Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

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steppenwolfer Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7
1

I finally decided to get M42 adapter for Nikon Z. Finally adapter arrived and I went for a walk yesterday to try it out. It has been a long time since I used manual lens and I find infinity stop really great feature. Now I understand people complaining about this on modern focus wire lenses. Naturally it is completely another matter to catch 4 year old, which is unable to stay still for more than half second. Especially If I want to take photo with wide open lens.

Anyway, here are 3 examples, taken at infinity at f8 (photos developed from RAW with C1pro 21 with defaults and sunny WB):

To me lens seems really sharp in center and loose sharpness about half way (~60%) from center. But all in all, I could easily use this lens for my photography, as long as no pixel peeping is involved.

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SimonOL Senior Member • Posts: 1,956
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

steppenwolfer wrote:

I finally decided to get M42 adapter for Nikon Z. Finally adapter arrived and I went for a walk yesterday to try it out. It has been a long time since I used manual lens and I find infinity stop really great feature. Now I understand people complaining about this on modern focus wire lenses. Naturally it is completely another matter to catch 4 year old, which is unable to stay still for more than half second. Especially If I want to take photo with wide open lens.

Anyway, here are 3 examples, taken at infinity at f8 (photos developed from RAW with C1pro 21 with defaults and sunny WB):

To me lens seems really sharp in center and loose sharpness about half way (~60%) from center. But all in all, I could easily use this lens for my photography, as long as no pixel peeping is involved.

The Flektagon is renowned for it's close-focus ability, less so for performance at infinity although it does OK.

You may find you get better results fine-tuning focus at infinity rather than relying on the hard stop. Most adapters aren't 100% precise and allow you to focus past infinity so just focusing a fraction before the hard stop often works better

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OP steppenwolfer Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

SimonOL wrote:

The Flektagon is renowned for it's close-focus ability, less so for performance at infinity although it does OK.

You may find you get better results fine-tuning focus at infinity rather than relying on the hard stop. Most adapters aren't 100% precise and allow you to focus past infinity so just focusing a fraction before the hard stop often works better

Thank you for your reply. Will definitely try out focusing at infinity as suggested. Yes, close focusing is definitely strong feature of this lens, which I plan to investigate further. Especially, since this is now my closest focusing lens on Z.

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ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,601
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

SimonOL wrote:

steppenwolfer wrote:

Anyway, here are 3 examples, taken at infinity at f8 (photos developed from RAW with C1pro 21 with defaults and sunny WB):

... To me lens seems really sharp in center and loose sharpness about half way (~60%) from center. But all in all, I could easily use this lens for my photography, as long as no pixel peeping is involved.

Gosh that's a depressing summary! My go-to 35mm is an M42 SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, which holds up well to FF edges (not quite corners) even wide open and never flares (unlike my Canon FDn 35mm f/2, which almost never doesn't flare ). By f/8, most old 35mm lenses I've tried are pretty good to the corners.

The Flektagon is renowned for it's close-focus ability, less so for performance at infinity although it does OK.

Even if close focus IQ suffers a bit, modest IQ still beats "can't take that shot." 

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Becksvart
Becksvart Contributing Member • Posts: 723
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

steppenwolfer wrote:

I finally decided to get M42 adapter for Nikon Z. Finally adapter arrived and I went for a walk yesterday to try it out. It has been a long time since I used manual lens and I find infinity stop really great feature. Now I understand people complaining about this on modern focus wire lenses. Naturally it is completely another matter to catch 4 year old, which is unable to stay still for more than half second. Especially If I want to take photo with wide open lens.

Anyway, here are 3 examples, taken at infinity at f8 (photos developed from RAW with C1pro 21 with defaults and sunny WB):

To me lens seems really sharp in center and loose sharpness about half way (~60%) from center. But all in all, I could easily use this lens for my photography, as long as no pixel peeping is involved.

Nice shots!

I had it briefly, in Praktica B guise, and I really liked its close focus ability. Unfortunately the focus ring felt as if the grease had dried out. I don't trust my ability to disassemble (or rather reassemble) so I didn't keep it.

(Later, since I had accuired the Practica B adapter that worked well I got a tele Praktica lens, also a  well renowned Zeiss aus Jena (300/4) and it suffered from the exact same thing. The Aus Jena 135 3,5 I acquired long ago had the precise same issue so so maybe no more Zeiss aus Jena for me   )

R Liewenberger Senior Member • Posts: 1,150
Flektogon, not Flektagon
1

steppenwolfer wrote:

'Flecto' from Latin 'flectere': to bend. 'Flecto': I bend.

