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Thread: 55 1.8

  1. #101
    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Thanks!
    Just ordered mine.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    By the way, 55's are in stock at Amazon US....

  2. #102
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I don't own or run a lab and I've never shot a Lab test! I don't have a copy of imatest or a bench. All my reviews, whether informally on here or more 'written up' elsewhere, are field tests in which I use realistic real world scenes to check two things: how good a lens is, technically, and how well made it is.

    If you were in St Mark's square in Venice and shot one of the facades at the far end, you'd appreciate why i do the harbour side shots: getting home and finding that the facade you shot is sharp on one edge and soft on the other would probably annoy you, as would a shot across the 'basin' to Giudecca with the same effect. Go into the basilica and shoot a fresco and see if you like a result that is soggy at one side or blurry at on corner and sharp at the other.

    I too own a lot of lenses that are not 'good' technically. I keep and use them for their look. But there are lenses where are not marketed as 'look' lenses and for which certain levels of technical ability are claimed by their makers. A lens like the 55 F1.8 or the 35 F2.8 should both, at their price and design point, be capable of producing images by F5.6 that are convincingly sharp at the edges when viewed at 50% on a 100dpi screen. Good copies of both clearly are. What I am testing for is de-centering, which is a manufacturing defect rather than a design and price point compromise, and which will make all your shots look like they were taken with a tilt/swing lens.

    Of course, if that's your style of shooting (and you're happy for the degree of tilt and swing to remain constant across all shots) then that's your choice and you're very welcome to it! Again, many photographers don't care about the edges. But if your purchased a Mercedes and discovered three years later, that they hadn't put the spare in the trunk, just when you needed it, it would be both Mercedes and you that were to blame by that time. That's why I test carefully at first: to get what I paid for. A look through my personal galleries will show that as a mainly landscape photographer, I very very often don't give a damn for a technically perfect look. But sometimes I do and I don't want my options to be cut off by a dodgy copy of a lens.

    Your comment was also specifically regarding what I said about bokeh on this lens. That is less a technical question than an aesthetic one and I was noting that the 55 F1.8 has the double edged bokeh problem that has raised some alarm on the 35 F2.8 - it won't bother me much, but some people hate it. And it does relate to the 'look and character' of the optic rather than the strictly technical performance… there's a difference between aesthetic imperfection, which is in the eye of the beholder (or possibly the client) and manufacturing imperfection, which is in the eye of anyone who likes a sharp snap from a $1000+ lens…. I personally will often choose to keep and not return a partially de-centered lens because it isn't bad enough to be worth the hassle. But as a general point, products which are clearly poorly made and shouldn't IMHO have passed QC are really a form of rip-off and I don't like being ripped off! YMMV...
    Fair enough and I guess I don't know you well enough to know if you were offended by my comments. That wasn't my intent if you were. I was just generally stating that I don't believe I'm as discerning about lenses as you seem to be when it comes to performance. I don't go through nearly as many tests as you do and my tests mostly are done around the house or with a quick walk through a few local places that I've shot before to have comparative shots of known areas. I can promise you that I don't check every corner at 100% at every aperture and maybe that's wrong but that's just how I roll. I'm 100% a hobbyist and before last year I have never even taken any sort of photography class.
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  3. #103
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Im on the fence on this lens. I got the 35 FE so i have at least one AF prime lens plus the performances rated well. My issue is I'm not a big 50mm person and I still need a 85 in my bag and not sure what to get there. Wish they had the 85 1.4 out in FE. This is about my least real decision to make.

    Im leaning to a Zeiss 85mm 1.4 ZF in a Nikon mount since i have the adapter now. That also gives me three lenses in Nikon just in case i ever want to go back
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  4. #104
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Im on the fence on this lens. I got the 35 FE so i have at least one AF prime lens plus the performances rated well. My issue is I'm not a big 50mm person and I still need a 85 in my bag and not sure what to get there. Wish they had the 85 1.4 out in FE. This is about my least real decision to make.

    Get an adaptor for your Nikon lenses. You won't have the AF but the manual focus is so darned good. Gives you time to think before you start melting plastic



    Fred

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  5. #105
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Im on the fence on this lens. I got the 35 FE so i have at least one AF prime lens plus the performances rated well. My issue is I'm not a big 50mm person and I still need a 85 in my bag and not sure what to get there. Wish they had the 85 1.4 out in FE. This is about my least real decision to make.

