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Author Topic: Question on Zeiss Makro-Planar 100mm f2.0 ZF  (Read 17428 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: January 08, 2009, 03:34:19 PM »
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Dear all,

For those of you owning the Zeiss Makro-Planar 100mm f2.0 ZF, I am looking for data on the location of the entrance pupil point of this lens is located relative to the mount or sensor plane.

I am interested in this lens for pano applications, but will probably not have the chance to test it in the coming weeks. The position of the entrance pupil point will impact the interest of the lens in terms of pano head stability.

Thank you.

Cheers,
Bernard
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 02:04:36 PM »
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Hope you don't mind me piggybacking your thread. In addition to entrance pupil info, I'd be curious about user impressions of this lens for landscape (ie at or near infinity, rather then closeup/macro).  I know this lens is supposed to have stunning performance based on many of the user-reviews I've read, but does that hold up at longer distances or just closeup/macro?
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stever
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 10:11:08 PM »
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Lloyd Chambers- didlloyd.com - has a comparison of the zeiss and canon 100m on his subscription site (which is probably worthwile if you're considering a zeiss lens as there are a few surprises) - in short, he loves it, but the comparison was on a 1dIII and the 100m turned out to be "off" (which seems a bit unusuall for this lens) so not as definitive as to convince me to pay several times the price of my excellent 100M for manual focus

Bernard, can't you just buy one with return privilege and find the entrance pupil?  I've resigned myself to testing canon lenses and buying multiple copies as required (although i suspect most of the issues are front/back focus which should be greatly reduced with new cameras with focus adjustment - still requiring investment of the user's time)
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 11:33:45 PM »
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Here's a review on it: http://slrlensreview.com/content/view/287/96/

I have seen some great reviews on this lens, and was very interested myself, until I found out that the lens doesn't even offer true 1:1 macro focusing (only 1:2). For a company to charge 3x the price of the Canon 100mm macro, and yet not even really have a macro lens, is absurd. The lens does not even have autofocus either. I understand that autofocus is not generally used in macro work, but here again the Zeiss lens can't use this as an excuse because it isn't even a true macro, since it is incapable of providing true 1:1.

This means the Zeiss "macro" lens is really nothing but a portrait lens ... that doesn't have autofocus ... but that has the biggest price tag in the segment.

Zeiss may offer great build quality, and great optics, with this lens, but (to me) they simply fall way short by not offering some of the most basic elements in their product, and then they have the audacity to charge twice the price of a Nikon 105mm (with both AF and VR, as well as true 1:1) and 3x the price of a Canon 100mm (with AF and true 1:1).

I think the Zeiss lens is a ripoff, ultimately, and that both the Canon and Nikon 100mm lenses give a person everything they could want in a 100mm macro, at decent prices ($444 and $700, respectively) rather than coming up short in too many areas for a ripoff price ($1500).

I know this doesn't answer your question, and I apologize for that, but I have been looking at macro lenses for a long time and really couldn't believe at what a ripoff the Zeiss lens is, all things considered.

Jack
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 11:40:01 PM by JohnKoerner » Logged
cecelia
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 12:44:54 AM »
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I own this lens and it is a wonderful lens that is razor sharp with amazing bokeh.  It also handles beautifully.  The only other lens I've owned in a similar league is the 85L II.  The Zeiss has much closer focusing and is less of a beast than the 85L.  There are a couple shots with it here from the D3x:  www.pbase.com/cecelia/inbox

There is nothing absurd about this lens.  

I hope someone has used it for panos, because I haven't yet and would appreciate the entrance pupil info too.

Thanks,
Cecelia
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NikosR
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 02:00:49 AM »
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Not everyone needs 1:1 repro capability in macro lenses. In fact I would venture to guess that most macro users rarely use a lens at larger then 1:2 repro ratio. BTW ALL manual focusing Nikon Micro lenses (a range which includes some legendary ones) had a max. repro ratio of 1:2. Max repro ratio is only one of the characteristics of a macro lens. Flatness of field and optical corrections for near range focusing are the others. BTW, attaching a simple extension tube will bring the Zeiss' repro ratio up to 1:1 easily without loss of any electrical functionality (since it has none). And also BTW ,this lens is a full stop faster than the commoner macro lenses some people like to compare it with...plus it seems not to loose its qualities at long distance shooting, something which cannot be said for all macro lenses.

