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Author Topic: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?  (Read 2487 times)

can0nfan2379

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Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« on: November 14, 2013, 01:28:49 PM »
 I guess my main use for this lens would be as a normal 50 and occasionally as a macro lens.  What I'm most interested in hearing from users of this lens is if you're using this as a general walk-around lens, do you rely on the focus confirmation indicator or do you mostly use this lens locked down on a tripod and magnified live-view to nail focus at f2?  I've also read that the focus throw at roughly 3'-infinity is only about 30 degrees while the remaining 270 degrees of focus throw is dedicated to MFD - ~2' which makes it better for macro purposes for sure but maybe not ideal for general street photography.

Any thoughts you have on this would be appreciated. (Though not similar, I've found focus confirmation on my Zeiss 21 Distagon using a 5D3 very accurate even wide open at 2.8 (obviously more DOF and a stop slower than the 50 MP).

Thanks for any input you have.
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

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Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« on: November 14, 2013, 01:28:49 PM »

JohnDizzo15

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 01:44:51 PM »
Absolutely right re focus throw distance dedicated to macro. Although the whole throw is plenty long, only a small portion is for the rest. I only learned this after getting it in my hands so it was kind of a surprise.

I use it in several different ways. Before we get into any of that, I have to say that I never use it for anything that might even be remotely dynamic unless I am shooting video. Anyway, focus confirmation has been pretty good for me. If I am able to be a little clunkier in the shooting scenario, I also bought a kinotehnik LCD viewfinder for my 5D3 which magnifies the image in liveview. The other way I have shot it in recent months is through liveview with Magic Lantern. ML offers focus peaking as well as magic focus which is basically a PIP window with magnification on your focus point.

can0nfan2379

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 06:43:54 PM »
Thanks for the info John.  Glad to hear that you've found focus confirm to be good.  I'm not really a fan of live view in general -- I guess I just like having my eye up to the viewfinder but if I do any macro, I'd likely use LV for that.  I really wish Canon would start offering some mod services to replace the focusing screen for the 5D3 with a split or microprism.  I know there are the third party manufacturers that make screens out of actual Canon screens and cut them down but I'm too paranoid to do the install myself and bugger up my camera.

In any case, I've been pouring over the different threads on the 50 MP over at Fred Miranda and POTN and for the most part, I love what I'm seeing in terms of what this lens can produce -- very sharp, contrasty pics with fairly pleasing bokeh.

One more question -- when the lens is extended fully -- is that at MFD or infinity? -- I assume it would be at MFD at that stage for the 1:2 magnification right?



Absolutely right re focus throw distance dedicated to macro. Although the whole throw is plenty long, only a small portion is for the rest. I only learned this after getting it in my hands so it was kind of a surprise.

I use it in several different ways. Before we get into any of that, I have to say that I never use it for anything that might even be remotely dynamic unless I am shooting video. Anyway, focus confirmation has been pretty good for me. If I am able to be a little clunkier in the shooting scenario, I also bought a kinotehnik LCD viewfinder for my 5D3 which magnifies the image in liveview. The other way I have shot it in recent months is through liveview with Magic Lantern. ML offers focus peaking as well as magic focus which is basically a PIP window with magnification on your focus point.
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

Jappe

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 02:38:31 PM »
One more question -- when the lens is extended fully -- is that at MFD or infinity? -- I assume it would be at MFD at that stage for the 1:2 magnification right?

You are right. Fully extended it is for 1:2 macro use.

I have used MP 50mm for general walkabout lens. Not often with f2 but with smaller apertures. Focus confirmation has worked with high accuracy. With f4 or with f5,6 it is (almost) 100% accurate for subjects that are more than 3 m away. For short(1-2m) distances it's quite easy to see from view finder if focus confirmation is not correct, normally no need to adjust.

So my understanding is that for still objects focus confirmation is as accurate as AF lenses are. When you need to focus manually you also have time to think composition than might result more better pictures.

I also have 50mm f1,4 and for short distances(0,5-1 m) it's IQ is not very good. So MP 50mm more versatile since it gives good results for subjects that are from macro to infinity distance.  Also IQ is excellent starting from f2, 50mm f1,4 starts to give good results startting from f2,2...f2,8.


Viggo

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 02:48:40 PM »
I'm very much in the marked for the 50 mp as well, so any info from users is highly appriciated. The difficult
Thing for me though is actually finding one to buy (used).

It seems like a killer lens, and I have a thing for Zeiss primes, they are superb in practical use and seems to bring punchy color to any dull scene which I love.
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Eli

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 03:13:36 PM »
It's pretty much stayed on my camera since I got it, I use the focus indicator all the time, even wide open. Though I am also waiting for ML to bring out an update to work on the latest firmware for the 5d mkiii, as focus peaking in LV would be great.

can0nfan2379

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 03:44:31 PM »
Thanks Jappe & Eli for your input.  I think I'm going to pull the trigger on this next week.

Viggo -- there's a good thread on POTN with about 82 pages of comments on the 50 MP and a lot of sample shots -- drool worthy lens....
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 03:44:31 PM »

mackguyver

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 04:53:56 PM »
Although the whole throw is plenty long, only a small portion is for the rest. I only learned this after getting it in my hands so it was kind of a surprise.
It's crazy how small the portion of the focus ring is outside of the macro range on macro lenses, isn't it???

