Canon FD 85mm f1.2 OR Zeiss ZF 85mm f1.4 - Please help me choose

Started Mar 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
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pacolucia Regular Member • Posts: 195
Canon FD 85mm f1.2 OR Zeiss ZF 85mm f1.4 - Please help me choose


Ever since I bought an NEX camera (currently the NEX-5N, though thinking of going full-frame in the future), I've gotten fond of adapting manual focus lenses. I also believe these will hold value better in the future,  and allow you to switch camera systems if you wish while maintaining your investment in glass. I'm looking for a good quality, fast 85mm lens, primarily for portraits. I narrowed it down to these two:

a) Canon FD 85mm f1.2 (Note this is the *manual* focus FD lens; not the bigger/more expensive EF lens)

b) Zeiss ZF 85mm f1.4 in Nikon mount (so I get manual aperture control)

These are both about $1000 in 2nd hand (maybe a little less for the Canon), and pretty well built. The canon is a bit faster (not much) but is also older so I wonder about coating quality (flare resistance/contrast), bokeh quality, etc. They weigh about the same.
There are good reviews of the more modern Zeiss ZF online, but the Canon FD reviews I found are largely subjective with no actual measurements. Anyone here has experience with these lenses? Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance,


Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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