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Thread: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

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    Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Ive read and read a lot of sites and reviews to decide the wide angle lens for my future d800e. I want it for landscapes, architectures and interiors.
    Nikon excellent lens 14-24, 17-35 and 24 1.4 are not as good as they used to be on the D800 (LensRentals.com - D800 Lens Selection and And the Nikon D800 autofocus saga continues (with some comments on specific lens performance))
    The specialized 24 pce isnt good enough on the d800. The PC-E didnt do as well....( LensRentals.com - D800 Lens Selection), and Time here at GetDPI (http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/...24mm-pc-e.html). For the opposite position: PC-E 24/3.5:A truly excellent piece of glass...) And the Nikon D800 autofocus saga continues (with some comments on specific lens performance)).
    If you forget the barrel distortion from 16-20, or solve it in pp, the 16-35 seems to be great performance on the d800/e (LensRentals.com - D800 Lens Selection , And the Nikon D800 autofocus saga continues (with some comments on specific lens performance) ).
    The Zeiss 21 2.8 seems to be the best option if IQ is the priority, as it is for me (Id give a slight edge to the Zeiss though (no pun intended) for sharpness, and micro contrast is much, much better. And the Nikon D800 autofocus saga continues (with some comments on specific lens performance)), but I coludnt find images of this combination. So, is there anyone who has used the Zeiss 21 2.8 ZF2 Distagon T with d800/e? what do you think?

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    please, any advise/opinion?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    This is frustrating, I know... if I can't get a decent 24 PC-E (this was going to be my landscape and architecture lens) then I'll have to wait for whatever new wide PC lenses Nikon has in the works. In the meantime I'd like a wide and fast lens because when I travel I'll take the 24-120, the Leica Cron 50R, and would like something for inside cathedrals and so on too. The best sounding so far is the 25 F2 Zeiss but I'd like to hear about CA and LoCa on the D800/E first...

    BTE much as I respect Ming, I wouldn't be too sure about the 24PC because someone on his blog has told him it's no good and he has replied that he's tested it but not shot with it - in other words I suspect he's not fully bottomed it out: or maybe he just had a really good sample.

    So I add to your plaintive cry: if anyone has a good fast wide fr the D800/E, please let us know!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    The problem with the Zeiss 21mm is the distortion which you really need a outside program to correct it. My fast wide is a 24 1.4 G for now.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The problem with the Zeiss 21mm is the distortion which you really need a outside program to correct it. My fast wide is a 24 1.4 G for now.
    That doesn't review so well Guy, what do you make of it?

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    With wides (especially retrofocus wides), pick your poison: You either get improved flat-field performance with visible 3rd order (mustache) distortions (and usually more flare prone), OR you get moderate barrel distortion with curvature of field (but usually less flare prone). Curvature of field does NOT rate well on typical 2-D lens test targets, which is why places like Photozone or Lensrenter or a Norm Koran chart does not rate them as well (and why Roger began the whole thread on relevant testing procedures for high res cameras).

    Anyway, I have not shot the 24/1.4, but do own the 35/1.4G -- and it appears Nikon favors the latter of the two philosophies above for it's wide, fast prime designs. I can tell you the 35 is excellent and the curvature of field can be a benefit in many of the type shots I use it for, generating corners closer than central subject looking very sharp; I suspect the 24/1.4G does similarly with heavier effect.

    To the topic, it is why my present wide prime is the 20/2.8D. It has significant curvature and still corners that remain soft at 100% view from the D800. However in print they are barely noticed with a lens that wide, and usually a part of the image that is wholly unimportant to the subject. The bigger benefit to the 20/2.8D is it is relatively flare resistant, especially compared to the Zeiss wides, and with a lens that wide I often find myself with a bright light source or even the Sun in the frame -- and the little 20 handles that situation quite well.
    Jack
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Interestingly, it appeared Nikon favored 3rd order mustache type distortion in the designs of many of their manual focus and early AF primes. Their AF 18mm f2.8 lens, with its hand ground aspherical design (which looks almost like the twin sibbling to the Af 20mm f2.8) was a prime example. Flat field objects were remarkably sharp from corner to corner in certain samples, but the distortion was worse than a handlebar mustache of years of yore

    It also seems the current trend in ultra wide angle lens design is to try to achieve max resolution over as much as the frame as possible, and let barrel distortion fall where it may. The 3rd party manual focus Bower/Vivitar/Samyang 14mm wide angle is an extreme example of this. Its sharpness runs rings around Nikon's older designed 14mm (which actually has relatively low distortion) but as a consequence, it's barrel distortion almost has many of the images captured with this lens looking sort of like a fisheye lens.