Viggo

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 05:48:05 PM »


Viggo -- there's a good thread on POTN with about 82 pages of comments on the 50 MP and a lot of sample shots -- drool worthy lens....

Flipped through all 82 pages and it supports my thoughts, it's a great lens, that 3D pop and those Zeiss color combined with that bokeh and 1:2 macro, well its very convincing...
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

JohnDizzo15

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 06:13:10 PM »
Looks like someone else answered your question.

Anyhow. My biggest piece of advice would be to really think through what you will be using it for. If it is portraits and macro, I would urge you to consider the 100 mp instead. I love the 50 FL which is why I went with it. I wanted to be able to use it as a general walk around. Unless you are amazing at MF, you will have trouble getting critical focus with this thing unless your subjects are completely static or you are stopped down. When I am dead on for people shots, they are stunning. But trust me when I tell you that it is not easy wide open. You can easily get usable shots. But absolutely critical focus wide open is not always the easiest. Of the methods I mentioned previously, I'd say lcdvf does the best for consistency.

Jappe

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2013, 04:02:08 AM »
It's crazy how small the portion of the focus ring is outside of the macro range on macro lenses, isn't it???

Yes, but is a macro lens and biggest part of focus throw is for macro use. In 50mm f1,4 has long focus throw for distant subjejcts.

This would be ├╗berexcellent lens if addition to long macro focus throw there would be f.ex 90-120 degree focus throw to distances from 1 m to infinity.

can0nfan2379

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2013, 09:10:07 AM »
John -- my intent for this lens would be mostly as a walk around.  I don't do a whole lot of macro and for portraits I'm keeping an eye out for the 135 APO.  I'll look into the LCDVF that you mentioned, I'm not really familiar with that so I'll have to do some research on it.

If you had to do it over again, is the short focus throw at longer subject distances a deal breaker for this lens?



Looks like someone else answered your question.

Anyhow. My biggest piece of advice would be to really think through what you will be using it for. If it is portraits and macro, I would urge you to consider the 100 mp instead. I love the 50 FL which is why I went with it. I wanted to be able to use it as a general walk around. Unless you are amazing at MF, you will have trouble getting critical focus with this thing unless your subjects are completely static or you are stopped down. When I am dead on for people shots, they are stunning. But trust me when I tell you that it is not easy wide open. You can easily get usable shots. But absolutely critical focus wide open is not always the easiest. Of the methods I mentioned previously, I'd say lcdvf does the best for consistency.
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

JohnDizzo15

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2013, 10:40:27 AM »
Although the whole throw is plenty long, only a small portion is for the rest. I only learned this after getting it in my hands so it was kind of a surprise.
It's crazy how small the portion of the focus ring is outside of the macro range on macro lenses, isn't it???

Seriously crazy. I struggled with it a lot at first which is what led me to my journey through searching for/testing all the alternative methods of focusing with it.

John -- my intent for this lens would be mostly as a walk around.  I don't do a whole lot of macro and for portraits I'm keeping an eye out for the 135 APO.  I'll look into the LCDVF that you mentioned, I'm not really familiar with that so I'll have to do some research on it.

If you had to do it over again, is the short focus throw at longer subject distances a deal breaker for this lens?

If you plan on shooting wide open a lot and you don't plan on using an alternative means of focus regularly, I'd say yes (for me at least). If I had to do it all over again, I probably would've gotten the 100 instead based on my primary usage for it now (shooting tight portraits and macro).

The initial struggle I had with using this lens regularly, led me down a long road of trial and further expenditure. The LCDVF I bought originally was meant solely to assist me with focusing with this specific lens. When I realized I couldn't use it as a walk around very easily, I started researching other ways for me to get the supposed "Zeiss Look" in a 50mm and found the Contax Zeiss 50/1.4 (then modded it through Conurus in Canada to retain autofocus on my 5D3). Between the LCDVF and the other lens, I put myself $1500 further into the hole only to find out I still didn't have exactly what I wanted as the 1.4 is optically junk compared to the Makro.

In a nutshell, I now have 3 main 50mm lenses that all get used for different things. The one I grab for the most is the 50L as it is the old faithful one that I can rely on in the most situations. I use the Makro whenever I feel as though I need maximum resolution from between 1-5 ft. Beyond that distance (even when I nail focus), the IQ isn't noticeably different from many other 50mm lenses which doesn't provide me with a justification for using it for general walk around shooting. I have also retained the 1.4 since it does have a "look," just not the one I was originally hoping for when I purchased it (uncorrected aberration that causes swirly bokeh highlights).

My original vision? Started with the 50L. Hoped to replace it with the Makro. Ended up with 3 lenses that all do something I love and none that encompass all the things I love about each. If you are hoping for the "Zeiss Look" that people speak of and you absolutely need it in a 50mm as a walk around, then just get the Makro and practice a lot with it (or don't shoot at f2 all the time). Your only other choice would be to save up a while longer and get the Otus. Yes, I know it is outrageous, but if you have to have it and need the longer focus throw for general shooting it's the only game in town.

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2013, 10:40:27 AM »

JohnDizzo15

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2013, 11:24:45 AM »
BTW, in case any of you happen to be in California and are interested in taking all three off my hands, let me know. lol. Gets me to the Otus....

Viggo

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2013, 12:28:54 PM »
Gimme a great deal on the f2 and I'll take it off your hands ;o)
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

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Re: Zeiss 50 Makro-Planar used as a normal 50 -- Focus accuracy?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2013, 12:28:54 PM »