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Old March 6th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #1
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Zeiss Lenses for 5D2

I'm spec'ing a system for my employer and am including Zeiss lenses. (I shot an internal corporate video using my own kit, and it's been a huge hit. Time to strike while the iron's hot!)

My first question is whether to get ZE lenses or ZF with adapters.

The ZE lenses have auto-confirm and solid mounts. I assume that they communicate the full EXIF data set on stills. (?)

ZF manual lenses (not ZF.2) are a couple hundred bucks cheaper per lens, so getting a fotodiox pro auto-confirm adapter per lens is still cost effective. This will confirm AF, but won't provide EXIF data.

I hear that with ZF lenses, you can remove the ball bearing detente for the aperture ring if you want a continuous aperture control. (I prefer the clicks.)

ZF lenses wouldn't have to be unscrewed for small aperture time lapse. (EF lenses go wide open between shots and can cause aperture flicker in time lapses.)

I'm torn. The ZE should work with all of the still exposure modes. On the ZF, Tv won't work and I'd have to set the aperture twice (on the lens and camera) for Av.

Thoughts?

My second question is on focus ring diameter. I'm looking at a RedRock follow focus. I'd be getting rings for the 21mm, 35mm, and 85mm lenses. Will "B" size work for all of them?

Thanks!
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Old March 6th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #2
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Jon- Saw this diglloyd: Guide to Zeiss ZF and Zeiss ZF.2 Lenses for Nikon, Zeiss ZE Lenses for Canon EOS by subscription.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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Probably a great review, but for fifty bucks I'll pass. It would make sense to buy for people who are trying to decide on investing in Zeiss vs. L glass in search of the best images, but I've already decided on Zeiss due to the video focus control and reputation for great micro-contrast.

I have a feel for what to expect, image-wise. My mid-range Canon primes are nice, but the edges that I get from my EF 200mm f/2.8 L II look like they were cut with a knife. I expect more of the same.

I really just want to know two things: 1) do the electronics in the ZE offer any still photo benefit over an adapter with focus confirmation, and 2) do I need the B or C sized Red Rock ring for the 21, 28, 35, and 85mm lenses? (I believe that B will fit them all, but I'm not 100% sure.)

Regarding the electronics, I believe that the ZE will work properly in all exposure modes and it will report EXIF info. For an adapter, I think Tv won't work, Av will work if I dial both camera and lens to the same settings, and there's no way to get EXIF info. But I could be wrong.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #4
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I would be interested to know how much better lenses affect the video image quality with the line skipping (outisde of CA and distortion) of the video mode.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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Jon- My ZF lenses with adapter to Canon 5D has some movement in the adapter mount (Fotodiox) when mounted on the camera body. It is not as solid as a lens designed for the Canon mount. I find it a bit disconcerting, and changing lenses is not as quick as with a lens that does not have a adapter. I original bought the Zeiss ZF's Nikon mount so I could use it with a Letus Ultimate. If money was not a issue I would purchase another kit of Zeiss lens ZE's with the Canon mounts. The Zeiss lens are smaller, and lighter than the Canon counterparts and just as sharp. As you know you do not have the full range of focal lengths as with the Canons. I think you would be happier with the ZE's!
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Old March 7th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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Thanks Steve,

That's the way I'm leaning. This is for my employer's system, so I think I'll get the ZEs. They're simpler and won't need as much explaining. And frankly, I'm probably the only one who will do time lapses, so the physical aperture ring won't impress any other likely users.

Sorry to hear that you're getting some play with the fotodiox adapter. Is it the pro? I have one of those, and it seemed to be pretty solid with the Nikon lenses I used before I went with EF lenses.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #7
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they recently changed the fotodiox adapter slightly, it's a little more thicker around the mounts. And it doesn't have as much play as the older, but still has some play.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #8
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I must be one of the lucky few. There is no play with my fotodiox mount mated to a ZF 1.4/50. I can feel reasonably secure now to order a few more sets for the rest of my Zeiss primes.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #9
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There is absolutely no play or wiggle with my Cameraquest adapters. I use an F to EOS adapter with all my ZF lenses and with my Nikon lenses (including an 80-200/2.8 ED D that weighs a ton) and a C/Y to EOS adapter with my Contax Zeiss lenses.

The obvious benefit to the ZF lenses is that you can use them with a Nikon. Since I also shoot stills with a D700, the ZF's see double duty.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #10
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For what it's worth, I have been using Zeiss Contax mount lenses with AF confirm adapters for years with Canon cameras. In my opinion they are a better buy for the money, being less expensive than the newer ZE and ZF lenses. Not to mention that there is a much larger selection to choose from.

All the Best!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #11
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My personal lenses are mid-level Canon EFs. I'm buying the ZE lenses for my employer's system. If they really rock, I might just upgrade my personal kit from my EFs to Zeiss/Contax.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #12
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Once you use the Zeiss lenses its hard to go back, it's the closes your get to using cinema lenses on your 5D.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #13
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Which zeiss lens are you using?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:53 PM   #14
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ZF's: 28/2.0 & 100/2.0
C/Y's: 21/2.8 & 35-70/3.4
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:28 AM   #15
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Bill, any favorites or preferences among those?
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