    Im leaning to a Zeiss 85mm 1.4 ZF in a Nikon mount since i have the adapter now. That also gives me three lenses in Nikon just in case i ever want to go back
    Guy,

    I purchased 3 of them after seeing my first one... hopefully I can get a good enough copy out of the bunch. This lens is in the same sharpness league as your Zeiss 135. All you gotta do is get a copy that isn't decentered. I would pay a premium for a really good copy. Order one and see for yourself..... just make sure you can send it back.

    Victor

  6. #106
    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    With the grip and the Lae4 adapter, i will use the CZ 50 1.4 and see how that does. So far the Sigma 35 1.4 is a real nice lens.

  7. #107
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    Re: 55 1.8

    My Sigma 35mm is for sale and its a freaking laser. Just a little too big for me with adapter so I ordered the 35FE. I may wait on the 55 till February and steal that 85 1.4 zeiss on ebay for a good price. I have the Novaflex adapter for my Leica 19 and zeiss 135 and speaking of the 135 you can't touch this lens with anything IMHO. I will never sell it. But having for MY landscape kit to start as i build it the Leica 19, 35 FE, zeiss 85 1.4 and the Zeiss 135 F2 is a good start than add in the Zeiss 25mm F2 and 55FE. I'm not going to get into Leica M glass , Leica R YES but I need to steal one or for that matter find one. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  8. #108
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    and speaking of the 135 you can't touch this lens with anything IMHO. I will never sell it. LOL
    OK...... you talked me into it..... I'll get the 135.

    Victor

  9. #109
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Victor I promise you will NOT be sorry. Its a laser
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  10. #110
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Fair enough and I guess I don't know you well enough to know if you were offended by my comments. That wasn't my intent if you were. I was just generally stating that I don't believe I'm as discerning about lenses as you seem to be when it comes to performance. I don't go through nearly as many tests as you do and my tests mostly are done around the house or with a quick walk through a few local places that I've shot before to have comparative shots of known areas. I can promise you that I don't check every corner at 100% at every aperture and maybe that's wrong but that's just how I roll. I'm 100% a hobbyist and before last year I have never even taken any sort of photography class.
    Lord no! Not offended at all - I just want to make clear that there's a direct creative reason for the testing I do.

    I have been caught off guard too many times by taking equipment I trusted rather than tested into the field and discovering the weaknesses when I had returned from half way around the world.

    As I say, some weaknesses are not only expected in some optical designs but can be accepted and celebrated. An F1 Noctilux wide open isn't something you'd lightly use for a group shoot at a wedding, but it might make the happy couple look even more in love than they are…

    The point of the testing is...

    ...first to see if you've been sold a pup and as you can see from some other people in this thread, this is such a strong possibility that some people order multiple copies of a lens, test them all and keep the best. That might seem obsessive, and even I don't do it (I do them one by one!) but actually it's perfectly reasonable given the 'dud rate' (ands duds can be quite noticeably dud) for some manufacturers and models. It is harsh on the retailer, who lives on very thin margins, but it is the manufacturer that needs to get the message and I really really don't think that we should all be expected to read the high falutin' marketing claims and shell out top dollar only to be palmed off with a sub-par unit.

    … to learn the lens. Assuming that you have a good copy, it might still have complex optical design compromises that leave it with a curved or wavy shaped field of focus, or a tendency to ghosting with strong point light sources, or focus shift as you stop down, or a lot of complex distortion that is hard to correct, or strong colour shading on some bodies, etc etc etc. Again I'd rather find that out by shooting a few boring but relevant test frames than half way up a glacier with no alternative optic to hand..

    In the end it is about knowing and controlling variables so as to reduce unpleasant surprises. I used not to do it, because I thought that if a lens had passed QC and had a nice certificate it was likely a good one, and I didn't understand optical design constraints.

    A few years on this forum cured me of that…
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Im on the fence on this lens. I got the 35 FE so i have at least one AF prime lens plus the performances rated well. My issue is I'm not a big 50mm person and I still need a 85 in my bag and not sure what to get there. Wish they had the 85 1.4 out in FE. This is about my least real decision to make.

