They really outdid themselves on this lens
As you can see by my equipment list I am a die hard Canon fan. I love their offering of lenses and use them on an everyday basis with close to 100 percent satisfaction so why did I go for the Zeiss 15mm F2.8 lens over Canon's 14mm F2.8L? Well, I didn't pick the Zeiss because I wanted to spend more for no reason - that much is for certain.
The Canon 15mm F2.8L is a very good lens. First of all I should tell you than both the Canon 14mm F2.8L and the Zeiss 15mm F2.8 are Rectilinear lenses, meaning they have very little distortion unlike fisheye lenses that have obvious distortions. For instance, when you take a picture with a fisheye lens straight lines will be curved. In rectilinear lenses straight lines running from top to bottom or from left to right will appear straight. It takes a lot more precision to make a rectilinear lens than a fisheye lens - and that means the lens will be more expensive unfortunately.
If you look through your viewfinder while taking a picture with the Canon 14mm F2.8L you will not notice any real distortion because lets face it, you're looking through the viewfinder. When you blow the picture up to full screen minor distortions can be downright horrific. The Canon lens is pretty good.. and thats the issue, pretty good! For $2,359.00 at the time of this review you get a pretty good camera lens. Thats a lot of scratch for "pretty good." But for $2,950.00 you get excellent! It seems to me that if you are going to spend the money on an ultra wide-angle lens you might as well cough up the extra dough and get the best money can buy. It is better to "buy once, cry once" than to spend nearly $2,400 dollars and wish you had the best - and then have to spend the $2,950 after selling your used Canon glass and therefore ultimately spending more than the $2,950 you thought you could skimp on in the first place.
One place that the Zeiss 15mm F2.8 shines is when shooting video. The Canon lens can be used for Video as well, but make sure that you are not moving the camera because the distortions become so evident you will have to throw out the footage. But the Zeiss lens is so good, is so precise and so distortion free that you can actually move the camera and not see a distortion effect in your shot. It's really that good!
Zeiss seems to be making some extra special lenses lately, such as the 55mm F1.4 that is being hailed as the best DSLR lens of all time by many critics. This lens was made out of the same ambition - by the same company. They seem to have recently decided "up their game" and create an entire line of lenses that simply blow away the competition. I for one cringe at the fact that I may have to sell my used lenses and trade up to the lenses coming out of Zeiss these days!
I would like to go on record that I have not been paid in any way for my review of these lenses by anyone whatsoever. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and I look forward to reading your responses.
Canon 5D3/7D, 15mm Zeiss 2.8, 24mm 1.4 II L, 35mm F1.4L, 50mm F1.2L, 85mm F1.2L II , 100mm F2.8L, 135mm F2L, 8-15mm F4L, 16-35mm F2.8L II, 24-70 F2.8L, 70-200 F2.8L II , 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L
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