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Author Topic: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon  (Read 8279 times)

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Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« on: November 14, 2013, 10:35:14 AM »

From The-Digital-Picture

Bryan from TDP has completed his review of the highly regarded Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon lens. His thoughts on the lens match mine, it is simply the best full frame ultrawide lens available for Canon DSLRs.


Says Bryan

“As I just said, I regard the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens as the best-available ultra-wide angle landscape lens available. This lens is also an excellent choice for architecture and other confined-space photography. The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens offers very impressive build quality and excellent prime lens image quality in a made-for-landscape and architecture focal length.”


Read the full reviewZeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon at B&H Photo


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Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« on: November 14, 2013, 10:35:14 AM »

horshack

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 10:53:35 AM »
I'm generally a Zeiss fan myself but the Nikon 14-24 (w/adapter) represents a much better value and is sharper across the frame when stopped down vs the Zeiss.

Normalnorm

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 11:12:51 AM »
What? Its the best?
Crap, I just spent money on the Rokinon 14mm.
My life is over.

sunnyVan

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 11:23:30 AM »
It's a beautiful toy if I had a money printing machine at home. Glad I got a rokinon 14 as well.
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infared

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 11:47:53 AM »
I kind of pained over my decision about this lens...(own the 21mm f/2.8 Love it)....after weighing out the options I decided to purchase the Canon 17mm TSE.   I know there are differences but I can't imaging a MF lens more versatile or with better IQ......and at $2179 plus 4% cash back on top of that ...it eventually became a no-brainer.
There is a learning (comfort) curve with the lens..no doubt...but it is so much more capable. Also...with the addition of the 1.4X (which I already owned for my 70-200mm)  I get a very good to excellent somewhat slow (f/5.6) tilt-shift 24mm! The Zeoss DOES have that ever-so-nice f/2.8 aperture and easier filter implementation if that is your thing. We all have different needs.
I am very surprised at the quality of the images with the 1.4X on the camera. Makes the output from my 16-35mmL look "less-than".
I am sure that the Zeiss is incredible ....but I can't imagine being much more ecstatic upon opening an image on my iMac. With the TSE advantage & the considerable price difference..I think I got the best for me.... ..but I bet both lenses have an equal WOWzer factor when opening the files!

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5483/9068325953_efd08b4659_o.jpg
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 12:11:15 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.....

cliffwang

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 01:17:15 PM »
3K lens!!!!  I will just stick with my $300 Samyang 14mm.
Canon 5D3 | Samyang 14mm F/2.8 | Sigma 50mm F/1.4 | Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 VC | Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS MK2 | Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro L | Canon Closed-up 500D | 430EX | Kenko 2x Teleplus Pro 300 | Manfrotto Tripod

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 01:24:50 PM »
I've seen images with it, he resolution is so much better than any competition.  I had a Samyang 14mm "coke bottle", it was the worst lens I've ever owned.  I sent it right back.
 
The Nikon 14-24 is sharp in lab tests, but in the field, in bright sun, its difficult to avoid flare that either ruins the image entirely, or degrades contrast.  Its a cloudy day lens.  I haven't seen reports of flare for the Zeiss.

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 01:24:50 PM »

Eldar

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 01:39:15 PM »
Very impressive performance and built like a tank. But realistically it would not be used much. I find wide angel shooting to be very challenging and almost believe this talent resides in a disconnected part of my brain.
Like Bryan says in the review; Making a good picture is fairly easy, making a great one is extremely difficult.

The preferred alternative for me, the 17 TS-E 4L has the immense advantage of being a tilt&shift lens. That way I can correct for many of the perspective problems I often have. This is also an optically absolute top performer and I doubt I will miss having the 2mm extra very often.

And I believe I have heard a rumor .... of a 14-24L ...(?)
5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 70-300/4-5.6L IS, 200-400/4L IS 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Zeiss 35/1.4, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, Zeiss Otus 85/1.4, 100/2.8L IS Macro, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L IS II

facedodge

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 01:53:59 PM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=794&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=769&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=2

Here is a comparison to the Rokinon/Samyang.

The Zeiss is a tad sharper at 2.8, but they are equal by f/4. Though this could be due to TDP having a bad copy.