    A less extreme example of this is Nikon's 16-35mm f4 VR lens, at the wide end.

    With today's Raw converters, if it was a choice between both types of distortion, I would personally "always" opt for a lens displaying excess barrel distortion which is far easier to correct as opposed to mustashe distortion.

    The issue I sometimes have with lenses that have excessive curvature of field, is a moderate distant landscape, where often the edges and corners of the frame will be sharper in the forground as opposed to the plane of focus in the distance. That in itself isn't so much of an issue except when it leads to the visual impression of soft sides/edges in the plane of a very edge to edge "detailed" distant landscape.

    Jack, interesting comments regarding flair (or resitance to it) with regards to these types of distortions.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 8th May 2012 at 11:53.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    The Nikon 24 1.4 is delicious . F8 my corners are great. Center is outstanding At F2. The Zeiss 25 F2 is great at midrange no so great at infinity. So far I like the 24 a lot need to get out more with it but I'm pretty damn happy with it. Focuses very close also with great artistic look. I'm after look with this Nikon. Right now I'm loaded with 24, 35, 85 1.4 G than a 50 1.8 g and the 180 which is really actually good but getting a 200mm f2 than maybe a zeiss 18mm or zeiss 15mm. Have not decided that one yet but was hoping for a Nikon 17TS to hit the market
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Tim, Guy, Jack, Dave (D&A), thank you very much. You gave me very useful information.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post

    Jack, interesting comments regarding flair (or resitance to it) with regards to these types of distortions.

    Dave (D&A)
    Well I was simplifying the summary to keep it, well simple .

    Going into a little more detail, bottom line is most barrel distortion in photographic lenses is simply 3rd order with a lower constant -- meaning more prominent mustache turn up would occur outside the field of view. The 20 is predominantly barrel with some light mustache toward the edges, the 18 far more pronounced. My point was more than Nikon seemed to favor the predominant barrel in their newer designs of fast wides like the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4. The more highly corrected 3rd order wides like those from Zeiss, tend to flare more due primarily to a higher number of internal elements; more internal elements = more reflective surfaces = increased opportunities to generate flare.

    Ex: The Nikkor 20 AF-D is 12 elements in 9 groups with total barrel distortion of around 2.25% (moderately high), the Zeiss 21 is 16 elements in 13 groups with total barrel distortion of around 1.7% (moderate). But the Z21 also shows much stronger mustache at the edges, which becomes really visible in a shot like an ocean horizon; moreover barrel is relatively easy to correct and mustache somewhat more difficult. Still an over simplification, but hopefully helps folks understand the basics of what's going on
    Jack
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    I have it on good authority that the Zeiss 21/2.8 is the best, sharpest lens ever. Some Guy in the Fred Miranda forums about seven years ago was pretty convincing.

    I'm *still* trying to get Lightroom to correct a jpeg I took with that lens. I hate having to go into PTLens just for that. If you take RAW, LR4 corrects it pretty well.

    --Matt

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Oh yea I had that little puppy and wide angle wise it's the best in 35mm. It's the damn distortion that Adobe has not put in one of there programs to correct. It's a pain to use PTlens. Maybe something has changed over the years to fix it though. Been awhile but yes it's the same design it was back than but now in Nikon, Canon mount. Wonder whoever gave them that idea.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Matt, Guy:
    I would take only RAW with this lens. I`m interesting in this lens because it supposed to be one of the "sharpest lens ever" as some Guy thought some years ago.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    BTW, for my future d800e I`m looking for the sharpest lens I will be able to pay.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    It's really one of the best out there. The Leica 19mm R runs with it well also but that lens is not setup for a direct mount like the Zeiss is now. It's really only going to be a issue in the moustache distortion to clean that part of it up and weird thing I shot a cockpit with it and I can't see any distortion. It's one of those lenses that's worth the hassle to fix it though.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by gustavo View Post
    BTW, for my future d800e I`m looking for the sharpest lens I will be able to pay.
    Just follow the lens whores around here they know what to get and chew your wallett at the same time.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    thanks.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Been looking into a wide prime....

