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Thread: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

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    Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Just after getting my K5 in October, I searched heaven and earth to get hold of a Zeiss planar ZK 50 f1.4 - and found one at Popflash (thank you Tony).

    I tried to use it in low light wide open like a 50 'lux on the M9, and found focusing too difficult. So I put it up for sale here.

    That's why I'm bonkers

    Nobody bought it

    That's why you're all bonkers

    I was about to send it off to ebay, together with the 100 WR and various other lenses, but 75mm is one of my favorite focal lengths on the Leica so I really thought I ought give it another go.

    To be honest, it's pretty wild at f1.4 (rather reminiscent of early noctilux or the Zeiss 50 sonnar M).

    Like this (at f1.4)







    Stop it down a bit and it looks more like this:



    A little more and it's like this:



    and by f6.3 it looks like this:

    (love at first sight?!)


    and it's incredibly sharp - really really makes you're eyes bleed!

    What's more, it handles like a darling on the K5, just the right size and weight, focusing is simple and easy in all but the worst light, and it's as smooth as butter . . . . and on the silver body it looks something like this:

    (taken with a Leica summilux)



    So - rather than selling it, I'm off in search of some more ZK lenses!

    So, all you bonkers people who didn't by my Zeiss 50 . . . THANK YOU . . . anyone want my 100 WR?

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Well, Jono dear, who needs all that Zeiss and Leitz malarky when you can do just as well with a Pentax?



    Lee

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Well, Jono dear, ... you can do just as well with a Pentax?


    Lee
    Close....no cigar

    Bob

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    I've been using Zeiss lenses for years...have a 25/2.8 ZK lens for the K-5...head and shoulders above the Pentax lenses in this range...however, you pay the price: more $$$, longer, and heavier...but the images? Oh, my!

    I'll send jpegs of 25/2.8 images, if interested.

    Have 35, 50, and 85 Zeiss ZM lenses for my M8. Hard to beat for brilliance, contrast, sharpness.

    Other ZK lenses are hard to find...Popflash is the best bet...although eBay has some from time to time.

    Roy Benson

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Good call Jono......75mm is a really great focal length and ZK's will only go up in value.

    So how are your low light manual focusing concerns now? Are you getting more adept....or just focus bracketing? I just ordered the Katzeye for the K-5. We'll see how that goes for me.

    Hopefully, it will go well. I just wish I could adapt my three ZE's

    R

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    ... just focus bracketing?

    Brilliant....

    We spend hours worrying about minute focus differences which are readily answered with a couple brackets....throw out the ones that do not work and use the others. Memory is cheap...

    Focus and exposure should become a bit of a discipline...if the capture was worth the effort in the first place a couple of different brackets is worth the time. IMHO.

    Bob

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Hi Lee
    I think Bob has it here - close but no cigar.

    Roy - I'd love to see some examples from the 25 f2.8 - it's the obvious next step for me! (the others are either too big or too expensive).

    Rich - I'm not doing so bad with the focusing now - irritatingly you can't seem to set an individual focus adjustment for the Zeiss lenses, and mine needs a - value set, so I have to remember to switch it on and off (not rocket science).

    f1.4 is pretty tough - but then it's pretty tough with anything - but I'm getting better.

    Having shot M cameras for a few years, I've learned that it really is practice, best thing is to snap away at anything in spare moments (Emma is very patient).

    I understood that Zeiss had discontinued ZK lenses, and a few months ago they were showing none in stock . . . but things seem to have changed now, and the website is showing available stock . . . have they relented and made some more?

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post




    A little more and it's like this:



    So I assume this is tractor .....

    But does the oil filler spout rotate to allow differential filling ... and where is Mobil 1?

    Bob

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    So I assume this is tractor .....

    But does the oil filler spout rotate to allow differential filling ... and where is Mobil 1?

    Bob
    mmm. yes - it's Emma's 1954 4 cylinder diesel Fergie. I think the filler does rotate, but you'd have to ask Emma about the finer details . . . . and I don't know where Mobil 1 is!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    1954....my birthyear.

    Looks like it has aged well...but of course I would say that.

    Bob

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Jono, I like your version of Bonkers...I searched for a bit for the Zeiss 100 ZK, but it seems that it is gone. The 50 looks lovely...PopFlash has them, but gosh, do I need 2 50's...hahah?!? I'd love to find a 100 though, at a reasonable price....
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I understood that Zeiss had discontinued ZK lenses, and a few months ago they were showing none in stock . . . but things seem to have changed now, and the website is showing available stock . . . have they relented and made some more?
    No....unfortunately not

    Your 50/1.4 is sweet......and the most svelte of the lot at 350g........the 25/2.8 is 480g........and the 50/2 MP (that the one I would love to try) is a "robust" 530g.

