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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 21 Jun 2010 (Monday) 12:29
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A (tiny) Canon 100L vs Zeiss 100MP shootout

 
denoir
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Jun 21, 2010 12:29 |  #1

I did a small comparison of the Canon 100L Macro and Zeiss 100/2 Makro Planar on request in another forum. This is not to be taken too seriously but since I took the pictures I thought that it may be of interest to others.

Methodology: I used a tripod, liveview + manual focus, shutter release and timer. The focus was on that round extruding thing with the red/blue flower painted on it. It was shot in AV mode with live view metering at the focus point. I avoided manual mode for this as the lenses show very different amount of vignetting.

It was converted from RAW in lightroom with standard settings and reduced in size in photoshop using the same script. So the images have been identical processed from RAW to what you see.

There is a slight difference in exposure & FOV, but I did not want to do modify the images.

To compare, open the images in new tabs and flip between them.
Set A:
Canon 100mm @ f/2.8 (external link)
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2.8 (external link)
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2 (external link)


Set B:
Canon 100mm @ f/2.8 (external link)
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2.8 (external link)
Zeiss 100mm @ f/2 (external link)

Observations: The 100L is very sharp but lacks the micro contrast of the 100MP making it look much softer. If you look closely however you'll see that most of the detail is actually there but much less visible. This is a pretty good demonstration of what is meant with micro contrast or local contrast. You can also observe differences in color rendering although this was not the ideal subject for testing that.

Finally, I'd just like to add that the Canon only looks soft in comparison. Had you not seen the Zeiss images you would have (rightly) concluded that the Canon image was very sharp. It's the 100 Makro Planar that is abnormally sharp. Apart from being a competent macro the 100L is an excellent portrait lens while the 100 MP is much more likely to get you punched in the face by your portrait subject. It's sharpness is really unforgiving and coldly unflattering.

Anwyay, this was a tiny test, so no point in jumping to too many conclusions. One should take hundreds of photos before passing judgement on a lens.


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Jun 21, 2010 12:40 |  #2

There is a tremendous difference in micro contrast... the lines and specks on the cup about pop off that mug with the zeiss glass.




  
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rwong2k
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Jun 21, 2010 12:43 |  #3

i saw on your signature that you have a 50/2.0, any chances you'll do some tests with that lense?
justed wanted to see some sharpness and micro/macro contrast comparisons =)


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s2kennyc
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Jun 21, 2010 12:46 |  #4

Thanks for taking the time to do this comparison. I have the 100L and am very impressed with the Zeiss.


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jvk
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Jun 21, 2010 12:50 |  #5

2nd set the zeiss is so nice.


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lens ­ pirate
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Jun 21, 2010 12:50 |  #6

Ziess = WOW


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Stan43
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Jun 21, 2010 12:53 |  #7

Thanks for the mini test. There sems to be growing number of Zeiss haters on this forum. You'll probably get responses that tell us the Canon 50 1.8 with extension tubes takes equal pictures.
I like the Zeiss lenses. They take more patience with focus but I love the look. I really like your work with these lenses in the Lens samples section.


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Cham_001
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Jun 21, 2010 12:57 |  #8

Hmmm,
Does Zeiss make DSLR's too! :shock:


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Jun 21, 2010 12:59 |  #9

Cham_001 wrote in post #10401249 (external link)
Hmmm,
Does Zeiss make DSLR's too! :shock:

MP=Makro Planar :p


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plasticmotif
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Jun 21, 2010 13:20 |  #10

Compare the Zeiss to the Leica 100 APO or the Voigtlander 125. That'd be an interesting test.


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spacetime
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Jun 21, 2010 13:26 |  #11

I wonder how they differ when stopped down. Or perhaps if handheld.




  
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TweakMDS
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Jun 21, 2010 13:30 |  #12

Now do one at 1:1 ^__^ (I kid, don't shoot me)

Is it just me or does the focus look off in the 100L compared to the CZ? In the second one especially. 100L looks way front focused.

I'd love to see a real macro comparison (or at 1:2) at f8 - f11 or so :)


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ed ­ rader
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Jun 21, 2010 13:37 |  #13

emitecaps wrote in post #10401415 (external link)
I wonder how they differ when stopped down. Or perhaps if handheld.

in that case i'd take the one with 4-stop IS and ring USM :D.

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denoir
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Jun 21, 2010 13:56 |  #14

rwong2k wrote in post #10401150 (external link)
i saw on your signature that you have a 50/2.0, any chances you'll do some tests with that lense?
justed wanted to see some sharpness and micro/macro contrast comparisons =)

To compare it with my 50/1.4? It would not be anything like a fair comparison. The 50/1.4 is a small fast prime that is pretty bad wide open, improves by f/2.8 and is very sharp at f/5.6. The 50/2 MP on the other hand is dead sharp wide open and stays that way throughout the range. It is very similar to the 100/2 in terms of micro contrast.

No, a proper comparison would be with Canon's excellent 50L, but I don't have it.

Stan43 wrote in post #10401214 (external link)
I like the Zeiss lenses. They take more patience with focus but I love the look. I really like your work with these lenses in the Lens samples section.

Thanks Stan. They do require a bit more work but IMO it is well worth it. Of course sometimes AF is a necessity and then the Zeiss is out of the game.

plasticmotif wrote in post #10401367 (external link)
Compare the Zeiss to the Leica 100 APO or the Voigtlander 125. That'd be an interesting test.

Lloyd Chambers did a comparison with the Leica 100 APO and his conclusions were that they were equal in sharpness. Leica had no LoCA in the bokeh but had problems with flare which the Zeiss did not. The Zeiss had zero field curvature while the Leica got softer in the corners. His conclusion was that both are excellent lenses but that the Zeiss wins because of f/2 vs Leica's f/2.8. The Leica costs €4,000 while you can get the Zeiss for a "bargin" €1,700.

emitecaps wrote in post #10401415 (external link)
I wonder how they differ when stopped down. Or perhaps if handheld.

Both lenses improve slightly to about f/5.6 and there is no real difference in the relative micro contrast. As for handheld in low light the 100L wins hand down. Three to four stops of IS trumps one stop of aperture.

TweakMDS wrote in post #10401449 (external link)
Is it just me or does the focus look off in the 100L compared to the CZ? In the second one especially. 100L looks way front focused.

Very unlikely - I shot four shots per lens and aperture and refocused each time using live view and manual focus. There was zero difference between the shots when I reviewed them. What you are seeing is the difference in micro contrast and field curvature for the two lenses.

I'd love to see a real macro comparison (or at 1:2) at f8 - f11 or so :)

To be honest, the only time I stop down the Zeiss is when I shoot landscapes - and then it's usually between f/5.6 and f/8. For macro shots (or 1:2 closeups if you prefer that expression) I typically use it wide open. Sharpness isn't the most impressive thing about this lens - it's the bokeh.

My macro shots typically look like this:

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss100-50.jpg

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss100-55.jpg

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss100-56.jpg

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss100-62.jpg

These were by the way all shot handheld. For all except the last (flower) image I used live view to foucs and I had to shoot a dozen or so shots before I actually got one tack sharp. Trying to nail a fly sitting on a flower that in turn is moving in the wind is not easy when using live view with 10x magnification. DOF is so thin that the slightest movement puts the subject completely out of focus. The shots would have been much easier to take with the 100L but then again they would have looked differently.

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Madweasel
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Jun 21, 2010 14:19 |  #15

A very interesting comparison: thanks for posting.


Mark.

  
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A (tiny) Canon 100L vs Zeiss 100MP shootout
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