Anyone have the Zeiss 2/135 APO Sonnar yet?

Started Feb 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Mssimo Senior Member • Posts: 1,042
Zeiss 135 F2 vs Nikon 135 F2 DC

A comparison was done between the Zeiss 2/135 and Nikkor 135mm DC .

In summary, the Zeiss is much better (as it should be for the price)

  • Nikon is a mess at F2 when it comes to CA and other artifacts. Sharpness is also not great compared to Zeiss.
  • Zeiss had no CA, LOCA that I could notice at any aperture. Some did notice a tad at F2 but this may be something called sensor blooming (tends not to go away as you stop down) This is very hard to notice, even after someone points it out. Non issue for myself.
  • Zeiss is so sharp at F2 that nikon needs F8 to be in the same level.
  • Zeiss does not get much better when stopping down. This is because its already so sharp. On D800e, you should avoid anything higher than f5.6, unless you need DOF.
  • Zeiss f9 or f11 is about as good as f2. If you need to stop it down, it will still perform.
  • The only bad thing about the Zeiss is that its "too" sharp for portraits, if you subject is older than 25ish. This is a plus for nikon, since it does give a nice smooth rendition of skin. Another plus for the nikon is the price (about half) if you can find one.
  • Bokeh on the Zeiss does have the cats eye effect (on edges) This can not be avoided on a lens of this type. Stopping it down to f2.8 or f4 makes it round.
  • Bokeh has little texture, and very uniform color.
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