zeiss 50 mm f/1.8 lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kamal R. Prasad, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. Hello,

    does anyone have a review/experience with this lens?
    Why is it so expensive and how does this or the other lens 85 mm f/1.4
    compare with a nikkor 85 mm f/1.4? I have an N 75 body. Which fixed
    lenses are best for low-light shots? I prefer to zoom with my feet than
    pay for it to the lens manufacturer.

    thanks
    -kamal
     
    Kamal R. Prasad, Nov 2, 2006
    #1
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  2. "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    > does anyone have a review/experience with this lens?
    > Why is it so expensive and how does this or the other lens 85 mm f/1.4
    > compare with a nikkor 85 mm f/1.4? I have an N 75 body. Which fixed
    > lenses are best for low-light shots? I prefer to zoom with my feet than
    > pay for it to the lens manufacturer.


    Get the Nikkor 50mm f1.8AF (or the f1.4, if you must - but that seems like
    overkill for an N75...) or the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 - both are superb lenses.
    Don't bother paying the extra for a not very useful 2/3rds extra stop, especially
    when the 1.8s perform so well wide open. The Zeiss lenses will likely offer no
    optical advantages, and will not meter properly (or AF) on the N75, so these
    would be a waste of money. BTW, you may find this interesting:
    http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html - there are some other fine fixed
    FL lenses in my list...
    --
    David Ruether


    http://www.ferrario.com/ruether
     
    David Ruether, Nov 2, 2006
    #2
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  3. Kamal R. Prasad

    jeremy Guest

    "David Ruether" <> wrote in message
    news:wYn2h.629

    > BTW, you may find this interesting:
    > http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html


    Lots of good info on that page. Thanks.

    I used to lust after CZ lenses, and anticipated the release of their 50 and
    85mm lenses in M42 mount, but after seeing comparison shots with Nikon
    lenses, some of which were 20+ years old, I quickly got over my Zeiss
    fantasy.
     
    jeremy, Nov 2, 2006
    #3
  4. David Ruether wrote:

    > "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    > > does anyone have a review/experience with this lens?
    > > Why is it so expensive and how does this or the other lens 85 mm f/1.4
    > > compare with a nikkor 85 mm f/1.4? I have an N 75 body. Which fixed
    > > lenses are best for low-light shots? I prefer to zoom with my feet than
    > > pay for it to the lens manufacturer.

    >
    > Get the Nikkor 50mm f1.8AF (or the f1.4, if you must - but that seems like
    > overkill for an N75...) or the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 - both are superb lenses.


    you mean the N75 cannot handle a f/1.4 lens?

    > Don't bother paying the extra for a not very useful 2/3rds extra stop, especially
    > when the 1.8s perform so well wide open. The Zeiss lenses will likely offer no


    The problem is that of wanting to take low-light shots -without
    arranging for a huge set of lighting arrangements.
    I have a 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 but it just doesn't live up to my
    expectations.

    > optical advantages, and will not meter properly (or AF) on the N75, so these
    > would be a waste of money. BTW, you may find this interesting:


    I wonder why they cost so much if their performance isn't so many times
    better than a cheaper lens.

    > http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html - there are some other fine fixed
    > FL lenses in my list...
    > --

    yeah -I saw your website. Its more oriented towards manual focus. BTW
    -the N 75 comes with a manual mode, or is that grossly insufficient
    compared to the F series?

    thanks
    -kamal

    > David Ruether
    >
    >
    > http://www.ferrario.com/ruether
     
    Kamal R. Prasad, Nov 3, 2006
    #4
  5. "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    > David Ruether wrote:
    >> "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...


    >> > does anyone have a review/experience with this lens? [50mm f1.8 Zeiss]
    >> > Why is it so expensive and how does this or the other lens 85 mm f/1.4
    >> > compare with a nikkor 85 mm f/1.4? I have an N 75 body. Which fixed
    >> > lenses are best for low-light shots? I prefer to zoom with my feet than
    >> > pay for it to the lens manufacturer.


    >> Get the Nikkor 50mm f1.8AF (or the f1.4, if you must - but that seems like
    >> overkill for an N75...) or the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 - both are superb lenses.


    > you mean the N75 cannot handle a f/1.4 lens?


