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Thread: Zeiss 25mm f2

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Zeiss 25mm f2

    Anyone have any detailed experience of this on the d800/e yet? I am looking for something between 20 and 24/5mm with very sharp edges at f4 or 5.6 and as flat a field as possible, mainly for landscape work so it must be good at distance. I currently have a 28mm f1.8g and it's a great walkaround but it has field curvature and some midfield weakness so I am after ultimate IQ on the E for landscapes. All comments gratefully received...

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Anyone have any detailed experience of this on the d800/e yet? I am looking for something between 20 and 24/5mm with very sharp edges at f4 or 5.6 and as flat a field as possible, mainly for landscape work so it must be good at distance. I currently have a 28mm f1.8g and it's a great walkaround but it has field curvature and some midfield weakness so I am after ultimate IQ on the E for landscapes. All comments gratefully received...
    Tim,

    unfortunately no personal experience, but I trust very much diglloyd - diglloyd - Blog - I read his reviews about the 1.4/35 ZF.2 before I bought and his reviews are spot on.

    So you might want to check out his site, it is not free but it is very small amount of money you spend in order to make the right decision.

    From what I read the 2/25 ZF.2 is a superb lens and on my buy list for the next future.

    Peter

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Tim

    I would expect that Diglloyd has this comparison nailed down . I no longer have access to the Zeiss section so I haven t read his evaluation of the 25/2.

    I understand the importance of distortion in wide angles especially for landscape work but honestly ..I don t see the issues with the 21/2.8 Zeiss. (maybe its me ). Putting distortion aside (others can evaluate better than me )....the Zeiss 21/2.8 has the highest overall IQ of any of the zeiss wide angles . Its generally acknowledged as the highest IQ of any DSLR wide angle .

    I shot the 18 and the 21 side by side at the pier in Florida and it was immediately obvious that the 21 out performed both the 18/3.5 and the 35/2 shooting at F5.6-11 on a tripod . For my use the differences were not material and I selected the best field of view ..but I had these three lenses and was happy with the sharpness edge to edge when stopped down .

    Send Diglloyd an email he will give you his opinion and he shots the heck out of these lens in a controlled environment .

    I would be very surprised if the 25/2 has been designed for a flat field and edge to edge sharpness . All the ZF/ZE lenses do double duty as cinema lenses and my guess is that rendering of OF areas (bokeh) and resolution wide open has taken priority over flat field and edge to edge . This lens looks more like a good pick for travel and street ...my focus .

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    I have not shot it. However, all Distagon designs will distort, so how much is really the question. What we can count on is it will be 3rd order distortion and due to focal length, probably will be on the lighter side; and the factory distortion curve confirms this at 2% -- or just slightly less than the ZF18 -- which will unfortunately be noticeable. Next, if you look at the MTF graph, you won't be happy with the corners as it appears to loose (very) rapidly after 18mm off center.

    My armchair assessment is that a good copy of the 24 PC-E is going to be the better overall landscape lens at that focal. Best of all Tim, you already own that
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Thanks guys - I have emailed Lloyd: I do subscribe but much of his section on Zeiss is either not updated for the D800 or has some partial updates, and not for the sort of subject matter I have in mind. This is a surprisingly complex question because...

    *The wider glass has colour shifts which are correctable but at certain cost to IQ
    *Field curvature affects planar edge to edge sharpness at distance more in some lenses than others
    *Lens distortions are correctable but again at the cost of IQ and, since I often shots seascapes, a moustache-shaped horizon is a no-no
    *Some lenses that were great on previous Nikon models show surprising wekaness on teh D800 - e.g. the 100T* Planar, which is IMHO only useable under certain fairly limited circumstances (at which it excels) due to extreme LoCas...

    I guess I'm after a Schneider 35XL for Nikon, but with no LCC... that's my benchmark

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I have not shot it. However, all Distagon designs will distort, so how much is really the question. What we can count on is it will be 3rd order distortion and due to focal length, probably will be on the lighter side; and the factory distortion curve confirms this at 2% -- or just slightly less than the ZF18 -- which will unfortunately be noticeable. Next, if you look at the MTF graph, you won't be happy with the corners as it appears to loose (very) rapidly after 18mm off center.

    My armchair assessment is that a good copy of the 24 PC-E is going to be the better overall landscape lens at that focal. Best of all Tim, you already own that

    Thanks Jack,

    I was sort of thinking that and planning to go out with it and shoot some more: it often seems such a tricky lens with closer (especially architectural) work but I might be able to find a better rhythm for it with this sort of far landscape work...

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    A good source of information is the Lenrental.com website . The owner tests the various lenses and gives his take on each lens along with an explanation of the Zeiss specifications . Occasionally you get a good link to other test reports .

    Interesting insights on all the zeiss lenses as well as the Nikon alternatives . His feeling is that the 25/2 is optimized for close and middle distances (it has the added floating elements to correct for the Distagon formula). He feels the lens is best suited for reportage,travel ,events etc and not landscape because of the falloff in performance at infinity . It does however have a flat field (unexpected) because of the use of FLE.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Thanks for that Glen,

    In the meantime I have emailed Lloyd and he has suggested the 14-24 as the best option!

