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Thread started 10 Aug 2011 (Wednesday) 10:54
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Considering Zeiss 2/50MP with a 2/35 - complement or conflict?

 
rusty.jg
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Aug 10, 2011 10:54 |  #1

Hi Guys,

I am considering purchasing a Zeiss 2/50 Makro Planar and I am wondering how it compares to, or is different from, the 2/35 which I currently own (excepting the FL).

The only 50 I currently own is the nifty one which has fared me well over the years but its beginning to make odd noises and get a bit loose so its as good an excuse as any to look for an upgrade. After my research I have my mind on the 50 MP but I have no direct experience of it, especially when compared to the 2/35.

I love my 2/35, especially the style of image it produces. I was just wondering if the rendering style of the 50 is the same as the 35 or stronger/weaker? I have seen reports on here that the 35 is the strongest 3d-look but then I have seen others that say its the 50.

If you have both do you find they complement or do you find yourself usually going for one or the other?

It appears that I cant hire one in the UK else I would probably be doing that.
The other thing to take account of is that I probably wont be using the macro capabilities very often. I did have the planar 1.4/50 a while back but I just couldnt get on with it.

I have seen good things about the sharpness and contrast but not as compared to the 35 so if anyone can help there that would be good. I have also looked at both lens sample archives.

Cheers for any info.


to be OR NOT to be = 1 (which is "to be" so that one's cleared up at last ;-)a)
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jetcode
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Aug 10, 2011 11:37 |  #2

Well you certainly won't hear much to dismiss the 50 ZE as a lens worth owning however you might find the Contax / Zeiss 50/1.7 Planar to be a great choice and a fraction of the cost of the ZE. One of the sharpest 50mm out there it is tiny and is one of the legendary Zeiss lenses. Sometimes you can find a bargain copy for $135 or a mint copy for $300. I took the 50/1.7 on a week long field trip with a 5DII infrared camera and it was all the lens I need for a week. Some of my best images. If macro is something that is missing and you really want a macro by all means the 50 ZE is a great choice and the 100 ZE even better. The 50/1.7 is manual but set it to f/8 and adjust focus using DOF markers and the lens is good to go for street with no other focus adjustments.




  
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rusty.jg
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Aug 10, 2011 12:02 |  #3

Thanks for that jetcode - funnily enough the 1.7 is one I have been considering in the back of my mind as everyone raves about it. The ony thing that "kind of" puts me off is the manual aperture. I have a 135 Jena with a manual aperture and I do use it but find the manual aperture a little annoying occasionally - perhaps I should get over that and invest in the 1.7 as it seems *very* sharp.

I did read somewhere that the various serial numbers (beginning with 6, 7 or 8 dictated what kind of coatings were used (and affects on IQ) but I cant find it again (at least I think it was for this lens).


to be OR NOT to be = 1 (which is "to be" so that one's cleared up at last ;-)a)
www.VividCornwall.co.u​k (external link) (external link)
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jetcode
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Aug 10, 2011 12:13 |  #4

I surveyed most of the 50mm's out there and the Zeiss 50/1.7 is one of the best lenses. It's small too. The 50 ZE requires a longer focus barrel to achieve macro. Look for a 50 with a T* coating. That is the latest. I have been shooting manual lenses now for a couple of years and the only real problems I have are achieving focus with fast changing scenes and narrow DOF. With a proper DOF I simply point and shoot and chimp a bit to make sure exposures are correct. There are some other lenses just as valuable like the Leica 85/2.8. Fantastic lens that won't break the bank.




  
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crazeazn
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Aug 10, 2011 12:33 |  #5

jetcode means the Zeiss 85/2.8. Leica doesnt have 85's. What do you want to shoot with your 50? If you want a general lense good throughout then get the makro otherwise a contax 1.7/1.4 would fit the bill nicely as jetcode has said for potraits.


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mco_970
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Aug 10, 2011 12:42 |  #6

Do you shoot macro? If so, go for the 50 MP! (I am so wanting one myself and yes I shoot macro!)


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jetcode
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Aug 10, 2011 13:00 |  #7

thanks for the catch crazeazn. Yes the Contax / Zeiss 85/2.8. Small, effective, and if I was shooting street I would prefer this lens to the 100/2 planar I use now (for size).

For Macro I have a Leica 100/2.8 APO and it smokes. Of course many other macros do too. The Leica has the distinction of having the same corner to corner sharpness and IQ (in macro use) from f/2.8-f/8 and it's true. This of course means that IQ is aperture independent which is quite rare in a lens. This lens is not as sharp as the Zeiss but on a 5DII that doesn't matter much since both out resolve the AA filter and sensor resolution.




  
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rusty.jg
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Aug 10, 2011 13:17 as a reply to  @ jetcode's post |  #8

No I wont be using the lens primarily for macro - it will mainly be for general landscapes/nature. I already have a 17-40 for my wides (I also had the 21ZE for 6 months but sold it on and kept the 17-40) and I am looking for a nice 50 to capture the detail in the coming Autumn (I live near lots of woods).


to be OR NOT to be = 1 (which is "to be" so that one's cleared up at last ;-)a)
www.VividCornwall.co.u​k (external link) (external link)
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BlueTsunami
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Aug 10, 2011 13:41 |  #9

I personally think the focal lengths would be close enough that you'll be using one over the other vs. using them to complement each other. Though I think the closer focusing of the Makro would add another element that could help differentiate the focal lengths.

As far as other choices, the difference between a 85mm and 50mm lens is also nuanced but I think the gulf between 35mm and 85mm would be quite dramatic and more useful over 35 to 50. Maybe think about getting the 85Planar or as suggested the C/Y Sonnar. The more diffused background with an 85mm lens over 50mm may also play better with fall colors too.