    Im leaning to a Zeiss 85mm 1.4 ZF in a Nikon mount since i have the adapter now. That also gives me three lenses in Nikon just in case i ever want to go back
    Guy, I have been thinking about 85mm as well. I have the 85/1.4 G and love it on the D800 and D800E. The MF Nikon 85/1.4 is smaller and also a great lens.

    The Zeiss ZF 85.1.4 had major focus shift issues when it first came out, so not sure if this is still the case. With the A7R and on-sensor focussing, this is obviously much less of a problem.

    The other option is the Sony Zeiss ZA 85/1.4, this is supposed to be a great lens and you have full and fast AF with the Sony Adapter.

  12. #112
    Senior Member Ron Pfister's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    The more examples I see of the EF 1.8/55, the more I have to say that I really don't care for its OOF rendering. I find the double-edged bokeh busy and unattractive. I'll stick with my current 50s (Makro-Planar ZF.2, Planar ZM and Summicron-R)...
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  13. #113
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Pfister View Post
    The more examples I see of the EF 1.8/55, the more I have to say that I really don't care for its OOF rendering.
    +1.

    For me it is the sample images from Sony themselves that did it. There is something odd about the OOF distortions. It reminds me of the 55/1.2 Nikkor-O (a CRT lens made for 1/5X). One thing is for sure, it ain't a Sonnar.

  14. #114
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    The Zeiss 50 macro is a really nice lens. Thinking be nice to go all zeiss glass.
    The Zeiss 25f2 is killer good, I had that lens sold it and kicking myself ever since. Zeiss 50 macro , the 135 is amazing. The 85 in the ZF and ZA has some wide open aberrations but I think still a great choice. A Leica r 80 is just too much money. I'm not that motivated to go M lenses to be honest. Just takes too much Capitol to get there unless you own it already.

    One nice thing on Zeiss in the Nikon mount is you can just buy the ZF version and not need there newest ZF2 version. That can save money as chipped means nothing to us.
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The Zeiss 50 macro is a really nice lens. Thinking be nice to go all zeiss glass.
    The Zeiss 25f2 is killer good, I had that lens sold it and kicking myself ever since. Zeiss 50 macro , the 135 is amazing. The 85 in the ZF and ZA has some wide open aberrations but I think still a great choice. A Leica r 80 is just too much money. I'm not that motivated to go M lenses to be honest. Just takes too much Capitol to get there unless you own it already.
    How about the Contax/Zeiss 85 f1.4? it's a lovely lens, and can be got very reasonably - of course, you need a different adapter, but that's not a problem. It certainly won't lose value if you go elsewhere later.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Pfister View Post
    The more examples I see of the EF 1.8/55, the more I have to say that I really don't care for its OOF rendering. I find the double-edged bokeh busy and unattractive. I'll stick with my current 50s (Makro-Planar ZF.2, Planar ZM and Summicron-R)...

    Like this?



    full image

    Apologies for the LR processing, it was already done and loaded before I started using C1...

  17. #117
    Senior Member Ron Pfister's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Like this?

    Apologies for the LR processing, it was already done and loaded before I started using C1...
    Many thanks for this sample, Tim! This looks quite nice, actually. Most of the samples I've seen were taken at close range, and there was stronger contrast in the OOF areas than in your image. Was there any CA-removal applied to this image (either in-camera or in LR)? How about other corrections?

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    How about the Contax/Zeiss 85 f1.4? it's a lovely lens, and can be got very reasonably - of course, you need a different adapter, but that's not a problem. It certainly won't lose value if you go elsewhere later.
    I thought it might be the same lens formula
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  19. #119
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    How about the Contax/Zeiss 85 f1.4? it's a lovely lens, and can be got very reasonably - of course, you need a different adapter, but that's not a problem. It certainly won't lose value if you go elsewhere later.
    1+. Guy, you could possibly install a Leitax F-mount, and then you wouldn't have to change adapters. However, the C/Y 1.4/85 is not listed as compatible on the Leitax site (but it's not listed as incompatible, either). A quick mail to David would clear this up, I'm sure. And if you don't need f/1.4, I can highly recommend the C/Y Sonnar 2.8/85. Small, light-weight, lovely rendering and very high performance.
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Here is the rub every 85mm 1.4 in Zeiss design has that wide open aberration as i think they are all the same formula. The fact that I got the Alpa adapter is making me think the Sony ZA is maybe the way to go. My other though is just stay down the Zeiss line so all my files have that same look. Maybe not the best lens wide open is the Zeiss 50 1.4 but stopped down a touch its very good and cheap to get. Than I will get my lovely Zeiss 25 F2 back in my hands. Also having the Zeiss 135mm lens that I will never part with i am building around that as well. I found a ZA for 1100 dollars which I can pull off and get in my hands before leaving for LA and I don't have to deal with ebay and have a 14 day return window I may just go for it and see how it runs. Also the Alpa adapter was a gift from a member and i want to make use of it as that was what he wanted too. Case closed on the 85mm. Bottom line too many upsides to this call and if it sucks it goes back and Ill try something else.