'gon' from Greek 'gonia': angle/corner

So a Flectogon is an 'I-bend-angles' lens.

https://www.frag-caesar.de/lateinwoerterbuch/flectere-uebersetzung.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gradian

https://casualphotophile.com/2019/04/02/zeiss-flektogon-lens-review/

Liewenberger

Microprism Contributing Member • Posts: 865
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

ProfHankD wrote:

SimonOL wrote:

steppenwolfer wrote:

Anyway, here are 3 examples, taken at infinity at f8 (photos developed from RAW with C1pro 21 with defaults and sunny WB):

... To me lens seems really sharp in center and loose sharpness about half way (~60%) from center. But all in all, I could easily use this lens for my photography, as long as no pixel peeping is involved.

Gosh that's a depressing summary! My go-to 35mm is an M42 SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, which holds up well to FF edges (not quite corners) even wide open and never flares (unlike my Canon FDn 35mm f/2, which almost never doesn't flare ).

I wonder why you get so much flare from the FDn 35mm f/2? Not to say that it never happens, but it doesn't seem that awful to me and I find it to be outstanding in other areas like sharpness and contrast. I do always use a lens hood...

Canon FDn 35mm f/2: f/11 @ 1/400 second

Canon FDn 35mm f/2: f/4.5 @ 1/125 second

Canon FDn 35mm f/2: f/8 @ 1/320 second

I consider its 10 element construction with no aspherical elements to be one of the high points of the FD series. The EF version that followed it uses a 7 element design.

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ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,601
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

Microprism wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Gosh that's a depressing summary! My go-to 35mm is an M42 SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, which holds up well to FF edges (not quite corners) even wide open and never flares (unlike my Canon FDn 35mm f/2, which almost never doesn't flare ).

I wonder why you get so much flare from the FDn 35mm f/2? Not to say that it never happens, but it doesn't seem that awful to me and I find it to be outstanding in other areas like sharpness and contrast. I do always use a lens hood... I consider its 10 element construction with no aspherical elements to be one of the high points of the FD series. The EF version that followed it uses a 7 element design.

To put it bluntly, Canon's FDn coatings aren't very good and I'd argue 10 elements pushed it too far. However, they did manage to keep contrast high by making the flare structured rather than veiling. Honestly, it's not really every shot that has terrible flare... but most with interesting lighting seem to have at least a little somewhere, and it's often small enough splotches to not be obvious in the EVF, but still big enough to be annoying when viewing the captured image.

Overall, I do agree that the FDn 35mm f/2 is at least comparable in IQ to the SMC Takumar... but surprise flare is just not an acceptable thing. One trip to Turkey, I didn't bring any other 35mm lenses just to force myself to really give the FDn a fair test, but it produced way too many disappointing surprises. Sharpness and microcontrast are excellent, color is a little off wide open (lacking blue until you stop down), but it's the intense multi-color flares that sink the ship -- especially when they're not obvious in the EVF.

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Microprism Contributing Member • Posts: 865
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7
1

ProfHankD wrote:

Microprism wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Gosh that's a depressing summary! My go-to 35mm is an M42 SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, which holds up well to FF edges (not quite corners) even wide open and never flares (unlike my Canon FDn 35mm f/2, which almost never doesn't flare ).

I wonder why you get so much flare from the FDn 35mm f/2? Not to say that it never happens, but it doesn't seem that awful to me and I find it to be outstanding in other areas like sharpness and contrast. I do always use a lens hood... I consider its 10 element construction with no aspherical elements to be one of the high points of the FD series. The EF version that followed it uses a 7 element design.

To put it bluntly, Canon's FDn coatings aren't very good and I'd argue 10 elements pushed it too far. However, they did manage to keep contrast high by making the flare structured rather than veiling. Honestly, it's not really every shot that has terrible flare... but most with interesting lighting seem to have at least a little somewhere, and it's often small enough splotches to not be obvious in the EVF, but still big enough to be annoying when viewing the captured image.

Overall, I do agree that the FDn 35mm f/2 is at least comparable in IQ to the SMC Takumar... but surprise flare is just not an acceptable thing. One trip to Turkey, I didn't bring any other 35mm lenses just to force myself to really give the FDn a fair test, but it produced way too many disappointing surprises. Sharpness and microcontrast are excellent, color is a little off wide open (lacking blue until you stop down), but it's the intense multi-color flares that sink the ship -- especially when they're not obvious in the EVF.

