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12-17-2013, 11:37 PM   #31
Tas
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2/50 ZK on ebay - Cardiff UK

A rare opportunity exists for someone to pick up the Makro Planar T* 2/50 ZK with a listing on ebay. I haven't used mine enough, but everytime I do, it never disappoints.

Here's the link if you're interested: Zeiss Makro Planar T F2 50mm ZK Pentax PK FIT | eBay

12-24-2013, 08:29 AM   #32
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If this isn't out of place, curios how many folks are shooting Zeiss in the native PK mount vs. the Leitax converted mount? and what led you to this vs. a Pentax / Sigma lens?
12-25-2013, 06:25 PM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by jwmster Quote
If this isn't out of place, curios how many folks are shooting Zeiss in the native PK mount vs. the Leitax converted mount? and what led you to this vs. a Pentax / Sigma lens?
All five of my Zeiss lenses are ZK mount. It's a bit harder answer the second question as to why I ended up going down the Zeiss path, but it probably came from a combination of some examples of Zeiss images on Flickr and ironically the SMC DA 70mm LTD.

I mainly shot with the Sigma 10-20 (still do a lot with this lens too BTW) but found I was enjoying the extra detail in the 70mm LTD. I actually did a back-to-back comparison between the DA 70mm LTD and the DA* 50-135 (a very impressive lens I was pleased with) and found the prime pulled out more detail than the zoom. I also found the FA 50mm F1.4 stopped down produced lots of details in the landscapes I captured with it when compared with the 10-20. I also had an M28/2.8 and again enjoyed how this lens produced more detail. I also enjoyed the challenge of putting a prime on and going out to capture image at a given focal length. I still do this it seems to 'help me see' an image at a given focal length more easily. So whilst the 10-20 and the 50-135 were good lenses, I felt more interested in using the primes. And whilst I still take the zooms (Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6, 28-70 f2.8, Pentax DA* 50-135) out the Zeiss primes get the most attention from me then these primes: Pentax smc 15 f4 LTD, FA 50 f1.4, and smc DA 70 f2.4 LTD.

But why Zeiss? Well, I started noticing some depth of field preferences in images I was viewing, whether it be wide or tele, and started doing some research on Flickr and via Google. I found a number (though not all) of the images I really liked were images taken with Zeiss lenses. One of the aspects of the Zeiss lenses that I was drawn to was the 3D-like effect that seemed to be replicated regularly by the users of these lenses. Whilst it's not very exciting, this example is one I captured of this particular look:




Whilst it's not as obvious in this size image, it is the type of look that drew me to Zeiss lenses. A better view of this image can be found on the Flickr page by clicking the 'Lukely Lukes steed' link, then left click on the image then press f11 for the fullscreen view. I also notice a similar look from Leica images, but their prices are another level of over the top from the already expensive Zeiss glass. They also render differently, and I guess this is another aspect of why I use Zeiss lenses, as the rendering of the images from Zeiss is different to each of the other lens manufacturers. So you know my preference there.

I was also liking some of the close focusing wide angles shots from the 21/2.8 like this one:




And the look of the telephoto portraits, an example at this link: Falling Leaves | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Adding to these preferences was the historical aspect of using Pentax DSLR's. That is, I'd found little joy in autofocus on my K10D, so I was routinely manually focusing which when combined with my developing preference for primes, meant that I was not deterred by the need to manually focus if I picked up one or two Zeiss lenses. Initially I was looking at the Makro Planar T* 2/100 and the Distagon T* 2,8/21, both in ZK. When I could I picked up the 2/100 (along with the DA* 300 f4), and decided to trawl the web for a used 21mm as I couldn't find a new one (as a result of the limited production one and by this time it was early 2011).

About 18 months later all my gear was stolen, and of all the things taken that hurt the most was my Zeiss 2/100. Everything else was replaceable (even the M28/2.8) so it became a priority to replace it using my insurance. Then miraculously I found one in Europe, it was paid for by the insurance and I was on a hunt then for any Zeiss ZK lenses I could get. Unbelieveably I had also stumbled onto the Zeiss 21/2.8, but I didn't have the almost $3000 Aus asking price. So I sat on it as opposed to digging into savings.

