Zeiss 35/2 vs. Leica 35/2 ASPH - any tests yet?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by patricks, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. I've been thinking of getting a 35mm lens again, the natural choice
    would be a mint used 35/2 ASPH (cannot believe a paid $989 new for
    that lens when I bought it, now it is 20-25% more than that used),
    but I'm curious how the new Zeiss 35/2 holds up. It is readily
    available in both Asia and USA so any users yet?


  2. grg


  3. Sean Reid is testing the 35/2 against the ASPH, but no results as yet. Look
    out for updates at rangefinderforum.com <p>
    Used Summicron 35/2 prices, on ePay at least, are reaching such a peak that
    they do make a grey market Biogon 35/2, at $895 including shipping, look
  4. right, the truth is that US consumers are getting prices out of the market at this moment since the dollar is so low it results in a defacto price increase on eBay for US consumers.
  5. This may or may not be of help, but Sean Reid is doing a comparison of many, many
    lenses on the RD-1 and reporting about it at Rangefinderforum.com. He compared the
    Zeiss 35/2 and the Leica 35 f/1.4 ASPH. He found he liked the Leica better. He described
    the lenses as being a bit different in what they were trying to achieve -- the Leica 35 was
    bitingly sharp in the center of the frame, while the lens did not maintain this extreme
    sharpness over the entire field. The Zeiss lens was not as sharp in the center, but it was
    sharper and more even across the whole image frame. Now, a huge caveat -- these are
    tests only carried out on the RD-1, so they may be different to how the lenses perform on
    film. In any case, if you are interested in hearing it from the horse's mouth, Sean's thread
    is in the RD-1 section of rangefinder forum...
  6. Keep in mind that the Zeiss lens appears to be a lot bigger than the Summicron and I'm not sure if it comes with a hood. As far as performance goes, I suspect the Zeiss will perform similar to the pre-asph Cron.
  7. Keep in mind that the Zeiss lens appears to be a lot bigger than the Summicron and I'm not sure if it comes with a hood.

    The hood is sold as optional at 7500 Yen apiece in Japan.
  8. I'm sure any test results for all the new Zeiss will be attractive.

    BUT when one factors in the huge cost for the Zeiss accessory viewfinders in the 21/25/28 range, the price advantage over the equivalent Leica offering starts to fade, IMHO.
  9. I expect that the Cosina finders will do perfectly well for 21, 25, and 28. You shouldn't let finders keep you from getting the lenses you want.
  10. actually the zeiss looks quite the massive lens on the RD-1...well for a 35mm its pretty
  11. The Zeiss 35/2 is approximately the same size as a 50/2 Summicron. At least they were when both were in my hands.
  12. The Zeiss may be better (more even) on a digital camera because it was designed with that
    use in mind (according to Zeiss brochure).
  13. jtk


    Man, those Zeiss are hogs if the Japanese pics are to be believed.

    Proof that digital is dead?

    Does anybody really think the subtleties of these lenses is critical in Epson's medium-quality digicam ?
  14. Shoot a roll of Black & White in a Leica M Camera. Lay the negatives down on a light table. Take some Black & White images from your best camera and lenses (Nikon, Canon etc..) and put them next to the images from the Leica. You will notice an immediate difference. You don't need a microscope to see the differences, they are as plain as day. Sharper, contrastier images with detail that was never there before. Now what do you think! I guess that all those old-timers still using Leica equipment really know their equipment.
  15. Ameteur Photographer Magazine from Great Britain

    Recently did a rangefinder shootout between the Leica, Konica Hexar M Mount, Voigtlander Bessa and Contax G series cameras and lenses. See September 2, 2000 issue. Here are some excerpts:

    "The Leica lenses bite your eyes and force you to see all the detail in the scene that the other lenses require you to search for. There is simply so much detail captured - threads in material, the wood grain of a deck chair and the texture of an iron railing that just happens to be in the picture by chance. That's not to say that the other lenses aren't sharp, it's just that the Leica ones really do stand out. "

    "As I stated in the beginning, the single criteria for the winner in this test group is the quality of the results, not the camera's features or its relative value for the money. Having established that, then the winners rosette must go to the Leica M6. It's solid, reliable, it is a joy to use and it produced the best results."

    is the quality of the results!
  16. >> Does anybody really think the subtleties of these lenses is critical in Epson's medium-quality digicam? <<

    Having actually used the camera in question (I own one) the answer is an emphatic YES. All the subtleties of various lenses come through just fine on the R-D1. It may be a medium-resolution camera by current digital standards but it is most certainly better than medium quality. Try one for yourself and see.

    As for the new Zeiss 35mm...at f/2 performance in the center is slightly higher than my friend's 4th gen. 35mm 'Cron. In the corners, however, the Biogon pulls ahead. Contrast is excellent wide open, giving the Biogon photos a crisp appearance. Out-of-focus character is smooth. Both the Biogon and the new 50mm Planar are very consistent across the frame at all apertures. With the Planar this is true on 35mm film as well as on the R-D1. We'll see about the Biogon but I'd expect the same. IMO this makes them welcome alternatives to other M & LTM offerings. Choose the optical characteristics you like and buy your lens(es), of whatever brand, accordingly.

  17. mmm, very interesting Dave. Did you notice any difference re vignetting on
    the R-D1 for the Biogon vs the Summicron 35/2? And was the Zeiss more
    contrasty than the Summicron?
  18. Paul, neither lens vignettes to the degree that I noticed it. I haven't noticed an issue with light falloff with any 35mm lens I've used on the R-D1. There is noticeable falloff with the CV 28mm f/3.5 (but not the f/1.9 Ultron) and most wider lenses.

    The Biogon and Summicron look equally snappy at most apertures. The Zeiss has higher contrast at f/2...stopping down increases definiton (and DOF of course) rather than apparent contrast. I'd be happy with either lens, and am very happy with my 40mm Summicron-C (which, besides having more reach, performs essentially the same as the 35mm 'Cron).

    I should note the Biogon and Summicron I compared both belong to a friend of mine. He got the Zeiss yesterday and I met him at a local park straight from work for some pic-taking with the R-D1. I would've included the 'Cron-C as well but didn't have it with me. I do own the new Zeiss Planar...from what I see it's very similar in character to the Biogon.

  19. Dave, does the 28/3.5 vignette just on the RD-1? Or is there also light fall off on film?
  20. Dave, does the CV 28/3.5 vignette only on the RD-1? Or is there also light fall off on film?
  21. michael bridges what has all that stuff got to do with the original question?
  22. Bill, there is some falloff wide open on film with the CV 28mm f/3.5. If you shoot negs you may not even notice it. On the R-D1, though, the falloff is significant. Stopping down doesn't get rid of it. The optical design just isn't compatible with current sensors.


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