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12-01-2011, 05:43 PM   #1
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Zeiss 50 Makro T vz Pentax DFA 50 macro

Looking at the ratings over in Photozone, The Zeiss macro seems to have quite a bit more resolution than the Pentax 50mm, extrapolating from the 100mm macro. At any rate, does anyone have experience with both of these lenses and what realistically would be the difference in usage. I shoot macro almost exclusively in MF so that is not a factor for me. I have the Pentax DFA 50 already but am always looking for the little extra IQ, better bokeh or higher resolution. It seems that the Zeiss would give me all three.

Dave

12-01-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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You will undoubtedly have people telling you that the Zeiss won't do 1:1, so it's not really a macro. It's true, it won't, so if that is important to you then your decision is made. However, if that's not such a big deal to you, like it's not to me, then there's not much else negative about the ZKs. I am a Zeiss fan (see my sig) so I am biased, but using them is, for me, photographic nirvana. I have much respect for the Pentax DFA100s and have had both versions, though I have not had the 50. They are very tough to beat for the money (and will do 1:1), but the Zeiss take everything to another level for me. Depth of color and quality of bokeh are particular highlights.
12-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #3
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Doglover,
You seem to be the only Zeiss fan here. I appreciate your input and the 1:2 macro is not a problem. I do mostly flowers and still lifes so in your eye close is not a requirement. I have been circling the 50mm field for a while now and am pleased with the Pentax DFA 50 macro but would like a more versatile lens. The DA* 55mm seems like a nice addition to carry with my FA 31 for social situations. As much as I like having the AF option, more and more of my photgraphy seems to be MF. It is harder for my to keep moving the focus sensor around trying to hit the right spot VS just MFing to the spot I want. Of course, this does not work for action but I am starting to work on that with Catch Focus and my big Tamron 400mm so it is possible to do.
When I was at my Daughters house with the Gkids, I used the 31mm and 77mm back and forth but would maybe have been better served with a good 50mm. The Bokeh of the lens is important to me and so the interest in the Zeiss 50. The Zeiss 100 makro gets rave reviews for Bokeh but would be a bugger to find and I think too tight for indoors. I assume and it may be a wrong assumption that the 50mm makro would have similar features. It is still available for purchase and not out of my price range.
Thanks once again for your input, Dave
12-02-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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Hey ! There are other Zeiss lovers out here

I bought my 4th Zeiss today (CZ 35-70) and I'd say that this could be an option for you. Whilst not a macro lens it focuses down to 25cm and Zeiss claim it is as sharp at any of it's focal lengths as any equivalent Zeiss prime. Great value for money (around US$400).

Other options are :

60 2.8 C macro This is the newer, smaller design.. Magnification 1:2. Very sharp. About half the size of the .......

60 2.8 macro This is the older version. Magnification 1:1. Incredibly sharp.

100 2.8 macro : similar performance to the 60 2.8 macro and a magnification ratio of 1:1. Very sharp and heavy.

You could also consider the incredible bargain of the 'cheap' (for a Leica) Leica R 60/2.8

12-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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I have the Zeiss 5omm mp but not the Pentax 50mm(but do have the 31/43/77,i.e. have Pentax lenses as well).Love it and my other Zeiss lenses,for me the whole Zeiss/manual focus experience has taken my photography to a more enjoyable place.The quality of the lenses is outstanding(build and resolution).Beware though if you get one you might want more.Btw the Zeiss 100mm mp is truly stunning.
12-02-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by djc737 Quote
Looking at the ratings over in Photozone, The Zeiss macro seems to have quite a bit more resolution than the Pentax 50mm, extrapolating from the 100mm macro. At any rate, does anyone have experience with both of these lenses and what realistically would be the difference in usage. I shoot macro almost exclusively in MF so that is not a factor for me. I have the Pentax DFA 50 already but am always looking for the little extra IQ, better bokeh or higher resolution. It seems that the Zeiss would give me all three.

