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Author Topic: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?  (Read 9196 times)

cayenne

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Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« on: September 12, 2013, 12:04:35 PM »
I hear about the great Zeiss lenses, and read the great reviews on them.

My question is, why do they ONLY seem to do manual focus lenses? Could they not really clean up on the high end market by making them work with the Canon/Nikon AF systems???

Thanks in advance,

cayenne

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Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« on: September 12, 2013, 12:04:35 PM »

Halfrack

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 12:39:03 PM »
Short answer, less moving parts makes for a more reliable lens.  Yes, they could make a killing, but look at the trouble Tamaron, Tokina and Sigma have had dealing with Canon and Nikon.  If you want AF on Zeiss, look at Sony.  It works well, but like anything, there is always a trade-off.
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AvTvM

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 12:46:46 PM »
My question is, why do they ONLY seem to do manual focus lenses? Could they not really clean up on the high end market by making them work with the Canon/Nikon AF systems???

Yes, they could. But the market would still be a fairly small niche.

Obviously Zeiss either is not capable to develop and implement good enough AF-drive + compatibility with proprietary and undisclosed Canon and Nikon AF-protocols and/or they are not willing because they sell some lenses at premium prices even without AF and the market niche would not be that much larger if the glass came with AF.

The only way to get Zeiss-designed (not built) AF-lenses is from and for Sony. :-)

I refuse to buy any manual focus lens ever [except possibly the Canon 17/4 Tilt Shift]. Done that, been there ... many years ago. As a matter of fact, I would be more than willing to buy lenses with hi-quality optics but without manual focus ring and manual focus gear - better sealed against dust/weather and more robust. And at a substantial discount [say -25%] because it would be quite a bit cheaper to produce 'em. :-)

AvTvM

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 12:49:14 PM »
Short answer, less moving parts makes for a more reliable lens. 

I agree. That's why I would be interested to buy hi-quality lenses without manual focus ring and gears but with only a silent, fast and ultra-robust ring-type USM AF-drive. :-)

7enderbender

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 01:27:50 PM »
I hear about the great Zeiss lenses, and read the great reviews on them.

My question is, why do they ONLY seem to do manual focus lenses? Could they not really clean up on the high end market by making them work with the Canon/Nikon AF systems???

Thanks in advance,

cayenne


It would change the way they provide such high mechanical quality. Dare I say that for me it's really the other way round: why doesn't Canon provide any digital full frame body that works reliably as a full time manual focus camera only? Answer: very few people would be buying something like this in this day and age. But I'd still prefer it.

I'm still bummed out by the fact that in order to go digital I had to go AF. Never wanted the EOS system because of the flimsiness that comes with anything AF. My dream camera remains a full frame digital version of the F1n with an updated range of FD lenses.


5DII - 50L - 135L - 200 2.8L - 24-105 - 580EXII - 430EXII - FD 500/8 - AE1-p - bag full of FD lenses

mrsfotografie

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 01:56:29 PM »
I hear about the great Zeiss lenses, and read the great reviews on them.

My question is, why do they ONLY seem to do manual focus lenses? Could they not really clean up on the high end market by making them work with the Canon/Nikon AF systems???

Thanks in advance,

cayenne


It would change the way they provide such high mechanical quality. Dare I say that for me it's really the other way round: why doesn't Canon provide any digital full frame body that works reliably as a full time manual focus camera only? Answer: very few people would be buying something like this in this day and age. But I'd still prefer it.

I'm still bummed out by the fact that in order to go digital I had to go AF. Never wanted the EOS system because of the flimsiness that comes with anything AF. My dream camera remains a full frame digital version of the F1n with an updated range of FD lenses.

Here's one reason why I'm sticking with my 5DmkII for now. Its viewfinder isn't perfect for use with MF but the EF-S screen and AF confirmation are a great help.
5D3, 5D2, Sony α6000, S90 | SY14 f/2.8, Ʃ20 f/1.8, 24 f/2.8, 35 f/2, Ʃ35 f/1.4A, 50 f/1.8 I, Ʃ50 f/1.4 EX, 100L Macro, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 1.4x II, 70-300L, 100-400L | E-mount: SY12 f/2, Ʃ19 & 30 f/2.8 EX DN, 16-70 ZA OSS, 55-210 OSS, Metabones SB | FT-QL, AE-1P | FD(n) & FL lenses

dilbert

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 02:11:25 PM »
It would change the way they provide such high mechanical quality. Dare I say that for me it's really the other way round: why doesn't Canon provide any digital full frame body that works reliably as a full time manual focus camera only? Answer: very few people would be buying something like this in this day and age. But I'd still prefer it.

You don't use live view for manual focus?

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 02:11:25 PM »

surapon

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 02:53:16 PM »
I hear about the great Zeiss lenses, and read the great reviews on them.

My question is, why do they ONLY seem to do manual focus lenses? Could they not really clean up on the high end market by making them work with the Canon/Nikon AF systems???

Thanks in advance,

cayenne


It would change the way they provide such high mechanical quality. Dare I say that for me it's really the other way round: why doesn't Canon provide any digital full frame body that works reliably as a full time manual focus camera only? Answer: very few people would be buying something like this in this day and age. But I'd still prefer it.

