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Thread: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

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    Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Would appreciate recommendations for best Zeiss prime on D700 for general walkaround/landlscape. Now use a Nikon 50 1.4G for low light but not totally enamoured with its rendering etc otherwise. I have been inspired by so many lovely pictures on this forum with Zeiss lenses that I would like to try one instead of another Nikkor. Thanks in advance.

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    Senior Member Hacker's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Consider the latest version of the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron also. Covert with the mount at www.leitax.com

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Hacker, that is a great idea, especially as I want to get an M8 at some point. Not married to 50 though, would also like something wider. Any one have recommendations for other Lieca lenses as well as Zeiss? Thanks.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hacker, that is a great idea, especially as I want to get an M8 at some point. Not married to 50 though, would also like something wider. Any one have recommendations for other Lieca lenses as well as Zeiss? Thanks.
    Not sure he meant M. I would have thought R which is not for M8

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Understood, I just checked the web site and I see Hacker was indeed referring to R lenses. Thanks for pointing this out.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Mounting R lenses is ok but don't forget that you'll be manually stop down metering which I find to be a total pain

    I have a Zeiss setup of the 18, 25/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 100/2 and my favourite walk about lenses are definitely the 25/35/50 which I find are super sharp on the D700.

    The best Zeiss review is definitely over at Lloyd Chamber's site http://www.diglloyd.com. The Zeiss ZF reviews are a premium service but if you're seriously considering buying a lens then the cost is miniscule. The reviews are very thorough.

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Another vote for Lloyd Chamber's Zeiss ZF reviews, they're excellent. You might also want to consider a subscription to Reid Reviews. Sean Reid has reviewed a number of the Zeiss ZF/ZK lenses but he comes at it from an entirely different angle than Lloyd Chambers. The two sites will tell you pretty much everything you'd want to know about the ZFs.

    If you're looking for an alternative to your Nikkor 50/1.4 G, you might want to be careful about the ZF 50/1.4. I don't care for the 50mm focal length so I'd never considering buying it but I haven't liked the bokeh on any of the sample shots I've seen so far. And yes, I realize that bokeh is dependent on a range of variables and that how people evaluate bokeh is entirely subjective. Even so, Bjorn Rorslett describes the bokeh of the ZF 50/1.4 as "a clear disappointment".

    As for recommendations for the "best Zeiss prime on D700 for general walkaround/landlscape", I'd suggest the 28/2 Distagon. It's the only ZF lens I have but it's wonderful.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Thank you all for the replys and PMs to date. I've narroed my choice to the 25 and 28. Perhaps I'll try the referrenced review sites for more information.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Most of my photography is street or travel . Generally wider than 28FOV is difficult to use quickly because of the distortion which can be caused by the wider FOV. if you enjoy wide angles and it fits your style the 28 or 35 should be you first choice.

    The other advantage is of course the speed f2 verse f2.8 .

    The reviews include these factors and I believe would favor the 28/2 or the 35/2 over the 25/2.8 for a single zeiss lens.

    I have the 28/2 and it balances and performs very well on the D700.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Glenerrold,
    Thank you for your comments (and your wonderfull posts/pictures). I was starting to settle on the 28 but then saw ddk's posts which are awsome using the ZF25. I might have to buy a dart board!

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    RAM: remember that ddk was shooting the ZF25 on a Fuji S5, which is an APS/crop factor camera, unlike the 'full-frame' D700. That doesn't detract from quality of the ZF25, but I would think that effective focal length would be an important part of any lens choice.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Arjuna,
    Yes the effective focal length would be very close to the ZF35 on the D700. It was the rendering of the lens that I liked - I've read that the ZF25 has a somewhat different rendering than the 28 and 35. I wonder if the 28 and 35 would have the same "look"?

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    I have full frame images with the 25mm too that I will post later today after I find them, there's nothing wrong with it or nothing that's obvious to me. The rendering of the three is quite different to one another and you'll see that only after using the lenses for a while. Personally for people I prefer using the 35mm or the 28mm only because the 25mm is too wide for that purpose imo. The 28mm has a very strong curvature which you should be aware of, I wont use it for landscapes but great for shooting people since the curvature enhances the look of what's in center of the frame. The 35mm is gorgeous with people and landscape, again nothing wrong with any of them, just pick the fl that suits you.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    I would be very intersted to see the full frame ZF25 - thanks for taking the time to find some mages. Unfortunately the closest dealer is a couple hundred miles away and he has little in stock so it is very hard for me to compare side by side.