    The nikon 24 1.4 is a beauty wide open, lovely look, but not a technically perfect lens at all.

    Chromatic aberration is quite evident even stopped down to 2.8.



    While absent from the Zeiss 21mm



    The Nikon 24mm PC-E has chromatic aberration quite well controlled



    Distortion is quite close. 1.47 for the Nikon and 1.7 for the Zeiss





    The Zeiss 21mm does have a fair bit of vignetting, but that can look quite nice and is quite correctable with the D800's great shadow performance.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Any thoughts on the Zeiss 25mm f/2?

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Well I was simplifying the summary to keep it, well simple .

    Going into a little more detail, bottom line is most barrel distortion in photographic lenses is simply 3rd order with a lower constant -- meaning more prominent mustache turn up would occur outside the field of view. The 20 is predominantly barrel with some light mustache toward the edges, the 18 far more pronounced. My point was more than Nikon seemed to favor the predominant barrel in their newer designs of fast wides like the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4. The more highly corrected 3rd order wides like those from Zeiss, tend to flare more due primarily to a higher number of internal elements; more internal elements = more reflective surfaces = increased opportunities to generate flare.

    Ex: The Nikkor 20 AF-D is 12 elements in 9 groups with total barrel distortion of around 2.25% (moderately high), the Zeiss 21 is 16 elements in 13 groups with total barrel distortion of around 1.7% (moderate). But the Z21 also shows much stronger mustache at the edges, which becomes really visible in a shot like an ocean horizon; moreover barrel is relatively easy to correct and mustache somewhat more difficult. Still an over simplification, but hopefully helps folks understand the basics of what's going on
    Sometimes it's scary how much you know Jack....
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Diffrent distortion. The Nikon 24 is barrel only, easy fix. Zeiss is barrel and mustache need PT lens to correct. CA correction on Nikon is a check box and gone. Frankly every Leica summilux is technically not perfect wide open. Ask yourself are you buying MTFs or a lens.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Any thoughts on the Zeiss 25mm f/2?
    That's also the one I'm most interested in..

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    The Zeiss 25 I have been wondering about too Tim. This one is a new design and it's supposed to be very good and I went back and forth with the Nikon 24 1.4 on it. I ultimately wanted AF fast wide wide angle which won the Nikon out. But I'm not using the Nikon as a landscape type tool so for me the AF wins this range
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Ask yourself are you buying MTFs or a lens.
    True.... the look of the 24mm 1.4 wide open is very nice

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Yes this is what won me on the Nikon was this wide open performance like the 35 also. These two lenses are a lot like Leica summiluxes of old but with actually better wide open performance . Like controlled veiling for one. At F2 the 35 and 24 1.4 lenses is when killer sharpness comes alive also but still has nice bokeh. Stopped down the corners come in faster on the 35 but by F8 the 24 looks real nice. Nikon upped there game on these G lenses much better than the past ones I have used. Some folks will like the Zeiss glass but so far I only see two that seem to stand out over Nikon the 21mm for sure and the Zeiss 100 but the rest have some issues. I still have a question mark on the newer 25 tough so it could be very good but I hear infinity is not its strong suit, but midrange is.its worth testing to find out.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    One thing also from MF shooters especially we will have to look more closely with these faster 35mm lenses since they will have lens performance stuff we need to control more like CA for one bokeh fringing and such as most of our MF glass was pretty well corrected at 2.8 and slower. So we have to on the lookout here as this is not something we really are used too or maybe better said hidden at 2.8 and we did not have to deal with it.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    True.... the look of the 24mm 1.4 wide open is very nice
    I just have to say that this is impressively shallow DoF for a 24mm lens on a full-frame 35!


    ...