For me, this is a fine multi-purpose lens which seems it can deal with a multitude of subjects, not only close-up shooting.

There are some people who can appreciate great optics when they see some. The value for money proposition of any product has nothing to do with its ultimate quality and furthermore its value proposition depends on one's criteria. For some, the Coastal 60mm f4.0 MF lens at $4.500 may be a rip-off. For me its just a highly priced excellent product. No high quality product deserves the definition of a rip-off however one perceives its value for money proposition. I reserve this term for highly priced low quality products.

I personally can not justify the cost of the lens but that does not mean I wouldn't love to own one.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:58:36 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 05:16:23 AM »
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Interesting that the detractors of this lens haven't tried it, but the poeple who own one think very highly of it. Of course if your priority is AF or VR then this isn't the lens for but if you're after optical quality, well its in a league of its own. I don't see how AF and VR equate to quality and value when you look at all the cheap and nasty consumer products that come with it, it sure can't cost that much.

Apologies to OP, I know these conversations don't answer your question but to be honest I have no clue were to even begin to respond to you.
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david
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 06:54:50 AM »
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I'm sorry, I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes, nor did I mean to imply that the Zeiss 100mm "macro" didn't have stellar optics. What I felt was absurd was for a company to charge 3x the price of its competitors for a "macro" lens that doesn't even have true 1:1 macro capabilities.

You raise some good points, Nikos, so perhaps the word "ripoff" was a bit strong. But to charge 3x the price the lens should offer 3x "something better" in return for the money. Are the optics three-times better than the Canon/Nikon equivalents ... or are the optics only marginally better ... with no AF, no VR, and not even true 1:1 macro capability? Perhaps it's not a ripoff, but the value of this lens doesn't seem 3x as great in proportion to its 3x greater price tag.

Both the Canon and Nikon 100mm/105mm are considered stellar choices optically themselves, so although the Zeiss may be so good optically that it is a bit better still, even if it was listed at the same price as the Nikon 100 mm, it would still be a pick-em, because the Zeiss' marginal edge in optics is hamstrung by its deficiency in magnification, AF, and VR.

That is just my opinion. I do understand that some people would believe differently based on different needs.

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ddk
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 09:57:33 AM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes, nor did I mean to imply that the Zeiss 100mm "macro" didn't have stellar optics. What I felt was absurd was for a company to charge 3x the price of its competitors for a "macro" lens that doesn't even have true 1:1 macro capabilities.

You raise some good points, Nikos, so perhaps the word "ripoff" was a bit strong. But to charge 3x the price the lens should offer 3x "something better" in return for the money. Are the optics three-times better than the Canon/Nikon equivalents ... or are the optics only marginally better ... with no AF, no VR, and not even true 1:1 macro capability? Perhaps it's not a ripoff, but the value of this lens doesn't seem 3x as great in proportion to its 3x greater price tag.

Both the Canon and Nikon 100mm/105mm are considered stellar choices optically themselves, so although the Zeiss may be so good optically that it is a bit better still, even if it was listed at the same price as the Nikon 100 mm, it would still be a pick-em, because the Zeiss' marginal edge in optics is hamstrung by its deficiency in magnification, AF, and VR.

That is just my opinion. I do understand that some people would believe differently based on different needs.

You're not stepping on any toes Jack, this is all just good fun and friendly chit chat on a slow Saturday, I guess with members coming from all over the place and of different cultures sometimes the tone of one's conversation could be misinterpreted as aggressive or offended anyway, back to the subject at hand...

For one the Zeiss is only twice more expensive than the Nikkor not 3x, and yes the two lenses are very different. Personally I find the Nikon lens over priced, just don't like the look or its rendering and Zeiss underpriced in comparison, but like everything else value and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Zeiss is about the optics and build quality, electronics don't cost any money today in a market where you can pick up a fairly decent AF zoom lens for less than 60 bucks (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/97388-REG/Tamron_AF77N700_Zoom_W_A_Telephoto_AF_28_80mm.html), I don't see the big deal about 1:1 either, nor do I need it.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 10:41:25 AM by ddk » Logged

david
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cecelia
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 10:38:16 AM »
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I'll add that these debates are all in good fun, and as has been said thousands of times before, the brain behind the camera is far more important than the camera.   The difference between excellent and "the best" is often subtle and comes at great price.  Value is not a linear curve, it is a hockey stick curve.  Look at cars, clothing, jewelry, etc...the very best always costs a lot more than products that are excellent, and some people are willing to pay for that little bit extra.  As I said earlier, in my experience, the 85L and the 100ZF are special lenses that have a quality about them that is different than most other lenses.  The 85L is far more expensive than the 85 1.8, and in objective tests the 85 1.8 looks very compelling...so is the 85L worth all that extra money?  Yes to some, and no to many others.  

