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Thread: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    A question for those of you that have had this lens. How easily have you been able to adjust focus? Really a question about how light or heavy the focusing feels.

    As a comparison my 90 APO summicron M is very "light" ..I can easily focus with my finger tips. This is important in refocusing quickly when a subject moves slightly ..as in a close up portrait.

    I have read that some users have had issues with this and have been trying to locate one with a light touch.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Roger

    I returned mine as the focus was so stiff as to be unusable. Seems a really good lens but that was a deal breaker for me.

    I found the 105 micro to be almost as good and practically a much better choice........read auto focus as well.

    JMHO

    Woody

    By the way, if the Leitax folks are really able to convert the R mount to F then the Leica 100 2.8 APO has to be the absolute best choice. Again JMHO

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Roger,

    While I know that some people have had focus stiffness issues with the ZF 100, especially early on, I haven't experienced this myself. In fact, every ZF 100 Makro that we've sold has been silky smooth. I'd guess that the stiffness was only in early batch lenses and the problem has long been resolved.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Roger

    I returned mine as the focus was so stiff as to be unusable. Seems a really good lens but that was a deal breaker for me.

    I found the 105 micro to be almost as good and practically a much better choice........read auto focus as well.

    JMHO

    Woody

    By the way, if the Leitax folks are really able to convert the R mount to F then the Leica 100 2.8 APO has to be the absolute best choice. Again JMHO
    I still have the R collection ...80/90/100 but can not bring myself to mess with the mounts .....someday maybe the R10 will come...a digital R6 is what I really need.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Mine has had smooth and easy focus turn since right out of the box. Very slightly stiffer than my Zeiss 50/2, about the same as my Zeiss 35/2. best...Peter

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    My ZF100/2 is just as one would want a 100 macro to focus ... smooth, but providing just enough resistance for precise control when shooting at macro distances with extremely thin DOF.

    My Nikon 100/2.8 VR Macro produces a different look and feel ... quite sharp but lacking that Zeiss micro-contrast snap, color and Bokeh.

    IMO, to top the Zeiss, one would have to move to an adapted Leica 100/2.8 APO which would virtually eliminate any CA found in non-APO optics while preserving micro-contrast and Bokeh.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    My 100 ZF was returned for the same reason as Woody's - the focus action was the worst I'd ever experienced. I mean as in ever, in any lens, new, used, beater or not. Closest analogy I can make was trying to stir a bucket of cement or tile mastic with a paint stir-stick. Unusable.

    When I talked to my dealer (popflash), Tony indicated that the stiff focus on 100 ZF samples has been a BIG source of customer complaints - and mine wasn't the worst they'd seen (once they'd sampled the return). This was roughly 9 or so months ago.

    Lens was sharp as hell, nice bokeh but CA control not so much. Will also purple fringe easily (when used on EoS anyway). Personally, I'd opt for the 100 APO and the ten-hole leitax mount conversion - under 90 Euros and say 30 min and you'd have the APO in F mount with no adapter BS but with the Nikon D3/700s excellent 'dot & arrows' focus confirmation.

    The CV 125/2.5 APO in AiS mount is also VERY sharp and well controlled for CA but I found it a bit slow focusing (not stiff, but slow or fine-pitched) - which can get in the way sometimes for quick non-macro shots if that matters. The CV's price is roughly the same (having climbed significantly of late) as a used Leica or ZF ($1000-1200) but it would give you auto-aperture.

    If using for portraits vs. true macro I can also suggest the CV 90/3.5 and 180/4 APOs in AiS. Both are very close focusing (12" IIRC) and sharp as hell starting WO, even at MFD. Focus is stiff new but breaks in to be very smooth with use.

    Focus is fine-pitch but my (bought used) 90/3.5 (which I am now looking to replace - arrgh) was easily focused with one finger. The 180/4 is Leica-APO-quality in it's CA control. The 90 is VERY, VERY close but can purple fringe when pushed under the right circumstances. Both are available used for roughly $400.
    Last edited by robmac; 16th January 2009 at 06:10.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    My experience was like Marc's -- the one I used was weighted, though very smooth. It was quite similar to my 100mm f/2.8 APO Elmarit. If you have used both the 180mm f/2.8 APO elmarit and the 100mm APO Elmarit, it is just like the 100, and the exact opposite of the 180...
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    My experience was like Marc's -- the one I used was weighted, though very smooth. It was quite similar to my 100mm f/2.8 APO Elmarit. If you have used both the 180mm f/2.8 APO elmarit and the 100mm APO Elmarit, it is just like the 100, and the exact opposite of the 180...
    Thanks to all who commented. The 180Apo 2.8 is exactly what I enjoy shooting. I remember David Farkes explaining to me how much Leica put into that focusing mount to get the finger tip smoothness. The 180APO is my absolute favorite lens 180-200 which is a great length for sports and activities.

    I would not be using the lens for macro and I need it to be smooth and fast ...and manual focus. The 90 APO on the M focuses this way as well. Speed is also import ...f2 is needed.

    Maybe the 85/1.4 would be a better choice but the 100 has nicer bokeh ..at least what I have seen.

    I think I get it now the 100/2 is designed for macro work and thus the slower but more deliberate focus.

    Roger

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    You might also consider the 105mm f/2.0 DC -- it is autofocus and it has great bokeh.
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Another candidate would be the 90AA R via www.leitax.com Nikon F adapter - or adapt a Hassy 110/2 (via Fotodiox Pro adapter) though while the latter is very smooth it has a very fine pitch focus mechanism.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Has anyone tried the leitax conversion. This looks to be a little more involved than just switching out the bayonet ? Not something I would do with my expensive R lenses ...maybe the 90 /2.8 elmarit a underrated lens and market value of less than $500.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    Seriously, check out the 105mm f/2.0 DC -- it is a great lens and it has the advantage of being both AF and native nikon mount. I compared it directly to the 100mm f/2.8APO and 100mm f/2 Zeiss, and it compared very well. It was not quite as sharp at f/2, but its bokeh was just as good (if not better), and at f/4 and above, there was almost no difference.
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 100/2.0

    There are a number of folks on FM that have done it and indicate it takes minutes with great results. Think thread is in Alt forum under something like "Leica R for Nikon". Is entirely reversible and apparently very well machined with infinity focus and the usual Nikon 'dots & arrows' focus confirmation.

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