January 27, 2015, 02:33:44 PM

Author Topic: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm  (Read 1143 times)

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Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« on: January 26, 2015, 04:20:41 PM »

Dustin Abbott has completed his review of the Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm ultra wide angle lens for Canon.


I own and absolutely love this lens. It is far and away the best ultra wide angle lens you can get for your Canon DSLR and I know you’ve heard that before.


From Dustin

“I’ve shot with a similar focal length for several years and have learned a certain familiarity with it. The degree of challenge associated with the focal length pays dividends in the incredible image quality you can achieve with it. The Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm is a very expensive lens, but those who make the investment find a highly rewarding lens that produces images inferior options cannot match.  You would be hard pressed to find an owner of the lens who would not say that it was worth its high price tag.”


Read the full reviewZeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon at B&H Photo


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Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« on: January 26, 2015, 04:20:41 PM »

dryanparker

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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 05:07:23 PM »
Hear, hear!

The lens is epic. Pricey, but you simply can't beat the quality.
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 06:59:53 PM »
I know that the Zeiss is an incredible lens...and that everything that Dustin says about it is true as I researched it thoroughly.  Brilliant optic!  I pained over whether to purchase it or not and in the end I purchased the Canon 17mm TSE f/4 II. I could not justify owning both....and even though the coverage was not as wide* as the Zeiss 15mm,  with the TSE 17mm II option, which has comparable sharpness and contrast to the Zeiss.  It also has a lower cost and of course complete tilt/shift capabilities...so I decided to go that route. I do not do any astro photography so the f/2.8 of the Zeiss was not that much of a draw for my decision. The good thing is, I still get to drool over the Zeiss because I do not have one! LOL!

*the coverage can actually be wider and have less distortion with the TSE 17mm II if you bracket your shots while using the shift capability of the lens and then construct (stitch) the image with software.  Another plus that I found for my uses too, is that I can connect my 1.4x III to the lens 24mm f/5.6 TSE lens. (with a very slight degradation in image quality). I would never have considered adding a tele-extender to a UWA lens... but it works quite well and the image quality is very good..much better than I expected!  I already had the 1.4x III so the TSE 17mm II just became a much more versatile purchase for my photographic needs.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 08:23:20 PM by infared »
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 11:25:00 PM »
At this price, you either have to more money than you know what to do with, or you get paid to shoot at this length. I'm neither so I can only envy.

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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #4 on: Today at 07:09:56 AM »
I'd hesitate to drop this kind of coin on this focal length - I find the 15mm is often not wide enough. At a similar price point, the rumored 11-24/4 I could justify.

Ok that's my only excuse, in reality, I'm drooling over this lens.



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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:24:09 AM »
I can only confirm what Dustin said in the review. To begin with, I have never been a UWA lens person, but this one has become one of my most used lenses. It is expensive, but it only cost about 20-25% of my 600 f4L IS II ... and it is totally worth it.
« Last Edit: Today at 07:30:20 AM by Eldar »
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #6 on: Today at 08:17:07 AM »
I'd hesitate to drop this kind of coin on this focal length - I find the 15mm is often not wide enough. At a similar price point, the rumored 11-24/4 I could justify.

Ok that's my only excuse, in reality, I'm drooling over this lens.

That's interesting, because I have a 14mm lens and I can't imagine wanting a wider focal length than that.  I have a 12mm crop sensor lens (about 19mm equiv), and it is actually a very nice landscape focal length.  Composition would become really difficult at 11mm, and you would literally have to watch out for your feet getting into all your photos.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #6 on: Today at 08:17:07 AM »

The Flasher

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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #7 on: Today at 09:20:22 AM »
I'd hesitate to drop this kind of coin on this focal length - I find the 15mm is often not wide enough. At a similar price point, the rumored 11-24/4 I could justify.

Ok that's my only excuse, in reality, I'm drooling over this lens.