    Oh and I screwed up when i bought the Novaflex i had G lenses well turns out I don't anymore and don't expect to either so what i am going to do is get my Dremel out and the inside of the tube is the tab to control the aperture i am going to grind that off so when i put any Nikon mount Zeiss on I will not need that control anyway since i have aperture rings. What this does is i don't have to line up when i mount the lenses to the adapter the f stop. i can just put it on and the Novaflex is basically a tube only. When i bought it I was still in flux over keeping the Nikon system well that decision has been made i am out of Nikon but still have my lens mounts in case they come out with something better.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 55 1.8

    I just sold my Sigma so ready to push buttons. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I'm not that motivated to go M lenses to be honest. Just takes too much Capitol to get there unless you own it already
    The takeaway from all the discussions and from my personal experience is that lenses meant for the M Leica don't all play well with the Sony A7r as you go wide. Even some 50's aren't worth their eye popping prices just to be judged "barely acceptable." Digital changed everything. Unless somebody solves the ray angle problem in a universally applicable manner we are forced with moving to retrofocus lenses (maybe that is the universal solution...).

    All that being said, I am trying to understand if I may have a bad copy of the well reviewed Sony/Zeiss 35 FE. My CV 35 1.2 II seems to be outshining the Sony/Zeiss in a noticeable way. This lens lived on my M9 and I never really intended for it to go on the A7r due to its size but...I'm not a very experienced lens tester so I'm trying to figure it out.

    As I've said before, I've gained a new appreciation for the Leica engineering that makes their non-retrofocus lenses work pretty darn well on Leica cameras. But it is a tailored solution. The Sony engineers seem little concerned for tailoring their design to an almost infinite variety of non-retrofocus lenses from other manufacturers and I can understand that.

    Seems like SLR retrofocus designs and native designs are the way to go, my experience with the CV notwithstanding.
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    Re: 55 1.8

    I would put it this way i would NOT buy a M lens wider than 35mm without seeing a lot of tests from others. The M lenses are great and i had 15 of them at one time but you can get comparable lenses in DSLR mounts as well if not the same or better in some cases than in some just shy of the mark. Bottom line as i just told a member in private invest in the glass if the Nikon/Canon turns something out better which will no doubt be mirror less than its just a adapter change and selling your body. Thats not a big deal and very minimal loss.

    The one lens immediately without any issues amongst everyone is the WATE
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    Re: 55 1.8

    I've tested two samples of the Sony 55mm lens and BOTH show the same decentering flaw with the left side soft and the right side sharp. So bad, in fact, that I will not own this lens. Lloyd Chambers also complained about his copy of this lens being soft on the LEFT side. That's three lenses with the same issue. I'm done.

    Victor

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by fmueller View Post
    The takeaway from all the discussions and from my personal experience is that lenses meant for the M Leica don't all play well with the Sony A7r as you go wide. Even some 50's aren't worth their eye popping prices just to be judged "barely acceptable."
    My 35mm Summicron and 24mm Elmarit are worthless on the A7r. Both exhibit side smearing. However my 50mm Summicron (non-Apo) is really excellent and my 90mm Summicron is stellar! I have yet to find replacements with any other brand. I own numerous Zeiss glass in Nikon mount which I am also very happy with but haven't tried them on the A7r as I don't have a mount... but have one on order. I have shot side by side D800e/A7r with Leica vs Zeiss with my Leica glass always coming out on top at 50mm. Longer and its a toss up.

