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Thread: And now an intriguing lens guess

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    And now an intriguing lens guess

    I took delivery late yesterday of the Zeiss 100 F2 Makro new from Robert White (amazing guys, they get everything that other dealers wait months for).

    Weather and my schedule today mitigated against a thorough test but a few snaps indoors showed me that even at F2 you can focus it very accurately using focus confirmation.

    So as dusk fell I was itching to compare it to the 24-120 zoom that I've been banging on about. This is only partly scientific: the light was changing so despite the exact same exposures and ISO, I had to Auto both files and one has a bit more boost (about 0.4 stop) than the other in post. Both files have Lens Corrections turned on in LR (not that the Zeiss needs it!) with CA correction on too. Sharpening is LR defaults.


    The camera was mounted on a Gitzo 3 series CF, with Cube. I have no remote release so I used self timer with the 3 second delay on the shutter, which MUPS automatically 3 seconds before the shutter fires. This is less than ideal but the best I could do.

    Both shot at F8 and focussed in LV (I also shot an AF frame for the Nikon lens and the result was identical).

    WITHOUT looking at EXIF, can you guess which is which? I'm not posting crops because you really need to look around the frame... if you have the time!

    http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v38/p667678675.jpg

    http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v41/p321363807.jpg

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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    The cleaner http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v41/p321363807.jpg is the zoom.

    The other one with CA is the Zeiss.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess


    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post

    (...) WITHOUT looking at EXIF, can you guess which is which? (...)

    I could not, I guessed wrong

    my world is falling apart

    what will become of us if we can no longer trust in brand names ...

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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    That is confusing, Steen.

    There are only two brands involved here- Nikon and Zeiss.

    BTW, I would question Tim's application of a Macro lens for landscapes.

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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    Interesting - if I look at the edge left of center, I would pick the Zeiss.

    If I look at the edge right of center, I would pick the Nikon.

    Then there's the CA...
    -- Joe

    http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/ - excuse the mess

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    I think the CA in the Zeiss shot is what they call 'bokeh fringing'. But I do think it's a reasonable comparison despite the Zeiss being a macro lens because it is very well known for its superb performance even at infinity.

    However, at F8 the Zeiss is past its sweet spot, whereas at F8 the Nikon is about at its best.

    I need to test this at a planar distance: I suspect that what is going on here is that the Zeiss has less spherical aberration, which favours the Nikon in a scene like this where the subject is at distance but the peripheral elements are closer. Also, clearly, the Zeiss is expected (I will test but am sure its true) to perform waaaay better at wider apertures, and it can do macro, and it can go to F2, and it has much nicer bokeh.

    But, nonetheless, the Nikon zoom is a real winner. It does better than most people thought possible on this camera. When travelling in future I will happily take it and one low light lens and maybe nothing else, or maybe if travelling slightly less light, a 24PC-E...

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    When travelling in future I will happily take it and one low light lens and maybe nothing else, or maybe if travelling slightly less light, a 24PC-E...
    I think I said this about 27,000 D800 posts ago Anyway, I agree and my "low light" pairing lens for travel is the 35/1.4. Just took delivery of it yesterday and only did test shots, but I was bowled over -- LOVE that lens! (BTW I have been extremely busy at work for the past couple weeks and will be this week and most of next, which is why I am short on image posting from the D800 -- but I promise I will get there soon!)
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post

    I need to test this at a planar distance: I suspect that what is going on here is that the Zeiss has less spherical aberration, which favours the Nikon in a scene like this where the subject is at distance but the peripheral elements are closer.
    I think you've hit it -

    Nice real-world comparison and I am getting more interested in this zoom - which I hadn't considered previously due to all the bad press...

    Thanks for posting this

    Cheers,
    -- Joe

    http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/ - excuse the mess

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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    But, nonetheless, the Nikon zoom is a real winner. It does better than most people thought possible on this camera.
    Tim, nice comparison and interesting to see and hear how well your sample of this zoom is doing on the D800. I wasn't all that impressed with the samples of this lens I tested on the D700/D3s and individuals opinions varied greatly which I suspect had as much to do with the individual sample they owned as well as their personal expectations.

    What I do find interesting, is the percentage of people who have been impressed with this lens seems to be higher wih those that have used it on the D800 vs. other lower MP bodies. Why I cannot say?

    As for the Nikon 35mm f1.4 G lens, it's truly spectacular and one of a number of extremely impressive optics from Nikon.

    Thanks for posting the comparisons.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: And now an intriguing lens guess

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I think I said this about 27,000 D800 posts ago Anyway, I agree and my "low light" pairing lens for travel is the 35/1.4. Just took delivery of it yesterday and only did test shots, but I was bowled over -- LOVE that lens! (BTW I have been extremely busy at work for the past couple weeks and will be this week and most of next, which is why I am short on image posting from the D800 -- but I promise I will get there soon!)
    You know what a slow learner I am...

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