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OT Zeiss Ikon

patrik

Active Member
Hello,

I had an oppurtuanity to visit a Elmia photo trade show in Jönköping, Sweden in april 2005. At the trade show Hasselblad show the new Zeiss Ikon camera with all the current lenses. I am very impressed by the build quality of the Zeiss Ikon camera, it is very solid with a very bright rangefinder window. The lenses have a very solid feel and according to the MTF charts at
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they seems to be super performers. The most interesting lens is the Distagon 15mm f/2.8, which is designed to have rays to hit the filmplane at a "perpendicular" angle. The reason for this is for digital sensors.

The lenses are manufactured in Japan, except for the Distagon 15mm f/2.8 and Sonnar 85mm f/2 which is due to its complicated design manufactured in Germany. If you like rangefinders, do take a look at the new Zeiss Ikon. It is a very nice camera, and the price will be approx 60% of Leica M cameras. And I do also belive that we will see more digital rangefinder cameras in the future.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
I brought two Zeiss M mount lenses Planar 50 2 and Biogon 35 2. I took photos of the same places with my Leica counterparts under the same lighting and f nos. All photos were taken hand held with my M3. As the difference could be due to the effect of hand holding the camera, we compared rolls of film. We also examine the results under light microscopy.

50 2 Planar vs 50 2 Leica Summicron.The results are very close. At f2. The area in focus has very little difference. The only difference is the colour rendition. Again Zeiss, in general and in this case of 50mm, showed a more accurate reproduction of colours. The less accurate colour reproduction of Leica can easily be compensated by film processing. The area out of focus showed Summicron is more able to produce better definition, as if it has a bigger depth of view. Perhaps depth of view,depends not only on f nos.,but also on the manufacturer. At higher f nos such as 4 and 5.6, Summicron still provides better resolutions. Summicrons also produces images with with more colour contrast and large object contrast.

Biogon 35 2 and aspheric Summicron 35 2. At f2,Leica produces better resolution. Again Leica produces an effect like a bigger depth of field. At 5.6, Biogon is better. Although the differences at different apertures are not much,but they are definitely there.

The MTF charts predict Biogon to be better in resolving lines at 4 and 5.6,it correlates well with my practical findings.

The general rules still holds after the impact of the new Zeiss M lenses. Zeiss produces better colours, Leica is the choice for low light photography and has the merit of better dimensional feel.

If you like I could scan the results and share it with the rest. At the moment I am also comparing my G 45 2 with the others. Will disclose the result later
 

wang

Well-Known Member
I brought two Zeiss M mount lenses Planar 50 2 and Biogon 35 2. I took photos of the same places with my Leica counterparts under the same lighting and f nos. All photos were taken hand held with my M3. As the difference could be due to the effect of hand holding the camera, we compared rolls of Kodak 200 HD. We also examine the results under light microscopy.

50 2 Planar vs 50 2 Leica Summicron. The results are very close. At f2. The area in focus has very little difference. The only difference is the colour rendition. Again Zeiss, in general and in this case of 50 mm, showed a more accurate reproduction of colours. The less accurate colour reproduction of Leica can easily be compensated by film processing. The area out of focus showed Summicron is more able to produce better definition, as if it has a bigger depth of view. Perhaps depth of view,depends not only on f nos.,but also on the manufacturer. At higher f nos such as 4 and 5.6, Summicron provides better resolutions. Summicrons also produces images with with more colour contrast and large object contrast.

Biogon 35 2 and aspheric Summicron 35 2. At f2, Leica produces better resolution. Again Leica produces an effect like a bigger depth of field. At 5.6, Biogon is better. The aspheric Leica is just less sharp than Biogon. Although the differences at different apertures are not much, they are definitely there.

The MTF charts predict Biogon to be better in resolving lines at 4 and 5.6, it correlates well with my practical findings.

The general rules still hold after the impact of the new Zeiss M lenses. Zeiss produces better colours, Leica is the choice for low light photography and has the merit of better dimensional feel.

If you like I could scan the results and share them with the rest. At the moment I am also comparing my G 45 2 with the others. Will disclose the results later.
 

patrik

Active Member
Thank you for your reply.

