D800E & Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 & Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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mothergoose
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D800E & Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 & Nikkor 24-120mm f/4
Jan 20, 2013

I purchased the Zeiss 21mm lens a few weeks ago and finally had a chance to compare a few photos. I'm really pleased with the lens and how well it renders the colour/white balance and shadows--quite true to life. My Nikkor 50mm 1.4G seems to also do well in this area. My next widest lens is the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4, so I used it for a non-technical, very general comparison just for my own curiosity.

These shots are hand-held, using auto white balance, aperture priority f/5.6, in raw format.

The Zeiss is manual focus only and no VR, but manual focus on this lens is much easier than expected. Auto focus was used for the Nikkor (VR turned off).

Zeiss sample @ 21mm - unprocessed:



Nikkor @ 24mm (a few minutes later) - unprocessed, all camera settings unchanged



Processed versions below - using CNX2

Zeiss:



Nikkor:



The Nikkor image needed heavier processing (adjustments in white balance, shadows, etc.). The vignetting was quite a bit worse even though the in-camera vignetting control was in use, but it is a zoom lens. The in-camera distortion control was used for both lenses and no adjustments were made in post process. The Zeiss image didn't really need processing (at least for general photography) and it's also sharper which was no surprise, but the Nikkor is certainly a satisfyingly sharp lens in my experience (plus it has auto-focus, VR and zooms to 120mm).

Here are a few 100% crop samples:

Zeiss:



Nikkor:



Zeiss:



Nikkor:



And now it's time to shovel the path.

 mothergoose's gear list:mothergoose's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800E Nikon 1 V2 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +7 more
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