Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 mm ZF versus Tamron 90mm DI Macro - WARNING, large files!

Started Aug 5, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 mm ZF versus Tamron 90mm DI Macro - WARNING, large files!
Aug 5, 2007

Just to provide some reference, I shot on some shots also the Nikon 85mm F/1.4 and the Nikon 70-200VR. The 70-200VR had the VR turned off.

All pics are taken with a Nikon D200 on a Manfrotto tripod, at ISO 100, auto W/B.
All lenses were manually focused, using the KatzEye screen.
All outside shots were done with the lens hood on.

The shots are taken in the Spanish Village at Balboa Park, in San Diego.

The indoor shots are taken with the permission of Jo Ann Pastori in the "Glass Act" art gallery.

I did spend a lot of time on this today (about 8 hours), and it was fun.

I must stress that I did not go into corner performance, flare sensibility, geometry aberrations - somebody else will undoubtedly do that kind of testing better than me. In this test I am only interested in the colors and eventually the bokeh - I will keep any comments about the bokeh to myself, you be the judge of that.

I shot about 3 times more subjects, and picked the most relevant ones.

If anybody needs the raw files, I will be happy to make them all available, I tried for now to keep things simple.

For the impatient:

  • Zeiss is very sharp, good bokeh, sometimes dull colors, a pain to meter correctly

  • Tamron is also sharp, decent bokeh, vivid colors, metering is no issue.

Both lenses are a delight to focus manually (for Zeiss there is no other choice anyway).

Now, to the pictures.

Glass painting, indoors, halogen spot
Focus point was in the center of the piece.

Notice the extreme difference in the compensation needed between the Tamron and the Zeiss.
The Tamron is a bit on the vivid side, to say the least.

Compared with what I saw with my eyes, I would say that Tamron was the closest to the real image.
Bummer for the Zeiss.

Tamron 90mm Macro
F3,-0.67,1/40s

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar
F2.8,+0,67,1/45s

100% Crops from the image

Gold-plated pendant, indoors, halogen spot
Focus point was on the light reflection, in the center of the piece.

Notice the extreme difference in the compensation needed between the Tamron and the Zeiss.
Again, the tamron is a bit more vivid, but Zeiss was closer to the real image.
The red patch under the titles is actually more red than orange.
Bummer for the Tammy.

Tamron 90mm Macro
F/4.5,-0.67,1/40s

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar
F/4,+1,1/40s

100% Crops from the image

Mirror art piece with flower vase, indoors, indirect outside light, very little influence of halogen lighting.
Focus point was on the flower stalks.
That's as neutral as you can get. They are all good. The 85mm is a gem.

Tamron 90mm Macro
F/3,+0.0,1/60s

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar
F/2.8,+0.0,1/60s

Nikon 85mm F/1.4
The focus was off a bit, at the chain. They are all very sharp.
F/2.8,+0.0,1/80s

Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8
F/2.8,+0.0,1/80s,80mm

100% Crops from the image

Art gallery entrance.
There are some differences in lighting on the vases(clouds moving) and framing.
Focus point was on the neck of the blue vase.
The 85mm goes neck to neck with the Zeiss in sharpness - no wonder there.

The Zeiss is sharp, but rather desaturated - is this a trend?. All others are true to the original.

Tamron 90mm Macro
F/2.8,+0.0,1/750s

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar
F/2,+0,67,1/1000s

Nikon 85mm F/1.4
F/2,+0.0,1/2000s

Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8
F/2.8,+0.0,1/640s,95mm

100% Crops from the image

Art Gallery
There are some differences in lighting and framing.
Focus point was on the yellow post of the door frame.

The Tamron was a bit in the shade, which is why the color of the vases is a bit dim.
Thumbs up for the Zeiss here.

Tamron 90mm Macro
F/2.8,+0.0,1/800s

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar
F/2,+0,67,1/1250s

Nikon 85mm F/1.4
F/2,+0.0,1/2500s

Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8
F/2.8,+0.0,1/800s,86mm

100% Crops from the image

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