    No, it will work fine - but the price is far higher, the N75 is a cheap
    body, and optically there is no advantage to the f1.4...

    >> Don't bother paying the extra for a not very useful 2/3rds extra stop, especially
    >> when the 1.8s perform so well wide open. The Zeiss lenses will likely offer no


    > The problem is that of wanting to take low-light shots -without
    > arranging for a huge set of lighting arrangements.


    As I said, 2/3rds of a stop isn't worth a lot, especially if it results
    in reduced performance, as it does here...

    > I have a 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 but it just doesn't live up to my
    > expectations.


    Especially true if it is the VR version - I didn't like the three samples
    I tried for full frame coverage, though it may be OK for the smaller
    digital sensor size. BTW, the older non-VR, with a good sample,
    could be quite good stopped down slightly. For low available
    light, nothing serves as well as high-quality fast (which means
    non-zoom) lenses.

    >> optical advantages, and will not meter properly (or AF) on the N75, so these
    >> would be a waste of money. BTW, you may find this interesting:


    > I wonder why they cost so much if their performance isn't so many times
    > better than a cheaper lens.


    Marketing, marketing, marketing... (this has worked for several
    overpriced-for-performance/competition instances in the past, too).

    >> http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html - there are some other fine fixed
    >> FL lenses in my list...


    > yeah -I saw your website. Its more oriented towards manual focus. BTW
    > -the N 75 comes with a manual mode, or is that grossly insufficient
    > compared to the F series?


    The older camera bodies have far superior viewfinders for manual
    focus, and displays that are far easier to see in bright light for
    manual exposures. And the newer cheaper AF Nikon bodies will
    not meter with manual focus lenses in any mode at all (Ah, come
    on Nikon, this was STUPID!!! [Though it was intended to sell a
    bunch of new AF lenses - but in the past Nikon gained user loyalty
    by not outmoding older gear with model changes as some other
    brands did...]).

    > thanks
    > -kamal


    --
    David Ruether


    http://www.ferrario.com/ruether
     
    David Ruether, Nov 3, 2006
    #5
  6. David Ruether wrote:

    > "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    > > David Ruether wrote:
    > >> "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...

    >
    > >> > does anyone have a review/experience with this lens? [50mm f1.8 Zeiss]
    > >> > Why is it so expensive and how does this or the other lens 85 mm f/1.4
    > >> > compare with a nikkor 85 mm f/1.4? I have an N 75 body. Which fixed
    > >> > lenses are best for low-light shots? I prefer to zoom with my feet than
    > >> > pay for it to the lens manufacturer.

    >
    > >> Get the Nikkor 50mm f1.8AF (or the f1.4, if you must - but that seems like
    > >> overkill for an N75...) or the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 - both are superb lenses.

    >
    > > you mean the N75 cannot handle a f/1.4 lens?

    >
    > No, it will work fine - but the price is far higher, the N75 is a cheap
    > body, and optically there is no advantage to the f1.4...
    >


    ok. Yeah the 50 f/1.8 is priced really cheap. Have you looked at the 35
    mm f/2 lens?

    > >> Don't bother paying the extra for a not very useful 2/3rds extra stop, especially
    > >> when the 1.8s perform so well wide open. The Zeiss lenses will likely offer no

    >
    > > The problem is that of wanting to take low-light shots -without
    > > arranging for a huge set of lighting arrangements.

    >
    > As I said, 2/3rds of a stop isn't worth a lot, especially if it results
    > in reduced performance, as it does here...
    >

    I didn't understand why the N 75 will come in the way of performance.
    Even if the body is cheap -this hardly makes for a challenging
    situation.

    > > I have a 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 but it just doesn't live up to my
    > > expectations.

    >
    > Especially true if it is the VR version - I didn't like the three samples


    yeah -I have the VR version. I did ruin my shots and morever so since I
    wasn't using an external flash.

    > I tried for full frame coverage, though it may be OK for the smaller
    > digital sensor size. BTW, the older non-VR, with a good sample,


    I don't use a DSLR yet. Im thinking of getting a Leica V-Lux1 though.
    At least, I will come to know immediately if the shot was good enough
    instead of waiting for the reel to be developed.