    Crap. We know what this means.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Been using the Zeiss Zf lens now for about 2 years . The biggest plus is overall color depth and contrast ..they may not be much if any sharper(than the new Nikkor s) but they have significantly more punch . I ve shot a ton with the 18/3.5 and the 21/2.8 down at our pier and have not been hurt by distortion . The CA is a different story . The 18 and 21 are decent but the older designs 25/2.8,28/2,35/2,50/1.4 and 85/1.4 all have issues .

    I don t think anyone will be truly unhappy with the IQ of the 21/2.8 ZF2 . But both the 18 and 21 are big and not too handy . I use them on a tripod (and I don t shoot much that way). The new 15 mm is a beast .

    The 24/35/85 G Nikkors are pretty special and hard to ignore . I need to work more with my 24 as I think the pecking order is best first ...85/35/24 . It is interesting that the Nikkors maybe optimized for close to middle distances where the Zeiss are better at infinity .

    The one I want to try is the 35/1.4 ZF2 but its designed for available light and has superb bokeh ..but is cursed with a long throw like a Noctilux . This may have been designed more with cinema in mind . And the 35/1.4 G is so good its hard to go that way .

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Best F-mount WA-thread ever. Answers all the questions that have been grinding in the back of my head for a while. Great info everybody

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    How does the much talked about 14-24 compare with the ZF and Nikon primes, if shooting at F8? I very much like the convenience of the zoom.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Been using the Zeiss Zf lens now for about 2 years . The biggest plus is overall color depth and contrast ..they may not be much if any sharper(than the new Nikkor s) but they have significantly more punch . I ve shot a ton with the 18/3.5 and the 21/2.8 down at our pier and have not been hurt by distortion . The CA is a different story . The 18 and 21 are decent but the older designs 25/2.8,28/2,35/2,50/1.4 and 85/1.4 all have issues .

    I don t think anyone will be truly unhappy with the IQ of the 21/2.8 ZF2 . But both the 18 and 21 are big and not too handy . I use them on a tripod (and I don t shoot much that way). The new 15 mm is a beast .

    The 24/35/85 G Nikkors are pretty special and hard to ignore . I need to work more with my 24 as I think the pecking order is best first ...85/35/24 . It is interesting that the Nikkors maybe optimized for close to middle distances where the Zeiss are better at infinity .

    The one I want to try is the 35/1.4 ZF2 but its designed for available light and has superb bokeh ..but is cursed with a long throw like a Noctilux . This may have been designed more with cinema in mind . And the 35/1.4 G is so good its hard to go that way .
    I would say the pecking order is just about right Roger 85 is just scary good and than 35 , 24 and honestly the 35 gets the most use so really hard to ignore the Nikon i agree. The old days I would say get the Zeiss now I'm just not so sure these damn G got it going on and maybe that Zeiss color is just a tick away in processing and than the manual focus hassle and the choices get tougher. Love to hear more on the 18mm though as I thought for the landscape work it could be fun. But I have to remember myself to be careful here since I have the tech cam that is truly my very wide awesome file stuff. Which given both lenses I have is a 18mm and a 42 TS lens equivalent 35 that is. So I'm not so concerned on the Nikon side for landscape. Street , PR, fashion and all that stuff is my Nikon kit. I don't mind a little crossover though.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    The 35/1.4 is the one I leave on my camera all the time -- it's an awesome lens. Surprised nobody else has mentioned the 50/1.4G in the 1.4 group though. I find it a teeny bit sharper center to corner than the 35 wide open and they seem to be mostly equal after that, so we're probably splitting hairs as to which is better. But from what I've seen, if pressed I'd rate them 85//50/35/24 in the 1.4 lenses.
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    The 35/1.4 is the one I leave on my camera all the time -- it's an awesome lens. Surprised nobody else has mentioned the 50/1.4G -- I find it a teeny bit sharper center to corner than the 35 wide open and they seem to be mostly equal after that, so we're probably splitting hairs as to which is better. But from what I've seen, I'd rate probably 85//50/35/24 in the 1.4 lenses.
    Jack

    I found the 50 to have lower contrast and weaker color than the newer 85/35/24. Maybe you are correcting this in post . I am sensitive to the color depth in the blue channel . The zeiss and the newer G lenses have stronger blues ..which of course is more visible around the ocean.

