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Keywords: Zeiss Canon Nikon Pentax Wide Prime Distagon 35mm Tested


Registered: January 2015
Posts: 13
Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T* 2/35 review by Airy
Review Date: 4/8/2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, crisp rendering, excellent against the light
Cons: nothing important

A very high contrast lens. My best performer so far for shooting against the light: flare is very well controlled, there is nearly no loss of contrast, and what gets lost can be recovered in post-processing. Night shots are good too, as coma is not outrageous. Color and micro-contrast are always excellent; images really "pop".

The usual shortcomings (high vignetting wide open, CA, distortion) do not really matter.

The lens is very long and pretty heavy:elaborate retrofocus design, I guess. Maybe this is one reason for good performance on digital full-frame.

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 9
Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T* 2/35 review by telecommuter
Review Date: 10/3/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: build quality, color rendition, transition from focus to out of focus
Cons: slight amount of vignetting on my FF body

This is another example of how lenses can differ...that is, I previously shot thousands of shots with the "L" series 35mm/f1.4 Canon lens and loved it. After shooting with this I sold the Canon.

This lens is different in how it renders color and handles contrast. I use it for landscapes and stopped to 4.5 or so it is tack-sharp across my FF body. It is sufficiently sharp wide open, however, to use in very low light.

The focus ring is like using a microscope, the size of the lens makes it appear insignificant. But, it can render detail and color as well as anything I use. It does not appear as resolute as other Zeiss lenses, slightly, but it can hardly be called lacking in resolution.

I am finding it to be better used in low light or other than full, bright sun. I feel as though it handles the subtle light better, but that may just be me.

Some examples at the link below, from a recent holiday trip.

Registered: October 2010
Posts: 4
Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T* 2/35 review by sako
Review Date: 10/29/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful color, sharp, extremely well made, butter smooth focus.
Cons: A little vignetting wide open on full frame but easily fixed in post processing.

The SLRgear review of this lens says that it has a polycarbonate focusing ring. Well, they must have a one off because mine is metal and so is a friends. Easy to prove by tapping it with a metal object or handling it in freezing cold weather when it's necessary to wear gloves when using this and the other Zeiss lenses. A beautiful lens at a bargain price.

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 12
Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T* 2/35 review by edwardkaraa
Review Date: 8/20/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,100.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp at all focusing distances and apertures.
Cons: CA and vignetting quite elevated but not problematic.

Corners not perfect at infinity but all the rest is great!

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 2
Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T* 2/35 review by Bazelmans
Review Date: 8/7/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $975.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Contrast, sharpness, bokeh, flare, construction
Cons: vignetting, manual focus, slight distorsion

I use this lens on a D700.

* Contrast is unbelievable, resulting in crystal clear pictures with brilliant colours.

* Lens is also extremely sharp from corner to corner throughout the entire aperture range. My impression is that the sharpness is constantly limited by the 12 million pixels of my D700's sensor.

* Beautiful bokeh too. I love to shoot at the f/2.4 - f/3.3 range.

* Vignetting is significant wide open on a FX camera. It drops when stopping down. Can be corrected in PP if desired.

* CA and colour fringing are low, but just noticeable in some occassions. Not to worry about however.

* Distorsion is low, but the lens is not without. Noticeable in architectural photography, not a problem otherwise.

* Flare is amazingly low, much better controlled than with other lenses I have seen.

* Solid mechanical construction. All metal. Smooth manual focusing.

Overall conclusions:
This lens is wonderful. I highly recommend it for the serious photographer who doesn't mind to focus manually.
Dick England

Registered: July 2010
Posts: 1
Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T* 2/35 review by Dick England
Review Date: 7/6/2010 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 


A few comments from someone wondering whether to get the CZ 35f2 while the Euro is low. Lateral CA at f8 is a real headache. I'm not worried about the purple longitudinal CA in the f2 files.
The VFA charts here show almost as good corner resolution at f2 compared with (disappointing?) f8 performance on both on the D200 and the D3X. I have tried correcting the lateral CA in the D200 f8 files of the VFA charts with PTLens and RawTherapee which seem to work in the same way. The result is not satisfactory because it leaves orange/cyan haloes several pixels broad which can't be corrected. Nikon's in-camera correction for the lens on the D3X seems more sophisticated. Some cyan/purple haloes are evident, but the combination is pretty good if you can afford it.

Registered: February 2008
Posts: 8
Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T* 2/35 review by Gandalf
Review Date: 2/5/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, fine detalis, and the special Zeiss-look (the colors)
Cons: Manual focus

I bougth it used, but it is perfect (if you wonder about the price - lenses are very expensive in Denmark).

It is sharp with very fine details and I love the special colors Zeiss gives.

It is not totally ghost/flare- free, but better than many others ( I am "a flare/ghost hater", even I do know how to work around it, I would better use my energy on other things, than working with that problem, and I think most photographers will say, that it is very, very fine in this area)

I am just sorry, that I never will be so familiar with manual focus, but that is me.

If you like manual focus I can really recommend this lens.


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