Friday, 28 October 2011

Zeiss ZF.2 Prime Lenses

My friend recently purchased three Zeiss ZF.2 lenses - 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2. He picked them up on eBay from a store in Hong Kong. He said they were a little bit cheaper than B&H.

They are indeed well designed lenses. Solid construction, flawless mechanics and great aesthetics. the picture quality is second to none. 9 aperture blades provide very smooth bokeh. accurate colours and rich tones. Film makers like to go with the ZF.2 nikon mounted variety because of the manual aperture ring. The only issue when using cheap lens mount adapters to fit Canon bodies is the play cause by the adapter. This becomes even more frustrating when using lenses with the kind of precision of zeiss primes. 

Something to note about the 100mm which lived up to its high billing as a terrific image-producing lens is that when it focuses the entire front section (about half the length of the lens) rotates and moves forward. This forward movement causes two issues 1) when using a matte box the front of the lens will rn into the filters 2) the lens belt will move away from the lens gear. also, when focusing, the lens rotate more than 360 degrees causing an issue with lens belts that clamp on via screws as they will collide with the lens gears.

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