    Solving the 50 choice is on my list .

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    This comparison tool looks quite handy:

    Nikon 24mm f/1.4G AF-S ED Nikkor Lens Distortion Test Results

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    While we're on the subject of rating some of these popular lenses, I am quite impressed with the 24 f1.4 G, 35 f1.4 G and 85 1.4G although I have to say now that I had a brief chance to shoot the new 85 f1.8G on the D800...in some ways I almost prefer it to the 1.4G. The Zeiss 21mm is an absolute gem and a while back I tested it against a excellent sample of the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 set at 21mm. Color response of both lenses were entirely different but resolution (sharpness) across the frame was quite close. I'd almost give the edge to the Zeiss. Unfortunately at the time, I didn't really test specifcially for distortion.

    I've also used/tested the Zeiss 18mm, another fine lens from Zeiss although performance wise, it was somewhat behind the Zeiss 21mm. Regarding the Zeiss 100mm, I put it up there along with the 21mm although I don't yet have a handle regarding potential CA issues with its use on the D800.

    Lastly I am not so enamered with the Nikon 50mm f1.4G. A very good lens but color response as mentioned is not to my taste nor is the OOF areas particulary attractive when shot at or near wide open.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 8th May 2012 at 20:35.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    I here a lot of folks look at the Sigma 50 1.4 also. Personally I'm not a big 50 fan, but I do have a need once in awhile for one and have to say for 229 dollars the cheapo 1.8 G is sharp as hell. It's one of those stick in corner of bag pockets. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Jack

    I found the 50 to have lower contrast and weaker color than the newer 85/35/24. Maybe you are correcting this in post . I am sensitive to the color depth in the blue channel . The zeiss and the newer G lenses have stronger blues ..which of course is more visible around the ocean.

    Solving the 50 choice is on my list .
    Roger, to be clear my 50 is a new 1.4G -- is that what you used? Mine and my 35/1.4G seemed almost identical to me, but admittedly I have not shot the 50 a lot yet. I will pay closer attention in the near future and follow up. I will add, I tested 3 copies at my dealer, one was softer and had lower contrast, so I assumed it was a dud. The other two were both very similar in look and I simply chose the one that required the least amount of AF correction on my body.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    The ZF21 is hands down the sharpest WA lens I have ever used. It also has ridiculous depth of field which is much more than one would typically expect. I also have the ZF25 f/2.8 which is almost as sharp as the 21. You really can't go wrong with either....

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I here a lot of folks look at the Sigma 50 1.4 also. Personally I'm not a big 50 fan, but I do have a need once in awhile for one and have to say for 229 dollars the cheapo 1.8 G is sharp as hell. It's one of those stick in corner of bag pockets. LOL
    The Sigma 50mm f1.4 was a lovely lens on the D700/D3s. It's OOF areas when shot wide open are extremely attractive, which reminds some of the Nikkor 58mm f1.2 Noct in some ways. I was surprised by this when I tested both side by side, not all that long ago. Resolution wise between f1.4 and just short of f4, it's excellent in the center of the frame but quickly goes very soft towards the sides and and corners. To improve those areas, it has to be shot at beyond f5.6. This is a 50mm designed for it's "look" more than anything else. Produces a very delicate image.

    I haven't tested it on a D800, but my gut feeling is unless stopped down to at least f8, its going to disappoint those looking for a fast sharp lens. For that, I would agree with Guy, for shear sharpness alone, one cannot go wrong with the 50mm f1.8G., especially at its reasonable price point. It really doesn't have "a look", but it's most certainly sharp!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 8th May 2012 at 22:12.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Right now I'm looking in the 18mm range which is a natural gap for me having the 24mm. This one I know is a real tough cookie to find. Outside the zooms there are Sigmas, Tokina, Tamron, Nikon and of course the Zeiss. I'm leaning at the Zeiss but have to say all bets are off if Nikon pulls out a 17mm TS lens. I may just go rent the Zeiss and see how it is on the D800 . I have not read one report yet with that combo. I may just have to play guinea pig on this one. I think Tempe camera here in town rents it so it would be easy for me to do.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Guy, If you do rent the Zeiss 18, I would love to know how it performs on a D800. Although I found the 18 wasn't quite the performer the 21mm was on the D700/D3s, it was certainly more than just a competant performer on those cameras. I too love the 18mm focal length, especially the spacing of 18 & 24mm. Hey, want a lens with a ton of mustache distortion and heavy vignetting but actually not half bad when it comes to center sharpness (at least with most samples)? Well look no further than the Nikon Af 18mm AF-D lens....LOL! It's tiny (compared to the Zeiss) thats for sure and has that crinkle industrial look finish too! What's not to like ...and to think how rediculously expensive this lens used to be.

