Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Zeiss 50mm Choices  (Read 4704 times)

JB Rasor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 157
    • JB Rasor
Zeiss 50mm Choices
« on: August 25, 2014, 02:19:08 am »

Hi everyone,

I'm going to get a new 50mm for my A7s and A7r. It'll no doubt be the Zeiss Planar Zf.2 (I'm going to have the lens mount changed but I want manual aperture control).

However, I'm torn about whether I should get the f/1.4 or the Makro f/2. The price difference isn't too substantial, but if the f/1.4 is as amazing as the macro f/2, than hell I'll save the $500 and get another stop. I don't need the extra stop, by the way, but it's always nice to have.   

So I was curious if anyone has had experience with one, or both, of these lenses? The reviews of the Makro f/2 rave about it...sharp as a tac, beautiful bokeh, etc. Reviews of the f/1.4 not as kind...a little soft, unique bokeh (not bad just not the usual), etc.

What do you guys think?

Thanks everyone! Have a great week!

JB 
Logged

Hulyss

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 734
    • H.Bowman
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 03:34:46 am »

Hello JB,

I used both durring some years and my choice would go for the 50f2 macro. The 50f1.4 is very good but not enough for my taste at 1.4 so I ended up using it above f1.4 most of the time. Then I switched to the macro and everything was good from f2. They are not the same lenses, the 50 f2 is defo a better performer.

Hope this help :)
Logged
Kind Regards -  Hulyss Bowman | hulyssbowman.com |

kers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4389
    • Pieter Kers
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 03:52:58 am »

What about the 1.8 55mm sony/carlzeiss lens? it is made for it and seems to be a very good performer..

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1656
Logged
Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu/la

JB Rasor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 157
    • JB Rasor
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 04:34:39 am »

Thanks Hulyss! I was concerned the f/1.4 wide open might be a little soft. I guess they price glass the way they do for a reason. So I'll probably go for the f/2. But I'm still chewing on it for another week or so. Thanks for your feedback!

Kers, the Sony/zeiss 55 is an awesome lens, but I shoot a good bit of video so I need manual aperture/focus. Plus the EF mount is cross platform whereas the FE is only that. Thanks though :)
Logged

Thorax

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/thorvollan
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 05:16:45 am »

There are two other aspects to consider; weight and size. The Makro-Planar is almost 50% heavier than the Planar, 2 cm longer and 1 cm fatter than the Planar. I have not used the Makro myself, but my version of  the Planar is really sharp from 2.8. Regarding the bokeh, I think it is a really subjective issue. I have great fun using the Planar wide open, even though it doesn't give you the biting sharpness of the Makro.

Some examples from the interweb, just to give you an idea about what the Planar personality is about:

Flickr zeiss zf 50mm f14
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 05:19:35 am by Thorax »
Logged

LawrenceBraunstein

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 89
    • My SmugMug Galeries
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 07:14:09 am »

Though I have little experience with the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar, I do own and use frequently the 50mm F/2 Makro-Planar. Most experienced Zeiss aficionados feel the 50/2 Makro-Planar is definitely the better performer. In my own experience, I’ve been extremely happy with the results I have gotten with this lens. If you place value in Lloyd Chamber’s opinion as I do (http://diglloyd.com/), he favors the 50/2 Makro-Planar as well citing, for example, its greater flexibility (close focus capability) and minimal focus shift, a problem he found quite substantial with the f/1.4 Planar. Of course, if you need the f/1.4 maximum aperture, the choice becomes obvious.

Best of luck with your choice. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was in the same position as you are now.

Larry
Logged

JohnBrew

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 868
    • http://www.johnbrewton.zenfolio.com
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 07:43:38 am »

I purchased my ZF 50 Makro before the ZF.2 version was even available. It's a great lens in every respect. It is fairly compact but it is heavy, though I suppose that could be considered a mark of quality. OTOH, the Zeiss 55 1.4 makes it seem a lightweight.

melchiorpavone

  • Guest
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 09:56:39 am »

Hi everyone,

I'm going to get a new 50mm for my A7s and A7r. It'll no doubt be the Zeiss Planar Zf.2 (I'm going to have the lens mount changed but I want manual aperture control).

