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Carl Zeiss ZF Distagon 25mm F2

Sharpness 
 10.0
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 10.0
Handling 
 10.0
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 10,908 Sat July 22, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $875.00 9.50
Carl Zeiss ZF Distagon 25mm F2
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Description:
Fast Zeiss 25mm lens in their "Classic" line of lenses.

Aperture range - f/2 to f/22
Lens elements/Groups - 11/10
Focusing range - 0.25 m (9.84" )
Free working distance - 0.13 m (5.12" )
Angular field (diag./horiz./vert.) - 81/71/51 degrees
Coverage at close range (MFD) - 219 x 144 mm (8.62 x 5.67)
Image ratio at MOD - 1:5.9
Filter thread - M67 x 0.75
Entrance pupil position (in front of image plane) - 89.4 mm (3.50" )
Rotation angle of focusing ring (infinity to MFD) - 123 degrees
Diameter max. - 71 mm (2.80" )
Length (without lens caps) - 71 mm (2.80" )
Length (with lens caps) - 95 mm (3.74" )
Weight - 570 g (1.26 lbs)
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:



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Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 5,578

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 14, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, Optics, Image Quality
Cons: Weight and Price

I have acquired two other Zeiss lenses in the past (the older Contax 28 and 85). I acquired this lens because, the older Contax Carl Zeiss 25mm f2.8 Distagon T* was the same price, before modifying the mount from C/Y to the K mount.

Essentially I was looking for something a bit wider than 28 mm, with the distortion very well controlled. This lens hit on all of the categories.
  • Build – All metal and glass - well the lens cover is plastic, as is the rear cap. Extremely well built (you will never find a better built lens), machined ribbed metal on the barrel focus ring (equivalent and waaaaay beyond the Pentax FA Limited build quality). The build quality is also beyond that of the Contax lenses (by Carl Zeiss). The focus (to twist) is backwards from Pentax – however, I have not had any problems adapting to this. From minimum focus distance to infinity is about 95% or 355 degrees of a full turn. Very very smooth focusing, with wonderful damping. Aperture setting, click at full f stops, with the "A" mode. Filter size is 67mm and with a full metal lens hood standard.
  • Size – The lens is certainly not a compact (pancake) lens, however it is larger than the FA 31 Ltd, in all dimensions, height, diameter and about double the weight. The physical size and weight is also significantly greater than the Contax lens of the same focal length and aperture. The lens does weigh a ton, it does have the feel of a lot of heft - or mass to it, however it is well balanced on my K5 body.
  • Optics – A full frame lens, all glass and absolutely superb in every respect. The lens is fully multi-coated using Zeiss’ T* coatings, one of the best available, the coatings are optimized for digital, flare is virtually non existent.
  • Sharpness – It will be extremely difficult (nearly impossible) to find a lens that is sharper than this one - in the center. Actually the entire Carl Zeiss line of lenses are noted for their sharpness. This is sharp from f2.8 - wide open and just gets sharper. f4 to f5.6 is optimum for resolution and the sharpness is extremely wonderful.
  • Performance – I was shooting this lens side by side with the FA 31 Ltd. The Zeiss consistently tends to overexpose slightly - 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop.
  • Flare – Non existent and I have shot directly into sunsets
  • Bokeh – Extremely nice. This may be the lens' hidden secret. The aperture is only f2.8, however it is able to close focus to 6 inches and with 180 of the 355 degrees of the focus throw is from 6 to 12 inches. This provides a very thin depth of field plane, and the foreground and background out of focus areas can be controlled very well. The bokeh is very nice (to my eyes), pretty creamy and contrasty.
  • Colors and Contrast– Extremely nice. The Zeiss character is very evident in the colors and contrastness of the lens.
  • Price – Zeiss has discontinued this lens in the Pentax K mount - since Pentax does not have a full frame camera and this is a full frame lens. The prices of these lenses vary, since they are available new only on the close out and used market, via ebay, craigslist, and the other usual used avenues of acquisition. I found the price range to be very wide - almost double. Some shopping should yield results. All of that said - they are still expensive.

This lens reports to the body as a "A" lens, however you need to manually set the focal length to 24 (since 25 is not an option on Pentax bodies). The lens does provide auto aperture - in the "A" setting. It does not self identify as a Zeiss lens - leaves the EXIF field blank.

Others reviews have indicated some field curvature and vignetting on full frame bodies. On a cropped sensor body and in my shooting, I have not seen any, I was not looking for any either. I was looking for landscapes, cityscapes, and some semi macro shooting with the best optics I could find. For the price, I guess you could say it should be perfect, however its up to the photographer.

Is it a 10? - No and neither is it a 9. I would put it at 9+ or around 9.25 to 9.5. So, with that - since I have no choice, I'll round it to a 9, primary due to the price - and it would have been really nice for the lens to self report aperture and "Zeiss" to the body.
   
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Registered: April, 2015
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,761

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Sharp at f/11, Colors, Lack of Distortion, Small/light
Cons: Needs a Leitax adapter mount to use on a Pentax camera
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1   

I just finished converting a Zeiss ZF Distagon 25mm f/2 lens from the Nikon F mount to the Pentax K mount.

I used the terrific Leitax F to K adapter mount with their "long screws". It fits nice and tight on my K1 and functions perfectly.

I'm just starting to shoot and get to know this lens. From initial testing, I have found that the far corners and edges are at their very best at f/11 and f/16 (see McD's photo below).

Colors are nice. Sharpness is incredible. At f/2 and f/2.4 you will have a very thin depth of field and nice bokeh!

Compared with the Zeiss 25/2.8, I'd say that this lens is much sharper, with a bit more distortion/field curvature, and wide open it has better bokeh/depth/subject-isolation.

Also, I have not noticed any of the purple fringing that so many of the other Zeiss lenses exhibit at wide apertures.

Also, the internal components of this lens are more "Milvus like" than any of the other "Classic" Zeiss lenses are. This is the only "Classic" Zeiss lens that I have converted that has the thin metal gaskets inside of it that the Zeiss Milvus lenses have.

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