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Thread: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Two stories for everything! I love the A99 with the Zeiss 85 and 135mm, the best combination. I actually bought the A99 just only for these 2 lenses instead of buying the Nikon version.

    I hope the Nikon D800E and my MFD DSLR have EVFs.

    My dream is Tech Cam with EVF. Is it possible?

    Pramote

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    I actually did the same switched out my Nikon versions of the 85 and 135 and went A mount. What I'm hoping for or planned on was a A99 replacement that is more like the A7r that can be better at AF usage and no lag shutter. No blackout and truly makes the current EVF better than the A7r. My bet its right around the corner and I'll have 3 lenses ready in the A mount for it. Its needs 36 mpx or more for me to jump on it. Wil see. But right now I want Sony to make a better adapter for the 7 series from the A to take advantage of the wider pattern of the AF points. That I need.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Well, I did something I always said I'd never do - set out on a five week trip with an untested lens.

    I took my a99 with 70-400 G and the a7r with the EA4 adapter and 24-70 ZA, reasoning that if either camera malfunctioned I'd still be OK.

    But on my way to the airport I dropped by the Sony Store where they just happened to have one (only one!) 24-70 FE OSS. Needless to say, I bought it. And I used it. Never tested it in a formal sense - just used it for five weeks and over 2,000 exposures. (The ZA never got mounted let alone used.)

    The lens, as Tim has said, has epic distortion. I've never owned one this bad, but for my photography it is really not an issue. For the few shots I took of buildings or ones with straight lines, I switched to JPG (and RAW) and let the camera correct, which it does quite well.

    In all other respects the lens in day to day use is an absolute winner. The OSS works very well - I have some maximum ISO shots in twilight at 1/15th sec. and they're noisy but very sharp. Landscape shots in normal light are crisp and contrasty with great micro-detail. I'm itching to make some 30 inch prints!

    I find, now I'm at home and have downloaded the files, that f5.6 seems to be the best overall aperture for my shooting, though f8 is equally effective.

    I'll post some shots in the next few days.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Well, I did something I always said I'd never do - set out on a five week trip with an untested lens.

    I took my a99 with 70-400 G and the a7r with the EA4 adapter and 24-70 ZA, reasoning that if either camera malfunctioned I'd still be OK.

    But on my way to the airport I dropped by the Sony Store where they just happened to have one (only one!) 24-70 FE OSS. Needless to say, I bought it. And I used it. Never tested it in a formal sense - just used it for five weeks and over 2,000 exposures. (The ZA never got mounted let alone used.)

    The lens, as Tim has said, has epic distortion. I've never owned one this bad, but for my photography it is really not an issue. For the few shots I took of buildings or ones with straight lines, I switched to JPG (and RAW) and let the camera correct, which it does quite well.

    In all other respects the lens in day to day use is an absolute winner. The OSS works very well - I have some maximum ISO shots in twilight at 1/15th sec. and they're noisy but very sharp. Landscape shots in normal light are crisp and contrasty with great micro-detail. I'm itching to make some 30 inch prints!

    I find, now I'm at home and have downloaded the files, that f5.6 seems to be the best overall aperture for my shooting, though f8 is equally effective.

    I'll post some shots in the next few days.

    If you use Lr5.3 try 'enable lens profile correction' as the Fe28-70 it does a pretty good job

    Attachment 80593

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Now where is Guy's final report on the FE 24-70? It has been a while...

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Hi everyone,
    I'm new here but need some advice! I recently made the change from an em5 to the a7 and am really enjoying it. I have the kit lens and then a number of good legacy primes. I'm wanting to get a good native lens for the a7 and am tossing up between the 55mm 1.8 and the 24-70.
    Which ones going to give me the biggest jump in image quality and be most worth the money? my legacy 50mm is a pentax smc 1.7.
    I mostly do landscapes and adventure outdoor photography but do dable in a bit of everything and am leaning towards the zoom due to practicality while hiking and climbing but am wondering if it's worth the cost over the kit lens. I find the kit lens ok but not very inspiring, it gets the job done, but not much more.
    I can't help but thinking the 55mm just sounds like the more special lens and more of a must have lens for the system. I'm quite partial to that FL and it sounds like one the best 50mm lens ever made which makes it quite appealing compared to the lukewarm reception of the 24-70.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Tough call get both but let me add I need the 24-70 for PR type work otherwise I would just go all primes. I'm not really a zoom guy as there is always in every brand a part or more of a zoom that is lacking. If I was not a working Pro than the zoom would only be a convenience factor and I would use it as truly a walk about lens and travel. But as far as quality and getting the most off that sensor the 55mm is really hard to beat. But again I'm a forced into a zoom shooter only by trade not by want. Rather not have it.

    Since I have a 25 and 55 I would rather have a kick *** 35 1.4 with some real mojo in it.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    mlynds, the FE 24-70 zoom was always going to be controversial and you see many opinions, you can read the deicated thread for details. Many people see a midzoom as essential to what they do with the camera, others expect the earth for the money.

