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Old Aug 30, 2007, 5:23 PM   #1
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So with my 5D I find that more and more I leave the zooms at home and just go out with the 50mm f1.4 on the camera.

The more I work with it the less I find I need anything else. Or perhaps it's more that I find I'm not really interested in making images of anything that I can't do with the 50.

I had the 50mm f1.8 and found it lacking; the AF was nasty, the build was cheap and plastic, it was OK stopped down but I often like to work at f2 and the 1.4 is much better at f2 than the f1.8 was.

One thing I do find a bit frustrating though is that I like to work fast with the 50, and I find AF point selection can be fiddly. And with wide apertures we know how nasty focus-recompose can be. So I am now experimenting with turning the AF off and simply using the AF points as focus confirmation with the shutter half-press. Ths way I can shift focus from one side of the frame to the other very quickly and still get red-light confirmation.

I have wondered whether it might be worth investing in the 50mm L, but increasingly I find myself intrigued by the new Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Planar, it comes in Nikon mount but an adapter for Canon is easy to find. I find myself thinking that this will give me quality equal or even superior to the Canon L but at only 1/3 the price. £325 v £960. The only thing I have to give up is the AF, but as mentioned I think that's not working out so well for me anyway, and I would probably keep the Canon f1.4.

There is something of a dilemma about whether to change the focus screen for the EE-S, which would be nice for judging MF on the Zeiss, but not so good on those occasions when I put my slow zooms back on the camera. (24-105 f4 L & 70-300 f4.5-5.6 DO)

Your thoughts appreciated.

http://www.zeiss.com/c12567a8003b58b...25711b005ddd76

This is the sort of thing I'm doing with the 50.






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Old Aug 30, 2007, 9:07 PM   #2
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Beautiful photos - are you becoming a purist?

Otherwise I go for the L, it's considerably cheaper than their old f/1.0, and being new I would think it should be significantly faster in AF as well... ( and you can always manual focus it).

IMO if you get the Zeiss and this is your favorite focal lens, you will end up buying the L anyway, if nothing other than just to have a brighter viewfinder to manually focus on... :-):-):-)
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Old Aug 31, 2007, 3:55 AM   #3
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the 50mm f1.2L had some AF issues all the while. Not sure if this got corrected. There were lot of complaints about AF related. But apart from the AF the lens performed amazingly well wide open at 1.2 and even better stepped down to f2

of the lot i feel the 50mm f1.4 a better choise. It has very good AF and is good at f.14 and really better at F2.

THe CA is more controlled in the L though.

If u do think 85mm would suit ur needs, u shud consider the 85mm L lens too. Specially for portraits. I picked one f rom FM for 900(version I) and i am just stunned. Images are absoutely gorgeous out of this lens. I havent applied any external sharpening to many of the images i took with this lens. Even the Noise seems much less with this lens. Absolute keeper of a lens.

Attached one from the 85mm
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Old Aug 31, 2007, 7:00 AM   #4
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I think I'm more likely to head towards 35mm than 85mm.

Most reports do say though that the Canon 85L (either version) are two of the best lenses ever made.

Zeiss are also doing a ZF 85mm that looks quite nice too and is much cheaper.

At the 35mm end of course the Canon L is also legendary, but again there is the Zeiss option at about 1/2 the price.

One nice thing is that if I do end up using only the one lens, it makes it much easier to contemplate switching brands.

There's nothing to touch the 5D (for my needs) at the moment, well except maybe for the Leica M8, but who knows what the future holds.
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Old Aug 31, 2007, 7:16 AM   #5
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U have perfectly answered ur question. If u really dont need the AF i guess Leica is the way to go. It will definitely be sharp on the 5D atleast. And as u said it gives u a flexibility too. Resale value is on par with respect to either Canon lens or the Leica Lens.

So if ur sure the AF wont matter i guess u can save some moolah here for another zeiss lens may be:-)
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 10:45 AM   #6
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If you do get one on your 5D I'd love to see examples!
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 4:54 AM   #7
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I would love to see it also. In the old days, my 35mm set up was Contax with all Zeiss glass. I loved it.Medium format, was Hasselblad, with, of course, Zeiss glass. The problem in the studio, with people that couldn't afford a makeup artist was that the Zeiss lenses were too sharp, and they/I would have to spend a lot of money in retouching (thank god these days for photoshop!). So I would shoot in studio, most of the time with the Pentax 67. The lenses were pretty bad/soft but it made for great portraits, b/c you had the quality of 6x7cm negs, yet the lens wasn't sharp enough to show you pores, skin problems, etc.

When digital started to become the new "thang", I sold all of my equipment. I also had a Sinar P2 large format camera. In the past three years I got back into shooting using the 20D. I am waiting for the 40D to become available (it's on back order, everywhere). The 5D is a little steep right now for me, unless I take on more professional shoots (right now it has become a hobby). But, I just ordered from B&H the 50mm f1.4 lens from Canon for studio shoots. With my 1.6 "lens conversion factor", I am looking at an 80mm equiv. lens, which is perfect for protraits. I would also like to see Zeiss glass on the Canons, but honestly, I don't think there would be much of a difference, but if it were significant, I would buy it. I also agree that the L lens is a bit ridiculous, money wise that is. But please get the Zeiss, and post. I actually wasn't aware that it was that easy to take Nikon/other lenses and get an adaptor to fit Canon. But let us know exactly what you need/use. If your results are positive, I have a feeling a lot of us will try it, also. Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 1:04 PM   #8
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One thing I have discovered is that I won't get AF confirmation with the Zeiss, not unless I use a special adapter which does some bridging (or something - NHL will know) of the contacts.

So it will be 100% MF through the viewfinder. That makes it less attractive. Pauses for thought.


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Old Oct 9, 2007, 3:02 PM   #9
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Get a split prism type focusing screen for use with MF lenses. ;-)

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Old Oct 9, 2007, 3:29 PM   #10
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But, to be frank, if I were you, I'd get the Canon 50mm f/1.2L instead. A Zeiss name on the lens doesn't necessarily mean that it's better (and I realize that's very subjective).

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