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Which lenses do you use mostly and why

G

Guest

I would be interested to know which focal length you prefer for your own shooting style and why.

Would you be willing to exchange your fixed focal lenght against a modern Zeiss-zoom? If you look at the lens-industry it seems that this is the way to go. New designs are mostly zooms, seldom FFL.

Have you tried that already? What is your opinion?

I have tried the Zeiss 28-85 (C/Y) and the new N24-85. Both are very good, especially the N-zoom. And I have the 24mm already included, what I was always missing on the old 28-85zoom.
 
G

Guest

I have a G2 with the 28mm, 35mm, 45mm and 90mm .. all wonderful
I also have an Aria with a 28mm, 35mm, f1.4/50mm, f1.4/85mm and a 135mm .. also great lenses..
now the funny thing is, although I tend to think more wide angle, as my main subjects are landscapes and cityscapes, I find myself using the "standard" lenses, 45mm G and 50mm SLR, more than any others, even for the odd portrait I do. I just find the angle of view somehow pleasing .. you may ask why I didn't save a lot of money and just buy one lens .. good question ...
 
G

Guest

I have a T3, until then I used, for many years a 35 as my main lens...first on a Canon Ftb with a 100 as my second lens, which saw much less use, later an EOS system with a 35-70 and a 70-210 zoom...felt this system was too bulky. I then purchased a G1 kit with a 35mm F2 and the 200 flash, soon to add the 90mm lens. I have not used this as much as I would have liked, but I have found my my photos to be quite nice.. what has really stolen my interest has been my T3. The lens is wonderful, it is a small and delightful camera..I take it everywhere and the quality of the pictures is just great. So far I have not felt that I am missing much with only this one lens..I have even considered selling the G1, but I will wait a bit...I may sell the 35mm on that or trade for a 45 as I don't think the 35f2 has anything over the T3. For me the 35 has always been about perfect as a general lens, landscapes, candids...I do little work that would necesitate a really long lens.

Joel Stern
 
G

Guest

In my teenage days (1981-1989) I was happy with Agfa CT 18 film, my grandpa's Voigtländer Bessamatic SLR, and one lens: a 2.0/50 Septon. I store many hundreds of slides shot with this combo, they show that 90% of all motives can be managed quite well with the standard focal length. From 1989 to 1997, I mainly used Agfa CT 100 and a Minolta X700 with many lenses from 2.8/20 to 5.6/500, including zooms and fix focals. Although I tried nearly everything, my standard lens became a Tokina 3.4-4.5/28-70, in my eyes the perfect travel lens. The results were just fine, but I dreamed of perfection. So I traded the whole Minolta stuff for a used RTS III and the famous 1.4/50MM in 1997, and added three other Zeiss primes: 2,8/25MM, 2,8/100AE, and 4.0/200MM. For me, it has proven as the perfect selection, the quality is simply outstanding. Since then, my standard film is Fuji Sensia 100 and my permanent companion a Manfrotto 055 tripod. About 40% of my slides are shot with the 50, 30% with the 100 macro, 20% with the 25 and 10% with the 200. The puristic limitation on four really distinct primes makes every focal length essential - it's a joy of its own to have only "important" lenses, no seldom used stuff anymore. But to be honest, I think I could learn to live with only the 1,4/50 again, combined perhaps with an ultra-simple body like the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 (primitive and great) or a Contax S2 (poor value for the money).
 
G

Guest

I have a Contax Aria with the 45mm/f2.8 "pancake" lens and the 28/f2.8 and 80-200/f4 zoom. 90 per cent of my photos are taken with the 45mm lens because it is so small it allows me to always have the Aria with me in a small Lowepro Nova 1 bag. I used to have the 28-85 zoom, and loved it's image quality and versatility, but it was just too big and heavy to always lug around. It was very liberating when I started taking just the 45mm lens. The camera kit becomes so small and light, and the angle of view from the 45mm lens is extremely versatile to use for everything from portraits to scenics. I have also been using a borrowed AX body recently, and the "macro" function of the AX allows me to take amazing closeups with this simple Tessar lens. The versatility of the 45mm/f2.8 pancake lens is outstanding, and the image quality is superb. I have no inclination to replace it with anything else. I also find that people are less intimidated by this lens when I am taking their portrait, and it is therefore easier to get "natural" expressions from them. The big zooms intimidate many people, especially in a candid environment. But apart from being very staisfied with the images, the bottom line is "if you haven't got the camera with you, you don't get ANY images" -- and this 45mm lens coupled to the small and light Aria, allows me to ALWAYS have the camera with me.
 
