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Author Topic: Considering the Zeiss 21  (Read 3629 times)

wayno

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Considering the Zeiss 21
« on: February 10, 2013, 06:05:49 AM »
I'd welcome the opinion of those who have these lenses. I currently have the 17-40L which I find has good IQ and the 24-70II which has discernably superior IQ. Very sharp, contrasty - the whole shebang. I have had the Zeiss 21 Distagon on my radar for awhile now and am wondering about (generally) replacing the 17-40L with the Zeiss for landscape work. I find the zoom very handy for landscape and will still use it but am wondering just how special the Zeiss really is. Is it similar in IQ to the 24-70II? Or is it 'better'? The new 24-70 has spoiled me somewhat, and am keen to maintain that degree of awesomeness into something a little wider.

Thoughts welcome.

(Before you say it, I will likely pick up a 24 TS at some point in the next 12 months as well). Perhaps this is generally cramming the focal range?

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Considering the Zeiss 21
« on: February 10, 2013, 06:05:49 AM »

FunPhotons

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 07:33:18 AM »
Yeah me too! Been planning on that one for some time.

dilbert

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 08:07:06 AM »
Canon urgently needs to replace the 16-35 and 17-40. Or at least the 17-40. That's even if they bring out a 14-24 or similar. Otherwise, yes, get the 21 because nothing from Canon compares.

shutterwideshut

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 08:13:53 AM »
I have both the TS-E24mm f/3.5L Mark II and the 24-70mm f/2.8L II and I would say both lenses really have superior IQ. I also have the 17-40mm which I also use to shoot  landscapes but I can not speak for the Zeiss 21mm. Why not save your money for the TS-E24mm f/3.5L Mark II which is the ultimate landscape lens? Here's a comparison of the TS-E24mm f/3.5L Mark II vs Zeiss 21mm by Darwin Wiggett: http://darwinwiggett.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/a-quick-lens-test-canon-ts-e-24mm-versus-zeiss-21mm/.

Hope this helps. Cheers.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 08:15:45 AM by shutterwideshut »
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cpsico

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 08:42:46 AM »
Canon urgently needs to replace the 16-35 and 17-40. Or at least the 17-40. That's even if they bring out a 14-24 or similar. Otherwise, yes, get the 21 because nothing from Canon compares.
I love my 16-35 at F5.6-11 yes it's a little soft at 2.8 but it really mates nicely with my 5d mark II

davidstarzhou

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 09:06:06 AM »
I have a Carl Zeiss 21mm f2.8 ZE lens for about two years. I considered 17-40L and 16-35L before I purchased Zeiss 21.

I have used 16-35L and 14L for a while (lens available from friends or coworkers), and I am not impressed with the corners of images from these lenses. I even considered Nikon 14-24G for 5D2 body but I really care about the quality of the image in the corners.

Zeiss 21mm is a legend in terms of the performance of sharpness in the corners.

Buy it and you won't regret.

davidstarzhou

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 09:07:33 AM »
I have some images taken recently with Zeiss 21mm on my flickr. You may look at them as samples if you so wish.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zhouxing2004/8415746901/#in/photostream

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 09:07:33 AM »

paul

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 10:32:47 AM »
I also have 16/35 II and 24/70 II and I just bought the Samyang 14/2.8.  Great lens! I 've considered the Zeiss 18 or 21 too,but I think they're to close to 24,so I wanted wider.

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 10:58:13 AM »
Canon urgently needs to replace the 16-35 and 17-40. Or at least the 17-40. That's even if they bring out a 14-24 or similar. Otherwise, yes, get the 21 because nothing from Canon compares.
Perhaps not so urgently, considering ...

Here's a comparison of the TS-E24mm f/3.5L Mark II vs Zeiss 21mm by Darwin Wiggett: http://darwinwiggett.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/a-quick-lens-test-canon-ts-e-24mm-versus-zeiss-21mm/.
Wiggett concludes:  "Sharpness is much better with the Canon lens and I was pleased to see  little or no fringing. The winner here is clearly the Canon lens."

wayno

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 02:38:32 PM »
Thanks guys.... The 21 focal length I like for the extra width vs the 24 TS... But obviously both are impressive.

docholliday

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 04:29:27 PM »
I have the 16-35L II, the 24/TS-E II, AND the Zeiss 21/2.8 ZE. Each has it's own purpose...the 24 is sharp, and has movements, but it's microcontrast isn't as high as the Zeiss. It is also a bit more muted on the colors. The Zeiss has more dimensionalism and the colors are much punchier. The 16-35L II is good, but nowhere near the others. I have it because I need wider than 21/24 sometimes.

