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07-05-2008, 07:19 AM   #1
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Pentax 31mm or Zeiss 35mm Distgon

Finally my wife agreed on buying an expensive lens like Pentax 31mm and now I am trying to decide between that and a Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2.

Did anyone compare these two?

I am actually trying to buy two lenses from the list of 4 in the following

1) Pentax 31mm Limited
2) Pentax 77mm Limited
3) Zeiss Planar 85mm T* f/1.4
4) Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2

As a first step I am tryin to get the shorter ones (either Pentax 31mm or Zeiss 35mm)

I don't have a problem for manual focus..

Thanking you in advance...
-IU

07-05-2008, 08:07 AM   #2
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Kelly Sereda did some tests here on the Zeiss 25mm vs FA31
Zeiss Distagon T*25/2,8 - a set on Flickr

direct comparisons are hard to find. from what i remember reading i think the Zeiss lenses you mentioned has some very favourable responses and are highly regarded. i'm not sure if many people on this forum have used it but if you check google "site:dpreview.com zeiss 85mm" (or 35mm) you can also see what Nikon users think of the ZF, Canon mounted Contax and also the Pentax

the FA31 and FA77 are really excellent and i'm not sure if it's worth the extra money to lose the AF capability and shell out quite a bit extra on top
07-05-2008, 08:08 AM   #3
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All Tests / Reviews
Photozone has also tested Zeiss lens in different mounts, note that you cannot compare directly between systems
07-05-2008, 08:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for mentioning! I would qualify my findings by saying I'm sure I had a bad apple (my copy of the T*25) though I haven't yet had my copy returned from Zeiss to disprove that the results aren't by design. A second copy tested in store also showed similar (though not to the same degree) softness at infinity.

I've since seen many shots using the T*25 and other lenses from the series in ZF (Nikon) mount and the sharpness is fine. I'm just speculating, but I wonder if the distance between sensor and rear element isn't somewhat comprimised by an imperfectly designed K-mount on the ZKs? Of course, this could bode negatively for the whole line in our case. Undetered, I've got the 85/1.4 on order and expect my T*25 back... hopefully any day (but not too hopefully...) I'll be posting my findings. I really hope they mounted the 25 on a K10 or 20 and not just measured it in a lab and gave it the pass it got the first time.

As for your list, I've not tried the 35, though again, ZF examples appear great. One of the great Pentax lenses is the 31 to which I can attest, and its cheaper (Shop eBay Canada Store - Prodigital2000:: Lowepro, Canon). I wouldn't hesitate to break from my love of that great manual focusing of the Zeiss line to get the Pentax in this example (though I would be very curious to note your results if you chose the T*35).

Kelly.

EDIT - I might also suggest the T*25 to consider in that range - its ultra close focusing really adds another dimension of fun, pseudo-macro wide angle entertainment to the package, just check your infinity sharpness in store!


Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 07-05-2008 at 08:35 AM.
07-05-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
Thanks for mentioning! I would qualify my findings by saying I'm sure I had a bad apple (my copy of the T*25) though I haven't yet had my copy returned from Zeiss to disprove that the results aren't by design. A second copy tested in store also showed similar (though not to the same degree) softness at infinity.

I've since seen many shots using the T*25 and other lenses from the series in ZF (Nikon) mount and the sharpness is fine. I'm just speculating, but I wonder if the distance between sensor and rear element isn't somewhat comprimised by an imperfectly designed K-mount on the ZKs? Of course, this could bode negatively for the whole line in our case. Undetered, I've got the 85/1.4 on order and expect my T*25 back... hopefully any day (but not too hopefully...) I'll be posting my findings. I really hope they mounted the 25 on a K10 or 20 and not just measured it in a lab and gave it the pass it got the first time.

As for your list, I've not tried the 35, though again, ZF examples appear great. One of the great Pentax lenses is the 31 to which I can attest, and its cheaper (Shop eBay Canada Store - Prodigital2000:: Lowepro, Canon). I wouldn't hesitate to break from my love of that great manual focusing of the Zeiss line to get the Pentax in this example (though I would be very curious to note your results if you chose the T*35).

Kelly.

EDIT - I might also suggest the T*25 to consider in that range - its ultra close focusing really adds another dimension of fun, pseudo-macro wide angle entertainment to the package, just check your infinity sharpness in store!
I might go with Pentax 31mm..At this time it is a safe bet. Zeiss may be great but not many reviews on the T*35mm.

For the long version, I am still undecided. The price/performance of Pentax 77mm is tempting me. On the pther hand, the Zeiss Planar T* 85 got great results and also great bokeh..

-IU
07-06-2008, 05:51 AM   #6
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I have the Zeiss 35 on my K20. I can not imagine anyone being disappointed in it.
07-06-2008, 08:20 AM   #7
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If you like AF, then the Pentax lenses are the only way to go. They also have a tendency to be more compact.
07-06-2008, 09:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I have the Zeiss 35 on my K20. I can not imagine anyone being disappointed in it.
I wonder if you might have any samples or thoughts you could share (I'd particularly like to see some close focusing and infinity shots, if you have any) many thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by jslifoaw Quote
If you like AF, then the Pentax lenses are the only way to go. They also have a tendency to be more compact.
QuoteOriginally posted by iunknown:
I don't have a problem for manual focus..
Dimensionally, the 31 and 35 are similar, though the T*35 is heavier due to (I'd guess) its generous manual focus helicoid (The FA has a meagre 45 degree turn. Its the trade-off for faster autofocus).

Actual weight: FA31 = 346 grams T*35 = 530 grams.

07-06-2008, 07:21 PM   #9
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I'd go w/ the Pentax FA Limiteds if I were considering these four. The FA77 and 31 are two of those best lenses ever made by any camera or lens manufacturer, it'd be very hard to get any lens better than these two optically, and they have great built quality as well. AF does come in handy sometimes.

Another thing is, I'm kinda tired of selecting focal length every time I have a MF lens on. I'd only go w/ a MF lens if I can't find an equivelent AF one.
07-07-2008, 05:59 AM   #10
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Went with 31 & 77. They are incredible lenses. They have a certain look that sets them apart from every thing else. They also have a matching look that you loose if you mix and match. I don't have a big soft spot for Zeiss. Seen really good ones and a lot of so so ones (think how many Zeiss are on Sony P&S, and camcorders). Almost always preferred the Leica look to Zeiss anyway. Pentax remind me more of the Leica M series rangefinder lenses. Love my rangefinder M4P. Wish I had an M8.

To me Zeiss tend to look more etched and flat while Pentax Limiteds have a more 3D look. They are something special.

thanks
barondla

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