    Victor

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Victor I tend to agree with you and why I also backed off. I just don't like that many occurrences. Tim had issues as well and thats just from our place alone. I just pulled the trigger on the ZA 85mm 1.4 since I will have that adapter and it gives me the option for AF.

    I may just go after a cheap Zeiss 50mm 1.4 even though rough wide open I just don't use 50mm enough to pay a lot of money for one. If I want wide open look than the 85mm is a far better choice with people. The 50mm comes in handy sometimes for me but not enough to spend a lot on it.

    I got the 35 FE and the 85 ZA now for primes that do AF if I need it , nice gap there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by vjbelle View Post
    I've tested two samples of the Sony 55mm lens and BOTH show the same decentering flaw with the left side soft and the right side sharp. So bad, in fact, that I will not own this lens. Lloyd Chambers also complained about his copy of this lens being soft on the LEFT side. That's three lenses with the same issue. I'm done.

    Victor
    We must be looking at two different Lloyd chambers web sites. The last test he did he equated the A7R with the 55 1.8 to the nikon d800 with the Zeiss 58 1.4 Otus!

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by vjbelle View Post
    My 35mm Summicron and 24mm Elmarit are worthless on the A7r. Both exhibit side smearing. However my 50mm Summicron (non-Apo) is really excellent and my 90mm Summicron is stellar! I have yet to find replacements with any other brand. I own numerous Zeiss glass in Nikon mount which I am also very happy with but haven't tried them on the A7r as I don't have a mount... but have one on order. I have shot side by side D800e/A7r with Leica vs Zeiss with my Leica glass always coming out on top at 50mm. Longer and its a toss up.

    Victor
    Agreed wait till you get your Zeiss 135. You will be impressed
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    We must be looking at two different Lloyd chambers web sites. The last test he did he equated the A7R with the 55 1.8 to the nikon d800 with the Zeiss 58 1.4 Otus!
    No we're not..... look at the Red Barn series and read what he says about the left side of his lens being soft and his concerns about sample variations. My two samples were severely afflicted with soft focus on the left side..... like I said I'm done.

    Victor

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I may just go after a cheap Zeiss 50mm 1.4 even though rough wide open I just don't use 50mm enough to pay a lot of money for one. there.
    I have not shot or tested the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 but own the 50mm F2 Planar and think its easily worth its money. This focal length is important to me because its perfect for shooting 3 or 4 shot pano's. Not too long - not too short.

    Victor

  31. #131
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Yes the macro is the better lens
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Here is the rub every 85mm 1.4 in Zeiss design has that wide open aberration as i think they are all the same formula. The fact that I got the Alpa adapter is making me think the Sony ZA is maybe the way to go. My other though is just stay down the Zeiss line so all my files have that same look. Maybe not the best lens wide open is the Zeiss 50 1.4 but stopped down a touch its very good and cheap to get. Than I will get my lovely Zeiss 25 F2 back in my hands. Also having the Zeiss 135mm lens that I will never part with i am building around that as well. I found a ZA for 1100 dollars which I can pull off and get in my hands before leaving for LA and I don't have to deal with ebay and have a 14 day return window I may just go for it and see how it runs. Also the Alpa adapter was a gift from a member and i want to make use of it as that was what he wanted too. Case closed on the 85mm. Bottom line too many upsides to this call and if it sucks it goes back and Ill try something else.

    Oh and I screwed up when i bought the Novaflex i had G lenses well turns out I don't anymore and don't expect to either so what i am going to do is get my Dremel out and the inside of the tube is the tab to control the aperture i am going to grind that off so when i put any Nikon mount Zeiss on I will not need that control anyway since i have aperture rings. What this does is i don't have to line up when i mount the lenses to the adapter the f stop. i can just put it on and the Novaflex is basically a tube only. When i bought it I was still in flux over keeping the Nikon system well that decision has been made i am out of Nikon but still have my lens mounts in case they come out with something better.
    Guy: I have two Nikon adapters. One for G lenses (an expensive Metabones), and a $10 one from Rainbow Imaging which appears to be surprisingly well made. I will use this one for my Zeiss and Voigtlander lens with F stop rings, and my old Nikkor AI lenses. Before operating on your adapter, try the $10 one....no kidding!
    Dave in NJ

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Pfister View Post
    Many thanks for this sample, Tim! This looks quite nice, actually. Most of the samples I've seen were taken at close range, and there was stronger contrast in the OOF areas than in your image. Was there any CA-removal applied to this image (either in-camera or in LR)? How about other corrections?
    Hi Ron,

    Just LR import with 50/0.6/70/20 and Camera Standard…
    Here's a copy with the processing in C1 at defaults….

