Decision-Canon f50 1.4 or Zeiss Planar T f50 1.4????

Started Aug 4, 2010 | Discussions thread
Gunzorro Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Bad advice

I know this is an old thread and the OP has made his choice and moved on. I also enjoy panorama shooting and thought I'd kick in my $.02.

The Canon EF 50/2.5 macro is an outstanding choice for IQ at infinity, plus the "bonus" of AF. Great lens at the price of $200. I wouldn't consider the EF 1.8 or 1.4.

My favorite for stitched panos and landscape in this range are from the Leica R 60/2.8 Macro. Again, I know it sounds wrong to use macro for infinity, but these lenses are not like ancient macros that were great close-up, but bad at infinity. This lens really, really impressive.

I had very poor experience with Zeiss ZE 50/1.4, particularly at closer distances, leading me to get rid of it. Perhaps I had a bad copy. I don't know but it soured me on ZE lenses, and I've sold the ZE 35/2 and ZE 21/.2.8 as a result. Focus shift is the issue I had -- you may not be able to reliably focus wide open and keep the same plane of focus when stopped down. That said, for middle distance and infinity shooting, the ZE would be an excellent choice for IQ if properly focused.

The Nikon 55/2.8 Micro AIS is an excellent choice too. Watch out for oil on aperture blades, but the newer ones should be fine. I didn't notice any focus shift, so you are safe focusing wide open, then stopping down for exposures. Many/most panos are shot in manual mode, so lenses like the Leica, Zeiss and Nikon don't lose much functionality to the EF lenses unless you want to use for other subjects.

Keep in mind that for panos, by their nature of combined images resulting extra high rez, you don't really need the top resolving lenses. I've seen amazing panos with crop sensor bodies using the 18-55 kit lens! When you add up 8 to 20 exposures, you get some amazing detail! I'm not suggesting seeking poor rez lenses, but we should keep a perspective here.

This is a great subject, so I hope further readers will find the thread useful.

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