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Author Topic: Zeiss ZE 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar availibility for Nikon  (Read 5417 times)
bjanes
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« on: April 17, 2013, 09:24:30 AM »
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This new Zeiss lens has received rave reviews and is one of the few 35 mm lenses that can make use of the resolution of the D800e. Diglloyd considers it a must have for serious users. This lens is in stock at B&H for Canon, but unfortunately not for Nikon, where it is arguably most needed. I have ordered the lens from B&H, and am receiving e-mails that the lens is not currently in stock and they do not know when it will be available. This is reminiscent of my experience in ordering the 800e from them. It took them a long time to fulfill back orders even after the camera was widely available from smaller vendors. I obtained the camera elsewhere and cancelled my order with B&H.

Have any forum members been able to obtain this lens, and if so, from where? Does anyone have advice on the best sources from which to obtain this lens?

Thanks,

Bill
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 08:43:07 PM »
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I'm in the same situation as you, Bill.
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 09:35:43 AM »
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Bill, I got an email from B&H this morning saying they were shipping my lens.

Jim
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bjanes
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 09:39:17 AM »
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Jim,

That is great news! When did you order it? Is it Nikon mount? Let us know how you like it.

Bill
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 10:57:49 AM »
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That is great news! When did you order it? Is it Nikon mount? Let us know how you like it.

Yes, it's the Nikon mount. You have a D800E, right? So do I, so I'll try it on that first.

I ordered the lens on February 28th.

Jim
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bjanes
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 12:33:10 PM »
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Yes, it's the Nikon mount. You have a D800E, right? So do I, so I'll try it on that first.

I ordered the lens on February 28th.

Jim

Jim,

Yes, I do have the D800e and ordered on March 15, so my lens may be coming soon, depending on how many orders they have and the rate at which they are filling them.

Bill
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 10:14:58 PM »
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Bill,

Lens is here. I'll try to do some testing soon, but I'm spending most of my time preparing for the raw workshop this weekend. I spent all day today on CIElab color difference measures, including CIE Delta-E 2000.  I'm pretty sure that last one won't make the cut for the workshop.

Jim

PS. Boy, that's a heavy lens!
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 10:58:40 PM »
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As I said in the previous post, my first reaction was that the APO-Sonnar was really heavy. Turns out it's not so heavy compared to  the DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2: 34 oz vs the Nikon's 32.

It's actually shorter than the Nikon:



But does it make good pictures? We shall see...
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Go Go
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 12:09:15 PM »
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Very curious to see real world results from this lens.

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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 01:24:35 PM »
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Initial impressions, on D800E.

Lots of light falloff towards sides and corners at f/2; more so than Nikon 135mm f.2 DC.
Best stop for sharpness is f/4.
Depth of field is so confined at f/2 and f/2.8 that D800E brain-dead liveview is especially frustrating.
OTOH, the image is wonderfully crisp wide open, so that ground glass focusing is easier than you'd think (but not easy with the D800 ground glass, which isn't really meant for focusing).
Sharper overall than Nikon DC.
Wonderfully three dimensional rendering.
Focusing helical is up to Zeiss' usual standards.

A pretty special lens.

Jim
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 07:58:43 AM by Jim Kasson » Logged

Jim Kasson
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 02:00:23 PM »
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Tree branches against sky is something I frequently use for lens testing.

You can see the falloff at f/2:



Essentially gone by f/4:



1:1 pixels in upper left at f/2:




1:1 pixels in upper left at f/4:




1:1 pixels in upper left at f/8:


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bjanes
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2013, 06:52:58 AM »
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Tree branches against sky is something I frequently use for lens testing.

You can see the falloff at f/2:
Essentially gone by f/4:

1:1 pixels in upper left at f/2:

Jim,

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to post these images. Diglloyd (pay site) has published an extensive and profusely illustrated review of the Zeiss 135 /f2 and also raves about the quality of the images. He confirms that falloff at f/2 is about 2 stops, but at f/4 there is no perceptible falloff. The falloff can be corrected in post if you have a lens profile. Since the lens is so new, I doubt that Adobe has a profile for LR/ACR. Have you checked for this?

One thing that Diglloyd did note that flange-to-sensor alignment is critical and significantly impaired sharpness at some edges of the image and he traced the alignment problem to the D800e rather than the lens. He also noted the problem on a second camera (D800). This is something you might want to check with your new lens.

I can't wait to receive my copy of this lens!

Best regards,

Bill

PS

I just remembered that today is the date for your workshop. Hope it is going well (as I write this). I'm sure that many forum members who couldn't attend would be interested in a summary of important topics that were considered.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 10:25:40 AM by bjanes » Logged
DaveCurtis
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 01:53:45 AM »
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Lens Rental has a "review by numbers" and compares to the Canon 135mm.

Pretty much as expected and is in line with Lloyd Chambers findings.