I'm still bummed out by the fact that in order to go digital I had to go AF. Never wanted the EOS system because of the flimsiness that comes with anything AF. My dream camera remains a full frame digital version of the F1n with an updated range of FD lenses.

Here's one reason why I'm sticking with my 5DmkII for now. Its viewfinder isn't perfect for use with MF but the EF-S screen and AF confirmation are a great help.

+ 1
Dear Mrspotografie.
I still use my Old 5D MK II with my Canon TS-E 24 mm. F/ 3.5 L MK II ( Manual Focus Lens)---I just set 1 point center spot Focus, and Set up the Camera sound to "Beep"  when I turn the Focus ring to the right spot of best focus. Yes, my 64 Years Old eyes are so bad, But my ears still in great shape to hear the " Beep " sound, and press the shutter.
Thanks for your comments.
Surapon

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2013, 03:02:04 PM »
So far I've read (I'm not expert in optic design), there is a large difference in the optic design of the lens : it's manual, due to a larger (and heavier) group of moving lenses inside the lens itself (sorry for my poor english). A lens having an AF has a smaller (and lighter) moving group, so that the AF engine CAN move it. The result is that the optical quality can be better, with such a manual lens design.
Well, I'm owning one (35mm F2), and I'll should keep it... The IQ difference is very noticeable. Not to mention the colour rendition... That should inspire other manufacturers...

Sporgon

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 03:04:38 PM »
Before the days of accurate camera AF, AFMA, and precise AF mechanisms in lenses there was a niche for good manual focus lenses. Those days weren't so long ago either: about five years ago. But now with all those things the real need for manual focus lenses has all but evaporated.

It wouldn't surprise me if we did start to see some AF Zeiss for Canon in the near future.

There will always be those few who want a proper manual focus for the pleasure of using it, but they are few and far between.

Sporgon

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2013, 03:06:24 PM »
So far I've read (I'm not expert in optic design), there is a large difference in the optic design of the lens : it's manual, due to a larger (and heavier) group of moving lenses inside the lens itself (sorry for my poor english). A lens having an AF has a smaller (and lighter) moving group, so that the AF engine CAN move it. The result is that the optical quality can be better, with such a manual lens design.
Well, I'm owning one (35mm F2), and I'll should keep it... The IQ difference is very noticeable. Not to mention the colour rendition... That should inspire other manufacturers...

Hmmm, not convinced on that. Whilst it may have some truth for cheap light weight lenses there are some pretty hefty elements out there being moved by AF.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2013, 03:09:35 PM »
There will always be those few who want a proper manual focus for the pleasure of using it, but they are few and far between.

I wonder if there are people who use an abacus to calculate their tax forms, just for the pleasure of it?  ::)
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RGF

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2013, 03:11:41 PM »
So far I've read (I'm not expert in optic design), there is a large difference in the optic design of the lens : it's manual, due to a larger (and heavier) group of moving lenses inside the lens itself (sorry for my poor english). A lens having an AF has a smaller (and lighter) moving group, so that the AF engine CAN move it. The result is that the optical quality can be better, with such a manual lens design.
Well, I'm owning one (35mm F2), and I'll should keep it... The IQ difference is very noticeable. Not to mention the colour rendition... That should inspire other manufacturers...

Hmmm, not convinced on that. Whilst it may have some truth for cheap light weight lenses there are some pretty hefty elements out there being moved by AF.

Even if the groups are a bit heavier, that means the motors would need to be beefier.

Good be done, is a trade off - cost and bulk.  But I would gladly trade up certain lenses. I wish Canon would work with Zeiss to create a joint offer - premium quality lenses.  Of course, that would imply Canon can not do it themselves.

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2013, 03:11:41 PM »

cayenne

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2013, 03:13:10 PM »
Before the days of accurate camera AF, AFMA, and precise AF mechanisms in lenses there was a niche for good manual focus lenses. Those days weren't so long ago either: about five years ago. But now with all those things the real need for manual focus lenses has all but evaporated.

It wouldn't surprise me if we did start to see some AF Zeiss for Canon in the near future.

There will always be those few who want a proper manual focus for the pleasure of using it, but they are few and far between.

I hope so....I just can't see well enough anymore for manual focus.

I can't see good enough close up with my contacts on....so, I rely on the AF when out and about shooting.

That's why my videos shot for my cooking vids all have me with my glasses on. I have to wear those so that it is quick and easy for me to pull them up and look with my VERY nearsighted eyes on live view and be able to manual focus there with the zoom feature.

But I rarely wear my glasses when out...so, I really can't do manual focus when out and shooting something requiring fast accurate focus from shot to shot.

Sporgon

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2013, 03:17:27 PM »
There will always be those few who want a proper manual focus for the pleasure of using it, but they are few and far between.

I wonder if there are people who use an abacus to calculate their tax forms, just for the pleasure of it?  ::)

You mean there's another way ?  :(

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Re: Why are Zeiss lenses manual?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2013, 03:17:27 PM »