Zeiss 85mm does terribly in DXO?

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First of all, these are objective measurements, not subjective impressions. Two entirely different things with their own merits. I have a lot of respect for DXO's level of lab testing which I think is the best available online.

These results have shocked me.

This of course doesn't take into account bokeh rendering and build quality but in terms of sharpness and CA it seems to get whooped by even the $300 Samyang lens. The modern Sigma 85mm design seems to be the real big winner here though.

If you look at the resolution > Field Maps, its pretty shocking.

http://dxomark.com/index.php/Lens-w...(brand)/Zeiss/(brand2)/Samyang/(brand3)/Sigma
 
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Interesting. I'll be watching to see what others say here....

For interest I pulled in the 85 1.4 D from Nikon to see how it scored and it qas worse than the Zeiss!
 
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In the 50mm focal length from Zeiss, the 2/50 MP has traditionally been thought of the sharper lens when compared to the 1.4/50. I have tried both the 1.4/50 and the 1.4/85, and was not overly impressed with either. The 2/35, 2/50, and 2/100...well, those are another story...those will rock your socks off.
 
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Perhaps in the DxO scales, but I wouldn't trade the bokeh of the 2/100 for the 105VR. I have shot both and it's night and day. The way the 2/100 renders OOF areas is just magical...the 105VR has a more structured feel.

Here's an example of a portrait with the 2/100. Notice how her hair is rendered...like something out of a dream...it's just a feeling that the DxO tests can't measure.
688916908_e6wmd-XL.jpg
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And here's a shot with the 105VR. Sharpness is out of this world (see my reflection in his eye?), and bokeh is nice, but nothing that I would put in the same category as the 2/100. It's just a different feel from the lens.
887284936_gCprd-XL.jpg
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And here's another with the 105VR...I love the sharpness of her, but the bokeh is just...I don't know...structured is all I can come up with...nervous maybe.
555983272_DeFSg-XL.jpg
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And here's a last one from the 2/100...just dreamy...
674693216_pEqSX-XL.jpg
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It would be awesome if you can shoot the same subject with the same lens.

I ended up selling my 105VR unfortunately because I found the CA to be too much. The working distance was also a bit too long with DX on my D7000. I ended up picking up the 60mm AF-S Micro.

DSC_2104.jpg
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G

gorbuchul

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These results have shocked me.

This of course doesn't take into account bokeh rendering and build quality but in terms of sharpness and CA it seems to get whooped by even the $300 Samyang lens. The modern Sigma 85mm design seems to be the real big winner here though.

If you look at the resolution > Field Maps, its pretty shocking.

Holy smokes! That is just what happens when you measure a dedicated spherical design wide open and compare it to a lens that is corrected for spherical aberrations. It just makes no sense at all as long as photography is not about resolution only.

The Zeiss is a very special design with a desired soft (not unsharp) look wide open near minimal focus distance - otherwise it gives world class resolution.

http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/products/slr/planart1485.usage.html

You started a thread over at dpr some weeks ago about the ZF85 and many kind folks explained the design and showed pictures. I really fail to see, why the DXO data are shocking you now. If you are searching for a lens that shows no faults and weaknesses when shot with test charts get another lens, otherwise forget such nonsense. The Planar ZF85 was never meant to meet the behaviour of a Distagon or Makro-Planar or any Nikon or Samyang. This is a photographic tool, not a microscope.

I simply love the ZF85. D3, f/2.8:

100905_019_85.1.4_2.8_sw.jpg
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and one at f/1.4:
100822_A_035_85.1.4_1.4.jpg
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Are the Zeiss lenses all show and no go?

Absolutely, when you are portraying cute test charts. Now I am only waiting for someone special to join this thread to philosophize about Zeiss fanboys and placebos.


Kind regards,
Bernd
 
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Here is some ZF 100 bokeh (to the extreme) This was a planned shot, not an accident.

