Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZF.2 lens announced today

Today Zeiss announced the previously rumored Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZF.2 lens (Nikon mount):

Full press release after the break:

Carl Zeiss presents a new moderate wide-angle lens

OBERKOCHEN, September 1, 2010 – A woman is sitting at the bar of a dimly-lit cafe. Lost in thoughts, she doesn’t notice the glass of wine the bartender places before her. From a distance, a photographer tries to capture her mood. He brings her face, which is leaning toward her phone, into focus. Everything around her becomes a blur, and the lights in the background coalesce into a wild “dance” of diffuse shapes.

This shot will only work with a fast lens with short focal length and harmonious bokeh. Carl Zeiss introduces a new lens for just such images: the Distagon T* 1,4/35.

By introducing the Distagon T* 1,4/35, Carl Zeiss is complementing the Planar T*1,.4/50 and T*1,4/85 lenses with a wide-angle lens that shares the same high speed. Crisp, sharp images work every time, whether at dusk or in the weak lighting conditions of a café, and without the need for a tripod. With its 35-mm, the Distagon T* 1,4/35 matches the classic and versatile standard focal lengths when used on cameras with APS-C sensor formats.

Due to the special bokeh effects in both the foreground and background areas, the Distagon T*1,4/35 opens up new creative possibilities, giving photographers more options to ‘play’ with focus. Thanks to its large focus ring, photographers can also create highly accurate, sharp pictures, even at maximum aperture opening. In addition, the optical construction of the lens guarantees high image quality across the entire image range. Furthermore, with one step less than the full aperture opening, the light fall-off toward the edges is just one f-stop.

With the ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating, its sophisticated stray light reduction and the excellent flare control the new Distagon also takes pictures of bright light sources without artifacts. The Distagon T*1,4/35’s extremely long-lasting and robust all-metal precision mechanics, for which Carl Zeiss is known, make this lens perfect for use on-the-go and for photo reports.

The Distagon T* 1,4/35 will be available in first quarter of 2011 at a recommended retail price of € 1385.71 (excluding VAT)*.

The US price is $1,843.00.

Technical specifications:

Focal length: 35 mm
Aperture range: f/1.4 - f/16
Number of elements/groups: 11/9
Focusing range: 0.3 m - infinity
Angular field**
63/54/37 °
Coverage at close range: 18 x 12 cm (close-up)
Image ratio at close range: 1:5 (close-up)
Filter thread: M 72 x 0.75
Weight: 830-850g
Length with caps: 120-122mm
Mounts: ZF.2 (F bayonet)
ZE (EF bayonet)

* As of September 01, 2010
** relates to small camera format

Lens design:

A full size sample photo can be seen here:

Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* ZF sample

Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* ZF sample

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  1. zzddrr
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    1.4 hmmm. This may well be a good one

  2. Adde
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Your move Nikon!

    • Posted September 1, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it’s very likely that Nikon is ever going to beat Zeiss.
      Zeiss only makes glass, and they are the best at it.

      • Roger
        Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        If you still want to believe that Zeiss is the best, just dont ever compare any of the Zeiss 50mm lenses with Leica 50mm ASPH, you’ll feel like crying once you see the difference.

        • M4GN3S1UM
          Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          This is a DSLR mount and in F-mount, maybe you could rephrase what you said and try comparing an M9 with a cron to a D700 with a ZF. Then we can all listen to you cry above the ‘noise’.

        • yulia
          Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:31 am | Permalink

          50 cron release in F mount?

          • M4GN3S1UM
            Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:59 am | Permalink

            Actually Yulia as a Leica-R it can be done? …very …very nice too.

  3. M4GN3S1UM
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    “special bokeh effects in both the foreground and background areas, the Distagon T*1,4/35 opens up new creative possibilities”

    Im keen to see more sample pics, I dont have an eye for night or low light shots and special bokeh might need to be explained to me before I can see it. It might take time with me but Im going to watch every “tweet” and “burp” from this lens.

