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11-17-2007, 02:43 PM   #1
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zeiss or voigtlander: which one would you pick?

i'm currently torn between two lenses:

edit zeiss ZK T 85mm/1.4

vs

voigtlander SL 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar

just a little background, i currently have the 18-55, 50-200, 50/1.4, and a dine 105/2.8.
i'd use the zeiss mainly for portraits. i'd like to own an F*85 but they're just too hard to come by these days. i was able to find a zeiss for a pretty good price today.

the voigtlander would be used to replace the dine for macro shots and possibly portraits. these are becoming a rare breed too.

which one would you chose and why?


Last edited by ricosuave; 11-17-2007 at 05:16 PM.
11-17-2007, 04:38 PM   #2
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I suppose you mean the Zeiss ZK (at least I hope so, since the ZF are for Nikons).

Yours is a good question. I've used a Zeiss ZF (on a D200) briefly, but enough to say that it isn't anywhere near as jaw-droppingly awesome as my FA* 85/1.4. It is much better than the sample pictures on Photozone show it out to be, however.

All reports from the Voigtlander are that it is very good indeed.

If it were me, I would get the Voigtlander and bide my time for finding an FA* 85. Although you already have a very decent macro lens, so that would swing me towards just biding time for the FA*.
11-17-2007, 07:04 PM   #3
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you can tell by my sig which I'd say ... in all honesty though, I don't have and haven't tried the Zeiss, so I can't say for 100%... however! This may be wrong but I understand Zeiss are significantly more expensive then the Voigtlanders (what did you find it for if I may ask?), which are significantly more expensive then similar speed and focal length vintage pentax lenses. Will quality increase of the Zeiss be better then the Voit by the same % amount as its price % is what I wonder? where the 125/2.5 is already near perfect in my mind:
o- fantastic build quality
o- feels equally at home at macro, portrait, and infinite focus
o- top tier resolution off wide open
o- extreme resistance to CA or purple fringing
o- color rendition and oof characteristics to die for...

If I have a criticism to say, it's resolution falls off after f/8 (relatively speaking, still very high @ f/8 compared to other lenses) and falls quicker after f/11, and some vignetting wide open. In any case, you better act quick. Prices are going up because the last shippment from Cosina is in the hands of the retailers and being sold. Both Zeiss and Voitlander will be good investments... but my money is on the 125/2.5 becoming a sought after classic.

Some of my shots w/it:
Autumn Dogwood album | m8o | Fotki.com
Testing - Voigtlnder 125/2.5 album | m8o | Fotki.com
Rhododendron confusion (Macro) album | m8o | Fotki.com
Portraits w/the Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 album | m8o | Fotki.com
Testing - Pentax K10D - Voigtlnder 125/2.5 album | m8o | Fotki.com

Last edited by m8o; 11-17-2007 at 07:26 PM.
11-17-2007, 08:35 PM   #4
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I have not yet purchased Zeiss 85mm f1.4 yet but I do know voigtlander 125 macro is a very good lens for all intents and purposes. The contrast might be a tad low wide open which is readily correctable in PP.

11-18-2007, 12:56 AM   #5
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haven't used the zeiss, but the voigtlander is my favourite lens.

with the focal lengths I could see having both, so something to think about though, the zeiss has just the market so will be around a long time yet, the voigtlanders are discontinued and in years time *possibly* more expensive for 2nd hand and hard to get. So personally I would get the voigtlander, as you can always sell it if you dont like it, and you can add the zeiss later, but it probably wont be easy to do the reverse.

Phil
11-18-2007, 07:42 AM   #6
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I don't think the Zeiss 85 and the Voigtlander 125 are directly comparable. The angle of view of the 2 lenses are quite different. One is a 1:1 macro, the other isn't. The Zeiss is more expensive of the 2 but what does that prove?

I suggest you choose on the basis of the type of subject you typically shoot, the angle of view you'd be accustomed to and obviously, your budget. I use the Voigtlander. It is a wonderful lens but is a little too long for your typical indoor portraits.
11-18-2007, 07:49 AM   #7
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nice comments everyone.

m8o since you asked, i found a one day price of $880 for the zeiss which has since expired.

since voigtlander is reintroducing more lenses, does anyone think an SLII version of the 125 will be in the works?
11-18-2007, 09:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ricosuave Quote
nice comments everyone.

m8o since you asked, i found a one day price of $880 for the zeiss which has since expired.

since voigtlander is reintroducing more lenses, does anyone think an SLII version of the 125 will be in the works?
The rumor is that since Cosina is now manufacturing the Zeiss macro lenses that they can't make competing macros, which is why they phased out the existing Voigtlander line.

Of course, this could be - like most rumors - pure crap.

11-18-2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
The contrast might be a tad low wide open which is readily correctable in PP.
It's funny you say that. I was quite shocked when I began using it as I found quite the opposite true. Where Lightroom will import RAW with a default setting of contrast 25%, brightness 50%, I have to set contrast to or near 0% consistently on most every wide open shot else my shots were blowing highlights and blacks both. I had never had to do that before and thought that said much about the dynamic range being projected through the glass. Whereas with other lenses I sometimes find the opposite is the case depending on situation; I often find I increase contrast in post. I'm sure you have a reason for saying that on shots you've taken; maybe I don't understand the criteria or situation. I'm sure the amount of light falling on the subject plays into it.
Signed,
curious
11-18-2007, 10:33 AM   #10
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Are 'CONTAX C/Y' lenses compatible with or adaptable to PENTAX cameras?
11-18-2007, 03:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Kovarik Quote
Are 'CONTAX C/Y' lenses compatible with or adaptable to PENTAX cameras?
Hi John,
No they aren't. Here's some technical data.
Pentax Forum: Contax on Pentax - photo.net
Possible workaround is to get relatively cheap Yashica film body (like FX-3).
11-18-2007, 03:50 PM   #12
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Thanks, Serge. I suspected that............
11-18-2007, 06:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serge Quote
Hi John,
No they aren't. Here's some technical data.
Pentax Forum: Contax on Pentax - photo.net
Possible workaround is to get relatively cheap Yashica film body (like FX-3).
Actually, I believe that info on photo.net is incorrect (as is a lot of info on it).
There have been modifications done on the C/Y lens mount for it to fit the K mount.

You can find the info here
CONTAX CLUB Qװ :: [ݤ峹 - C/Y lens on Pentax DSLR

You can also modify C/Y to M42
How to convert Yashica/Contax to M42 mount Photo Gallery by Wesley Wong at pbase.com
11-18-2007, 08:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ricosuave Quote
nice comments everyone.

m8o since you asked, i found a one day price of $880 for the zeiss which has since expired.

since voigtlander is reintroducing more lenses, does anyone think an SLII version of the 125 will be in the works?
The purpose of the SLIIs it seems is to market some existing lens designs to an expanded digital market by adding 'A' aperture functionality and more mounts to lenses not previously able to do so in the first line. The Lanthars already have the 'A' setting and full scope of mounts so it appears unlikely Cosina would see fit to rebadge them as IIs, even if there were no production limitations imposed. I do have to wonder though if they might release one of those fantastic looking wide angles for PK at some point under the SLII badge? One can hope.
11-19-2007, 10:11 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Actually, I believe that info on photo.net is incorrect (as is a lot of info on it).
There have been modifications done on the C/Y lens mount for it to fit the K mount.
...
Thanks, that's intresting. Never heard about that before. Anyway those modifications seem to be impractical for the most people. I'd better take film body for 20 bucks instead of breaking expensive gear.
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