-Cecelia
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 10:39:14 AM by cecelia » Logged
Jost von Allmen
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2009, 01:38:09 PM »
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Hi Bernard
With the ZF 100mm, I have to move the D3x back by exactly 45mm on my Manfrotto 454 sliding plate to have no visible displacement between near and far objects (using live view with maximum magnification).
I have only just tried this setup to be able to answer your question, because so far with that combination I actually just did some handheld stitches on infinity.
Having seen some of your stitched images, I know you would use it for quite close things as well, so the 45mm should get you there.

The ZF 100mm is a great lens, it's actually the best (resolutionwise) I own for the D3x, even in the extreme corners.
What's been pointed out in this thread about the ZF 100mm not having autofocus nor VR simply doesn't matter the way I use this particular lens:
For me, it's well worth the money.

Hope that helps.

Jost
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Jost von Allmen
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2009, 01:49:04 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes, nor did I mean to imply that the Zeiss 100mm "macro" didn't have stellar optics. What I felt was absurd was for a company to charge 3x the price of its competitors for a "macro" lens that doesn't even have true 1:1 macro capabilities.

To reiterate, "macro" does not mean or imply that a lens magnifies 1:1, which is a rather new phenomenon in the industry. Back in my retail days, '70s and early '80s, all the manufacturer macros were 1:2 with an extension tube used for 1:1. The only 1:1 lens was from Vivitar or other branded version from the same maker. "Macro" was a designation used for flat field lenses specifically designed of close focus and copy work(industry term, not an opinion). Most did not do as well at infinity and were rather slow compared to their curved field counterparts. Unfortunately the term became corrupted when it started being used for zooms with close focus capabilities and soon became used for all close focusing devices.

You raise some good points, Nikos, so perhaps the word "ripoff" was a bit strong. But to charge 3x the price the lens should offer 3x "something better" in return for the money. Are the optics three-times better than the Canon/Nikon equivalents ... or are the optics only marginally better ... with no AF, no VR, and not even true 1:1 macro capability? Perhaps it's not a ripoff, but the value of this lens doesn't seem 3x as great in proportion to its 3x greater price tag.

Ripoff implies theft, so it's more than "a bit strong", especially when constantly repeated. I worked for three years in a camera shop in Westwood Village, a tony shopping town that serves UCLA. After hammering us as "ripoffs" for being $20.00 more than Adrays on equipment with a 10% margin, people would go next door and drop $300 on a pair of shoes with a 100% or more markup without batting an eye.

Both the Canon and Nikon 100mm/105mm are considered stellar choices optically themselves, so although the Zeiss may be so good optically that it is a bit better still, even if it was listed at the same price as the Nikon 100 mm, it would still be a pick-em, because the Zeiss' marginal edge in optics is hamstrung by its deficiency in magnification, AF, and VR.

It would be interesting to see if modern macro lenses from Canon/Nikon are true flat field lenses or some sort of hybrid created in response to people insisting on using them for purposes outside of the original design criteria. They certainly seem to be engineered more like conventional lenses. Could be the Zeiss is actually the true macro. In any case, if comparing macro lenses, do it under conditions they are designed for. If the intent is not for critical close-up or copy work, than maybe other equipment would be more appropriate. I've got the Canon 135/2 L, which is a phenomenal lens that also does bugs very well.

That is just my opinion. I do understand that some people would believe differently based on different needs.

Likewise, but for the definition of a macro lens.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2009, 03:54:11 PM »
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schrodingerscat said,
"To reiterate, imacro' does not mean or imply that a lens magnifies 1:1, which is a rather new phenomenon in the industry. Back in my retail days, '70s and early '80s, all the manufacturer macros were 1:2 with an extension tube used for 1:1. The only 1:1 lens was from Vivitar or other branded version from the same maker. "Macro" was a designation used for flat field lenses specifically designed of close focus and copy work(industry term, not an opinion). Most did not do as well at infinity and were rather slow compared to their curved field counterparts. Unfortunately the term became corrupted when it started being used for zooms with close focus capabilities and soon became used for all close focusing devices."