    The FE55 is my go to prime because of its sheer performance, drawing style, versatility. It is everything you read about and more, for instance, the bokeh is very stylish and it does nice portraits as well as general and landscapes. It is special...and I think better value for money. You can get a cheap FD or OM 24/28 until Sony do one, for hiking and still stay light.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Read this review of the 55mm and than hide your credit card. Lol

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/sony/499...-135mm-f2.html
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Read this review of the 55mm and than hide your credit card. Lol

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/sony/499...-135mm-f2.html
    I think you have that reversed. Hide your credit card and then read... Well I think I just solved your GAS problem.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    thanks for the thoughts, it is hard I think I've made a decision and then a few hours later it changes and think I have settled with the other lens (this will also be the most money I have spent on a lens). I have read about everything I can find on the 24-70 and have decided it seems like a decent lens for what it is and the people that aren't happy with it really just had unrealistic expectations more than anything.
    I used a pany 25mm 1.4 on my em5 as my main lens for most of the time and enjoyed it. I like the fact it makes me slow down and think a bit more than a zoom.
    But then looking at that comparison between the 24-70 at 50mm and the 55mm on Tim Ashleys review the looked basically the same. So thinking if the zoom can get to that level then maybe thats the better option albeit at a slower aperture.
    What would you rather?
    an ok zoom and an amazing prime or a decent legacy prime and a good zoom?
    I would love to see a direct comparison between the kit zoom and zeiss zoom. Does the zoom still have the zeiss look to it and can it give that pop and 3d look the zeiss lenses are famous for? Thanks.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Ok just looked at review you linked to Guy and I think that my have swayed me to the 55mm, it truly looks like an amazing lens. At least then I will know I have one of the best lenses I can get but with the zoom I can see myself always being in doubt and still wanting the 55mm. I can always use the kit zoom when I need the convenience of a zoom. Also the kit zoom and 55mm together I think weigh similar to the 24-70 by itself. Then may pick up the 24-70 in the future sometime second hand or something. I'll probably change my mind in another hour.....
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by mlynds View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new here but need some advice! I recently made the change from an em5 to the a7 and am really enjoying it. I have the kit lens and then a number of good legacy primes. I'm wanting to get a good native lens for the a7 and am tossing up between the 55mm 1.8 and the 24-70.
    Which ones going to give me the biggest jump in image quality and be most worth the money? my legacy 50mm is a pentax smc 1.7.
    I mostly do landscapes and adventure outdoor photography but do dable in a bit of everything and am leaning towards the zoom due to practicality while hiking and climbing but am wondering if it's worth the cost over the kit lens. I find the kit lens ok but not very inspiring, it gets the job done, but not much more.
    I can't help but thinking the 55mm just sounds like the more special lens and more of a must have lens for the system. I'm quite partial to that FL and it sounds like one the best 50mm lens ever made which makes it quite appealing compared to the lukewarm reception of the 24-70.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
    IMO, all the current FE lenses are uninspired they get the job done well, but lack what Guy termed "Mojo" that may change as Zeiss digs into the FE mount and delivers more choices.

    The FE 55/1.8 is the darling of the science mavins that seek validation with test charts and such. Yet, to me lacks any subjective character that endears it to some creative sensibility that is almost impossible to describe, but you know it when you see it. So, it may be the best 50mm for MIT graduates, but whether it's the best for photographers is highly debatable.

    Fortunately, you can bolt on lenses that do deliver that personalized "Mojo" like Ben Rubinstein has demonstrated with some $150 lens he owns.

    - Marc
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    You can't go wrong with the 55 FE. It's one of the best lenses I've ever owned (and I've own/ owned some really good ones.) Many who say it's overpriced are either solely looking at the focal length/ aperture speed (compared to competitors) without using it or just don't like Zeiss. To each their own though.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by mlynds View Post
    Ok just looked at review you linked to Guy and I think that my have swayed me to the 55mm, it truly looks like an amazing lens. At least then I will know I have one of the best lenses I can get but with the zoom I can see myself always being in doubt and still wanting the 55mm. I can always use the kit zoom when I need the convenience of a zoom. Also the kit zoom and 55mm together I think weigh similar to the 24-70 by itself. Then may pick up the 24-70 in the future sometime second hand or something. I'll probably change my mind in another hour.....
    Mylands:
    If you have a large group of pictures to base your decision on find out whether most of them are spread across the 24 to 70 mm focal length or just around 50mm. This might tell you whether your style of shooting needs the zoom or the prime. If it's not clear then go out and shoot with the intention of finding out. If it's still not clear maybe get the kit lens and try that out first. It's supposed to be a decent zoom and it's much cheaper.
    Regards,
    John

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    cheers john, I'm definitely familiar with primes vs zooms and had a good set of both on my old em5. And am quite partial to 50s and I already have the kit zoom but was thinking about upgrading it.
    So Think I'll get the 55mm and I've found a cheap yashica 28mm 2.8 ML which sounds decent and will cover my wider angle needs. Then I would have the 28 and 55, a tokina 90mm f2.5 macro (bokina) and a nikon 180mm f2.8 ais ed plus a 2x teleconverter and that would be my optimal IQ kit. then i can just use the kit lens and maybe 55mm when i need to go lighter and need more convenience and autofocus when climbing and bigger outdoor missions etc. Then eventually when I can upgrade the kit to the 24-70 when i can.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by mlynds View Post
    cheers john, I'm definitely familiar with primes vs zooms and had a good set of both on my old em5. And am quite partial to 50s and I already have the kit zoom but was thinking about upgrading it.
    So Think I'll get the 55mm and I've found a cheap yashica 28mm 2.8 ML which sounds decent and will cover my wider angle needs. Then I would have the 28 and 55, a tokina 90mm f2.5 macro (bokina) and a nikon 180mm f2.8 ais ed plus a 2x teleconverter and that would be my optimal IQ kit. then i can just use the kit lens and maybe 55mm when i need to go lighter and need more convenience and autofocus when climbing and bigger outdoor missions etc. Then eventually when I can upgrade the kit to the 24-70 when i can.
    Hello Mylands:
    I mistook the nature of your question. I have the 55 f1.8 and think it is very sharp. I'm currently using an adapted (LAEA3) Sony mount Tamron 28-75 F2.8 zoom as a walkaround but definitely would like an FE mount zoom instead. The 24-70 sounds really good but I'm holding off to see what other lenses are coming out soon (after all you can't buy everything at once!). I'd like something wide angle (17-35?) and then something longer (135?, 70-200?). Decisions, decisions. In the meantime I've got a bunch of Minolta and Sony glass that I use adapted. Patience, patience.
    Regards,
    John