    Blimey. Yet another thing to consider...

    In the meantime I went out and re-tested my 24PC-E and found that, as remembered, it has soggy edges even at F8 (no asymmetry) though intriguingly the edges are worse when I use Live View to focus in zoom view mode than they are when I just use the dot in the viewfinder (the centre performance is exactly the same). Now, I have this lens set, after extensive prior testing, to a minus 6 AFFT value. To me this implies that it is an issue of field curvature and that if the the lens is set to focus a bit closer, the edges improve. So I will now test it with careful use of focus bracketing at F8 to see if there is a hyper-focal point that gets the edges sharp at infinity without sacrificing the centre...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    No time to get into it now but the 25mm f2 is maybe the best of the lot in that focal length. Mine is extremely good and better than the 24 1.4 that I had. Yes there is distortion but all of them have it in this range. I get nice corners at F8 it's not a issue. I even get moire with this lens which tells you something. I don't have it with me in NY but I may test it when I get back but so far I like it a great deal.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Thanks Guy - anything you have to say about edges at distance would make my ears stand on end....

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    No time to get into it now but the 25mm f2 is maybe the best of the lot in that focal length. Mine is extremely good and better than the 24 1.4 that I had. Yes there is distortion but all of them have it in this range. I get nice corners at F8 it's not a issue. I even get moire with this lens which tells you something. I don't have it with me in NY but I may test it when I get back but so far I like it a great deal.
    Guy

    Have you tested it at infinity? the lenrental owner Roger C indicates its the best wide angle he has at close to medium distances (how I use it ) but drops off a little near infinity.

    I will look for you tomorrow night when I am out testing on Times Square .

    Roger

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    My infinity stuff looks good but will test when I get home for sure.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    I found this comparison quite enlightening:
    Leica 28 v ZF25 ? - FM Forums

    It seems the ZF 25/2.8 is very good at longer distances. The Leica R28 seems slightly better.
    Leica Monochrom, Olympus EM-5, Ricoh GR

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Tim,
    I have the Zeiss 25/2.8 on my D800E, the original ZF.1
    I shoot it all the time at F5.6-8,
    Works great sharp across the frame.
    If you are just shooting landscape, save the money and get the 25/2.8
    That's what I did.

    Steven




    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Anyone have any detailed experience of this on the d800/e yet? I am looking for something between 20 and 24/5mm with very sharp edges at f4 or 5.6 and as flat a field as possible, mainly for landscape work so it must be good at distance. I currently have a 28mm f1.8g and it's a great walkaround but it has field curvature and some midfield weakness so I am after ultimate IQ on the E for landscapes. All comments gratefully received...
    Steven Kornreich
    www.kuau.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Can somebody please post both lower corner crops and both extreme edge crops off an infinity shot with either of the ZF 25's at whatever they think is the optimal aperture (probably f5.6 or 8)?
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    I guess posting my samples would not help as everyone wants samples from the 25/2 not the 25/2.8
    The way Lloyd explained it to me for landscapes infinity focus he still likes the 25.2.8
    Steven Kornreich
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Steven,

    I'd appreciate seeing samples from BOTH versions!!! Like Tim, I am looking for the absolute killer landscape wide...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Jack,
    Take a look at:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/...mm-f2-8-a.html
    For the money, I think it's a great lens at least for what I like to shoot.
    I just posted an image from the other night.
    If you want the NEF to look at, just let me know.

    Steven
    Steven Kornreich
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Steven,

    NEF is great, but what I think is pertinent to our thread is seeing 100% corner and edge crops from both sides. In this, I would like to see these from shots taken in optimal conditions, lighting, detail, etc...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Just bumping this to see if anyone (Guy?) has used this on mid and far landscapes yet and has an opinion on its edge and corner performance...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    F8 is very good , f11 in extreme corners is even better. This was a hand held test. I also have to redo another test i did as well. Maybe this week.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    I did post some night shots that look very good from this lens on another thread.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    thanks Guy, all info gratefully received... though having just got my fourth fix (first on this body after three previous) back and it's not fixed I am starting to feel teh hope fade for Nikon, QC and repairs... on the other hand, the manual focus lenses do get you past that!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    I have sent my previous D800 in for repair and it was done fast and accurately . So I had good luck so far. My E seems to be doing great so far.

    Given they will most likely make close to 400k D800 in one year there are bound to have a few fall off the quality control line. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    I hear you! I just wish a good one would fall my way. I am slowly going cross eyed with having to test every returned body, re-doing fine tune and the. Testing the outer points and always with a sad result... Thought I'd got lucky with the most recent one cos the left point worked well but they seem just to have pulled all the points 12afft nearer...

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    Re: Zeiss 25mm f2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I have sent my previous D800 in for repair and it was done fast and accurately .
    That's great news... maybe it's time to send my E in. I've been waiting for them to get a good grip on the problem and devise a proper fix. My non-E is spot on already.

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