G

Guest

In answer to your question about which lens do i like to use,I love to use 85mm as there a shallow depth of field compared to 50mm plus you have the slightly compressed background and you can take candids without intruding to much.Portraits are superb I just love the look of photos i have taken with an 85mm lens.
 
G

Guest

I cannot really tell, what I would use the most since I own only two lenses. My main lens is the Planar T* 1.4/50 and the second is the Distagon T* 2.8/35. I like both very much but I just love the 50mm wide open! It allowed me to take really cool shots under bad lighting conditions in some Parisian Cafes (to be seen here below). Also portraits came out great!
If I could afford it, I would also go for the 1.4/35 and the 1.4/85 but since I'm a student, I have to wait and save money ...

 
G

Guest

wow, is this your shot?

I like this style. I was living in Paris for 6 months and it gives me back some nice memories...

you should definitely upload this in the picture area for discussions
 
G

Guest

For some 30 years I have used nothing except primes with two RTSIII bodies plus a Yashica body. Recently I decided to try the Zeiss zooms, concurrent with my purchase of an N1. I am not hooked on the zooms. The image quality is almost equal to the primes but the composition possibilities are really great. I used to be able to view a composition in fixed format steps from 25mm to 200 mm. Now I use two zooms, the 24 - 85 and 70 to 300. Much lighter to carry, greater composition fluency.

I guess that throughout the years, I have been waiting for Zeiss quality in a zoom lens.
 
G

Guest

In my recent e-mail re why I use what lenses I said the I am not hooked on zooms. That should have read that I am now hooked on zooms.
 
G

Guest

Ideally, I would like to minimize the use of zooms because of their size. It has never before occurred to me that they might be intimidating to the subject, as a previous poster had suggested, but I think he may be right. Having said that, I continue to use my 28-85 for at least half my shots, simply because it allows me to quickly get the right perspective (and try out some alternatives). Interestingly, the MTF charts on the Zeiss web page would indicate that the zooms outperform most of the prime lenses at most focal lengths --if you believe that MTF charts are a good measure of lens performance; I know that's a controversial subject.
 
G

Guest

Similar observations. While, somehow on the contrary, I would like to minimize the use of primes because of their overall weight is more than the weight of a few zooms, I am still attracted towards the higher degree of optical perfection primes promise. So, as an N1 user, I can hardly wait for the 1.4/85 and for any future developments, like a 2.8/21, 1.4/35, 2.8/135 and of course longer tele-lenses, like a 2.8/300... I think I will have the courage to carry all that glass on a long tour, for the pleasure of optical perfection.

I agree with you - at least regarding the new N varios - that their MTFs look better at most focal lengths than the MTFs of the good old MM primes. The old C/Y-mount lenses were designed quite long time ago, and I suspect - and hope - that the reason for the apparent improvement in the MTF charts is that Zeiss has improved its design methods and manufacturing technology during the recent decades. Possible, that they are now capable of designing and building zooms that often outperform primes that were designed e.g. 30 years ago. I am curious to see how the MTF curves of their N-zooms will compare to new N-primes... I sincerely doubt that the core reason behind the difference is not a change in technology but a "development" in marketing communications approach.... I trust CZ is a fair player.

By the way, I do not really like their method of measuring at full aperture and at closed down by 2-stops. Apart from the wide open position I would be interested in the maximum performance of a lens, which I expect at f8. Just like the guys at photodo.com do it. Oh yes, and I would like to see some new results from their lab. They seem to be on a long-long holiday...

And of course, the MTF charts are a good measure, at least I would prefer lenses only above a certain MTF performance. But I think most people would agree that, apart from any numerical measurement results, there is something you can only feel. And that is absolutely subjective.
 
G

Guest

I just wanted to point out that the for what it is worth, the MTF data supplied by Zeiss actually suggest that the new N series zooms offer somewhat less optical performance than some of the newer manual focus zooms lenses. They do offer a somewhat wider range of focal lengths. The MTF curves provided by Zeiss indicate the 100-300/4.5-5.6 MM out performs the 70-300/4-5.6 N; the manual 28-85 MM has better MTF curves than the 24-85 N.