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p6889k
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Aug 10, 2011 13:42 |  #10

I've had the 50/2 ZE and 100/2 ZE for about 1.5 years. Earlier this year I also bought the 35/2 ZE thinking it would be a good compliment. The 50/2 and 100/2 are very similar to each other. The 35/2 has more vignetting which surprised me. The 50/2 has some vignetting as well, but the 35/2 has more and just enough to be a negative for me. The 35/2 also has little bit more of geometric distortions, it is wider after all, but it is very easily corrected with Ligthroom profiles. The vignetting is also easily corrected with the light room profiles. The 50/2 is more corrected when it comes to distortions and vignetting. The 35/2 does probably have little bit more 3D attitude, but it may be more because of the wider focal length than anything else, the 50/2 has plenty of it though as well.

I ended up selling the 35/2 because I determined that it's not a good compliment to the 50/2. I like the 50/2 a lot. It's optically close to perfect for me, it has a very useful 1:2 magnification for close ups, it has a very recessed front lens, which means there's no need for protective filters and it doesn't get dirty easily. I don't think I cleaned it yet in over a year. The 35/2 was excellent, but I liked the 50/2 more and I couldn't imagine carrying and using both. Now my plan is to have Zeiss 28/2 + Zeiss 50/2 + Zeiss 100/2 as my Zeiss setup, plus Canon 35/1.4 L for indoor and very low light shots. I'm finding that it's not always easy to use manual focus in dim indoor environment, plus it's good to have some variety.

If I already had 35/2 Zeiss and knew that's my favorite focal length, I would probably try to end up with something like Zeiss 21/2.8, 35/2, 100/2 and combine that with Canon 50/1.2 L

My 2 cents...


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p6889k
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Aug 10, 2011 13:58 |  #11

And just to add to your question about Sharpness and Contrast comparison. In my non-scientific use I would call them about equal, if anything I would probably rate the 50/2 little bit higher. The truth is, both of these lenses produce such exceptional images that trying to compare sharpness, contrast, 3D, etc. is rather meaningless. They're both superb.


5D IV, EOS-1V
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bpark42
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Aug 10, 2011 14:30 |  #12

rusty.jg wrote in post #12910203 (external link)
The only 50 I currently own is the nifty one which has fared me well over the years but its beginning to make odd noises and get a bit loose so its as good an excuse as any to look for an upgrade. After my research I have my mind on the 50 MP but I have no direct experience of it, especially when compared to the 2/35.

I love my 2/35, especially the style of image it produces. I was just wondering if the rendering style of the 50 is the same as the 35 or stronger/weaker? I have seen reports on here that the 35 is the strongest 3d-look but then I have seen others that say its the 50.

From a technical standpoint, both the 35/2 and the 50/2 qualify as excellent, and I would say they have a fairly similar (Zeiss) rendering style, though of course this is somewhat subjective. In general if you are happy with one you are unlikely to be disappointed by the other.

rusty.jg wrote in post #12910203 (external link)
If you have both do you find they complement or do you find yourself usually going for one or the other?

I own and use both, but admittedly I often choose the 50 if I am specifically thinking about doing at least some close-up work. I suppose they might feel a bit more redundant if I primarily used them at medium to long (infinity) distances, but I would still keep both in my bag.




  
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jetcode
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Aug 10, 2011 14:33 |  #13

rusty.jg wrote in post #12910882 (external link)
No I wont be using the lens primarily for macro - it will mainly be for general landscapes/nature. I already have a 17-40 for my wides (I also had the 21ZE for 6 months but sold it on and kept the 17-40) and I am looking for a nice 50 to capture the detail in the coming Autumn (I live near lots of woods).

I am a landscape shooter primarily and the 50/1.7 is awesome. Great color rendition and really sharp. I also have a Contax 35/2.8 PC Distagon which is a shift lens I use for wide stitched panoramic and a Contax 100/2 Planar which I use for long stitched panoramic. I have used the 35/2 ZE and it is very nice.

Here is something to expect from the Contax line of lenses. This shot is a 2 frame stitch with a Contax 100/2 Planar. At 100% you can easily see the fencing and detail in the buildings and there is some rather disturbing Moire that the AA cannot deal with and this is most likely because the lens out resolves the sensor. Shot with a 5DII. The 50/1.7 will provide similar results as will other Contax lenses.

This file is 1900 pixels wide and around 1MB.
http://www.joethibodea​u.com …-dairy-digi-1900-1861.jpg (external link)

At this point I am hoping that Canon will be able produce a next generation that has more pixels and greater dynamic range. That is the limit in my rig at this time.




  
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crazeazn
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Aug 10, 2011 15:15 |  #14

Jetcode what leica-r lenses would u recommend? (non-rom/3cam) The zeiss is a bit more clear cut.


John H.
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digitaljay
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Aug 10, 2011 15:21 |  #15

I own both and to me, they are different enough in both focal length and rendering to warrant owning each of them. With that said, I usually don't carry both of them with me when I shoot, so I'm not sure if that meets your definition of complimenting or conflicting.

For stopped down landscape shooting, I prefer the 50MP. I think it does a much better job with fine details of a scene. I can also share filters with another lens without using a step down ring or carrying extra filters. I find the 50 to be the most difficult of my lenses to focus, partly because of the long throw. I don't shoot much macro, but the MFD of the 50 makes it a versatile lens for me.

For general purpose walking around stuff, I prefer the 2/35. It has more of the "3D" look and I prefer the look of the 35 wide open, vignetting and all, to the 50 wide open. The colors from the 35 also pop a bit more IMO. It is also a very easy lens to focus.

If I had to pick one, I would go for the 50, but that's based mostly on focal length.


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Considering Zeiss 2/50MP with a 2/35 - complement or conflict?
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