D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)

Started May 20, 2012 | Discussions
DvD5
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D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
May 20, 2012

In part 1 ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=41558438 ), I looked at resolution, bokeh, and a bit at color. In this part, I'll compare the flare characteristics of the two lenses.

The following shots were made with the lens shade on the Zeiss (and obviously on the Nikon since it is non-removable). Shots were made at f/8 which is a typical landscape aperture.

No tripod was used as I needed to put the camera in odd positions/angles and sharpness wasn't critical.

I found that I was able to induce very nasty flare and ghosting in both lenses, though it was a bit easier to induce in the Nikon. In both lenses, I was able to see the flare in the viewfinder and adjust the angle slightly to eliminate or substantially reduce the flare.

Here are the examples. As with the other tests, the Zeiss is on the left, Nikon 14-24 on the right.

I was a little surprised by this one on the Zeiss as the entire right hand side is washed out by veiling flare:

Again, I was trying to induce the worst flare possible. You could argue that the giant blue streak on the Nikon shot above is worse than anything on the Zeiss, but a slight change of angle eliminates it.

Don
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Stefan R Schubert
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 20, 2012

I have had a look at your first post and thank you for the second post. I do have a D800E since 2 weeks and the 14-24 Nikkor but wanted to purchase a Zeiss 15mm. However I am quite convinced now that the 14-24 is good enough for the the job and I should better safe the money for something else. Do you have any plans to test other Zeiss lenses as well?

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Robin Casady
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 20, 2012

Thanks very much. The 14-24 did much better than I expected.
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DvD5
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Stefan R Schubert, May 20, 2012

Stefan R Schubert wrote:

I have had a look at your first post and thank you for the second post. I do have a D800E since 2 weeks and the 14-24 Nikkor but wanted to purchase a Zeiss 15mm. However I am quite convinced now that the 14-24 is good enough for the the job and I should better safe the money for something else. Do you have any plans to test other Zeiss lenses as well?

I don't own any other Zeiss lenses at this point, though I'm considering one of the 35's.

Don

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Robin Casady, May 21, 2012

Its quite reassuring to know the Nikon 14-24mm is at the top of its class.

I prefer the Nikon images in those test examples, better colour. The Zeiss is a bit lighter and very good but the Nikon is a zoom and more versatile.

Greg.

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marco1974
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 21, 2012

Interesting.
I found the Zeiss ZF.2 25/2.8 to be very flare resistant.

I would have thought the 21/2.8 would fare similarly well, but maybe it was wishful thinking.
M.

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DvD5
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to marco1974, May 21, 2012

marco1974 wrote:

Interesting.
I found the Zeiss ZF.2 25/2.8 to be very flare resistant.

I would have thought the 21/2.8 would fare similarly well, but maybe it was wishful thinking.

Remember I was trying to induce the worst flare possible on the two lenses. With both of them, I was able to substantially reduce the flare by changing the camera angle even with the sun in the frame.

Don

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Tenken777
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 21, 2012

Thanks for doing the comparison, just saved me $2K as I was struggling to decide whether to get the Zeiss 21mm in addition to my 14-24mm.

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Riccardo Polini
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 21, 2012

DvD5 wrote:

I found that I was able to induce very nasty flare and ghosting in both lenses, though it was a bit easier to induce in the Nikon.

I've never had such flare problems with my ZF.2 21/2.8 (see pictures).
Are you using a cheap filter on your zeiss ?

Again, I was trying to induce the worst flare possible. You could argue that the giant blue streak on the Nikon shot above is worse than anything on the Zeiss ...

That should be the effect of Nanocoating, according to a Nikon movie available in the web (I don't remember the link though).

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DvD5
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Riccardo Polini, May 21, 2012

Riccardo Polini wrote:

DvD5 wrote:

I found that I was able to induce very nasty flare and ghosting in both lenses, though it was a bit easier to induce in the Nikon.

I've never had such flare problems with my ZF.2 21/2.8 (see pictures).
Are you using a cheap filter on your zeiss ?

Again, I was trying to induce the worst flare possible. You could argue that the giant blue streak on the Nikon shot above is worse than anything on the Zeiss ...

That should be the effect of Nanocoating, according to a Nikon movie available in the web (I don't remember the link though).

No--absolutely no filter used on either lens.

Don

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Alchin
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 21, 2012

Thanks for doing these test. Appreciated.