That's interesting, because I have a 14mm lens and I can't imagine wanting a wider focal length than that.  I have a 12mm crop sensor lens (about 19mm equiv), and it is actually a very nice landscape focal length.  Composition would become really difficult at 11mm, and you would literally have to watch out for your feet getting into all your photos.

For architecture 14mm often falls short. This image is with the 14mm 2.8 II, leaving out part of the house on left, glass railing and beach cabana plus environment on right. 11mm may be a bit extreme, but a rectilinear 12mm would have captured everything I wanted. It sounds like we're splitting hairs over a mm or two, but at those widths 1mm makes a difference between getting an architectural feature in the shot or cropping it out. Also, it's not always a case of having your back up against a wall, but using focal width to push features apart, opening ceiling/floor details etc.

Cheers.
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #8 on: Today at 09:42:18 AM »
I'd hesitate to drop this kind of coin on this focal length - I find the 15mm is often not wide enough. At a similar price point, the rumored 11-24/4 I could justify.

Ok that's my only excuse, in reality, I'm drooling over this lens.

That's interesting, because I have a 14mm lens and I can't imagine wanting a wider focal length than that.  I have a 12mm crop sensor lens (about 19mm equiv), and it is actually a very nice landscape focal length.  Composition would become really difficult at 11mm, and you would literally have to watch out for your feet getting into all your photos.

For architecture 14mm often falls short. This image is with the 14mm 2.8 II, leaving out part of the house on left, glass railing and beach cabana plus environment on right. 11mm may be a bit extreme, but a rectilinear 12mm would have captured everything I wanted. It sounds like we're splitting hairs over a mm or two, but at those widths 1mm makes a difference between getting an architectural feature in the shot or cropping it out. Also, it's not always a case of having your back up against a wall, but using focal width to push features apart, opening ceiling/floor details etc.

Cheers.
I see your point, but that image might have been even better as a stitched 3x24mm portrait (or there about) image.
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #9 on: Today at 10:20:34 AM »
I'd hesitate to drop this kind of coin on this focal length - I find the 15mm is often not wide enough. At a similar price point, the rumored 11-24/4 I could justify.

Ok that's my only excuse, in reality, I'm drooling over this lens.

That's interesting, because I have a 14mm lens and I can't imagine wanting a wider focal length than that.  I have a 12mm crop sensor lens (about 19mm equiv), and it is actually a very nice landscape focal length.  Composition would become really difficult at 11mm, and you would literally have to watch out for your feet getting into all your photos.

For architecture 14mm often falls short. This image is with the 14mm 2.8 II, leaving out part of the house on left, glass railing and beach cabana plus environment on right. 11mm may be a bit extreme, but a rectilinear 12mm would have captured everything I wanted. It sounds like we're splitting hairs over a mm or two, but at those widths 1mm makes a difference between getting an architectural feature in the shot or cropping it out. Also, it's not always a case of having your back up against a wall, but using focal width to push features apart, opening ceiling/floor details etc.

Cheers.

Love the tones here, BTW.  Oh, I'm not saying there is no application for a ultrawide lens (and you are right, 1mm makes a big difference in angle of view at these focal lengths).  I think many users need 11mm about as much as they need 50+ MP  ;D

Many people don't even use a 14 or 15mm well, so going even wider is NOT going to improve their work!
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #10 on: Today at 10:42:39 AM »
I'd hesitate to drop this kind of coin on this focal length - I find the 15mm is often not wide enough. At a similar price point, the rumored 11-24/4 I could justify.

Ok that's my only excuse, in reality, I'm drooling over this lens.

