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 - Bokeh
In reply to nightmedia, Aug 6, 2007

Second day with the Zeiss and Tamron - it's all becoming a blur.

So I tried my hand at some bokeh in a shot at close range.
I wanted to find out what is the deal with the "Arri/Zeiss technology".

I will not post 100% crops, since there are already a lot of pics, and it does not matter that much. If somebody wants them, I won't mind making the crops, just let me know what areas you want me to crop.

Artist at Work.
With the kind permission of the artist, Susan Young, my Algernon for the day.

Intentionally, I did not want a person to be the focus of this shot.

Instead I took the chain of the necklace in the middle of the shot, since it allowed me to do the following:

  • it was very easy to focus with the split-screen.

  • there is a row of earrings and jewelry on a horizontal line in the same focus plane

  • the clasp of the glass cover is also in focus.

  • all above items do not move - a priceless thing when you shoot lenses with razor-thin DOF.

You can check for bokeh the two earrings on the left, as well as anything else in the picture.

I am sorry, I did not find any active sources of light on this one, so this image will have to do.

To check for focus, there is some dust at the bottom of the necklace stand, that shows the exact point of focus, and it is in the same plane with the left strand of the necklace - I got up and checked

I took pics at different apertures, so there will be quite a few.

Again, I enlisted the help of the 85mm F/1.4 and the 70-200VR. If that's too many pics, sorry about that

The first 3 pics are from Zeiss, shot at F/2, F/2.8, and F/4. Going beyond that was not very interesting, so I skipped it.

The next two are from the Tamron, shot at F/3 and F/4. It did not open completely to F/2.8, given the distance to the subject.

After that, I just had to show off the 85mm F/1.4 wide open, as well as at F/2, F/2.8, and F/4. Much to my surprise, the Zeiss caught up with the 85mm in the close-range bokeh, see comments below.

Very last are two shots with the 70-200VR at F/2.8 and F/4.

The Zeiss at F/2.8 has considerably more blur on the left set of earrings as the Tamron, as well as in the rest of the areas. I am also looking at the borders of the wooden frame, that are kinda one foot back, one foot behind the line of focus. This must be the Arri/Zeiss stuff they are talking about. Even the 85mm seems to be a bit behind. The Zeiss has just about as much blur at F/2 in the close range as the 85mm at F/1.4 - this is impressive.

In another shot that I took at longer range, the difference in the amount of bokeh was not so dramatic, so I am still pondering whether to post those pics.

I will not judge the bokeh quality of the Zeiss, leaving it open to discussions.

You will see here that in all the Zeiss shots, the green in the background experiences a similar hue as the green in the previous red flowers posting. If this is a trend, I don't quite like it - and please, don't explain to me the WB rules, this time there is no red in the picture and the range and light environment is completely different. It is however a minute difference in this shot, that can be corrected in PP. Oh, remember the gallery entrance shot? Now that I think of it, that green leaf was also a tad different, so there...

A surprise was the 70-200VR that shot at 86mm was quite close to the Zeiss bokeh.
Oh, this is another lens that I won't ever sell

As a side note, it is interesting that a lot of people, myself included, see the 70-200VR as a zoom that you use mostly at the long end and long range to get good bokeh. In this case it is clear that it performs pretty well on the short end, and close range.

The Tamron takes a second seat to it all.

As always, the 85mm shows who's boss. Yes, I know, I need to try the Zeiss 85mm before talking smack about Zeiss, my bad.

As stated in previous postings, who wants the raw or full size jpg versions, let me know, I will be happy to provide them.

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar

Zeiss ZF100 Makro Planar

Tamron 90mm Macro

Tamron 90mm Macro

Nikon 85mm F/1.4

Nikon 85mm F/1.4

Nikon 85mm F/1.4

Nikon 85mm F/1.4

Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8

Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8

 nightmedia's gear list:nightmedia's gear list
Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +1 more
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