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by vjbelle View Post
    Lloyd Chambers also complained about his copy of this lens being soft on the LEFT side. That's three lenses with the same issue. I'm done.

    Victor
    Has there ever been a camera or lens that was delivered to Mr. Chambers that didn't arrive severely out of alignment, frozen, in need of multiple trips back to the manufacturer for adjustment, replacement or simply in need of a complete redesign for issues that, for some reason, they never contact him to hire his services so he can tell them what idiots they are?

    Oh, yes, there was ONE. To celebrate, he took a picture of some flowers, had it enlarged to 5x6 (feet!) and he will sell you one for only US$5100 (not a typo), and at that price, shipping is, of course, extra... Camera not included.

    Not kidding. SigmaDPMerill-tulips-print
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    Guy: I have two Nikon adapters. One for G lenses (an expensive Metabones), and a $10 one from Rainbow Imaging which appears to be surprisingly well made. I will use this one for my Zeiss and Voigtlander lens with F stop rings, and my old Nikkor AI lenses. Before operating on your adapter, try the $10 one....no kidding!
    Dave in NJ
    I know I though about just getting a straight adapter but my Dremel took over me. Its done and works great. LOL

    Perfect
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    ...I wish they did a 28 prime and this 55. Perfect setup
    Heartily agree. The 28 is my go-to with my shooting style for every camera I have. I am very interested in this system, and I'm not afraid of adapters, but I need some more primes.

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post


    I thought it might be the same lens formula
    Just a quick run down on the fast Zeiss 85mms from yesteryear:

    The CY Planar manual focus 85/1.4 was okay, better when using film, started to show its age on digital.

    The rare and expensive manual focus Zeiss 85/1.2 Anniversary was, and still is stellar, maybe the best f/1.2 ever along with its companion lens the Zeiss 55/1.2 Anniversary ... however, while it was converted for use on 5Ds Canon via dumb adapters, I've not seen it used on any of these higher meg cameras like the D800 or this A7R.

    The ultra-sonic motor autofocus Zeiss Planar N 85/1.4 optically improved on the CY version, and IMO has not been equaled or surpassed since. Unlike the current ZA 85/1.4 for Sony A mount, it features internal focusing ... and was built like a tank, so probably to big for the A7s.

    The current ZA 85/1.4 has beautiful OOF rendering, Zeiss color and contrast, but shows some CA & Fringing (cleans up okay in post, but still fuzzes some edges a bit), it is slower focusing using the A7R with Sony LA-EA4 adapter because it doesn't have the SSW motor in lens ... hard to do grab shots of moving subjects in lower light ... slower AF than on the A99 (and I presume the A7).

    - Marc

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by fmueller View Post
    Has there ever been a camera or lens that was delivered to Mr. Chambers that didn't arrive severely out of alignment, frozen, in need of multiple trips back to the manufacturer for adjustment, replacement or simply in need of a complete redesign for issues that, for some reason, they never contact him to hire his services so he can tell them what idiots they are?
    This is such a great comment and spot on. Bravo!

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by fmueller View Post
    Has there ever been a camera or lens that was delivered to Mr. Chambers that didn't arrive severely out of alignment, frozen, in need of multiple trips back to the manufacturer for adjustment, replacement or simply in need of a complete redesign for issues that, for some reason, they never contact him to hire his services so he can tell them what idiots they are?
    That's because Jim Carry is his UPS delivery man

    (See the movie "Pet Detective" to get the joke).

    - Marc
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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Since this thread is worthless without pictures, and is getting deeper into topics that have not much to do with the FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA lens, I'll bring it back with a test shot from this morning:



    Nothing special, but one that was easy for a lazy man to execute. Handheld, AWB, Auto ISO. Focused on the leaves in front of the evergreen just to the left of the birdhouse.

