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Author Topic: Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses  (Read 4443 times)

alexdchang

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Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« on: November 28, 2012, 03:34:59 PM »
Hello,

Here's what I have:

Canon 5D Mk III
Zeiss 21mm f/2.8
Zeiss 50mm f/2.0

Purposes:

Ultimately want to shoot video and will use this system when I return to film school in 2015. But until then I decided to invest in Zeiss manual focus primes for their superior optical quality and manual focus. For both photography and video it'll force me to be very deliberate and thoughtful about my shots, framing and composition, etc. which will be tough but great training for developing a filmmaker's eye and knowing the capabilities of my tools.

Question(s):

What other Zeiss prime lens focal lengths are essential to have to cover the cinematic spectrum so to speak?

I'm even open to non-Zeiss lenses but prefer to stick with Zeiss in order to hopefully maintain similar image characteristics and IQ across the different lenses. (The Zeiss Compact Primes are out of my budget) I have been hearing the Zeiss 100mm f/2 is also a key piece of glass to own. What about the 35mm focal length? Is the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 the best option at that focal length? Do I even need 35mm?? Don't really see myself owning anything wider than the 21mm as I dislike distortion and don't care for its use in narrative filmmaking(personal tastes).

One other thing to consider is that I plan to really explore night-time and twilight photography/video. Maybe even starfield long-exposure photos.

Thanks in advance for your help. The combined knowledge and creativity on this board is priceless.

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Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« on: November 28, 2012, 03:34:59 PM »

unadog

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Re: Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 05:32:53 PM »
I would look for a bit more balance.

Say, a couple of the Zeiss primes, in the focal length that you wind up using most.

Then, one **really** good auto focus zoom, like the 24-70 2.8, version 1 or 2. The 24-70 and 70-200 are bread & butter working lenses that a pro almost has to own.

Then one or two decent auto focus primes. A 40 mm 2.8, 50 mm 1.8, or 85 mm 1.8 are all good, inexpensive lenses for low light, street use, portraits, etc. That camera will be able to nail focus at times that you can barely see the subject.

You might want to play with tilt/shift lenses for a while if you get a chance. Maybe buy used, then sell or trade if you cant justify keeping tyem in the kit. The older 24, 45, and 90 are unique, high quality lenses at around $850. The newer 17 & 24 are killer, but expensive. They are also great for video, with a 270 degree throw and a fixed infinity.

I started all manual, B&W only, a purist.

But as a 20+ year pro, my 24-70 stayed on my camera about 85% of the time, even though I had at least 14 mostly "L" lenses in my cabinet.

There is "theoretical" perfect, and there is day to day utility. Don't become too obsessed about the technical. In the end, content is much more important! High quality is a given. But quality without content is dead boring. Great content will get you a contract like Robert Rodriguez for El Mariachi. Because technical can be tought or bought, and is trivial in the end.

Have fun, relax, experiment and learn! Make images, look at them. Find what excites you in your images, make more of those. Repeat = a career.

Cheers! Michael

« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 05:48:39 PM by unadog »

infared

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Re: Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 06:02:52 PM »
I would look for a bit more balance.

Say, a couple of the Zeiss primes, in the focal length that you wind up using most.

Then, one **really** good auto focus zoom, like the 24-70 2.8, version 1 or 2. The 24-70 and 70-200 are bread & butter working lenses that a pro almost has to own.

Then one or two decent auto focus primes. A 40 mm 2.8, 50 mm 1.8, or 85 mm 1.8 are all good, inexpensive lenses for low light, street use, portraits, etc. That camera will be able to nail focus at times that you can barely see the subject.

You might want to play with tilt/shift lenses for a while if you get a chance. Maybe buy used, then sell or trade if you cant justify keeping tyem in the kit. The older 24, 45, and 90 are unique, high quality lenses at around $850. The newer 17 & 24 are killer, but expensive. They are also great for video, with a 270 degree throw and a fixed infinity.

I started all manual, B&W only, a purist.

But as a 20+ year pro, my 24-70 stayed on my camera about 85% of the time, even though I had at least 14 mostly "L" lenses in my cabinet.

