Are Zeiss lenses that much better than Nikon on D800?

Started May 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Tenken777 Contributing Member • Posts: 503
Are Zeiss lenses that much better than Nikon on D800?

Looking at comparison reviews on last night lead me to believe that there are maybe only 2 Zeiss lenses that are worth getting over the Nikons:

Zf 50mm f2 macro vs. N 60mm f2.8G micro

  • there the 50mm is a bit better resolution wise, and AF is not essential when doing macro shots anyway

Zf 100mm f2 macro vs. N 105mm f2.8 micro

  • they don't have a review of N 105mm yet, but various reports (especially from Lloyd Chambers) give the impression that the 100mm f2 is the gold standard, comparable to even the Leica S 120mm macro

For the rest I don't see any point in owning any other ZF lenses, for instance:
Zf 21mm f2.8 vs, N 14-24mm and N 24mm f1.4

  • Resolution wise all three lenses are comparable but the Nikon lenses are better in regards to barrel distortion, and have AF. CA on the Zf 21mm is the best but to get rid of CA requires only minimal effort.

Zf 18mm f3.5 vs, N 14-24mm

  • Here the distortion is similar for both, but Nikon wins on vigentting. Nikon also wins on resolution as well as CA.

Zf 85mm f1.4 vs N 85mm f1.4 G

  • No contest, the Nikon 85mm is better in terms of resolution and CA, and Zeiss is better only in vignetting

Zf 35mm f2 vs. N 35mm f1.4G

  • They haven't tested a Zf 35mm f1.4 yet, but judging from early user reports it seems both 35mm f1.4 are more or less equivalent.

I really want to see how their micro-contrast compares though, but judging by these figures it seems only the Zf 50mm and 100mm macro stand out from the rest. I think these D3X data also applies to D800 as well in terms of comparison between Zeiss and Nikon.

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