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The FE 55/1.8 is the darling of the science mavins that seek validation with test charts and such. Yet, to me lacks any subjective character that endears it to some creative sensibility that is almost impossible to describe, but you know it when you see it. So, it may be the best 50mm for MIT graduates, but whether it's the best for photographers is highly debatable.
    If you look at the contents list on the 55 FE box, 'creative sensibility' isn't listed. I think that means it must be supplied by the photographer.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    I'm actually thinking of returning mine . I bought it March 10th at Amazon which I think I have till April 10th. Think I'll go for a really nice 351.2 or 1.4 . Looking at the Voightlander 35 1.2 . Still noodling what to do here I have a couple days.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    I wouldn't sell mine unless I exited the system, which I can't see happening an time soon. And if I had to choose between it and any other lens, it would be it without a doubt.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I wouldn't sell mine unless I exited the system, which I can't see happening an time soon. And if I had to choose between it and any other lens, it would be it without a doubt.
    It's a comment like this that makes me feel Tim has an exceptional copy of this lens.
    But in all honesty I have looked at other reviews of the 24-70 and they don't inspire me quite as much as Tims review to get one personally.
    I will probably stick with my 2 primes 55/1.8 and CV35/1.2 for now.
    But I need a wide for my A7R...I am torn between the 21/2.8 and 25/2 Distagon's...I know you have the 21/2.8 Tim and Guy has the 25/2...Any advice regarding which has the better image quality on a A7R would be most appreciated...I have seen Guys review of the 25/2 on the A7R but I can find very little on the 21/2.8 on a A7R...Apologies for taking this slightly off of topic...Barry

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    The Zeiss 25mm F2 is simply one of the best around its of a newer design. I tested it against many other 24mm 1.4 both canon/ Nikon and smokes both of them also it's rated better in the corners than the ZA 24 f2 and has a simple distortion and easy to fix. The 21 has mustache distortion big, big front element but rated very high. Personally I shot them both but not at the same time. I think the 25 has the edge and also a more used focal length. Today I have the 25mm f2 and just picked up a Rokinion 14mm in Sony A mount. It's between 25 and 50 is why I bought the zoom and it's okay but I'm seriously considering going back get the kit zoom which I really don't need the highest quality but get a outstanding 35 . I had the Zeiss 35mm f2 3 times now and its awesome and totally under rated. But this time I looking at the CV 35mm 1.2 but need more data on it for the A7r. I want a killer look in the 35 since I have in the 55 the clinical lens.

    Now I think I have a decent copy of the zoom but it's all over the place with corners and crappy at 70mm which really is not good. So you get a 28 to 60 out of it, which cuts the ends off.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The Zeiss 25mm F2 is simply one of the best around its of a newer design. I tested it against many other 24mm 1.4 both canon/ Nikon and smokes both of them also it's rated better in the corners than the ZA 24 f2 and has a simple distortion and easy to fix. The 21 has mustache distortion big, big front element but rated very high. Personally I shot them both but not at the same time. I think the 25 has the edge and also a more used focal length. Today I have the 25mm f2 and just picked up a Rokinion 14mm in Sony A mount. It's between 25 and 50 is why I bought the zoom and it's okay but I'm seriously considering going back get the kit zoom which I really don't need the highest quality but get a outstanding 35 . I had the Zeiss 35mm f2 3 times now and its awesome and totally under rated. But this time I looking at the CV 35mm 1.2 but need more data on it for the A7r. I want a killer look in the 35 since I have in the 55 the clinical lens.

    Now I think I have a decent copy of the zoom but it's all over the place with corners and crappy at 70mm which really is not good. So you get a 28 to 60 out of it, which cuts the ends off.
    Very many thanks Guy - Most appreciated.
    Since having the A7R I have had to do a complete rethink of all of my lenses...Most have now been ebayed (Leica M, Voigtlander, Zeiss ZM's) and I am starting all over again.
    The trouble is that the 55/1.8 FE is so good that it's hard to find an equivalent fast killer lens in the 35mm focal length that doesn't weigh a ton...I have settled for now on the 35/1.2 Mk2 unless a fast 35mm native lens comes along later...My 35/2 Biogon was excellent on APS-C but it came second place to the 35/1.2 on the FF A7R as far as I was concerned.
    The 25mm Distagon in ZF.2 mount is similar in weight to the 21mm so that's a tie.
    Size wise, filter size, vignetting, reduced distortion and the newer design are all pluses in favour of the 25mm I personally feel.
    But I am not that fussed about the difference in focal lengths as I am in IQ between the 2 Distagon's - DXO score seems have the 25mm in front of the 21mm like yourself, so I am currently leaning towards the 25mm at the moment and perhaps adding a 14mm Samyang later for fun.
    Anyway thanks again for answering so quickly and I apologise to others for taking this slightly off topic...Barry