However, I'm torn about whether I should get the f/1.4 or the Makro f/2. The price difference isn't too substantial, but if the f/1.4 is as amazing as the macro f/2, than hell I'll save the $500 and get another stop. I don't need the extra stop, by the way, but it's always nice to have.   

So I was curious if anyone has had experience with one, or both, of these lenses? The reviews of the Makro f/2 rave about it...sharp as a tac, beautiful bokeh, etc. Reviews of the f/1.4 not as kind...a little soft, unique bokeh (not bad just not the usual), etc.

What do you guys think?

Thanks everyone! Have a great week!

JB 

One is a high-speed lens, the other is a macro lens. They are not interchangeable.
Logged

melchiorpavone

  • Guest
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2014, 10:03:10 am »

What about the 1.8 55mm sony/carlzeiss lens? it is made for it and seems to be a very good performer..

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1656

Seconded: This is likely a very good choice.
Logged

MoreOrLess

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 239
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2014, 03:21:54 pm »

Picking up the 50mm Makro a couple of weeks ago(the old Zf version used for less than half the price of a new Zf.2) and I'v been very impressed so far, very sharp wide open across 9/10 of the frame and very pleasing bokeh, no experience with the zeiss 50mm 1.4 but its definitely a big upgrade from my old 50mm 1.8 G that always had ropey bokeh and needed to be stopped down to F/2.8 to really get sharp.








« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 03:36:41 pm by MoreOrLess »
Logged

Jim Kasson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2370
    • The Last Word
Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8 FE
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2014, 03:57:41 pm »

Seconded: This is likely a very good choice.

I'll say!

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=4213

Sharp. Contrasty, but not quite to Otus territory. Light. Focus-by-wire is really nice on the alpha seven series; as accurate and fast as the Otus, even if it doesn't feel as good. Priced fairly at a kilobuck.

Jim
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 07:34:05 pm by Jim Kasson »
Logged

kers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4389
    • Pieter Kers
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2014, 07:06:00 pm »

@MoreOrLess

very nice images- i like the fence very much! colours and bokeh

---

About the 1.4 50mm ZF zeiss i can tell you the bokeh is ugly at 1.4 , but i like it at 5.6

I had it for some years than is sold it to use the Nikon 1.4G - i liked it better wide open...
I sold that too and now i am happy with the sigma art 50 1.4 -

Logged
Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu/la

JB Rasor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 157
    • JB Rasor
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2014, 07:11:14 pm »

Thanks guys! It's a very tough call, for sure, between the Makro and the f/1.4.

While I am intrigued by the Sony/Zeiss 55, I'm going to steer away from it right now because it doesn't check enough boxes for my needs...namely manual focus and manual aperture control.

As much as I think I'd feel "better" going with the Makro, I'm starting to think the f1.4 might suit my needs pretty well. Of course I look at MoreorLess' shots and I think...Makro for sure :)
The f/1.4 is a stop faster, and sharpness isn't the most critical thing for me personally (i.e. sharpness measured by MTF charts and P-mPix calculations). But, sharpness is a concern if things are too soft wide open.

I do a lot of portraits with stills, and for video I use the 50mm as a close up lens. Rarely is it wide open for a video close up, more like f/4, but I'd like the flexibility.

So I don't know lol. I think I'd be more than happy with the Zeiss f1.4, but then I'd always be saying, "Shoulda got the Makro." First world problems.    

I was curious to see, not that many f/1.4 shooters out there...Thorax was, however (outstanding work by the way)!

So I'll have to give myself a little more time and then pull the trigger. Thanks for all the feedback guys. I really appreciate it!

