SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?

Started Mar 8, 2013 | Questions
Jeepit
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SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
Mar 8, 2013

Which one do you feel is the better lens, in terms of sharpness, value for your $, lens build and overall quality?

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Sergey_Green
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It depends
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 8, 2013

In most cases I prefer Sigma to Zeiss, as 30/1.4, 50/1.4, and even macro lenses. Plus honestly I have not used manual lenses in ages, don't even know if I would be able to handle one. So to your question, I would take SHG any time, regardless of what it is.

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Skeeterbytes
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 8, 2013

Lacking any Zeiss 4/3 system lenses for a direct comparison, I find the Zuiko options better considered within the 4/3 format. Even though I have a number of legacy Zeiss lenses I occasionally use on 4/3 and µ4/3, none is as sharp as, say, the 150/2.0 or the 45/1.8. But those wouldn't do too well on a 135-format camera, either.

Having no experience with, say, NEX or M-mount Zeiss lenses, I can't say how those might fare compared against the best Zuikos. I suspect some of the Zeiss cine lenses would spank them, but lenses the price of a nice used car darn well should.

Cheers,

Rick

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Jeepit
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Re: It depends
In reply to Sergey_Green, Mar 8, 2013

Sergey_Green wrote:

In most cases I prefer Sigma to Zeiss, as 30/1.4, 50/1.4, and even macro lenses. Plus honestly I have not used manual lenses in ages, don't even know if I would be able to handle one. So to your question, I would take SHG any time, regardless of what it is.

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Hi Sergey,

I always enjoy reading your post.  I was thinking in more of the auto lenses that fit on to the Sony dSLR.

I'm trying to decide either E5/E7 or Sony A77/78. Both are rumored to coming out in August/September.

I currently own the E330 w/12-60mm.

Thanks for the input...

Rick

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Craig from Nevada
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Re: It depends
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 8, 2013

The 12-60mm is a fine lens.  If you sell it and get $700 for it you will be lucky.  If you buy a Zeiss 24-70mm, you will drop $2,000.   Net cost $1,300 and you still need to buy a Sony camera.  If your choice is the a77, you will be dropping another $1,000.   Total for the switch--about $2,400.   You can pick up an new e-5 for $1,500 on sale.

Is the Zeiss 24-70mm any better than the 12-60mm?  I don't know, but many people think there is premium paid for the Zeiss name.

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faith_ps
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Re: It depends
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 8, 2013

Jeepit wrote:

Sergey_Green wrote:

In most cases I prefer Sigma to Zeiss, as 30/1.4, 50/1.4, and even macro lenses. Plus honestly I have not used manual lenses in ages, don't even know if I would be able to handle one. So to your question, I would take SHG any time, regardless of what it is.

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Hi Sergey,

I always enjoy reading your post. I was thinking in more of the auto lenses that fit on to the Sony dSLR.

I'm trying to decide either E5/E7 or Sony A77/78. Both are rumored to coming out in August/September.

Zeiss autofocus on a Sony body is very expensive. But Zeiss on more common bodies are all manual focus (which is good for some). You won't be in a hurry photographing things if you put on the Zeiss. So it's for that particular photography that is more like fine art. You compose with care, expose carefully and enjoy the result. That's what Zeiss is for. Here are two samples of 50mm planar f1.4 on a 5Dmk2. Perhaps on the Sony, the Zeiss would behave the same. The difference would be how the A77 behave on the colourings. Bear in mind the crop factor on A77/78.

5D2 + Zeiss 50mm f1.4

5Dmk2 + Zeiss 50mm f1.4

I currently own the E330 w/12-60mm.

I just did a test few days ago. An old CCD sensored E500 (older than your E330) + a SHG 14-35 f2.

E500 + 14-35 SHG

E500 + 14-35 SHG

As you can notice.. the best lens can make even an old sensor/body look at its best. Best to invest in the best of lens. They are everlasting.

BTW, I've owned E330. Fit it on with an SHGs and you'll see the magic.

Cheers,

JAKOP

Thanks for the input...