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    In my view the Distagon 28 is by far better then the Distagon 25 and it is also faster (I have both).
    Ario

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by Ario Arioldi View Post
    In my view the Distagon 28 is by far better then the Distagon 25 and it is also faster (I have both).
    Ario
    Ario,
    Could you be more specific please and explain in which areas is 28 far better than the 25? I also have both and don't find one superior in any way to the other, different yes but neither one looks sharper, has better color/contrast, flare issues, etc., etc., than the other. If anything the 28's field curvature can create problems in many situations and additionally the 25mm has extreme close focusing capabilities which the 28 doesn't, so where is the 28 far better? The speed difference between f2.0 and f2.8 is negligible to begin with and unless one is always shooting wide open all the time its not even worth pondering.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    My vote is for the 35/2. Have owned the 35, 50/2 M and 100/2 M (all used on 1Ds2 and 5D) and my fave was the 35. Sharp as hell starting WO, nice bokeh, not as prone to fringing as the 100. From LC's tests, the 28 does have strong curvature and have also seen some nasty CA off the close-focusing 25 in sample shots from Nikon bodies.

    I found the 50/2 ZF under-whelming (my cheaper Leica 60 macro was as sharp or sharper starting @ F4 and far less fringing off reflective surfaces).

    Get LC's ZF review/test - well worth it if looking at any ZF glass. Leica lenses I've owned and would I'd strongly recommend as ZF alternatives (check can be converted w/Leitax): 28/2.8 latest (a knockout at any distances and has floating element), 35/2 and 60 Macro. The 50/2 is also nice, but you have that covered. The older Leica 35/2.8 is also a very nice lens (from what I've seen and heard) and a real bargain.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I would be very intersted to see the full frame ZF25 - thanks for taking the time to find some mages. Unfortunately the closest dealer is a couple hundred miles away and he has little in stock so it is very hard for me to compare side by side.
    Here's something I shot a couple of years ago with a Kodak SLR/n and the Zeiss 25mm, its the same scene, Bryce Canyon, Inspiration Point under two different lighting conditions. First one was shot after sunset, the sky was bright but there was no light shining on the canyon, the second one is the same place from a slightly different vantage point but within one hour after sunrise. These are two very lighting conditions and you can see how the 25mm is handling each scene.

    Additionally I've linked the virgin Tiffs, unsharpened and unmodified for you to download and get a real idea about the lenses capabilities, the tiny web jpgs don't do it justice.

    (edit) I want to clarify one thing, I'm not recommending any of the ZF lenses over the other and the only reason that I'm posting these is to show you that there's nothing wrong with the 25mm, if that's the fl you require. I find them all excellent performers at their respective focal lengths and have no personal favorites but I would pick one over the others when its particular qualities fit the job at hand better.









    the links to tiffs, clicking on them will start the download process, just be warned that they're huge uncompressed files.

    http://www.box.net/shared/static/bqdxosg9if.tif

    http://www.box.net/shared/static/e20kh5ixt4.tif
    Last edited by ddk; 16th May 2009 at 13:03.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    David,
    Very nice shots. What is the crop factor on the Kodak? Thank you for posting so I can see how this lens performs.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    David,
    Very nice shots. What is the crop factor on the Kodak? Thank you for posting so I can see how this lens performs.
    It's full frame, no crop factor.

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Ario,
    Could you be more specific please and explain in which areas is 28 far better than the 25? I also have both and don't find one superior in any way to the other, different yes but neither one looks sharper, has better color/contrast, flare issues, etc., etc., than the other. If anything the 28's field curvature can create problems in many situations and additionally the 25mm has extreme close focusing capabilities which the 28 doesn't, so where is the 28 far better? The speed difference between f2.0 and f2.8 is negligible to begin with and unless one is always shooting wide open all the time its not even worth pondering.
    David,
    my experience, with the samples I have, says that the 28 shows definitely a more consistent sharpness across the frame than the 25 and I do not find the difference in speed so negligible.
    Ario

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    The 28mm has a very strong curvature which you should be aware of, I wont use it for landscapes but great for shooting people since the curvature enhances the look of what's in center of the frame.
    +1

    I never really understood what people meant when they talked about the "Zeiss 3D effect" until I had shot some environmental portraits with the 28/2.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    A number of forum members have also commented on the curvature of the ZF25 (I think Jono found it too pronounced for one). Is one better than the other in this regard?