The only "rangefinder" I have used is Contax G2, so I have no experience of Leica M lenses (have used leica R). I think it is great that both Leica and Zeiss have M lenses, so you can pick the one you like most. It will be interesting to see how the Sonnar 85/2 and the new APO-Summicron 75/2 ASPH performs.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
I suppose you mean APO-Summicron 90/2 ASPH as Leica do not have aspheric lenses for the 75 mm focal length. So you wish to compare ZM 85 2 with Leica's aspheric 90 2. I have the aspheric 90 2. It is one with both sharpness and dimensional feel. At f2, this lens is slightly sharper than 100 2 of C-Y mount at 2 and the image also have a good 3D effect. It also happens that this lens is more Zeiss like compared with other Leica lenses in colour reproduction. It has a good colour fidelity. Well,this lens almost excels in all aspect of optical performance except Bokeh. I like 100 2 and 85 1.4 of C-Y more than this aspheric Leica in terms of Bokeh.
Leica has a non-aspheric 75 1.4,but it does not have such a good reputation as compared to APO 90 2. I have no urge to buy one.
I am sure ZM 85 2 will be an excellent performer even though Zeiss has not publish its MTF yet. It will have good sharpness,good colour,3D and good Bokeh as most Zeiss lenses have good Bokeh.
I have less faith with the Zeiss Ikon camera body not because it is silver,but it has an electronic shutter. It will be like the one in Voigtlander body,I suppose,which creates more vibration than the mechanical shutter of M. I would be very grateful if someone can tell me if I am wrong in this aspect. I believe M3 and other M with .85 rangefinder have better shutter and focusing accuracy than Zeiss Ikon body.
 

patrik

Active Member
The APO 75mm/2 ASPH is a newly developed lens, information can be found in the Leica section at
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.

The Zeiss Ikon exists also in a black version, and the lenses are also in black versions. It is true that the Zeiss Ikon has an electronic shutter. The rumoured Leica M digital will probabily also have an electronic shutter (maybe that can change during the design process). I have not handled a Leica M camera so I can not say about the shutter differencies. But my feeling is that the leica M shutter would be smoother.
 

felipe

Member
> All very interesting, but last time I looked this was a Contaxinfo site, = not > either Zeiss Ikon or Leica.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Well, I am more than happy to talk about Contax in Contax site. Unfortunately, the involutionary process of Kyocera just give me less chance to talk about it. For many years we have been waiting for Kyocera to improve their product line,but it has certainly lost its interest in the innovations of photography. I have been waiting for long enough for a good 35mm lens,for ex&le. N24-85,N17-35,G35 2.8,C-Y 35 2.8 C-Y 35 1.4 are the basic ones but I am not happy with all these. Even the big optical Giant Zeiss can see this,and instead of improving the pre-existing Contax line,she joined forces with Mr Kobayashi,president of Cosina. This union seemed to accelerate the atrophy of Kyocera. As soon as ZM products reach the market,Kyocera announced the cease of production. Now,I am now quite happy with my little lens ZM 35 2.
Although the optical performances of G35 2 and ZM 35 2
are no match, Contax made the exterior structure of the lens a lot better than Cosina. G35 is cheap but has an elegant look. My ZM 35 2 is three times more expensive but it just have a cheap look. My one is silver and It did not help when one of the screw was damaged by careless screwing before it reaches the consumer.

Thank you for telling me about the new product apo 75 2 ASPH. It has an impressive MTF performance and it is good to bridge the gap between 50 and 90. I have the urge to buy this lens.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
The future M digital should have a mechanical shutter in order to continue the long tradition of M. This is no joke, M system has the best shutter in 35 mm photography. It also has the best optical systems from Leica and Zeiss to go with. M digital has to be full framed. Partial framing the M-system is a joke.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
The new Zeiss lenses I have interest in are the 15/2.8 and the 85/2 ... both of which will be completely made in Germany. Specifically the 15mm is of interest for use on my Leica Ms

Chi, I'd be interested in what you are not happy about with the Contax lenses you mentioned. I've yet to find a Zoom from any other manufacturer the equal of the N24-85/3.5... especially that zoom range. IMO, there is none. The N17-35/2.8, considerably outperforms even the latest Canon 16-35/2.8L in terms of edge sharpness and correction of barrel distortion ... which I've demonstrated here by using both on a Canon 1DsMKII to shoot the same scene @ 17mm.