    Seriously, Nikon seems to have abandoned the ultra wide angle single focal length catagory, ever since they released the 14-24mm f2.8. There were rumors a while back for a replacement to their Af 14mm f2.8, but nothing so far has materialized, unfortunately

    Thanks!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 8th May 2012 at 22:53.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Jack

    I found the 50 to have lower contrast and weaker color than the newer 85/35/24. Maybe you are correcting this in post . I am sensitive to the color depth in the blue channel . The zeiss and the newer G lenses have stronger blues ..which of course is more visible around the ocean.

    Solving the 50 choice is on my list .

    Pffewww.... finally I see someone else that is noticing the same. I often go out with only the 35 and the 50 in my bag (I prefer the bag as small as possible when that is possible). Everytime I am surprised on the difference in color rendering and contrast between the 35 and 50. Nice to hear I am not the only one seeing this.

    There allegedly is a patent for a new Nikon 50/1.2. I certainly hope there are plans on replacing the current 1.4 with a more spicy version which doesn't necessarily have to be 1.2 for me. I would like that though, I loved my AIS50/1.2. A new one in the line of the new 1.4G series would be welcome

    Anyone tried the Sigma 50/1.4? I am normally shying away from the likes of Sigma/Tamron/Tokina/Etc.. but a lot of people seem to be extremely satisfied with the Sigma.

    'edit' I just see some others have writting something about the Sigma. Problem of reading through a thread and responding on a post before having read the posts after that.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The Zeiss 25 I have been wondering about too Tim. This one is a new design and it's supposed to be very good and I went back and forth with the Nikon 24 1.4 on it. I ultimately wanted AF fast wide wide angle which won the Nikon out. But I'm not using the Nikon as a landscape type tool so for me the AF wins this range
    Here's a review for the canon version of the Zeiss... Sounds like neither it nor the Nik 24mm 1.4 is perfect for landscape but I bet they'd both acquit themselves perfectly well with a bit of stopping down...
    Zeiss ZE Distagon T* 25mm f/2 (Canon EF) - Review / Lab Test

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Roger, to be clear my 50 is a new 1.4G -- is that what you used? Mine and my 35/1.4G seemed almost identical to me, but admittedly I have not shot the 50 a lot yet. I will pay closer attention in the near future and follow up. I will add, I tested 3 copies at my dealer, one was softer and had lower contrast, so I assumed it was a dud. The other two were both very similar in look and I simply chose the one that required the least amount of AF correction on my body.
    Jack

    I tested the new G version . When Nikon introduced the G primes ..I was using the D3X ..so a decent test . I considered the 50 and I went thru all the test eports . 50 s always do well on resolution tests and 50 1.4 s are almost always excellent in the center . But the contrast and color on the one I tested was lower than the other G primes .

    You could be right and I had a dud. I had a 24-70/2.8 that I thought was decent until I used my friends and shot them side by side . His was 2 levels better. So I returned the lens to Nikon with a note that I had done a side by side test . It came back significantly improved . My dealer friend told me to always tell them you tested against another copy otherwise you get a returned to spec message.

    Isn t the other issue with the 50 the AF is slower than the 24/35/85 ?

    Its so much cheaper less than $500 verse $1700-2000.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Roger, anything is possible with the 50mm your use or tested (or possibly with some samples of this lens)....but I too was not enarmored with the color response of the 50mm f1.4 G I shot with, especially when compared to some of the other fast f1.4 "G" single focal length lenses. As I stated above, the OOF areas when shot near or at wide open, were also just OK but nothing to write home about, in my opinion. Yes, the AF is quite slow but then so is the Af on the Sigma 50mm f1.4. In terms of Af speed, the older Nikon 50mm f1.4 D lens has them both beat in the AF speed department. Again, the 50mm f1.4 G is a good lens, just not one of my favorites in the 50mm range.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 9th May 2012 at 07:40.

