djh5331 wrote in post #18450806
You seem to really like this Zeiss and it's really well reviewed.
I guess my question, and to anybody who's used this lens, is how well does it fare on a higher MP body (e.g. 5DS/R, 5D Mk4, D810, A7RII, etc.)? If it's similar to the reviews that I've seen of it on the 5D Mk3 then it's a stellar lens. One of the things that I loved about using vintage lenses like the Takumars is the all metal builds with the smooth manual focus. Looks like this Zeiss is extremely similar in that regard.
If I were to go down that path, I think I'd end up picking up a decent 50mm prime so that I'd have 21, 50, and 100 covered (along with my 70-200 F4 IS). Obviously that's less flexibility than the zoom alternative (either 16-35 F4 + 24-105 or 24-70 f2.8) but offers its own advantages.
I've not used the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 on a high MP body, but I have used it on the 7D Mk2, which has a very similar pixel density to the high MP body. Sharp as a monofilament razor, corner-to-corner, there, too! The lens is easily out-resolving even the higher pixel density, and, TBH, so would any of the other contenders under discussion here (e.g., the 24-70 f/2.8 II). But, on top of that, the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 is the sharpest and most contrasty lens I've owned, and that includes against the 24-70mm II, TS-E 24mm, etc., though admittedly this is typically only evident under carefully controlled pixel-peeping levels. Otherwise it can be hard to tell. So, as far as sharpness goes, especially at landscape apertures, I don't think it is an issue with any of the lenses here, except perhaps at the corners, but even then I think the 24-70 f/2.8 and 16-35 f/4 hold their own.
But it is not just about sharpness. It's the rendering. Folks may scoff at this, but I stand by the "Zeiss effect" --- the rich, magical, highly-textured rendering due to what some may call the mythical (and certainly impossible to define or quantify objectively and measurably) "microcontrast". THIS is clearly, clearly, clearly evident, not just at pixel-level, but in the entire image. I'll be cycling through some images in Lightroom --- e.g., the same scene taken with different lenses at different settings --- and the moment an image taken by the Zeiss comes up you just know it: there is a pop and vibrancy to it that other images can only match after post-processing. And this is why I find it hard to let go of this lens, even if I have lenses with similar sharpness and focal lengths ...