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Author Topic: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?  (Read 7606 times)

FunPhotons

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Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« on: February 25, 2013, 06:26:57 PM »
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/818396-REG/Zeiss_410951_0000_032_ZE_SLR_Lens_Case.html

  • 21mm f/2.8 Lens
  • 28mm f/2 Lens
  • 35mm f/2 Lens
  • 50mm f/1.4 Lens
  • 85mm f/1.4 Lens

Thoughts? Better to buy them individually? Instead of the lenses given what would you substitute?

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Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« on: February 25, 2013, 06:26:57 PM »

Axilrod

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 07:27:20 PM »
It's an excellent kit if you want a set of primes for video. There isn't really that great of a discount on them though, I think you save maybe $300 + you get a free case.  There are a few things I don't like about it, like I prefer the 50mm f/2 Makro over the 50mm f/1.4.   The only lens in that group I'm not a big fan of is the 28mm f/2 (the 25mm f/2 however is nothing short of incredible).  Not that the 28mm is bad, it just didn't impress me like some of the others.  Some people recommend the ZF.2 if you're shooting video, you can get the aperture ring de-clicked and have a way to smoothly adjust the iris.  Regardless of whether or not the 50 f/2 is better than the 50 f/1.4 or the 25mm being better than the 28mm, it's still an excellent kit and you can produce great images with any one of the 5 lenses.

But overall, all ZE glass is built like a tank, all the lenses have butter smooth focus rings that actually have hard stops at macro and infinity.  The color rendition is superb and very accurate, bokeh is beautiful (very cine-like), and contrast/micro contrast are excellent. I find myself doing much less color correction on video shot with the Zeiss stuff as compared to Canon  Of course they don't have AF, so if you shoot stills I don't know that I'd recommend them, but for video they are without a doubt superior to Canon glass.  They do have focus confirmation, so if you half-press the shutter and adjust focus the point will still beep and light up when you hit focus.   

PS. The $4000+/per lens Zeiss CP.2 are just rehoused ZE's with more aperture blades, same optics though.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 07:35:37 PM by Axilrod »
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 07:48:34 PM »
The Zeiss CP's are made in Germany from hand picked glass.  The rejects go into the Zeiss Glass made by Cosina in Japan ;)   You are not just getting a repackaged lens, but one which is made to tighter tolerances that are wanted by cinematographers.  This comes at a big price premium.
However, unless you are using them to make money and a lot of it, they are overkill.

Axilrod

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 07:49:15 PM »
Also my personal dream 5-lens kit from Zeiss would probably be:
15mm f/2.8
25mm f/2
35mm f/1.4
50mm f/2
100mm f/2

I think the 15mm, 25mm f/2, 50mm f/2 and 100mm are the most amazing of the ZE line, and of course those are the ones excluded from the kit. 

The 21mm is also amazing, originally I thought it was perfection but I think that was I was only comparing it to the 16-35mm, and at f/2.8 there is a massive difference between the two.  But next to the 24mm f/1.4 it didn't wow me quite as much. 

The 35mm f/2 is also stellar and I'd say sharper than the 35mm f/1.4 (but the 35 has better bokeh).  The 35mm f/1.4 is also ridiculously heavy though and almost 2x the price of the 35mm f/2. 

The 50mm f/2 is much sharper on the edges than the 50mm f/1.4, and even wide open at f/2 the 50mm Makro is sharper than the 50mm f/1.4 @ f/2.  But that's not to say the 50mm f/1.4 isn't a good lens, especially considering it's low price.  I'll tell you this, (before I used the 50 f/2) I used the 50mm f/1.4 and was pretty blown away by it compared to the 50L I had been using.

The only ZE lens that didn't "wow' me from the get-go was the 85mm f/1.4.  Maybe it's because the 85LII is my normal 85mm, and that's tough to beat.  Not to say it's not a good, or even great lens, I just wasn't that impressed with it compared to it's Canon counterpart. 

ZE 100mm is incredible, probably the sharpest lens I own.  But it's $1850, compared to Canon's $950ish 100L Macro, only for half the price you also get IS and AF.  Not sure if it's worth the price difference in this case, but I don't miss the Canon 100L.  If I was shooting stills I'd go w/the Canon.