  4. nicolaie
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    not a particularily interesting anouncement. Zeiss used to be the best, before the japanese took over. compare the nikon G to the planar 50, on a D700, and you will see that the overpriced manual zeiss makes no sense to anyone.

    considering that this zeiss might be better optically than the AIs 35 1.4, it would make sense for someone to by, but i feel a 35G coming, so i would not spend a ridicoulous amount for something that just has Zeiss inscripted on it.

    • oneANT
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      zeiss inscribed on it no, you would need an arrow so you know its pointed the right way. “Before the Japanese took over”. Wow are you a veteran or some kid typing from his room before bed time. Is it that you cant use one or cant afford one …I’m betting it wouldn’t make any difference, that you shoot like you talk and both aint worth a ….

      • nicolaie
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        i suggest you take a look at some reviews for the zeiss 50 planar, 35, 25. they offer little or nothing in terms of optical performance, over the nikon lenses, but lack autofocus and have ridiculous price tags.

        zeiss used to be the king in the olden days, now the nikon offering is far more appealing. the japanese started taking over the market about 40 years ago, read into it. all that zeiss and leica have to offer now is a shiny red dot, or some nice machined aluminium rings, built by cosina.

        • oneANT
          Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          I suggest you use one, then you will not sound so unqualified to comment. Your references to the Japanese are showing that you are not keeping up with how the world works now. Do you think zf owners want to pay another $500-$700 just to have Germany stamped on it. Further you make Japan as a point when Nikon turns to China. Also your reference to Nikon comparisons, the 50G the 35/2 they are serious weak points, the zf not only improves it even betters the Canon L’s. You need to stop reading lab tests and you need to learn to read an MTF, its all there in black and white. Further the MTF of a zeiss is actual unlike the projected by Canon or Nikon. All that have never used one sound like you and you assume that all that own one dont own or use any Nikon lenses, very odd.

    • Dweeb
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I’d rather see a 400 buck 2.8 that blows the entire market away. These 1 – 2.5 thousand buck primes need to go. They’re nothing but profit makers for companies fuelled by hobbyists with too much money. Save yourself a thousand bucks and boost your ISO a stop. And don’t give me the old DOF and bokeh baloney.

      • Roger
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Actually, companies like Nikon make a lot more money selling those big F/2.8 zooms, and those crappy kit lenses.

    • LGO
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      There are good Zeiss lenses well as some bad ones … just like Nikkor lenses. The relevant question is whether a particular lens is good or not.

    • Jim
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I have the Nikkor 35 f/2 and that is OK but the G puzzles me. I guess I am behind the times but there are no f stop markings. So how does one do hyperfocal, etc. I do a lot of macro and I bought the Zeiss macros, particularly for the manual focus – real manual focus – not the sloppy, quick focus you get with auto focus lenses where manual focus is just a concession to us “Neanderthals.” I like to think when I shoot rather than using my camera as a glorified P/S.

  5. Jabs
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    A manual lens – LOL!
    I don’t think Nikon has much to worry about but it is too early to judge as that photograph is bad and not even sharp in its’ intended plane perhaps used to show off selective focus at low F-stops.
    Sorry, but seen many shots and USED a 35 F1.4 AIS lens years ago and it beat this by far.
    Zeiss needs a better image as BOKEH is overplayed plus misunderstood, in my opinion.
    The 135 F2.0 DC has the better solution (vary the plane of focus intentionally PER your needs within the lens after you focus or similar to a Tilt and Shift lens in adjusting the plane of focus), but they need to just update it and then TEACH people how to use it, perhaps.
    Bokeh is so misunderstood and so overrated – lol!
    The best bokeh that I have personally seen at low F-stops, is the one from the older 58 F1.2 AIS NOCT Nikon which was designed to shoot WIDE OPEN aminly. No light highlights streaked and no odd shaped out of round elements.
    ALSO longer focal lengths exhibit superior BOKEH to me when shot from lower angles to give a dramatic look and render the out of focus elements blurred when you almost fill the frame on FX or 35mm in film. Many model photographers thus use 180 F2.8, 200 F2.0 and even the 300 F2.8 on monopods or handheld for that very purpose.
    Bokeh has become a ‘solution’ looking for a PROBLEM that does not exist, as most people DO NOT know how to use SELECTIVE focus properly and instead turn to some ‘legendary’ German -vs- Japan image quality CRAP or the amount of blades in the diaphragm and their shapes .
    Get over it, please!

