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Thread started 12 Jan 2011 (Wednesday) 23:06
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Canon 35L vs Zeiss 35 f/2 ZE

 
tjbrock42
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Jan 12, 2011 23:06 |  #1

I know this topic has been discussed, I searched the forum. However, I find myself in the same predicament as others who posted before me:).

So, I have been thinking about getting a lens in the 30-35mm focal length range. I often find myself wishing my 50mm was just a little wider indoors. I like fast primes, so I am definitely going that route. I will be using the lens for my two kids (3 and 1), indoor stuff, general walk around, the occasional landscape, and anything else where I might need that focal length. I don't do much extremely low light or night stuff. Maybe some indoor recitals or whatever else my kids do in low light.

Price is not a deciding factor for me, although, the savings with the Zeiss is a nice bonus:).

I care about color/contrast as much as sharpness and I really like playing with depth of field and the "3D look".

I am looking more for info about and experiences with the two lenses rather than, "which lens is best". For example, what is auto focus speed on the 35L like? How does build quality compare between the two? How do the focus rings feel? Which one focuses closer? Any focus issues with Zeiss?

Finally, what would you recommend for me and my stated needs?

Thanks in advance for all of your input!


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SaxonIV
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Jan 12, 2011 23:36 |  #2

tjbrock42 wrote in post #11629506 (external link)
Any focus issues with Zeiss?

haha the focus is as good as your eyes. its manual focus only.

and to actually contribute to the thread, do not rule out the canon 28mm f/1.8. saves you a lot of money and has a super fast USM motor :)




  
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JohnHemlock
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Jan 13, 2011 00:03 |  #3

I shot both for a month, chose the 35L and never looked back. The auto-focus is great, in my opinion. But I shoot in extreme low light (think 3am in an apres ski bar somewhere in Austria) and the Canon was the better performer for me. Also, I seemed to get more really outstanding shots with the depth of field I want, I liked the color better because I shoot people, etc. With the Zeiss it seemed I couldn't be quite as casual. I also like the build better on the 35L.

It was close, though. As gets said around here on an hourly basis, you can't go wrong either way!


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palwin
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Jan 13, 2011 00:17 |  #4

If you are taking pictures of kids or any moving subjects then AF can be great help. I haven't used the Zeiss but on the 35L the AF is really fast. Build quality is very nice, nice weight and size too. It also has great colours, sharpness etc. I had the 35L on a 40D before I moved over to 5D and it was great on both cameras, especially as walkaround lens. I use the lens all the time now :)


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sleeper
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Jan 13, 2011 02:11 |  #5

I have both, but I went with the Zeiss first. Looking at pictures in the archives, I liked the rendition of the Zeiss a bit better. I didn't mind that it was manual focus. It's not as hard as some might say.

I also have a 2 year old who is in about 75% of the pictures I take. Found that I was missing the occasional shot so I went and got the 35L. Took a little getting used to because of the small DOF. And guess what? I still missed shots because my kid would not stay still.

In the end, the 35L gets more camera time because the wife isn't impressed with manual focus.


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rusty.jg
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Jan 13, 2011 03:35 as a reply to  @ sleeper's post |  #6

If you need AutoFocus, no contest, get the 35L. Catching kids on the Zeiss will be difficult unless they're particularly stationary for more than a second or two (or you're taking from a medium distance). I must put my hand up now and say that I've never used the 35L but by all accounts its a amazing lens.

If the above is not an issue then get the Zeiss - fantastic rendering and its DoF falloff that gives the so-called 3D look is the most pronounced with the 35 f/2 than any other lens in the Zeiss lineup as far as I'm aware. I dont know about the 35 f1.4 yet but if price isnt a factor you might want to research that one as well (not sure if its out yet).

