Are Zeiss lenses that much better than Nikon on D800?

Started May 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Forum MemberPosts: 60
Re: Are Zeiss lenses that much better than Nikon on D800?
In reply to Tenken777, May 15, 2012

I have the Zeiss 100mm Macro Planar, 50mm Macro Planar and the 25mm f2.0 Distagon and use them on the D800. I have used most of the good glass from Nikon and Canon over the last 25 years... and had to decide what to spend my own money on... and looked at all that is on offer from Nikkor, and the newer L lenses from Canon, that was before I decided to buy the D800 rather than the 5DMK3...

I have only been shooting with them for around 2 weeks, but I am very impressed with all 3 lenses. You can of course find faster lenses, but not many that focus as close as the Macro planars... and the 25mm can focus down to 25cm... that is almost as close as the 50mm Macro Planar... You can go around for days comparing lenses to each other, in the end, you make a decision on what suits your needs best... For me, the fact that all 3 would produce the same colour and clarity makes post production much easier on jobs were different lenses are used, the bokeh on all 3 is in my opinion excellent and the way that they draw the image is more pleasing... but then again, that cannot be measured... The manual focus is a non issue for me, I can focus quickly with all 3 lenses and never have to think about what the AF system is trying to do... I have fitted the Nikon DK-17m magnifier along with the DK-19 rubber eye-cup, I have also ordered a Brightscreen with diagonal split, the Nikon screen is OK, but it was never designed to be optimized for manual focus...

I spent a long time looking at optiks for the D800... and have not regretted the decision to go with Zeiss... Cameras come and go... lenses can be used indefinitely if they can resolve well enough for the sensors that will be made in the next 10-20 years, Canon and Nikon produce different lenses for different sensors / price points... some of the better lenses from them are struggling to resolve with the sensors of today, let alone tomorrow...

At the end of the day, if you are shooting anything that needs auto-focus, then the decision is an easy one...

Have a look at the Zeiss group on Flickr:

You can see images shot with the different lenses, but be warned, not all lenses are made equal, just as not all photographers ideas of good images are the same... you can also do a search on 500px ( ), a better place to see good photographic examples... But again, a mediocre photographer with the best gear will only produce mediocre results... a good photographer will produce good results with an old Zenith...


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