    Heck, the new Nikon 24 F1.4 looks vastly superior to this 35mm Zeiss lens, but perhaps it is too early to judge and Zeiss should show some more and even varied images.
    People do not know their craft or the real terms and thus turn to ‘Internet-speak’ and become then, mere ‘talking heads’!

    • Roger
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      I have used 35 F1.4 AIS, I can assure you that’s it’s a lot of things, but good at F/1.4, it aint. I can gladly point you to some examples which will show exactly what I mean.

      We havent even seen any real samples from the new Zeiss 35, why so quick to label it as a poor lens? And besides, regardless of how good or bad Zeiss 35 is, it will be rendered irrelevant to most photographers as soon as Nikon gives us 35mm F1.4 AF-S.

      • Jabs
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Sorry if you misunderstood my post. I was speaking about the PUBLISHED photo and not about either the 35mm F1.4 AIS Nikon nor this new Zeiss.
        The point is that people do not know how to shoot and that photo demonstrates that clearly. Anything below say F1.8 is a ‘crap shoot’ and that’s a fact.
        Selective focus is ONLY mastered by a very few photographers and TESTS cannot simulate that no matter what they measure.
        I have shot with the Nikon 35mm F1.4 AIS on F3’s and F4’s and then versus the 35 F2.0 AIS manual and autofocus 35 F 2.0 and believe me, the majority of the errors are human induced since I was shooting on professional bodies with accurate viewfinders and 100% view. If you have a tack sharp lens and you cannot focus it, then its’ usefulness is then limited, hence the ‘manual lens -lol’ opening. It is a known fact of photography that lenses below F2.0 or thereabout are very hard for either humans or worse for autofocusing systems to focus reliable because of the razor thin depth of field issues. Remember the fantastic Canon 50mm F1.0 and the focusing issues from human and camera issues? Then apply that. Bokeh is BEST at longer focal issues and NOT at shorter focal lengths with F-stops which emphasize the background out of focus highlights or such.
        My photographic tests of the 35 F1.4 were mixed as sometimes it beat the 35 F2 and this depended on the photographer (my brother) and the subject. He shot professional models for Magazines and his line up of lens was:
        35 F1.4 AIS
        55 F2.8 Micro-Nikkor AIS
        85 F1.4 AIS
        105 F1-8 AIS
        135 F2.0 AIS
        180 F2.8 ED-IF AIS
        and he would rent a 200 F2 ED-IF plus/or wished for a 300 F2.8 ED-IF. My lineup of lenses was different and included the 35 F2, the 105 F2.5, 180 F2.8ED and the 75-150 F3.5 Series E zoom plus his lenses and many others I had since we shot together a few times. Therefore, our choices were dependent on whether shooting indoors or outdoors and whether people or even models were involved. He made his own bokeh RESULTS choices from his lens choices based upon time of day, height of model plus clothes (reflectivity) and such – and he had to have enough room in his photographs for Blurbs (texts and captions on Magazine covers) and such.
        Leica/Zeiss and some ‘artsy’ photographers do the opposite. They emphasize lens F-Stop based bokeh due to the limitations of their CAMERAS as in not being able to produce long focal lengths of any quality or even capacity as they are using rangefinder cameras.
        Hence you have this German (Black Forest) -vs- Japanese (Technocrats) crap! Same exact crap in America with Lexus -vs- Mercedes, BMW and Porsche.

  6. teko
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Why do people adore this lens so much? It’s a manual focus lens. Is the IQ really that much higher compared to other available 35mm/50mm primes from Nikon/Canon?

    Please enlighten me.

    • nicolaie
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      no, it isn’t. it’s all about the shiny machined ring, or the red dot in leicas. its about feeling special, apart from the rest. off-course it will be very good optically, but putting a speed demon D700 or D3 together totally defeats the purpose and cancels 20 year of autofocus development.
      the nikon 35 1.4 G will be a much better option at roughly the same price tag.