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Barry love to hear more of the Voightlander 35 1.2
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Barry love to hear more of the Voightlander 35 1.2
    Guy...I doubt I can tell you very much that you probably don't already know.
    The lens has a lovely solid feel about it that I like a lot, certainly better than most the other Voigtlanders I have owned to date.
    As others have said before me, it has the old fashioned Leica lens look about the images, not what you would expect from a modern ASPH at all.
    The focusing is more buttery smooth than the cheaper Voigtlanders and click stops positively and nicely (my copy does at least).
    It does render quite beautifully wide open if you are prepared for a loss of sharpness, it doesn't glow quite like a Noctilux or 58/1.2 Rokkor but I would still describe it as fairly soft in contrast.
    It sharpens up quite nicely by f2.8 and is sharpening evenly across the frame as you stop down to F8 it's sharpest aperture. Likewise the contrast improves dramatically by f2 and upwards.
    The lower contrast kills any microcontrast when shot wide open.
    It's not as bitingly sharp as 50mm Summilux Asph F1.4 in the center wide open (But what is!).
    It compares very favourably IMO with the 35mm ZM Biogon which is similar in sharpness aperture to aperture...The 35mm Biogon has more colour shift (by a fair bit) over the 35/1.2 on a A7R.
    The vignetting and LOCA at F2 is much improved on the Voigtlander than the ZM Biogon IMO...you don't feel you are peering into a porthole window that needs PP.
    The hood is fairly expensive extra - When the Zeiss DSLR ones come for free...Quite a lot of people don't bother with the hood as it increases the size somewhat, especially as this lens is not so prone to flaring...None the less I still purchased the hood and leave it on permanently...Hope that helps...I will post some samples in Fun with the Sony A7 and A7R series....Later on...Cheers Barry
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Another vote for the CV 35/ 1.2 v2. I would agree with Barry's evaluation of this lens. I also find it pretty easy to focus wide open on the A7 even with the shallow DOF that it has a 1.2

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    I agree with Barry, also. I also would give a big recommendation to the Cameraquest close-focus helicoid adapter. It is well worth the cost.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    So, I'm not a Sony guy.

    Can somebody summarize how many lens mounts/lens lines Sony is up to now?

    The fact that this company seemingly abandons an entire line at the drop of a hat would give me pause. As we all know, Nikon has gone out of its way to NOT do this, perhaps suffering competively along the way as a result of that decision. However, they did gain brand loyalty because of it.

    Canon went through a similar upheaval ONCE and the tremors are still vibrating.

    Where does that leave us with Sony?

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolfe Tessem View Post
    So, I'm not a Sony guy.

    Can somebody summarize how many lens mounts/lens lines Sony is up to now?

    The fact that this company seemingly abandons an entire line at the drop of a hat would give me pause. As we all know, Nikon has gone out of its way to NOT do this, perhaps suffering competively along the way as a result of that decision. However, they did gain brand loyalty because of it.

    Canon went through a similar upheaval ONCE and the tremors are still vibrating.

    Where does that leave us with Sony?
    Sony took over Minolta. The Sony A mount is the same mount as the Minolta mount. I still use some Minolta lenses on my A99 and on my A7r (with the Sony adapter.)

    Sony then brought out the E mount. Those lenses work on the new A6000 and on the NEX cameras. They also work on the A7s in crop mode. The A7s have an E mount, but require a full-frame lens (unless you want the crop), called FE (full-frame E).

    I am heavily invested in the Sony system, and that leaves me a happy camper with Sony!

    I don't know what lines were abandoned at the drop of a hat. What are you referring to?
    Last edited by Cindy Flood; 29th March 2014 at 21:11.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    'it's hard to find an equivalent fast killer lens in the 35mm focal length'

    I can recommend the RX1, I got one after I saw a shot Tim took of a garage wall - true story.

    Tim Ashley Photography | Leica M 240 with 35mm F1.4 FLE - some observations

    It is a similar lens to the FE55 in several aspects - very flat field, well-behaved bokeh, strong from f2 to f11 at all focal distances and excellent corners > very versatile.

    Two more reviews of the 24-70 zoom just up:

    Carl-Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS (Sony SEL2470Z) - Review / Test Report
    Sony Lens: Zooms - Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* SEL2470Z (Tested) - SLRgear.com!

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    +1... or 2... or 3... Or whatever at this point for the Voigtlander 35/1.2 Nokton II. I agree with Barry's write up as well and would add the rendering is somewhere between the 35 Lux ASPH and the 35 ASPH FLE. By that I mean that it has the soft transitions of the 35 Lux ASPH but retains the sharpness around the subject like the 35 Lux ASPH FLE. Definitely a lens that punches outside it's weight class... Price wise anyway.
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    Senior Member Barry Haines's Avatar
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Thanks for the nod...Viramati, Cindy Flood and HiredArm.

    philip_pj...Agree that the 35mm F2 Sonnar in the RX1/R is a killer lens it's just a pity it does'nt come in a FE mount for the A7/R (Yes, I understand the reasons why it does'nt).

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    +1... or 2... or 3... Or whatever at this point for the Voigtlander 35/1.2 Nokton II. I agree with Barry's write up as well and would add the rendering is somewhere between the 35 Lux ASPH and the 35 ASPH FLE. By that I mean that it has the soft transitions of the 35 Lux ASPH but retains the sharpness around the subject like the 35 Lux ASPH FLE. Definitely a lens that punches outside it's weight class... Price wise anyway.
    HiredArm, that was exactly my take also.
    No real absolute winner out of those 3 lenses....
    The bokeh of the 35 Lux ASPH is just very slightly ahead perhaps over the 35/1.2 mk2.
    The sharpness of the 35 Lux ASPH FLE is very slightly ahead over the 35/1.2 mk2.
    But the bokeh of the 35/1.2 is very slightly ahead of the 35 Lux ASPH FLE.
    + The sharpness of the 35/1.2 is very slightly ahead of the 35 Lux ASPH.

