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New; Carl Zeiss manual focus lens.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:10 pm    Post subject: New; Carl Zeiss manual focus lens. Reply with quote

Well believe it or not, manual focus lens for the pro photographer. what a new idea. Shocked
http://prophoto.typepad.com/bonus/2007/04/product_review_.html


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice find! Many thanks!


PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

those look very sexy Wink

I've been eyeballing some of the M42 Zeiss lenses on ebay for a while...hopefully I'll find one for a decent price soon. Heard they make great glass


PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bottom line.
Quote "Production is done at the Cosina factory in Japan under the watchful eye of Carl Zeiss employees in charge of quality assurance. The actual quality control is performed on measuring machines designed and made by Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen, just as it has been on all Japanese-made Zeiss Contax lenses. Production in Japan is done to ensure that the lenses will be available at prices that a large number of photographers can afford and in the range that Nikon professional photographers are accustomed to paying." End Quote

It is a known fact that Cosina bought the Carl Zeiss name and rights to their designs. However Cosina never went into production of any Carl Zeiss lenses because their production techniques could not perform the tolerances required for the old lenses. We also know Sony use the Zeiss name on many of their lenses, which are also made for Nikon mount. It is all a bit of a minefield with Cosina owning the name and rights but Sony marketing many Zeiss lenses and Sony also owning 25% of Tamron. You have to question who has the production facilities, who actually puts this glass together?
I would wait for real tests before investing loads of money in a name.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess what Rob said very important! Listen to him, I don't believe same maker can make outstanding and crap lenses both. If yes, I avoid from that, I don't like this behaviour like Canon doing on the market.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob Leslie wrote:

It is a known fact that Cosina bought the Carl Zeiss name and rights to their designs. However Cosina never went into production of any Carl Zeiss lenses because their production techniques could not perform the tolerances required for the old lenses. We also know Sony use the Zeiss name on many of their lenses, which are also made for Nikon mount. It is all a bit of a minefield with Cosina owning the name and rights but Sony marketing many Zeiss lenses and Sony also owning 25% of Tamron. You have to question who has the production facilities, who actually puts this glass together?
I would wait for real tests before investing loads of money in a name.


Put this way, it sounds like if Zeiss has sold its lens production branch to become a Japanese independent company.
I don't know if Wikipedia is a reliable source for company information, but reading this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeiss
it does not sound precisely like that - it sounds like if they are licensees to build the new range of reflex and rangefinder lenses, but the site zeiss.de presents the products as their own, which I doubt would happen if the lens production was really owned by Cosina - I don't think that a company would advertise this way for a competitor.
Do you have a link that can shed some further light on the subject?

Of course, the doubt on the build of the new lenses remains - but obviously if Zeiss Germany is still in control we can expect a serious quality control on the new production, like it happened with the Yashica production of the Contax reflex lenses, which were (are!) excellent and on the same quality level as the German build.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is some good info on that link Orio. At the bottom of the page it lists most of the modern Zeiss lens range and their manufacturers.
It seems Cosina and Sony Japan are the main manufacturers (Who manufactures Sony/ Zeiss lenses?) note the new Zeiss Nikon range only says that Zeiss are marketing them. It doesnt say they are making them. Of course nothing can be read into this, as you say with proper quality control and Zeiss design things could be excellent. I know first reports of the Minolta AF mount (Sony Alpha) Zeiss named lenses have been very good. It may be that they are being made by facilities that were Minolta. In these day of Globalisation the whole subject is probably academic. Your German named Zeiss lens manufactured by Cosina of Japan may even be assembled in the Far East or China.
Cosian has turned out a lot of rubbish but they have also proved they can make good stuff. Wasn't the Voiglander Bessa range done by them?


PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob Leslie wrote:
There is some good info on that link Orio. At the bottom of the page it lists most of the modern Zeiss lens range and their manufacturers.
It seems Cosina and Sony Japan are the main manufacturers (Who manufactures Sony/ Zeiss lenses?) note the new Zeiss Nikon range only says that Zeiss are marketing them. It doesnt say they are making them. Of course nothing can be read into this, as you say with proper quality control and Zeiss design things could be excellent.


