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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 May 2012 (Thursday) 09:50
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Zeiss 50mm for Canon vs Canon 50mm f/1.2

 
tvphotog
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May 03, 2012 09:50 |  #1

Has anyone compared the two? I've heard very good things about the sharpness of the Zeiss, and it's half the price.


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pyrojim
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May 03, 2012 10:31 |  #2

I've actually NOT heard good things about the sharpness.

Also the build quality on the Zeiss feels cheap for a 700$ lens.

If you are going to go with a manual focus lens you'll eventually desire one of two things:

(1) the fastest aperture you could get your hands on
(2) the sharpest lens you can get a hold of.

Not necessarily mutually exclusive.... The Minolta Rokor 50/1.2 is sharp AND fast. And better built....

I use the 50L now... No desire to ever use a different 50mm lens.


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ZoneV
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May 03, 2012 10:33 |  #3

tvphotog wrote in post #14372433 (external link)
Has anyone compared the two? I've heard very good things about the sharpness of the Zeiss, and it's half the price.

No, I not.
I have the old Zeiss 50/1.4 for Contax - it is even cheaper, and about the same quality like the ZE version, as much I know.
A converted Minolta Rokkor 58/1.2 (I have one) is very well regarded. Some say it is in competition to the EF 50/1.2 and 1.0.


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mike ­ cabilangan
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May 03, 2012 17:08 |  #4

if you want sharpness, you need the zeiss 50 f/2, but it's a macro lens and most of it's focus throw is in the short ranges

from your animal pics, the macro might be useful for you

you have to REALLY be sure you can handle MF though, it's super frustrating for me when shots i thought i got turn out to be OOF.


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tvphotog
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May 05, 2012 09:28 |  #5

I bought the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE based on the superb reviews for sharpness on all the review sites I looked at, including the digital picture (which panned the sharpness of the Canon 50mm 1.2, as did a bunch of other reviews).

I don't plan to use it as a street lens, but for pano shots with a nodal bar on a tripod with LV focusing. I compared the sharpness to the 50mm setting on my 24-105, 50mm being in the middle of the focus zoom and a fairly accurate comparison for what I want to do. Tripod, mirror lockup and cable release, at f/4 and f/8 for each, LV focusing for both, using a B&W test target and standard landscape shots.

The Zeiss is sifnificantly sharper than the 24-105@50mm. Not a "blowing away" business, but much sharper lines and incredible, almost 3D detail. Colors are identical. For what I want, it's "highly recommended". And half the price of the Canon 50mm 1.2.

When used at distant objects, Zeiss loses an almost imperceptible amount of sharpness at f/1.4 , except at the periphery of the shot, due to the narrow DOF. VERY satisfied with the results. I admit the closeup shots at 1.4 are not needlesharp, and the DOF is miniscule at those close distances. I don't think I will ever use the lens for that kind of shot, anyway.


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May 05, 2012 12:46 |  #6

Minolta Rokkor 58/1.2 is this a good lens and to make it work all I need is a adapter right do y'all think is worth 500 used


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fnothaft
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May 05, 2012 13:41 |  #7

pkilla wrote in post #14383912 (external link)
Minolta Rokkor 58/1.2 is this a good lens and to make it work all I need is a adapter right do y'all think is worth 500 used

You need much more (external link) than an adapter.


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tvphotog
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May 05, 2012 13:42 |  #8

Look at the Zeiss, and compare to the Minolta. The difference is only $200, and the Zeiss is terrific and built like a tank. Extremely well made, all metal, one of the reasons I bought it.


Jay
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pkilla
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May 05, 2012 14:26 |  #9

fnothaft wrote in post #14384099 (external link)
You need much more (external link) than an adapter.

Wow what a complicated process I'm good with all that!!


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Pink ­ Avocado
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May 05, 2012 15:05 |  #10

tvphotog wrote in post #14383212 (external link)
I bought the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE based on the superb reviews for sharpness on all the review sites I looked at, including the digital picture (which panned the sharpness of the Canon 50mm 1.2, as did a bunch of other reviews).

I don't plan to use it as a street lens, but for pano shots with a nodal bar on a tripod with LV focusing. I compared the sharpness to the 50mm setting on my 24-105, 50mm being in the middle of the focus zoom and a fairly accurate comparison for what I want to do. Tripod, mirror lockup and cable release, at f/4 and f/8 for each, LV focusing for both, using a B&W test target and standard landscape shots.

The Zeiss is sifnificantly sharper than the 24-105@50mm. Not a "blowing away" business, but much sharper lines and incredible, almost 3D detail. Colors are identical. For what I want, it's "highly recommended". And half the price of the Canon 50mm 1.2.

The Zeiss loses an almost imperceptible amount of sharpness at f/1.4, except at the periphery of the shot, due to the narrow DOF. VERY satisfied with the results.



Interesting, the digital picture didn't review the 50mm F1.4...

Just saying....

http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)

EDIT: If you use the lens stopped down, then just about anything trounces the 50L... but i never stop down! :)


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May 05, 2012 15:10 |  #11

Pink Avocado wrote in post #14384416 (external link)
Interesting, the digital picture didn't review the 50mm F1.4...

