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08-09-2011, 08:35 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Thanks Les & Gordon for the info on CIF this was quite important to me, although I can manage quite well without it I just love it, almost as good as AF and with my poor eyesight and MF lenses it enables me to get so many more keepers. I usually use my MF lenses in full manual anyway so stopping down if needed isn't an issue.

Today I bought both the Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8 in beautiful condition and a Zeiss 85/1.4 in pristine condition (I had my little repair shop guy check them out for me) and I'm now having them both converted to PK mount (reversible), they should be back in 7-10 days - all for less than the cost of a 31 Ltd. Now I'm like a child with Xmas just days away
I am excited for you. I hope you will report on the Zeiss 85 1.4.

08-10-2011, 03:23 AM   #32
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Thanks for sharing your results.

What you call a "chromatic aberration test" is a purple fringing test. Strictly speaking, purple fringing is not CA. The FA 31/1.8 has pretty low CA figures.

Purple fringing is extremely sensitive to focus. If you refocused the FA 31/1.8 slightly (throwing the branches out of focus a tiny bit), the purple fringing would be a lot less. The Zeiss might show more PF with a slightly different focus.

I believe one of the outstanding properties of the FA 31/1.8 is its bokeh. I would have done more comparisons along these lines. At f/5.6 many competent lenses yield very similar performance, so I don't think most of your images show more than some colour differences (which may or may not be partially caused by AWB).

The Zeiss is no doubt a great lens, but I don't think your test has shown it to be superiour to the FA 31/1.8.
08-10-2011, 07:25 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Thanks for sharing your results.
YW, it's nice to feel appreciated!


QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
What you call a "chromatic aberration test" is a purple fringing test. Strictly speaking, purple fringing is not CA. The FA 31/1.8 has pretty low CA figures.
Yes, I didn't think that single test indicated much overall about the FA31 . . . it's more like I was impressed with how solidly the Zeiss performed. I used both lenses as I would any new lens I was evaluating, just seeing how pictures turned out. I included things that most testers do, but to tell you the truth, if a lens renders the qualities I like overall, I care very little about minor problems. In case it wasn't clear from my reports, I loved the FA31.

Regarding CA, from the Wikepedia, "The term purple fringe used to describe one aspect of chromatic aberration dates back to at least 1833.[1] However, Brewster's description with a purple fringe on one edge and a green fringe on the other is a lateral chromatic aberration. A general defocus of the shortest wavelengths resulting in a purple fringe on all sides of a bright object is the result of an axial or longitudinal chromatic aberration. Quite often these effects are mixed in an image. Axial chromatic aberration is more subject to reduction by stopping down the lens than lateral chromatic aberration is, so the purple fringing can be very dependent on f-number.

Purple fringing is usually attributed to chromatic aberration, although it is not clear that all purple fringing can be explained this way. Other attributed causes of purple fringing in digital photography include many hypothesised sensor effects:

• Digital noise in dark areas
• Image processing and interpolation artifacts (almost all CCDs and CMOS require considerable processing)
• Stray ultraviolet light
• Stray infrared light
• Image bloom from overexposure of CCD sensor (not applied to CMOS)"



QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I believe one of the outstanding properties of the FA 31/1.8 is its bokeh. I would have done more comparisons along these lines. At f/5.6 many competent lenses yield very similar performance, so I don't think most of your images show more than some colour differences (which may or may not be partially caused by AWB).
I wouldn't dispute that; in fact, I was certain enough the FA31 would be better at bokeh that I didn't see a need to test for that.


QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The Zeiss is no doubt a great lens, but I don't think your test has shown it to be superiour to the FA 31/1.8.
Indeed, and I hope I nothing I said gave the impression that the Zeiss is" superior." My comment about it being a winner was not "over" the FA31, but rather just a way of saying the Zeiss is a winner too (i.e., like the FA31 is a winner -- you know, in the sense of being a great lens). The aim was to see if the Zeiss was a less-expensive alternative, and one that optically could hang in there with the FA31.