However, I do believe the N50/1.4 could have been improved in terms of Bokeh, and I lament that Zeiss/Contax never got to produce a N35/1.4. The N85/1.4 is actually an improvement over the C/Y mount 85/1.4 (I own both), but at the expense of size.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Well, I was talking about 35mm primes. Philip believed we ought to talk about Contax In Contax site,so I named the 35mm lenses of Contax. No doubt N17-35 is the best wide angled Zoom in 35 mm photography, but I doubt if it will beat the best primes,to me at the moment is ZM 35 2. I am just not happy with zooms,no matter even if it is the best zoom.
Forgive me of talking about the MTF again,I just can't buy all of them in order to test them. The MTF of ZM35 2 is a lot better than N17-35 at 35.
Despite the fact that most ZM lenses are made in Japan,some of them are the best lenses in 35 mm photography.35 2.8,25 2.8 have the best MTF I have ever seen,one of them 35 2 is already tested by me and it is difficult for me to find a better one. I believe it is the same for 25.I will scan some photos and show up the result later.
 

nickser

Well-Known Member
Oh the debate on mtf charts again!!

It's true that primes on the whole are better than zooms, but people get too hung up on it. If your shot can only be framed at 31mm using the 17-35/24-85 et al, then you are losing your mtf advantage of your 28mm prime as you will have to crop and enlarge it to get the same view. With your 35mm prime you lose altogether as you can't do it at all.
I feel that on this and other forums there are people who are more interesed in collecting the gear and 'talking the talk' than taking photos (no matter what other people feel about them) and 'walking the walk'.
The reality is STOP getting hung up on facts and figures and use the stuff instead.

Sorry if I offend anyone with these comments.

Paul
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
No offense taken Paul. At least not by me. However, don't assume that if we talk gear, we don't shoot. I doubt you, or anyone else here, shoots more photographs than I do. I think your argument about field of view in relation to zooms verses primes is just as technically oriented to MTF chart as Chi's is.
I do agree that more focus should be on using the gear and offering opinions based on actual results.

Quality and characteristics of individual lenses manifests itself in a number of ways, and contributes to the overall look of an image. The best shooters I know DO discuss these characteristics, but usually with a print in hand, not a MFT chart.

There are reasons to prefer primes that go well beyond any sharpness tests. Less or no distortion, faster max aperture, Bokeh characteristics, and in the case of Zeiss or Leica lenses, MIcro-Contrast... especially it's effect on out of focus areas.... to name a few.

So while Chi may love his ZM 35/2 backed up with a MTF tests, I may hate the way it renders OOF areas at max aperture. Which I wouldn't know until I see it applied in a variety of circumstances, and manifested in 11X14 prints at viewing distances.

Irakly and I were just discussing some lens characteristics the other day. I recently secured a C645 55/3.5 and did some test shots. Irakly pointed out the unique way this lens renders almost perfect OOF Bokeh in the FOREGROUND rather than just in the background. He was right. BTW, Irakly also shoots a lot, and I mean A LOT.

Here's a shot from a portrait session done yesterday (yes, even on Sunday) with Contax 645 where I used the 55/3.5 and 140/2.8 as well as a Hasselblad 110/2 via a MAM-1 adapter... This one was with the 55/3.5 @ f/3.5 using available light ... I zoomed with my feet ; -) The baby's name is Ellie ...

 

nickser

Well-Known Member
Hi Marc,

I didn't mean any offense to you. I have seen a lot of yours, and Irakly's work and admire it greatly. You appear to concentrate more on shooting and looking at what the equipment produces than reading the tech specs.
And what a lovely pic of lovely Ellie.

Respect!

Paul
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Let go back to the comparison of the Zeiss Ikon lenses with our lovely G system. To me, the most amazing lens is Planar G45 2. It produces razor sharp images at f4 even better than Summicron 50 2. Now, here comes another Planar 50 2 of Zeiss Ikon. Let's see some photos.



This photo was taken with my Planar 45 2 at f2. It is a few of those well focused. Even on my G2 getting subject focused at f2 is not easy. I use SAF, press to focus with bracket on the face of my subject followed by shutter release. The in focus area is slightly soft with average colour contrast. I crop the photo in the way that the bokeh could be assessed more easily.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Here is another photo from my G2 with 45 at f2. The subject of this photo is not as sharp as the previous one. The background of this photo give a good chance to assess the bokeh.

 

wang

Well-Known Member
The third one comes from the ZM Planar 50 2 loaded on my MP .85. The f no. is also f2. Most of the images produced in this way are in focus. Although I am a Zeiss fan more than Leica, my M is a lot more consistent in producing pictures in focus, particularly at f2.

 
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