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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 08 Jul 2011 (Friday) 07:30
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Buying a Zeiss lens

 
palwin
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Jul 08, 2011 07:30 |  #1

I just sold my Canon 35L but realized that I will need a lens about 35-50mm. 35L was a great lens but got very little use since I bought myself a rangefinder. My Canon 5D is my backup and the camera I will sometimes be using for portraits, landscape and street photography. I currently have a Samyang 14/2.8 and a Canon 135L so need something between that.

I love the Zeiss lens I have for my rangefinder, Zeiss Planar 50/2, so it's going to be a Zeiss for the DSLR as well. After some research it's either going to be the Zeiss Distagon 35/2 or Zeiss Makro-Planar 50/2. Any thoughts on these lenses?

I used to have the Canon 100/2.8 Macro lens which was a lot of fun so having a macro again would be nice. But I'm not sure how good the Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar is for general photography and I'm considering getting the Zeiss 100/2 later and Zeiss 35/2 now. I do like the 50mm focal but the question is how useful is the Zeiss 50/2 for non-macro stuff?


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MNUplander
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Jul 08, 2011 07:38 |  #2

Just as useful as any other macro lens is for other types of photography - very, plus the flexibility of doing macro.

The IQ is fantastic and the build is wonderful just like any other Zeiss, the only thing to note is that the focus pull is awfully long on it for fine tuning macro focus - that means you'll have to turn quite far to keep up with any type of action relative to canon MF rings. But, its a small gripe and can be done with practice as documented in the 50 MP thread - nothing to worry about, just something to think about.


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JHutch
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Jul 08, 2011 08:13 |  #3

Go for the 35/2 now and get the 100/2 Macro later on. Both are awesome.


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palwin
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Jul 08, 2011 08:14 |  #4

Thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to know about the focusing on the macro lens. It could be annoying with turning a lot but doubt it would be a serious problem. I suppose it's more matter of focal than anything else.


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palwin
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Jul 08, 2011 08:17 |  #5

What speaks for the 35/2 is that I can get it used for a good price and seems to be more compact (good for street), possibly better as a general lens than a macro.


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Silverfox1
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Jul 08, 2011 08:46 as a reply to  @ palwin's post |  #6

35mm was & still is my favorite FL on the crop bodies but after also acquiring the 5D MKII FF format i can honestly say the Zeiss 21/f2.8 ZE for a MF lens is hard to beat along with the Sigma 50/f1.4 AF lens for your low light needs on a FF body.

I primarily always rent or borrow lenses before making final decisions and did rent the Zeiss 35/f2 for a function and was not overly impressed with its indoor performance on either format. Outdoors it was O.K. Bear in mind the 35/f2 is their entry level lens. But thats just me and hopefully you will enjoy your decision.

Below are my most used lenses on either format:

Zeiss 21/f2.8
Sigma 50/f1.4
Canon 70-200/f2.8 MKII

Regards, ;)


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bpark42
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Jul 08, 2011 09:30 |  #7

Silverfox1 wrote in post #12724304 (external link)
I primarily always rent or borrow lenses before making final decisions and did rent the Zeiss 35/f2 for a function and was not overly impressed with its indoor performance on either format. Outdoors it was O.K.

Can you explain what you mean by this? How was the indoor performance lacking? In my experience the 35/2 handles low and challenging light very well. Unless you are just talking about the fact that you wanted/needed something faster than f2...?

Silverfox1 wrote in post #12724304 (external link)
Bear in mind the 35/f2 is their entry level lens. But thats just me and hopefully you will enjoy your decision.

I'm not sure I understand this either...It is one of their more "affordable" lenses, but it is an excellent performer with few weaknesses. Overall it is a stronger performer than the 35L, aside from the obvious f1.4 vs. f2 difference.




  
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palwin
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Jul 08, 2011 10:14 |  #8

On my rangefinder I love the 50mm and it's my walkaround camera/lens but on Canon it doesn't really matter if it's 35 or 50 focal. The Canon is my backup camera and will only take it with me for paid or volunteer jobs, and when I do landscape photography. But I need a lens that I can use for documentary/street and possibly portraits as well.

AF is not that important to me, this is one of the reasons I'm looking at Zeiss. But I intend to use the lens indoors and outdoors. I'm not sure why the Zeiss 35/2 wouldn't be that good indoors, I was happy with Canon 35L for indoor shots. I don't see why the Zeiss would be worse than Canon.


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RaZe42
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Jul 08, 2011 12:37 |  #9

Another lens to consider is the Voigtländer Ultron 40mm f/2. It is very small(actually shorter than your 50/2 Planar), optically great and has the same build quality as the Zeiss Z* line (it is made in the same factory).

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Silverfox1
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Jul 08, 2011 13:25 as a reply to  @ RaZe42's post |  #10

bpark42 wrote in post #12724514 (external link)
Can you explain what you mean by this? How was the indoor performance lacking? In my experience the 35/2 handles low and challenging light very well. Unless you are just talking about the fact that you wanted/needed something faster than f2...?



