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04-16-2008, 10:50 AM   #1
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Zeiss Distagon T*25/2,8 ZK - initial review

Well folks, I decided to leave the world of sketchy QC behind and buy into the cadillac of lenses. Take a walk with me down luxury lane as I roll up my sleeves and get to work testing this lens.

Oh wait... I should mention. This lens has a problem too (for those of you who've read about my issue with a defective DA35). So much for QC! I am truely on a cold streak, but I'm lucky to have the store where I get my stuff just a few blocks away. The Distagon will go back for an infinity adjustment, but the lens has met my expectations where others have failed. I really like it. Read on, if you will -

Zeiss Distagon T*25/2,8 - a set on Flickr

04-16-2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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thanks kelly for trying out this lens, i'm sure a lot of people are interested
how much is the lens? would you replace your FA31 with this lens :P
04-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #3
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An interesting read, 25 is an interesting focal length since its farther from the 31 than the zk 28 is. Id hoped for f2 tho but u cant have it all.

No doubt the zk lenses should be good, considering the price despite that they are manual focus. I dont like that I need to pay about the same for an MF lens as a very good AF lens. The voigtlanders are closer in price to what Id expect.

I wonder how the zk 85 compares to the FA 85, that would be the most interesting zeiss to me, since pentax wont bring a new 85.

back on track, you have so many good lenses, so how does it compare? which ones do you use, its not practical to carry them all around
04-16-2008, 11:22 AM   #4
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Nice preview, Kelly!

IQ seems pretty good; I would love to know how it compares to the DA 35... Do you have more information on the CZ 25?

04-16-2008, 11:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
thanks kelly for trying out this lens, i'm sure a lot of people are interested
how much is the lens? would you replace your FA31 with this lens :P
As bored as I am with the FA31, it really is proving itself to be a standard. I'll have to wait and see after my Distagon is adjusted to know if it can rival the 31 with infinity focusing, the most important (if least fun) aspect of the lens for me in this range.

QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
An interesting read, 25 is an interesting focal length since its farther from the 31 than the zk 28 is. Id hoped for f2 tho but u cant have it all.

No doubt the zk lenses should be good, considering the price despite that they are manual focus. I dont like that I need to pay about the same for an MF lens as a very good AF lens. The voigtlanders are closer in price to what Id expect.

I wonder how the zk 85 compares to the FA 85, that would be the most interesting zeiss to me, since pentax wont bring a new 85.

back on track, you have so many good lenses, so how does it compare? which ones do you use, its not practical to carry them all around

Completely agree re: price. I have a big M on my forehead though and the guys at the camera store know it. I asked Stephen Gandy at cameraquest why Zeiss charged double that of the Voigtlanders even though they are all made in the same factory in Japan by Cosina and he said "Because Zeiss like the money". In the end, the Zeiss line is a Zeiss idea, outsourced if you will to Cosina, while the Voigtlanders were Cosinas idea. At least thats the way I understand it from this point.

I bought the 25 to do double duty as a wide angle (wide as I like anyways) and for its unique close-focus personality, and it has that. I doubt I'd buy the 85 as its actually not able to close focus at all, but I guess thats my niche.

In the end, the question is one of what you would prefer to shoot with. I want a full set of primes where I don't have to question whether or not the shot could have been any better as a result of the equipment choices I made. If its bad, its totally my fault now, and I'm happy with that.

As far as carrying them, I use a little Tamrac backpack and can put all these little primes in there no problem. I carry 6 lenses with me everywhere I go, all the time. My camera is always on my back. Its funny, all the driving around I do to find shots and yet sometimes the world just presents the best pictures while travelling in daily life. I just try to keep my camera ready to capture them.

Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 04-16-2008 at 11:38 AM.
04-16-2008, 11:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxke Quote
Nice preview, Kelly!

IQ seems pretty good; I would love to know how it compares to the DA 35... Do you have more information on the CZ 25?
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.

What did you want to know about the 25?
04-16-2008, 11:51 AM   #7
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Congrat Kelly, finally you got your ZK . Pity it has the IF problem.

Unlike Leica, Zeiss now introduces more accessible and affordable glasses. It does come with the QC trade off (more frequent than it's used to be in the past). And of course, like Leica, the high price also comes from the name.

Good luck with the exchange.
04-16-2008, 03:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
Congrat Kelly, finally you got your ZK . Pity it has the IF problem.

Unlike Leica, Zeiss now introduces more accessible and affordable glasses. It does come with the QC trade off (more frequent than it's used to be in the past). And of course, like Leica, the high price also comes from the name.

Good luck with the exchange.
Thanks Hiep, and thanks for the information on it beforehand, it helped me make the decision. I quite like the lens, its fun to shoot with its quirks and capabilties ~ I hope its not gone too long for the adjustment process!

04-17-2008, 04:22 AM   #9
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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.

What did you want to know about the 25?
Txs Kelly, I look forward to it...

As to more information: do you have a link or anything? And I would also like to know the price you paid for it...
04-17-2008, 06:36 AM   #10
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Congrats on your new Zeiss, Kelly!

I want to ask you if the aperture is controlable from the K20D in AV mode or only from the lens ring?

Thank you,
Radu
04-17-2008, 08:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxke Quote
Txs Kelly, I look forward to it...

As to more information: do you have a link or anything? And I would also like to know the price you paid for it...
I picked it up at my local camera store - www(dot)thecamerastore(dot)com for 859.00 CDN. Full stats and description available at Welcome to Carl Zeiss Camera and Cine Lenses

QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Congrats on your new Zeiss, Kelly!

I want to ask you if the aperture is controlable from the K20D in AV mode or only from the lens ring?

Thank you,
Radu
Hi Radu, the lens works as an 'A' lens on any Pentax DSLR. Full metering and automatic aperture control in any mode.
04-17-2008, 09:08 AM   #12
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Having a little more fun with the lens - What is it?

04-17-2008, 09:29 AM   #13
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I don't know, but that shot rocks, whatever it is.
04-18-2008, 02:58 AM   #14
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Thanks for the explanation, Kelly!

I've always thought that K20D and Zeiss glass are meant for eachother.
Enjoy it!

Radu
04-18-2008, 08:19 AM   #15
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I see that many Europeans also got into the Zeiss craze . I hope we get enough users to open a thread Zeiss LBA, just like the old Voigtlander one. Now that I'm done with Pentax AF, I guess I will save up for some Zeiss goodness.
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