    However, to keep it in perspective....a Canon prime I just sold weighed 1020g. That's a lot of

    R

    BTW..... is still a very popular "meat" product here in Hawaii.....I use the term "meat" lightly.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Here are some images produced by the 25/2.8 Zeiss Distagon/Pentax K-5 early in the AM using ISO 400 and a shutter speed of 400. I have no wide-upon examples...my subject matter is limited to the garden on the other side of my backyard fence. I'll try during the coming week to get some landscape, interior, architectural material so you can see the real capabilities of this lens.

    Roy Benson
    Last edited by benroy; 7th May 2011 at 03:48.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Lee
    I think Bob has it here - close but no cigar.

    Roy - I'd love to see some examples from the 25 f2.8 - it's the obvious next step for me! (the others are either too big or too expensive).

    Rich - I'm not doing so bad with the focusing now - irritatingly you can't seem to set an individual focus adjustment for the Zeiss lenses, and mine needs a - value set, so I have to remember to switch it on and off (not rocket science).

    f1.4 is pretty tough - but then it's pretty tough with anything - but I'm getting better.

    Having shot M cameras for a few years, I've learned that it really is practice, best thing is to snap away at anything in spare moments (Emma is very patient).

    I understood that Zeiss had discontinued ZK lenses, and a few months ago they were showing none in stock . . . but things seem to have changed now, and the website is showing available stock . . . have they relented and made some more?

    all the best
    Jono

    Looks like a really good match for you. I am awaiting the delivery of my K5 tomorrow and I also bought the Pentax 55mm SDMC which has gotten good reviews. I wonder if you evaluated this lens or have others on this forum? Love to get your opinions and experiences.

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Jono

    Looks like a really good match for you. I am awaiting the delivery of my K5 tomorrow and I also bought the Pentax 55mm SDMC which has gotten good reviews. I wonder if you evaluated this lens or have others on this forum? Love to get your opinions and experiences.

    Best

    Woody
    HI Woody
    It'll be great to have you on board - a capable and satisfying camera!
    I was actually going to buy the Pentax 55 with the proceeds from the Zeiss, but as the Zeiss didn't sell, and anyway, I've rather fallen in love with it.

    What other lenses are you getting?

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Jono, don't tempt us poor Pentax users with that lens. We're not worthy.

    I actually already have an FA 50mm f/1.4, but contrary to what some people say, I find it pretty crappy. That Zeiss would def be a nice replacement. I have just one handicap: I like AF. OK, I'm cheap as well.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    No....unfortunately not

    Your 50/1.4 is sweet......and the most svelte of the lot at 350g........the 25/2.8 is 480g........and the 50/2 MP (that the one I would love to try) is a "robust" 530g.

    However, to keep it in perspective....a Canon prime I just sold weighed 1020g. That's a lot of

    R

    BTW..... is still a very popular "meat" product here in Hawaii.....I use the term "meat" lightly.
    Hi Rich
    You are right about the weight - the 50 balances nicely on the K5, the 100 f2 would be less than perfect! However, if I could find one, I though it might replace the 135 f1.8 on the Sony (which is quite a lot heavier).

    I think the 24 f2.8 at that weight would not get used very much.
    What I'd really like is a good small wide angle . . . but I've tried the 15, and although it's great for street, it's not much good for landscape.

    Still deciding whether to go for a fourth copy of the 16-50, or to give up gracefully!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Here's a couple more examples of the images produced by the 25.2,8 Distagon ZK. First is wide open...I cropped the edges (totally black)...you are viewing 3/4 of the frame...notice the detail in the tablecloth. Second pic: street corner.
    The lens is very difficult to focus (especially in dim light) with the K-5. I have the same lens for the D700. D700 viewfinder has been easier (for me) to focus.

    Roy Benson
    Last edited by benroy; 7th May 2011 at 03:48.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by benroy View Post
    Here's a couple more examples of the images produced by the 25.2,8 Distagon ZK. First is wide open...I cropped the edges (totally black)...you are viewing 3/4 of the frame...notice the detail in the tablecloth. Second pic: street corner.
    The lens is very difficult to focus (especially in dim light) with the K-5. I have the same lens for the D700. D700 viewfinder has been easier (for me) to focus.

    Roy Benson
    HI Roy
    thank you for that - and for the other shots as well. I was thinking that it was the next Zeiss lens to get - but now I'm having second thoughts, partly because of what you say about focusing, but also as it's a big beast. I guess the extra couple of stops of viewfinder brightness makes the 50 easier to focus.

    I was also thinking again about the 100 WR - selling it and buying the (much bigger and heavier) Zeiss, just because the AF motor is noisy is an odd decision . . this afternoon I'm going to spend a little time playing with the 100 WR with . . . yes, you got it . . . manual focus!

    all the best - and thank you for the post again, your garden shots are gorgeous.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Roy
    thank you for that - and for the other shots as well. I was thinking that it was the next Zeiss lens to get - but now I'm having second thoughts, partly because of what you say about focusing, but also as it's a big beast. I guess the extra couple of stops of viewfinder brightness makes the 50 easier to focus.