Yes I think it is not a secondary matter if Zeiss Germany still takes the decisions about those lenses. So far Zeiss has the reputation of taking no decisive compromises even on the low budget lenses such as the Planar 1.7/50 (I'm speaking of Contax lens of course). I own several Contax lenses made in Japan and I can assure that the build is the same as the ones build in Germany. Which is a fantastic build: even Leica lenses feel cheaper compared to the superb smoothness of Contax lenses' focusing ring.
Of course if it was Cosina to take decisions, then I would not feel so sure about the final output. Not because I don't trust the factory (with the instruments of today, I doubt that "bad factories" exist anymore), but because i would not trust the company. See what happened with Carl Zeiss Jena: until the 60s, they made superbly built lenses, exactly like West Germany Zeiss. I have a Sonnar 4/135 from Carl Zeiss Jena dated late 50s, which is built like a tank. Since the half of the sixties, with the "zebra" productions, they started to forget a lot about quality control, and the final versions, the black-orange lenses, are probably the most mechanically horribly built lenses of the post war. Optically, many are gems. But I still have to buy one that is 100% in perfect condition - and I bought many.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Welsh at 16:9.net did a somewhat eye-opening test and comparison between the Cosina built CZO Distagon 2.8/25 and the Canon EF24L.

http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/zf25_canon24/zeiss_zf25a.html


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
Mark Welsh at 16:9.net did a somewhat eye-opening test and comparison between the Cosina built CZO Distagon 2.8/25 and the Canon EF24L.
http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/zf25_canon24/zeiss_zf25a.html


Canon's a clear winner at wide apertures and in the corners. Zeiss does better with flare but worse (and this was unexpected) at distortion. Overall Canon's a better lens.
But to tell the truth, the Distagon 25 was always, even in the older film days, considered the weakest of all Distagons.
Evidently the new "for Nikon" version has not corrected the faults of the Contax version.

I bet that if they make the comparison tests with the Distagon 21, 28 and 35, the results will be different - and much better for Zeiss.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He did with the Distagon 21 which just about blows everything else away.

Despite it's "moustache" distortion, it remains the benchmark WA and I want one....


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
He did with the Distagon 21 which just about blows everything else away.
Despite it's "moustache" distortion, it remains the benchmark WA and I want one....


I wanted one too, but a seller in Modena asked almost half of my monthly salary for it !!
So I decided that the lens will feel better in Modena Wink - and I'll stay faithful to my beloved Zebrone (the 4/20) Very Happy


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 4/20 might not have the same edge to edge and corner to corner sharpness as the Distagon but it's a better bet for architecture as it's better corrected and any distortion that is present is more easily dealt with in PS.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
The 4/20 might not have the same edge to edge and corner to corner sharpness as the Distagon but it's a better bet for architecture as it's better corrected and any distortion that is present is more easily dealt with in PS.


I saw a direct comparison test (I dont' find the link anymore unfortunately) that showed exactly that the Flek 4/20 beats the Distagon 21 (and completely blows away the Flek 2.8/20) for its absolute lack of distortion.

The first shot I took with the 4/20, I immediately fell in love with it. I will never sell my copies, never.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I've seen that too with regard to the 2.8/20 - it seems that getting a good copy of that particular lens is very much a lottery.

At least the 2.4/35 is a good one. Or at least my copy is.....Wink

Quote:
I will never sell my copies, never.


Likewise, despite their, to me anyway, minor faults.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had at least six copies from Flektogon 20mm f/2.8 and almost same quantity from Flektogon 35mm f/2.4 I didn't find any differences between them. I had also many 135mm f/3.5 Sonnar they quality was equal too. So don't need to worry about them.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good to know Attila - I haven't really considered the 2.8/20 because of what I've read and seen online so it's good to get actual user experience based on multiple copies.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't have experience on many copies, but on one I do, and for what is my experience, I say that the lens is practically unuseable at f/2.8. Blurred corners and very soft all over the frame. F/4 does not make it much better. It starts to get better at f/5.6, where the Flek 4/20 already shines.
So in my opinion there is absolutely no reason to spend 100 Euros more (because this is usually the difference in price) to get the faster lens.
Of course this is my personal opinion, I don't pretend to own the truth.