here on their experiences with them.

    I am currently shooting Nikon D3/D700 the 24-70 and 14-24 are great lenses but are so big and heavy and non-stealth. I like a smaller kit for walking around.(Also my M8 is about to return to me from summering in Germany for updating.)

    I used to really like the quality and look of the photographs taken with Zeiss lenses on my old Contax G about 14 or 15 years ago. However my eyes are aging and on DSLRs I mostly use auto focus. So I am wondering about having to manually focus whenever I use the lens.

    I'm just looking for your experiences and some samples if you would like to post them. Thanks in advance.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Wide Angles?

    Lisa,

    I have the same approach as you - i.e. I have a D3 & D700 and the full set of Nikon zooms 14-24, 24-70, 70-200VR, 200-400VR & 105 VR. In addition, I also use a D700 outfit with Zeiss 18/3.5, 25/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 and a useful travel 70-300 VR.

    If you prefer manual focus, the Zeiss lenses have a superb feel and I find them ideal for less conspicuous travel purposes. The gearing between the 25 & 50 compared to the 35 & 18 takes a little bit of getting used to - the first two lenses have long focus throw but the latter two are higher geared and more sensitive. Quality-wise I find that I prefer the look of the 25/35/50 to that of the AF zooms and they are extremely sharp. The 18 is convenient but if I'm honest it isn't quite as good overall as the 14-24 zoom, although it's a fraction of the size & weight.

    I would recommend reading the Zeiss ZF reviews over at digilloyd.com - you need to pay but I found it excellent value and helped me decide.

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    Re: Zeiss Wide Angles?

    Well, I wouldn't say the Zeiss lenses are light and compact compared to their Nikon brethren (primes) but the image quality, the way they draw, and the build really make up for that. Make on feel as if they are using Leica R lenses.

    I have the 35 and 25. I may switch things up at some point and go with the 21, 28, and 50 1.4. The 25 and 35 are nice but if I can afford it, the 21 would give me the extra width and the 28 the extra stop of speed plus some extra width. Maybe hang onto the 35 though - it really is a sharp lens. The 25 isn't perfect wide open but down a stop (even half) and it really shines. Very little distortion which to me is even more important than corner sharpness.

    Anyway, can't go wrong with these lenses, esp if you are like me and have never gotten the hang of AF. The focus action is buttery smooth.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Wide Angles?

    Quote Originally Posted by charlesphoto View Post
    Well, I wouldn't say the Zeiss lenses are light and compact compared to their Nikon brethren (primes) but the image quality, the way they draw, and the build really make up for that. Make on feel as if they are using Leica R lenses.
    Yes that's true! My 35/2 AF & 50/1.4 AF are a lot smaller and lighter than the Zeiss equivalents. What I meant was that the Zeiss outfit is smaller & seems lighter than the 14-24/24-70 combo in the bag.

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