On the cameras were Micro adjustment is possible of course you got to do more work and micro adjust each lens before you shoot.
Same thing with Cine lenses, you need to calibrate them, and makes sure that the back focus is set properly on the camera, and not touched.
But today there are far more accurate and faster method, just need to invest quite some cash on that gear... ;)
At least with Canon and Nikon the cost of becoming a dealer and buying, testing and selling enough lenses to make it worth while is probably only practical for an existing dealer with the customers to turn over 50+ lenses a month. Also the premium would probably be at least 20% considering the labor invloved with testing (which would really require a lens projector in a dedicated room) and paying a highly skilled tech to painstakingly go through 25 lenses to get 5 premium ones. Even then I'm not sure the endeavor would be profitable given the difference in performance is not going to be that noticable on screen.
Also the case with Focus Optic' Ruby 14-24?The Duclos Tokina test is very telling. So many people think the mode is just that. A PL mount and gears and De-Clicking. Good info. Thanks!
Added Section 4: Bokeh, breathing and Flare...
Hey guys I want to commend you all on these tests! As a Contax Zeiss fan, I'm curious how the Contax lenses would have fared vs the ZF/ZEs. Though its common to assume they would perform the same, that's not always the case. Its well documented in the Zeiss community that these lenses didn't necessarily improve when they were modernized to ZF/ZE, they just became "different". Most of the differences are subtle, but still noticeable. Nonetheless, I'm shocked that Leica has more contrast, as that's what Zeiss is famous for, it's "micro contrast". I'm also shocked that the 50 1.4 was so poor. It must be a bad copy. The Zeiss 50 1.4 is renowned in the still community for how sharp it is. But it's known to be soft wide open. It should be sharp by F2. The Contax 50 1.7 for example is well known for being sharper wide open than the 1.4.
Nonetheless, if you consider that Contax Zeiss lenses have superior mechanics to Nikon, Canon, and ZF's (in that they focus the right way and have manual apertures) AND...considering the fact that they look less digital and more organic than the ZFs...I strongly wonder how they would have fared overall.
I'm guessing better than the Leica R's, but that's just MY personal bias. Haha!
Anyway. In the end, if you are buying still glass, you are making a compromise. No matter what. I for one for example would never buy Leica still glass because it has a painterly, beautiful bokeh that I actually don't like. You can't get rid of it! Its always trying to make everything look gorgeous! I can understand WHY people like it, but I prefer the cleanness of Zeiss. But thats just me.
I'm jealous of all the testing you guys did gentlemen. That's a WHOLE lotta lenses! One day, when I come out to LA, we gotta test out my 20 Contax Lenses. There are some beauties in there that will BLOW your mind.
PS at least in Contax Zeiss, the 85 1.4 is specifically designed to as a portrait lens, so your observation that its lack of contrast would be "good on faces" is probably intentional. Whereas the 100 F2, for example, though a very similar focal length, was designed as a landscape lens and is much snappier.
Another thing to note is that the 35 1.4, 50 1.4 and 85 1.4 are all known to have a specific "softness" about them wide open. At least in Contax. The softness is well loved by still photographers, as almost an effect they can engage when shooting wide open, and gotten rid of by 2.8. Or even F2 in some cases. I'm guessing this is similar to how a lot of DPs I've read here describe'd how the Super Speeds perform, right?
I'm just trying to give these Zeiss lenses a fair shake!
But again, every one of these sets is a compromise:
1) CANON: terrible AF focusing mechanics, poor CA, no manual aperture
2) NIKON: terrible AF focusing mechanics, focus the wrong way.
3) LEICA R: flare terribly, mediocre edge
4) Zeiss ZF: focus the wrong way, soft wide open in center.
5) Contax: soft wide open in center....Anything else?? (needs to be tested).
I'd love to bring my Contax on the next test guys...
Last edited by Nick Morrison; 02-27-2012 at 09:55 PM.
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