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Author Topic: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21  (Read 6300 times)

CJRodgers

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Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« on: December 07, 2012, 05:03:28 AM »
I have the opportunity to buy either a zeiss 21mm distagon or canon 24 1.4 mkii. Both used, both £900 ( the canon comes with some filters). I have to choose today really and I dont know what to do. I had always been set on a canon 24L thinking i could never afford the zeiss, i rarely see it second hand!

I want a sharp lens and i would mostly be doing enviornmental portraits. So the subject would be smallish in the frame, and the backround would be hopfully bold and dramatic.

I think I would miss the f1.4, but then i got frustrated at images not being tack sharp pn my 35L 1.4 wide open.

Also I have never used a manual focus lens, but i guess at such a wide focal length it should be too hard?

Ive heard so many conflicting oponions about both in regards to sharpness. Some saying the zeiss is only better in the corners.

I would be interested in landscape and shooting stars in the future. I have seen amazing examples with the canon, then I have also seen people bashing the coma at f1.4?

Im using a 5dmkii, I dont have a preference on focal length as im guessing both will be pretty wide!

Any thoughts?

Thanks
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 05:08:08 AM by CJRodgers »

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Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« on: December 07, 2012, 05:03:28 AM »

optikus

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 05:17:15 AM »
Hi,

I would propose to buy the Zeiss.

In my mind at such short focal length AF is not so an important feature, if you compose your pictures as you defined your interests let expect then you will find the excellent moving of the mechanics of the Zeiss a major benefit in short times.

I use with my 1Ds a Zeiss 2.0 110mm Planar as nearly ever attached lens and never missed the AF. AF lenses are only used, when fast shooting is necessary, in most other cases I focus manually and use the metering features of the EOS-body for correct capture.
The wide angle sector is the best for begining the usage of MF lenses - so you will see the positive effects of a more active picture composition first.

Jörg
EOS 1Ds, D60, 10D, 30D*, 400D, var. manual lenses, Zeiss and other german manufacturers and some EF/EFs ... *: 30D with extended IR-range for astrophotography

Longvision

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 05:39:26 AM »
I would qualify Optikus's reply : manual focussing on an slr is much more difficult with wide angle lenses than with longer focal lenses. That's because things don't "snap in focus" in the same way, due to the wider dof. You may see things in focus on your viewscreen, which provides a small enlargment of your picture, but when printed at a significant size, you find out that your focus plane is not where you expected it to be.

Another important thing is that you need to install the viewscreen specifically designed for manual focussing on your camera. The original viewscreen sacrifices accuracy to brightness. I had this viewscreen on my 5D1.

I have the 24/1.4 mkI. I acheive better focus with the autofocus than manually with this lens. Conversely, I can equal the autofocus manually with the 135/2.0, provided I have enough time to focus carefully.

I used to have the zeiss 21/2.8, Y/C system. A great lens, without any doubt. However, remember that sharpness is a combination of good optics and accurate focussing. Personally, I would rather take the canon 24/1.4 II, because I would not trust myself for focussing accurately with a manual focus wide angle lens, especially for environmental portrait, at wide aperture. Of course, at smaller apertures, the wide dof largely solves the problem.

My reasoning would be different if you were to choose between two short teles.

If you can, try out the zeiss, and see how easily you can focus on a face, at full aperture, in average light conditions. If you hit perfect focus, that your eyes are much better than mine, and this lens is for you. Otherwise, you proabably better off with the canon.

Hope that helps.

hendrik-sg

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 06:29:50 AM »
I dont know the Zeiss lens.

- The Canon has huge coma wide open. At night with bright lights in Background, i would recommend to stop it down to 2.0 or better 2.8. then its really sharp. the huge vignetting in the outer part of a FF shot can be fixed in software, but that means the same as using higher iso and less opening.

- I use this lens wide open only for events, where the outer part is out of focus anyway. then the AF is essential, as in bad light i cant get focus manually on moving subjects.

- Stopped down the lens is tack sharp and has no distortion, in opposite to the standard zooms. i would suppose the zeiss offers the same stopped down for landscapes, so this is no real Advantage for the canon.

Fazit: if you want to use the lens for events in low light as well (and can accept toe optical compromises wide open vs the compromises of high iso stopped down) i would go with the canon, otherwise i dont know because i never used the Zeiss.

rambarra

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 07:55:54 AM »
go for the zeiss without esitation. It is so much better in color and sharpness. The canon 24 from 1.4 to 2.8 is barely usable, so there's no advantage.


« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 07:58:51 AM by rambarra »

risc32

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 08:24:51 AM »
I agree with what was said above about manual focusing a wide angle. Sounds easy, but i'm finding it more difficult than expected. I'm sure the Zeiss is awesome, but from what i've seen at places like photozone.de, at any given fstop that both lenses can do, (2.8 and narrower) the canon eguals the zeiss, and you have the option to go up to 2 stops faster with the canon if need be. sure the IQ of the canon at these larger openings would be less than the much slower zeiss, but the option is there. Plus, 82mm filters are more expensive, and not as useful across multiple lenses. that of course might not be true for you personally, maybe you have other glass that uses 82mm filters, or perhaps you don't really use any filters anyway, so no problem.

CJRodgers

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 08:36:34 AM »
Thanks for all your thoughts.

Whilst I was very excited by the zeiss i went with the canon. It was a lens I have wanted for a long time, and I haven't even looked into the zeiss very much because I just always assumed Id never have one. So i went with what i had researched most. Plus i got the guy to know an extra £20 off, chuck in postage. And it has filters, and its weathersealed. So im happy. I think :s lol.

The best thing about both lens' is that they both hold their value so well. So if I practise manual focus on this, if i decide i prefer the colour or the slightly wider feel of the zeiss I can always sell it and buy a zeiss if the opportunity comes up again i guess!

Thanks again. I love that I can always count on this forumn for some input.

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 08:36:34 AM »

infared

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 08:41:00 AM »
I own the 16-35mm II and the Zeiss 21mm ZE....all I can say is ...if the shot really matters to me I DEFINITELY pick up my Zeiss! The Zeiss is amazing...you just have to know if you can do without the auto focus. ....I need both and live with the obvious trade-offs when I pick up one lens or the other.
Sounds like you may want to trade in your 35mm and buy the new Sigma, too!  :-)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 08:50:00 AM 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.....

LostArk

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 08:41:18 AM »
Zeiss is slightly sharper in the corners at 2.8, but the Canon gives you 2 extra stops and AF. You are right, the Canon does have bad coma at wider apertures, but it's okay by 2.8. If you're not sure you need the Zeiss, the Canon is the safer bet.

CJRodgers

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 08:46:49 AM »
Zeiss is slightly sharper in the corners at 2.8, but the Canon gives you 2 extra stops and AF. You are right, the Canon does have bad coma at wider apertures, but it's okay by 2.8. If you're not sure you need the Zeiss, the Canon is the safer bet.

I think this is what I have done really. I've gone with the safer and more sensible bet. Ill be able to judge better if I want a zeiss once i get my hands on the canon. How much wider is 21mm from 24mm? If i feel the 24mm still wasnt wide enough and I wanted just a bit more, would 21mm be enough or would i need even wider?



Longvision

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 10:32:41 AM »
CJrogers,

As I said further up, I would have done the same choice as you. I owned the Zeiss, and now have the 24/1.4 mk1. Given the advantage  /disadvantage balance of both lenses (better corner sharpness for one, autofocus and wider aperture for the other), I would take the Canon today if I had to choose again, with the experience of both lenses. ANd this is with the Mark 1. The mark 2 is a definite optical improvement over the mark 1, meaning that you trade even less by going for the Canon.

basically, I am sure you will not regret you purchase. Go out and shoot with it. You will see it really is a great lens, with a quite unique focal length / aperture combination.

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 10:32:41 AM »

CJRodgers

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 10:39:37 AM »
Yeah, it does look very sharp in the centre too. Either way both look great, and im lucky enough to be able to afford it at all!

Thanks. I cant wait to get it in the post tomorrow. I need to go somewhere dark and shoot the stars now!

infared

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 10:45:05 AM »
This may help you choose:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=480&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=4&LensComp=708&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Hey Norman...that comparison on the Digital Picture would appear to prove that the Canon is sharper than the Zeiss at f/2.8 (although the Zeiss sample is underexposed a little so it is tough to compare...but the Canon looks sharper).
That would go against everything I have read LOL!!!  Can we chalk that up to variation in copies????
Sometimes I just don't know what to believe.
I tried to find another good comparison like SLRGear but they have not review or tested the Zeiss.
I will check into DxO...but I am not a fan there....
Thanks for throwing that into the mix!  It should make CJ very happy with his choice!!!!!! I still love my Zeiss, tho.

Update:
For what it is worth DxO rates the Canon 24 much higher than the Zeiss 21mm on a 5DIII....
Hmmmmmmmm...... (LOL!)

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Carl-Zeiss/Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T-21mm-f-2.8-ZE-Canon/(camera)/436/(cameraname)/CANON-EOS-1Ds-Mark-III

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Canon/Canon-EF-24mm-F14L-II-USM/(camera)/436/(cameraname)/CANON-EOS-1Ds-Mark-III
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 11:07:23 AM 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.....

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Re: Quick decision help: canon 24 vs zeiss 21
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 10:45:05 AM »