Sorry for the long response, I took my medicine late today so even though it's "veg out and surf the web time" my thoughts are still racing.
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Axilrod

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 07:51:22 PM »
The Zeiss CP's are made in Germany from hand picked glass.  The rejects go into the Zeiss Glass made by Cosina in Japan ;)   You are not just getting a repackaged lens, but one which is made to tighter tolerances that are wanted by cinematographers.  This comes at a big price premium.
However, unless you are using them to make money and a lot of it, they are overkill.

Interesting, I figured there may have been some differences, but how much you can notice in the final image I'm not sure.  I've compared the 21mm, 35mm, and 50mm and there was virtually no difference in sharpness.  Either way the ZE's are still solid lenses, but I agree, they are overkill for most.
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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 08:52:32 PM »
The only one i have personal experience with is the 50f1.4 and i love it(the zeiss look). And the 50mp is considered to be better, but more expensive. I have been researching various zeiss review & image websites for weeks trying to decide on which lenses i would get if i could afford them, and have decided on the 100mp(considerd one the best of zeiss distagon ze lenses), the 21mm, the 35mm(cant decide between the f1.4 or f2, or maybe even the new sigma art lens), and maybe the 50mp. The 15mm looks great, but at $3000 i doubt that i could afford it. Here are some of the zeiss sites i have visited:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/860134
http://www.zeissimages.com/index.php
http://zeissguide.com/    a paid site, mostly
http://www.pixel-peeper.com/lenses/zeiss/
Some have forum discussions also.  Roger Cicala at Lensrentals also has a few comments on the various zeiss lenses (he likes zeiss)
Hope this helps you make your decision. Since they are so expensive, I have spent a good amount of time trying to decide. I am happy with with the canon 85f1.2L i have, so am not considering the zeiss 85mm. I see also that there is a new Zeiss 135 that will be available for canon--look at B&H.I also have the canon 135L, so probably will not get the Zeiss.

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 09:57:25 PM »
The Zeiss CP's are made in Germany from hand picked glass.  The rejects go into the Zeiss Glass made by Cosina in Japan ;)   

That's nowhere near the truth. I suspect the wink means you meant it as a joke, but I wanted to let other people in on your joke.

Cosina is a world-class lensmaker that produces lens from the bargain-priced Phoenix and Vivitar brands to the high end Zeiss brand. They also make some very interesting lenses of their own design in the high end Voigtländer brand.

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 09:57:25 PM »

Plaid Zebra Films

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 03:52:33 AM »
I am in the process of starting up a video production company this month and while the idea of the 5 lens kits sounded appealing I chose to go with 4 individual lenses. All zeiss ZE

21 2.8
35 1.4 (a lot shaper and better bokeh IMO)
50 2 macro (same as above^^)
85 1.4

I'll be using them with my 5D mk iii and C100. Already got in the 35 and 85 this week and loving them to death. I debated on whether to go with the 100 over the 85 but I like the 135 focal distance a lot on my 5D and the 85 on the C100 = 135 with the crop. A telephoto and manageable length for video. I'll be making a short demo reel this weekend in Santa Cruz that I can post later. Cheers

TurbineSeaplane

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 02:47:24 PM »
...I chose to go with 4 individual lenses. All zeiss ZE

21 2.8
35 1.4 (a lot shaper and better bokeh IMO)
50 2 macro (same as above^^)
85 1.4

Hi.
Just wondering if you had any follow up about your lens choices?

I presently have the 15 2.8 & 50 2 Macro.

Considering swapping out the 15 2.8 for a 21 2.8 as I'm not sure I really need as wide as the 15 and the 21 might serve me in more situations (plus get $1k off the table).

I've also thought about adding the 35 1.4, but if I had the 21 I'm not sure I would need something between 21 & 50...although I'm sure there are lots of opinions on that.

One thing is for sure though.  I'm TOTALLY in love with these Zeiss lenses!

tron

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 03:23:01 PM »
A mere case is not worth it!   Buy them one by one and choose the ones you really want.