Thank you for tellng me this.




schrodingerscat said,
"Ripoff implies theft, so it's more than 'a bit strong', especially when constantly repeated. I worked for three years in a camera shop in Westwood Village, a tony shopping town that serves UCLA. After hammering us as 'ripoffs' for being $20.00 more than Adrays on equipment with a 10% margin, people would go next door and drop $300 on a pair of shoes with a 100% or more markup without batting an eye."

LOL, well, we have something in common then: I graduated from UCLA, and lived in Westwood for 3 years back in the late 1980s, but instead of working at a camera shop I was a bouncer at a little nightclub back then called Baxter's

But your point is well taken.




schrodingerscat said,
"It would be interesting to see if modern macro lenses from Canon/Nikon are true flat field lenses or some sort of hybrid created in response to people insisting on using them for purposes outside of the original design criteria. They certainly seem to be engineered more like conventional lenses. Could be the Zeiss is actually the true macro. In any case, if comparing macro lenses, do it under conditions they are designed for. If the intent is not for critical close-up or copy work, than maybe other equipment would be more appropriate. I've got the Canon 135/2 L, which is a phenomenal lens that also does bugs very well."

Very interesting. Maybe the Zeiss is the true macro after all,. Thanks again for taking the time to point all of this out to me and to give me an understanding of the word "macro" as it applies to lenses. From my perspective, I didn't see the value of the Zeiss over a Canon or Nikon, as I was looking for true 1:1. You said 1:1 is a new concept to macro, so maybe this is the newer definition of macro, I don't know. What I do know is sometime down the road this year I am going to get the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 which has 5:1 capability, and I am buying this lens precisely because extreme close-up shots are very important to me and what I do. The MP-E 65mm f/2.8 is called a "macro only" lens, as it cannot in any way focus to infinity at all. I am not sure if its optical "flatness" makes it designated as macro only, or if in fact its intensive magnification is why (or maybe both reasons apply).

Anyway, again, I do see the value of the kind of extreme resolution the Zeiss offers to some. There are clearly people who are willing and able to shell out the extra $$ for this difference; yet there are other people who coin phrases like "mouse nuts" who aren't willing to pay 2-3x the price of the competition for that kind of negligible difference. What would really be interesting and germain to "true value" would be to see how many saleable macro shots have been taken through which lenses ... if there was a way to quantify such things ... and based on these statistice see which lenses have produced more photos that have sold for the most total money, as well as the most money-per-image. This would be another way to find the bottom line value on things, I'd say.

Jack
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:01:20 PM by JohnKoerner » Logged
JeffKohn
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2009, 08:47:24 PM »
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The ZF 100mm is a great lens, it's actually the best (resolutionwise) I own for the D3x, even in the extreme corners.
Jost are you using he lens primarily for closeups, or would you say the above is true at/near infinity as well?

Thanks,
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Jost von Allmen
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 09:19:48 AM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Jost are you using he lens primarily for closeups, or would you say the above is true at/near infinity as well?

Thanks,


I use the ZF 100mm only outdoors (but a lot) with various distance settings, it's focal lengths and handling just seems to fit my shooting style.
I find the quality of the files this lens produces simply outstanding, having used it on the D3 for over a year and now with the D3x since December.
Compared to other lenses, it produces sharp images even at f2 all the way into the corners, vignetting can easily be removed.
Contrast and resolution improve slightly by stopping down, maximum is reached at f5,6 and is maintained very well to f11. I even use it at f16 if dephts of field is absolutely required, never mind the diffraction effects, which start to show at f11 already.
Because it's distorsion free, I use it for stitched images quite a lot, even handheld and on infinity.
For macro work, the max. 1:2 suits me well enough, I haven't done much testing comparing it with other lenses at close up distance settings.
For reproduction work (indoors) I have been using the Micro Nikkor 2,8/60mm D with great success and have now switched to the 60mm AFS, which suits my other needs very well.
It's shorter focal lenghts is of advantage since I have to reproduce an artists work on a regular base. Her paintings vary from 12"x12" to 40"x 50".
But outdoors, the free working distance of the 60mm AFS is often too small for certain closeups.

I also use the ZF 2/28mm which is a fine lens but it shows quite extreme curvature of field.
The ZF 100 doesn't show any sign of this.

I am a subscriber to diglloyd (www.diglloyd.com) , who has a comprehensive review of the whole ZF range: Highly recommended.
Some of the ZF lenses have also been tested by SLRgear (www.slrgear.com) and Photozone (www.photozone.de).

