Macro 50mm: Zeiss vs Sigma

Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
86
Location
New York City
For Nikon I shoot with a D7000, it is upgraded with a Katzeye Optibrite split prism focus screen so I'm comfortable with manual focus.

I had a VR 105mm F2.8 but I ended up selling it because I found the lens too long on a crop body and a surprisingly high amount of CA wide open. Here are some examples: http://www.jae-designs.com/lightroom/watchevent/

I had to shoot without flash in natural indoor light so in that instance I had to shoot wide open.

So I started to look around for a 50mm or so macro lens to help address the working distance indoors.

I've landed on both the Sigma 50mm F2.8 and the Zeiss F2 Makro Planar ZF.2.

They both seem to have minimal CA and are both 50mm. I get autofocus on the Sigma which might make it a more useful general purpose lens but I get one more stop of light on the Zeiss which will help indoors give me a faster shutter speed for sharper shots or lower ISO.

There's also of course a ~$750 price difference between the two.

This might become an only lens for me besides a general use superzoom so if you had to choose which one would it be?

Is the "Zeiss look" strong in the 50mm Makro?
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
1,706
Location
New Zealand
The Sigma gets to 1:1, the Zeiss only gets to 1:2.

If you are considering the Sigma, why not look at the Nikon AFS 60/2.8 micro? It's an excellent lens.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
2,847
Location
Middletown, NY
For Nikon I shoot with a D7000, it is upgraded with a Katzeye Optibrite split prism focus screen so I'm comfortable with manual focus.

I had a VR 105mm F2.8 but I ended up selling it because I found the lens too long on a crop body and a surprisingly high amount of CA wide open. Here are some examples: http://www.jae-designs.com/lightroom/watchevent/

I had to shoot without flash in natural indoor light so in that instance I had to shoot wide open.

So I started to look around for a 50mm or so macro lens to help address the working distance indoors.

I've landed on both the Sigma 50mm F2.8 and the Zeiss F2 Makro Planar ZF.2.

They both seem to have minimal CA and are both 50mm. I get autofocus on the Sigma which might make it a more useful general purpose lens but I get one more stop of light on the Zeiss which will help indoors give me a faster shutter speed for sharper shots or lower ISO.

There's also of course a ~$750 price difference between the two.

This might become an only lens for me besides a general use superzoom so if you had to choose which one would it be?

Is the "Zeiss look" strong in the 50mm Makro?

Have you tried the Zeiss? If not, why don't you stop by B&H and go upstairs and try one....take a card with you. The Siggy is a nice lens, and like you said the price difference is great. Also, if you don't like the Siggy, you really can't lose all that much. The AF is going to be at least a step or two behind a Nikon.

Have you considered a fast MF Nikon. Like a 50 1.2, 1.4 or 1.8 for low light...these won't break the bank either.

Mike
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
4,458
Location
San Jose, California
I compared the ZF 50/2 and Nikon 60/2.8G and kept the latter. Sharpness was same (at f/2.8 and smaller), color and contrast almost same, no CA, bokeh slightly better on the Nikon. The Nikon also has autofocus, N-coating, 1:1 magnification ratio and half price. Only plus of the ZF is the f/2.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,431
Location
Scottish Highlands
I compared the ZF 50/2 and Nikon 60/2.8G and kept the latter. Sharpness was same (at f/2.8 and smaller), color and contrast almost same, no CA, bokeh slightly better on the Nikon. The Nikon also has autofocus, N-coating, 1:1 magnification ratio and half price. Only plus of the ZF is the f/2.

My experience is different. I found the Zeiss colours richer and warmer, the contrast better, and the benefits of being able to use the lens wide open (at f2!) should not be underestimated. I preferred the focussing mechanism of the ZF for its flawless precision. And I much preferred its rendition, but that is a very subjective thing.

Of course these things don't make it the ZF a better lens than the Nikon. Its heavier, hasn't got AF, doesn't go to 1:1 without rings, and is much more expensive. Whether its worth the difference depends on what you want to do with your lens, but I found them to be have very different qualities, each worthy of very serious consideration.
 

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