Carl Zeiss 21mm Distagon f2.8

G

Guest

I'm thinking of acquiring this lens and wondered if anyone here had much experience with it (primarly for landscapes) and could comment helpfully on vignetting, tonal contrast, and flexibility with whatever filter system has been found to be workable.

I use a CZ 25mm Distagon f2.8 which I've learnt not to stack filters on, and wondered if any users had both they could comment on (obviously not on the perspective difference).

Cheers,

Joe99
 
G

Guest

It's a superb lens. To cite one ex&le, I recently had a B&W Tech Pan negative I shot with the lens blown up to 13" x 20" that showed an extraordinary tonal range and resolution, both in the foregound and background. Of the several Zeiss lenses I have, it's probably my favorite. I've had no problem with vignetting with the 82mm filters that fit it. I use the Contax lens shade that goes with it and I've successfully used a Singh Ray graduated filter with a Cokin filter holder.

It's an expensive lens but if you swing it, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 
G

Guest

Joe,

My previous comments on this board...

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


More comments of mine...

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


My s&le image was shot at f/5.6. Based on the MTF, I would expect noticeable light fall-off at f/2.8, but I haven't tested critically. It's impressively sharp at all apertures.

The build is awesome: all metal, handles like a lead pipe, helicoid so smooth, internal focus means no rotating filter and no dust.

Let me know if you want me to shoot something for your further evaluation!
 
G

Guest

Joe,

I totally agree with the comments of the posters above. The D21 is really a superb lens, and I also think you would not be disappointed. It is simply the best lens in that focal range I have ever worked with, and these are quite a few! Its only drawback besides the price tag is its considerable weight and size, which proves the theory wrong that using fixed focals would keep your photo bag light!
As I mainly shoot architecture, I appreciate very much that the D21's distortion is amazingly well correctet - but keep in mind, we speak of a very WIDE angle lens (you cannot reasonably compare distortion or light fall-off to an excellent 28 or 35). But in these aspects the D21 seems nearly on a par with the D25, at least with the s&le that I used to own. In terms of sharpness and contrast it is far better.
As far as filters are concerned, I don't use them very often. Nevertheless, I found a normal B+W polarizer caused some vignetting, so I got one of the new "slim" polarizers (also B+W) which solved the problem.
Hope that helps,
Marc
 
G

Guest

> I'm thinking of acquiring this lens and wondered if anyone here had> much experience with it (primarly for landscapes) and could comment> helpfully on vignetting, tonal contrast, and flexibility with whatever > filter system has been found to be workable.

I have both leneses and initially found it strange adapting to such a wide angle if view . However you soon learn to handle this [usually by getting in really close!] and appreciate the stunning quality of this lens . Filters are a problem , or rather an expense , if you are a big filter user - I'm not , although I did look into it [all my other lenses are 55mm thread] . Obviously such large filters are going to be somewhat expensive so I looked at the Cokin stuff and decided that one would probably need to use the biggest to be sure of avoiding vignetting . These arent very cheap either[at least where I live]. So far I have to say that I havent really missed having filters for my 21mm so its really not much of a issue for me.... Steve
 
G

Guest

Carl Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Lens

Many thanks for all your postings on this lens. I've found them reassuringly helpful. Rico, I'm amazed at the demo image - I'd never had guessed it was so wide, given its corrected distortion and the even luminance. It is bitingly Carl Zeiss even in its downloaded form (golly - I never get contrast like that on a Bronny!) In fact, the luminance looks better than anything I've ever achieved on the 25mm lens (that was, before I realised that Cokin adaptor needs to be rotated 90 degrees, so that the parallel filter slits are on the 36mm axis of the negative, rather than the 24mm.....

Stephen, you don't say which Cokin system you've found compatible with this lens, however it sounds like the 130mm size? I have filters up to the P size, and I am in love with Neutral Density Grads, partly because of our erratic climate here (a five stop range on slide film doesn't work unless I forgo all my night-sleep and arrive on site at first light).

I'll set this on my shopping list then. Can I ask how much this lens can be purchased for?


Joe99
 
G

Guest

> Stephen, you don't say which Cokin system you've found compatible with> this lens, however it sounds like the 130mm size? I have filters up to> the P size, and I am in love with Neutral Density Grads, partly > because of our erratic climate here (a five stop range on slide film> doesn't work unless I forgo all my night-sleep and arrive on site at> first light).

Hi Joe - I seem to remember deciding that the P would not quite be big enough[at least wide open] and that the X-Pro[?] size would be necessary . However they are expensive and tottal overkill I'm sure - on reflection , the sort of pics you're talking about[and probably anything you were going to use the D21 for] would involve stopping down so vignetting would probably not be an issue in that situation . I still havent bothered either way , but its something I should revisit - I havent really missed the option of grads , yet , but the light where I live here in Africa has a huge contrast range very often ...... So do let me know what you decide! Steve
 
G

Guest

CZ Distagon 21mm f2.8

Thanks Stephen,

My worse fears confirmed - this might be my step along the way to 130mm size filters *Gulp*. They are so big I just know I'm going to drop them....
I was hoping the Lee Filter system might be wide enough, but yes, my favourite apertures range between f8-f16.