There is "theoretical" perfect, and there is day to day utility. Don't become too obsessed about the technical. In the end, content is much more important! High quality is a given. But quality without content is dead boring. Great content will get you a contract like Robert Rodriguez for El Mariachi. Because technical can be tought or bought, and is trivial in the end.

Have fun, relax, experiment and learn! Make images, look at them. Find what excites you in your images, make more of those. Repeat = a career.

Cheers! Michael

I own the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8...I also own the 16-35 f/2.8L II  Zoom...let's face it ...if I want to get really sharp for my personal photos, especially in B&W the zoom is left in the bag every time and I make the shot fit the Zeiss.
I am not a fan of the Zeiss 50mm (have the Sigma, I want AF there)... but I do have my eye on the grande prize of all..the new Zeiss 15mm.  (let me catch my breath for a second...)....I am saving for that...maybe in the spring....we shall see.
     Lens choice boils down to what kind of images you want to shoot..or have to shoot. Since you are new..rent some lenses...get a feel for what is going on...and then make your choices to purchase...but above all..have fun, learn as much as you can and enjoy the process and the experience!!!!!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 06:00:16 PM by infared »
5D Mark III, Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, Canon 17mm f/4L TS-E, Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS, 21mm f/2.8 Zeiss, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro,70-200mm f/2.8L IS II...1.4x converter III, and some other stuff.....

wickidwombat

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Re: Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 07:41:47 PM »
Hello,

Here's what I have:

Canon 5D Mk III
Zeiss 21mm f/2.8
Zeiss 50mm f/2.0

Purposes:

Ultimately want to shoot video and will use this system when I return to film school in 2015. But until then I decided to invest in Zeiss manual focus primes for their superior optical quality and manual focus. For both photography and video it'll force me to be very deliberate and thoughtful about my shots, framing and composition, etc. which will be tough but great training for developing a filmmaker's eye and knowing the capabilities of my tools.

Question(s):

What other Zeiss prime lens focal lengths are essential to have to cover the cinematic spectrum so to speak?

I'm even open to non-Zeiss lenses but prefer to stick with Zeiss in order to hopefully maintain similar image characteristics and IQ across the different lenses. (The Zeiss Compact Primes are out of my budget) I have been hearing the Zeiss 100mm f/2 is also a key piece of glass to own. What about the 35mm focal length? Is the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 the best option at that focal length? Do I even need 35mm?? Don't really see myself owning anything wider than the 21mm as I dislike distortion and don't care for its use in narrative filmmaking(personal tastes).

One other thing to consider is that I plan to really explore night-time and twilight photography/video. Maybe even starfield long-exposure photos.

Thanks in advance for your help. The combined knowledge and creativity on this board is priceless.

I think you would need to have a good look at the 85mm ziess its suposed to be pretty sweet
http://www.thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Zeiss-85mm-f-1.4-ZE-Planar-Lens-Review.aspx
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 08:06:01 PM by wickidwombat »
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alexdchang

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Re: Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 03:50:17 PM »
Thank you all for the great advice. I have since added a 100MP Zeiss ZE to my lineup!  ;D

I am definitely considering the 24-70 2.8 II with the recent price drop (still incredibly pricey though) as an uncompromising quality walkaround lens, since I know it's not realistic to be lugging around all my Zeiss primes everywhere I go and for quick spur of the moment type shooting.

Never really considered Tilt Shift lenses but I've been looking into those as well...

Axilrod

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Re: Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 04:50:54 PM »
I've seen these sold as a cinema kit that usually contains:
21mm
28mm
35mm
50mm
85mm

I'd personally go:
21mm f/2.8
25mm f/2
35mm f/2
50mm f/2
85mm f/1.4
100mm f/2

I have the 21, 50 and 100 and absolutely love them.  But I've heard the 25mm is one of the most impressive out of all of them, definitely worth looking at but may be a little close to 21mm for you.  The 35mm f/1.4 has better bokeh than the 35mm f/2, but the f/2 is as sharp or sharper, really stellar lens.  I think the Sigma 35 may be worth looking at at this point though.

If you're on a budget, I'd say the 21, 35, 50 and 85 would be a good starting point.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 05:16:30 PM by Axilrod »
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

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Re: Canon 5D Mk III and Zeiss Lenses
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 04:50:54 PM »