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Author Topic: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?  (Read 7642 times)

marcmccalmont

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Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« on: June 08, 2012, 07:41:17 pm »

Has anyone compared the Zeiss zf.2 35mm f1.4 & 85mm f1.4 to the Leica R 35mm f1.4 and 80mm f1.4?
Thanks
Marc
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Marc McCalmont

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 10:47:39 pm »

Marc,

As far as the 85mm f1.4 goes I would go with the Nikkor AF-S.

For the 35mm it seems the Nikkor and Zeiss are close.

Cheers,
bernard

hasselbladfan

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 03:07:46 am »

Marc,

Both Leica lenses were designed in the early 80s and are much softer in contrast than we are used to now.

I would recommend you check out the R 28 Elmarit and the R 90mm Apo Summicron as an alternative. They are top class.
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Johnphoto

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 12:56:09 pm »

Zeiss 35mm 1.4 is definitely sharper than Nikkor 35mm 1.4. Both in the center and in the corners. Zeiss is also free from chromatic aberration.
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marcmccalmont

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 11:00:15 pm »

Marc,

Both Leica lenses were designed in the early 80s and are much softer in contrast than we are used to now.

I would recommend you check out the R 28 Elmarit and the R 90mm Apo Summicron as an alternative. They are top class.

I have a 28-90 2.8-4.5 that I am very happy with I'm trying to supplement it with 2 fast primes so I was looking for f1.4 but I am a novice to Leica lenses so your input is valuable. 80 to 90mm as a nice portrait lens with great bokeh and a 28 to 35mm with great bokeh also
Marc
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Marc McCalmont

Mark Muse

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 01:33:28 pm »

Marc,

I have not used the Zeiss 80, but Zeiss seems to indicate that there was a design intent of making great bokeh and creamy surfaces instead of very high contrast and sharpness. On the other hand the Zeiss 100 2.0 Makro (which I have had for several years) is very sharp at all distances. That said, it also has very interesting rendering at 2.0-4.0 (kind of moody) that you might find useful for portraits... sharp in the center but quite different tonality than from 5.6 on, which is absolutely brilliant.  You can watch this in live view as you stop down with DOF preview.
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marcmccalmont

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 04:48:08 am »

I ended up with a very nice copy of a Leica 80mm f1.4 R (w/Leitax nikkor adapter)
I'm very happy with it although focusing takes some getting used to.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont

Mark Muse

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 10:10:59 am »

Hi Marc,
Nicely rendered flowers! I finally received my 800e... landscapes with my zeiss 100 makro and even my zeiss 50 makro are nearly impossible without employing a lot of diffraction. These lenses are amazing on this camera, but DOF is seriously limited. I was out this morning with the nikkor 24ts, we'll see how they are... lots of CA I could see in camera. Power is out from storms so I can't use the computer. I have not sent my 28-90 elmarit to David yet. I will include my zeiss 80-200 f4 CY when I do. Stay tuned....
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heinrichvoelkel

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 01:28:09 pm »

I was out this morning with the nikkor 24ts, we'll see how they are... lots of CA I could see in camera.

I'm very interested in your findings, please keep us posted
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Mark Muse

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 11:21:58 pm »

I'm very happy with it although focusing takes some getting used to.

Marc, don't know if there is something unusual about that lens, but assuming you are using live view and shooting raw, there was a tip I got from Lloyd Chambers blog that helps focusing in live view. Go into your jpg file settings and turn the sharpness up, way up. The live view display is based on your jpg settings, but your raw files will not be affected. It helps quite a bit.
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Mark Muse

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Re: Zeiss zf.2 or Leica R primes?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2012, 02:02:02 pm »

Ok, power is back!

The Nikkor 24mm pc-e
This lens has good sharpness, but it has severe field curvature. For landscapes this seems to work in your favor by giving apparently dramatic depth of field without stopping down significantly. But if you look at the L R edges of the frame that same feature is working against you because without stopping down significantly they are really out of focus, which defeats my purpose. In my opinion a tilt shift lens really should be a planar design or should throw a huge image circle. In addition there is a good bit of CA, and the tilt controls are sloppy.

The Nikkor 14-24mm
Now we're cooking with gas! This is a good lens. It is pretty sharp throughout, doesn't seem to have any significant aberrations, and has a visual smoothness that reminds me of my Zeiss 21. It does have focus shift, particularly at closer focus distances, which makes me wonder why they bothered to put autofocus in it. Focus at f4 or f5.6 in live view (unless you are shooting at 2.8). Like the Zeiss, you have to focus carefully... this is not a set it and forget it lens. Construction is typical - plastic. Manual focus is OK, but the image jumps when you change directions with the focus ring. The image quality of this lens is indeed appropriate for the 800e.
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