Some more irony was the arrival of a Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/25 a week after the break-in. I'd picked this up as the widest ZK I could find online. Then after the 2.100 had arrived via the insurance claim I went back to buy the 21/2.8 (I couldn't resist), but it had gone. That was when I thought I needed to buy as many Zeiss ZK as I can and started to look at the Distagon T* 2/35. Then I found a Planar T* 1,4/85, and finally a Makro Planar T* 2/50. In hindsight I went a bit crazy as I knew how much these lenses were making my photography more enjoyable, and knew they would be harder to find as the years rolled by, especially if the full frame came to fruition.

And that's the story of not only why I like Zeiss ZK lenses, but why I have so many. I don't regret buying any of them, and am still on the look out for the 21...and the 18....maybe the 28...would love the 15 and 135 too.... Not that they make the last two in ZK.. In summary, I bought Zeiss ZK lenses as I found an interest through images that appealed to me. I bought one and loved the feel of using the lens (particularly once I installed a micro prism matte in the viewfinder), the images they were creating and then with the circumstances of a limited production run and a break-in I couldn't reist the urge to buy more. My interest is not yet sated.

Now, could I get the same from the FA Limiteds? Maybe, but with the micro-prism viewfinder installed I am happy with manually focusing whilst my eyes will allow me to. And one day maybe the 31 or 43 will end up on my camera too, but they have to provide the same enjoyment I get from my Zeiss lenses, and allow me to create images that appeal to me (spot the selfish photographer).

To that end I hope we get the option of a Pentax fullframe, so I can use these lenses on the larger sensor, and maybe a Pentax fullframe will initiate the production of ZK again. In the meantime I will ponder the medium format options too as the detail and depth of field MF creates is closer to what draws me to these lenses.

I hope this answers your questions.

Tas
12-25-2013, 09:32 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by jwmster Quote
If this isn't out of place, curios how many folks are shooting Zeiss in the native PK mount vs. the Leitax converted mount? and what led you to this vs. a Pentax / Sigma lens?
I don't know much about the converted Leitax type. My Zeiss started out after being shown by a friend who also have a Zeiss lens (PK mount). More like I am being poisoned into it.. haha

When I feel like manual focusing, Zeiss lenses is damn good. Only 2 lenses now, 25 and 28.. oh yah.. they also have Aperture setting which is useful.

Zeiss 25...




Zeiss 28






12-27-2013, 12:54 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
All five of my Zeiss lenses are ZK mount. It's a bit harder answer the second question as to why I ended up going down the Zeiss path, but it probably came from a combination of some examples of Zeiss images on Flickr and ironically the SMC DA 70mm LTD.

I mainly shot with the Sigma 10-20 (still do a lot with this lens too BTW) but found I was enjoying the extra detail in the 70mm LTD. I actually did a back-to-back comparison between the DA 70mm LTD and the DA* 50-135 (a very impressive lens I was pleased with) and found the prime pulled out more detail than the zoom. I also found the FA 50mm F1.4 stopped down produced lots of details in the landscapes I captured with it when compared with the 10-20. I also had an M28/2.8 and again enjoyed how this lens produced more detail. I also enjoyed the challenge of putting a prime on and going out to capture image at a given focal length. I still do this it seems to 'help me see' an image at a given focal length more easily. So whilst the 10-20 and the 50-135 were good lenses, I felt more interested in using the primes. And whilst I still take the zooms (Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6, 28-70 f2.8, Pentax DA* 50-135) out the Zeiss primes get the most attention from me then these primes: Pentax smc 15 f4 LTD, FA 50 f1.4, and smc DA 70 f2.4 LTD.