Many of the older prime lenses offer perfomance comparable to the newer N zooms. For instance, the old 85/2.8 manual focus lens is very comparable in performance at least as far as MTF curves go to the new 24-85 N zoom at 85mm. The 85/2.8 is a real nice compact light weight lens and about a 1/2 stop faster.

Jason
 
G

Guest

My girlfriend now uses my rts2 most of the times. She really likes the 2,8 135mm and has made wonderful pictures of people with it. I Kike this lens also a lot but would like to have a 200 or 85.
 
G

Guest

Hey, this is becoming a really good discussion...

Regarding MTF curves and real life image quality I would like to invite you to look at my comments and the Zeiss articles in the News/Info folder on the left.

The tests of Photodo have a certain kind of weighting to get their final results. So it is not easy to compare these tests with other MTF tests. I think since June 2000 they did not test any Zeiss or Leitz lenses anymore.

Maybe they just stopped doing this...

Buy the way I did some comparison pictures with my new N24-85 zoom and some FFL of Zeiss and Leitz. The N zoom blew the FFL almost entirely away...

You can read more about this in the N1 review...

dirk
 
G

Guest

Since I only have the three common lenses for the G2 (28, 45, and 90) I tend to take them all with me whenever I'm out with the G. I don't have the 35 because I use the T3 to cover that focal length.

The SLR is more problematic. I have a couple of overlapping zooms (28-85 and 80-200) which I use as a "travelling" set. However, I cover a similar range with fixed focal length lenses (28/f2.8, 50.f1.4, 60/f2.8, 85/1.4, 135/f2.8 and a Mutar II and extension tube set to extend the range at both ends.)

That said, I guess that I would have to say that my absolute favourite lens is the 135/f2.8.
 
G

Guest

Hi,

I won't consider zooms until they get as fast as my FFL lenses. Part of why I went with Contax in the first place (I bought my first Contax, a 139Q, in about 1980) was the fast lenses. I have the f1.4 50mm, 85mm and 35mm, and f2 135, and I use them wide open as often as I can. It depends on the picture, of course; it's not always appropriate. I use fast lenses more for the control over depth-of-focus rather than for shooting in low light.

For many years, the f/1.4 85mm was the lens I used most often; it was practically my normal lens. Now I tend to use the 50mm most often. It's only been in the last five years or so that I've started to like using wide angles. I usually tend to be more interested in details within a scene, rather than the 'big picture' that you get with a wide angle. My wide-angle pictures have always tended to be my most boring shots.

I have used zoom lenses in the past, and I discoverd that they help make me lazy. Instead of planning the picture in my head and then moving around to get where I need to be, I simply zoom until I get an OK composition. This may not be true for other people, but manual focus, FFL lenses, and little or no automation help me slow down and think more about the picture. If it gets too easy or too fast, I don't always think as much as I should about what I'm doing. I'll just push the button a bunch of times and end up with pictures I'll never want to look at again.

- Paul
 
G

Guest

My favorite is an older, "Made in West Germany" 85mm f2.8 AE.There is something special about the quality of the photos this lens produces. I can't quantify it, and my other Zeiss lenses, both Japanese and German made, are really excellent. It reminds me of my old f3.5 35mm Leica lens with "bugeyes" for M3. I couldn't quantify the difference between it and my other Leica lenses, either. But there was a difference. Has anybody had a similar experience with a particular lens?
 
G

Guest

The Planar 50/1.4. It's light weighted with excellent optical performance. One of the best 3 Japan made Carl Zeiss lens, other 2 are Distagon 21/2.8 and Planar 135/2(60th Ann'y). So, 50/1.4 is the highest C/P zeiss lens!
 
G

Guest

I survived over 20 years as a wedding photographer with 35/1.4, 50/1.4 and 85/1.4. I traded all against some Nikon kit. The first lenses I bought for Nikon were 35/2 and 85/1.8. One year later I traded all back, ( plus a Hassy ), for a Contax 645.

I have also now bought an RTS 3, 35/1.4, 85/1.4 and still have my 50/1.4. I shoot mostly people and have convinced myself that I'll never use any other SLR/Lens combination.

My 85 has just proven itsself in my new studio, perfect sharpness/contrast/colour rendition, and the 35 is my standard, and will always be my favourite.

Zooms? maybe. AF? maybe, as my eyes get older, I may not have the choice.

When the time comes I'll move to AF without fear of "inferior" lenses. A "bad" Zeiss Lens, ( if it were possible for one to exist ), would still be far superior to many manufacurers good lenses.
 
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