    Cheers Barry
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    That makes it sound like a very good lens indeed. Given the price it's far cheaper too. Still noodling this but I'm heavy leaning towards it than just get the 28-70 kit for the PR stuff. My kit lens was pretty good when I had it. The 24-70 is nice don't get me wrong , I just hate zooms. Lol
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    That makes it sound like a very good lens indeed. Given the price it's far cheaper too. Still noodling this but I'm heavy leaning towards it than just get the 28-70 kit for the PR stuff. My kit lens was pretty good when I had it. The 24-70 is nice don't get me wrong , I just hate zooms. Lol
    Thanks Guy...Likewise, I can't say I particularly like zooms either, I never seem to draw any end user satisfaction from the finished images, I always feel I could have done a better job...but then that's me.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Hardly rave reviews though I really do wonder about the difference between copies as my 2nd version really performs surprisingly well at the corners at 24mm and at f8; OK I don't do test chart shots but out in the field I am happy with the results. Anyway like others I really don't like zooms but as I decided to trade in all my fuji gear and got a pretty good deal this lens didn't make any further dent in the bank balance!! As to character well it doesn't really have any but what zoom does

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Haines View Post
    Guy...I doubt I can tell you very much that you probably don't already know.
    The lens has a lovely solid feel about it that I like a lot, certainly better than most the other Voigtlanders I have owned to date.
    As others have said before me, it has the old fashioned Leica lens look about the images, not what you would expect from a modern ASPH at all.
    The focusing is more buttery smooth than the cheaper Voigtlanders and click stops positively and nicely (my copy does at least).
    It does render quite beautifully wide open if you are prepared for a loss of sharpness, it doesn't glow quite like a Noctilux or 58/1.2 Rokkor but I would still describe it as fairly soft in contrast.
    It sharpens up quite nicely by f2.8 and is sharpening evenly across the frame as you stop down to F8 it's sharpest aperture. Likewise the contrast improves dramatically by f2 and upwards.
    The lower contrast kills any microcontrast when shot wide open.
    It's not as bitingly sharp as 50mm Summilux Asph F1.4 in the center wide open (But what is!).
    It compares very favourably IMO with the 35mm ZM Biogon which is similar in sharpness aperture to aperture...The 35mm Biogon has more colour shift (by a fair bit) over the 35/1.2 on a A7R.
    The vignetting and LOCA at F2 is much improved on the Voigtlander than the ZM Biogon IMO...you don't feel you are peering into a porthole window that needs PP.
    The hood is fairly expensive extra - When the Zeiss DSLR ones come for free...Quite a lot of people don't bother with the hood as it increases the size somewhat, especially as this lens is not so prone to flaring...None the less I still purchased the hood and leave it on permanently...Hope that helps...I will post some samples in Fun with the Sony A7 and A7R series....Later on...Cheers Barry
    Regarding the VC 35mm f1.2 (both Ver. I and Ver II), Barry and others described it's optical attributes (both wide open and stopped down) perfectly, although I might diverge a bit in assessing it's performance compared to some of the other lenses mentioned. I have followed the Sony A7(r) threads with great interest even though I haven't yet made a decision about use of the system for my needs.

    With that said, I have had a very long time experience with both the original VC 35mm f1.2 (Ver I) and now Ver. II. on the Leica digital rangefinders as well as Leica's own 35mm Lux asph (pre FLE and the latest FLE). Guy, one of the most telling things Barry mentioned is the VC 35mm f1.2 although an aspherical lens, it doesn't have that killer acuity (for better or worse) that you often see with aspherical lenses like some of the Zeiss Zf.2's such the 25mm f2.8 that's a favorite of yours. It has a more gentle but lovely rendition (a nice look) especially when stopped down and is a very even sharpness across the frame, but if one expects what you often refer to as "laser sharpness", this isn't this particualar len's objective (no pun intended). As a point of reference, many describe it as similar in drawing to Leica's older 35mm f2 Cron pre asph (as opposed to its modern day counterpart, the 35mm f2 Cron asph).

    The VC 35mm f1.2 Ver II comes close to the sharpness of the Leica 35mm f1.4 Lux asph (pre FLE), but honestly feel if one is looking for the edge to edge acuity and sharpness of the current Lecia 35mm Lux FLE lens, the VC 35mm f1.2 Ver II doesn't approach that level, nor do I believe it was intended to. A balance has to be reached between "look" and shear out performance and the VC 35mm f1.2 is certainly "it". Again what I see on Leica digital rangefinders, may be very different than it's performance on the Sony's, so certainly the description of the VC 35mm f1.2 Ver II lens by others on their Sony's should take precedence.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to add to Barry's excellent description of the VC 35mm f1.2 Ver. II and what you might expect of it's use and look on the A7r.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 30th March 2014 at 06:49.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4



    The FE 55/1.8 is the darling of the science mavins that seek validation with test charts and such. Yet, to me lacks any subjective character that endears it to some creative sensibility that is almost impossible to describe, but you know it when you see it. So, it may be the best 50mm for MIT graduates, but whether it's the best for photographers is highly debatable.

    Fortunately, you can bolt on lenses that do deliver that personalized "Mojo" … like Ben Rubinstein has demonstrated with some $150 lens he owns.

    - Marc



    That's the beauty of the 55mm 1.8 FE for certain shoots. Good copies are incredibly sharp at the corners with no distortion and the 55mm 1.8 is an excellent portrait, street and landscape lens! It's kinda funny, if a lens is too technically perfect like the FE 55mm 1.8, some call it uninspiring, but if it's not technically perfect, there's 3 page threads on Sony's / Zeiss quality control.

    The FE 55mm 1.8 is the #2 highest rated lens ever tested at DXO. It scored just under the Zeiss Otus, and for a $700 dollar lens, not too shabby.

