Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lenses, cameras, and photo equipment


Some personal notes accumulated over several years while trying to figure out what equipment might be of interest, summarizing what the internet thinks of various lenses and cameras to help compare. Sorry, didn't keep track of where each remark is quoted from, so please use an internet search engine to locate the original sources instead of quoting these mostly unattributed comments. Hope that the following notes are helpful to others. Leica R lenses first, then other brands, ordered by increasing focal length. Have to decide how much weight and expense is justified in a quest for optical perfection, which surprisingly has turned out to be a moving target with already amazing lenses repeatedly getting overtaken in image quality over the past decade.


Leica 12.5mm f/1.9 Photar Lens, Leitz Wetzlar Germany: Leitz Wetzlar Photar lenses are made for extreme close up photography and these are the best! Photar photographic objectives are designed to be used by themselves without an eyepiece, unlike microscope objectives that are designed to be used in optical systems with two stages of magnification. The Photars are very expensive but the best for achieving extremely high magnifications in macrophotography the ultimate quality. Bellows RMS (Royal Microscopical Society) screw mount Macro/Micro lens. An excellent lens used in macrophotography (5x-30x magnification) and can be used with large format cameras. The 12.5mm Photar is for 15x to 30x magnification. Recommended magnification range is 5 to 20 times life-sized. Highly corrected for high magnification photography at 15x-30x. Not aware of any other camera lenses made by any lens maker that will outresolve this lens in the magnification ranges specified above. Quality is exceptional. Can be used from 4x5" medium format cameras through APS-C DSLR with bellows. Image scales on 4x5" large format are massive 25:1 - 60:1 magnifications. Made for use on 4"x5" Aristophot Camera System with 25:1 - 60:1 magnification; On 35mm camera system with short bellows: 12.5 -16x magnification; with long bellows 16 - 40x magnification. There is a lot of potential using this old Leitz bellows lenses for some serious high magnification photography using a modern DSLR. A dream to work with and is extremely sharp. Perfect stepless aperture. Excellent lens for 5x-20x shooting at f/4 with APS-C or sometimes use it around f/2.8 if I am shooting around 15x where diffraction kicks in. Very rare. Photars were introduced around 1970 and originally six were offered, the three larger ones with a 40x1.0mm thread and the smaller three with the microscope thread W 0.8"x1/36". The larger ones were a 120mm f/5.6, 80mm f/4.5, and a 50mm f/2.8. The specs for the smaller lenses were 50mm f/4, 25mm f/2.5. and 12.5mm f/1.9. The smaller ones were changed slightly around 1984 and became a 50mm f/4, 25mm f/2, and 12.5mm f/2.4 14440. Size 25.5x12.5mm, 30g.

Leica 25mm f/2.5 Photar Lens: Magnification is between 2-10x. Excellent. Tack sharp, good contrast. Aperture control marked in large white numbers in real f-stops. A joy to use. A mix of coated and uncoated elements, but it doesn't seem to hurt the performance of the Photar design. Working distance about 20mm. This is an expensive bellows lens and at least for central sharpness and resolution, performs as you would expect a lens of this caliber - top of the heap. It performs at its best at an aperture of about f/3.3 - half way between f/2.8 and f/4. The main downfall of this lens is its corner sharpness, varying from not-so-hot at lower magnification to good at higher magnification. Even though the corner sharpness isn't the greatest, it isn't particularly noticeable on images. If you have problems with it, it is easy to bump the aperture up a notch to f/4 and it will get noticeably better. Chromatic aberration is also so-so on the periphery, but that goes along with the suboptimal corner sharpness. Again, this is not particularly visible on normal images. It has a usable magnification range from a little over 2:1 to about 9:1 on my bellows - a good range for coin close-ups. The working distance is limited, but typical for the focal length. The only way to improve upon these numbers is to go to a microscope objective, and even then you will not improve by much unless you go to a Nikon Plan APO 4x. Bellows extension 25mm 3.32x magnification with 22mm working distance; bellows extension 50mm 3.99x magnification with 19mm working distance; bellows extension 90mm 5.49x magnification with 17mm working distance; bellows extension 130mm 7.02x magnification with 15mm working distance; bellows extension 190mm 9.37x magnification with 14 mm working distance. Size 28x15.5mm, 50g.

Nikon CFN PlanApo 4x 0.20NA 160/- Microscope Objective Optiphot Labophot Plan Apo microscope objective, (finite objective for 160mm microscope tube not infinity focus version), 0.20 numerical aperture (NA) corresponds to about f/2, estimated focal length 38.4mm, works very well as a bellows lens the center field sharpness and resolution is higher than any other lens that I have tested from about 3:1 to 6:1 this lens is the standard by which all others are compared in this magnification range, working distance is 15mm, beautiful objective top of the line plan apo corrected optics from Nikon, RMS threads, microscope objectives are made to work best in the center of the frame so they don't tend to produce a large image circle and don't tend to work all that well on full-frame digital cameras, its higher NA (0.2) makes it sharper with less diffraction blur but it also means more shots are required for the focus stack (31 images for the relief of a one cent coin's lettering), apochromats require the addition of a compensating or projecting ocular to complete their corrections, Nikon CFN Plans provide larger image circles (about 26-30mm) that might be a better choice if you want to record detail as far out to the edges as possible, be careful to place the shoulder of the objective's mounting threads at least 150mm from the camera's sensor "perfect" optical tube length of 150mm exact distance is not critical longer extensions are OK and may give a better match between image size and the camera's sensor. Performance is optimized for 4:1 magnification. Outstanding sharpness from 3-6x magnification Requires a bellows to set focus and magnification: Extension 5cm, Magnification 2.84, Working Distance 16mm; Extension 9.3cm, Magnification 4.00, Working Distance 14mm; Extension 13cm, Magnification 4.94, Working Distance 12mm; Extension 19cm, Magnification 6.48, Working Distance 10.5mm. http://coinimaging.com/nikon_4apo.html

Leica R 19mm f/2.8 Elmarit, version 2, model 11329: {WARNING: Will not clear Nikon D800E mirror "removed all the material I can from the rear of the lens without grinding the optics."} Cylindrical shaped lens version 2 (11258 - 11329 which needs shaving for Nikon FX), unlike the flared expanded front of version 1. Lens design by Dr. Walter Mandler. Excellent, very sharp, great colors, and low distortion, distortion free, stellar, rare lens, magical, the images just pop, performance is stunning the image quality is superb, great image quality, true stunner, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), a wonderful lens but slightly soft in the extreme corners, compact, super-wide-angle lens, really fantastic lens but perhaps too similar to the Zeiss 21/2.8, the best wide angle for the 18-21mm range ever made distortion is identical to that of the Zeiss 21/2.8 ZF.2, at f/5.6 out resolves the Nikon D800 sensor in the center and corners at approximately at 100 lp/mm and at f/2.8 it out resolves the sensor at center and most part of field while it reaches 90 lp/mm at the extreme corners, the Zeiss 18mm ZF.2 is a better lens in every regard except for being slightly larger, contrast and color rendition are wonderful but the corners lack sharpness, the corners are soft, has visible barrel distortion but the color rendition and contrast are excellent the best I've seen although the Zeiss 21/2.8 is sharper at the corners, a stellar performer, every bit as good as the Zeiss 21 lens (obviously not in agreement with most), stellar performer, an amazing lens sold my Zeiss Distagon 21mm after buying this lens both are sharp but I like Leica color rendering much better, sharper than Zeiss 21mm at center but softer at corners when wide-open, favorite of the R lenses stunningly good, has poor corners on FF cameras, has a "wave" in its MTF likely the result of field curvature meaning that it will be slightly "soft" in some areas when shooting a planar (flat) subject, sharpness of the Leica 19mm Elmarit-R in the extreme corners does plummet, are the corners really poor or is it field curvature?, on a Canon 5DMKII it's a great lens in the center but is somewhat soft in the corners and has severe vignetting in the extreme corners (interestingly, when shot on film the lens appeared flawless), performs well in the center to the outer 2/3 at f/2.8 but the corners and edges are soft and only became sharper when stopped down to f/5.6 outer corners keep improving until f/11 but diffraction causes the performance at its center to drop, my baby love it sharp, low distortion, doesn't show the infamous "moustache" distortion of the Zeiss corner sharpness leaves a lot to be desired abrupt darkening of the corners on Canon 5D, better contrast and definition at larger apertures than the Zeiss Distagon 21 but Leica 19 vignettes much more at f/2.8 personally prefer the Leica but they're both such excellent lenses that it's a bit like comparing oh a Lamborghini and a Ferrari, noticable corner light falloff which goes away at about f/4 wide-open good corner definition but dark, does not reach infinity on Canon 5D Mark II, no issues with softness in the corners, among the wide angles Leica and Zeiss rule the roost whether your favor the Leica's nicer color rendering and lower distortion or the Zeiss' superior contrast, resolution and 3D quality depends on your subject matter and personal preference relatively mild barrel distortion 9.5 excellent for Leica 19mm vs. gullwing distortion 7.8 for Contax/Zeiss 21mm, fantastic colors and has the built-in filter turret that is especially handy for B&W, basically can't use filters other than the ones included with the lens, believe Leica can reload the turret with different filters on request, "The very high contrast, the perfect reproduction of the finest image details and the virtually complete insensitivity to flare even at maximum aperture are characteristic features of this versatile ultra-wide-angle lens, subject to mirror ghosting and at full aperture huge red ring quirky flare. It is a brilliant performer on photojournalism assignments and fashion shoots, for architectural photography and for achieving dramatic landscape perspectives, and its highly compact size makes it especially practical and user-friendly. Its retrofocus design provides impressive results close up too. The built-in filter wheel offers 4 filter choices.", neutral density ND1, yellow-green, orange, and blue conversion filter for artificial light on daylight-type films, lens design by Dr. Walter Mandler, the best ultra-wide angle lens I have ever used: no distortion, very high contrast and resolution, very high level of flare immunity, behaves much like a 10mm wider version of the famous Leica 28mm/2.8 (mod II), sharp starting wide-open, color reproduction very 'as remembered', resolution of micro detail stunning with some weakness near frame edge, outstanding sharpness/detail, extreme corner coverage not as good as the Contax Zeiss 21mm, actually sharper and better contrast than Zeiss 21mm in center and it does not have moustache distortion, no moustache distortion, a spectacular lens at the same time sharp and with delicate Leica color rendering mustache distortion was the limit but now an Adobe Camera Raw profile provides for perfect correction which has added great value to the lens, vignetting seems to be inevitable, Nikon 14-24mm is better cross frame and roughly the same price as a used 19mm Leica but is a little too 'indiscreet', clarity and transparency typically Leica/Zeiss - much like looking at a well-lit transparency, very compact and smooth focusing, floating element very handy, very low vignetting, flair and distortion is kept very much to a minimum, incredible lack of distortion being utterly rectilinear to practical effects, a great 3D quality, a superb lens, excellent performance at f/2.8 so you can use the capabilities of ultrawide photography in low light with absolutely no quality trade off which is a priceless bonus not only when shooting in cramped indoors settings but also when shooting outdoors in the evening. The very close minimum focusing distance of this lens, together with the extensive DOF implied by such a focal length allows you to go for spectacular near/far compositions in landscape images, as well as in dynamic indoors shots (workplaces, factories, museums, exhibitions, etc.), a favorite for street especially in cities like NYC which has great backdrops has floating elements and is superb up close, does not have filter threads, can't put a protective UV filter on it, but can use Lee system or Cokin 275 Universal Adapter Ring which prevents use of the needed expensive hood, for many this is the best rectilinear ultra-wide angle lens, providing 97 deg of very well corrected view, distortion 0.2%, Leica's distortion graph shows 2%, resistant to flare, unobtrusive, small, light, one of the best wide angle on the market, one of few wide angles that can match the performance of the Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8 at a much wider angle of view, surprising homogeneity at f/5.6 the corners of the image do not show loss of definition!, Among the wide angles, Leica and Zeiss rule the roost; whether your favor the Leica's nicer color rendering and lower distortion, or the Zeiss' superior contrast, resolution and 3D quality depends on your subject matter and personal preference. Distortion: 9.5 for Leica 19mm vs. 7.8 for Contax/Zeiss 21mm, Resolution: 9.6 for Contax/Zeiss 21mm vs. 9.3 for Leica 19mm, Chromatic aberration: 9.5 for Contax/Zeiss 21mm vs. 9.3 for Leica 19mm, (10=perfect), relatively mild barrel distortion that is much superior to the larger Distagon's waveform (AKA 'gullwing' and 'moustache') distortion that is hard to correct with only miminally less resolution and correction of chromatic aberation (while also lacking the ZF Distagon's color non-uniformity with a cyan/blue color color shift seen at all apertures at the edges and the corners), has superior color, lower contrast and lower distortion than the Zeiss Contax 21mm, outstanding sharpness/detail but extreme corner coverage not as good as the discontinued Zeiss Contax 21mm, the Zeiss 21mm is a toss up with the Leica 19mm, the Zeiss is better to the corners, but the Leica has less and more easily corrected distortion and if you crop the 19mm to the 21mm frame it is as good as the Zeiss 21mm, can you live with the Zeiss's weird distortion?, incorrect about distortion because Leica's 19mm Elmarit distortion graph is almost a dead-ringer for the Zeiss 21mm according to Lloyd Chambers who writes that: "The Leica 19mm has a 'wave' in its MTF likely the result of field curvature, meaning that it will be slightly 'soft' in some areas when shooting a planar (flat) subject. Controlled testing I've previously done confirms that even much less pronounced variation in the MTF curve is readily visible on planar targets. This is much of an issue with film, which had substantial thickness, but it is a real concern with digital. And indeed sharpness of the Leica 19mm Elmarit-R in the extreme corners does plummet (from the center to the corner of a 24x36mm frame is 21.6mm). Are the corners really poor, or is it field curvature? I couldn't give an answer without seeing the image. The MTF curve for the Leica 19mm Elmarit-R looks like it might have a 'wave' of sharpness due to field curvature. By comparison, the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon has quite even performance across the frame. With the Leica 19mm, the extreme corners do plummet in MTF (sharpness), whereas the ZF 21mm f/2.8 Distagon is sharp for all but the tiniest last bit. Such is life with wide angle lenses, and a 19mm lens is quite a bit wider than a 21mm.", very desirable, most suitable for full frame camera, extremelly good to make stitched panoramas using sequences of vertical shots, uses special rectangular hood that is a must have but is expensive, rectangular hood 12546, rectangular lens hood cover 14302, round A68 lens cap 14301, rear cap is Leica 14269, expensive, very hard to find used, for most connoisseurs is the best ultra wide angle lens ever made, almost perfectly rectilinear assuring perfect reproduction of the finest image details, and is also virtually insensitive to flare even at maximum aperture, internal focusing, last optical group moves inside a cylinder or barrel that projects rearwards, barrel needs to be filed down for Nikon and even more for Canon use, sent my 19/2.8 v2 to DAG along with my D800E and for a very small charge he changed the mount and shaved the lens its so perfect that you would have to know what to look for to see it was modified highly recommended approach DAG shaves the entire circle not just the edge so it looks unmodified which should help with resale.

