Distagon 35mm f1.4 - Personal Experience

Started Jul 23, 2017 | Discussions thread
Luis Gabriel Photography
Luis Gabriel Photography Senior Member • Posts: 1,921
Re: Distagon 35mm f1.4 - Personal Experience

Jeff2013 wrote:

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

nseidl wrote:

I've watched youtube reviews and read written reviews online.

My question to the DPReview community is this - What's your experience with this lens been like?

Pros and cons? Did you end up selling it, or is it your favorite lens currently?


(just ordered one)

I had 3 copies of it and never found one that was sharp enough away from the center at 1.4 as I needed for my composition. I ended up with the fantastic Canon 35mm 1.4 L ii. At 1.4 across the frame is very sharp so I can position my subject the way I want for environmental portraits knowing that if I want to crop closer later, I will have plenty of detail to do so.
Also, the Bokeh in some areas depending on the background objects, was actually better than the Zeiss so even the Bokeh was not a clear win to the Zeiss as good as it can be.
I also tried the Sigma 35mm Art but that one has some weird bokeh rendering and while sharper away from the center than the Zeiss, it was still no match for the Canon.
Of course, we all have different styles and needs so I am sure for others the Zeiss would be the perfect match but for me, sadly, it was not.

We both seem to have had the same experiences with the Sony and Canon 35mm f1.4's. We both tend to shoot enough portraits to where across-the-field sharpness is crucial (blurry eyes are 'no-bueno'); whereas, many on this forum seem to use it for general shooting where the central sharpness might be key. Of course, the de-centering (or non-symmetry) issue can be a problem for all.

I also agree that, under certain conditions, the Canon beat the Sony for bokeh quality (smoothness). The depth-of-field of the Sony is just slightly shallower around the subject, which can give the image that "Zeiss pop" for some images.

It would be great if Sony would release an improved Version II of this lens as I always prefer shooting native lenses. In the mean time, the Canon lens is serving me well. Its sharpness across-the-field at f1.4 is amazing.

As a note, with all the firmware updates on the adapters, I now find that I like the smoothness of the servo action best on the MC-11 for general shooting, but use the MBIV when I need Eye Focus (on the Canon 35mm f1.4 II).

Indeed we have similar preferences and end up with the same solutions!
You running 1.08 on MC-11? I will have to give a shot as I have been very happy with MB V and the 35mm 1.4 L ii so didnt bother even trying it with the MC-11 after the last update.


 Luis Gabriel Photography's gear list:Luis Gabriel Photography's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7R III Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sigma 135mm F1.8 Art Sony FE 12-24mm F4 +6 more
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