View Full Version : Zeiss ZE manual lenses up to the job?
03-03-2011, 09:49 AM
I have the 3 sony prime lenses that came with my F3K but am considering selling them to fund a wider selection of lenses from the Zeiss ZE range. More along the lines of 21, 35, 50, 85 and 100mm macro.
I know the PL Mount CP.2 are more suitable but I am a little stretched budget wise and have been told that the ZE range use the same glass so are a good compromise for someone starting out.
Am I right in thinking the ZE range only come in Canon and Nikon Mount (and not PL mount)? I have only seen one adapter so far for the F3 which is nikon, so I think I would be buying a Nikon fit set.
If anyone knows of any other manual prime lenses that fit the bill, please let me know.
Also, What should I be advertising my Sony primes for (In pounds?)
03-03-2011, 10:52 AM
Zeiss makes the "Z" series in many mounts, including ZF (Nikon), ZE (Canon), ZK (Pentax/Samsung bayonet), ZS (M42 "Pentax Screwmount") and ZA (Sony Alpha).
The glass is identical to the CP.2's. The housings and mechanicals are different, as are the apertures. I have both the ZFs and the CP.1's, and the images are basically identical between them.
I wouldn't get ZE for the Sony, because ZE lenses don't have an aperture ring. I'd consider either ZF (for full manual) or perhaps ZA. I would expect Sony to make an Alpha mount adapter for the F3, which should provide full electronic control for the Alpha lenses, in the same way that Panasonic makes a 4/3->m43 adapter for the AF100 that provides full electronic control for their 4/3 lenses. Plus there are a few lenses in the ZA lineup that aren't available in the ZF lineup. But obviously you should verify the existence of an Alpha adapter before committing to ZA's. Definitely ZF's will work, for fully manual lenses. But they're not necessarily a tremendous amount cheaper than the Sony PL primes; most of the ZF.2's are $1200 to $1600 or so each, and the Sony PL's were $2000 each, weren't they?
The ZA lineup doesn't include all the lenses in the ZF lineup, in fact it looks like only the 85mm is the same. The ZA has a different 24mm (which is a full stop faster than the ZF 25mm) and it also offers a 135mm, and some zooms (a 16-35 and 24-70) and also a fairly crappy 16-80 zoom which I tried out and that was a piece of consumer junk as far as mechanical construction (can't speak about images). I've heard the 16-35 and 24-70 are much better, and they're also more expensive as you'd expect.
03-03-2011, 12:28 PM
Thank you so much for such a detailed and definitive response.
03-03-2011, 03:39 PM
Definitely ZF's will work, for fully manual lenses. But they're not necessarily a tremendous amount cheaper than the Sony PL primes; most of the ZF.2's are $1200 to $1600 or so each, and the Sony PL's were $2000 each, weren't they?
Hi Barry. At least from where I sit, the problem with the Sony primes is there are 3 of them and not 5 (or more). As well there is no indication they are going to be fleshing out their set of primes. All tragic in my view from both a workflow and resale point of view.
I operate a Steadicam doing stage and live work so although the Sony kit is an incredible deal it isn't really practical for a lot of us that need to live in the wide end of things. Not quite sure what I am going to do although I will be using a few Nikon zooms like the 17-35mm 2.8 which I have and the 24-70 will probably get added to the kit. The ZF.2s are appealing in that they can be easily be cinemodded and have the Zeiss color and feel. A couple of the RED zooms are appealing and the prices are in the thousands and not the 10s of thousands.
The incomplete prime kit is making the decision difficult for some of us.
03-04-2011, 11:34 PM
Mmmm. After using the Sony primes for a few days whilst hunting down the best prices for a set of ZF.2 primes, I am really impressed with the images coming from these big buggers. If only there was an 18 and a 25mm! Picture quality wise they are pretty incredible for the money. The main DOP on this job who is shooting on The latest RED with high end glass, is mightily impressed by what is coming out of the F3 on the Kit lenses.
Is it certain that there is to be no more additions to this line up?
03-05-2011, 04:50 AM
11-16mm,17-50mm at f2,8 and a zoom forgot the range ...Le Google might help oui !?