I really wonder, do our examples of this lens have the same coatings? I shot a sunset this evening with it and in a couple of dozen shots did not pick up flare in any image. This photo is SOOC, unaltered, nothing at all done to it except resized. Anyway, enjoy the 35mm f/2 Takumar, after reading the good things you say about it I hope to try one out someday.

Canon 35mm FDn f/2 @ f/11, 1/640 second

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ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,601
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7

Microprism wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Microprism wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Gosh that's a depressing summary! My go-to 35mm is an M42 SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, which holds up well to FF edges (not quite corners) even wide open and never flares (unlike my Canon FDn 35mm f/2, which almost never doesn't flare ).

I wonder why you get so much flare from the FDn 35mm f/2? Not to say that it never happens, but it doesn't seem that awful to me and I find it to be outstanding in other areas like sharpness and contrast. I do always use a lens hood... I consider its 10 element construction with no aspherical elements to be one of the high points of the FD series. The EF version that followed it uses a 7 element design.

To put it bluntly, Canon's FDn coatings aren't very good and I'd argue 10 elements pushed it too far. However, they did manage to keep contrast high by making the flare structured rather than veiling. Honestly, it's not really every shot that has terrible flare... but most with interesting lighting seem to have at least a little somewhere, and it's often small enough splotches to not be obvious in the EVF, but still big enough to be annoying when viewing the captured image.

Overall, I do agree that the FDn 35mm f/2 is at least comparable in IQ to the SMC Takumar... but surprise flare is just not an acceptable thing. One trip to Turkey, I didn't bring any other 35mm lenses just to force myself to really give the FDn a fair test, but it produced way too many disappointing surprises. Sharpness and microcontrast are excellent, color is a little off wide open (lacking blue until you stop down), but it's the intense multi-color flares that sink the ship -- especially when they're not obvious in the EVF.

I really wonder, do our examples of this lens have the same coatings? I shot a sunset this evening with it and in a couple of dozen shots did not pick up flare in any image. This photo is SOOC, unaltered, nothing at all done to it except resized. Anyway, enjoy the 35mm f/2 Takumar, after reading the good things you say about it I hope to try one out someday.

Canon 35mm FDn f/2 @ f/11, 1/640 second

You consider that to be minor flare? That's not even one of those some-people-like-em sunstars -- there's a stray green streak around 5 o'clock.

We have VERY different standards. You really need to try one of the old Takumars.

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Microprism Contributing Member • Posts: 865
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7
2

ProfHankD wrote:

Microprism wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Microprism wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Gosh that's a depressing summary! My go-to 35mm is an M42 SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, which holds up well to FF edges (not quite corners) even wide open and never flares (unlike my Canon FDn 35mm f/2, which almost never doesn't flare ).

I wonder why you get so much flare from the FDn 35mm f/2? Not to say that it never happens, but it doesn't seem that awful to me and I find it to be outstanding in other areas like sharpness and contrast. I do always use a lens hood... I consider its 10 element construction with no aspherical elements to be one of the high points of the FD series. The EF version that followed it uses a 7 element design.

To put it bluntly, Canon's FDn coatings aren't very good and I'd argue 10 elements pushed it too far. However, they did manage to keep contrast high by making the flare structured rather than veiling. Honestly, it's not really every shot that has terrible flare... but most with interesting lighting seem to have at least a little somewhere, and it's often small enough splotches to not be obvious in the EVF, but still big enough to be annoying when viewing the captured image.

Overall, I do agree that the FDn 35mm f/2 is at least comparable in IQ to the SMC Takumar... but surprise flare is just not an acceptable thing. One trip to Turkey, I didn't bring any other 35mm lenses just to force myself to really give the FDn a fair test, but it produced way too many disappointing surprises. Sharpness and microcontrast are excellent, color is a little off wide open (lacking blue until you stop down), but it's the intense multi-color flares that sink the ship -- especially when they're not obvious in the EVF.

I really wonder, do our examples of this lens have the same coatings? I shot a sunset this evening with it and in a couple of dozen shots did not pick up flare in any image. This photo is SOOC, unaltered, nothing at all done to it except resized. Anyway, enjoy the 35mm f/2 Takumar, after reading the good things you say about it I hope to try one out someday.

