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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:54 PM   #16
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I'd recommend ZF over ZE.

Few reasons :

1) ZF is less expensive even with adapters factored in.
2) I like manual aperture as I can't tell you how many times I've scrolled the aperture wheel to stop down quickly and the camera not respond fast enough.

I do wish the focus ring direction was the same but eh...pros outweigh the cons.

I LOVE my Zeiss lenses. :)
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Old March 10th, 2010, 06:00 AM   #17
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I feel slightly guilty after starting the Nikon lens on 5DMkII craze on this forum all those moons ago but I would now recommend the ZE lenses wholeheartedly. In my kit I have the 28mm, 50mm and 85mm. For me focussing the correct way is a big plus if you are using them alongside Canon zooms or regular video cameras. I do still use Nikon glass but mostly on rigs where I can use a follow focus with a reverse gear.

The Contax/Zeiss lenses are great too, I own several. Don't forget to check out Voigtlander lenses if you are on a budget.

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Old March 10th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Bill, any favorites or preferences among those?
Jon: Quite frankly, they are all good (I don't even own any Canon lenses). Depends on the shot/scene/application. However, in terms of bang-for-the-buck the C/Y 35-70 is a real winner. You can't use it as a normal zoom (it is push pull) or with a follow focus, but it is like a series of primes in those focal lengths. Not the fastest (3.4) but it makes very pretty pictures. And, it only cost me around $275.00!

For zooms, I use Nikons: 14-24 and 24-70 with a 16:9 adapter and an 80-200 with a F to EOS adapter.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #19
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Hey Jon - I've been using the Canon mount 28mm Zeiss for a couple of months - it's a fantastic lens. Clean lines, close focusing, very little wide angle distortion.

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Old March 16th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #20
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I am definitely a strong proponent of alternative glass. I have a collection of Zeiss ZF 21, 28, 35, 50, 85 used exclusively for video work. I no longer own any Canon lenses.

Last edited by Eric Diosay; March 16th, 2010 at 03:15 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 04:49 AM   #21
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Did you get the Zeiss glass yet?
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Old March 19th, 2010, 05:35 AM   #22
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What about the new set of zeiss lenses that are due out in may, they might be a little pricey but they seem pretty future proof.
I have a dream that one day canon will release a 35mm ef to xl adapter and I'll have iris control and a 35mm dof of all my ef lenses, and it will be awesome...
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Old March 19th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by James Miller View Post

Did you get the Zeiss glass yet?
Yes! They're totally solid, the focus rings rock, and the images look good.

My employer now owns the 21/2.8, 35/2, and 85/1.4 ZEs. I've been busy with work, so I haven't shot all that much, and haven't done any head to head comparisons. In fact, my EF 28/1.8, 50/1.4, and 85/1.8 don't really compete at the same level, so I don't plan to do any special tests.

The 21mm lens is wonderful. It's the lens I've tried the most, since I don't have anything that wide. The corners are sharp, falloff is minimal, and distortion is wonderfully controlled. The focus ring turns about 120 degrees.

I've done the least with the 85mm, but the focus ring turns about 240 degrees. I'm looking forward to trying this out on tracking shots after we get the RedRock system

The 35mm is really clean, but the focus travel is only about 120 degrees. For the money, I'd like a longer throw and a faster speed. (It's just a 58mm filter ring.) This lens needs to earn its keep on image quality alone, but, again, I haven't done controlled tests and pixel peeping.

Looking closely at some photos, I missed focus a bit when using the AF auto confirm. You move the lens, the dots blink, but you can't stop immediately. Rocking back and forth still doesn't allow you to nail it. I would have done better with Live View, the Z-Finder and x10 magnification than auto confirm. With that method, there's no question when you're spot on.
Jon Fairhurst
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