Dave
The 50 and 100 macro lenses are the two lenses that are just great, I may have to add the 21 mm lens. I am happy with the 100DFA which is considerably smaller than the Zeiss version, but if you are looking for a 50mm lens, go for it. I did try the 18, 35, 50 Zeiss lenses of the series. Quite decent, mechanically not bad, but not on par with Leica or Zeiss for Contax. The Pentax 50M has a lot more plastic ...
12-02-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by peasant Quote
I have the Zeiss 5omm mp but not the Pentax 50mm(but do have the 31/43/77,i.e. have Pentax lenses as well).Love it and my other Zeiss lenses,for me the whole Zeiss/manual focus experience has taken my photography to a more enjoyable place.The quality of the lenses is outstanding(build and resolution).Beware though if you get one you might want more.Btw the Zeiss 100mm mp is truly stunning.
Ha ha - that is so true. My next one for later this month is the 180/2.8 ... looked awesome in my hands
12-02-2011, 01:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by djc737 Quote
The Zeiss 100 makro gets rave reviews for Bokeh but would be a bugger to find and I think too tight for indoors. I assume and it may be a wrong assumption that the 50mm makro would have similar features.
Not wrong at all. The 50/2 and 100/2 are actually extremely similar in their optical qualities and IQ. I consider them virtually interchangeable except for the FL. Just make sure it's the 50/2, not the 50/1.4. And yes, I agree that the 50 would probably be more useful indoors.

12-02-2011, 08:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Not wrong at all. The 50/2 and 100/2 are actually extremely similar in their optical qualities and IQ. I consider them virtually interchangeable except for the FL. Just make sure it's the 50/2, not the 50/1.4. And yes, I agree that the 50 would probably be more useful indoors.
This is what I had hoped. I am still interested in the actual visual difference between the two 50's. When I look at the Zeiss lenses on the Flickriver site mostly used on other brand bodies, it is hard to compare the Zeiss to the Pentax when they are taken by different people in different places. The overall feal of the Zeiss images are better but it still could be skill more than lenses, if you know what I mean.

Another interesting thing is on Photozone's site. When the Zeiss lenses are tested on a full frame camera, the scores on MTF are much higher than on a cropped sensor camera. I would have thought it would have been the reverse.
12-02-2011, 09:00 PM   #10
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Yes, many people consider it a waste to use the ZKs on a cropped sensor, but I say baloney. They are wonderful on APS-C and they just happen to also be wonderful on FF. As far as the Photozone scores, I have no explanation for that. It would seem to imply that the outer parts of the lenses are just so good as to make up for an inferior center part, and that's just ludicrous. Is there any lens for which that is true? Just an anomaly in their testing procedure, I would think. The best solution is just to try it for yourself. If it doesn't end up being all that you hoped, selling it shouldn't be a problem.
12-02-2011, 09:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by djc737 Quote
Another interesting thing is on Photozone's site. When the Zeiss lenses are tested on a full frame camera, the scores on MTF are much higher than on a cropped sensor camera. I would have thought it would have been the reverse.
The better the camera the higher the MTF scores (you can check this by comparing a Canon/Nikon APS-C against a FF on the site) - this is why you need to select the same camera when doing head to head comparisons of lenses, and why Photozone select the same cameras, for every test, per manufacturer and stick with it/them (K10D for Pentax, though they have started dual testing, repeating tests with some lenses on a K5 as well as the K10D) and also why you can not compare the results taken on cameras from different manufacturers with the same lens.
12-02-2011, 09:48 PM   #12
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I have read(in other words I don't know myself)the difference in the mtf scores might be more to do with ff sensor/pixel size than the lenses themselves.There is an interesting Wiki post on ff vs crop re resolution etc.Some people say Photozone is overrated.Who knows but their word does seem to be treated like gospel.

Last edited by peasant; 12-02-2011 at 11:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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