Leica R 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 3 CAM, Type 3, small rear shroud, model 11259: second E55 version II (V2) with built-in hood which has the lastest Version II optical formula with floating lens element, and with a small rear shroud, (earlier 3 cam E55 lenses and later ROM E55 [the later type R 28/2.8 E55 has the problem in mirror hitting in Canon 5D series body but the early type won't suffer from such trouble divided by the serial number somewhere between 37790XX ~ 37791XX] have a larger rear shroud that supposedly can be removed for Canon mirror clearance but the rear element eventually falls off if the shroud which acts like a retaining ring to hold the last element is removed; fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/940360; fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/980892; http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1180877/0; http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1347100), {WARNING: The rear metal shroud acts as a retaining ring to hold the last element from falling out of the rear of the lens so it should NOT be removed.}, 8 element in 7 groups which is sharp wide-open, #favorite, stellar, a wide aperture wonder, excellent, simply exceptional, a superb lens in all ways, best 28mm lens, fantastic, nothing beats it, only about 3,700 of these lenses in existence, gorgeous, amazing lens, colors and overall rendering are really special, very hard to find, the lens everyone raves about, considered by many to be the best 28mm lens ever (and perhaps the best Leica R lens), simply the best you can buy, superb lens, it is amazing corner sharpness and contrast wide open, produces absolutely stunning colors, a keeper, good luck finding one, really is a 'landscape' lens, great corner-resolving abilities, my choice for f/8 landscapes if I could pick any lens the 28mm Otus is likely better but is so much bigger I would go with the Leica R, stellar but hard to find and expensive, one of the best lens I own [Pham Minh Son], outstanding!, a wonderful lens, the standard recommendation for stellar, fantastic very expensive and hard to come by but a great performer, beautiful, such stellar performer, simply exceptional, the great one, excellent choice! a gem in the Leica lens world and perhaps the king of all wide-angle lenses you'll enjoy using this lens and be surprised by just how detail oriented this lens is, one of the best landscape lenses, greatest option for landscapes, awesome, I still marvel at the corners at wider apertures, stellar performer, fantastic, if you like that flat dreamy look (or use a Zeiss 21 if you like 3D), phenomenal, small and very sharp, exceptional, the finest DSLR lens ever, a great and extremely sharp lens really like and enjoy using with Sony A7r, the best 28mm lens available for an unmodified Sony A7 series camera, does not have corner smearing on the unmodified Sony A7rII, best all around lens for street floating elements superb at all distances not great for flat subjects due to curvature of focus, excessive amount of field curvature [Lloyd Chambers], exhibits tonal and color subtlety (very different than the Nikkor 28/2 and prefer it to the Zeiss ZF 28/2), unbeatable really compact color tonality and gradations that are 'painterly' in a class of its own, color fidelity is second to none, very-very good lens and small, the finest (d)slr lens ever, if money is no object the best 28mm there is, small and just unbeatable, no doubt a winner, brilliant almost impossible to improve upon, the best 28mm retrofocus of all, a winner all-sharpness, resolution, clarity and colors nothing beats it, very nice in B&W combining high contrast with high resolution and marvellous grayscale, a knockout at any distance, a "perfect" lens, images look fantastic, lovely macro, an awesome lens to have, a superb lens for landscapes, good glass shows no distortion at 28mm and the wideness of the frame enables capture to tell a "wider" story than a 50mm that shows about half the 28mm's field of view, 28mm adds more drama than the 35mm focal length without being an ultra wide angle, perfectly sharp at all apertures and little or #no distortion Love it!, works perfectly on the Sony A7r from wide open works beautifully, the lens of choice for the Sony A7r, best performing 28mm lens on the Sony A7r, performs wonderfully on the Nikon D800E, a stunning performer on the D800E, a great lens for sure and working perfectly with the Nikon D800 full open the effect of a moderate field curvature is visible in the extreme corners but less so at f/4 while at f/5.6 and f/8 the lens is sharp center to corners and outresolves the sensor shows the usual transparency of the best Leica lenses, step up to the R 28mm f2.8 Elmarit V2 when you need sharp corners for things such as landscape work, shines on the Sony A7R which lacks an anti-aliasing filter, does suffer from field curvature which can be frustrating for landscape photography as the edges may not be sharp near infinity unless you stop down a lot, the slight field curvature is not concave as happens with most lenses but convex so the little trick to have an image completely in focus at infinity is to set the lens between the 5 meters and infinity marks and stop down with f/5.6 being enough in most cases, the only lens that can maybe compare with a Leica M9 and a Summilux 50 ASPH, portraits with a 28mm lens often distort the subject if you stand too close by using a 50mm equivalent pre-crop to take the photo you ensure that you are avoiding that distortion and actually getting the exact equivalent of what a 50mm lens would give you, the light bulb went on when I got the Leica R 28 Elmarit II sharp corner to corner #wide-open; that's why you pay 5 to 10 times as much for the Leica, in the league of the Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8 in terms of price and performance across the frame, the level of detail this lens shows is astonishing, an amazing lens great corners, the best SLR 28 on the planet (barring 3D from the ZF), a proven performer on the Sony A7r and it may be the best performing SLR/DSLR lens in this focal length, isn't that big and it's pretty sweet, nothing like it for all around work, a stellar lens one of the best wide angle lenses for SLR, the best SLR 28mm lens ever made bar none, a useable focal length wide without much distortion, when traveling with only a single prime lens go with either a 28mm or a 35mm depending on whether images will likely be more location-biased (wider) or more people-biased (longer) such wide angle focal length lenses make images with context and that's one of the cornerstones of travel photography, the 28mm focal length is the widest that still maintains a relatively natural look without the usual wideangle geometric distortion, a knock-out, already sharp across the frame at f/2.8 and using it wide-open was why you would buy it in the first place, VERY nice pseudo-macro IQ in addition to typical landscape sweetness, the perfect focal length for environmental portraits of tight groups of people, focal length is fine as a DX 'normal' walking lens with roughly a 42mm FX equivalent field of view, probably the best 28mm SLR lens ever, little distortion and with a floating element, near-zero distortion AND astounding resolution at infinity, this lens is made in heaven, will make you sit up and be amazed has that 3D and micro-contrast that makes you notice, great close-up, one of the best 28's made, excellent, the best 28mm out there, the benchmark in this focal length, 28mm and 21mm focal lengths together have got you completely covered for wide angle unless you're a geek, a world class optic truly sharp corner to corner wide-open with wonderful 3D rendering and classical Leica colors, very impressive 3D effect when shooting objects at near distances the delicate transition from in focus to blur enhances the dimensionality the degree of blur is distinctly graduated in sub-centimeter increments so as to add to the effect and place the objects so as to appear in 3D more so than most other lenses, surprised at the level of 3D quality exhibited around f/2.8-f/4, stunning, one of the best 28mm lenses, a spectacular performer, nearly perfectly sharp in the corners, simply amazing how clear and CA free the images are, was surprised to see loCA when tested at f/2.8 and f/4 off-axis at closer distances contrast and color was amazing, incredibly sharp and great colors, a special lens very hard to come by and rising in price on the secondary markets renders the transition between in-focus and out of focus so elegantly and 3-dimensionally outstanding for near and close subjects superb sharpness colors that are 'painted' with great subtlety, exceptional sharp as hell starting wide-open, floating element, smooth mechanics basically all the nice things you hear about are true and the price reflects it, has image circle limited to about 34mm x 36mm so will not cover the 33mm x 44mm mini-medium format sensor size (but the Leica R 28mm f/2.8 Super Angulon PC (SK Super Angulon PC) has an image circle of 63mm and will easily cover the 33mm x 44mm sensor size), color realism and drawing consistency across different apertures superior to the Nikkor 28/2.8 AIS that loses out in terms of color, more consistent and sharp image across all apertures than other 28mm lenses, prefer to Zeiss 28/2 ZF in terms of color, a better lens than the Zeiss CY 28mm f/2.8, color matching and consistent aesthetic are important (the concept of having a color matched set of lenses similar to video requirements) the 28/2.8 R works really well with the 100APO with consistent and excellent bokeh, the best focal length for a walk around FX lens, a classic for many photo journalism applications in full frame, the 24mm and 35mm focal lengths are much more popular, exactly normal focal length on DX, a paramount focal length for wide angle shooters it's the 'normal' wide angle if you will, sheer resolution, absence of significant field curvature, and paucity of color fringing, 28mm is the classic focal length for street shooting, at 28mm can get close to intended subject(s) without leaving room for stragglers to wander into the frame (with a 50mm have to back up and then a herd of people wander into the space between photographer and subject), the 28 mm focal length is traditional because it's so useful you can shoot everything from caf portraits to street snaps to the odd architectural layout that catches your eye a good focal length for aimless wandering, for street candid photography autofocus is of little help especially with a short lens (~21mm-28mm) where you'd have to be in peoples' faces and consequentially work very fast so zone focusing is the only way, I find that 50mm is responsible for a "clinical look" often associated with HCB I find myself using the 28 all the time it probably is as wide as one can go without deviation from a "natural" perspective, 28mm has a less exaggerated perspective than 24mm, best focal length for groups in confined spaces, 28mm for street photography of subjects up to 5 meters away, it is amazing the corner sharpness and contrast wide-open, small, light, has a very well design lens shade, sharp edge to edge, just incredible edge to edge even at f/2.8, sharpness and contrast are already exemplary all the way to the edges at f/2.8 and can be enhanced by stopping down the aperture, don't really understand why so many refuse to buy f/2.8 primes when f/2.8 zooms seem OK, it takes no time at all to get used to the cross-frame sharpness and general excellence, sample variation resolution/sharpness at the borders/edges really doesn't get going until at least f/5.6-f/8, small and easy to carry, incredible, the best 28mm lens ever, has no peers optically at wider apertures, 28mm may offer the same field of view as that which we see with both eyes open, very rich Leica color while also having good contrast, neutral color and more moderate contrast than Zeiss T*, quite possibly the best performing 28mm lens money can buy, the best 28mm yet made for any SLR, one of the few lenses up to a more than a 24 megapixel sensor, love it although not that wide on Sony NEX-5N would be really hard to match, this current version of the Elmarit 28/2.8 is perhaps the best 28mm ever made, superior to the ZF 28/2, especially good for landscapes with flatter field at f/2.8 and more pleasing colors than the ZF 28/2, stopping down from f/2.8 only buys you a touch more contrast because its frighteningly sharp wide-open, bests the 24-70/2.8 G and 28/2 AIS Nikkors on nearly every account, the ultimate 28mm, sharp corner to corner from f/2.8 through f/16 even wide-open at f/2.8, amazingly sharp even at full aperture, focusing range is from infinity to 12", the ultimate 28mm, spectacularly sharp wide-open and just better and better as its stopped down, stellar at f/5.6-f/8, "This lens features all the typical Leica qualities. Even wide-open at f/2.8, its sharpness and contrast all the way to the edges of the frame are exemplary, and can be improved only to a minor degree by stopping down. A floating element maintains this quality level throughout, down to the close-up limit of 30 cm (12 in), incorporates high refrective index glass as the front element, compact size, high speed and harmonious wide angle characteristics make this lens a valuable, universally usable tool.", like the field of view better than 35mm focal length as its FOV is more than 15% wider which is quite noticeable, didn't like the way it rendered at f/8 compared to a humble Contax 28mm f/2.8, reputed to be equivalent to 28mm Elmarit-M 4th E46 version, high resolution with great corner-resolving abilities, for low light the Leica's f/2.8 performance is just beautiful, certainly the ultimate if you want to be able to shoot at f/2.8 or f/4 and also if you care about extreme corners where the Zeiss isn't spectacular, very, very close to the Leica M lens version, unmatched optically, jaw dropping differences in sheer optical quality, better close up performance and better wide-open performance than the Zeiss Distagon 28mm ZF which suffers from strong curvature of field, absolutely amazingly at f/2.8 the Leica is very sharp in the corners much sharper than the AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D and Carl Zeiss Distagon 28/2 ZF the Leica is nearly perfectly sharp in the corners and the other two lenses fail to catch up even when stopping them down and also has much less color fringing, stopped down to f/5.6 and especially to f/8 the Elmarit-R improves to a very high level of definition of very fine detail and an even performance over the whole image area, very resistant to flare and ghosting, very high contrast and extreme flare resistance, 2-2.5 stops ahead of the C/Y Distagon 28/2.8 in corner sharpness, no real shortcomings has a floating element design and is one of the very few wide angle lenses that approaches the quality of rangefinder wides, the best 28mm, no 28mm or 35mm Nikkor can match a Leica 28mm or 35mm lens at f/2, the colors are phenomenal, objects 'leap' into focus due to high contrast, much improved close-up performance than its predecessor due to the use of floating element, small and light, exceptional image quality and correction (c.1994-1999) new old stock, best wide angle lens I have ever used, pin sharp from f/2.8 to f/22 with no distortion or flare even with strong sunlight directly in front of the lens, stunning a couple of stops down, looks better than the Zeiss 25 ZF sharper, better contrast, slightly better color; wide-open more contrast and certainly renders more fine detail than the Zeiss 25 ZF which seems to have even sharpness right to the edges whereas the Leica seems to be super sharp but looses some of it's zing into the edges and corners, the only R lens with a built-in rectangular lens hood, entrance pupil 20.3mm behind first lens surface, (E55 is not any 55mm filter, it must have 55mm thread, and the outer diameter of the E55 filter must be < 56.4mm), a 55-62mm step-up ring is the same size as the Leica hood diameter and produces much less vignetting in the corners than using a 55mm filter, no issues with a 55-77mm step-up ring, can use Lee filters without interference from the permanent lens hood by putting a 55mm to 58mm step-up ring on the lens then using a 58mm Lee filter adapter ring, Leica E55 Clip on Lens Cap 79048, Leica E55 Lens Cap 14289, Angle of view (diagonal/horizontal/vertical) 75/65/46, 8 elements in 7 groups, Focal length 28.5 mm, Entrance pupil 20.3 mm (related to the first lens surface in light direction), Focusing range 0.3 m to Infinity, Smallest object field 192 mm x 288 mm, Highest reproduction ratio 1:8, Length 48 mm, Largest diameter 67.5 mm, 435g. Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-R: Very sharp in the center but it is very soft in the corners wide-open until f/5.6. You have to crop the corners out as you can see it not even zoomed in. Not useful for fullframe usage but enjoy quite a lot it's rendering in a square crop. Wonderful color but not for landscapes doesn't have great corners. Great for portraits really like the bokeh but the corners are nowhere near sharp. The Zeiss 35/2, Zeiss 35/1.4, and Nikon 35/1.4G are all much better. Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-R: Does not clear Nikon mirrors. "An ultra-fast wide-angle lens that was designed for photography under unfavorable light conditions. Superbly suited for photojournalism. It features outstanding imaging quality and exceptionally low distortion for this type of wide-angle lens.", "This ultra-high-speed wide-angle lens is ideal for photojournalism assignments under extreme lighting conditions. High contrast and precise detail rendition are ensured even at full aperture. And in critical lighting situations, such as when shooting into the sun or with strong light sources in the frame, disturbing reflections and glare are eliminated. Coma is practically non-existent, distortion is negligible for a lens of this type. A very nice lens with soft not harsh bokeh. Floating elements provide outstanding imaging even close up. And its high speed and relatively short focal length allow spontaneous handheld shooting where there is very little light. The wide f/1.4 aperture also results in a very bright viewfinder image, and enhances the ability to use selective focus aesthetically." A sister lens to the R 80 as they behave about the same - spherical aberration softness wide-open (the Leica 'glow') sharp at f/2 extremely sharp ('landscape lens' sharpness) stopped down. Not really as 'magical' as the 80mm f/1.4 Summilux. {CAUTION: mount uses non-standard diameter thinner screws} Leica R 35/2 Type 2 E55 Summicron-R: Outstanding contrast from wide-open, the smooth yet sharp appearance is quite attractive, thrilling results from f/4 onwards, pleasant bokeh, the bokeh of close-ups isn't all that hot but for environmental portraits it's very nice, latest version has a very smooth bokeh (think Sigma 50), a wonderful lens personal favorite of the R line, all-time favorite lens for the 35mm format, favorite but can only be used in the f/2.0-2.8 (even sometimes f/4.0) range when border and corner performance is not needed. U-shaped focal plane field curvature the line of focus zooming backwards at a steep diagonal toward the edges/corners. There is definitely some saggital/tangential asymmetry going on in the out-of-focus corner regions, too, but this is not inconsistent with field curvature being the underlying cause. It seems to suffer much more from curvature of field, I would lift it to my eye and the 35mm FL framing was perfect, oval OOF highlights, the lens really shines when used slightly stopped down, corner sharpness is mediocre, much more curvature of field than the Nikon and Zeiss lenses, isn't sharp in the corners but produces the best looking images from a 35 and yes that includes the Zeiss 35/2 ZE, usually outperformed at f/2.0-2.8 by the Nikkor 35/1.4, not usable across the full frame even at f/2.8 due to significant vignetting and strong loss of definition in the corners, the Leica's excel in smooth bokeh, color rendition and a smooth transition to oof areas while the Zeiss gives a more '3D' look with neutral bokeh with harder edges, neutral color and harder transitions to oof areas the Zeiss Distagon 35/2 will also be sharper across the frame although the Leica might be a bit sharper in the center, its corners aren't great on full frame until f/8 but it is sharper than the Zeiss in the center from f/2.8 down, it has much nicer bokeh and colors, is smaller, lighter and has a built in hood, don't get carried away by corner sharpness it's way overrated especially wide-open who needs sharp corners when they're shooting at f/2?, prefer Summicron for its color and contrast to the Zeiss, 3D effect and rich colors, obvious vignetting wide-open aperture, CA under extreme backlit conditions, almost complete absence of flare, excellent flare resistance, really remarkable absence of flare or other internal reflections, great color rendition, and sharp but not too sharp, excellent contrast and micro contrast from wide-open but the resolution is not very high, smooth, stop down to f/2.8 and sharpness and contrast picks up across the field but even at f/5.6 or so the very extreme corners still show some softness, peak performance is achieved as early as f/4, at f/8 image quality appears to stagnate, appearing little different from results at f/5.6, and at f/11 image quality in the borders actually drops, 90% of my travel photography is done with this lens I love it. Has foibles some of which actually delight works to perfection just love the thing a true aristocrat reason enough to use Leica R. 430gm, length 54mm, width 66mm. A Leica M2 rangefinder and a 35mm f/2 Summicron M lens is the "classic street shooter" outfit. Leica R 35mm f/2.8 Elmarit, E55, 3 Cam, Type 3, Germany, model 11251: manufactured 1978-1992, discontinued in 1996, latest version, very very good people rave about it could be fantastic, blows them all away, the best across the frame, the lens is everything that I hoped it would be very sharp excellent edge to edge, a high acutance gem, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), an especially good Leica lens, most modern Leica R 35mm focal length configuration, very much underrated as long as you don't need more speed this must be the best value for your money performance-wise it doesn't get much better, gorgeous, just love what this lens can do, corner to corner sharp 35mm prime with great color, redesigned terrific performer, almost perfect in terms of geometry distortion corners are good and low vignetting great for landscape, recommend if you mainly shoot group shots of people, surprised how well it can do portraits exceptional sharpness at all apertures and excellent color tonality certainly helps, less overall distortion towards the outer edges of the frame than other Leica R 35mm focal length primes an advantage for group portraits, has a permanent place in my landscape kit, the 35mm focal length is so versatile, excellent close-up performance even surpassing the 35mm Summicron-R, cron has better color but is not as sharp as the 2.8 the 2.8 is great if you are doing B&W crazy sharp and contrasty, nice "painterly" look a great little lens and built like a tank, almost distortion free, looks perfectly 2D, can be made to flare occasionally but it's manageable, excellent, but somehow uninspiring, for black and white film it is perfectly fine sharp with nice contrast color photography is sharp and clinical but a little bland, image performance in the center was top notch with images staying crisp throughout the aperture range even at f/2.8 with noticeable softness around borders especially noticeable at f/2.8, aluminium alloy body, the 3rd version is optically identical to the 2nd but it features a built-in hood and standard filter thread (E55), third version is about 100g lighter than the 2nd, 7 elements in 6 groups, 62-degree angular field, minimum focus 30cm / 0.98ft, built-in metal hood, 55mm filter size, length x diameter - 41.5 x 66 mm / 1.63 x 2.6 in, 305g / 10.76oz. Leica R 50mm f/1.4 Summilux, E60, Type 3, model 11344; [8 element current 50LuxE60 (since 1998) version 4 (not E55, 7 element older version), prefer serial number >3753000]: {DAMAGE WARNING: Handle with great care so as to not hit the exposed glass of the rear lens element. A rear lens protective rubber ring around the rear lens that would hit the mirror near infinity position had to be removed. Do not damage the rear lens by bumping the glass. Perhaps avoid removing the lens from the camera or storing while at infinity focus. Use a protective rear lens cap.} {Caution: Rear mount does not use Leica's standard diameter screws.} favorite of all R lenses, #favorite, stellar, defines the current state of the art of large aperture standard lenses, a very very special lens, very sharp in the center with great Leica colors and bokeh, amazing just beautiful smooth bokeh and great sharpness, it is not expensive it is simply a lot of money the epitomy of Leica lenses at their zenith, favorite 50, improves upon the current Summilux-M 50/1.4, considered by many to be the finest of its focal length and speed ever available for 35mm cameras, beautiful lens bokeh is wonderful, best 50 I've found just a beautiful rendering highly recommended, Leica produced R-system cameras and lenses for 45 years, ultimate, superb lens probably the best SLR 50mm f/1.4 made, the best ever, favorite 50mm portrait lens, price premium due to reputation and scarcity, this was the last 50mm that was made for the R series and arguably the finest 50mm f/1.4 that any company has ever made 8 elements in 6 groups and utilizing a very soft (possibly fluorite or ED) glass for the 8th lens element, achieves extraordinary image performance and high contrast across the entire focusing range, a fantastic lens, the sought after last version, very beautiful rendering and bokeh, very nice bokeh all spherical elements so no onion rings in the bokeh balls, has very good contrast for a fast 50, best 50 for portraits, the beauty is not just the raw optical performance but its rendering, the most smooth bokeh wide open sharpness at far distances, stands out for extra-ordinarily high contrast and imaging performance for such a fast lens, nearly perfectly corrected and one of the best 50's ever made, a prime lens you can bring everywhere unlike the monster size Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4, while typically the 50mm f/1.4 at full aperture has the worst image quality of any lens in another manufacturer's catalog, 50mm is the widest lens that allows you to take pictures that look like paintings without distortion, it is incredible, 50mm has enough depth of focus a thing you don't have in longer lenses, very nice lens!, really nice, stellar, a dream of a lens with colors reaching out to you, the best optical quality with wide aperture, exceptionally stratospherically good (and expensive), for those times when you need the extra f/stop in the dark to cut your ISO or if you want to blur out an irritating background an f/1.4 lens is worth its price, seems to match the older Leica R 80mm f/1.4 quite well the color and OOF rendition are smooth and pleasing like the 80mm, a very sought-after lens for videographers and other enthusiasts so that can be hard to find for reasonable prices, a wonderful lens might be best 50mm ever made, moderately difficult to focus accurately using the D700 optical viewfinder with Katzeye screen and split prism doesn't easily show critical focus with this lens with little offset going out of focus, sharpness with creamy bokeh, videographers are swooping up this lens as being among the faster/more desirable Leica R glass, the best in terms of optical quality/wide aperture, great wide-open, perhaps the best 50 has great contrast #wide-open which is rare for a 50, noticeable smoother than other superb 50mm lenses, best contrast and resolution wide-open at f/1.4 of any 50mm SLR lens, the 50mm focal length gives an unflattering perspective for portraiture distortion exaggerates the parts of people's faces that they very much do not want to have exaggerated, the contrast is unusually snappy even at f/1.4 which is probably the primary differentiator compared to other lenses, has smoother bokeh than both the older Leica R 50/1.4 E55 and the Leica R 80 Lux, bokeh "circles" at the corners are vignetted at middle distances, has special character not seen from other 50mm lenses, sharper than E55 version and has very smooth gorgeous bokeh can be quite hard to focus because of its gentle sharpness transition, has 8 aperture blades instead of the 6 blades on the cron and e55 lux, one of best 50mm lenses because of its rendering, Reuters professional photojournalism photographers are using lenses at maximum aperture for most of their best pictures and images taken past f/8 by them are rare, the best all-around SLR 50mm lens the sharpest and draws well slightly more distortion than the 50 Cron, at f/1.4 gives a very close performance to the 50 Cron at f/2, at f/2 outperforms the 50 Cron at f/2, at f/2.8 equals the 50 Cron at f/5.6, the top 50mm lens, really not easy to hit the right focus but when you do it the pictures are pretty remarkable, very beautiful rendering, very beautiful bokeh, the result are mind blowing some with the 3d effect and pseudo HDR, hard to focus love it the look is awesome, fast lens with high microcontrast "pop", contrast is unusually snappy even at f/1.4 which is probably the primary differentiator compared to other lenses, the depth of field control and special look with full frame and fast primes can't be overrated (the magic is lost with smaller sensors that give that flat point and shoot look), bokeh is beautiful, awesome lens color, detail, sharpness and especially contrast is unbelievable but bokeh is extremely coarse not suitable for portraiture the Canon 50 1.2L beats it color is a bit extreme and not as natural as the Zeiss 50/1.4, the best of the Leica R 50mm lenses, shines on the Nikon D800/E, the "perfect" lens in resolution, best of the best of all 50mm lenses, aberration, distortion, flare, etc. but bokeh on the harsh side, a very good bokeh, incredibly sharp, better than the Summicron at all apertures, head and shoulders above all else so is a bit disappointing when used as it makes all other lenses in the 50 range sub par!, fantastic lens, arguably the best 50mm ever made for an SLR the sharpest and contrastiest of all Summilux or Summicron R 50mm lenses, Leica seems to have tweaked the traditional 50 design to maximize contrast wide open and as apparent sharpness is a function of both resolution