Using the ZF lenses is kind of old style, but they complement zoom lenses very well.
I use the 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-300mm VR by the way and am looking forward to a new version of the 80-400mm with AFS, VRII and Nanocoating very much.
I hope Nikon will introduce such a lens this year, it would be a of great use for outdoor and travel photography.
And together with my ZF 100mm, it would make a great combination.....

Hope that helps.

All the best

Jost
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 09:20:58 AM by Jost von Allmen » Logged

Jost von Allmen
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 11:32:33 AM »
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Thanks for the additional info Jost, I appreicate it.
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inissila
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 12:04:24 PM »
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Obviously you can get to 1:1 and beyond with the 100mm ZF. You put extension tubes between the camera and lens.

And by the way at 1:1 the 100mm is far superior to the current Nikon 105mm AF-S VR Micro in optical terms. I don't think the Zeiss is overpriced.

Having a solid manual focus control is an asset in a lens for close-up work. Too many autofocus lenses are compromised in this respect, and some manual focus lenses like the 85 PC-E have too fast turn in the ring.

The 100mm ZF is the best and most consistently performing lens I've ever used. If anything it makes me a bit underwhelmed by lenses available at other focal lengths. For portraits I would use other lenses which produce less contrasty images and there are some lenses that work better in night shots but for image quality under normal nature photography situations there is no better than the 100mm IMO.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 12:13:42 PM by inissila » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 11:54:36 PM »
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Quote from: Jost von Allmen
Hi Bernard
With the ZF 100mm, I have to move the D3x back by exactly 45mm on my Manfrotto 454 sliding plate to have no visible displacement between near and far objects (using live view with maximum magnification).
I have only just tried this setup to be able to answer your question, because so far with that combination I actually just did some handheld stitches on infinity.
Having seen some of your stitched images, I know you would use it for quite close things as well, so the 45mm should get you there.

Hello Jost,

Thanks a lot for your help on this, this is very good news as it looks like the entrance pupil is located a the best possible position for stable shooting on a pano head.

I have actually ordered the lens and should have it in a few days.

Quote from: Jost von Allmen
The ZF 100mm is a great lens, it's actually the best (resolutionwise) I own for the D3x, even in the extreme corners.
What's been pointed out in this thread about the ZF 100mm not having autofocus nor VR simply doesn't matter the way I use this particular lens:
For me, it's well worth the money.

Yes, I agree 100% with you on this.

Life view makes it easy to reach perfect focus with a MF lens anyway.

Cheers,
Bernard
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2009, 05:01:43 PM »
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Considering so many people talked about the old days of "true macro," I found it quite interesting that years ago the ORIGINAL Zeiss (Contax) 100mm macro in fact did have true 1:1 macro capability, but that only the "new" Zeiss does not. Some of you fellas talking about what it means to be "the best" might find this part of the review interesting:

"Naturally, one of the major interesting aspects of Carl Zeiss Makro Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF is its macro capabilities. Compared to its previous Contax version, the Carl Zeiss Makro Planar T* 100mm f/2.8, the new lens does not offer life-size macro - Zeiss designers decided that 1:2 macro should suffice in this case. Is this really a problem? Depends whom you ask, but it does seem like a step back, especially when we take into consideration that Zeiss does not currently offer a 1:1 converter (unlike its main rival Leica)."

http://slrlensreview.com/content/view/287/96/

Thus, not only does the Leica offer a 1:1 converter (while Zeiss does not), but it compares quite favorably, resolution-wise to the Zeiss. So a couple conclusions may be drawn (1) in "the old days" Zeiss (Contax) was in fact 1:1, so the newer version is thus a diminished version, and (2) the newer version isn't necessarily even the best $1500 macro available, for those who want to spend that kind of money. The current Leica 100mm macro affords very similar optics and build quality as well as an option to obtain true 1:1 macro capability.

Jack

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ternst
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2009, 05:42:25 AM »
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-- (2) the newer version isn't necessarily even the best $1500 macro available, for those who want to spend that kind of money. The current Leica 100mm macro affords very similar optics and build quality as well as an option to obtain true 1:1 macro capability.
Jack--

The current street price of the Leica, which is a slower f2.8 lens and also only goes to 1:2 without an optional adapter - it is $4495 at B&H. The adapter is $569.95...
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