    I was also thinking again about the 100 WR - selling it and buying the (much bigger and heavier) Zeiss, just because the AF motor is noisy is an odd decision . . this afternoon I'm going to spend a little time playing with the 100 WR with . . . yes, you got it . . . manual focus!

    all the best - and thank you for the post again, your garden shots are gorgeous.
    Thanks for the kind comments, Jono. I've gone the 50 MP and 100 MP route with the D700...they are incredibly sharp, but heavy, and I expect the K-5 viewfinder will present problems with manual focusing these beasts. I have found that the 70/2.8 Sigma macro is very, very sharp, and not the load you'd carry with the Zeiss macros.And I have had good luck focusing the Sigma 70 with the K-5...and it has AF as well...and furthermore (my, I do carry on!)...the Sigma 70 is 1/2 the price of the 50 MP, and 1/4 the price of the 100 MP. Picture quality is just as good for half the price. 70 MM gets you 105 MM with the K-5.

    Roy Benson

    Roy Benson

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Woody
    It'll be great to have you on board - a capable and satisfying camera!
    I was actually going to buy the Pentax 55 with the proceeds from the Zeiss, but as the Zeiss didn't sell, and anyway, I've rather fallen in love with it.

    What other lenses are you getting?

    all the best
    Hi Jono

    Thinking about the 21DA and the 43 1.9 for starters. The 43 makes for a compact kit to carry around all the time and given the crop sensor the 21 may be a good fit. I don't know yet about wider and really longer lenses so I would appreciate any advice you guys may have. (Also looking at the 35 macro for the macro capabilities)

    Woody

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I was also thinking again about the 100 WR - selling it and buying the (much bigger and heavier) Zeiss, just because the AF motor is noisy is an odd decision . . this afternoon I'm going to spend a little time playing with the 100 WR with . . . yes, you got it . . . manual focus!
    I find that I prefer autofocus lenses on the K-5, EXCEPT when I shoot macro....and as much as I like the DA35 macro, I don't like being that close to my subject.

    If I were to get a longer lens with macro capability, I would want one that could easily double for a portrait lens. The 100MP is called "bitingly sharp"....(hhmmm.....those in my peer group would probably want me to smear vaseline on the lens ).

    The 100MP costs more than the K-5 (not unusual for a signature lens). It's a beast (680g), as others have said. Lens speed would probably lend itself to a brighter viewfinder.....

    Jono.....I think you should get one and report back to the group

    I wonder how the cheaper and slower Voigtlander SL II 90/3.5 APO in the PK mount would be?

    R

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    One more thing about the 25/2.8 Distagon ZK...it does focus close...for example: I don't know whether you see billowing sails or rampant phalluses here, but they're sharp.

    Roy Benson
    Last edited by benroy; 7th May 2011 at 03:48.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post

    Jono.....I think you should get one and report back to the group :ROTFL
    +1 Definitely interested in seeing what the Zeiss 100 is like on the K5.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    Jono.....I think you should get one and report back to the group
    Quote Originally Posted by markwon View Post
    +1 Definitely interested in seeing what the Zeiss 100 is like on the K5.
    Yeah, well, tough - I've just worked out how to use the 100 WR macro without going crazy (see other post), and as it's half the weight and 1/3 price . . . even if it is a little slower.

    My search for a Zeiss 100 macro is over.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    My search for a Zeiss 100 macro is over.
    Aaaawwwww.........

    R

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Yeah, well, tough - I've just worked out how to use the 100 WR macro without going crazy (see other post), and as it's half the weight and 1/3 price . . . even if it is a little slower.

    My search for a Zeiss 100 macro is over.
    Jono

    I used the Zeiss ZF on my Nikons (all sold now due to the awful yellow bias on green landscapes.....other than that though, great system). Anyway my favorite lens of all was the 100mm! I am attaching an image I took a couple of years back while on one of Guy and Jack's workshops.

    For knowledge only

    Woody

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Jono

    I used the Zeiss ZF on my Nikons (all sold now due to the awful yellow bias on green landscapes.....other than that though, great system). Anyway my favorite lens of all was the 100mm! I am attaching an image I took a couple of years back while on one of Guy and Jack's workshops.

    For knowledge only

    Woody
    Woody......nice image.....just ANOTHER reason why Jono should get the 100MP.

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    Re: Pentax - Zeiss 50 Planar - we're all bonkers

    Hi Woody
    Lovely - nice to know that your Nikon gear went for exactly the same reason as mine.

    sorry though Rich - I like the 100 WR, nice bokeh, weather resistant, small, easy to manual focus, and with that little AF touch if you need it!

    fab

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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