Do Zeiss lenses have an appeal on modern cameras?

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Satyaa Veteran Member • Posts: 4,968
Do Zeiss lenses have an appeal on modern cameras?

I don't have and never used a Zeiss lens. As a teenager I used to admire Zeiss lenses reading about them in photo magazines.

I understand many of them were designed during film era. Then some were upgraded with electronics for DSLR age, e.g., ZF series to ZF.2. Then they brought out new gen hi-res lenses like Milvus and Otus. Finally, they made AF lenses for Sony mount. That's the only theory I know at a high level.

With modern hi-res cameras and lenses designed for these cameras, do Zeiss lenses still have their appeal?

For example, do you get better images from L series cameras using one of the modern L lenses at less than half the price? Are the Z mount S series lenses just as good as Zeiss if not better for a lot less money? Same goes for Sony's GM series. And all these have good AF supporting the camera's Eye/Animal/Vehicle/Etc., detection capabilities. This could not have been imagined in film era.

On the opposite side, I see arguments that it's not just about sharpness. It's that Zeiss and Voigt lenses have that magical rendering. Are the imperfections/distortions from film era the "classic" features that people talk about? If not, can that rendering be defined in an easily understandable way?

I am only asking because this factor is not measurable (I don't expect that) and I don't understand it.

Thanks.

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