I also had the 16-35L (v1) and the 17-40 a while ago, as well as the 17-35L. The 16-35 I is a piece of junk compared to the rest. It just didn't have any "personality" to it. I'm not a fan of the 17-40, as it was decently sharp, but lacked dimensionalism (severely).

All of these are shot on a 1DsMkIII and 1DMkIII (and before that on the 1DsMkII). The Zeiss is worth it. Don't worry about a polarizer - you won't need it. But, the 82UV will set you back a bit (Heliopan or B+W).

As far as the Scamyang - j-u-n-k. Like looking through a Coke bottle. A colleagues had one...for two days before he got rid of it because it that bad.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2013, 06:42:31 PM »
I have the 16-35L II, the 24/TS-E II, AND the Zeiss 21/2.8 ZE. Each has it's own purpose...the 24 is sharp, and has movements, but it's microcontrast isn't as high as the Zeiss. It is also a bit more muted on the colors. The Zeiss has more dimensionalism and the colors are much punchier. The 16-35L II is good, but nowhere near the others. I have it because I need wider than 21/24 sometimes.

I also had the 16-35L (v1) and the 17-40 a while ago, as well as the 17-35L. The 16-35 I is a piece of junk compared to the rest. It just didn't have any "personality" to it. I'm not a fan of the 17-40, as it was decently sharp, but lacked dimensionalism (severely).

All of these are shot on a 1DsMkIII and 1DMkIII (and before that on the 1DsMkII). The Zeiss is worth it. Don't worry about a polarizer - you won't need it. But, the 82UV will set you back a bit (Heliopan or B+W).

As far as the Scamyang - j-u-n-k. Like looking through a Coke bottle. A colleagues had one...for two days before he got rid of it because it that bad.
I agree on the 14mm Samyang.  The 17-40mmL is OK, its cheap, and for the price its worthwhile.  Same with the 16-35.
There is little doubt that The 21mm Zeiss is a great lens.  Its not for everyone, manual focus is something I struggle with, and you really need to do fully manual exposures as well.  If you are in a situation where you can take your time, its great, but if you are photographing a live event with people moving around, it might be a bit frustrating.

Mr Bean

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 07:43:39 PM »
There is little doubt that The 21mm Zeiss is a great lens.  Its not for everyone, manual focus is something I struggle with, and you really need to do fully manual exposures as well.  If you are in a situation where you can take your time, its great, but if you are photographing a live event with people moving around, it might be a bit frustrating.
Yep. I hired a Zeiss 21mm at the end of last year, to do some astro-time lapse (using my 5D m3). At wide aperture (f2.8 ) it was amazingly sharp, compared to the Canon 24mm f1.4 (the Canon suffers from bad coma, the Zeiss has a hint of it at the edges). But the manual focus was an issue for me. Landscapes and manual focus, no problem. People and manual focus, tricky. Just set to f8 and guess the focus :)
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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 07:43:39 PM »

risc32

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 08:52:33 PM »
the zeiss has a hard infinity focus stop so i would have guessed that manual focusing for astro work couldn't get much easier. It's got complex distortion, and color shifts at the corners of the frame, and according to photozone.de at f2.8 and smaller the canon is at least as good or better. But of course the canon can go 4x as fast if needed. actually, go to 16x9 .net? and see the old canon 24mm 1.4 match the zeiss, and that's from guys who think mounting a nikon 14-24 on your canon is reasonable!
 I had a 17-40 and 16-35. now i'm rocking a samyang 14 and it's pretty cool. wish it had a hard infinity focus, and electronic aperture control, but i'm managing. old school focus distance guessing at f2.8 on moving targets in the dark is actually working pretty well. i have no doubt there are dogs out there, but mine 14 is better than my 16-35 and 17-40 were. (IQ wise that is)
 That all said, it sounds like you have some money to spend and don't mind having a few lenses at what i would consider very close focal lengths, so maybe you should pick up a zeiss. either way i doubt you'll lose much money on the deal, and that way you'll know for sure how you feel about it.
 

wayno

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 09:48:42 PM »
Again, thanks. I'm now wondering whether the Zeiss 18 might be a slightly better fit - admittedly not as stellar optically but still 'better' than the 17-40L, IQ-wise (pixel-peeping perhaps) and cheaper than the 21. The difference between 21 and 24 is noticable but maybe not a deal-breaker. 18, however makes a difference. 

Anyone with the Zeiss 18 got anything else to add? I like it for it's ability to take filters - something the 17 TS cannot conventionally do...

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Re: Considering the Zeiss 21
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 09:48:42 PM »