      • nicolaie
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        *together with that lens

      • MelM
        Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Wow! You seriously need to lighten up on the haterade!!!

    • Jabs
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Read my post above yours.
      Bottom line – a product looking for / or in search of a solution while unable to move forward, perhaps.
      It probably is a fantastic piece of equipment to hang around your neck or to go with your Gucci’s – LOL!
      If it is optically superior to the Nikon design, it still is MANUAL focus and thus not for fast action or much. Probably good for Studio shooting or for trips down nostalgia lane or it might surprise us – we DON’T know yet, as it is new and not available UNTIL year 2011.
      The photograph used as an illustration, looked like the return to rangefinder sensibilities with the Leica 50mm F0.95 ASPH – google that name and see what they perhaps are aiming for.

      You buy and shoot what you like or know how to shot or can use!

    • oneANT
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Its a high contrast glass to begin with, the detail is higher and even large mp camera users have had to adjust the way they do their sharpening. There are no high contrast lenses in the Nikon range, the 200/2 might be the closest. If you look at the rubbish of nicolaie she even has given us a review of the nik35/1,4 before its even released. So the first difference is that one-eyed nikon users have a really odd behaviour where they will offer fellow nikon users an opinion that is based on zero fact and zero experience, its always like this and I dont mind them givin Canon or Leica a poke but to do it to your own is a bit off. The 50G is dreadful compared to the zf50/2 the nik35/2 is a borderline joke and its why many of us want a better 35 from Nikon. nicolaie cant afford either so we will never get a proper response from her. Im looking forward to seeing the nik35 but Im unsure it will give me what I would prefer in the zeiss but will objectively compare the two. Its too early to say, it takes a while to see what you want in a pic when someone else is taking it. The ability to MF focus in low light is part of the appear of the zeiss but many wont understand why you would even want MF …

      You anti-brand lot are really thick, its not a competitor to Nikon, it an extension of the range of choices. If Zeiss didnt support the F-mount I for one would shift to Canon or even Leica. The you will go on about some kind of loyalty but you have none to begin with, you deceive other Nikon owners with your lack of knowledge and ignorance.

      • Jabs
        Posted September 3, 2010 at 2:33 am | Permalink

        You perhaps make the classic argument of Leicaphiles – they trump up Leica and other ‘german’ lenses -vs- Japanese lenses as being vastly inferior or lack contrast compared to the German variety. I only see a difference in Leica in B+W unfiltered, but when I use RED, green, orange and polarizers, the Nikon is superior on Fuji Neopan 100 to 1600 and AgfaPan 25. I hate TMaxx, so no comment.
        I have shot with and owned Leica and my brother shoots primarily Leica and Canon.
        I have done better work on more demanding photos than my own brother and the people at Duggal Labs in NYC said that my work was great and outstanding on Velvia 50D and 64T (Tungsten) slide films shot with Nikon gear and lenses.
        Leica has increased contrast at the expense of RESOLUTION is what I found and their 50mm F.095 is not great. Nikon NOCT F1.2 was far superior in my opinion as I use it at Nikon’s old place in Rockyfeller Center in NYC where you could shoot with any Nikon lens on your own body, if you looked like a serious Nikon shooter. I like Leica, but they are generations behind even the Nikon F3 series and now that there is FX digital, nothing that Leica makes is even comparable. I would buy a D40 over anything Leica makes, as I look at their images with my critical eye – from years of shooting SLIDES only. I only like the Leica S2 and nothing else in their line, as they are passe’ and live only in the dreams or memories of photographers stuck in the past.
        ALL of Nikon pro lenses have better and superior contrast plus resolution than Leicas current stuff.
        The older Nikon is even superior to the newest Leica as I tested them.
        A list of exceptional lenses that Nikon made or make that I owned and they BLEW away my brothers famed Leicas when we shot the same exact day and scenes.
        24 F2.8 AIS
        55 F2.8 Micro Nikor AIS
        80 F2.8 ED-IF from the F3AF days
        85 F1.4 AIS manual focus
        105 F2.5 AIS
        105 F1.8 AIS manual focus
        135 F2.0 AIS manual focus
        180 F2.8 ED-IF AIS manual focus
        80-200 F2.8 ED-IF zoom – manual focus
        35-70 F2.8 AF
        300 F4.0 ED-IF AF