    > could be quite good stopped down slightly. For low available
    > light, nothing serves as well as high-quality fast (which means
    > non-zoom) lenses.
    >

    yeah -that is why Im researching the same. Zoom is prohibitively
    expensive and that shows why mktg people get such nice salaries.

    > >> optical advantages, and will not meter properly (or AF) on the N75, so these
    > >> would be a waste of money. BTW, you may find this interesting:

    >
    > > I wonder why they cost so much if their performance isn't so many times
    > > better than a cheaper lens.

    >
    > Marketing, marketing, marketing... (this has worked for several
    > overpriced-for-performance/competition instances in the past, too).
    >


    No doubt about that. There is this website Ken Rockwell, where he does
    the reverse i.e. promote low quality, cheap lenses -leaving an equally
    bad taste.

    > >> http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html - there are some other fine fixed
    > >> FL lenses in my list...

    >
    > > yeah -I saw your website. Its more oriented towards manual focus. BTW
    > > -the N 75 comes with a manual mode, or is that grossly insufficient
    > > compared to the F series?

    >
    > The older camera bodies have far superior viewfinders for manual
    > focus, and displays that are far easier to see in bright light for
    > manual exposures. And the newer cheaper AF Nikon bodies will
    > not meter with manual focus lenses in any mode at all (Ah, come
    > on Nikon, this was STUPID!!! [Though it was intended to sell a
    > bunch of new AF lenses - but in the past Nikon gained user loyalty
    > by not outmoding older gear with model changes as some other
    > brands did...]).
    >


    Fine -thats something to do with hitting a sweet spot. Not every SLR
    user wants to get into manual mode -but just wants interchangeable
    lenses. Do you see major disadvantages with the N75 for AF lenses?

    thanks
    -kamal


    > --
    > David Ruether
    >
    >
    > http://www.ferrario.com/ruether
     
    Kamal R. Prasad, Nov 4, 2006
    #6
  7. "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    > David Ruether wrote:
    >> "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    >> > David Ruether wrote:
    >> >> "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...


    [...]
    >> > you mean the N75 cannot handle a f/1.4 lens?


    >> No, it will work fine - but the price is far higher, the N75 is a cheap
    >> body, and optically there is no advantage to the f1.4...


    > ok. Yeah the 50 f/1.8 is priced really cheap. Have you looked at the 35
    > mm f/2 lens?


    Uh, yes... Again, look at www.ferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html
    The 35mm f2 AF Nikkor is quite good...

    [...]
    >> As I said, 2/3rds of a stop isn't worth a lot, especially if it results
    >> in reduced performance, as it does here...


    > I didn't understand why the N 75 will come in the way of performance.
    > Even if the body is cheap -this hardly makes for a challenging
    > situation.


    It is the lens - wide aperture performance is almost always inferior
    to mid-stop performance. The N75 does have some practical
    use problems, though, for manual focus and exposure photography
    (poor finder sharpness and poor visibility of the display in bright
    light - older Nikons were SO much better in these resspects!).

    >> > I have a 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 but it just doesn't live up to my
    >> > expectations.


    >> Especially true if it is the VR version - I didn't like the three samples
    >> I tried for full frame coverage, though it may be OK for the smaller
    >> digital sensor size. BTW, the older non-VR, with a good sample,
    >> could be quite good stopped down slightly. For low available
    >> light, nothing serves as well as high-quality fast (which means
    >> non-zoom) lenses.


    > yeah -I have the VR version. I did ruin my shots and morever so since I
    > wasn't using an external flash.


    > I don't use a DSLR yet. Im thinking of getting a Leica V-Lux1 though.
    > At least, I will come to know immediately if the shot was good enough
    > instead of waiting for the reel to be developed.

    [...]

