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Thread: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

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    Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I have the 35/1.4, which I love, and just picked up a 35/2.8 -- partly because I got a great deal on it, and partly because I figured it would be useful to have a more portable alternative to the 1.4, especially as I love the 35mm focal length.

    I've done some comparison testing between the two at f/2.8 and I've been surprised to find that a) they seem extremely similar, save for a little more vignetting with the 2.8, and b) my 2.8 seems like it might actually be doing a hair better than the 1.4 in the corners and edges.

    Now obviously I bought the 1.4 for the larger aperture and the gorgeous bokeh, which the 2.8 can't touch, but I'm a little surprised at the result. I do need to do some more testing, especially as very subtle differences in focusing can likely translate into noticeable differences when pixel peeping an A7rII image at 2:1.

    But I was wondering if anyone else had done the same comparison, and whether the conclusion was similar or different. DXO suggests that the f/1.4 should do a little better than the f/2.8 at f/2.8, making me wonder whether I might have a suboptimal copy of the 1.4 (or maybe a great copy of the 2.8!).

    Edit: I forgot that Amin had posted great comparison shots at another forum. His samples do seem to suggest that the 1.4 should do a touch better than the 2.8 when shot at 2.8...

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Roger from Lens Rentals also did a quick analysis:

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015...p-is-more-more

    The 2.8 does look pretty decent, considering the price (and weight) difference...

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Quote Originally Posted by miska View Post
    Roger from Lens Rentals also did a quick analysis:

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015...p-is-more-more

    The 2.8 does look pretty decent, considering the price (and weight) difference...
    I figured the 2.8 would do well based on the positive reviews and tests, I'm just a little surprised at how well...

    & maybe pixel-peeping a 42mp image is a pointless exercise, but I just want to make sure I got a good copy of the 35/1.4. With my first copy, the left side was much sharper than the right at f/1.4. I exchanged it, and with my second copy, the left side and right side seem about equal.

    Although the left side is significantly weaker than on the first copy. So I guess the question is whether that's a good thing (since the abnormally sharp left side of the prior copy was perhaps due to a misaligned element)--or whether that's a bad thing, since maybe both sides should really be equal to the left-side sharpness I saw in the first copy!

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    Member Zlatko Batistich's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Diglloyd.com reported getting bad copies of the 35/1.4 and the 90/2.8 macro. I hope the QC improves on these pricey lenses.

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I love the little 35/2.8, background bokeh can get a little nervous, but this seems to be par for the course with modern Zeiss lenses (Loxia & Batis).
    I'm sure there were problems with the lens early on, hence all the "noise" about it being de-centered. But as a lightweight, small sized lens, it's performance is up there with the rest of them.
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I have both lenses. I prefer the f/1.4 FE image quality. The f/2.8 is nice because it is small and light.
    I am trying to resolve the serious right side softness issue at f/1.4-f/4 because I really like the center image quality and the general look of the optic. I bought one of the first copies and then about a week ago bought a second copy in an effort to secure a symmetrical lens. No luck. The serial numbers of the lenses differ by 3909 units as measured by the difference between the last four digits. Both copies are seriously flawed for a $1500 lens. Lloyd Chambers of diglloyd.com has also tested two lenses and found them both to be asymmetrical.
    I checked my A7RII for alignment issues with my Zeiss Otus 55mm shot at f/1.4. The Otus was perfectly balanced.

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Here's a question, how sharp is your left side against a flat field white open? As I mentioned with my first copy the left side was super sharp. With my second copy both sides are equally soft. Though the right side of the second copy seems a little better than the right side of the first copy.

    It certainly is frustrating to see QC issues at this price point. Makes me think they should fire the guy who's signature is on the quality control paper that comes with the lens!

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    De-centered elements can make lenses appear sharper on one side than a 'good' copy would be: the element is tilted and that can work either with or against the combined factors of natural field curvature of the lens and the shape of the subject field in order to make the good side appear sharp. A perfect copy will not have any asymmetry and that means that both sides can look soft.

    I've kept one or two mildly de-centered lenses over the years, not being bothered to go through the endless return/repeat/test/return cycle. They can come in handy with the right shape of subject field. Think of them as coming with a free but non variable tilt built in...
    Last edited by tashley; 18th August 2015 at 11:43.
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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I don't know if you saw this test that Amin did in his forum, but it is a very helpful comparison:

    http://www.talkemount.com/threads/13393/

    As you might have seen in the lensrentals comparison and is similarly pointed out in the test above, the 35/1.4 has some field curvature which can be problematic in landscape shooting. That's probably why you're seeing the 35/2.8 has better edges/corners in your tests, rather than having a problem with your 35/1.4 (although the latter is not necessarily precluded).
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamgibson/
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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I've kept one or two mildly de-centered lenses over the years, not being bothered to go through the endless return/repeat/test/return cycle. They can come in handy with the right shape of subject field. Think of them as coming with a free but non variable tilt built in...

    Most of my lenses are a little asymmetric in performance. I only exchange them when they are a lot asymmetric. These days I often buy my lenses at a local dealer where I can try 2-3 copies in the store and take home the least asymmetrical one. I have recently tried 2 Sony 35/1.4, 2 Sony 35/2.8, 1 35/2 Loxia. All had at least a little asymmetry except for the Loxia and one of the 35/1.4. And that 35/1.4 has a mid-foreground weakness, but I think that is the design as I see it in Flickr pics from other copies.