Cheers.

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Valentin Hertz
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Alchin, May 21, 2012

Dont know about anyone else but like the 14-24 nikon better. Also have that coupled with D800.

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marco1974
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Riccardo Polini, May 21, 2012

Actually, there's flare in both of your examples: not too objectionable in the mosque photo, but ugly enough in the first one, IMO.

One from the (almost flare-immune) ZF.2 25/2.8:

Marco

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Riccardo Polini
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to marco1974, May 21, 2012

marco1974 wrote:

Actually, there's flare in both of your examples: not too objectionable in the mosque photo, but ugly enough in the first one, IMO.

One from the (almost flare-immune) ZF.2 25/2.8:

Hi Marco,

I've never said I have no flare issues. I wrote I never noticed such huge flare/ghosting problems as those shown by OP (actually, in my tree picture I can't see any flare, but just few ghosts; in the mosque photo there are less ghosts because the sun was closer to optical axis).

The ZF.2 21/2.8 has a rather complex scheme, with 16 elements in 13 groups, i.e. 26 air/glass interfaces. Despite this complexity, my experience with that lens is quite different from what I've seen in OP pictures.

Don't forget that flare and ghosting might depend also on how much dirt is on the front element of the lens (e.g. dust particles, which act as light scattering centers).

Your 25/2.8 has a much simpler scheme, with 10 elements in 8 groups. i.e. 16 air/glass interfaces. I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me when I say that the number of glass/air interfaces is not negligible when flare and ghosts are concerned.

BTW, my pictures were taken not for testing purposes, and do not show any dramatic behavior in real life shooting with an UWA lens (and taking into account the large number of groups (13!) in said UWA lens ...).

P.S.: the 14-24/2.8 G scheme has 14 elements in 11 groups, and therefore it's simpler than that of 21/2.8 ... which I preferred to 14-24.

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Riccardo Polini
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 21, 2012

DvD5 wrote:

No--absolutely no filter used on either lens.

Thanks Don.

I noted that your test pictures do not have the same framing and sun position inside the frames isn't identical. This affects the comparisons significantly.

You should repeat the test by using a tripod, same framing, same and FL (of course) and very clean front elements.

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DvD5
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Riccardo Polini, May 21, 2012

Riccardo Polini wrote:

DvD5 wrote:

No--absolutely no filter used on either lens.

Thanks Don.

I noted that your test pictures do not have the same framing and sun position inside the frames isn't identical. This affects the comparisons significantly.

You should repeat the test by using a tripod, same framing, same and FL (of course) and very clean front elements.

Front elements were very clean. I was specifically aware (and careful) of this for the flare test knowing that dirty / hazy glass would be detrimental to the test.

I don't agree that the lenses should be framed in the identical manner. I was trying to show the maximum flare produced by each lens. Due to different construction, the maximum flare occurs with the sun in different portions of the frame. As I said above, with both lenses, I was able to change the angle or position of the sun and improve or eliminate the flare.

Don
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Riccardo Polini
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to DvD5, May 21, 2012

DvD5 wrote:

I don't agree that the lenses should be framed in the identical manner. I was trying to show the maximum flare produced by each lens.

And you discovered that a lens with more air/glass interfaces produced more flare in the worst operating conditions.
I see.

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DvD5
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Riccardo Polini, May 21, 2012

Riccardo Polini wrote:

DvD5 wrote:

I don't agree that the lenses should be framed in the identical manner. I was trying to show the maximum flare produced by each lens.

And you discovered that a lens with more air/glass interfaces produced more flare in the worst operating conditions.
I see.

That wasn't my conclusion. As I stated above, it was somewhat easier to induce flare in the Nikon, but with both lenses flare can be avoided by careful repositioning of the sun or changing the shooting angle.

If I were to repeat the test with fixed positions, I'm sure I can find positions where the Zeiss is great and the Nikon is terrible and vice versa, but what does it tell us? Better to know with both lenses that flare can be quite significant and to look out for it when composing a shot.

Don

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marco1974
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to Riccardo Polini, May 22, 2012

Sure, agreed on all accounts.
Cheers,
Marco

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pluton
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Re: D800 with Zeiss 21 & Nikon 14-24 (Part II)
In reply to marco1974, May 22, 2012

Thanks for posting this demo. It's useful to know how extreme the flare can get.
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