    With film, shooting with a good camera (with a good sharp, large,
    and bright viewfinder with accurate framing) that has good AF,
    good metering, and is easy to hand hold, using color negative film
    processed and printed by a good lab, and using good technique,
    you do not need the (limited) feedback of the digital camera about
    the quality of the image... Instead of continually looking at what
    you've shot, you can just keep shooting with film, repeating those
    frames that you particularly want right or are unsure of. BTW, there
    are good digital cameras that have good electronic eyepiece finders
    (the rear panel ones are not very useful in bright light) that can
    produce good 8x10 images (I use a Sony 707, with an excellent
    38-180mm equivalent f2-2.5 zoom [sharp to the corners at those
    unusually wide stops], and I have a converter that gives me a sharp
    28mm equivalent with it).
    --
    David Ruether


    http://www.ferrario.com/ruether
     
    David Ruether, Nov 5, 2006
    #7
  8. David Ruether wrote:

    > "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    > > David Ruether wrote:
    > >> "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...
    > >> > David Ruether wrote:
    > >> >> "Kamal R. Prasad" <> wrote in message news:...

    >
    > [...]
    > >> > you mean the N75 cannot handle a f/1.4 lens?

    >
    > >> No, it will work fine - but the price is far higher, the N75 is a cheap
    > >> body, and optically there is no advantage to the f1.4...

    >
    > > ok. Yeah the 50 f/1.8 is priced really cheap. Have you looked at the 35
    > > mm f/2 lens?

    >
    > Uh, yes... Again, look at www.ferrario.com/ruether/slemn.html
    > The 35mm f2 AF Nikkor is quite good...
    >

    Gotcha. btw -have a look at my pics (v few with an SLR, but mostly with
    a film p&s camera).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kamalpr

    > [...]
    > >> As I said, 2/3rds of a stop isn't worth a lot, especially if it results
    > >> in reduced performance, as it does here...

    >
    > > I didn't understand why the N 75 will come in the way of performance.
    > > Even if the body is cheap -this hardly makes for a challenging
    > > situation.

    >
    > It is the lens - wide aperture performance is almost always inferior
    > to mid-stop performance. The N75 does have some practical
    > use problems, though, for manual focus and exposure photography
    > (poor finder sharpness and poor visibility of the display in bright
    > light - older Nikons were SO much better in these resspects!).
    >
    > >> > I have a 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 but it just doesn't live up to my
    > >> > expectations.

    >
    > >> Especially true if it is the VR version - I didn't like the three samples
    > >> I tried for full frame coverage, though it may be OK for the smaller
    > >> digital sensor size. BTW, the older non-VR, with a good sample,
    > >> could be quite good stopped down slightly. For low available
    > >> light, nothing serves as well as high-quality fast (which means
    > >> non-zoom) lenses.

    >
    > > yeah -I have the VR version. I did ruin my shots and morever so since I
    > > wasn't using an external flash.

    >
    > > I don't use a DSLR yet. Im thinking of getting a Leica V-Lux1 though.
    > > At least, I will come to know immediately if the shot was good enough
    > > instead of waiting for the reel to be developed.

    > [...]
    >
    > With film, shooting with a good camera (with a good sharp, large,
    > and bright viewfinder with accurate framing) that has good AF,
    > good metering, and is easy to hand hold, using color negative film
    > processed and printed by a good lab, and using good technique,
    > you do not need the (limited) feedback of the digital camera about
    > the quality of the image... Instead of continually looking at what
    > you've shot, you can just keep shooting with film, repeating those
    > frames that you particularly want right or are unsure of. BTW, there
    > are good digital cameras that have good electronic eyepiece finders


    I don't depend much on the viewfinder. Maybe Im not too good -or maybe
    the subject is usually generic in nature.
    The problem with film comes from the fact that the lens often doesn't
    live upto my expectations i.e. I don't have the money for high quality
    lenses and if I had known what the lens canNOT do, I would have taken a
    different shot. With digital, I will get to know that immediately -but
    with film, I will have to re-visit the location for another shot. Maybe
    shooting multiple times at the same is the way to go, and I did that
    -but Im not sure if will always be the way to go.

    > (the rear panel ones are not very useful in bright light) that can
    > produce good 8x10 images (I use a Sony 707, with an excellent
    > 38-180mm equivalent f2-2.5 zoom [sharp to the corners at those
    > unusually wide stops], and I have a converter that gives me a sharp
    > 28mm equivalent with it).


    digital should work fine for me -in less than challenging lighting
    conditions.
    You should look at the posts for V-Lux1. Its a much talked about thing.

    regards
    -kamal

    > --
    > David Ruether
    >
    >
    > http://www.ferrario.com/ruether
     
    Kamal R. Prasad, Nov 6, 2006
    #8
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