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Old August 11th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #1
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Lenses zeiss vs. nikkor vs. ebay?

Okey - just ordered my Letus. Time to start thinking about glass.
I have been reading about what lenses to get and everybody seems to agree that the factory new Zeiss glass is best. But how much better is it really compared to vintage Nikkor AI or AI-s lenses?
I find really nice kits at a fraction of the price of new lenses at lenses35.com. Will I see a difference between these lenses and the Zeiss-ones? Really?!!

I am also very tempted to get something cheap off ebay. I find the fine Nikkor 50 mm 1.4 lenses even cheaper there, but are they okay? Are they likely to have mechanical problems since they are so old? And what about the zoom lenses that you can get for 30-50 bucks. How do they compare qualitywise to the others?

I guess what I am looking for here is a scale to help me relate to these very different price ranges. How much of a difference in quality are we really talking about here?
If the quality of a Zeiss prime is 10. What would a fast Nikkor AI in mint condition be? 8,9 or 5? And where do the cheap zoom lenses end up on this scale?

I know this is an impossible question but if anyone with experience of the different lenses would like to share their thoughts it would be much appriciated!
Ola Christoffersson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #2
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Well,

I've not attached any glass to a Letus, but I have shot Nikon's (and canons) for years. The difference good glass can make is astounding.

I invite you to look at this demonstration on the Brevis page:

http://www.cinevate.com/images/zeisssm.mov

and

http://www.cinevate.com/images/ex1cine.mov

Should show you what you need to know.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Well,

I've not attached any glass to a Letus, but I have shot Nikon's (and canons) for years. The difference good glass can make is astounding.

I invite you to look at this demonstration on the Brevis page:

http://www.cinevate.com/images/zeisssm.mov

and

http://www.cinevate.com/images/ex1cine.mov

Should show you what you need to know.
Interesting video! Thanks. The comparison was with a cheap Nikon though. I wonder how an Nikkor AI-S 50 F1.4 would have stood up to the Zeiss?
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Old August 12th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #4
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Set a budget for your lens purchases, buy some lenses, shoot some video, have some fun!
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Old August 12th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #5
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Ola,

Checking out technical reviews like those at photozone.de can help to determine qualitative differences in terms of sharpness, CA, distortion and so on. Bear in mind though, that these reviews are aimed at still photographers and so issues such as breathing will not likely be discussed. Since breathing can be such an issue for cinematographers, its interesting to note that Zeiss new range of Cosina built lenses has borrowed some of the lens technology/design from their higher priced cinema lenses in an effort to minimise issues such as this for the 'DOF-adapter' crowd, it seems.

Among my current stock, I currently have 2 of the ZF lenses (2/50 makro planar and the 2/28) and will be buying more as I can afford them - the whole range if possible - for use with my Letus.

Jus.
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