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Thread: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    I wanted to get a fast normal lens that I could use on my 800e and A7r. Being a fan of Zeiss lenses, I settled on the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 ZF2 and was happy to find one on eBay for a nice price (~$400).

    Lens arrived in like new condition. Build quality is awesome. But as I ran through my usual test shots around the house, the results seemed very soft at wider apertures. (At least compared to how I assumed it would perform.) I happen to have an old Canon FD 50mm 1.4 sitting on the desk, so I decided to run a quick comparison series.

    First shot is the Canon (a 35-year-old lens that I bought recently for $65)...

    Second shot is the Zeiss. Both at 1.4.





    Very interesting and disappointing (the Zeiss will be heading back whence it came.)

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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Something wrong with that lens, you shouldn't have that double imaging. Perhaps try another copy? In any case glad you had the opportunity to send it back.
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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    I hope you did more tests than one to rule out motion blur, but something is very wrong with that Zeiss sample you showed. My vintage Minolta AF 50/1.4 (which on all counts a worse lens than the CZ 50/1.4, especially at 1.4) is giving better results then this.

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    I hope you did more tests than one to rule out motion blur
    Oh yes, several; all on tripod. It's very strange.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEvangelist View Post
    Oh yes, several; all on tripod. It's very strange.
    That's what I expected, would have been way too obvious

    Looks like some elements are either badly decentered or not mounted straight. Sending it back where it came from for a full refund is the only reasonable solution.

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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    quality conteol and sample variation is a serious issue with Sony.
    I've returned 1 FE 2.8/35mm and 2 FE 1.8/55mm lenses because they were decentered.
    And herewith I am only talking about the last 6 weeks...

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    quality conteol and sample variation is a serious issue with Sony.
    This seems to be about a Zeiss Nikon mount ZF2 version.
    Don't think that has much to do with Sony QA

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    This seems to be about a Zeiss Nikon mount ZF2 version.
    Don't think that has much to do with Sony QA
    It did make me wonder though...both are lenses with Zeiss logos on them, made by others. It doesn't speak well for Zeiss's enforcement of quality standards, if any.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Honestly the Z50 1.4 is there lowest rated lens wide open. It has a lot of lens aberrations wide open and it's pretty soft. You need to read the review on it but the 50 planar F2 rocks.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

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

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    This seems to be about a Zeiss Nikon mount ZF2 version.
    Don't think that has much to do with Sony QA
    correct! I didn't notice the post is about a ZF.2 lens. I thought it's about the Planar T* 1,4/50 ZA.
    Please ignore my post...

    Nevertheless ... I've tried several copies of lenses for my Contax 645 system. Essentially they were all the same. I've tried 3 copies of the 80mm lens, 3 copies of the 45mm lens, 2 copies of the 140mm ... well and only a single copy of the Apo Makro Planar 120mm, the Distagon 3.5/35mm, the Distagon 3.5/55mm lens and then Vario Sonnar 45-90mm lens... since my samples are simply great (and certainly in line with what is reported about these lenses). The sample variation of lenses for the Contax 645 sytem is pretty negligible from my point of view (from my experience respectively). The Zeiss ZM lenses I've tested and own are also in line with what is reported. The sample variation of Zeiss ZA lenses on the other hand is huge (I have used Minolta/Sony since Sony took over Minolta... so I started with a Sony A100...). In my experience some samples are truely phenomenal. Some are great. Some are "ok". Some are plain and simply weak.

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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    hi i know with the sony a7r even if you have it on a solid tripod you will need a good shutter speed...what speed was the shot taken at

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss disappointment (or bad sample)

    Read the reviews ..its soft wide open and close up . Take a few photos at at over 10ft . This has been complained about forever on this lens by those expecting to use it as a portrait lens . Use it like a travel lens and you should see some strong contrast and color saturation …

    You may very well have a bad copy or a damaged lens …so if its not working for you then send it back . But more likely the lens is just a poor fit for your requirements .

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