Rick

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IanDavis
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Re: Chris Mak would be good to talk to
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 9, 2013

Chris Mak of the forum shot with Olympus SHG lenses and more recently moved to the Pentax K-5 IIs and some Zeiss primes (I think). Other than manual focus only, I believe he's had nothing but positive things to say about the lenses. As with everything your mileage may vary.

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alatchin
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 9, 2013

Jeepit wrote:

Which one do you feel is the better lens, in terms of sharpness, value for your $, lens build and overall quality?

I bought into the Sony system for a few years and shot with the a850. In the lens department I had the 85mm and 135mm lenses from them, along with their 50mm macro, 50mm f1.4, 100mm macro, minolta 135mm f2.8, minolta 35mm f2, minolta 70-210 f4 and a couple of others.

The macro lenses were good, but when compared to the 35mm and 50mm Zuiko lenses, I honestly prefer the Zuikos. The 35mm is more versatile than the 50mm (bit more working room), and the Sony 50mm lens kept getting odd lens flare which was a pain. While the Zuiko 50mm is such a good size. All of them focused slow.

Minolta 135mm f2.8 was fun to use and small, Zeiss lenses were nice, but big and expensive, and the 135mm was very large. Sony just released an update to their 50mm f1.4 from zeiss and it costs an arm and a leg.

There are lots of minolta pieces available for the system, but they are all screw focus which can be slow, however the glass is nice enough.

Now I dont know what your plans are for shooting, but I got rid of my sony kit, and bought into m43rds. An OMD can be had today for around $850, if you add the Panasonic 25mm, and the Olympus 45mm you have a new sensor plus a couple of really very nice primes that focus fast and are small and portable. Compared to buying the A77 and 2 zeiss primes, you may even have enough left over to buy the E-5 replacement later this year.

Honestly, I wouldnt buy into sony unless you had a very specific need that was served by something they offered. Otherwise there are other options which might be worth considering in the interim.

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Jeepit
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Re: It depends
In reply to Craig from Nevada, Mar 9, 2013

Craig from Nevada wrote:

The 12-60mm is a fine lens. If you sell it and get $700 for it you will be lucky. If you buy a Zeiss 24-70mm, you will drop $2,000. Net cost $1,300 and you still need to buy a Sony camera. If your choice is the a77, you will be dropping another $1,000. Total for the switch--about $2,400. You can pick up an new e-5 for $1,500 on sale.

Is the Zeiss 24-70mm any better than the 12-60mm? I don't know, but many people think there is premium paid for the Zeiss name.

HI Craig,

I enjoy your your comments on this forum.  I understand what your saying about switching and the cost.  I am really looking at the future as in the E7 & A78.  I'm trying to gather as much info on how actual owners feel about the two brands.  I own a E330 and really want to upgrade so I have been waiting since 2007 to upgrade.  The more I read about the current A77 the more I start to think about switching.  I have had the camera in my hands (at the Sony store) and I'm very impressed with it.  I keeping holding out the Oly will come through at give us all the most technological advance dSLR us oly shoooters have been waiting for.  At least for me the E5 was not it. Hence I keep waiting for the E7 and hoping its not a m4/3. Just in case it turns out to be in that realm then I want to be ready with info to seriously look at the A78.

Rick

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declan79
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to alatchin, Mar 9, 2013

Used to have Zeiss Jena 75-300/4-5.6, as long i remember from f4 to 5.6 its not sharp at all, for me since now having sets of HG 14-54 MK II and 50-200 MK I both very promising to delivered great detail and sharpness.

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dsom
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 9, 2013

Jeepit wrote:

Which one do you feel is the better lens, in terms of sharpness, value for your $, lens build and overall quality?

Hi Jeepit,

I think, your question needs to be more specific. I´m using an E5 with SHG Lenses 7-14, 14-35.

I also use the Zuiko Digital 2.0 50 mm and the 50 - 200 mm HG lenses.

I sold my HG 12-60 a couple of months ago because of its very tricky distortion.