        All very sharp, contrasty and well known as exceptionally built and great.
        That was the past and now what Nikon is currently making and even Canon has recently introduced is light years ahead of any Leica almost. This is not fanboyism, but real facts, so get over it. Leica is stuck in the past and it is the very Japanese who have helped Leica move forward and now that Leica puts its’ NAME on many lenses and cameras made by the Japanese, what do you say now? Same for Zeiss.
        Electronics, computers and expert manufacturing via CAD (Computer Assisted Design) or CAM (Computer Assisted Manufacturing or prototyping) has made modern lenses better than almost ANY old and well known lenses by almost ANY past master- the equipment is better but photographers have become spoiled or sloppy and too quick, hence worse results from BETTER equipment.
        New great lenses better than anything from Leica.
        24-70 F2.8
        70-200 F2.8
        24 F1.4
        200 F2.0 ED-IF AF VR
        200 – 400 ED-IF AF VR
        ANY 300 F2.8 ED-IF AF, or not
        ANY 400 F2.8 ED-IF AF
        ANY version of the 500 F4.0 ED-IF
        ANY version of the 600 F4.0 ED-IF, AF or not
        ANY 60mm F2.8 Micro-Nikkor
        ANY 105 F2.8 Micro Nikkor
        ANY 200 F4 Micro Nikkor
        I use equipment and I know and respect Leica, but they are stuck in the past as a BOUTIQUE company living on their legendary status of maybe 50 years ago.

  7. The invisible man
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    On the sample picture, the d.o.f is so little that it’s hard to tell if it’s the girl’s arm or someone else arm.

  8. MelM
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Umm… have you ever shot with the current 400 2.8? How much better do you think it can possibly be??? Nikon updated its zooms and updated the superteles. Now it’s time to go to fast wide to tele primes.

    I shoot fast primes all the time on the job. To say it’s for rich hobbyists is pretty ignorant.

    • oneANT
      Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      They dont own anything beyond kits lenses …you can hear it in the way they talk. Doesnt matter if its Zeiss or Nikon or anything else. They dont even know you can put a Leica on a Nikon body, they dont know about Medium Format lenses on 35mm, they only know about the 18-200vr and how much better vrII is than vr.

      They cannot even read an MTF and refuse to learn anything new. They sound really young and immature but behave like really old sticks in the mud.

  9. Jabs
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Photographic Definitions, perhaps:
    Contrast – the ability to render a scene from highest white to lowest black faithfully with an emphasis on tonality or high key or even darker blacks.
    Resolution – the ability to show fine detail, render accurate differentiation between fine lines, fine details or subtle shades of colors, tones or various similar hues.

    Many manufacturers designed their equipment to either one of these extremes in the PAST and people chose which camp to follow.
    That is no longer relevant as computer assisted equipment design has optimized modern lenses for BOTH items and then newer bodies balance contrast and resolution in things such as Active-D Lighting. HDR attempts to further this attempt to get high contrast and high resolution in one photo and now computer programs give us more until we mess up our photos by ‘overprocessing’ or overdoing things.
    Computers and digital has now bridged this divide and cameras such as a D3X does things that no Leica besides the S2 can do. Therefore, people are living in the past but it is NOT my job to wake them up, as they might ‘bite me’ – lol. Remember the adage of – LET sleeping dogs lie?

  10. Tony
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    So Teko there you go, hope you are elightened. Its like this on the forums as well, I dont even know why they are here and even nicolaie said in her 1st post that this was uninteresting and there is always a Jabs…a pre-war child. They are nice enough but they always have such a strong anti-opinion without any experience, neither of them has bought a single zf.

    Im a Nikon user, a D700. I dont have a Leica so Im unsure what that is about. These two have never even handled a zeiss lens, not one.