But why Zeiss? Well, I started noticing some depth of field preferences in images I was viewing, whether it be wide or tele, and started doing some research on Flickr and via Google. I found a number (though not all) of the images I really liked were images taken with Zeiss lenses. One of the aspects of the Zeiss lenses that I was drawn to was the 3D-like effect that seemed to be replicated regularly by the users of these lenses. Whilst it's not very exciting, this example is one I captured of this particular look:




Whilst it's not as obvious in this size image, it is the type of look that drew me to Zeiss lenses. A better view of this image can be found on the Flickr page by clicking the 'Lukely Lukes steed' link, then left click on the image then press f11 for the fullscreen view. I also notice a similar look from Leica images, but their prices are another level of over the top from the already expensive Zeiss glass. They also render differently, and I guess this is another aspect of why I use Zeiss lenses, as the rendering of the images from Zeiss is different to each of the other lens manufacturers. So you know my preference there.

I was also liking some of the close focusing wide angles shots from the 21/2.8 like this one:




And the look of the telephoto portraits, an example at this link: Falling Leaves | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Adding to these preferences was the historical aspect of using Pentax DSLR's. That is, I'd found little joy in autofocus on my K10D, so I was routinely manually focusing which when combined with my developing preference for primes, meant that I was not deterred by the need to manually focus if I picked up one or two Zeiss lenses. Initially I was looking at the Makro Planar T* 2/100 and the Distagon T* 2,8/21, both in ZK. When I could I picked up the 2/100 (along with the DA* 300 f4), and decided to trawl the web for a used 21mm as I couldn't find a new one (as a result of the limited production one and by this time it was early 2011).

About 18 months later all my gear was stolen, and of all the things taken that hurt the most was my Zeiss 2/100. Everything else was replaceable (even the M28/2.8) so it became a priority to replace it using my insurance. Then miraculously I found one in Europe, it was paid for by the insurance and I was on a hunt then for any Zeiss ZK lenses I could get. Unbelieveably I had also stumbled onto the Zeiss 21/2.8, but I didn't have the almost $3000 Aus asking price. So I sat on it as opposed to digging into savings.

Some more irony was the arrival of a Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/25 a week after the break-in. I'd picked this up as the widest ZK I could find online. Then after the 2.100 had arrived via the insurance claim I went back to buy the 21/2.8 (I couldn't resist), but it had gone. That was when I thought I needed to buy as many Zeiss ZK as I can and started to look at the Distagon T* 2/35. Then I found a Planar T* 1,4/85, and finally a Makro Planar T* 2/50. In hindsight I went a bit crazy as I knew how much these lenses were making my photography more enjoyable, and knew they would be harder to find as the years rolled by, especially if the full frame came to fruition.

And that's the story of not only why I like Zeiss ZK lenses, but why I have so many. I don't regret buying any of them, and am still on the look out for the 21...and the 18....maybe the 28...would love the 15 and 135 too.... Not that they make the last two in ZK.. In summary, I bought Zeiss ZK lenses as I found an interest through images that appealed to me. I bought one and loved the feel of using the lens (particularly once I installed a micro prism matte in the viewfinder), the images they were creating and then with the circumstances of a limited production run and a break-in I couldn't reist the urge to buy more. My interest is not yet sated.

Now, could I get the same from the FA Limiteds? Maybe, but with the micro-prism viewfinder installed I am happy with manually focusing whilst my eyes will allow me to. And one day maybe the 31 or 43 will end up on my camera too, but they have to provide the same enjoyment I get from my Zeiss lenses, and allow me to create images that appeal to me (spot the selfish photographer).

To that end I hope we get the option of a Pentax fullframe, so I can use these lenses on the larger sensor, and maybe a Pentax fullframe will initiate the production of ZK again. In the meantime I will ponder the medium format options too as the detail and depth of field MF creates is closer to what draws me to these lenses.

I hope this answers your questions.