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Both the 25 and 28 have quite pronounced CoF (curvature of field/plane of focus). The closer the focusing distance, the worse it effects the image (assuming you, like me, don't like it. Me, I want flat). The 35 has no such an issue.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    A number of forum members have also commented on the curvature of the ZF25 (I think Jono found it too pronounced for one). Is one better than the other in this regard?
    I never heard of anyone complaining about the curvature of ZF 25 and I haven't noticed anything problematic myself either. Its the 28mm that has the strong curvature but that's also what makes it so appealing to some of us! You're procrastinating way too much RAM, just buy one, there's really nothing wrong with any of them.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    A number of forum members have also commented on the curvature of the ZF25 (I think Jono found it too pronounced for one). Is one better than the other in this regard?
    HI There
    When I'd discovered what it was (rather than just soft corners) I rather enjoyed it, like most idiosyncrasies you can turn them to your advantage. It's a lovely sharp lens - and the close focusing (really almost to the front element) is great for dramatic flower shots and the like.

    I'm selling mine - it's the last of my Nikon lenses to go, keeping it would be an extravagance as I don't have a camera to put it on

    I never had the 28, and thus I can't compare. I do like the 25mm focal length though.

    Link to 25mm for sale

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    RAM - get the Lloyd Chambers package. He discusses all aspects of all the ZF glass with test shots, comparo shots, etc - including curvature. The $40+ it costs for 1 yr (includes free updates/additions) could save you a lot of $$ - or confirm what you think you'd like.

    Curvature is something most people don't expect and it can throw/disappoint them. Others, however can/like use(ing) it to their advantage.

  28. #28
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    RAM - get the Lloyd Chambers package. He discusses all aspects of all the ZF glass with test shots, comparo shots, etc - including curvature. The $40+ it costs for 1 yr (includes free updates/additions) could save you a lot of $$ - or confirm what you think you'd like.

    Curvature is something most people don't expect and it can throw/disappoint them. Others, however can/like use(ing) it to their advantage.
    Getting Lloyds reviews is great advice, even for those who already own the lenses.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Would anyone have a picture they could post thats shows the CoF for the ZF25?

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Its taken me almost 1.5 years to come to this conclusion: for me, bang for buck, i dig the zf 50mm 1.4

    It has its moments. Sometimes i look at the OOF areas and think wtf. Other times (and lately, more often than not) I'm astonished. i think i just had to shoot with it enough.

    my 2 cents.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    don't want to hijack this thread but I don't know where to put this.

    Digital camera review has a 12 page look at the K7 from Pentax. This camera looks like a clear winner to me based on its specs. Take a look

    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pentaxk7/

    Woody

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    don't want to hijack this thread but I don't know where to put this.

    Digital camera review has a 12 page look at the K7 from Pentax. This camera looks like a clear winner to me based on its specs. Take a look

    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pentaxk7/

    Woody
    Woody,
    I've started a thread about the K-7 here:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7594

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Woody,
    I've started a thread about the K-7 here:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7594
    Great

    Thanks Jordan

    I am anxious to follow the folks who buy and test this little beauty.

    Woody

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    I just bought fotografz's 28/2.0 Zeiss for use on my D700 and my 5DMkII. A wonderful lens. No regrets. I will be taking it and my 35-70/3.4 Vario Sonnar to the Italian Lakes next month with my 5D. I should have things pretty well covered in terms of walk around, macro and landscape with the 2 lenses.

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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    I should add I just picked up the 35/2, seems fairly amazing from what I can tell.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Any concensus on best Ziess for D700

    This reminds me of when Leica released the R4-R6 bodies. I use to carry 24/35/90/180 and two bodies..a pretty good set . The zeiss prime are already available in the Pentax mount. Only downside seems to its not fullframe.

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