I do own a couple of Olympus OM manual lenses as well, for example:

OM shift 3.5 35 mm, not really useable, very soft, not sharp, used to be one of my favourites in the OM days

OM 1.4 50 mm, quite good

OM 2.0 50 mm, great performer, almost better than its digital equivalent

OM 2.0 90 mm,  very nice telephoto lens, superb bouquet

OM 2.8 135 mm, it´s  o.k., a bit soft, not as good as 50-200 HG

OM 4.0 200 mm, nice and sharp

OM 4.5 300 mm, considered to be only standard, works great on E5

One of my standard lenses is an adapted Contax Zeis Distagon 2.8 28 mm. Compared to my 12-60 at 28 mm it is much sharper, one of the sharpest lenses I´ve ever used. Compared to my 14-35 I would say, they are more ore less on on the same level (at 28 mm). Mechanically a fine lens.

I used an adapted 2.8 135 Carl Zeiss as well for a while, not better as my Olympus OM 2.8 135 mm.

So in my opinion, it depends, what you want, but there ist no such answer as SHG/HG is generally better than . . ., my recommendation: try to test the lenses you intend to use an decide after these tests.

Regards dsom

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Chris Mak
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 9, 2013

Zeiss versus Zuiko SHG
I had the 14-35f2 (and 35-100, 150), and the Sony counterpart fort hat is the Zeiss 24-70f2.8, but that is not a Zeiss lens I am familiar with.
The Zeiss manual focus lenses (the new ones), are mostly based on older designs, and it shows in many of their characteristics. I use five Zeiss primes now between 25 and 85 mm on 1.5 crop. Apart from the 14-35f2 going a bit wider, I still could not say what I would really prefer: the 14-35f2 on a high quality Sony sensored Olympus camera, or a corresponding collection of Zeiss primes.
The differences:
-The zuiko 14-35f2 is technically almost perfect, no vignetting, no CA (also no longitudinal CA or color fringing), sharp into the corners, sharp at f2, good bokeh. Good from near distance to infinity.
-The Zeiss lenses all have their special rendering, and are optimized for to do specific types of shooting extremely well, but at the cost of all round shooting. The 25/2.8, 28/2 and 35/2 are at their best at close to middle distances, but don’t resolve detail at far distances particularly well. Light transmission and color reproduction of the 28/2 and 35/2 are a good step ahead of the 14-35f2, especially color is amazing at times, and you can shoot these lenses into the dusk and still have wonderfull color. But then, they do suffer from (very mild on Apsc) vignetting, mild CA’s, some color fringing, field curvature (28/2), and of course no AF.
The only Zeiss lens that I have, that is as perfect as the 14-35/2, is the Makro planar 50/2, but then you are stuck at 50mm…
Nonetheless with a proper focussing screen (I have a modified Canon Ees screen), manual focus is not as hard as it might seem (due to f2), albeit not cut out for action shooting.
What they have in common:
-Superb build quality.
-High resolution, so they get better with each sensor resolution upgrade.
-similar value for money I would say.
-The something extra factor.
Chris

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Jeepit
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to alatchin, Mar 9, 2013

alatchin wrote:

Jeepit wrote:

Which one do you feel is the better lens, in terms of sharpness, value for your $, lens build and overall quality?

I bought into the Sony system for a few years and shot with the a850. In the lens department I had the 85mm and 135mm lenses from them, along with their 50mm macro, 50mm f1.4, 100mm macro, minolta 135mm f2.8, minolta 35mm f2, minolta 70-210 f4 and a couple of others.

The macro lenses were good, but when compared to the 35mm and 50mm Zuiko lenses, I honestly prefer the Zuikos. The 35mm is more versatile than the 50mm (bit more working room), and the Sony 50mm lens kept getting odd lens flare which was a pain. While the Zuiko 50mm is such a good size. All of them focused slow.

Minolta 135mm f2.8 was fun to use and small, Zeiss lenses were nice, but big and expensive, and the 135mm was very large. Sony just released an update to their 50mm f1.4 from zeiss and it costs an arm and a leg.