    As for the blowing away, yes I do happen to know about that. I have the 21, 28, 35, 50/2 & of course the 100/2. Over time I have owned many Nikon lenses, these are what I like in my photos, I dont care what bit of glass or metal or plastic, I just dont care what the label says …but they do.

    Remember the adage of – LET sleeping dogs lie?

    I do …Im also fond of the expression ignorance is bliss, but my favourite …. the old man is a child twice.

    For petes sake Jabs open your other eye, buy a zeiss and it will shut you up. nicolaie, dont bother we know you cannot even afford a pro nikon lens on your pocket money.

    • Jabs
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      @Tony and others here.
      Wisdom comes from age and experience often plus young fools often become OLD fools in time.
      Choices that humans make are their own and should be respected, but it does not tell us much about your common sense or rationality when one comes to an area about NIKON’S and fans of Nikon and then try and tell them there that we should use Zeiss or Leicas or Cosinas plus whatever as they are better.
      You use what you like and we use what we like.
      People have tested several lenses by various manufacturers over the years and ALL human photographers have biases, loves/dislike, etc..
      The concepts of many ARE stuck in the past and thus YOUR choice.
      Photography has evolved to a point where even P&S equipment is often better than fabled equipment from the past and thus I have seen some of the past PLUS used it and now, I see and use the present – hence experienced PLUS moved on.
      Your choices reflect your sensibilities but if the best that you can rebut with is name calling, then it does not say much for your ability – but again YOUR choices and also MY choices in using Nikon’s, as I feel the color fidelity of Nikon’s have been better than anyone else over the years – better than BOTH Leica or Zeiss and I have probably seen more professional photos from them than you – hence INFORMED choices by me.
      Name brands are like people trumping street BMW’s in an arena of NASCAR or Formula One – different tools to do a different job.
      You use what you like or what you deem superior, BUT don’t tell me what to use, as I have my OWN eyes and brain that I use to decide and I do not care what you believe or use, as that is YOUR choice.
      Allow me my choices too and then we can be friends, fellow shooters or even laugh at each other, but it does not matter in the end as we are all individuals with our own choices.
      HOW many different lenses have YOU shot with yourself? – – – NOT read about on the Internet or on REVIEW sites? How many different subjects have YOU personally shot?

  11. Tony
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t require argument…the truth always comes out. Why am I here, that would be because I already use an assortment of zeiss lenses on a Nikon. Why do I? …well its because I prefer to, why? you ask …well I have many reasons and would happily tender a reply.

    Why are you here, I dont know, I honestly have no idea what would compel you to invest some much effort into something that is not a part of your experience.

    The zf35/1.4 is beginning to emerge as an interesting lens, I know why …do you?
    That would be a conversation then wouldnt it, you could tell me why you dont like it, what limitations you see in using it, we could say things like how my 50/1.2 is here soon …how do you think the 35/1.4 might compare in practical application to the zeiss …but of course we cannot talk this way because only one of us is genuinely interested. We could talk about the intended ways of using it and how we might apply any post processing …we could even tell each other how crappy the z* lens hood is and what remedies we used to improve on it. We laugh and tell jokes and be clever and witty …but we cant.

    Superior, better, these are ugly, Im more subjective and its a matter of personal taste, my personal taste is varied, I love some Nikkors, some Zeiss, some M645’s and some Leicas on Nikon …I dont care the brand and only care for the result. If I wanted the very best, the absolute, the supreme optic …then I would be an idiot.

    This is a zeiss topic (look up), you are the anti-zeiss, not for any reason, its just your personal taste and of course its much easier to be negative about something you know nothing about …than to be positive about something you know. But here you are …but what are we to talk about, the lens, the zf, the 35/1.4 …this zeiss, its the topic here, but what is your motive? Why are you here? What is your experience that we can share …the one you offered already is all about you, what about me, are you content with talking to yourself, are you Ken Rockwell by any chance?

    Again about truth emerging…what can we talk about, you know nothing of using these lenses, how do we progress in discourse when you have the position of anti- and suggest that I am some kind of fool and attached to a brand name only. So far Im the only one qualified to discuss this, for all your years and suggestions of wisdom …it turns out you are right afterall

    ….young fools often become OLD fools in time.