    Personal "mojo" is indeed subjective, I mean really subjective! Another bonus is that for a fraction of the investment of other brands you can have one of the most highly regarded sensors and lens combos ever produced. Besides creative sensibility is in the eye of the beholder.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Regarding the VC 35mm f1.2 (both Ver. I and Ver II), Barry and others described it's optical attributes (both wide open and stopped down) perfectly, although I might diverge a bit in assessing it's performance compared to some of the other lenses mentioned. I have followed the Sony A7(r) threads with great interest even though I haven't yet made a decision about use of the system for my needs.

    With that said, I have had a very long time experience with both the original VC 35mm f1.2 (Ver I) and now Ver. II. on the Leica digital rangefinders as well as Leica's own 35mm Lux asph (pre FLE and the latest FLE). Guy, one of the most telling things Barry mentioned is the VC 35mm f1.2 although an aspherical lens, it doesn't have that killer acuity (for better or worse) that you often see with aspherical lenses like some of the Zeiss Zf.2's such the 25mm f2.8 that's a favorite of yours. It has a more gentle but lovely rendition (a nice look) especially when stopped down and is a very even sharpness across the frame, but if one expects what you often refer to as "laser sharpness", this isn't this particualar len's objective (no pun intended). As a point of reference, many describe it as similar in drawing to Leica's older 35mm f2 Cron pre asph (as opposed to its modern day counterpart, the 35mm f2 Cron asph).

    The VC 35mm f1.2 Ver II comes close to the sharpness of the Leica 35mm f1.4 Lux asph (pre FLE), but honestly feel if one is looking for the edge to edge acuity and sharpness of the current Lecia 35mm Lux FLE lens, the VC 35mm f1.2 Ver II doesn't approach that level, nor do I believe it was intended to. A balance has to be reached between "look" and shear out performance and the VC 35mm f1.2 is certainly "it". Again what I see on Leica digital rangefinders, may be very different than it's performance on the Sony's, so certainly the description of the VC 35mm f1.2 Ver II lens by others on their Sony's should take precedence.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to add to Barry's excellent description of the VC 35mm f1.2 Ver. II and what you might expect of it's use and look on the A7r.

    Dave (D&A)
    Thanks Dave it would be nice to have a mojo lens that I don't have really in the wider end. I have the 85 and 135 which are very special wide open and lasers when stopping down. Than the 55 is just a flat out laser beam. The 25 has a nice look and still very sharp across the board. A Rokinion 14mm is my fun lens so maybe the VC 35 1.2 would act like the older Nikon 50 1.2 which I really did like of Jacks. My last question as this sounds like a Leica 35 1.4 R to me which I do love if I stop down to 5.6 ,f8 is it sharp across the board, that I can live with but wide open a dream look lens. I could also for the 4th time go get the Zeiss 35mm F2 again which I just love anyway in the Canon mount so I can share the metabones adapter with the 25 but this sounds pretty dang interesting.

    What's got my goat is I spent 1200 on a lens that feels limited and I shot some models with it at around 50mm and they are not really that sharp and I was stopped down to F9. I took a couple with the 55 and it just killed it. I hate spending money on a lens that just does not perform well, I don't have corrections for it in C1 or PT lens plugin and I do not own Lightroom and I'm not buying it either. Lol

    Okay I'm picky as hell , I know it but that comes with lens whore definition . Lol

    Btw this is not intended to derail Tim's excellent review of the zoom which he did a excellent job, one reason I did not bother to fully test it myself and report. Its a good lens and seen some great images folks posted, it maybe just my copy is not really performing well. I could also exchange it for another copy and try once more. And if I still feel odd with it exchange it with the VC. I bought it new at Amazon and they have a nice return policy.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Guy, I'm extremely familiar using the Nikon 50mm f1.2 Ais and the Nikon Noct 58mm f1.2, on Nikon film and digital SLR's and to be honest, that often times dreamy look that's a hallmark of those lenses, especially when shot at closer range, isn't what one observes when using the VC 35mm f1.2 (Ver II) at f1.2-f2 on the Leica digital rangefinders. I wouldn't personally characterize the 35mm f1.2 as dreamy at these more open apertures at closer range, but as Barry pointed out, of much lower contrast as opposed to stopping down although it has a very organic feel to its images.

    Yes, the OOF background of course is diffuse when shot wide open but more in a slightly gritty way and quite different than the two Nikon's look. Shot wide open at longer distance range, it's resolution drops off precipitously across the frame, especially at the edges and so when used wide open till close to f2, I'd use the VC lens at mid and close range. I have to be honest and as lovely as a VC 35mm f1.2 lens is, I'm not 100% certain it's exactly what you're looking for, knowing somewhat your past likes and dislikes.

    Again what all these lenses look like when compared to one another on the Sony's, may be somewhat different as opposed to when the Nikon's are used on Nikon bodies and the VC 35mm f1.2 on a Leica digital rangefinder, so I'm basing my observations using these lenses on their native systems.

    P.S. In many ways this thread is keeping with the spirit of the excellent review of the Sony zoom by Tim. Since that zoom seems to have compromises, the discussion has in some ways has naturally turned to alternative single focal length lenses within the zoom's range and which of these lenses have distinct advantages.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Thanks Dave more food for thought. Maybe just get the Zeiss again than go look for some really old stuff and cheap for fun. I could always go for the Zeiss 35 1.4 and carry a bull dozer to move it around. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Sony took over Minolta. The Sony A mount is the same mount as the Minolta mount. I still use some Minolta lenses on my A99 and on my A7r (with the Sony adapter.)

    Sony then brought out the E mount. Those lenses work on the new A6000 and on the NEX cameras. They also work on the A7s in crop mode. The A7s have an E mount, but require a full-frame lens (unless you want the crop), called FE (full-frame E).