Last edited by les3547; 08-16-2011 at 09:02 AM.
08-10-2011, 08:11 AM   #34
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Interesting comparison. Good job.

A few negative points from my perspective though:
- No Auto-focus...
- Where can the Zeiss be bought besides ebay? If you managed to land one for under $400, is that normal? I find lenses out of production difficult to compare to ones that are readily available new like the 31mm.
- Needs a Pentax mount conversion and tools to do it like a soldering iron and special Japanese screwdrivers?

I wonder just how close in sharpness and rendering something like the Pentax DA 40mm f2.8 Limited is to the 31 or Zeiss. I bet the 40mm is a better value than both in that regard.

08-10-2011, 09:31 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
- Where can the Zeiss be bought besides ebay? If you managed to land one for under $400, is that normal? I find lenses out of production difficult to compare to ones that are readily available new like the 31mm.
- Needs a Pentax mount conversion and tools to do it like a soldering iron and special Japanese screwdrivers?
I will preface this with ... I live in Shanghai !

Two days ago I bought the Zeiss 28/2.8 in beautiful condition (meaning perfect except for a little dust inside ... quite normal and in no way interferes with, or is visible in, shots - cost US$380. I had a choice of two from the one shop I was in (both at the same price).

Add US$50 for the little repair shop guy to convert it (reversible) to PK mount.

The 31 Ltd cost US$1,300 here.

Last edited by Frogfish; 08-10-2011 at 09:36 PM.
08-10-2011, 09:33 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
Interesting comparison. Good job.

A few negative points from my perspective though:
- No Auto-focus...
Yes, that's nice to have, though I grew up with manual focus, so it isn't a big deal to me, or to other photographers with similar experience. Even when I owned several autofocus lenses I was always turning it off.

The real thing I was trying to see is if the Zeiss could produce image quality in the same league as the FA31. I thought it did.


QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
- Where can the Zeiss be bought besides ebay? If you managed to land one for under $400, is that normal? I find lenses out of production difficult to compare to ones that are readily available new like the 31mm.
I don't know of anywhere else, but they are often for sale there, as is the Zeiss Jena 135. I think $385 might even be a bit high, but mine was mint too. Still, you are right if you are suggesting that availability would be limited if lots of Pentax users suddenly started buying the Zeiss.


QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
- Needs a Pentax mount conversion and tools to do it like a soldering iron and special Japanese screwdrivers?
If you click on the Zeitax link I provided, you can see only a proper screwdriver is needed, and I myself used a normal Phillips. No soldering iron . . . just take off the old mount and put on the new one, takes 5 minutes when you know what you are doing.


QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
I wonder just how close in sharpness and rendering something like the Pentax DA 40mm f2.8 Limited is to the 31 or Zeiss. I bet the 40mm is a better value than both in that regard.
It might be a value (though I prefer the Voigtlander 40), but a 40mm field of view is vastly different than 28 or 31mm . . . even the difference between 28 and 31mm was very noticeable. In fact, my reason for wanting the 28mm was to fill the gap between my 20mm and 40mm lenses. Here's three pictures I took this morning using the VL40, Zeiss 28, and the VL20:

Voigtlander 40mm:


Zeiss 28mm:


Voigtlander 20mm:

Last edited by les3547; 08-10-2011 at 12:58 PM.
08-10-2011, 06:33 PM   #37
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Thanks for your response, les3547.

QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
Regarding CA, from the Wikepedia, "... A general defocus of the shortest wavelengths resulting in a purple fringe on all sides of a bright object is the result of an axial or longitudinal chromatic aberration. ..."
Purple fringing can be caused by longitudinal CA but it might also be caused by Bokeh CA (CA that manifests itself outside the plane of focus). That's why I thought referring to "purple fringing" without entering a discussion as to what the source might be is preferable. I was too narrow with my wording (just like the Wikipedia article but in the other direction).
08-16-2011, 02:02 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
There is also the Carl Zeiss 28mm f2.0 ZK (a newer version of the Contax) that commands the same new price as the 31 Ltd, and it has no AF, nor AE, however it is a stop faster.

