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Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 ZE - a field report (FINISHED!)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:42 am    Post subject: Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 ZE - a field report (FINISHED!) Reply with quote

Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 ZE


First impressions:
This lens does not only look beautiful, it is heavy and "feels" great in your hand.
The manufacturing quality is nothing but excellent, you could not wish for a better one.
The focus ring turns with just the right level of resistance which again adds to the sensation of high-end quality.
This lens mounts to an EOS cam with a deep and almost lucious "click" that entails a complete trust in this connection.
Even the lens hood mounts so securely - you turn and suddenly there is a tangible "click" - that it is a pleasure to attach and remove.
Again you never get the impression that you could ever lose this hood by coincidence.
Manufacturing Quality: A+

Optical performance:
OK, let's talk about aberrations. Aberrations? What aberrations?
Distortion? Nope. Chromatic aberrations? Nope. Coma? I can't see any.
Actually, it is virtually impossible to spot any kind of spherical, chromatic or geometrical aberration unless you examine the lens in lab conditions.
Since this is a "field report", I have to assert that this lens is quasi faultless. It seems that any flaw you find in your photo was caused by the photographer and not by the lens. Hence this is a dangerous lens for all photographers who like to blame their equipment for any mistake they made. To those I need to shout: Do not buy this lens!
For every other, talented photographer willing to learn, this Planar 1.4/85 is the perfect short tele lens! Save your money and order one as soon as you can!!
Optical performance: A

Handling:
As I have already stated, this lens delivers a rare feeling of quality that is out of reach for most lens manufacturers. Zeiss has found a great cooperation partner and must be enforcing a top-level quality control.
Every mechanical part offers a smooth and velvety as well as secure impression. There is just one little thing that I like to complain about: If the hood is attached to the lens, it is difficult to remove the front lens cap and even harder to put it back on, since your fingertips easily slip from the central knobs that can be pressed together to release the cap lock.
It would be a great idea to use a non-slip surface there.
Handling: A-

Usage:
If you have a lens that looks gorgeous, feels great and delivers a fantastic image quality, you want to use it all the time.
You have to consider that a manual 85mm lens that fast (f1.4!) is not easy to use wide open unless you have some really good focus aid.
Well, the EOS AF modus is activated by the lens chip (which by the way works together execellently with the EOS chips) but the AF system is not precise enough to guarantee a spot-on focus with an f1.4 lens. So you need to have good eyes to check the focus in the viewfinder, since the AF "beep" is sometimes tricking you. Now, focussing by sight is not easy if you only have the matte screen and no split image circle. Foucssing with my Canon EF-M for example was a pleasure, it was OK with my EOS 50e but very hard with my EOS 40D. It was alomst impossible with the EOS 350D and the standard viewfinder, with my maginfying eyepiece it became fine again. So, if you want to shoot with this Planar on your 40D often, I definitley recommend the special screen for manual focussing (EF-S). And I guess the same is true for the EOS 5D.
Anyway, this lens is a joy to use, and if you stop down a little the focus accuracy increases automatically.

Would I recommend this lens?
Absolutely!!
This lens seems to me 100% perfect for fullframe cams, no matter if film or sensor. I simply cannot imagine how a lens can be even better!
It also is 100% perfect for crop cams when shooting outdoors, for shooting with a crop cam indoors, I'd say that it might be a little too "long", perhaps the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/50 would be a more useful choice in this case.

To put it into a nutshell: Can you spend 1000,- without living on bread and water for the next two months? Then go and buy this lens!
And perhaps it is even worth to accept such a meagre diet for quite a while in order to be able to afford this Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85.

Final verdict: A

Some shots here: http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic,p,103212.html#103212


Last edited by LucisPictor on Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:06 pm; edited 8 times in total


PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drooling!!
How much was the beauty?


PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://forum.mflenses.com/oh-boy-t12041.html


PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carsten wrote:
Even the lens hood mounts so securely

nice they give a hood in standard, is it in plastic ?


PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

poilu wrote:
Carsten wrote:
Even the lens hood mounts so securely

nice they give a hood in standard, is it in plastic ?

No, it's made from metal. It's sturdy and yet very lightweight, so I guess its alu.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice !
The standard hood is really nice.
I love this about the ZM lenses also.
Zeiss decided to use a Bayonet mount for the hoods.
It helps with filter use as the filter fits inside the hood.
For wide angle lenses it is a real bonus.
With threaded hoods on top of a filter ring vignetting can become a problem.

Carsten, did you try and change the AF point around (in VF) and see if the "blip" responds to points other than the center?
It would not be something that is used often. Mostly I am curious as to how well the "chip" is integrated to the Canon system.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

F16SUNSHINE wrote:
Carsten, did you try and change the AF point around (in VF) and see if the "blip" responds to points other than the center?
It would not be something that is used often. Mostly I am curious as to how well the "chip" is integrated to the Canon system.


Yes, it works perfectly. You can choose whatever AF point you want to use and even if all are active it works and those light up that indicate "in focus" - no matter where.
Well, it's Zeiss! Wink


PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ Wink


PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report!!
What magnifying eyepiece do you use for 350D?


PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himself wrote:
Excellent report!!
What magnifying eyepiece do you use for 350D?

Believe it not, a Nikon DK-21M. It fits well to the 350D.
http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/ProductDetail.page?pid=25339


PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

excuse my ignorance but does this lens autofocus? how fast is the autofocus, or is it manual focus and when you hit focus you get the focus confirm chirp on an EOS cam?


PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is manual focus lens and you will get chirp when subject properly focused if you use adapter with AF emulation.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the ZE version of the lens, no need of chipped adapter - chip comes built it (as far as I know) Smile