Canon 35mm FDn f/2 @ f/11, 1/640 second

You consider that to be minor flare? That's not even one of those some-people-like-em sunstars -- there's a stray green streak around 5 o'clock.

We have VERY different standards. You really need to try one of the old Takumars.

If that is a put-down I'll ignore it. Personally, I expect that if you point any lens designed in the 1970s directly at the sun there may be some flare. If you can't accept that then don't point your lens at the sun.

My standards for a lens include bokeh, color rendition, resolution and contrast among other qualities. The Canon 35mm f/2 offers 8 aperture blades compared to 6 in the SMC Takumar, so my expectation is that the Tak does not have superior blur and bokeh. I can't know, though, without a side-by-side comparison. As for the other aspects, the Canon has a 10 element design vs. 8 for the Pentax. That may mean nothing, but it's on the spec sheet and it would also take a direct comparison to determine if the different optical design is significant in actual picture-taking. In any case, I hardly care as the Canon produces excellent images as I am sure the SMC Takumar does, too. Getting a little flare when the lens is pointed right at the sun does not upset my standards, but I recognize that you feel differently. Happy image making.

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ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,601
Canon FDn 35mm f/2 flare

Microprism wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

You consider that to be minor flare? That's not even one of those some-people-like-em sunstars -- there's a stray green streak around 5 o'clock.

We have VERY different standards. You really need to try one of the old Takumars.

If that is a put-down I'll ignore it. Personally, I expect that if you point any lens designed in the 1970s directly at the sun there may be some flare. If you can't accept that then don't point your lens at the sun.

Not a put down, but you are grossly underestimating how good flare resistance can get. I would rate what your shot showed as being no better than a B-... which is actually pretty good for the FDn 35mm f/2 (it's usually C or lower), but there are other lenses with worst-case flare that's an A+.

Admittedly, the SMC coatings were class-leading back then, and not by a small margin, but not all the old SMC lenses are as flare resistant as the SMC 35mm f/2. That is particularly surprising in that the front element isn't even recessed, which is usually a bad thing for flare control. However, the bottom line is that even most modern lenses flare much more easily than this old Tak.

Here's about as much flare as I could get my SMC Takumar to give with the Sun in the frame:

Note the white dot to the lower left of the tree (which might even have been caused by a dust speck) -- that's all I was able to get out of it, worst case. It's honestly hard to get any visible flare, and I never use a hood with it. Compare that to one of very many roughly worst case images using my Canon FDn:

I've posted this comparison at least twice before: 2017 and 2020 .

Basically, my Canon FDn 35mm f/2 commonly flares worse than any other serious lens I own, and it looks to me like yours also tends toward that. Canon FDn lenses in general have more dramatic flare than most contemporaries, and this lens model in particular is well known to be very troubled WRT flare. Preferences can favor whatever you wish, but this FDn lens is an outlier when it comes to intense, multi-color, flare. I'm sure J. J. Abrams would love it, but it drives me nuts.

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Rico Schiekel
Rico Schiekel Regular Member • Posts: 425
Re: Carl Zeiss Flektagon 35 2.4 on Z7
2

steppenwolfer wrote:

I finally decided to get M42 adapter for Nikon Z. Finally adapter arrived and I went for a walk yesterday to try it out. It has been a long time since I used manual lens and I find infinity stop really great feature. Now I understand people complaining about this on modern focus wire lenses. Naturally it is completely another matter to catch 4 year old, which is unable to stay still for more than half second. Especially If I want to take photo with wide open lens.

Anyway, here are 3 examples, taken at infinity at f8 (photos developed from RAW with C1pro 21 with defaults and sunny WB):

To me lens seems really sharp in center and loose sharpness about half way (~60%) from center. But all in all, I could easily use this lens for my photography, as long as no pixel peeping is involved.

Very nice photos. 😄 I like the Flektogon a lot and actually should use it more often. 🙈

For landscapes it can work but it's not that good. As you said about 2/3 from the center and the lens starts to lose sharpness.

I think here it worked well though but it's not always the case:

most likely f/8 or even a f/11

The bokeh on distance can be a bit nervous and funny as you might see here:

between f/2.4 and f/4 I guess

already better because the focus point was much closer

But for closeups (macros) it's beautiful:

very sharp and nice bokeh

The most I like the funky flare you can produce:

All in all a very fun and special lens I really like much more than I expected first.

Cheers,
Rico

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