There are lots of minolta pieces available for the system, but they are all screw focus which can be slow, however the glass is nice enough.

Now I dont know what your plans are for shooting, but I got rid of my sony kit, and bought into m43rds. An OMD can be had today for around $850, if you add the Panasonic 25mm, and the Olympus 45mm you have a new sensor plus a couple of really very nice primes that focus fast and are small and portable.

I like what Oly has done with the OMD.  I have seen it at my local camera store and used it with the optional grip on it and I found it to be to small.  If OLY made the OMD larger as in the OM style size I would probably purchase it.

Compared to buying the A77 and 2 zeiss primes, you may even have enough left over to buy the E-5 replacement later this year.

I like the E5 , but the technology is already old.  The sensor is an older Panny leftover from 2009/2010.   My thought is if I' m going to spending E5 type of $ then I want to most up to date technology in the next camera I purchase, hence the reason I'm looking at the Sony A77/78.  I would like to stay with the size of a dSLR if possible.  I haven't seen any bad photos come from the A77 on the Sony forum, and I like what Sony has done with that camera.  I wanted feedback from Sony users on their lenses and from what I read Zeiss AF lenses match up to Oly Zuiko SHG/HG lenses.

Honestly, I wouldnt buy into sony unless you had a very specific need that was served by something they offered. Otherwise there are other options which might be worth considering in the interim.

Your feedback is valuable info I was looking for,especially this last sentence .  This is the wording I was hopping to get.  I would rather stay with Oly if possible due to my already small investment, but, not turned on by the size of micr4/3.  I would look at the Panny GH3 but it does not have IBIS and that's a big reason to stay with Oly especially since the  5-axis IBIS on the OMD E5.  Sony has IBIS but not so for Nikon or Cannon.  That only leaves with Olympus and Sony.  I am going to wait to see what Oly releases this fall and compare it to the A78 when that gets released at roughly the samr time.

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Jeepit
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?/Reply
In reply to dsom, Mar 9, 2013

Thank you for your comments I will take that in consideration.

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Jeepit
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Chris Mak, Mar 9, 2013

Chris Mak wrote:

Zeiss versus Zuiko SHG
I had the 14-35f2 (and 35-100, 150), and the Sony counterpart fort hat is the Zeiss 24-70f2.8, but that is not a Zeiss lens I am familiar with.
The Zeiss manual focus lenses (the new ones), are mostly based on older designs, and it shows in many of their characteristics. I use five Zeiss primes now between 25 and 85 mm on 1.5 crop. Apart from the 14-35f2 going a bit wider, I still could not say what I would really prefer: the 14-35f2 on a high quality Sony sensored Olympus camera, or a corresponding collection of Zeiss primes.
The differences:
-The zuiko 14-35f2 is technically almost perfect, no vignetting, no CA (also no longitudinal CA or color fringing), sharp into the corners, sharp at f2, good bokeh. Good from near distance to infinity.

Great info for me to think about.

-The Zeiss lenses all have their special rendering, and are optimized for to do specific types of shooting extremely well, but at the cost of all round shooting. The 25/2.8, 28/2 and 35/2 are at their best at close to middle distances, but don’t resolve detail at far distances particularly well. Light transmission and color reproduction of the 28/2 and 35/2 are a good step ahead of the 14-35f2, especially color is amazing at times, and you can shoot these lenses into the dusk and still have wonderfull color. But then, they do suffer from (very mild on Apsc) vignetting, mild CA’s, some color fringing, field curvature (28/2), and of course no AF.
The only Zeiss lens that I have, that is as perfect as the 14-35/2, is the Makro planar 50/2, but then you are stuck at 50mm…

nice info

Nonetheless with a proper focussing screen (I have a modified Canon Ees screen), manual focus is not as hard as it might seem (due to f2), albeit not cut out for action shooting.
What they have in common:
-Superb build quality.
-High resolution, so they get better with each sensor resolution upgrade.
-similar value for money I would say.
-The something extra factor.
Chris

So what I'm getting from you on this is you prefer Zuikos AF over Zeiss AF.