The only other thing I would say is that I notice you're on a 40D. I had my 35/2 on a 50D before I went FF. You do still get the rendering and the look but you get it more often on FF (well I did anyway). Possibly due to adding thinner DoF into the equation because you're generally closer. Just a word of advice thats all - I had more "3D" images from the lens when I went full frame.
There are a couple of samples of the 35/2 on my 50D here:


https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=11197813#po​st11197813
https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=11134064#po​st11134064


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J-B
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Jan 13, 2011 03:37 |  #7

It's very hard to recommend 1 of those 2. The most important factor is: can you live without AF?

I have both too and I prefer the zeiss most of the time.
The 35L is mostly used when I need AF.

That's just personal preference ofcourse. Also depends on the subject.
I think the build quality of the zeiss is even better than the canon. Feels like a tank. All metal with a very smooth focus ring.


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Alex_Venom
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Jan 13, 2011 06:49 |  #8

I never used a Zeiss. Does it confirm AF?


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rusty.jg
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Jan 13, 2011 07:21 as a reply to  @ Alex_Venom's post |  #9

Yes. Both flashes and beeps. Well the ZE versions do anyway, I dont know about the other mounts.


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Jam.radonc
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Jan 13, 2011 07:26 |  #10

Very easy to focus with the Zeiss despite the "non-AF" limitation. If you need AF then it's no contest. If you are looking for 3D poppingness, contrast and colour then the Zeiss is your glass.


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Mundty
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Jan 13, 2011 07:38 |  #11

tjbrock42 wrote in post #11629506 (external link)
I know this topic has been discussed, I searched the forum. However, I find myself in the same predicament as others who posted before me:).

So, I have been thinking about getting a lens in the 30-35mm focal length range. I often find myself wishing my 50mm was just a little wider indoors. I like fast primes, so I am definitely going that route. I will be using the lens for my two kids (3 and 1), indoor stuff, general walk around, the occasional landscape, and anything else where I might need that focal length. I don't do much extremely low light or night stuff. Maybe some indoor recitals or whatever else my kids do in low light.

Price is not a deciding factor for me, although, the savings with the Zeiss is a nice bonus:).

I care about color/contrast as much as sharpness and I really like playing with depth of field and the "3D look".

I am looking more for info about and experiences with the two lenses rather than, "which lens is best". For example, what is auto focus speed on the 35L like? How does build quality compare between the two? How do the focus rings feel? Which one focuses closer? Any focus issues with Zeiss?

Finally, what would you recommend for me and my stated needs?

Thanks in advance for all of your input!

Those are two very good lenses. They both have amazing color/contrast, but they render images differently so which one you go with is more of a personal preference. The Canon has AF, which you may need depending on what you're shooting. On the other hand, Zeiss lenses have better build quality than Canon L's.... not to say L's are built poorly, but Zeiss is noticeably better. The Canon of course has an extra full stop of light, which may be important to you.


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gasrocks
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Jan 13, 2011 08:14 |  #12

You should add to the discussion the Leica R 35/2.


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Alex_Venom
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Jan 13, 2011 08:16 |  #13

Could you guys show some examples of that "3D thingy stuff"?
I keep wondering how it looks like...


Photography is about GEAR and not talent or practice. Practice won't make you a better photographer. Expensive equipment will. =D
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palwin
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Jan 13, 2011 08:26 |  #14

Might want to consider Samyang 35/1.4. It will be coming out soon so if you can live with manual focus then it can be a good option. Samyang produce some high-quality lenses for a low price. But wait for lens reviews just in case.


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dlintz
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Jan 13, 2011 08:32 |  #15

Alex_Venom wrote in post #11631222 (external link)
Could you guys show some examples of that "3D thingy stuff"?
I keep wondering how it looks like...

It can be a subtle thing but here's a couple of mine. I pulled the first one from facebook (don't have the original on my flickr) so the resolution isn't as great.

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5046/5352098132_427aca0c09_b.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4066/4452673297_e298d9307f_z.jpg

d.

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Canon 35L vs Zeiss 35 f/2 ZE
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