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Since I hve not received my D800 yet, and after reading this great thread my head is spinning now. Which 24mm works best at infinity? The Nikon or Zeiss, same goes with the 35mm and which versions
    Steven
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Here is a excerpt from lens rentals on the zeiss 25

    It’s really, really good. That should about cover it. Oh, you want details? OK.
    It’s an interesting lens. Unlike previous versions in this focal range there is very little field curvature (unlike the 25mm f/2.8). In terms of pure resolution it’s superb, generating numbers in our testing similar to the legendary 21mm f/2.8. Sharper than the Nikon or Canon 24mm f/1.4 lenses when shot at f/2.0. Sharper than any 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm lens we stock at f/2.0. And that’s both in the center and overall (weighted average) sharpness.
    But there’s a bit of a catch: that’s for testing at middle distances (10 to 25 feet). But at infinity (where the MTF charts are made) it doesn’t seem quite as good (it’s still good, but not amazingly good), so there are probably better choices for landscape work. But 25mm isn’t really a landscape focal length for most people, it’s more for reportage, street shooting, architecture, and video work. For these purposes, at middle distances, I’m not sure there’s a better lens available.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    Okay on the 24.14 from lensrentals. I think better of this myself


    Roger's Take
    Roger Cicala
    President of LensRentals.com
    I’ll admit, first, that my expectations for this lens may have been unreasonable. I was expecting perfection. This is a very good, very wide aperture prime. But not perfect. On the other hand, every reviewer I’ve read seems to be drooling over themselves in an effort to heap their praises on it. So I thought I’d better look at it again before I opened my mouth because I didn’t want to look stupider than usual. They are lens reviewing experts after all, and I’m an old guy that runs a rental house. But if I agreed with them, then we’d all be wrong.
    Not that I’m calling this lens bad: its excellent. Its as sharp in the center as anything you can shoot with. Nearly Zeiss 21mm sharp, which is the gold standard. Its a bit soft in the corners wide open, but still excellent compared to most 24mm lenses and even the corners are sharp by f3.5. Its got gorgeous bokeh. It has great color and contrast, and even the corners have very little coma or astigmatism. And its the desperately waited f1.4 prime we were all waiting for.
    But the autofocus speed, while not a critical feature of a lens this wide, is best described as leisurely. More importantly its got some very detectible barrel distortion and interestingly the closer you focus, the more severe the barrel effect. Its pretty noticeable and not at all what I’d hoped for. I wouldn’t shoot architecture with it, unless I was planning to shoot raw and post-process out the distortion. Its still a very, very good lens but I’m less excited about it than most.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    I went Nikon for AF and the look wide open but my intentions are not landscape with this lens. To me this is my reportage lens PR, fashion and the like.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Zeiss 21 2.8 on D800/E

    As Guy has pointed out, it's a tough call at the moment when it comes to this focal length and landscape use. The Zeiss 21 is "that good" but I know Steven how you much prefer not going that wide (of how I recall...LOL). From memory, it was a difficult call at infinity as to whether the Nikon 24mm f1.4 or 14-24 Zoom @ 24mm was definitely sharper at these longer distances? Stopped down to f5.6-f8, where I believe you don't mind shooting Steven, I recall favoring the zoom set at 24mm over the 24mm f1.4 at similar f-stops. At closer range it was a somewhat different story.

    Again this might all be a bit academic since I was initially testing performance on a D700/D3s and the D800 changes things quite a bit, especially achieveing sharp sides/corners with the zoom unless well stopped down. I'm starting the process of re-evaluating many of these lenses on the D800 now. The new Zeiss 25mm is still very tempting for a number of reasons and am looking forward to trying it out, so overall I wouldn't discount that lens just yet. Other than that, I still love the 24mm f1.4 for it's versitilty and look.

    Dave (D&A)

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