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Thread: Handling the new Zeiss lenses

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Handling the new Zeiss lenses

    I had a very short time today at Photo Plus in NYC . Quite a show with all the new gear from Photokina available to see and handle .

    There are plenty of test reports and sample files to review the fine points of image quality ..but few ways to really feel the equipment and see how it handles . One of my concerns with the Zeiss Zf lenses ...how big and heavy are these . I was surprised by my findings and thought maybe others that have the lenses could add perspective .

    First these are all metal and beautifully finished lenses and all are capable of producing great IQ (although some have aberrations and other limitations that should be considered).

    I was particularly interested in some of the newer lenses:

    Zeiss Zf.2 15/2.8 is a large lenses ..but I found it not too heavy and with a very nice balance on a D800 body . The front element is huge but I expected it to be very front heavy and it wasn t . The focusing was smooth and with a moderate throw ...so I like this lens a lot . The sample images all demonstrated how great this lens could be in tight spaces . Plenty of church interiors for example with no distortion that I could see.

    Zeiss Zf.2 25/2 is a much smaller lens and handles like a dream . This is a lens that would work great for travel and street . Short throw ,quick to focus . This is on my want list .

    Zeiss Zf.2 35/1.4 is pretty big for a 35 . The throw is short between infinity and 1 meter but then is very long down to close focusing . I love the look of this lens but when you compare the size and feel of the 35/2 ..its seems like a much better choice for my uses.

    Zeiss Zf.2 135/2 is large and very heavy . This is not a photojournalists lens ...its almost exacty like the MACRO 100/2 except bigger and heavier . This lens has a very long throw that favors precise but pain staking technique . Zeiss claims that this is the best ZF lens (IQ) but I expect you would be happier using it on a tripod .

    This four lenses are the newest introductions and I am sure they have superb IQ ..but they handle very differently .

    The other fun lens to see was the new high performance 55/1.4 . This is promoted as having the best possible image quality . You have to see it to believe it ..82mm filter . We put the lens on a D800 and compared it to the S2 with the 70mm and they were the same size . The Zeiss team is expecting Canon and Nikon to offer 40MP + Pro bodies .

    Because these lenses are also used extensively (in different mounts ) for cinema ...its hard to know what the design intention was . The 35/1.4 for example seems like a cinema design .

    All this is just a perspective based on actually getting the lenses in hand . Subject matter and technique vary by photographer ..but it helps to see the lenses.

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Re: Handling the new Zeiss lenses

    Roger, were they showing the new offerings for Fuji and NEX?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Handling the new Zeiss lenses

    Yes they had some of the new lenses for fuji and nex but I wasn t able to spend time at that part of the counter . It was very crowded .

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Handling the new Zeiss lenses

    I have the 25 f2 and its a dream lens. Sharper than I original thought it would be and did stellar for me in Zion. I also have the 35 F2 and its pretty much the same feeling on it. My biggest surprise not related here was the Samyang 14mm and frankly I'm not sure the Zeiss 15 is worth the money given the results I got from the Samyang , yes much more distortion but it corrects beatifully in PT lens plug in and at 429 worth trying first. Jack saw a couple images I took and ordered one and Bob did too on a couple shots I sent him with a arm twist to go with it. Lol

    I still would like the Z 135 regardless of weight.

    I would seriously buy the Samyang and try it folks. Not very often actually quite rare I would recommend a lens that cost 429 dollars. This is why you try stuff sometimes you nail a winner.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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