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Thread: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review

  1. #11

    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    Interesting...the first impressions I read of this lens had focus shift written all over them...uncorrected focus shift is entirely acceptable on a full-manual lens, because you can focus stopped down. But you'd think Zeiss would know enough to do something about it on a lens with no aperture ring...

  2. #12
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    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    I suppose you can still focus stopped down (dof preview), as zeiss suggests. Seems a little annoying, though.

  3. #13
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    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    Believe it or not, there are people out there who will buy purely for the Zeiss name, regardless of IQ. A kind of snobbish brand loyalty[] I've never used Zeiss camera lenses but their binoculars, spotting scopes and riflescopes are superb but other cheaper manufacturers can be just as good or even better!

  4. #14
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    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    Sharpness is not the only measure of lens quality. I have been using this lens on a Nikon (the ZF 85mm) for over a year now and I have never been disappointed with it in any way. At the time of purchase I shot the Nikon 85mm F1.4 Af and the Zeiss 85mm F1.4 side by side. Looking at the pictures I immediately purchased the Zeiss. Here is why. The Nikon made skin colors appear yellow and it had high contrast that made portraiture more garish unless the lighting was dull. The Zeiss on the other hand had the most beautiful tones I have ever seen in a lens, skin tones were gorgeous and the contrast was soft and pleasing, something very welcome in a portrait lens. If the optics on the Canon version of the Zeiss 85mm are similar (and I think they are) the lens should behave the same. Whether the Canon lenses are more like the Nikkors or Zeiss I can not say having not tested against the Zeiss. I have tested old classic Leica Summicrons against the Canon 70-200mm F4 IS......the Canon is just as sharp but again the contrast and subtlties of tone are better in a 1960 Leica lens than a current (extremely good) Canon lens. Btw- soft corners are not to be taken as a negative with portraiture, especiall at f1.4, it can actually contributes to the image, this would not be generally true of landscapes though.

  5. #15
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    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    electric eel-


    Did you do controlled tests, or are these impressions based on a few shots? Don't get me wrong- if you're just speaking based on impressions based on a few shots, I'm not trying to challenge the truth of what you say; it's more that I wonder what you look for and how you filter out differences in lighting etc to know what aspects of color to blame/credit the lens for.












  6. #16

    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    I think the problem really lies in:


    Is the ZE mount as sharp as the ZF mount (or even earlier Y/C mount)


    When the reviews came out, I was a bit disappointed at Zeiss 50 f/1.4 ZE mount though cuz I thought I would buy it for my 50mm focal length. For 85mm I definitely will go after 85L II.


    But now there's another Zeiss lens I am lust after: Makro Planar 100/2, too bad it only has ZF mount available right now (but the sharpness of the ZF mount is incredible), again if there is a ZE mount coming out I would worry if the optical quality would be the same, I am really reluctant to play with convert rings.

  7. #17
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    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    Quote Originally Posted by cian3307


    Believe it or not, there are people out there who will buy purely for the Zeiss name, regardless of IQ. A kind of snobbish brand loyalty[img]/emoticons/emotion-5.gif[/img] I've never used Zeiss camera lenses but their binoculars, spotting scopes and riflescopes are superb but other cheaper manufacturers can be just as good or even better!
    <div style="clear: both;"]</div>





    You are certainly right. The brand name has to do with it. I bought a Planar 85/1.4 ZE last December even though I work for Zeiss since more than 20 years (not for the photography division, though), I am also not quite immune to the magic of this name.


    To begin I was a little disappointed about the obvious high amount of spherical aberration which causes the f-number dependent focus shift as well as the softness of the image in best focus. I started focusing just through the eye piece, which works ok in low light conditions. After a while I calibrated the Microfocus adjustment on my 1D Mark III, whith this, the focus confirmation works very well, much better then visual. And of course Live view works always. I also realized, that despite my disappointment, I've been using this lens almost all the time. The nerd in me doesn't like the aberration, the artist in me still appreciates the nice feel the photos have with f=1.4. This is a true vintage lens.


    A friend of mine has the 85/1.2L from Canon. I played with this lens and although it is certainly a very nice lens, I like my Zeiss lens better.


    After all. I would buy it again.


    The photos at the link below are all made with the Planar 1.4/85 ZE at f=1.4. I just love the bokeh and the in focus quality harmonizes well with the rest of the picture.


    http://www.flickr.com/search/?s=int&amp;ss=2&amp;w=all&amp;q=planar8514ze%2C+f% 3D1.4&amp;m=tags

  8. #18
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    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    Hey BerndGeh, I looked at your pictures and in all honesty I can't see anything different about them. Mabye if you post a side be side comparison I could see a differance, but just looking at the pictures I can't tell.

  9. #19
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    Re: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Review



    You are right. In terms of having a real apples to apples comparison I would have to take the same shots with two different lenses. That's something I haven't done. So it's not really a quantitative statement. What I did see in the past (different lenses, different photos) that the area of best focus is extremely crisp and sharp and then out of focus the details are blurred in a way that doesn't seem pleasant. Example here:


    http://kubm.smugmug.com/Events-Whats-New/2009/Oct-09-Mamady-Keita-in-Phoenix/10046246_3x9t8#688445387_3Sw3F


    This is a photo that a friend of mine took, who I adore for his work. On this particular photo I personally don't like the way the hair looks. Some curls are crisp and others are simply mush. Again, I'm aware that this is not quantitative and prone to personal and subjective liking and disliking. There are different kinds of bokeh and as far as I know there is no quantitative theory available to parametrize the beauty of bokeh.


    That was my point to begin with. If I'd judge the lens by its MTF and aberrations, chromatic errors, I probably wouldn't like it. If I look at the photos, I like the results, so I like the lens. Very subjective....

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