The Zeiss also has a bit less distortion, but it's also 7% less wide so it's not apple to apples.

I definitely don't see $2,600 worth of improvement. 

lostfeliz

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2013, 02:05:10 PM »
I'm really liking my Rokinon 14mm. The first copy had a focusing issue, but the 2nd copy is great. My first shoot with it was in a reclusive artist's studio. The gallery printed these two photographs at 14 feet wide and used it as wallpaper behind his artwork.

I'm sure it's not the quality of the Zeiss, but it's perfect for my budget/needs.

traveller

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2013, 02:25:42 PM »
This could possibly be the perfect landscape lens for me, except that I don't fancy doing this and cutting the hood petals off to use it with my Lee ND grads:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/zeiss-15mm-hood-removal

Oh, and I can't afford it either! Looks like I'm stuck with my crappy Canon 17-40  ;)

infared

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2013, 02:35:12 PM »
This could possibly be the perfect landscape lens for me, except that I don't fancy doing this and cutting the hood petals off to use it with my Lee ND grads:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/zeiss-15mm-hood-removal

Oh, and I can't afford it either! Looks like I'm stuck with my crappy Canon 17-40  ;)

Traveler...that is GREAT...Lens Rentals Rocks...but I don't think that I would be buying a $3000 lens and then start taking it apart (and I am extremely handy and like to take risks..but not this!!!!) Thanks for posting that article...you gave me knowledge, but more importantly a great laugh!!!!
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.....

infared

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2013, 02:42:40 PM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=794&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=769&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=2

Here is a comparison to the Rokinon/Samyang.

The Zeiss is a tad sharper at 2.8, but they are equal by f/4. Though this could be due to TDP having a bad copy.

The Zeiss also has a bit less distortion, but it's also 7% less wide so it's not apple to apples.

I definitely don't see $2,600 worth of improvement.

"The Zeiss is a tad sharper"....LOL..based on the corner resolution in The Digital Picture comparison tool,   I would think that you may be able to shoot sharper with a plastic lens rather than the SamYang...at ALL apertures... I don't think it is worth $359.  ...but hey whatever makes you happy...you are smiling!!!! Maybe around f/8 the SamYang is tolerable.  :P
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 02:45:51 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.....

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2013, 02:42:40 PM »

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2013, 03:38:31 PM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=794&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=769&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=2

Here is a comparison to the Rokinon/Samyang.

The Zeiss is a tad sharper at 2.8, but they are equal by f/4. Though this could be due to TDP having a bad copy.

The Zeiss also has a bit less distortion, but it's also 7% less wide so it's not apple to apples.

I definitely don't see $2,600 worth of improvement.

"The Zeiss is a tad sharper"....LOL..based on the corner resolution in The Digital Picture comparison tool,   I would think that you may be able to shoot sharper with a plastic lens rather than the SamYang...at ALL apertures... I don't think it is worth $359.  ...but hey whatever makes you happy...you are smiling!!!! Maybe around f/8 the SamYang is tolerable.  :P

I don't know what to make of Bryan's review and/or charts (he has never actually reviewed the lens), although I have been told that there are two variations/optical formulas (older and newer) of this lens, but my own review along with that of others say that the new version is in fact basically as sharp as the Canon 14L and is one of the sharpest wide angle optics available for a Canon lens. 

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/532-samyang14f28eosff
Roger here at Lens Rentals says that he is a big fan of the lens and that it compares favorably with the 14L.

I've used about five different wide angle options, and the copy of the Rokinon that I have is so much sharper at all apertures than anything that I have used before that there is no comparison.  I have no doubt that the Zeiss is better still, but as it is about 10x the price...

P.S.  The Rokinon blows the Canon "L" wide angle zooms away in sharpness in every detail.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 03:42:47 PM by TWI by Dustin Abbott »
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

RVB

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2013, 04:29:53 PM »
I'm generally a Zeiss fan myself but the Nikon 14-24 (w/adapter) represents a much better value and is sharper across the frame when stopped down vs the Zeiss.

I have both,, the Zeiss is sharper and has better colour and contrast (although at certain apertures the Nikkor is better at the edges.. but not by much),it also has no problems with focus shift,the same can't be said about the nikkor..

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Re: Review: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2013, 04:29:53 PM »