I'm not sure I understand this either...It is one of their more "affordable" lenses, but it is an excellent performer with few weaknesses. Overall it is a stronger performer than the 35L, aside from the obvious f1.4 vs. f2 difference.


Could very well have been just the copy i rented from LensRentals was defective so i was merely stating my personal indoor experience with the lens. Indoors at f2, ISO 400, with a SS 1/60 handheld was not impressive in comparison to other much cheaper vintage MF lenses i had in my bag. They dont have image stabilization either for the indoor stationary subject captures i took so the Zeiss 35/f2 copy could have been bad order for close-up shots. I used the AF confirmation and also manually focused and was still not impressed. Plus i do have very steady hands. The outdoor shots i took were landscape shots that did turn out O.K. but nothing in comparison to the 21/f2.8 ZE.

IMO the 21/f2.8, 50mp/f2, & 100mp/f2 ZE models are the top performers and as more folks come forward with the new 35/f1.4 ZE it may very well join this stellar group.

By no means base your purchasing decision or opinions of the entry level 35/f2 on my experience with a rented copy. I had full intentions to purchase the 35/f2 myself but probably just got skunked with a bad rental copy.

Regards, ;)


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argyle
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Jul 08, 2011 15:50 |  #11

palwin wrote in post #12724021 (external link)
I just sold my Canon 35L but realized that I will need a lens about 35-50mm. 35L was a great lens but got very little use since I bought myself a rangefinder. My Canon 5D is my backup and the camera I will sometimes be using for portraits, landscape and street photography. I currently have a Samyang 14/2.8 and a Canon 135L so need something between that.

I love the Zeiss lens I have for my rangefinder, Zeiss Planar 50/2, so it's going to be a Zeiss for the DSLR as well. After some research it's either going to be the Zeiss Distagon 35/2 or Zeiss Makro-Planar 50/2. Any thoughts on these lenses?

I used to have the Canon 100/2.8 Macro lens which was a lot of fun so having a macro again would be nice. But I'm not sure how good the Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar is for general photography and I'm considering getting the Zeiss 100/2 later and Zeiss 35/2 now. I do like the 50mm focal but the question is how useful is the Zeiss 50/2 for non-macro stuff?

I shoot with quite a few manual focus lenses on my 5D2. I do have the Zeiss 35/2, and its a great lens in my opinion...sharp, very well built, very nice "feel", and just what you'd expect from Zeiss in the IQ department. I "upgraded" to this from my original Contax-Zeiss 35/3.8. To be honest though, I probably shouldn't have upgraded since the CZ 35/2.8 was also a stellar lens in its own right. You can pick up a CZ 35/2.8 for under $300...add in a Contax/EOS adapter and you're ready to go with an excellent lens and quite a bit of money left in your pocket.


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palwin
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Jul 09, 2011 05:29 |  #12

RaZe42 wrote in post #12725485 (external link)
Another lens to consider is the Voigtländer Ultron 40mm f/2. It is very small(actually shorter than your 50/2 Planar), optically great and has the same build quality as the Zeiss Z* line (it is made in the same factory).

That must be the shortest lens I have seen for a SLR camera. Even if the lens might be great I don't think I want a short lens like that, got my rangefinder when I want to go stealthy :)


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palwin
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Jul 09, 2011 05:36 |  #13

argyle wrote in post #12726529 (external link)
I shoot with quite a few manual focus lenses on my 5D2. I do have the Zeiss 35/2, and its a great lens in my opinion...sharp, very well built, very nice "feel", and just what you'd expect from Zeiss in the IQ department. I "upgraded" to this from my original Contax-Zeiss 35/3.8. To be honest though, I probably shouldn't have upgraded since the CZ 35/2.8 was also a stellar lens in its own right. You can pick up a CZ 35/2.8 for under $300...add in a Contax/EOS adapter and you're ready to go with an excellent lens and quite a bit of money left in your pocket.

I have more or less decided on the Zeiss 35/2 now and get a macro lens sometime later. The CZ 35/2.8 sounds very interesting and I have heard great things about Contax lenses. I need to check these out. Do you or anyone else have comparison pics from these two lenses?


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dmstraton
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Jul 09, 2011 08:13 |  #14

I don't know anything about the CZ 35 2.8, but you're making a good choice on the 35/2. It's awesome, so awesome that I sold all of my Canon lenses and bought Zeiss which I use exclusively, the 50/2 MP and the 21/2.8 being the other two. The 50 is the sharpest, a little sharpening in post will cut right through the AA filter. They are all great though, the color and contrast amazing and the bokeh beautiful.

Unlike others, a little practice (even with a standard screen) and manual focusing is not that difficult, I probably spend as much time focusing as I do just twisting a zoom ring. I probably get more keepers only because I can't "spray and pray" with AF in play...take a bit more time, wait, snap.

I shoot only primes on the 5D2 for street and some landscape, using zooms only on a Panny GH2, which is my snapshot camera.


dmstraton
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dmstraton
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Jul 09, 2011 08:16 |  #15

Oh, the 50 1.4 and 85 1.4 are the "entry level" lenses - the 35 if I remember is a few hundred more IIRC.


dmstraton
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Buying a Zeiss lens
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