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07-18-2008, 12:23 AM   #31
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Got something from Zeiss today I snapped a couple pics on the way back to work from the camera store and of the weirdest (to me) fruit ever that my coworker introduced me too today. Tasty though. These show what the T*25 is good at before I force myself to look at the infinity pics in any great detail.

Bokeh @ f2.8 (note also - no fringing at all)


Almost minimum focus distance, Tamarind @ f5.6


FWIW, Zeiss sent a brand new copy of the lens, which is really cool of them. Also FWIW, I kinda wished they would have just adjusted the old one so I knew that they had adressed what I'm starting to feel is potentially a faulty K-mount design. I'm going to put this lens to the test as I have the other two, but from some pixel peeping I can tell it ain't up to the FA31s sharpness at infinity as per the previous tests of two other copies. I really wonder if the K-mount housing itself is a few nanometers too long... could it be possible?

Still, within its capabilities it does what it does at a high level of performance, it certainly is a high quality product.

07-18-2008, 12:46 PM   #32
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good to see you got the Zeiss back. too bad of the infinity focus problem, look forward to your updated tests
looks like you'll be keeping the FA31 much longer :P
07-19-2008, 12:37 AM   #33
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Kelly, thanks for the follow up post.

The texture of tamarind is so remarkable. The rendition of colour is surreal. Bokeh in the background is a nice blurr but a little strong with the yellow hue.

The first shot really reveals the superior bokeh rendering from this lens given the background being the worst enemy for all floral photographers. The dark leaves did not turn out like charcoal black with the highlights somewhat dampened down quite a lot. A great result different from your first series. I an truely impressed. Now I am struggling with which zeiss prime to get since this copy definitely charges quite a bit...

Any more follow up shots?
07-19-2008, 07:46 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
Thanks! Well, when the DA35 passes back my way, I'll do a couple of shots out of curiosity, but I can already tell you the DA35 is bound for a return for good.
Curious what you found out or eventually did with your DA35 Ltd.?

07-21-2008, 11:00 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
good to see you got the Zeiss back. too bad of the infinity focus problem, look forward to your updated tests
looks like you'll be keeping the FA31 much longer :P
Yes, the 31 is a remarkable performer. Its just solid, if a little square. It may simply be that it was my very first lens that I sort of try and beat it all the time, its my reference point in many comparisons. At this point it is safe (and my only AF lens). The Zeiss I've found smartens up quite a bit at infinity when stopped down. It keeps getting better at infinity by doing this until f11 or so, but it seems to stay fairly consistantly sharp close-focused from 2.8. Its definately the wierdest lens I've used in terms of what you expect it to do and what it actually does. And also, this copy is better than my previous one. Direct crop tests to come.

Infinity sample of Distagon T*25 @ f11 (hand-held)


QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Kelly, thanks for the follow up post.

The texture of tamarind is so remarkable. The rendition of colour is surreal. Bokeh in the background is a nice blurr but a little strong with the yellow hue.

The first shot really reveals the superior bokeh rendering from this lens given the background being the worst enemy for all floral photographers. The dark leaves did not turn out like charcoal black with the highlights somewhat dampened down quite a lot. A great result different from your first series. I an truely impressed. Now I am struggling with which zeiss prime to get since this copy definitely charges quite a bit...

Any more follow up shots?
I took it to the mountains with me this weekend as you saw above, but I was also actively using its pseudo-macro role. Here are a couple of shots that show off the bokeh some more. I have literally hundreds of shots to go through and there are some good sharp shots to show for this lens as well, but I gravitate to working on the bokeh shots first, heh.

Distagon T*25 @ f2.8



I have post processed all these shots, but I always tend to play up what the lens is doing rather than to force the shot to fit an idea so what you're seeing is a contrastier, brighter version of what the lens did anyway. The thing I find with a lot of the German heritaged lenses I've adopted is a chromatic seperation in the bokeh when wide open that I really like. It feels like the picture is old. The Distagon also has an unpredictable motion quality to the bokeh randomly distributed around where the in-focus plane starts to fade. Its weird, but I like it.

I don't find the bokeh on average to be as overflowing as the Nokton, or as articulate as the VL125, but it does have nice bokeh, forced a bit from being so close to the subject (where the motion quality starts adding to the flavour). It is unique, and pretty versatile now that I know how to handle it at infinity. I'm not sure yet if I'll use this lens a lot or what, but it definately has added a color to the palette.

QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
Curious what you found out or eventually did with your DA35 Ltd.?
Returned it. The copy in question was damaged goods, straight from the factory. I guess in the end I didn't get the feeling that I'd use it very much. FWIW, the Distagon here is a very interesting alternative to the DA35. They both share the interesting niche of wide angle macro, or almost macro in the case of the 25, with the 35 being a better pure macro and the 25 a better pure wide. They give you close-focus 'scenes' where your macro subject can have a context of surroundings with the lenses wider fields of view (and with a macro working distance of up to 1 inch, hand shake even at near 1:1 isn't a problem - though your own shadow can be.)

Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 07-21-2008 at 11:08 AM.
07-21-2008, 02:55 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
Infinity sample of Distagon T*25 @ f11 (hand-held)

Beautiful colour. Clarity too. Sure this lens certainly performs with an overall impact for smaller aperture.


QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote

I took it to the mountains with me this weekend as you saw above, but I was also actively using its pseudo-macro role. Here are a couple of shots that show off the bokeh some more. I have literally hundreds of shots to go through and there are some good sharp shots to show for this lens as well, but I gravitate to working on the bokeh shots first, heh.

Distagon T*25 @ f2.8
Again, thanks for picking a tough scene to test. Bokeh with that sort of needle like leaves turned out particularly nasty with most lenses especially sigma and tamron. 31 ltd and 77 ltd do not churn out pleasant bokeh when these are in the background either. So this shot shows some nice features towards this lens. Nokton produces something totally different in the similar situation. It would be quite fluid like rendition. (I have to find it somewhere in my photo disc...)



QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote

I have post processed all these shots, but I always tend to play up what the lens is doing rather than to force the shot to fit an idea so what you're seeing is a contrastier, brighter version of what the lens did anyway. The thing I find with a lot of the German heritaged lenses I've adopted is a chromatic seperation in the bokeh when wide open that I really like. It feels like the picture is old. The Distagon also has an unpredictable motion quality to the bokeh randomly distributed around where the in-focus plane starts to fade. Its weird, but I like it.

I don't find the bokeh on average to be as overflowing as the Nokton, or as articulate as the VL125, but it does have nice bokeh, forced a bit from being so close to the subject (where the motion quality starts adding to the flavour). It is unique, and pretty versatile now that I know how to handle it at infinity. I'm not sure yet if I'll use this lens a lot or what, but it definately has added a color to the palette.
Simple editing are necessary and there is no doubt about that. A good lens does capture more information for us to process and it is crucial that users have that room to maneuvre to rescue certain shots. However, bokeh are hard to rescue. Most pentax lens bokeh turned incredibly ugly with contrast or layer management because of the high contrast nature.

From your testing shots, there is in-depth feel from them. This lens costs about 800 US dollars or so on ebay... You definitely are keen to test all these lenses!
07-22-2008, 09:29 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Again, thanks for picking a tough scene to test. Bokeh with that sort of needle like leaves turned out particularly nasty with most lenses especially sigma and tamron. 31 ltd and 77 ltd do not churn out pleasant bokeh when these are in the background either. So this shot shows some nice features towards this lens. Nokton produces something totally different in the similar situation. It would be quite fluid like rendition. (I have to find it somewhere in my photo disc...)...
From my experience, I agree with your comparisons in bokeh handling. I would not even bother to take this shot with the 31 ltd as the fringing would be horrendous:



This copy of the T*25 has a reason to cost, where my last copy left me questioning. There is no fringing in there, thats crazy. I meant for this shot to collapse the limit of its fringe resistance, but it showed me there apparently isn't one. That impressed me. Its also a graphic example of the oddity the 25 possess at close-focus distance. If you notice the leaves high and low, right side, they've got a movement to the highlights that was not from me or the leaf moving. I've determined from some flat wall tests that there is a moderate spot focus effect as you close in to MOD. Its basically like a mild lens baby effect. The reported lack of a corrective floating element is exaggerated in this use of the lens, and the edge quality (if you are concerned for that) completely degrades by the 6cm point into this motion appearance.

I also replicated a test at infinity where I was able to force my previous copy of the T* to fringe, but this one did not. I can't explain that, but I was happy to discover it.

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre:
From your testing shots, there is in-depth feel from them. This lens costs about 800 US dollars or so on ebay... You definitely are keen to test all these lenses!
Keen or nuts, your call, heh. I do have a passion for objects of superior craftsmanship which is not limited camera lenses, and I do enjoy these new/old designs. Everything modern I've handled, produced in the Cosina factory has put a smile on my face from the packaging out to final image.

Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 07-22-2008 at 09:39 AM.
07-22-2008, 10:25 AM   #38
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Thank you for sharing this beautiful shots. This Zeiss seems to be a great performer. This last shot shows razor sharp details and features a nice bokeh as well.

07-26-2008, 12:51 AM   #39
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Thanks for the updates. I'm starting to worry that reading this thread will cost me more than your Voigtlander thread.
08-01-2008, 07:00 PM   #40
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Zeiss Distagon T*25/2,8 - updated Aug 08 - a set on Flickr

updated the intial review. I still have some more shots to process and add, it gets done as I pick away
08-02-2008, 11:42 PM   #41
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Distagon @ 2.8, minimum focus distance for maximum circus bokeh.



100% crop:

08-03-2008, 05:48 AM   #42
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nice photos Kelly. good to see the lens has returned and that you're enjoying it.
thanks for the tests as well, look forward to seeing your Zeiss 85 review
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