and contrast it will appear sharper with very nice bokeh at many distances and quite sharp stopped down, dreamy bokeh, prefer the rendition especially the creamy bokeh and the circles which are round not cat eye shaped, ninja star aperture shape does not affect the image can safely forget about such an effect with this lens, sharp with the dreamiest watercolor-bokeh available and great with skin tones too, bokeh not as creamy as the Sigma 50/1.4, even better than the previous version which in itself is one of the greatest lens, depth of field wide open is extremely thin but difficult to focus visually hard to judge what is in focus, if there is three or more meters of separation between the subject you're attempting to isolate and the background and you're within a meter of MFD then the Sigma 50/1.4 is roughly as pleasing but if the background is closer or you're farther from MFD then the Leica R 50/1.4 E60 gives better results, impressively contrasty and resolving but the sharp rings around background OOF highlights are too much and they don't go away when stopping down, some harsh bokeh wide-open with bright rings around background OOF highlights, the best part is the unique micro contrast rendition usually get 3D look images starting from f/2.8, best 50mm lens due to accurate manual focus + sharpness + nice bokeh + overall best image quality, if you're taking alot of interior low light photography go for the Summilux, the best of the Leica R 50mm lenses, best of the best but still its not very sharp to the edges wide-open, a bit soft wide-open at close range but very sharp wide-open at medium to long range, a rock solid lens made of superb materials with exceptionally tight tolerances, top notch but also very expensive it approaches but does not reach the 50 Summilux-M ASPH, slightly higher resolution compared to the Leica M lens (50mm Summilux-M ASPH which is an APO lens containing an APO correction element), expensive and rare, at f/2 the Summilux is hugely better than the Summicon it wasn't even close but past f/2.8 they are pretty close, too similar to 50/2.0 E55, when stopped down to f/2.8 no competition in recording finest detail and shades in small textures, to record the finest possible details and shades in small textures has to be stopped down to f/2.8 and at medium apertures has no competition, I'd rather use a 50mm prime and take a few steps forward or back and save all the weight of a midrange zoom lens!, exceptionally good (and expensive), great very very sharp and 3D look like things pop out from the pictures, stratospherically good but somehow it has never acquired a huge following, wouldn't use any other 50mm at f/1.2 or f/1.4 as all the others really need to stop down to f/1.8 to f/2, offers excellent image quality and Leica R users can now shoot in available darkness, probably the best available, optically unsurpassed if you want the best look no further, nice built in hood, definitely very nice but not some kind of holy grail, best all-around SLR 50mm lens the sharpest and draws well slightly more distortion than the 50 Cron but way less than Canon 50/1.4, the Lux 50/1.4 E60 RII at f/1.4 gives a very close performance to the Cron 50/2 RII at f/2 at f/2 outperforms the Cron at f/2 at f/2.8 equals the Cron at f/5.6 the Lux is the top lens of all other brands in its focal length, the most versatile lens for the R-system, very sharp even wide-open, like a tack, love it a remarkable lens, delivers outstanding image quality when stopping down, great very very sharp and 3D look like things pop out from the pictures, not very sharp wide-open, use it at night or in museums or for street scenes, even at f/1.4 has quite high contrast, 50mm for street photography of isolated subjects, "you'll want a fast 50mm, if for no other reason, that available light candids are the heart of Leica photography," can almost always take one or two steps forward or back with a lens and get the same shot as with a 35-70mm zoom, for the extra stop (compared with the much less rare 50 'cron) and the smaller depth of field make it an excellent portrait lens, the extra stop also provides a better view in the viewfinder and sharper focussing, photos taken with the 'lux also have more contrast and better colors than those taken with the 'cron, significantly better at f/2, almost no CA at f/2, has a little loCA, some longitudinal chromatic aberrations at large apertures is normal for an ultra-large aperture lens, [Ken Rockwell writes: "Spherochromatism ... is normal, and a common effect seen in fast lenses at large apertures. If you notice it, you're looking too hard and not taking pictures. Lighten up!"], LoCA is simply one of those things that is unavoidable once a "fast" lens design is chosen, yet to find an f/1.4 lens free of such effects, purple fringing with very very bright lights at f/1.4 at infinity (no vendor makes an apochromatic 50/1.4 because it's very difficult; axial chromatic aberration is virtually impossible to eliminate in fast lenses even with exotic optical designs), purple fringing seen on Nikon D700 but not Leica R3 (Note that purple fringing is the result of interaction between a lens and a sensor, and should not be considered a definitive characteristic of the lens alone; on other cameras a lens might not yield the identical result. ... As perspective, nearly all lenses behave like this, showing a magenta foreground and green background to some degree, one of the rare exceptions being the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro, which is corrected better than any other lens available today), is particularly poor in regard to longitudinal CA (purple/green bokeh CA, spherochromatism, call it what you want), many very fine lenses have this drawback of axial chromatic aberration, the longitudinal chromatic aberration halo effect adds a certain ambiguity to manual focus, most fast primes especially ultra fast ones show some amount of LoCA at large aperture settings which can of course be reduced by stopping down, I've never used any lens that is free of CA when set to faster than f/2.8 (how about the Voigtlander 125/2.5, Leica APO-Summicron-R 90 mm f/2 ASPH, Kern Macro Switar 50/1.9, Zeiss 50/1.4 Otus, and Kinoptic 100/2), easy to carry around on your camera unlike the spectacularly corrected but less practical newer apochromatic Zeiss 50/1.4 Otus which is considerably larger and heavier, the most versatile lens for the R-system the extra stop and the smaller depth of field make it an excellent portrait lens, special way of rendering as Leica does it the lens performs!, overall it is superb great lens for travel and street/low light photography with the only drawback is that it is prone to flare when shooting contre-jour scenes, supposed to be the best 50 Lux to date better than then the M version, the best in the world in that range except for the latest M version, a superb lens probably the best SLR 50mm f/1.4 made, at f/1.4 its performance is superb, coma at the edge of the frame at f/1.4 focused at infinity, need to stop down to f/2.8 for all traces of coma to disappear, by f/4-f/5.6 expect very good sharpness and contrast across the whole frame, excellent flare control, one of the most beautiful background signatures of any lens, better bokeh than Summicron, nice bokeh that looks like the Mandler Summilux 80/1.4 (not a Mandler lens but is more in that camp than the aspherical Leica look), love the lens and think it has the most character of all the 50mm lenses (including the Leica M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH that is not that similar), significantly better in every quantifiable way at every aperture than Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AFD most significantly in its bokeh and look, vignettes quite a lot at f/1.4, slightly more distortion than the 50 Cron, awesome lens and awesome price, color, details, sharpness and especially contrast the lens is unbelievable, bokeh is extremely coarse not suitable for portraiture, color is a bit extreme, even better than the previous version which in itself is one of the greatest lenses, the best of the Leica R 50mm lenses, "perfect" lens in absolute terms (resolution, aberration, distortion. flare, etc.) but bokeh on the harsh side, a 50mm lens is about being selective, whether it's on the street or with a landscape photograph, it also provides a very natural perspective, what makes the 50mm such a great focal length for portraits also makes it a great lens for other kinds of shots, more intimate than wide angle you can isolate elements more effectively, 50mm is more about composition vs. 28mm or 35mm being more about content, it's about keeping a few steps back from the way I approach the subject with a 35mm focal length lens it's as though I'm more detatched and removed, I use the 50mm focal length about 80% of the time, 50mm is more versatile and therefore more magic than wideangle or telephoto, quite sharp even wide-open but it's not 'impressively sharp', a nice combo of resolution and contrast, fine to use wide-open just not something special, wide-open a good lens but not extremely good, records the finest possible details and shades in small textures at f/2.8, at medium apertures has no competition, is a better lens in comparison to the Summicron-R 50/2, not as sharp as 50 Chron when stopped down ... Sharpness and contrast of Leica at f/1.4 is very good, one cannot find another SLR 50mm with better performance than this, extraordinary richness of image contrast over the entire aperture range, even wide-open at f/1.4 its performance is exemplary and perfectly useable, contrast is unusually snappy even at f/1.4 which is probably the primary differentiator compared to other lenses, very, very close to the Leica M lens version, one of the most beautiful background signatures, no other 50/1.4 can match Leica's bokeh, bokeh is very nice but the Sigma looks to be smoother, Sigma 50/1.4 has better bokeh but never gets critically sharp from corner to corner, the 50Lux E60 came out as clear winner in all my different test setups when comparing eleven 50mm lenses but that was before the Sigma 50 EX saw the light - two different beasts, markedly higher CA than Canon's 50/1.4, the Zeiss ZF 50mm f/1.4 contrast performance is quite a bit softer at f/1.4, stopping down by one or two apertures improves the initially high imaging quality only to a minor degree, simply the best 50mm ever made, most of the f/1.2 lenses are unremarkable none of the 50mm-58mm f/1.2 lenses (except perhaps the Zeiss Contax 55/1.2 Jahre) can from f/1.4 to f/16 outperform or match the Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4, CY 50mm f/1.4, or SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 (which trio can really do just about everything except operate at f/1.2), contrast at full aperture is significantly higher than the Canon 50mm f/1.4, the Zeiss ZF 50/1.4 shows noticeable coma in the corner and lower contrast than the Summilux wide-open and stopped down the ZF is no match in color, micro contrast or resolution, bokeh is creamy and out of this world, focus is buttery smooth, "quality is absolutely mindblowingly gorgeous. My hairs raised when I first scanned pictures from this lens. I have never seen such a 'smoothness' in the details before in 35mm, only in medium format. It can resolve the deepest shadows, the brightest highlights. Contrast is way, way, way better than anything I have seen before", "fantastically good lens. Very good at f/1.4, and in my view as good if not better than the Summicron-R at f/2-4. Very good contrast, giving the photos a seldom seen punch. Fully useable at f/1.4 and no competition when stopped down slightly", ("a very compact and handy lens, well suited for reporter photography. In the entire setting range, extraordinarily good, high contrasting image performance is achieved for a high speed lens. Therefore, even the open aperture f/1.4 is a working aperture that can be used without restriction and which offers additional creative possibilities through limitation of the depth of field. By stopping down 1 or 2 steps the contrast of the entire image field is increased even more. The lens is virtually free of astigmatism, and the tendency towards coma has been reduced considerably in relation to the predecessor model. From f/2.8, the level of coma is already very low and is only visible in the corners of the image. At f/4 or f/5.6 and smaller, the lens is entirely free of coma."), CAs are slightly higher than desirable, lateral chromatic aberration wide-open is quite well controlled but from f/2.8 CAs can be visible, some longitudinal chromatic aberrations (LoCA greenish to reddish out-of-focus halos) at large apertures as is normal for an ultra-large aperture lens, minor degree of barrel distortions (~0.6%), distortions and vignetting are about average for a lens in this class, pretty useless built-in hood, bokeh is pretty good but not outstanding, excellent bokeh, (there is an aspheric Leica M version but no ASPH R 50mm exists), significantly sharper than the runner up, the Zeiss (Contax) 50mm f/1.4, contrast performance seems to be unusually high even at large apertures the Zeiss ZF 50mm f/1.4 is quite a bit softer at f/1.4 for instance, particularly at the widest apertures, surprisingly on photozone.de tests the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 beats the Leica in every respect, significantly better in every quantifiable way at every aperture than Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AFD with better bokeh and look, one of the most beautiful background signatures, not a Mandler lens but more in that camp than the aspherical Leica look, does not share the impressive look of the Leica 50/1.4 ASPH M, much smaller than the Zeiss Sony FE 50 f/1.4 for the E mount, fast very well corrected new version, two advantages would be a bright easier to focus screen and shallow depth of field for isolating subjects, a good complimentary lens to the 60mm f/2.8 macro, these photographers used 50mm almost exclusively Andre Kertesz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Eggleston, Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Saul Leiter, Fred Herzog, Ralph Gibson, if I screw in the Leitax mount tightly it locks the focus ring so the mount has to be on there rather loosely, one person found that when they screw in the Leitax mount tightly it locks the focus ring so the mount had to be rather loose secure but not screwed down fully, need to remove the rubber ring from the rear element to prevent mirror slap, has an rubber shroud at the rear of the lens that can interfere with the SLR mirror but apparently this can be safely removed (and put back when reselling), sharper and has less vignetting on film and the DMR than on the Nikon possibly due to the smaller Nikon lens mount leading to more mechanical vignetting, bayonet attachment screws are thinner than with other Leica lenses, 70x51mm, 490g [there is an error in the Leica wiki that says 710g], optical construction 8 elements in 7 groups, 8 aperture blades, minimum focus distance 19.7" (0.5m), maximum magnification ratio 1:7.4, built-in telescopic lens hood, entrance pupil 28mm behind first lens surface, Leica E60 Front Lens Cap 14290, E60 (E is short for Einschraubfilter, which is German for "screw-in filter."), {CAUTION: mount uses non-standard diameter thinner screws}.

Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 R-cam, Type 2, model 11216: #Mandler, 2nd version (1979) with same optic formula but newer purple coating (not older more orange) which makes a huge improvement in contrast, flare reduction, color accuracy, and 'pop,' late version with pullout hood, one of the most common and affordable Mandler lens, redesigned optically and mechanically in 1976 less weight retractable built-in lens hood plus more compact and with some changes in the optical layout, newest version has a built-in hood and has serial numbers from 2777651, The current Summicron-R is almost identical in optical construction with its counterpart in the M-system (fourth version) and is one of the two or three best standard lenses in the world. The Canadian Series VII/E55 has a two-stage built in hood and the German E55 has a single-stage recessed hood no optical design difference between the two but there is a slight draw variation possibly due to a change in coatings or glass suppliers the Canadian version has slightly punchier colors and little more of the classic glow the German version is slightly more reserved in the colors with less glow and is a hair sharper in the center the Canadian version is probably the one to go for. The Summicron-R 50's that were made in Canada are some of the very best lenses. Version I, produced till 1975, was a genius design of Walter Mandler. So were next versions: v.II non-ROM and v.II ROM version, which differed in coating and was co-designed with Garry Edwards & Erich Wagner (1977 design inputs). The ROM version costs a hefty premium. Different coatings of the R50/2E55 is a myth. All lenses from 3xxxxx and for last releases have the same coating. There is even "3 ver." if we investigate thoroughly. One before 361.... - they are made in Canada. Second non-ROM made in Germany, and last ROM made in Germany too. More important is better condition and "ninja-free" aperture near f/2...f/2.8. Very few Ninja-free copies. Rare Ninja-free lens copies with ideal aperture can be found in the 32...33...34 Canadian range but never in modern Germans 36, 37, 38, 39 lenses. Simply superb! Perfection. Classic rendering Gorgeous. It is one of the two or three best standard lenses in the world. The worlds best 50mm lens when it came out in 1976 and still is superior in many regards. Just lovely color and rendering. A gem it is such a wonderful small lens on high pix body great performer. Fantastic colors, sharpness, and bokeh. The best color, contrast, and tonal transitions I have seen in a normal lens. Flawless in #infrared. Outstanding! Especially convenient small size. Simply wonderful. Has a very calm bokeh in almost all shots. A marvelous lens and extremely versatile. wide open it earns it's name as the King of Bokeh. A great optical performer but not a fan of its bokeh at certain distances so I step it down. The predecessor from 1964 was balanced for high contrast at wide-openings. The disadvantage of the design was a slight shift of focus when stopping down, that resulted in the best sharpness zone shifting from center to a zone outside of the center. The current version is a bit less contrasty at full aperture, but performs better when stopping down and its image quality is more evenly distributed over the whole image area. Favorite lens on the Nikon D800E it is magical wide open and it is magical with evening light and color. On an A7 series Sony camera with adapter it protrudes more than an M-mount equivalent though no more than the FE 55/1.8 and matches the sensor way better. Excellent performance on the Sony A7r. All time favorite 50mm lens it is that good. Almost identical in optical construction with its counterpart in the M-system one of the two or three best standard lenses in the world. A beautiful lens with incredible sharpness and saturated color plus good contrast starting at f/2. Wide open, it's sharp but definitely has the "Leica glow" in the center and lower contrast by f/4 it's amazingly sharp and contrasty with extremely subtle tonal gradations and hue differentiation with color the contrast rendering is unusual as it seems to somehow render amazing shadow detail while still providing a very contrasty image almost as if the dynamic range is increased. Performs best between f/2.8-f/4. No visible improvement stopping down after f/4. Probably the best overall 50mm of all time because it is a 9 of 10 in sharpness, bokeh, affordability, and size as opposed to 10 in one and 6 in others. Yes, there are sharper 50mm lenses (Zeiss MP50) and lenses with more character (say, Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS) but overall Cron-R 50 is simply a great little lens and it's a joy to use. A little lighter than the Leica M f1.4 Summilux ASPH. Nice pop and 3D effect with more "character" than other 50mm lenses. Great colors wide open but the bokeh is not the smoothest and wide open it's not at the level of the 28 R v2. For color version II is better it has the same color rendition as the Elmarit 28mm, v2 and Elmarit 90mm v2. Not as much pop and sharpness as the Zeiss 50/2 MP ZF but Leica renders very nicely and like it more for portraits. Nice 3D pop effect more pronounced in portraits when shooting wide open has rather distracting bokeh with busy backround compared to Nikkor 50/1.8G and Sigma 50/1.4. Wish it was able to focus closer. Looks great when processed as B&W images great subtle tones Feels like there's balance between high contrast but gentle transition. Amazing fantastic color, micro-contrast and edge delineation. Lovely bokeh and very good sharpness wide-open. Astonishing color fidelity, skin tones, central sharpness and global contrast, and nice enough bokeh. The colors are amazing lovely bokeh as well. Just beautifully made. Dreaminess. Other lenses are sharper but they never match the color or bokeh. The bokeh is significantly better first click off wide-open (f/2.2) than wide. Strengths are resolution with excellent (strong) color saturation with low(ish) contrast. Colors are quite amazing quite saturated and vibrant. Very attractive color performance wonderful color balance and presence. If you want buttery Leica bokeh then the v2 E55 Summicron is not your lens, it has pretty harsh bokeh, one of the worst in all 15+ 50mm lenses I have love the lens for it's colors and the bokeh is nice closed down to f/4-5.6, but as you understand it's not anymore shallow bokeh. The 'cron does much much better for bokeh when stopped down to f/2.2 than wide-open becomes very nice all brightlines and harshness go away. At f/2.8 the 50 Cron bokeh is much more in line with any other lens, i.e. not particularly harsh. The Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 the E55 version s/n 2876401 or higher has fantastic colors, sharpness and bokeh corner to corner. More than just a slight contrast boost at f/4 compared to wide-open decently sharp wide-open but the contrast is low (in flat light that might give the appearance of softness) combination of sparkling brilliance and color when stopped down to f/4. Surprised at the level of 3D quality exhibited around f/4. The residual aberrations never really clear up, making the Summicron R less than ideal for landscapes that demand fine detail across the field. Great bokeh in challenging circumstances and produces exceptional separation, saturation and sharpness. Stellar my favorite lens of all time just the right balance of everything. Stopped down to f/4 the lens already delivers its best performance., simply sublime it is great for static targets but the long focus throw is not ideal for chasing people though it renders them beautifully, there's just something magical about this lens, nice but not worth the loss of auto-aperture, does not have a large enough image circle to cover the 33mm x 44mm mini-medium format sensor size, a beautiful lens with incredible sharpness and saturated color plus good contrast starting at f/2, takes 2-3 stops from wide-open to really sharpen in the corners, significant CA at f/2, if you don't need to go brighter than f/2 it's the last alt 50 you'll ever want, lovely image rendering, wide-open it takes wonderfully appealing people photographs with the Leica look and stopped down it takes landscapes that are bursting with detail across the frame, emphasis on center performance for general photography at short-medium focal distances not ideal for full frame landscapes, having used every 50 out there (including the Sigma 50/1.4 which has amazing bokeh) none is its equal and none manually focus as easily as the Leica Leica simply spoils you for manual focus lenses, rich colors and tones like shooting a sensor made of Velvia, delicious bokeh and nicely sharp wide-open, bokeh and subject 'separation' are at least as good as various 50/1.4 lenses, a favorite for wide-open work sharp and draws the OOF areas like butter, has a unique "three dimensional" quality, designed by Dr. Walter Mandler, its got that humanistic dreamlike magic, performance wide-open suffers a slightly bit from vignetting, but already at f/2.8 it reaches top quality that lasts throughout the whole aperture range, not the sharpest of the 50mm lenses, actually might just be the sharpest of the lot, very sharp even at f/2 and only gets sharper stopped down, the resolution at around f/8 is hard to beat, takes 2-3 stops from wide-open to really sharpen in the corners, if that is needed, shows some bright rings around background OOF highlights wide-open but feels good to work with and has an overall pleasing rendering, brilliance, edge sharpness and resolution smoothly work together to create images with crisp rendition and almost a 3-dimensional effect, barely any distortion, no CAs, micro-contrast to die for, built forever, breathtaking resolution, totally love the Summicron, sharper wide-open than older German made version with their hassles with hoods and filters that some prefer it for a more classic Leica 3-D look, colors have that slight cool cast that is typical of Leica lenses as it makes for more realistic skin rendering, unheard of high contrast bokeh, an amazing bargain, can show chromatic aberation with purple fringing (seen shooting tabletop photography with strobes, and strong white backgrounds), the 50mm Summicron-M is much better than the 50mm Summicron-R, "better color, better tonality and better bokeh than CZ 50mm f/1.7", wonderful wonderful lens probably the closest to perfect I have ever used, bokeh is much nicer than the Zeiss C/Y, very neutral color, completely usable at f/2.0, optimum performance starts at f/4, for astrophotography produces perfectly acceptable constellation photos at f/2 and stopped down to f/4 the images are extraordinary, entrance pupil 20.2mm behind first lens surface, Elpro 1 (+2.5 diopter, 55mm thread) will give a working distance of between 21cm and 41cm, have been quite pleased with the closeup results with Elpro 2, E55.
ELPRO 2 (+5 diopter, 55mm thread) coated achromat 16542 that turns 50mm R lens into a close-focus optic, working distance of between 21cm and 14cm with magnification of 1 to 2.6, very little if any loss in optical performance and no light loss either.

