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Old May 29th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #1
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Hesitating between two lenses

Hi,

Soon I'll be purchasing a SGBlade and I want to start gathering a good set of lenses. My first lens should be a 50mm lens, but I'm trying to decide between Nikon 1.4 AI-s or Zeiss 1.4 ZF. I know the Zeiss is much more expensive, but let's assume they both cost the same. Is there any real difference between both of them? Almost every site and review I read, they mention the Zeiss as being sharper and more 3D (wich should be very important to have film density). Anyone has tried both of these lenses and have an opinion that can help me make up my mind?

Thanks for your help!

David
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Old June 17th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #2
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Is the application video?

You'll never see the difference at video resolution.

And wouldn't you want autofocus for stills anyway?

Seems like a clear win for the Nikon.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 05:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ben Syverson View Post
Is the application video?

You'll never see the difference at video resolution.

And wouldn't you want autofocus for stills anyway?

Seems like a clear win for the Nikon.
Autofocus? It can come in handy, but I definitly need the Manual Focus as well. I need these lenses to use with the SGBlade. I've read so many different things, that the Zeiss 1.4 50mm ZF is much sharper than the Nikon but not so good bokeh. Can anyone who tried both these lenses, confirm it?

Thanks

David
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Old June 18th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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All autofocus lenses manual focus as well...

You bring up "good bokeh," but there is MUCH debate about what is and is not desirable from bokeh. One person's "perfect bokeh" is another person's "horribly distracting bokeh."

And again, you bring up sharpness, but that is simply not a concern at video resolution, especially if you have a DOF adapter in the mix.

If you're really on the fence, rent both lenses!
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 09:40 PM   #5
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David,

Below are a couple links I found useful when deciding on lenses.
The 50mm 1.8 actually got a better review due to lack of distortion and soft corners found in the 1.4.
Take it for what it is worth, but I found the sites useful.

Good Luck,
Doug

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AI
Nikon Lenses

Last edited by Doug Marcum; July 4th, 2009 at 10:26 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ben Syverson View Post
All autofocus lenses manual focus as well...

]
Not VERY well through, I've always found them horrible, dead-feeling, and often with some wobble in the mechanism. Compare this to a nicely damped old Nikon MF or better still a Leica R lens, not in the same league.
As for the Nikon v Zeiss, I seem to remember reading reviews saying there wasn't much in it, which didn't surprise me one bit as the 50mm 1.4 Nikon is one of the best lenses out there.
Steve
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Old July 4th, 2009, 12:39 PM   #7
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There hasn't been anything new in the world of 50mm f/1.4 lens designs since about 1955. Zeiss has a great name, but there's nothing magical about them.

Canon, Nikon, Zeiss, they will all be well-worn double gauss designs, no matter what the marketing guys tell you.

Make your decision based on usability -- the "feel" of the focus ring or the inclusion of autofocus.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 06:28 PM   #8
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David, I've shot with Nikon since '84. Almost all of their prime lenses are fine for this application. I, too, am about to unholser my Visa card for a Blade!

Some people criticize the faster lenses because they can produce some distortion. I've read reviews where people love 'em and hate 'em. Same thing with the bokeh of the Zeiss glass; what one person loves another hates. Cinevate (cinevate.com) has a comparison video of Zeiss and Nikon glass. The Zeiss looks nicer, to my eye, in terms of color and maybe a tad sharper. I seem to recall the 1.4 Nikkor is capable of flare and some photojournalists shy away from it. You might want to look for reviews on photo.net and some other photo sites.

Autofocus not only not important but not needed unless you're gonna use it on your DSLR. Just make sure your glass has an aperture ring, as the new Nikons ("G" designation) do not.

I know you didn't ask, but: think hard about getting the 50. I had one for years and rarely used it. It was too, "normal" for me and I found it boring, preferring instead wider or tele glass. I have a 60mm macro that will serve as the stand-in for the 50.

Renting is always a good idea.

Bob
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