Tas
My involvement in Zeiss lenses has some similarities to your story.
When I decided to sell my Olympus gear, including two SHG zoom lenses (highest quality) with constant aperture, I knew I would have to resort to primes to get the same IQ with Pentax.
I decided to start out with a 35mm macro ltd. as an all-round lens, and liked the IQ, but still something was missing that I had gotten used to with the zuiko SHG lenses.
By accident I stumbled the Zeiss distagon 25/2.8 when looking for a wider prime option. I contacted my camera store that erroneously still had the lens listed in ZK mount. They apologized but I got their consent that they would order it if I could still find it available from Zeiss headquarters in Germany.
To my big surprise (we are talking june 2012 here) they had some new samples left of the 25/2.8 - the 28/2 - the 35/2 - the 50/2 and the 85/1.4
I got the 25/2.8 and soon replaced the Pentax 35/2.8 with the Zeiss 35/2. The Zeiss lenses simply inspired me, and I decided to get the lot before they were gone. I got the 28/2 only jķst in time (they had two left at Zeiss when I inquired), and sold the 25/2.8
I have no regrets whatsoever, these lenses are a joy to use and keep on inspiring me, and have also made me aware of the possible step up to full frame, with its larger coverage. This would give me the truly amazing quality of the 35/2 but as a wide angle lens. The benefit of full frame is not so much the larger sensor in itself, but the possibility to use superior lenses as wide angle lenses, where with Apsc crop you have to resort to around 20mm lenses with much more compressed view and accompanying distortions. That is why I really hope that Ricoh launches the first Pentax digital FF in 2014.

Chris
12-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #36
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Nice work ranchy! The Zeiss 25/2.8 continues to intrigue me, though I wish they had released the 25/2 in ZK.

Chris I agree about the 35/2 and FF - it's such a great lens, and will make an excellent wide angle - I've seen some stunning 5DII shots with the lens as a street photography tool. There's significant vignetting on FF, but nothing that can't be corrected by post (if even necessary - I usually add a little vignetting anyway).
12-27-2013, 07:33 PM   #37
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My ZK lenses are the 18mm f3.5, 25mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 and the 85mm f1.4. The first purchased was the 50mm f1.4 which left me most impressed so I decided on adding the rest. Eventually I'll add the 35mm f2.
As for the Leitax path, well I was more then a little underwhelmed with both a 50 F1.4 and a 90 F2.8 to both bother in future.
12-27-2013, 09:14 PM   #38
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I happened across a Contax Zeiss 28/2.8 Distagon locally on Craigslist about 3 almost 4 years ago. After thinking about it for a couple of days and figuring everything out (the C/Y mount), I picked it up and ordered the Leitax.com K mount. About a year or so later I went looking for a Contax Zeiss 85/2.8 Sonnar. Both are incredibly sharp wonderful across the entire lens. Since I do landscapes and cityscapes, brokeh is not really a large concern of mine. I collaborated with Les on a comparison with the 31 Ltd, which obviously performed much better in this respect, however the CZ did not do too badly at f2.8.

A little over a year ago I received a bonus at work, and mistakenly for what ever reason, I have absolutely no idea as to what possessed me - just did a search for a Zeiss 25/2.8 ZK. I happened across some new old stock over in Southern California. They wanted $750. I thought about it for an afternoon and then just ordered it. Actually, my excuse was that was my maximum threshold of pain, and I knew that if I did not pick it up the price would only be higher in the future.

So I have 2 of the Contax Zeiss (CZ) lenses along with a Zeiss ZK. I do like all of them - for different reasons. The CZs have a wonderful build, small, light weight, perform magnificently - there is just a lot to like about them. They are just f2.8, but for my use that is just perfect. The ZK is large, heavy, overbuilt by a factor of at least 4x, nothing but glass and metal and will survive a nuclear strike. I like it very much. I did not realize it until it arrived, but its focus throw is 355 degrees, of which the first 180 degrees covers 6 to 12 inches. Its not a macro, but a close focus gem.