    100% crop from the four corners:



    There may be some motion blur from the wind that is bringing a front through our area (77°F on December 22 is freaky). Processed in LR. No noise reduction applied in-camera or in LR. Contrast +25, Saturation +25, sharpening using Tim Ashley's formula. Resized for Web display.

    For my photography, this result meets my expectations. When I can count blades of grass and leaves across the frame in an image like this at f/4.0, and make a 20x30" print (not of this particular photograph however) with 246ppi, I'm OK. BTW, I uprez to 360ppi for printing on the Epson.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmueller View Post
    Has there ever been a camera or lens that was delivered to Mr. Chambers that didn't arrive severely out of alignment, frozen, in need of multiple trips back to the manufacturer for adjustment, replacement or simply in need of a complete redesign for issues that, for some reason, they never contact him to hire his services so he can tell them what idiots they are?
    I agree. As Reichmann said on LuLa, "I have a lot of respects for Lloyd and enjoy his site. But as with so many of his reports of late 'Me thinks he doth protest too much'."

    Back to making photographs,

    Joe
    Last edited by Joe Colson; 22nd December 2013 at 11:16. Reason: Corrected spelling
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Joe.... your back yard looks similar to mine. If my 55 looked like that I would keep it in a heartbeat. I'll post some examples of left vs right at f4 to show you why my lenses are history.

    Victor

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Just a quick run down on the fast Zeiss 85mms from yesteryear:

    The CY Planar manual focus 85/1.4 was okay, better when using film, started to show its age on digital.

    The rare and expensive manual focus Zeiss 85/1.2 Anniversary was, and still is stellar, maybe the best f/1.2 ever along with its companion lens the Zeiss 55/1.2 Anniversary ... however, while it was converted for use on 5Ds Canon via dumb adapters, I've not seen it used on any of these higher meg cameras like the D800 or this A7R.

    The ultra-sonic motor autofocus Zeiss Planar N 85/1.4 optically improved on the CY version, and IMO has not been equaled or surpassed since. Unlike the current ZA 85/1.4 for Sony A mount, it features internal focusing ... and was built like a tank, so probably to big for the A7s.

    The current ZA 85/1.4 has beautiful OOF rendering, Zeiss color and contrast, but shows some CA & Fringing (cleans up okay in post, but still fuzzes some edges a bit), it is slower focusing using the A7R with Sony LA-EA4 adapter because it doesn't have the SSW motor in lens ... hard to do grab shots of moving subjects in lower light ... slower AF than on the A99 (and I presume the A7).

    - Marc

    Thanks Marc and thanks for replying to my PM. i figured to get the ZA anyway
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Has anyone considered that its not necessarily a decentering issue on the FE55 but a possible A7r mount alignment issue? Just a wild guess yet again 36mp FF requires everything to be absolutely perfect and the longer the focal length the more noticeable it becomes.
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Joe Colson! Good to see you active!
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Joe Colson! Good to see you active!
    Yep, not dead yet!

    Joe
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Joe Colson! Good to see you active!
    Joe rocks ��
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: 55 1.8

    Thanks Joe, looks great.

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by vjbelle View Post
    No we're not..... look at the Red Barn series and read what he says about the left side of his lens being soft and his concerns about sample variations. My two samples were severely afflicted with soft focus on the left side..... like I said I'm done.

    Victor
    Ok, we may be looking at the same website, but we are not READING the same web site. There is no way that anyone looking at the 100% crops in the most RECENT tests Lloyd did AFTER the Red Barn series who would conclude that the left side of the lens he tested was "soft". In his red barn series with the 55 1.8, he described the performance of the lens through 2.8 as "stunning". He ascribed the loss of sharpness at the smaller apertures to shutter vibration, not a "bad" lens. Yes, the upper left crop is a bit less sharp than the other corners, but that's also been true with some $4,000 lenses I have owned.

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Yes we are. Chambers clearly states that his copy of the 55mm has a softer left side than right. I could care less about his latest samples which, to me, are very difficult to descern as to planar sharpness. If you're sold then buy one of those puppies..... Mine are going back.

    Victor

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    Re: 55 1.8

    Quick down and dirty samples of Sony 55 vs Leica 50mm Summicron. None of these images are sharpened and all at f4 - an aperture I would never use for everyday shooting. Note that there is smearing on the left hand side of the 55mm crop.

    Victor

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