    I don't think this decentering issue is an indictment of Sony QC, though. Asymmetrical performance is very common with Canon and Nikon lenses too. Try looking at the full frame blur plots at SLRgear.com, and you'll see that asymmetrical performance is highly prevalent. For example, look at the copy of the Canon 50/1.4 they tested: tloader. Every Panasonic Leica 25/1.4 I've ever tried (probably 5 or 6 of them) has been asymmetric.
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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I'm staying away from all this stuff. Those of you who are happy with asymmetrical lenses my hat's off to you. I'm not wasting my money! Shoot one of the little Ricoh Gr's some time..... those lenses are perfect.... sharp across the frame and into the corners. I've stayed away from the new Sony because of lens issues. It isn't that they can't make them a lot tighter.... its that if they did they could never sell them at the current price point. It would be OK with me if they raised their prices as long as the lenes were a lot tighter. I'm not supporting Sony, Nikon, Canon junk!!

    Victor

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    To be fair, the 35/1.4 that I have currently does seem to be symmetrical, and it might very well be that I'm just seeing more pronounced field curvature than with the 35/2.8. What's throwing me off a little is the DXO field maps for sharpness, which seem to suggest the 1.4 should be on par or better than the 2.8 at f/2.8 in the edges and corners. But the bottom line is that I need to do more testing.

    And of course the reality is that much of my use of the 35/1.4 will be wide open for environmental portraits, for which the edges and corners won't matter much anyway.

    But again, I've been pleasantly surprised by the performance of the 35/2.8. I didn't have high hopes for it given its tiny size!

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Here's one of my shots with the 35/1.4, incidentally! Obviously edge/corner performance doesn't matter for a shot like this...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    The right side weakness at full aperture is pronounced. If you were shooting a row of people at f/1.4, as in a wedding party, you would be very, very unhappy with the results. The reason you purchase an optic of this type is for wide open performance. The lens always focuses forward on the right side. Lloyd Chambers is testing a second copy of the lens and his preliminary results are not encouraging.

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Quote Originally Posted by JKNIGHT View Post
    The right side weakness at full aperture is pronounced. If you were shooting a row of people at f/1.4, as in a wedding party, you would be very, very unhappy with the results. The reason you purchase an optic of this type is for wide open performance. The lens always focuses forward on the right side. Lloyd Chambers is testing a second copy of the lens and his preliminary results are not encouraging.
    It has been a long while since I have shot at f/1.4 with the expectation that more than one part of one person would be in focus.

    If I shoot a group at 1.4 I am going for artistic expression and no decentering matters a whit.

    But, that is just me and everyone has their own way of using their tools.

    My point is not that decentering is not an important issue to address.

    My point is that it is not a fair assessment to conclude that fast lenses which may be a bit decentered are automatically junk and overpriced and not worth owning.

    It depends on your style.

    I shoot my fast lenses fast. And I like it.

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I just had a look at Lloyd's site (the non-paid part), and I would say that his new copy of the 35/1.4 shows fairly mild asymmetry.

    He is shooting wide open, and the image is sharp from edge to edge: http://diglloyd.com/blog/2015/images...,2592x1728.jpg

    Yes, there is some asymmetry in the foreground. Nothing that would affect a group photo at a wedding or anything like that.

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Kubrick never choose a lens without comparing multiple copies. I would love to see some of those test shots LOL.

    Decentering is also sometimes an issue with the M glass, and you do certainly hear of copy variation, even with the newest lenses. Few look that close, and Amin, frankly I'm impressed you can see it with those test shots.

    A test shot where the foreground comes any where close to the shooter is moot to me. Especially with the Sony sensors tendency to curve fields.

    I need a flatter field at true infinity. Then the truth is naked.

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I did some more testing and determined that my second copy of the 35/1.4, while more symmetrical, needs to go back. Peak sharpness is pretty poor -- worse than my first 35/1.4, and also worse than my 35/2.8. In fact I need to stop the 35/1.4 down to f/4 or f/5.6 to get it to match the sharpness of the 35/2.8 near the center! I unfortunately bought it from a store that only allows one exchange, so at this point it'll need to go in for warranty repair.

    I guess the only good news is that my copy of the 35/2.8 seems pretty good, after all the testing I've done.

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Both lenses are great! But there are just some things the 2.8 cannot deliver on compared to the 1.4 http://jorgetorralba.com/2015/04/03/...-35mm-f1-4-za/

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    I would happily choose both of the Sony 35 lenses. Sure the 2.8 is much smaller, more stealthy and cheaper. But the 1.4 must simply be a bummer.

    I myself owned a 1.4 Distagon ZF.2 on my Nikon D800E and it delivered. Now this new Sony Distagon is especially designed for the FE mount and thus I have no doubt about overall quality and stellar IQ.

    I am currently not in the FE system, but seriously considering to enter with the AZrII, and then the 1.4/35 will be a no brainer for me. Maybe even in combination with the 2.8/35, just to have some kind of "body cap" lens.

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    Re: Anyone test the 35/2.8 against the 35/1.4?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I would happily choose both of the Sony 35 lenses. Sure the 2.8 is much smaller, more stealthy and cheaper. But the 1.4 must simply be a bummer.

    I myself owned a 1.4 Distagon ZF.2 on my Nikon D800E and it delivered. Now this new Sony Distagon is especially designed for the FE mount and thus I have no doubt about overall quality and stellar IQ.

    I am currently not in the FE system, but seriously considering to enter with the AZrII, and then the 1.4/35 will be a no brainer for me. Maybe even in combination with the 2.8/35, just to have some kind of "body cap" lens.
    If you can only afford one I tell people to choose the 35/1.4 FE. If you can swing it then I'd choose the 35 Loxia for my personal shots or the 28 FE if you have budget concerned.
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