    I am heavily invested in the Sony system, and that leaves me a happy camper with Sony!

    I don't know what lines were abandoned at the drop of a hat. What are you referring to?
    As you say, there are the A, E, and now FE lines. But I guess my point was more that Sony, perhaps because it is a huge company with the resulting bureaucratic morass, seems not to be able to find a clear direction in digital. The Alphas, the NEX line, and now the A7 and A7r -- where are they going and what is the big picture strategy? I would hate to buy into the A7 and FE lenses in a big way only to find out that next year Sony has something else in mind...

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    Senior Member Barry Haines's Avatar
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks Dave more food for thought. Maybe just get the Zeiss again than go look for some really old stuff and cheap for fun. I could always go for the Zeiss 35 1.4 and carry a bull dozer to move it around. Lol
    I agree with David.
    Looking at your A7R lens arsenal to date, the 35/1.2 might end up being the oddball in your collection. It's more like a classic old style lens giving a look that's not quite the same as what you would normally associate from your other Zeiss lenses.
    I think it is probably best suited to portraiture, street and nightime photography in the mid to close field focus range as David said.
    The Zeiss 35/2 Distagon ZF.2/ZE is probably a better bet for architecture and landscape photography and it's a fair bit lighter than the Zeiss 35/1.4 beasty...But as you have had it 3x before it's not a very exciting purchase like something a bit new and different.
    Anyway good luck in your search for the perfect 35mm, I am sure it's out there somewhere or in the pipeline:-)...Cheers Barry

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolfe Tessem View Post
    As you say, there are the A, E, and now FE lines. But I guess my point was more that Sony, perhaps because it is a huge company with the resulting bureaucratic morass, seems not to be able to find a clear direction in digital. The Alphas, the NEX line, and now the A7 and A7r -- where are they going and what is the big picture strategy? I would hate to buy into the A7 and FE lenses in a big way only to find out that next year Sony has something else in mind...
    Rolfe:

    When Sony bought Minolta it produced some excellent crop and full frame DSLRs (A700 and A900) and they didn't dent the Canon and Nikon market, Zippo! Sony wants to make alot of money. They already have lots of products that are losing money (TVs, PCs etc.) Basically e-mount was invented to compete against the other mirrorless lines because their research convinced them that that market wasn't locked up yet. They found out that some people want to utilize the shorter registration distance of mirrorless systems to re-use their old but excellent lenses from other camera systems and so they provided a full frame e-mount option. Sony is convinced that mirrorless will displace DSLRs. If they are wrong they will drop out of interchangeable lens cameras and just sell sensors. Sony is not in robust financial shape. If you are worried about the future of a camera system then Sony can definitely be considered a risk. I'm a hobbyist who happens to have a significant amount of expensive Minolta and Sony a-mount glass. The fact that I can adapt that glass and also buy e-mount lenses and also use other lenses makes the system interesting to me. Your milage will definitely vary depending on your situation.
    Regards,
    John

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by jfirneno View Post
    Rolfe:

    When Sony bought Minolta it produced some excellent crop and full frame DSLRs (A700 and A900) and they didn't dent the Canon and Nikon market, Zippo! Sony wants to make alot of money. They already have lots of products that are losing money (TVs, PCs etc.) Basically e-mount was invented to compete against the other mirrorless lines because their research convinced them that that market wasn't locked up yet. They found out that some people want to utilize the shorter registration distance of mirrorless systems to re-use their old but excellent lenses from other camera systems and so they provided a full frame e-mount option. Sony is convinced that mirrorless will displace DSLRs. If they are wrong they will drop out of interchangeable lens cameras and just sell sensors. Sony is not in robust financial shape. If you are worried about the future of a camera system then Sony can definitely be considered a risk. I'm a hobbyist who happens to have a significant amount of expensive Minolta and Sony a-mount glass. The fact that I can adapt that glass and also buy e-mount lenses and also use other lenses makes the system interesting to me. Your milage will definitely vary depending on your situation.
    Regards,
    John
    John,

    I can't disagree with a thing you say here, and you put it well.

    I agree that mirrorless is the growth area, especially since Canon and Nikon are approaching it only half-heartedly. And the A7 and A7r seem to have finally licked the EVF issue in a way that satisfies most people.

    Rolfe

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Hi John, can you provide us with any statements from Sony about them exiting their ILC systems if mirrorless fails to make inroads into the DSLR market?

    I am always curious about how companies go about their businesses, and often something slips through the information you come across. Also any professional analysis on Sony being a risk would be helpful to would be buyers.

    The Japanese corporate system is very different to elsewhere in the West and Sony is a huge empire with pretty high separation between its multitude of divisions.

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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks Dave more food for thought. Maybe just get the Zeiss again than go look for some really old stuff and cheap for fun. I could always go for the Zeiss 35 1.4 and carry a bull dozer to move it around. Lol
    Just thought about the C/Y 35/1.4 as well. It has a FLE, focuses pretty close, provides the "Zeiss look," and good copies can be found for close to the same price as the CV 35/1.2.

    Actually I found Flickr to be a good place to check out various lens characteristics although a good amount of the pictures are processed. It at least gives you some clue of rendering and what's possible at least.
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by philip_pj View Post
    Hi John, can you provide us with any statements from Sony about them exiting their ILC systems if mirrorless fails to make inroads into the DSLR market?

    I am always curious about how companies go about their businesses, and often something slips through the information you come across. Also any professional analysis on Sony being a risk would be helpful to would be buyers.