JB

P.S. I totally hear you Kers on the Sigma!! I have the Art Series 18-35mm for my GH4 and it's amazing! However, I need a solid prime set, mostly for video work, hence the manual everything. Plus, running it on a Metabones adapter and the A7 series, the AF is non-existent anyway. So might as well be manual to start with and have a focus gear
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 07:13:36 pm by JB Rasor »
Logged

MoreOrLess

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 239
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2014, 03:13:22 am »

Nikon rumours did a good basic comparison with the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 and a few popular 50mm Nikon primes but not sadly the 50mm makro..

http://nikonrumors.com/2011/11/03/seven-50mm-prime-lenses-for-nikon-f-mount-compared-by-cary-jordan.aspx/

Just to muddy the waters further for you maybe the Nikon 50mm 1.2 is also worth considering?

You mention using the 50mm for a close up lens, how close? the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 like most fast 50's only focuses down to just under half a meter. Personally that was a lot of the reason I could jusify spending on the 50mm Makro, full 1:1 macro is a bit of a waste for me but I like to shoot within most lenses close focus distance fairly often.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 03:21:08 am by MoreOrLess »
Logged

Jim Pascoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1131
    • http://www.jimpascoe.co.uk
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 04:21:30 am »

I've had the 50mm macro for several years now and it really is a superb lens.  I was torn like you at the time of purchase - especially as I am love shooting with a wide aperture.  However I ended up going for the lens that I perceived as giving the better quality.  I did not test the 1.4 personally so I was partly reliant on web tests.  I too read Lloyd Chambers reviews and was partly persuaded by the focus - shift issues when stopping down a 1.4 lens.  The Macro does not seem to suffer this problem.  My only problem now is focussing the lens accurately at f2 when hand-holding -  the only reason I would consider replacing this lens!

Good luck.

Jim
Logged

kers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4389
    • Pieter Kers
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2014, 11:41:31 am »

Hello JB,

I have owned the 50mm ZF 1.4 zeiss and just looked at some photos made with it on a nikon d3x... ( i always make some testshots to be able to compare )
Now i am very sure to say it is not that good at 1.4...  ( gets better from 2.8 and higher)
the nikon 1.4G is better and the sigma 1,4 ART is much better again...

Remember it was already an old desigh when they started the ZF series ( 2008?) ; it was the first ZF lens in production.

the macro zeiss d2 50mm came later (- i never owned that so cannot compare)
but maybe you can buy the zeiss 1,4 cheap second hand..

cheers
Pk



Logged
Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu/la

melchiorpavone

  • Guest
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2014, 11:52:36 am »

Nikon rumours did a good basic comparison with the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 and a few popular 50mm Nikon primes but not sadly the 50mm makro..

http://nikonrumors.com/2011/11/03/seven-50mm-prime-lenses-for-nikon-f-mount-compared-by-cary-jordan.aspx/

Just to muddy the waters further for you maybe the Nikon 50mm 1.2 is also worth considering?

You mention using the 50mm for a close up lens, how close? the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 like most fast 50's only focuses down to just under half a meter. Personally that was a lot of the reason I could jusify spending on the 50mm Makro, full 1:1 macro is a bit of a waste for me but I like to shoot within most lenses close focus distance fairly often.

That is a very poor test!
Logged

LKaven

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1060
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2014, 12:50:26 pm »

I'm going to get a new 50mm for my A7s and A7r. It'll no doubt be the Zeiss Planar Zf.2 (I'm going to have the lens mount changed but I want manual aperture control).

Why not look into the Sigma Art 50/1.4?  From what I've seen, it's an exceptional lens that by some measures exceeds everything but the Otus.

scrane

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2014, 09:40:50 am »

At f4 and above the 50/1.4 is extremely sharp and very Zeissy. Wide open, spherical aberration produces a dreamy image with details revealing a sharp core with an aura. It is a very light and compact lens, and as long as you know what to expect on the wide end it is very useful.
Logged

Hulyss

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 734
    • H.Bowman
Re: Zeiss 50mm Choices
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2014, 05:31:10 pm »

At 1.4 it is hazy, sometimes, but we can get some pleasing results. I forgot to mention the focus shift of this particlar lens. On a DSLR it is ok to be spot on in no time. On an A7 body, I'm not sure.







Logged
Kind Regards -  Hulyss Bowman | hulyssbowman.com |
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up