    Im a nice and friendly fella, you can see that and I can see it of you, a gentle and generous man …but it takes no effort to be wrong and a lot of effort to be right.
    I didnt suggest you get a zf as a matter of dictating your preference but rather as the means to qualify anything you have to say …good or bad Im not bothered but I dont like to told by someone that doesnt know …are you catching on.

    Look how many words have been spent, these could have been put to good use, we could have talked about corner sharpness, CA, LOCA, micro-contrast, flare, vignetting, bokeh, handling, focus, throw, the hood, the lens cap.

    But we cannot …because you know nothing about this or any other zf lens, so I repeat my offer, go get one ..then we can talk. And in the meantime dont give advice to people that think your advice worth giving. Its deceptive, a lie and unfair on those of us still finding our own way.


    • Jabs
      Posted September 6, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Yes, I ‘capiche’ very WELL.
      The problem is that I am not interested in trying out all the great lenses or brands of the world. I looked at the example picture of Zeiss and I judged things by THAT. I also stated clearly that I don’t know what the lens can do or even if it is fantastic or not, as I have not shot with it nor even seen a good image shot with it, as it will NOT be available until 2011.
      The problem is your perception versus my perception and the fact that I am opinionated based upon my experiences. You use what you like and I have no problem with that, but a manual lens that does a few things great is not my concern, as a practical Business person and not an artsy person. I don’t have either the time nor the inclination to test out every lens out there nor do I want to buy them, as I can simply rent it and then evaluate it myself, if interested.
      Since neither you nor I have tested this lens which will be available per Zeiss’s own scheduling in 2011, then the points become moot or even a waste of effort. When it becomes available, then we can discuss it in any way that you desire. You like Zeiss and that is fine, as I have seen fantastic shots from some of them BUT I look for color consistency, usage model consistency in my equipment and the less variance in that, this makes my job easier. I have shot with various brands (Nikon, Canon and Leica) at the very SAME time and even various bodies in the same manufacturer’s line (Nikon) then and the thing that bothered me most was lost productivity. The Canon’s focused the other direction from Nikon – the Leica was difficult to load and the focusing was too crude and too stiff for my tastes. The various Nikon’s also ‘drove me crazy’ as I was using 6 Nikon bodies at the same time.
      1. F3 HP with MD4-MN2 Nicads
      2. F3TC with MD4-MN2 Nicads
      3. F3AF with MD4-MN2 Nicads
      4. FA-Black with MD15
      5. N2000
      6. N4004AF
      The Nikons and the Leica (rangefinder) was mine while the Canon’s (F1N and AE1 Program) were my brother’s.
      I settled on shooting mainly the F3’s with a variety of lenses and then the N4004AF with a 35-70 F2.8 AF for quick grab shots. What is the point – I shoot fast and I had a few hours to document something and no helper, so you figure it out. My shots on the Nikons were consistent in color though the F3 series did the best in consistency of exposure and framing due to its’ 100% viewfinder and the High Eye Point F3’s made it easier to focus and frame without my eye at the camera constantly, as I had almost every Nikon F3 focusing screen plus every head except the F3P head for the F3 series. My shooting is thus different from yours perhaps and not about to get lost in esoterica, as I look at things from a Business standpoint. GET in, SHOOT and leave – end of rant!

  12. Jabs
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    A Little note here.
    I have TWO brothers that are/were photographers.
    One uses Nikon’s like me and the other uses Canon’s, Leica’s, Mamiya 7 and others.
    I just thought that I would clear that up – LOL!

  13. bug
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    want to know which one worth more? just count how many zeiss sells compare to nikon.

  14. Jabs
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Let me perhaps try and sum up the bokeh/lens/bodies arguments from their source and why it occurred over the years.