Wide open it seems to be in a league of it's own.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/04/zeiss-ze-135mm-f2-vs-canon-135mm-f2l
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joneil
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 07:26:59 AM »
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  Dumb question here from the peanut gallery, but how usefull is 135mm?   I have a nice old Nikkor 135mm that I bought brand new over 25 years ago and seldom use.   This is true for both my FX and DX cameras.    Don't get me wrong, I love Zeiss lenses - I use the 18mm and 85mm all the time.  But the 135mm focal length is one I found, even in my 35mm film days, I just never used that much.

  so looking at it from an artistic point of view, what do people use a 135mm lens for?

thanks
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Petrus
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 08:23:53 AM »
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I used a Canon 135mm f/2 for ice hockey games over 30 years ago, great lens with push processed Tri-X!

Right now Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC is my favorite portrait lens, even without using the DC feature. Gives nice perspective for tight close-ups and also good for standing portraits, gives more space between the model and backdrop without being too telephoto. With shorter lenses the standard size backdrops tend to be too low and narrow. I really do not miss any sharpness from it, at least when stopped down slightly (studio flashes tend to be too powerful to be able to shoot at anything bigger than f/5.6 anyway, even at the lowest ISO).
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 01:27:52 PM »
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I just remembered that today is the date for your workshop. Hope it is going well (as I write this). I'm sure that many forum members who couldn't attend would be interested in a summary of important topics that were considered.

Bill,

The workshop went great. I'll be posting a link to my slides soon, but if you want a preview, look here. I also have posted a few snaps. Usually, I try to get the audio up on the CPA's web site within a couple of days, but this time we videoed the presentations. That's good news and bad news. The good news is that it's video, and the bad news is that it'll take longer to edit and post. Stay tuned.

One unexpected nice thing about the workshop was that I finally got to meet Joe Holmes, after all these years of knowing him only on the web or, more recently, through email.

Another un-looked-for outcome is that Brian Griffith and I are playing with possible better ways to deal with raw infrared images.

Jim
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 01:29:58 PM by Jim Kasson » Logged

bjanes
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 04:37:59 PM »
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Bill,

The workshop went great. I'll be posting a link to my slides soon, but if you want a preview, look here. I also have posted a few snaps. Usually, I try to get the audio up on the CPA's web site within a couple of days, but this time we videoed the presentations. That's good news and bad news. The good news is that it's video, and the bad news is that it'll take longer to edit and post. Stay tuned.

One unexpected nice thing about the workshop was that I finally got to meet Joe Holmes, after all these years of knowing him only on the web or, more recently, through email.

Another un-looked-for outcome is that Brian Griffith and I are playing with possible better ways to deal with raw infrared images.

Jim

Jim,

I looked at the slides and the content looks great and the illustrations are outstanding. Can't wait for more!

Bill
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BJL
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2013, 04:43:53 PM »
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I used a Canon 135mm f/2 for ice hockey games over 30 years ago, great lens with push processed Tri-X!
Which made sense then, but with the far higher usable ISO speed these days, wouldn't it a lot easier to use a higher f-stop and not struggle with getting fast moving subjects into the narrow DOF? Which might make a 70-200/2.8 or 70-200/4 a more convenient modern tool for that job.

Right now Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC is my favorite portrait lens, even without using the DC feature. ... (studio flashes tend to be too powerful to be able to shoot at anything bigger than f/5.6 anyway, even at the lowest ISO).
I like that somewhat narrow FOV for portraits too, also for outdoor shots where it is easier to frame in a way that avoids background distractions --- but you have let the cat out of the bag with your final "f/5.6" comment, which might come as a surprise to those who believe that all good portraits must have as little DOF as possible. So in this case it is the optical quality of a prime lens that matters more than the large aperture. (Aside: that 135mm @ f/5.6 in 35mm format is a close match to my 60mm f/2.8 4/3" format macro lens, which is the closest thing I own to a "portrait lens"!)
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Petrus
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2013, 11:18:24 PM »
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but you have let the cat out of the bag with your final "f/5.6" comment, which might come as a surprise to those who believe that all good portraits must have as little DOF as possible. So in this case it is the optical quality of a prime lens that matters more than the large aperture.

For studio portraits I either use fairly small aperture (men, studio flash) for a "powerful" look, or fully open (women, using modeling lights or other continuous lights) for that "dreamy" look. Dreamy narrow DOF look can now be fairly easily simulated in PhotoShop, though, so I might just use flash at around f/8 to make shooting (focusing) easier and to get the maximum sharpness. 135mm f/2 DC-Nikkor is perfectly good at fully open also, it is a great lens, even if not as sharp as the latest wonder lenses from Sigma, Zeiss and Nikon themselves.
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orchidblooms
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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2013, 05:48:30 PM »
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i ordered end of feb... thru local camera shop

my 135 arrived march 29...

i shoot mostly flowers with mine...

and have decided to master cnx2 for my d800e to get the most out of this lens

i have been using cp17

after much consideration - i paid for the nx2 app and will learn how to use it...

i will also keep the 100 makro planer

i have used both - on the same 'flower' the 135 rendering smoother and richer colors - i think the zeiss 100 will do better in the long run with tubes...
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