Just saying....

http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)

I said they reviewed the 50mm L f/1.2: http://www.the-digital-picture.com ….2-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx (external link)

I'm aware that they did not review the Zeiss.


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May 05, 2012 15:20 |  #12

pyrojim wrote in post #14372678 (external link)
I've actually NOT heard good things about the sharpness.

Also the build quality on the Zeiss feels cheap for a 700$ lens.

If you are going to go with a manual focus lens you'll eventually desire one of two things:

(1) the fastest aperture you could get your hands on
(2) the sharpest lens you can get a hold of.

Not necessarily mutually exclusive.... The Minolta Rokor 50/1.2 is sharp AND fast. And better built....

I use the 50L now... No desire to ever use a different 50mm lens.

The Zeiss 50mm 1.4 Planar is bad at close focus, wide open. It's one of the best fifties in existence stopped down at infinity. So good for landscape and such, bad for portraits.

The Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar is a different beast though...

Bull**** on the feeling cheap part. ZE lenses feel better in hand than any AF lenses, be they Canon or Nikon. There's just no contest. Plastics and rubber, AF focus ring versus cold metal and gloriously damped manual focus ring.

The Rokkor 58/1.2(not 50mm) has achieved cult status primarily to the good folks at FM praising it. It's sharp even wide open and has the advantage of having wild bokeh at f/1.2 but smooth bokeh at ~f/1.8 and smaller. It does require one to shave the mirror to use it on a 5D though.

I don't see why one would always want the fastest or sharpest when going MF. Could just as well be the cheapest(Helios 44-2, OM 50/1.4 come to mind), smallest (OM 21/3.5), some particular character in a lens(Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8, Zeiss or Leica for their "look") or just simply the experience of focusing manually.


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May 08, 2012 05:01 |  #13

pkilla wrote in post #14384257 (external link)
Wow what a complicated process I'm good with all that!!

Oh, the Rokkor 58/1.2 conversion to EF mount is one of the simplest lens conversions.
Canon newFD ones are for example much harder.

RaZe42 wrote in post #14384476 (external link)
.... It does require one to shave the mirror to use it on a 5D though...

I got infinity with mine on a unshaved EOS 5D - it is about tolerances and probably about how much the rear retaining ring is filed down. I would not reccomend this filling on the retining ring still on the lens - and even without using tape to avoid chips entering the lens mechanics. Have done this one time on a Minolta Rokkor 35/1.8 quick & dirty conversion - now there are metal chips inside the lens.

RaZe42 wrote in post #14384476 (external link)
...
I don't see why one would always want the fastest or sharpest when going MF. Could just as well be the cheapest(Helios 44-2, OM 50/1.4 come to mind), smallest (OM 21/3.5), some particular character in a lens(Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8, Zeiss or Leica for their "look") or just simply the experience of focusing manually.

Sharp and fast lenses are cheaper as manual lenses. I think this is a big reason.
I have the Rokkor 58/1.2, Canon FD 24/1.4L, 85/1.2L 135/2.0, 300/2.8L, Zeiss Contax 35/1.4.
As manual lenses they cost me less than half the price I would have to pay for AF lenses.

I have some copies ot the Helios 44 mostly for experiments. For that they are much better than the plastic fantastic 50/1.8. And I like them because of their great price/cost ratio. The Trioplan is unique - no modern lens can measure up to it.

But my main reason is still that I love old lenses because I love to manual focus and love metall more than plastic.


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May 08, 2012 05:17 as a reply to  @ ZoneV's post |  #14

If you get a Zeiss 50mm, get the f2 Makro-Planar


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May 08, 2012 07:43 |  #15

The ZE 1.4/50 is certainly not Zeiss' best effort. Wide open, its performance can best be described as disappointing. It has to be stopped down to f/5.6 before the performance equals the Zeiss 2/50 MP wide open. You can get this directly from the manufacturer's published mtf. If you're serious about a foray into Zeiss-land, I suggest you take a look at this site (external link). IMHO, the cost of a subscription is well worth the information. Fwiw, the Canon 50L is somewhat sharper than the ZE 1.4/50 but it's not in the same league as the ZE 2/50.

Second, the ZE 1.4/50 suffers from considerable focus shift while the ZE 2/50 MP does not. This makes it quite difficult to use through the viewfinder (but it doesn't matter if you use live view to focus.)

Third, it doesn't matter which manufacturer's lens you select, only half of the light that strikes the sensor coming from f/1.4 to f/2 will actually reach the sensitive part of the pixel. It is even worse for fast lenses like the 50/1.2 - almost NONE of the light from the outermost ring is actually detected. Canon pulls a fast one and boosts the camera's ISO so that it looks like the 50L is actually giving you a benefit. This was studied in detail by DxOLabs. (external link)

This said, there is some benefit to a very fast optic - when stopped down to f/2, the lens exhibits almost no vignetting and its optical performance is far better.

SO... if you're looking for a truly world class lens, consider the ZE 2/50... but it costs the same as a 50L and you get to focus it manually. If you want to try manual focus without a huge investment, try the OM 50/1.4. If you need autofocus, consider the Canon 50L or Sigma 50/1.4.


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Zeiss 50mm for Canon vs Canon 50mm f/1.2
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