    1. Rangefinders were the first type of popular 35mm cameras but they used a form of focusing that was merely ‘guessing’ and then they used lots of depth of field in shorter focal length lenses to cover their shortcomings.
    2. Other companies (mainly the Japanese at that time) stopped imitating the mainly Germans who seemed to have started the rangefinder (the name even clues you to how it focuses – on a range from point A to B and then everything within this range is now supposed to be in ‘focus’) and now the Japanese Manufacturers left the rangefinder concept behind and began or espoused the SLR and a different type of focusing that was way more accurate as you looked through the lens to focus and you were not using a focus plane to cover the mis-focus issues of rangefinders who covered their mis-focus issues via increased depth of field. This is why the rangefinders had no longer length lenses as the longer length lenses would show your focus guesses as they had LESS depth of field and could not cover focus errors like the smaller focal length lenses could and still do today.
    Hence, we have this madness continuing today.
    The number of blades in a lens diaphragm and the shape was touted as an advantage – seems like it is for SOME types and focal lengths. This was used as a counter to the 35m SLR and its’ lenses as being inferior to rangefinders or the “German tech” of that time. World War 1 and 2 caused even more problems as the Japanese were on one side and others on the other. People thus divided into camps from Wars and we had the mess of SLR’s -vs- rangefinders. The Leica camp said that they had superior contrast, better and faster lenses plus smaller and more discrete bodies compared to the SLR’s then – to counter them. This is similar to the conflict between micro 4/3rds and DSLR’s today and you see the SAME exact opposing camps at work here.
    I was not around at ANY of the World Wars but being an avid photography/historian and photographer/user/equipment buyer, I have seen and heard much over the years. I have also seen many arguments, bought into some and even personally dismissed many by MY OWN trial and errors as a long time photographer of varied subjects.
    Today, the way modern SLR or DSLR lenses are made negates all these OLD ideas or ideals, as things like ED glass, Nano-coating and computer assisted design/manufacturing has rendered the OLD arguments obsolete or moot. New lenses are vastly superior to almost ANY legendary lens of the past and photographs PROVE this easily. We are in a Modern ERA and old concepts dwell in the minds of people, so some manufacturers cater to that ’boutique’ crowd.
    Bokeh was also pushed as a ‘perfect example’ as to why one Manufacturer is supposedly ‘superior’ to another and thus more urban legends about one type of lens versus another – LOL!
    I have seen awful and brilliant images by BOTH camps but for my personal use, I vastly prefer SLR’s and DLR’s over ANY rangefinder, as I owned a ‘legendary Leica rangefinder’ that I bought myself and also a legendary lens (50mm) with it. I shot a while with it and it drove me nuts! It was slow and not precise like I love to shoot. The worse part was the horrible results and the obvious shortcomings of the lens/body combination. My FIRST camera was an F3HP with about 4 focusing screens, so from that standpoint I was spoiled. I sold my legendary Leica which I bought a few years later to one of my brothers and he loved it, as he is a collector and user of Leicas. I just did not care and was not about to make a profit on my own brother, so did not bother with it.
    I then personally understood why there was a Leica/Zeiss -vs- Nikon/Canon divide and since I did not care about it, I just looked at RESULTS for me plus the flexibility this afforded. I shoot quickly and accurately at times, so the rangefinder was too slow and imprecise for me as I often fill the frame entirely with the subject (my style often). My brother has some great images taken with Leicas and Canons but he describes me as a Technical shooter with an incredible artistic eye who can shoot quickly and capture the moment while he takes his time and captures the ’emotion’ of the surroundings in a FEW shots. Different ways, then and thus different cameras plus needs.

    • 40yroldnewbie
      Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Jabs-I like your insight as I do share some peeves with rangefinders[slow] and manual focus[lack of speed and accuracy with MF-my problem!].

      My question is-what can you do with a fast 35 that a slower 35 can’t?
      [Not a 35 f1.4 zeiss vs 35 f1.4 nikon-so please don’t zap me-LOL]

      -Focus in low light? [User and camera limitation]
      -Get shallower DOF and painterly OOF effects? [my 35-70AFD can’t create images like a 35f1.4 can]

      BTW manual focusing is overrated! LOL
      Give me AF! As much I love my Helios M40-2 f1.5, it kills me to see how many shots I missed!


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