That's not quite accurate. It doesn't have AF, but it does have AE.

08-16-2011, 08:37 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
That's not quite accurate. It doesn't have AF, but it does have AE.
Thanks! DogLover - I stand corrected - I see that it has the green "A" position that the aperture ring can be set to.

PS - I have 4 IGs to keep my feet warm at night.....
08-17-2011, 12:02 AM   #40
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I'm headed to Shanghai this Sunday. Can you share with me where this shop and others where I can find some MF lenses? I was referred to HuangLong and Starlight, but do these malls have shops carrying old lenses?

Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I will preface this with ... I live in Shanghai !

Two days ago I bought the Zeiss 28/2.8 in beautiful condition (meaning perfect except for a little dust inside ... quite normal and in no way interferes with, or is visible in, shots - cost US$380. I had a choice of two from the one shop I was in (both at the same price).

Add US$50 for the little repair shop guy to convert it (reversible) to PK mount.

The 31 Ltd cost US$1,300 here.
08-17-2011, 02:38 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by pooschey Quote
I'm headed to Shanghai this Sunday. Can you share with me where this shop and others where I can find some MF lenses? I was referred to HuangLong and Starlight, but do these malls have shops carrying old lenses?

Thanks!
P.M. sent. Good luck !
08-17-2011, 04:34 AM   #42
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I don't have Zeiss, but I do have FA31. You presented very convenient case that in some situations Zeiss has an edge over FA31. Thanks for the great write up and work done.
08-17-2011, 10:40 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris Quote
I don't have Zeiss, but I do have FA31. You presented very convenient case that in some situations Zeiss has an edge over FA31. Thanks for the great write up and work done.
Thanks Boris.


QuoteOriginally posted by pooschey Quote
I'm headed to Shanghai this Sunday. Can you share with me where this shop and others where I can find some MF lenses?
Very cool. If you acquire Zeiss, Contax or Leica lenses I hope you will post your experience and first pictures over in the Lens Club forum area under Voigtlander LBA (etc.); we are trying to get PF staff to include Contax/Zeiss and Leica R lenses in that thread since their IQ seems to have similarities.

Last edited by les3547; 08-18-2011 at 03:39 PM.
08-17-2011, 03:32 PM   #44
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One of the reasons I hang on to my Yashica SLR kit is the C/Y lenses I managed to acquire. Some of them, particularly the ML series seem to be very close in quality to what I've seen of Zeiss lenses. I've read some were made by Zeiss, but I've also read people saying not, so I don't know which is true. The DSB's are not as good (I believe the DSB's are not multi-coated, the ML's are.) but the 3 ML lenses I have? They're every bit as good as my similar Takumars. I sometimes think I should try to manage to get those converted so I can use them on the DSLR. It would be a rather expensive proposition though and if I did that my FRI wouldn't have any nice lenses to play with.

Last edited by magkelly; 08-17-2011 at 03:38 PM.
08-17-2011, 09:29 PM   #45
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Thanks for the invite. Currently, I only have CZJ (Pancolar 50/1.8, 80/1.8, and Sonnar 135/3.5). No Western Zeiss yet. Other alt lenses are theSMC 50/1.4 and Adaptalls (24/2.5, 90/2.5, 35-80/2.8-3.5 & 70-210/3.5)

BTW, I may not be legit here, as I don't own a Pentax, but a Sony A700. But this site has provided my lots of info esp on the Taks

QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
Thanks Boris.

Very cool. If you acquire Zeiss, Contax or Leica lenses I hope you will post your experience and first pictures over in the Lens Club forum area under Voigtlander LBA (etc.); we are trying to get PF staff to include Contax/Zeiss and Leica R lenses in that thread since their IQ seems to have similarities.

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