Leica R 60mm f/2.8 Macro Elmarit 3 CAM, Type I, model 11205 (SERIES 8 IN HOOD or E60 on lens): produced 1970-2009 there was only one optical version, made 46,000 from 1972-2009, E60 filter has 60mm thread and 61.6mm outer diameter; Series 8 is a 63mm diameter unthreaded drop-in filter) outstanding short macro lens, 'walk-around' lens, the most desirable Elmarit, the king of subtlety, micro-contrast is slightly low compared to more modern alternatives but detail is abundant, 'must have' lens, an amazing lens, as sharp as anything gets, according to Erwin Puts if speed is not necessary the Elmarit 60 is the best "normal" lens you can buy, beautiful character prefer over 50 Summicron, utterly unique rendering prefer it to Rokkor 58/1.2 for portraits, a big favorite, fantastic little all-purpose lens, simply stunning, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), an amazing lens, the focus plane is perfectly flat, love the sheer beauty its colors, color quality better than Nikkor 55/2.8 micro, very "pastel" with its colors, lovely for black and white, a great lens so versatile just love it, great for product photos, stunning, very nice foreground and background bokeh, has that refined blur quality essential for closeup work, Leica stated that this is the best normal lens for the R system, less micro contrast that more modern lenses provide, no ROM version has one coated surface while the ROM version is three times coated, less than a third of the geometric distortion of the Zeiss 50/2 Macro, a great lenses but the Zeiss 50/2 MP is the clear winner, THE best macro lens in 35mm (150 lpmm), insanely sharp from 1/2 life size to infinity, many rave reviews about the images from this lens, matchless even at infinity better than the Leica R 50/2 E55, certainly better image quality stopped down than the Leica R 50/2 E55, better in the field than the Nikon 60/2.8G which has only about a quarter of the focus rotation of a little more than 90, great from minimum focal distance out to infinity, the very best design among all 'normal' lenses in reaching a close-to-perfect balance and compromise between resolution and contrast shows extremely high contrast on axis and contrast fall-off as you go to the edges is gradual of course stopping down improves contrast across the frame, "built like the proverbial outhouse will never let you down", oustanding, highly versatile and crazy good, designed in 1972 and still one of the best lenses around, what an extraordinary lens!, quite possibly the best normal lens ever, an outstanding short macro lens, sharp across the frame, very good but not breathtaking, like all Leica lenses it sports outstanding build quality, you have a winner on your hands, should remain on your short list of 'must have' lenses, excellent, awesome resolution even wide-open, does not have a large enough image circle to cover the 33mm x 44mm mini-medium format sensor size, a gorgeous lens which can be had cheaply by Leica standards it does 2:1 without a tube for 1:1 which makes it easy to use without the tube which is most of the time rendering is magnificent with sharpness and detail galore and also excellent all the way to infinity for landscape, great color, just amazing lens, very flare resistant, goes 1:1 with a 30mm extension tube, by f/5.6 is as sharp as some of Leica's best APO glass, #no distortion, well corrected for CA, does have visible LCA, warmer colors more reminiscent of a Canon lens then a Leica one, as close to the "Zeiss look" as possible, less "aggressive" than Zeiss Makro-Planars 50/2 and 100/2 but contrasty and powerful enough, gentler rendering and superior color separation compared with Zeiss 50/2 MP ZF so use the Zeiss for anything metal, industrial, etc. and the this Leica for organics like flowers, use if you want great corners in a Leica normal focal length the MTF looks very Zeiss-like at f/5.6, colors not overly warm, the only Leica which can be compared to the Zeiss drawing style different but really like it, unless you really want to get intimate with gnats' heads you might consider ditching it in favor of a short tube (12mm) on an Otus, there is a newer E55 version that is optically identical but with built-in lens hood, great focus action smooth and precise, equally good close-up and at distance with practically no distortion, negligible amount of barrel distortion at ~0.08%, rendering is medium contrast with neutral color, high resolution rendering fine detail very well, special-purpose lens for near-focus range, also performs exceptionally well at normal focus distances, optimized for medium distances, Leica even briefly recommended use of this macro lens as a normal lens, wonderful used as an everyday standard lens, can't be beat for sharpness, distortion or color, amazingly versatile, great colors, very nice bokeh, great bokeh, extremely good for portraits, distortion unsurpassed in the entire Leica R lens range (even the 100 macro), extreme resolution corner to corner that strongly outresolves the Nikon D800E sensor measured resolution is limited by the sensor at 100 lp/mm, killer on D800, greater depth of field than with a longer focal length macro, it is not "just" a macro lens - used for everyday subjects it is better than the 50/2, remarkable resistance to flare, like more than Summicron 50, certainly better lens than the Summicron 50mm, certainly one of the best lenses ever made for Leica SLRs, no detectable CA, haven't seen CA, did not show any CA - neither axial nor lateral, high contrast and rich color saturation. introduced 1972, rich detail compares favorably with the latest optical designs, super sharp with creamy bokeh, color quality and resistance to flare are second to none, rendition of out-of-focus areas is a pleasing wash of color, excellent imaging qualities, many photographers who don't need a larger maximum aperture use this as their normal lens, at f/2.8 overall contrast is high and very fine detail is crisply rendered over most of the image field, becoming a shade soft in the corners, vignetting is low at f/2.8 with 1.2 stops, distortion is absent, f/4 increases definition of extremely fine detail, f/5.6 is optimum, vignetting gone by f/5.6, no flare or ghosting, for optimum performance medium apertures should be used where it out-performs the justly famous 50mm Summicron-R, a gem both as a general purpose lens and as a macro lens, a real jewel, can't be beat for sharpness, distortion or color, scary sharp, great bokeh and will go 1:1 with any 30mm tube, nice smooth bokeh, macro work is a major reason to use an SLR and it doesn't get any better than Leitz optics, THE best macro lens in 35mm, 150 lp/mm, excellent resolution, contrast, color rendition and freedom from flare, colors and contrast are just beautiful a gem, scary sharp, great bokeh and will go 1:1 with any 30mm extension tube, only stop-down metering works after Leitax Nikon conversion so if you want to shoot a macro at f/16 (and you often want to do that with macros, because of the super thin depth of field) you have to open the aperture to f/2.8 then focus then close it to f/16 then meter then shoot, panoramas at close focus with a short tele give a medium format look, very much under appreciated bargain, low level of chromatic aberration, no distortion (barrel distortion ~0.08%), stop it down by one or two apertures and outstanding results can be achieved at longer shooting distances, optimized for near range photography but also produces fantastic results at infinity, for general photography it is a great lens which can be used at any distance and at any aperture to good effect, a great allrounder and the only gripe is that it does not go beyond 1:2, does not sacrifice working distance by using internal focus to achieve 1:1 reproduction ratios without extension tubes, hood not needed due to the deep recess of the front element, can be used for portraits, very versatile, easy to recommend, and it is quite small too, though reassuringly heavy and very easy to focus accurately, a little prone to flare when the sun is high, favorite lens, one of the best and most versatile fixed-length SLR lenses ever made, one phenomenal lens, better flatness of field than ordinary lenses, extra depth of field compared with longer macro lenses, warmer colors more reminiscent of a Canon lens then a Leica one, borders a little bit soft at wider apertures, by f/4 image quality improves, best around f/8, f/4-f/11 sweet spot, wide-open vignetting gone by f/5.6 and round, stop down by one or two apertures and outstanding results can be achieved at longer shooting distances, at f/2.8 overall contrast is high and very fine detail is crisply rendered over most of the image field, becoming a shade soft in the corners, vignetting is low with 1.2 stops and distortion is absent, stopping down to f/4 brings in the definition of extremely fine detail and at f/5.6 the optimum is reached, performance from centre to the extreme corners is even, close-up performance is as good as that at infinity, versatile lens with excellent definition over the whole picture area, uniformly lit out of focus highlights with pretty pronounced outlining around edges which is common in lenses with over-correction for spherical aberration, contrast transitions in OOF areas pretty harsh and minor hint of double-edging around far OOF objects, minimal color fringing, small amount of axial CA (halation), primarily seen in high contrast areas with wider apertures, identical to the Summicron 50mm M IV, minimum focusing distance is 27cm, 6 aperture blades, quite lightweight, weighing only 400g and measuring 62 x 67mm (2.44 x 2.63in) when fully collapsed, focus ~340, minimum focusing distance is 24cm (0.78') at 1:2, angular field ~24, flare quite well under control, no hood needed due to barrel shape, hood 12514 (hood also for Schneider-Kreuznach PA-Curtagon 35mm f/4 PC Lens; Schneider large format 80mm push on cap fits hood), 6 elements in 5 groups, optical formula is identical in type 1 & 2 lenses, 340 focus ring range, 62 x 67mm, 375g, Leica offers a 1:1 macro adapter, Nikon conversion prevents use of Macro-Adapter 14256, as well as model 14198 dedicated 30mm automatic tube for the 60mm Macro, so try the 27.5mm Nikon M2 or PK-13 extension tube instead. The Leica APO-Extender-R 2x can be used to make this a 120mm f/5.6 macro lens focussing continuously from infinity to a 1:1 reproduction ratio, both the non-APO 2x and APO 2x work beautifully. Starting at f/4, Leica 60/2.8 is sharper and has much less CA than Zeiss 50/2 ZF; wins hands down over the Zeiss the 50/2 ZF - as sharp or sharper at same apertures and no color fringing off reflective highlights; color saturation with the Nikon 55mm f/2.8 or f/3.5 Micro Nikkors is not nearly as rich or clean as the Leica 60/2.8.

Leica 80mm f/1.4 Summilux-R, 3 cam late, 11880: #Mandler, a classic portrait lens, the crown jewel of R lenses with the softer look of the 1970's the Noctilux of the R system an extremely sexy lens that has the right feel and proportions, renders like no modern lens, best known of fabled Walter Mandler designed lenses, great portrait and all round lens every R kit should have one, gorgeous bokeh, the "De-Lux-R 80", wide open is very ethereal and soft, so smooth, nothing beats Summilux 80 for portraits, the ideal portrait lens, shockingly good stopped down a few stops, a little difficult to focus at f/1.4 but very easy at f/2 (because it is sharper at f/2), always struggled focusing wide open on Canon bodies and have tended to use it at f/2 where it is very sharp and much easier to focus now that I tend to use the Sony I can accurately focus at 1.4 which is where I like it's rendering the most, simply exceptional, has the most beautiful bokeh, has a liquid - smooth out of focus rendition, amazing, dreamy when shot wide-open, creamiest bokeh, unbeatable for portraits, for bokeh-games, watercolor bokeh wide open, if you pick the wrong background you'll get terribly busy bokeh that can be very distracting, best color rendition, great lens, perfect, has a look that no other lens has, amazing lens, one of my all-time favorite lenses, shows its 'pleasing' side at full aperture, very mellow wide open, for when you want to take a flattering portrait, fantastic, an amazing lens, dreamy bokeh with great color, the contrast wide open isn't great for focusing peaking, lenses that are low contrast or with a lot of spherical aberration (like the Leica 80/1.4) are quite a bit harder to manually focus quickly than sharper and high contrast lenses, one of the best Leica lenses, favorite lens ever, a stunning lens beautiful character, all I can say is "WOW!!", a gem of a lens, a lens with its own special 'look', for classical and romantic beauty, really fantastic lens, beyond superlatives, has a look that no other lens has this lens just sings! the bokeh is gorgeous, the separation is incredible, and it has that Mandler glow I'm in love I love shooting wide open most of the time and this lens begs to be shot as such, have never been able to replicate the look of nice spherical aberration with post processing, as Ferris Bueller said "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.", the 'Leica glow' is uncorrected spherical aberration mixed with internal flare I [Ming Thein] personally don't like that at all but others do, an excellent available darkness lens, similar design to the Leica M 75 lux, fast and extremely well made tried and true, dream lens portrait rendering is unique, highly desirable for stunningly beautiful images, definitely one of the best leica lenses, wonderful bokeh wide open and super sharp stopped down not quite a Noctilux but similar in many ways, heavier than Zeiss 2/100 MP, sharpness stopped down gets better with distance, not very easy to use for longer distances because the focus throw close to infinity is quite short, color is wonderful, have yet to find a lens which renders tonal gradation better amazingly sharp at middle apertures where it beautifully renders subtle tonal variations no Japanese lens can compare in this respect, bokeh is just gorgeous, "Minimal vignetting, moderate contrast, uniform image quality across the entire picture area and very good resolution of fine detail characterize this extraordinary lens. This lens does not exhibit unwanted reflections, even under very bright, contrasting conditions at full aperture. Tonal reproduction with fine nuances and delicate transitions to unsharpness produce exceedingly beautiful portraits with transparent yet saturated colors even when there are strong light sources in the background.", under corrected spherical aberration to create good bokeh (at the expense of sharpness and especially contrast when wide open), really special, glass to die for: Noctilux, 80mm f/1.4 and 180 f/2, glows wide-open, have come to be in awe of the way that the light rendered seem to have the feeling of an ocean of light washing over the subject, nothing before or since equals the 35/1.4 and 80/1.4 duo for their rendering of light and unique