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Regarding the 28 2.0 wide open, I think that if you may be surprised at the lack of sharpness at infinity. Perhaps the floating element design is optimised to produce a sharp image close up. I ran an informal test on some landscapes at 2.8 and 5.6 with a tokina 28 -70 2.8-4.3 and the 28 2.0. Also a kiron 28-135 3.5-5.6. The tokina was the sharpest at 2.8 vs. the zeiss stopped down to 2.8 with the kiron proving it would be an excellent doorstop at 3.5. At 5.6 there was little difference between the zeiss and the tokina (kiron makes a good paperweight).
However, I am truly impressed with the zeiss resistance to flair. I haven't noticed any. I use the zeiss whenever I have the opportunity to carry several fixed lenses. Being able to shoot into the sun without concern is worth the lack of blow you away sharpness.
> [Interesting. I've had some correspondence with a camera dealer in Amsterdam about the quality (sharpness) of Zeiss fast lenses wide open (as compared to, say, Leica). He cited an old article by zeiss in which they said they weren't going to invest many resources into improving their fast lenses (wide open) because why spend all that money on an aperture you don't use very much? I've heard a few dealers give similar opinions, and they often say the slower lenses (50mm 1.7 vs 1.4., 85mm 2.8 vs 1.4 etc] are better value (and perform better wide open).
Seeing as the fast lenses cost so much, does anyone know of any hard evidence to evaluate these opinions?? What do the MTF charts say? I know they are one the site, but I have no idea how to interpret them... And how does the 100mm f2 fare for sharpness wide open compared to 135 2.8?]
the only reason to buy hign-speed zeiss/leica-lenses is for people changing the camera system or lens-system, lets say from inferior ones. even when they will change from low speed 4/2.8 to 2.0/1.4 they will see much improvements. as stated earlier, i changed from olympus-om-system to contax in 1978 due irregular optical problems. lenses i bought were worse than same ones seen in other shops. endless testing was the case. since then i do not need to do this job. shooting with 35/1,4 at 2.0 at difficult indoor-light situation was fantastic compared to a poor 35/2.0-zuiko-lens. 24mm-zuiko(even stopped down) showed significant light-fall-off, very bad in museums. normally it is said than stopping down 1 step from the biggest opening will improve. thats right but not when you compare 2 len- ses 28/2.0 to 2.8 and with 28/2.8 leave at 2.8. 28/2.8 is better.
II have always thought that you buy a faster lens precisely to use it wide open. You are paying for the ability to make shots you could not otherwise, and it is reasonable to understand that you are compromising. I don't think anybody can show a significant difference between the Planar 1.7 and 1.4 (half a stop difference). However, I can imagine situations where I would have liked to have a 28 f2. Granted, few and far between.
For a simple explanation of MTF curves, go to
"He cited an old article by zeiss in which they said they weren't going to invest many resources into improving their fast lenses (wide open) because why spend all that money on an aperture you don't use very much?"
I think the dealer meant the Zeiss article which you will find on this forum as a pdf file. But the interpretation is not correct. Zeiss mentioned in this article, that they are not willing to invest unlimited money if the outcome in the final production is not significantly better then without this extra effort.
It is always a question income and outcome. You can produce an almost perfect lens(i.e. 99% perfect), but the user will not see the difference with his eyes to the 95% perfect solution, so forget this extra effort and money.
I am quite suprised to read that the 2,0/28 is not sharp at infinity. I can only say that since I have this exciting lens I do most pics at full aperture - and no sign that there is something not really sharp. When taking available light pics this lens is a must. I cannot agree to Michael on another point: before the 2,0 I had the 2,8. When using the 2,0 at 2,8 it is better, no light fall off, and a better sharpness. So I sold the 2,8 and waited to get a 2,0.
wolfgang statement would confirm the theory that a stopped down 2.0-lens (1 stop)lens is always better than a full-open 2.8. i did never have a 2.0 but have cited from an article which i had in my mind. btw: the pc-distagon 35/2.8 is sensational full open(have shooten group of people with small flash TLA 20 on stage), so does the 85/1.4 and 35/1.4.
if the 28f2 is not sharp at infintiy at f2, then maybe zeiss believe any photographer who wan to use this lens to shoot landscape will useit at inifinity at f8 which i believe the 28f2 would be able to perform.
I think your point makes sense. I just recently bought a used 28f2.8 and looked at the 28f2 and discussed with the sales guy. I couldn't see for my use, primarily landscape work, the advantage of the extra stop since I expected to take almost all of my shots at f8 or smaller aperture. I don't expect to open up the lens much beyond f8, likely only to 5.6 since I will be using a tripod and would likely just increase the time of the shutter speed. regards Bill Gibson
I'm the one who started this about the 28mm f2. All I have to say after using this lens "if your lucky to find one Buy It!...I did my own test against my new leica 28mm f2 asph. Then I sold the leica and bought the 35 asph 1.4 . Sharpness at all distance and wide open at f2 is excellent in this zeiss slr 28mm f2 lens. The one I have is German made if this makes any diferance. One rep at Contax in New Jersey said this lens was discontinue because of It's cost to manufacture. It's on heavy side, but will constructed.. Joe
Joseph, is Contax Zeiss Distagon 2.0/28mm really sharper than LEICA Summicron R(?) 2.0/28mm ASPH??. I have asked Zeiss Oberkochen (Dr. H. Nasse) and they tell me it would be SOFT at 2.0, but no falloff in the corner. And that is also what I would expect, interpreting the MTF curves (Zeiss was so nice to send them!). The 2.8/28mm should be clearly visible sharper and better contrast @2.8 and in the middle?? How did you "test" exactly (film, print size, slides+microscope)?
RAINER, MY OWN TEST WITH FUJI 50 /DELTA 100 AND MY OWN EYES. NOT THAT THE LEICA (M) 28MM WASN'T SHARP, BUT I FOUND MORE USE IN HAVING AN SLR 28MM. FOR ME IT OUT PROFORMS MY OTHER C/Y SLR 28MM 2.8. SHOOTING CLOSE UP AND USING PART OF THE FORGROUND IN THE PHOTOGRAPH WORKS WELL WITH THIS LENS. I LOVE IT WIDE OPEN JUST AS I DO THE 85MM 1.4. THE ONLY NEGITIVE IS THE WEIGHT. BUT THEN AGAIN LOOK AT WHAT PEOPLE ARE BUYING LIKE SIGMA'S 28MM 1.8.OR NIKON'S 28MM I.4. IN THAT RESPECT, IT'S A SMALL LENS! WHEN I'M HIKING THIS LENS,THE 60 S MAKRO AND THE 18MM WORK FOR ME. RAINER, HAVE YOU EVER USED THE 28 F2 BEFORE? IF SO WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT. JOE
I can only say what I have and seen from this lens. My is MMG, test shots were done outdoor and huge indoor shopping centre. At f2 it is designed for low light shooting, not bright scene. Both of my tests at f2 outdoor and indoor set at infinity, viewed through 15x loup, the resolution were better then my Leica 35/2 Asph at f2. Marginal light fall off at f2, gone by f2.8. My Leica 35/2 Asph light fall off is gone at f3.5. Hope this help.