About 8 months ago or so, there was this gentleman on the forum, in Boston who had a ZK 18 along with a K20/2 for sale. I thought about them for a couple of months. I could not justify the price for the ZK 18, finally decided on the K20/2, but missed it by an afternoon. I had also been considering the Voigtlander 20mm f3.5 Color Skopar for at least several years and came across a wonderful copy several months ago. Physically comparing the CS 20 to the ZK 25 is startling. The CS is half the size of the ZK and probably a third of the weight. However, there is nothing lacking in the CS' build quality.

In terms of distortion, both of the Contax lenses are held very high, while both the ZK and CS have their detractors. I will say that the ZK has enough glass and metal that it should be near perfection in terms of correction. They are all what they are - and in terms of 20, I do like them all very much. The way I use the lenses, I do not see any of the perceived concerns.

Also, a bit over a year ago, I came across a Leica 28/2.8 Elmarit-R 3 cam that had its mount converted to the K using the Leitax conversion. I picked it up. I had always wondered how the Leica compared to the Zeiss. Quite frankly, as a personal preference - I like the Zeiss better. No explaining it, the Leica is a wonderful lens, great glass, wonderful build - overbuilt like the ZK, but I like the Contax and ZK better. I have it up on the marketplace - since I have a 20, 25, 2-28s and the 31Ltd, one of the 28s needs to go (and I am not parting with the Contax Zeiss). Just too many lenses in the same focal length range.

Bottom line, I like the Zeiss rendering, color, handling, build - just the overall character that it has in the images. Also, you really can't beat the Contax lenses. Very similar design as the ZK, a bit slower in aperture speed (but fast for landscapes), and the newer ZK's coatings should be better, but for the price I have not found them lacking in the slightest.



01-17-2014, 06:20 PM   #39
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Zeiss ZK 35/2

Hi, I have just been reading this tread. It is interesting to read about the different experiences and looking at the images shared. Very inspirational.

I have only one Zeiss ZK - the 35/2. I have had this lens since April 2012 - I purchased after reading a number of reviews, and was wanting to use a lens of this quality. I am very happy with what the Zeiss 35 gives optically and IQ, and use it a lot for my landscape photography.

I have attached a couple of my favourite images from the Zeiss last year. The first one is in Auckland NZ - the Beachlands Channel, looking towards Auckland city right on dark. From a ferry cockpit. The second is from the Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory, Australia at sunrise.

There are more Zeiss photos on my Zenfolio site

Ross
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01-19-2014, 08:15 PM - 2 Likes   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Nice work ranchy! The Zeiss 25/2.8 continues to intrigue me, though I wish they had released the 25/2 in ZK.

Chris I agree about the 35/2 and FF - it's such a great lens, and will make an excellent wide angle - I've seen some stunning 5DII shots with the lens as a street photography tool. There's significant vignetting on FF, but nothing that can't be corrected by post (if even necessary - I usually add a little vignetting anyway).
Thanks, Jeff.. the Zeiss 25 would be great if it is f2. But it is a unique lens with it close focus ability....... Need to use more of my manual lens.. :P

More shots with the Zeiss 28





04-21-2014, 07:44 PM   #41
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Tulipmania 2014 at Garden by the Bay - Singapore

K3 with CZ25.......




06-15-2014, 09:38 PM - 2 Likes   #42
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Just started trying to shoot these guys. I fear I may have opened Pandoras's Box. This is a feeder right outside our kitchen window. K-3 w/ 100/2 MakroPlanar at 5.6
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06-17-2014, 05:15 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Just started trying to shoot these guys. I fear I may have opened Pandoras's Box. This is a feeder right outside our kitchen window. K-3 w/ 100/2 MakroPlanar at 5.6
Nice shot, great color!
06-17-2014, 09:13 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by dunerunner Quote
Nice shot, great color!
Thanks! I balked a little when my wife wanted to spend 40 bucks on that feeder, but it turned out to be pretty good for photos.
07-01-2014, 08:00 PM   #45
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Bumble Bee on a hot day. With the 50/2 MakroPlanar at f/2.2.
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