I quite agree about the contrast in Africa - it probably makes for exciting shots, having deep blue skies and stark raving colours.....here we have bright featureless white cloudiness, and bland underexposed landscapes....

If the lens is as dear as I think it is, I won't even contemplate filters until I've done time with the lens!

Best wishes,

Joe99
 
G

Guest

> My worse fears confirmed - this might be my step along the way to> 130mm size filters *Gulp*. They are so big I just know I'm going to> drop them.... > I was hoping the Lee Filter system might be wide enough, but yes, my> favourite apertures range between f8-f16.

Joe , dont let me put you off here!! Do try the "P"size ones first , you should just be okay at least with smaller apertures I reckon . Steve
 
G

Guest

Thanks Stephen!

That's a good point. I've used a Cokin A system with an 85mm portrait lens (67mm thread, stepped down to 62mm) and managed to scrape away at f8...
any wider, I get pretty pictures of my filter holder pretending to be photogenic (Not!!)

I've sourced a price for the 21mm 2.8MM at around 800 sterling pounds for a new version from a contact in the Far East. That's more expensive than a Bronica 6x6cm 40mm lens (equivalent to 23.5mm on 35mm format)!! Arggh...dilemmas dilemmas...I just know I'm going to agonising over 2.5mm of focal length for the next two or so weeks......

If I feel any consolation, the filter problems will be the same with both......I'll have to move up a size, inevitably. I'll let you know how I get on (without the melodrama)

Joe99
 
G

Guest

>>>>>>>>>>>> I've used a Cokin A system with an 85mm > portrait lens (67mm thread, stepped down to 62mm) and managed to scrape away > at f8... > any wider, I get pretty pictures of my filter holder>>>>>>>>>>>>> You can take photos at different apertures with a filter to determine if it vignettes.

I have placed some groundglass material (translucent--blank film with scotch magic tape (not clear) over it) in the film plane. Open the shutter and observe the effect with the lens stopped down. I have found that the vignetting is worse at the smaller apertures than wide open. This is more accurate than just looking at the finder, unless your SLR shows 100% of the film area. Most do not, to compensate for the masked off section of the slide mount. Doesn't the RTS III show 100% of the film area?
 
G

Guest

> >..Open the shutter and observe the effect with the lens stopped down. I have found that the vignetting is worse at the smaller apertures than wide.<

I wondered about all the postings about vinetting wide open. I put my D25 with a filter and the hood on my RTS III and can only see the vignetting at small apertures with the DOF preview and not at the large ones. To show my complete ignorance, if you could see vignetting at large ap's and not at small ones, wouldn't this be like changeing the focal length with the aperture ring? Jeff
 
G

Guest

> I wondered about all the postings about vinetting wide open. I put my> D25 with a filter and the hood on my RTS III and can only see the> vignetting at small apertures with the DOF preview and not at the > large ones. To show my complete ignorance, if you could see vignetting> at large ap's and not at small ones, wouldn't this be like changeing> the focal length with the aperture ring? Jeff

I am only talking about mechanical vignetting , not light fall off in the corners due to design factors etc etc etc Steve
 
G

Guest

> Using the experience of my large format camera, where you detect vignetting from the film plane, I opened the shutter and camera back and sighted from the rear, from the corner into the lens. Vignetting is always worse at large apertures, so starting from f2.8 I could see the () shape of the outer lens flange. Only when I had stopped down to f8 could I see the entire aperture ring, defining the end of vignetting performance.

Chris Woodhouse ARPS
 
G

Guest

>Do try the "P"size ones first...
What I am going to tell you now might sound funny to your ears, but..
As I stated above, I rarely use filters with the D21. However, when I am travelling (which is what I usually do when I take pictures), then I always have a collection of Cokin P-filters with me. Since space and weight are important issues, I renounce the usual holding device and simply hold the filter-glass in front of the lens. This works perfectly even with the D21 - if you pay a little attention to where you place your fingertips;)
Marc
 
G

Guest

Hey Marc -

That's what I tried to do with a standard lens; the wind blew ferociously, and my tripod pan head let go of tension rather dramatically, and I had a choice to catch the camera or the Cokin filter.

The filter bit the dust; thankfully it was only a Cokin.

By the way, I've ordered the 21mm lens after all. I'm looking forward to peering up people's faces to see whether it is truly distortion free


Joe99
 
G

Guest

Hi Joe,
In such situations I always recommend to hunt for the camera, especially with D21 mounted ;-)
All else you can do is looking for a dealer who sells Cokin P with a hefty discount if you take them by the dozen.
Please let us know about people's reaction to your lens-testing mission...
Cheers,
Marc
 
G

Guest

21mm f2.8

Hi Marc

Yes - sometimes I wish I was modern enough to use a slide-scanner, then I could download my future lens-testing mission on the gallery (no doubt to be slated by rotten e-tomatoes!)

Just another thought on this lens (I'm starting to distort in what seems like an interminable wait for this lens); will an extension tube work with anything as wide as this, or will that include the photographer in the picture? Maybe an extension tube will force a minimum focus distance dangerously close to the fist of the photographed person, landing me up with a knuckle up my 21mm f2.8?


Joe99
 
Top