character, like a larger 90/2 pre-Asph that gets razor sharp in center starting at f/2.8 instead of at f/5.6, bokeh great, another Mandler classic, best CA control from a non-APO lens this fast in roughly this focal length, some LoCA wide open, dodgy wide open but that's why some people like it, a bit soft at f/1.4 but not horendously so a great portrait and all round lens every R kit should have one, "Sharpness is a bourgeois concept." Henri Cartier-Bresson, absolutely stunning there is only one other lens that performs at this level the Zeiss 110/2 Planar for medium format both have almost the same look soft and dreamy wide open with superb image quality stopped down and with beautiful colour at any f-stop a nicely balanced look of resolution, contrast, and color can produce fabulous images the best of the best, favorite R lens, for classical and romantic beauty, colors rendered especially shot wide open are unique, while it is not very sharp wide open it has a very smooth rendering characters stepping down a bit to f/2.8 it's extremely sharp yet still retains the smoothness, for wide open performance buy the Canon EF 85/1.2 for optimum pictorial qualities at f/2.0 or smaller buy the Leica R 80/1.4 forget the Contax 85/1.4 which really does not excel in either area, the smooth bokeh is most visible in the rolloff from sharp to unsharp which is very smooth, Mandler-era lenses with shallower more gentle transitions between zones tend to be appear generally softer and of lower contrast though this doesn't mean the in-focus areas have any lower resolution than later ASPH optics in contrast the ASPH designs have a much faster more abrupt transition which slices your scene neatly into planes of focus, a great compliment to the Leica R 100/2.8 APO when you need absurdly sharp performance you can use the 100 APO and when you want to take a flattering portrait of your mother you can use the 80/1.4, nicer bokeh than 90 Chron (non-APO), not competitive with the newest lenses fully open but at 5.6 it will challenge the 100 APO, not a great lens for technical subjects wide-open but it is awesome for portraits and soft subjects, for bokeh-games, the glow add the unique character fantastic lens, absolutely great at f/2 with excellent sharpness and bokeh very easy to focus accurately at f/2 but not at f/1.4, focusing is relatively easy at f/2 where it is already very sharp, the residual spherical aberration of most high aperture lenses tends to fool both the eye and autofocus, with lower performance "classical" lenses the wide-open smearing (hazy low contrast) masks small focus errors since focus is effectively smeared over a deeper zone by various optical aberrations (spherical aberration and longitudinal chromatic aberration in particular), with modern Nikon cameras the focus confirmation is just not accurate enough using a DK-17M magnifier and continuous shooting on CL while pulling focus through the "narrow focus band" nearly always yields one or more ideal images takes a little practice but can be used to great effect with many great fast manual focus lenses, for portraiture stopped down because of smoother less busy bokeh than 90AA, a dual personality lens as it is very different wide open with some ethereal glowing qualities from stopped down where it is very sharp, big and heavy and soft wide open but with lovely rendering of skin tones really sharpens after after f/4 to a stellar degree a true dual-personality lens, exceedingly sharp stopped down, low contrast wide open with moderate sharpness and noticeable CA in strong contrasting light but gives a magical watercolor bokeh, it is normal to find its focusing having a bit of resistance, particularly good when stopped down really good tonal gradation and sharpness, prefer for skin tone color, sharp wide open and smaller for the casual portrait find the glow at f/2 to be amazing yet distracting to focus manual focusing the eye can sometimes be impossible, absolutely creamy bokeh and somewhat dreamy rendering, ninja star aperture shape does not affect the image can safely forget about such an effect with this lens, Summicron 90 (non-APO) is harsher and more dramatic so the Summilux 80 is for taking portraits of ladies and the Summicron 90 (non-APO) is for taking portraits of dudes, the non-APO lenses are the ones that glow a desired quality of many older lenses to outfit with all APOs is to miss a lot, I love it it's not a perfect lens and it's not for everyone when I want to shoot portraits then I find this is my best lens for the task (or the Leica R 180/2.0 if room allows) I really like it's rendition wide open or particularly at f/2 when stopped down to f/8 it's just very sharp and, dare I say, boring if you want a sharp lens stopped down then you don't need this lens at all as there are plenty to choose from when wide open it gives a slight veil of softness but with excellent resolution (just lower contrast due to increased SA) I love that look and it works well in many situations such as portraits, scenic or pictorial applications most fast 80-85's have some focus shift as does the Lux (the cause of focus shift is spherical aberration), focusing using microprism or split screen when the image appears perfectly focused the resulting picture is front-focused if the focus is attained on ground glass then the focus is right on, a perfect level of warmness and color saturation for portrait, low contrast wide open, moderate sharpness, noticeable CA in the strong contrasting light, but gives a magical watercolor bokeh, (in comparison the Zeiss 85mm f/1.2 Jahre yields great bokeh and very shallow DoF and extremely high resolution even at wide-open aperture and controls CA very well at f/1.2 the Jahre is remarkably sharp at such a wide aperture while the Leica 80 Lux has less macro contrast and yields a more glowing look but wide-open it is too soft), sharper then the Zeiss 80/1.4 Planar center and edge at all apertures, has a beautiful rendering that aesthetically is much more pleasing than the Zeiss 100/2 which might be sharper with more contrast but this lens has soul, lacks constrast wide-open but nothing problematic for shooting people, the "Leica glow" is really good for portraits of caucasians but really bad for point light sources including reflections off metal, less "bright" colors than 90/2AA but very subtle renditions of shades, big, slow to focus, rubber focus ring tends to loosen and go away over the years if you want an available light portrait lens that is not too contrasty nor too sharp then go for the 80, has more character than the more clinically perfect 90AA, more 3D effect with the 80 Lux than the 90AA, 3D effect may not always be as strong as some of the Zeiss lenses but it's far from absent, if the 80 Lux were sharp wide-open it would lose some of it's appeal as a portrait lens, highly recommend for photographing people because it is a bit softer wide-open which makes it a flattering lens, so detailed and crisp while magically beautiful, there are model 11880, 11881 & 11349 versions of the Summilux-R 80/1.4, all versions of this lens have the same optical design but the coating of the "Leitz" marked 3-cam version pre-1985 has suppressed transmission of blue and red light making the overall color tone elegant warmer yellow-green that enhances the performance for portraits (vs. the post-1985 the "Leica" marked ROM lens coating which is cooler), there are two different coatings where new one is sharper and more color corrected many prefer the old look for portrait and new look for landscape photography, earlier coating version has more contrast and color saturation, Leica changed the coating in 11881 as less photographers needs the yellow coating for black and white photography - the improved new coating does everything well as it creates more neutral/blue rather than neutral/yellow because of the corrected color all the images appeared more sharp and gives more 3D look than the old 11349 was a revised version of the Leica 11881 to allow using tele-converter in terms of coating, it is identical to the 11881 the older version might work better for portait as it gives softer look skin tones, 80 Lux-R 'fish-skin' bokeh has edge brightening while 90 Cron-R does not, 80 Lux way ahead of 90 Cron for portraits, far superior to Canon 85L, can give an extremely diffused background which an f/2 or f/2.8 lens cannot do, if you choose the natural picture classic style you must use 80mm not the 90AA or 100APO that instead have the high sharpness modern style, wonderfully smooth wide-open and blisteringly sharp when stopped down even a little, a sweet lens, a fabulous portrait lens, a joy to focus and handle, stunning wide-open although with a bit of CA and razor-sharp stopped down, when stopped down really good tonal gradation and sharpness, what is remarkable is its CA control even wide-open best from such a fast non-APO lens in that focal length range, fall in love more and more with my Summilux 80 the color is superbly gorgeous perfect color with no need for postprocessing, prefer it stopped down to f/2 where it is sharper and with great bokeh, slow/smooth focus transition and veil wide-open (characteristics shared with the Leica R 35/1.4 [that can't be mounted on any Nikon because it will hit the mirror] and the new Zeiss ZE 35/1.4 and unlike other Zeiss lenses), the Lux both 80mm and 35mm have very high resolution when stopped down so they are not just fast lenses, sharper wide-open at distance than at close range which is kind of ironic for a portrait lens actually quite sharp wide-open around the center but sharpness drops off a fair bit at the edges at any distance the #spherical aberration glow is nice in a portrait but possibly not so nice in general use a great portrait lens as a result, the ultimate in portrait lenses from the best optics brand in the business beautifully sharp images with soft creamy bokeh, lenses with uncorrected spherical aberration design are some of the hardest lenses to manually focus, favorite (classic) portrait lens, marvellous world class bokeh, this lens is fantastic great for shooting portraits, love the rendering and the absence of CA and the dual character, have never seen flare, wow great in so many ways, has virtually no purple fringing, buttery bokeh, hard to beat for bokeh and color and its unique character is preferred by many, if you really need f/1.4 then it is quite good in the center though quite soft at the edges so you just have to compose carefully, to me the working aperture of this lens starts from f/2.5 which gives me portraits with sufficient sharpness and nice bokeh wide-open is good for those soft images which is not my taste ("two characters in one lens"), optimised for larger image structures rather than attempting to render fine detail with incredible sharpness, have yet to find a lens which renders tonal gradation better amazingly sharp at middle apertures where it beautifully renders subtle tonal variations no Japanese lens can compare in this respect, bokeh is noteworthy, stunning for portraits it is not a contrast or corner to corner sharpness champion but it has very low CA, great tonality and rendering and plenty of resolution, older neutral/yellow coating version might work better for portaits as it gives softer look skin tones and for black and white while the new neutral/blue coating version produces images appearing more sharp with higher contrast and more 3D look so is more useful for landscapes but for the new coating look a Zeiss 100/2 ZF might be a better lens choice, at f/2 the Zeiss 100/2 is definitely sharper than the 80 Lux to get super sharp image + details set the aperture to f/2.8 and the 80 Lux is a magic the 80 Lux has deeper bokeh than the Zeiss 100/2 ZF, the transition from foreground to plane-of-focus to background is very smooth and gradual and looks very natural, has become the most sought after lens that Leica ever produced after they ended production of the Leica-R line, by far my favorite lens of all beautiful because it creates dreamlike sometimes almost religious images that allow me to focus the viewers attention towards the center of interest minimal light falloff, sharp with the dreamiest watercolor-bokeh available and great with skin tones, moderate contrast, uniform imaging performance across the entire image field, and excellent rendition of fine textures are characteristic of this extraordinary lens even in extremely contrasty light and at full aperture it is insensitive to flare and reflections its tonal nuancing and smooth out-of-focus image quality result in beautiful portraits with transparent yet rich colors even when there are strong light sources in the background, extremely flare resistant, very little CA, even better corrected for CA off reflective surfaces than 90AA, buttery bokeh, beautiful portrait lens, a gem of a lens, has exactly the same characteristics as the spectacular 75mm Summilux M that makes whatever I shoot turn out better in a way I could not have forseen really is incredible, Erwin Puts' "Leica Lens Compendium" reviews both the 75mm M and the 80mm R under the same heading because they are so close to one another as to not need seperate listings, 75-80mm focal length renders the midface and the cheek more prominent which gives a younger look versus 90-100mm that renders the subject a mature look, gorgeous rendering very similar to the Canon 85mm f/1.2L (v1) at f/1.4 while weighing half as much, wonderful lens especially because of its soft creamy images, this lens has it all beautiful soft-sharp wide-open and razor sharp stopped down, choose for optimum pictorial qualities at f/2 or smaller, at f/5.6 it will challenge the 100 APO, beautiful portrait lens, when used in the right situation the nice soft focus gives a better portrait look without adding a soft filter, softish with a nice Mandler glow at f/1.4-2.0 starting at f/2.5 it gets to razor-level sharpness very very flare resistant (much much more so than Nikon, ZF/CZ, EOS) very little CA (vs Nikon, CZ/ZF and EOS equivalents best CA-resistant fast lens in that FL range) buttery bokeh built like a tank with slide-out hood never saw any focus shift (unlike ZF 85/1.4), a very good lens indeed better than the older 90/2.0 but no match for the 90/2.0 APO Asph, don't see much value in f/1.4 for portraits as the depth of field is too shallow and lens is not really sharp plus doesn't have the pleasant softness of a nice soft focus lens either, precise focusing is critical at the widest apertures (f/1.4 and f/2), my favorite and most used R lens an excellent available darkness lens use for nightclub/musician shots, impossible to focus, got a bit put off by the #focus shift, having to focus wide-open and then stop down would lead to some disappointing results, when focusing f/1.4 lenses stopping down to f/2 or f/2.8 cuts the haze dramatically and also builds in the focus shift while focusing, if you always focus stopped down you will never noticed any shift, suffers from focus shift so must focus at the working