I have the 21mm 2.8 ZE and it is excellent. If I were to buy a second one I would get the 25mm f/2.0

I do not believe in 85mm since it is not easy to focus manually, plus: It has been reported to have focus shift.

TurbineSeaplane

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 03:24:29 PM »

I have the 21mm 2.8 ZE and it is excellent. If I were to buy a second one I would get the 25mm f/2.0


See I find this comment interesting.
Wouldn't you find the 21 & 25 to be too close to be worth the cost of having both?

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 05:16:15 PM »
Agree with some of the others than all 5 lenses may create a storage issue meaning seldom will you carry all five at one time, but its ALWAYS nice to select which Ferarri to drive today. ;D

I own currently 35/2.0, 50/2.0 and 100/2.0.  Just sold my 85/1.4 and 50/1.4.  I'm looking for a 21mm to complete 'my set' and I don't carry all at once.

I've rented the 15mm and the new 135mm, all proven to be the best there is.  I will add that I also carry a Canon TSE 24mm L II and a Sigma 35 1.4 with me on occasion.   And yes, I do have some lenses so close in range that its rather redundant to have so many but I eventually sell the ones that seldom get used. 

This is only my workflow and not for everyone.

Bottom line, hard to go wrong with Zeiss lenses.  Biting off all five at one time is something I couldn't have done.

Wish you all the best with this.

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"You never learn anything until you mess it up."

TurbineSeaplane

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 05:25:42 PM »

I own currently 35/2.0, 50/2.0 and 100/2.0.  Just sold my 85/1.4 and 50/1.4.  I'm looking for a 21mm to complete 'my set' and I don't carry all at once.

I've rented the 15mm...

Just curious, but how are you choosing (or what's the thinking I guess) behind the 21mm over the 15mm?
Thanks for your thoughts...

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 05:25:42 PM »

ecka

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2013, 06:42:28 PM »
I'd choose the best  :)
15/2.8
25/2 or 21/2.8
55/1.4
100/2
135/2
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 03:58:37 AM by ecka »
FF + primes !

noisejammer

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 07:36:13 PM »
I own the 21,25, 28, both 35's, a 50MP and the 100MP. My $0.02 goes something like this

1. From reading (including respected subscription sites.) The 50/1.4 is pretty ordinary. Although it has nice bokeh, it's far from sharp. Roger C did a piece on this when he compared multiple 50mm lenses  - something like the beginning of 2012. It also suffers from quite a lot of focus shift.

2. The 85 is a nice lens but it also has significant focus shift. It's ok if you use live view to focus.

3. The 21 - I find it interesting but it sits in a netherworld between extreme and easy to use. It's reasonably sharp but has weird distortion - you need to take it down to f/5.6 or slower for it to really pop.

4. The 25 - it's good wide open and superb when stopped down to f/4. There's strong forward field curvature in the corners that is difficult to suppress.

5. The 28 - it has a lot of forward field curvature. This allows it to produce very different images from the 25. It's as sharp but it's a lens that you need to learn.

6. The 35/1.4 - it's EXTREMELY difficult to use wide open but it's great when you nail it. Even with magnified live view, the residual SA makes it difficult to see when it's sharp. At f/3.2 or so, it overtakes the 35/2 in sharpness. Bear in mind that this is one of the heaviest walkabout lenses out there.

7. The 35/2 - by far the easiest Zeiss lens to use - has excellent focus gradient characteristics but suffers from a bit more CA than the others. This is easy to fix in post.

8. 50MP - This is a wonderful lens but it suffers from some field curvature in the corners. From around f/4, it's more than good enough to use for astrophotography which is a measure of how sharp the image is over the entire field.

9. 100MP - Even sharper than the 50MP but it has some purple fringing when wide open. This is usually not an issue but can limit the accuracy of your focus.

10. 135/2 - I have read tests on it but not had a chance to run one up... It's an awfully expensive lens but it seems to be about as good as it gets.

On reflection, if I was starting up a set, I would certainly replace the 50/1.4 with the 50/2. The rest of the boxed set would be splendid.

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Re: Thoughts on Zeiss Canon 5 lens kit?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 07:36:13 PM »