RoadsideFlowersAtBalancedRock_1708.jpg
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Perhaps in the DxO scales, but I wouldn't trade the bokeh of the 2/100 for the 105VR. I have shot both and it's night and day. The way the 2/100 renders OOF areas is just magical...the 105VR has a more structured feel.


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Girl is so cute so who cares about sharpness or DxO scores. Images taken with ZF 100/2 are trully superb portraits.

I will keep my ZF 100/2 as i think it is remarkable lens for any type of shooting. It even looks and feels nicer than 105VR.

But we are talking ZF 85/1.4 here, sorry no first hand experience but I can state with certainty that there is more to photography than DxO scoring. For macro work sharpness is prime consideration. For taking portraits lenses that have "subjective" qualities are the ticket. I sold my Nikkor 85mm f1.4 AFD and kept Summilux 80mm to cover this FL for portrait work. Main reason I liked both close portraits and outdoor distance images better when coming from Summilux 80mm than Nikkor 85/1.4.

If DxO really wants to impress photographer rather than chartists they better shoot and show some real images as a basis of thier assessment.

For those not familiar with Summilux it is softish lens at f1.4 and i would imagine DxO would shoot it down in flames :biggrin:.
 
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If DxO really wants to impress photographer rather than chartists they better shoot and show some real images as a basis of thier assessment.
Amen. DXO scoring has always been for measurebaters NOT for real photographers. :eek:
 
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I am just stating my (hobbyist/amateur) opinion here, others' mileage may vary.

There are some lenses (like the 200 f2 vr or 85mm 1.4) that do not need any charts or graphs to show their magic. Then there are Zeiss lenses (I do own 3 of them) and when you shoot with them, there is clarity and crispness which can only be experienced. The 100ZF is simply spectacular. Zeiss renders a scene differently from Nikon, almost with its own signature.

So for me, charts and graphs really have no meaning - I have learned to buy a lens, experiment and learn the nuances of lenses by experience rather than any websites. Yes, I do lose some money buying/selling but I think of it as a 'rental' cost with no pressure to return :D
 
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Hey OP... have you ever actually SHOT with a Zeiss lens? DXO tests very often indicate traits at one distance and not a variety, and don't indicate micro-contrast and color rendtion characteristics, and don't account for their overall ratings in a very meaningful way (placing way more emphasis on resolution than anything else). Instead, spend some time on this thread. Real world results and experiences count a lot more than some resolution chart. Yes, you can sometimes glean some information that someone might find useful from them, but if you're counting on that to be your tell-all on lens performance, then by all means keep buying lesser lenses, and insisting that the 105VR is a better lens than the ZF100MP. You're seriously misled and/or misinformed.
 
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Feb 3, 2006
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London
Which in fact reminds me of art critics and movie critics and food critics and all critics...and I do not agree with what they say.
I also do not agree with lens reviewers, I read the review and try to digest it but what they never ever assess is the rendering look of any lens.

When I need to find out about any lens, I try it myself and make my own judgement.

And it so happens that I like the Zf2 85 and I also like the Sumi 80. They are my preferred lenses in the 80/85 range.

Shot on a D3s - ZF2 85/1.4 WOT
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Okay wow.

What the heck, people treat lenses like religion.

I NEVER SAID THE 105VR is in FACT BETTER, IN FACT I SOLD MY 105VR because I was displeased by all the CA.

People, stop treating lenses like they're your children. I didn't insult your children.

I'm just trying to find the best way to spend my money because it's not unlimited, data is scarce, and while I value objective impressions I take them with a grain of salt because the opposite of a "measurebater" is someone who is brainwashed and can't accept a competing idea in their head.

The Zeiss 100MP seems to be the best of the lot of Cosina manufactured Zeiss lenses from everything I've read. It also funnily enough does the best on DXO as well. As a bonus, CA seems to be low which is my main annoyance with lenses. Everyone says its easy to remove but often its really not or impossible. I think I'll be giving that lens a shot on my buy list.
 

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