Thanks

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Jeepit
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Skeeterbytes, Mar 9, 2013

Skeeterbytes wrote:

Lacking any Zeiss 4/3 system lenses for a direct comparison, I find the Zuiko options better considered within the 4/3 format. Even though I have a number of legacy Zeiss lenses I occasionally use on 4/3 and µ4/3, none is as sharp as, say, the 150/2.0 or the 45/1.8. But those wouldn't do too well on a 135-format camera, either.

Having no experience with, say, NEX or M-mount Zeiss lenses, I can't say how those might fare compared against the best Zuikos. I suspect some of the Zeiss cine lenses would spank them, but lenses the price of a nice used car darn well should.

Very good point...well taken.  I've heard many people say that you are paying for the Zeiss name more than what the lenses true value is.

Cheers,

Rick

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Jeepit
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Re: Chris Mak would be good to talk to
In reply to IanDavis, Mar 9, 2013

IanDavis wrote:

Chris Mak of the forum shot with Olympus SHG lenses and more recently moved to the Pentax K-5 IIs and some Zeiss primes (I think). Other than manual focus only, I believe he's had nothing but positive things to say about the lenses. As with everything your mileage may vary.

Thank you.

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Craig from Nevada
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 9, 2013

Jeep:

Below is a link to a site that may have some useful information to help you in your search.  This is almost all Sony information.

http://kurtmunger.com/index.html

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digidownunder
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Jeepit, Mar 9, 2013

I use both four thirds And Sony systems professionally.Some weeks I think the E5 & 35-100 F2 is an unbeatable combination,next week I consider selling everything else except sony system.Its a very tough choice with no clear winner.I have recently purchased the A77 with matching 16-50 2.8 lens due to its outstanding value for money at the moment.Its more fun to use than the e5 and makes a better family/travel all roundcamera.Low light ability is no better than E5 though.I wouldnt use this camera with the Zeiss 24-70 which i own,too big,heavy & cumbersome for general use,professional use for me only .Quality wise the Zeiss compared to the olm 12-60 is a tough call.the Zeiss can have that extra special color,3D rendering and biting sharpness but It can also look harsh & hard sometimes and isnt particularly sharp wide open & in corners.12-60 is sharp at any apeture and any condition,less contrasty than zeiss but more subtle in tone with better shadow details in dark tones.

I have lots of other legacy Zeiss glass & olympus HG and my general feeling between the two is that I cannot decide which i prefer.Zeiss generally excells with 3D pop & color & biting SHARPNESS at optimal apetures.I guess Zeiss does at times give you a bit more of a unique look,however that look sometimes doesnt always work for the better.Images can sometimes be just too contrasty & harsh.You may see some purple fringing with certain Zeiss lenses,something Ive never seen with olympus digital lenses Ive used.Olympus lenses are more usuable at any apeture,dust & moisture sealed and smaller than equivalent Zeiss,more subtle rendering,sharp over entire frame,more subtle and delicate color & IMO better value for money.If you do get the A77 without the 16-50 2.8 which I can reccomend,consider the Zeiss 16-80,much more portable,affordable and focal length better matched toAPSC sensor.If you loved & used the live view on your 330,I also own that camera,you wont be too impressed with live on  the E5,a step backward.Sonys A 77 live view is the best around.Bottom line ,I wouldnt buy an E5 for personal use as I just think its too big & complicated as a general use camera,as a professional tool I love it though.ITs replacement might change all that though.If your buying a camera purley for photography only assignments and not an everyday camera,then the E 5 to use with your 12-60 makes alot of sense.I wouldnt choose any sony & Zeiss combo over this unless you want everyday use/portability in which case I would go for A77 & 16-50 2.8 combo,that comb can be had for$1200.00 at the moment,hope this helps,cheers.

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Jeepit
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Re: SHG/HG VS Zeiss ?
In reply to Craig from Nevada, Mar 10, 2013

Thank you this is info I have been looking for.

Rick

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