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Thread: Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar comparison with Nikon 50mm 1.8G

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    Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar comparison with Nikon 50mm 1.8G

    Here's a short comparison of the Nikon 50m 1.8G and Zeiss 50mm F2 Makro Planar. I wanted to keep this short and simple as there are many great in depth reviews out there for this lens but I couldn't find any direct comparison. I assume that the Nikon will perform similar to Canon's F1.8. I'll post the pictures first and you can read more about my thoughts below. These pictures were taken using a D90 on manual mode all with the same settings (F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K) on a tripod. NB: The reason why I chose F2 is because the Zeiss is designed to perform well even wide open.


    Zeiss F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K


    Nikon F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K


    Zeiss F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K


    Nikon F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K









    The Zeiss produces darker and warmer pictures with stronger contrast. It stays sharper throughout the picture while Nikon's sharpness stays tight around the focus point. Zeiss seems to have slightly smoother bokeh but only by a margin. Note the results are only based on the parameters used, sorry I didn't go into different aperture settings and environments but will more than happy to do so when I have more free time. I love these two lenses but I won't sell the Nikon because I will need AF in some situations. If I'm out on a relaxing day and have no rush to take pictures I would definitely bring the Zeiss with me. Before I bought the Zeiss I asked myself is it possible to get that Zeiss look with post processing? Well I've tried to make both as similar as possible but I still prefer the Zeiss over Nikon (note I'm still a newbie at post processing with no PS skills, I used Lightroom, all changes were global no brushes or gradient filters used). Here are the post processed images below. I'm also uploading the .nef (taking ages!) files if anybody is interested in testing them out. Thank you for reading and happy new year !


    Zeiss F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K


    Nikon F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K


    Zeiss F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K


    Nikon F2, 1/50, ISO 200, 4150K

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Thanks for this comparison.

    It's always interesting to see comparisons of various lenses and the way they render a scene.
    I don't know about others, but this is the main reason I'm a bit of a gear nut .. simply for the way it can do things .. not simply what it can do(ie. whether it's better or sharper .. but overall image rendering).

    I have the Sigma 50/1.4 as my AF 50mm, simply with the added bonus that it's an f/1.4(compared to f/1.8) and not that it makes enough difference to justify the added expense, but the 50/1.8 from Nikon back then as an AF-D type .... which I prefer to avoid, if there's an SWM version of a similar type of lens.

    I compared the Nikon 50/1.4 AF-S to the Sigma, when I decided to get one, and I preferred the rendering of the Sigma over the Nikon lens at the time.
    My comparison was extremely short and sweet in a sense in that it was done in the shop, with about 5 or 8 quick images(of the salesman) and the Sigma rendered the shelves in the background a bit smoother than the Nikon .. so I went with the Sigma.

    Ultimate sharpness and which of the two lenses was sharper would have been so close that this became a secondary consideration.
    Another factor(and even tho it seems like a strange one) was that the Sigma was larger, both the barrel(felt more natural in my hand) and more importantly the filter size was 77mm .. so if I ever wanted to fit filters of any sort, I already have lots of 77mm sized filters and adapters.

    Anyhow, good to see these comparison images, and of something interesting too .. not just another test scene!!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Thanks for the feedback Arthur. Here are the nef files as promised

    http://depositfiles.com/files/n2yv4ekmv Zeiss 1
    http://depositfiles.com/files/u99w3rh1p Nikon 1
    http://depositfiles.com/files/uakbtqgal Zeiss 2
    http://depositfiles.com/files/1z71t9mxg Nikon 2

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    from Mongo's observations, the Zeiss yields a more detailed and more contrasty image. While the difference is quite noticeable, it is not so huge that it would discount the Nikon altogether . Moreover and importantly, the Nikon 50mm f1.8 is not a macro lens. How would the Zeiss go against a Nikkor 55mm f2.8 or f 3.5 macro ??? The Zeiss is also 5 times the price of the nikkor 50mm f1.8. So, is it comparing apples with apples ??

    Nonetheless, Mongo accepts that this was intended more as a technical exercise than a practical shopping value comparison for which Mongo is really grateful to read and thanks Rirakuma for doing the experiment and posting the results. It was very interesting.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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