That's interesting, because I have a 14mm lens and I can't imagine wanting a wider focal length than that.  I have a 12mm crop sensor lens (about 19mm equiv), and it is actually a very nice landscape focal length.  Composition would become really difficult at 11mm, and you would literally have to watch out for your feet getting into all your photos.
First of all, thank you for another great review that goes way beyond the wall charts.  I am personally very excited for the 11-24 as it really opens up a whole new world of creativity.  It is very difficult to use lenses that wide, but as the title of your review says, "High Challenge, High Reward."  I have owned the Sigma 12-24II and used it almost exclusively at 12mm (which gives you around 1/3 more FOV than a 14mm).  I didn't have it long enough to create anything epic, but I have a lot of cool shots that the other wides can't touch.

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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #11 on: Today at 10:59:00 AM »
I'd hesitate to drop this kind of coin on this focal length - I find the 15mm is often not wide enough. At a similar price point, the rumored 11-24/4 I could justify.

Ok that's my only excuse, in reality, I'm drooling over this lens.

That's interesting, because I have a 14mm lens and I can't imagine wanting a wider focal length than that.  I have a 12mm crop sensor lens (about 19mm equiv), and it is actually a very nice landscape focal length.  Composition would become really difficult at 11mm, and you would literally have to watch out for your feet getting into all your photos.

For architecture 14mm often falls short. This image is with the 14mm 2.8 II, leaving out part of the house on left, glass railing and beach cabana plus environment on right. 11mm may be a bit extreme, but a rectilinear 12mm would have captured everything I wanted. It sounds like we're splitting hairs over a mm or two, but at those widths 1mm makes a difference between getting an architectural feature in the shot or cropping it out. Also, it's not always a case of having your back up against a wall, but using focal width to push features apart, opening ceiling/floor details etc.

Cheers.
I see your point, but that image might have been even better as a stitched 3x24mm portrait (or there about) image.

You bet a three panel 24mm stitch would  have done it. Except the lighting was turning very quickly in this scene  and 3 -  30sec exposures would not be identical, the tell tale very evident in the gradation of the sky in the stitch. Not to mention having to spend three times the amount of time on each panel. Then times that by the amount of shots of different elevations required before the sun comes up. Gah, I'm getting stressed just thinking about this particular shoot lol

An 11-24 /4 zoom not only offers the width when needed, but options on  the fly as well.

« Last Edit: Today at 11:29:25 AM by The Flasher »
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #12 on: Today at 12:55:58 PM »
Would you rather  ().  I know two very different lenses, but Dustin has recent reviews of both. With a limited budget, would you prefer either the $3K Zeiss 15mm or the 4K Otus 85mm lens to be in your kit?

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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #12 on: Today at 12:55:58 PM »

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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #13 on: Today at 01:50:44 PM »
Would you rather  ().  I know two very different lenses, but Dustin has recent reviews of both. With a limited budget, would you prefer either the $3K Zeiss 15mm or the 4K Otus 85mm lens to be in your kit?

If you want my opinion, I would go Otus every time.  The 15mm is amazing, but I can produce reasonably similar images with something like the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm (now the build and handling are a whole other story!), but I haven't used any lens (other than maybe that Zeiss Sonnar T* 2/135) that comes close to the amazing resolution, contrast, and general usefulness of the Otus 85.  I would be willing to release a number of other lenses in my kit to get it.
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #14 on: Today at 01:57:36 PM »
Would you rather  ().  I know two very different lenses, but Dustin has recent reviews of both. With a limited budget, would you prefer either the $3K Zeiss 15mm or the 4K Otus 85mm lens to be in your kit?

If you want my opinion, I would go Otus every time.  The 15mm is amazing, but I can produce reasonably similar images with something like the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm (now the build and handling are a whole other story!), but I haven't used any lens (other than maybe that Zeiss Sonnar T* 2/135) that comes close to the amazing resolution, contrast, and general usefulness of the Otus 85.  I would be willing to release a number of other lenses in my kit to get it.
I agree with that. The Otus (both the 55 and 85 I might add) is exceptional. 85mm is a very versatile focal length and apart from price, weight and manual focus, it's a perfect lens.
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Re: Review: Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15mm
« Reply #14 on: Today at 01:57:36 PM »