    The Japanese corporate system is very different to elsewhere in the West and Sony is a huge empire with pretty high separation between its multitude of divisions.
    Hello Philip:
    I have absolutely no verifiable information concerning Sony's plans or strategy other than what everyone gleans from reading the photo websites. You can characterize my response as me trying to cut to the chase with respect to Rolfe's statements about Sony's changing of camera mounts. I feel that there is little chance of guessing which companies (or technologies) will succeed in the photographic industry. So I just grant whatever worst case someone is interested in and conclude that people will just take their best guess which way the wind will blow. I own an A-850 and an A7R. I also had a NEX-5N. I am also looking for a sports shooting camera so I am curious about the A-6000. Am I worried about Sony dropping out of ILC's? No. If they do I'll still use these cameras for many years to come. With the current ability of mirrorless cameras I might even be able to use my Minolta and Sony (and Nikon and Pentax and Contax G) lenses on someone else's cameras if need be. My point is if minimizing risk of a company going out of the camera business is a big concern then there is no remedy. In ten years Sony (and Canon and Nikon) could be making toasters (or robots) and I could be taking pictures with my credit card. It just doesn't seem to be something to worry about. Now I would prefer Sony to succeed. It would show how smart I was to pick their equipment!
    Regards,
    John
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolfe Tessem View Post
    As you say, there are the A, E, and now FE lines. But I guess my point was more that Sony, perhaps because it is a huge company with the resulting bureaucratic morass, seems not to be able to find a clear direction in digital. The Alphas, the NEX line, and now the A7 and A7r -- where are they going and what is the big picture strategy? I would hate to buy into the A7 and FE lenses in a big way only to find out that next year Sony has something else in mind...
    Hi Rolfe
    There is the A Mount, (inherited from Minolta) Then there is the E mount, designed for Mirrorless cameras. That's all nothing is abandoned.

    Nikon produce lenses for Fx and Dx with the same mount, and the distinction between E and FE is no different from that.

    Sony have, of course, produced some camera variants within the scope of these mounts, (SLR, SLT, Mirrorless).

    It seems to me that Sony are experimenting vigorously with the options that the new technologies offer, whilst Nikon and Canon are accelerating dSLR development towards the brick wall it almost certainly represents.

    But I'd agree with you that the direction isn't so clear, but perhaps that's better than no direction at all!

    At least, as far as I can see nobody has been left behind.

    All the best

    Just this guy you know
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  49. #99
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    IMO, all the current FE lenses are uninspired … they get the job done well, but lack what Guy termed "Mojo" … that may change as Zeiss digs into the FE mount and delivers more choices.

    The FE 55/1.8 is the darling of the science mavins that seek validation with test charts and such. Yet, to me lacks any subjective character that endears it to some creative sensibility that is almost impossible to describe, but you know it when you see it. So, it may be the best 50mm for MIT graduates, but whether it's the best for photographers is highly debatable.

    Fortunately, you can bolt on lenses that do deliver that personalized "Mojo" … like Ben Rubinstein has demonstrated with some $150 lens he owns.

    - Marc
    Hi Marc
    I'm afraid that I always feel that Mojo has more to do with imperfections than anything else. My lovely Zeiss f1.5 sonnar which Silas has nabbed definitely had it, but I'm not sure that the Leica 35 FLE has much Mojo.

    Me? Unlike almost everyone else here, I AM a ZOOM MAN. I like zooms because they give me the freedom to change framing and composition on the fly, and to me that's often more important than pure image quality.

    Which leads me to an interesting (and for me at least) startling observation:

    The Sony 28-70 kit lens (my example at least) is technically better than my 24-70 Sony Zeiss, especially at the corners. But sharp as they might be, images from the 28-70 seems flat and dead in comparison (micro contrast? T*coating? Haven't a clue), but I see what I see, and to me the SZ 24-70 does have some Mojo.

    I agree with you about the 55 but I like it because sometimes it's nice to have something predictable, and although it maybe is lacking Mojo, it does have a sparkle.

    Just this guy you know
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  50. #100
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    Re: Excellent review of the Zeiss 24-70 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Rolfe
    There is the A Mount, (inherited from Minolta) Then there is the E mount, designed for Mirrorless cameras. That's all nothing is abandoned.

    Nikon produce lenses for Fx and Dx with the same mount, and the distinction between E and FE is no different from that.

    Sony have, of course, produced some camera variants within the scope of these mounts, (SLR, SLT, Mirrorless).

    It seems to me that Sony are experimenting vigorously with the options that the new technologies offer, whilst Nikon and Canon are accelerating dSLR development towards the brick wall it almost certainly represents.

    But I'd agree with you that the direction isn't so clear, but perhaps that's better than no direction at all!

    At least, as far as I can see nobody has been left behind.

    All the best
    You just proved how rumors and being a fanboy can be a bad thing. Sony has not abandoned any systems by any means and actually support them a lot. I think what irritates Sony owners is that they support and release more new bodies as technology improves more often than they release high end/ pro lenses. They release plenty of lenses looking at their lineup but most are "consumer grade" and probably not of much interest to the pros or enthusiasts here. That lies the problems - Sony has more of a perception problem than anything. Olympus and Panasonic actually did completely drop 4/3bodiesand production yet don't take much flack. Leica did take plenty of flack for dropping the R line completely and releasing the S line but it turned out to be a good long term move for them. Canon and Nikon put out half assed uninspired mirror less products and really don't support them much but dSLR is their bread and butter so on some level I understand.

    Sony (Olympus and Panasonic too where APS-C and dSLR video is concerned) is at least challenging the FF and APS-C establishment and I think it's a great move for all of them trying to control a newer markets and the unfilled gaps.
    Last edited by iiiNelson; 31st March 2014 at 15:27.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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