aperture, focus shift left unmitigated alters the visual balance of a composition by emphazing the background and blurring the foreground, focus shift is mostly an issue with f/1.4 and faster lenses mostly in the 50-85mm range wide-open these lenses usually have a lot of spherical aberration which disappears when stopping down and that moves the plane of sharpest focus back away from the camera, very tricky lens to learn to focus correctly, can't trust the center of the focusing screen microprism and have to use the ground focusing screen around the center microprism, to focus the 80 Lux wide-open have problems using the microprism or split screen because when the image appears perfectly focused on the microprism the resulting picture is front-focused but on the same screen if focus is attained on the ground glass portion then the focus is right on, cannot focus and recompose, learn to focus stopped down (f/2 and f/2.8) as there is a slight focus shift taking place, fast lens a keeper, a wonderful lens and probably my favorite R lens unrivalled for portraits a little soft at f/1.4 sharpens up beautifully by f/2 better at f/2 than the old 90mm Summicron-R and due to the even wider aperture it focusses really easily, even better than the pre-APO 90mm 'cron with superior contrast and resolution in the field at f/2 to f/2.8 and a stop faster still with very nice bokeh and wonderful handling, compared to the 90mm Elmarit and Cron this lens has it all beautiful soft-sharp wide-open and razor sharp stopped down, learning to focus the 80 Lux takes lots of practice, heavy, luscious perfect for portraits with wonderful bokeh but also plenty sharp enough for normal use relatively heavy and does not focus very close compared to the 90s or the 100mm but it's a real beauty my favorite R lens with respect to "character", with f-stop typically f/2.8 to f/4 the fabulous Summilux takes care of Rendition/DOF/Bokeh and the secret to sharpness is shutter speed, a stop faster than the pre-APO 90 'cron and therefore is a joy to focus and handle although heavier and does not focus as close same performance or better subjectively at f/1.4 as the Summicron does at f/2 and produces wonderful images my favorite R lens, just melts with beautiful bokeh, at close focus say less that about 5-6 feet it is a bit soft at the wider apertures but stopping down corrects this, suffers from focus shift but not sure how much it matters at anything other than close range, maybe a small amount of shift but not more than the DoF could handle, a signature look that is particularly appealing a glow in color and a melting of contours as the image recedes from the central subject the Noctilux also falls into this camp they do not offer the same image type/quality as other Leica lenses offer a wonderful look perhaps unique in the world when shot at their intended use (wide-open) I am not sure that there are any comparable lenses, has a reputation nicely rendering graduated tones with in highlights and shadow values for an older design bokeh is quite harsh especially compared with some of the the "creamy" older lenses, Leica Glow in Mandler-designed lens a special look of soft-over-sharp and an extremely beautiful bokeh, Mandler glow has to do with uncorrected spherical aberrations combined with underlying high resolution, a very nice soft-on-sharp look, the spherical aberration is simply like a veil over an otherwise detailed image, the Leica glow or more precisely high spherical aberrations are desirable in a lens when shooting portraits and basically undesirable for everything else unless you are looking to create a special effect in a shot, internal vignetting is visible wide-open even half way from the corners creating an inconsistent bokeh that gets a bit disturbing and shows clipped specular out-of-focus highlights fairly close to the center of the image rendered as half-moons, even better than the pre APO 90mm for portraits superior contrast and resolution in the field at f/2 to f/2.8 and a stop faster and therefore is a joy to focus and handle with very nice bokeh and wonderful handling, has the same performance or better subjectively at f/1.4 as the pre APO Summicron does at f/2 and produces wonderful images my favorite R lens its only negative strike is that it is heavier and does not focus as close as the Summicron, has virtually no purple fringing, very flare resistant and very well-corrected for CA and purple fringing, sharp-enough wide-open and has that famous Mandler 'glow' once you stop it down to f/2.2-2.8 it gets razor sharp in the center the pre-APO 90/2 is nice and has the same Mandler fingerprint but is very soft wide-open and doesn't get as sharp as the 80 in the center until about f/5.6 both lenses have buttery bokeh. "Minimal light falloff, moderate contrast, uniform imaging performance across the entire image field, and excellent rendition of fine textures are characteristic of this extraordinary lens. Even in high contrast light and at full aperture, it is insensitive to flare and reflections. Its tonal nuancing and smooth out-of-focus image quality result in beautiful portraits with transparent yet rich colors - even when there are strong light sources in the background.", pay the price and be happy forever, favorite R lens, a superb lens!!!, "Great lens. By far the best bokeh I've seen produced by a portrait lens. One of the best portrait lenses ever made. Produces outstanding bokeh at f/1.4 and f/2, but is a bit soft until you stop it down to f/2.8, better yet f/4. Colors are very saturated and rich. The lens vignettes quite heavily at f/1.4. Also some CA but not too bad.", not good bokeh, does have CA but that's relatively easy to fix, noticeably sharper at distance than it is close up when wide-open don't like it wide-open at close range, softish with a nice Mandler 'glow' at f/1.4 to f/2 (a nice 'kind' portrait/soft focus lens at wide apertures), starting at f/2.5 it gets to razor-level sharpness (uber-sharp in center frame), VERY, VERY flare resistant (much, much more so than Nikon 80/1.4D, ZF/CZ 80, EoS), VERY little CA (vs Nikon, CZ/ZF and EoS equivalents) best CA-resistant fast lens in that focal length range I've ever used, buttery bokeh (if you like buttery bokeh), unlike ZF version never saw any focus shift (something the 85/1.4 Zeiss is plagued with at wide apertures) Leica 80/1.4 is really diferent from the rest of 85mm range lenses, "By far my favorite lens of all. Because it's beautiful, a piece of diamond to hold and because it creates dreamlike sometimes almost religious images that allow me to focus the viewer's attention towards the center of interest.", one of the best portrait lenses ever made, first time I used it on the D3x for portraiture was a wow moment for me, beautiful portrait lens ... dreamy-but-sharp look ... more about texture and blur than pop and microcontrast ... amazingly sharp at middle apertures where it beautifully renders subtle tonal variations, but neither the Leica 80/1.4 nor the Nikon 85/1.4D is sharp wide-open, and the Summilux is nearly impossible to focus at f/1.4, extremely sharp at f/5.6 ... Stunning shots ... picture a larger 90/2 non-APO that gets razor sharp in center starting at f/2.8 vs f/5.6, bokeh great, another Mandler classic, favorite f/1.4 lens in this focal length and a perfect companion to the Leica 35/1.4 (the 2 SLR lenses I'd carry if I could only carry 2 I favor lenses that have fast apertures and exhibit "pictorial" qualities that appeal to my eye when rendering light), best CA control from a non-APO lens that fast in roughly that focal length ... I have yet to find a lens which renders tonal gradation better than this lens ... mediocre by Leica standards, the previous comment is utter piffle, amongst the most luscious Leica lens, perfect for portraits with wonderful bokeh but also plenty sharp enough for normal use, very flare resistant, relatively heavy and does not focus very close, a real beauty ... No Japanese lens can compare ... the Leica 80 lux is sharper at every f/stop with better color and bokeh than the extremely slow autofocussing Canon 85mm f/1.2 L I'd be surprised if anyone who had shot both would prefer the Canon ... The Canon is still sharper wide-open and at f/1.4 so if wide-open performance is your priority then the Canon betters the Leica ... had both and disagree 80 Lux was better wide-open than the 85L ... As for the fast 85s - the Leica 80/1.4 is hands-down my drug of choice... wins hands down vs. the Nikon 85/1.4 AF-D visually easier to focus, sharp enough or enough contrast WO to allow easy plane of focus placement, even in low light, nice focus action, my favorite (2nd favorite is Zeiss 85mm f/1.2 50th year Anniversary), not sharp at f/1.4 - f/2, starting from f/2.5 this lens is super sharp, sharpens up like a knife at f/2.8, on par with 90AA in center of image, moderate astigmatism up to f/2, gradual smooth in/out of focus transition, can get a 3D effect on occasion, one of Leica's bokeh machines, like most Mandler glass, colors neutral but accurate, the spherical aberration WO opens adds that nice 'Mandler glow' ... almost impervious to flare, very flare resistant ... definitely one of the best Leica lenses, even though it is an old design, although it is not perfect. ... sweet lens, very flare resistant, nice 'glow' wide-open, sharp as tack starting just after f/2 in center. ... the Lux isn't soft at f/1.4. It has this unique look, with a basically sharp image sort of overlaid with a glow. Beautiful for the right subjects. Dr Mandler at his best. ... Easy to focus. Great bokeh. Nice glow wide-open due to spherical aberration ... superior performance to the Summicron 90 at wider apertures, it is just a wonderful lens to use for any kind of portraits, better than the Summicron 90 for portraits because it has better/smoother bokeh and has the nice glow wide-open, a real joy to use, shallower depth of field like the Rokkor 58/1.2, bokeh is the best you will find in any of Leica's R line-up ... The Canon EF 85/1.2 is sharper at f/1.2 than this lens at f/1.4. None the less, the R is already razor sharp at f/2, and if you really need f/1.4 then it is quite good in the center though quite soft at the edges, you just have to compose carefully. ... An excellent available darkness lens ... For wide-open performance, buy the Canon EF 85/1.2 (but you are at the utter mercy of your AF and calibration thereof and the CA can be nasty), for optimum pictorial qualities at f/2.0 or smaller buy the Leica R 80/1.4, ... the Contax Zeiss Planar T* 85/1.2 (uber CZ C/Y 85/1.2 Jahre 50th or 60th version, ~$5,000) has a breathtaking performance ... forget the Contax 85/1.4, which really does not excel in either area, virtually no difference between the Contax and Leica wide-open although the Leica becomes significantly sharper when stopped down 1/2 to one stop while the Contax's improvement is less noticeable ... this lens will not not compete with the newest lenses fully open. At f/5.6 it will challenge the 100 APO. ... a great compliment to the Leica 100 APO when you need absurdly sharp performance you can use the 100 APO and when you want to take a flattering portrait of your mother you can use the 80/1.4 fantastic wonderfully smooth wide-open, and becomes blisteringly sharp when stopped down even a little bit ... a wonderful lens and probably my favorite R lens. Unrivalled for portraits. ... A little soft at f/1.4 sharpens up beautifully by f/2. It is better at f/2 than the old 90mm Summicron-R and due to the even wider aperture it focusses really easily. ... In terms of performance the 90 APO is at least 2 stops over the 80 lux ... The Noctilux on the M8 is very similar to the 80 Lux on FF. ... the Noctilux is the closest in character to the 80 Lux ... At f/1.4 its bokeh is as singular as the Noctilux ... for those who want character. It is wonderful. ... the 80 Lux is a great lens, but the 90 APO is much better ... no differences in optical formula among versions ... The 3 CAM version seems to have a tad more contrast and emphasis on mid-gray tone than the ROM version. Green seems to be greener and yellow has a slight hint of orange. If you buy this lens primarily for portraiture, I think you'll love the 3 CAM version better. Angle of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) 30, 25, 17, 7 elements in 5 groups, Focal length: 80.3 mm, Focusing range: 0.8m to Infinity, Smallest object field: 192 mm x 288 mm, Highest reproduction ratio: 1:8, Entrance pupil 52.6mm behind first lens surface. E67.

Leica R 90mm f/2 Summicron 3 CAM, Type 1, model #11219 (Series 7 + 14161 retaining ring (outer diameter of 54.9mm) vs. E55: Leica Series 7 retaining rings are 54mm thread, there are 54-55 step-up rings which permit easy use of standard 55mm filters, the same as "E55", but an E55 filter has outer diameter 56.4mm, about 1.5mm too large to allow the built in lens hood to extend), there is only one optical formula for the Leica R 90mm f/2 shared by versions 1 (with 2 piece hood) and 2 (with 1 piece retractable hood), the non-APO 90 R 'cron was E54 up to s/n 2770950 and E55 after with no optical changes, one of the best lenses ever made by human hands, there's no better portrait lens, pleasing warm colors, colors are stunning, lovely for delicate portraits, excellent character, color is simply amazing, classic Leica portrait lens looks gorgeous and is also a bargain, pure magic for portraits, bokeh is spectacular simply amazing, a very Zeiss-like rendering starting at f/5.6, lovely rendering, phenomenal and focuses down to 0.7 meters which is all you can ask for a portrait lens, really begs to be shot at MFD, small, sharp, constrasty, gorgeous rendering and bokeh, a bokeh master, a great portrait lens, simply wonderful, a delicacy to it's rendering, bokeh king, classic 'Mandler glow' portrait lens, love the smooth bokeh, prefer the bokeh over that of the 90/2 AA, shocked at its 3D qualities, phenomenal and focuses down to 0.7 meters which is all you can ask for a portrait lens, OK at f/2 but only gets VERY sharp in center at about f/5.6, older neglected copies can have stiff focus, the smoothest transition from the point of focus to the background that I have ever seen, magic at f/2 to f/2.8, plenty sharp at f/4 and on and nicely softer at f/2 with a smooth bokeh, two lenses for the price of one, dreamy wide-open, a great lens wide-open it has that soft out-of-focus rendition just great for portraits but by f/5.6 the lens is sharp even to its edges a much under appreciated lens, in addition to low CA wide-open it shows very high contrast and rich colors at this aperture isn't pixel-sharp until f/4-f/5.6 but at wide apertures there is something addictive in it's rendering, wonderfully smooth bokeh love for portraits, one of the best portrait lenses below $1000, the joy of using this Leica lens is the bokeh rendering and sharpness wide-open, like two lenses in one wide-open it's sharp but beautifully dreamy and 3D great for headshots stopped down it's razor sharp has this wonderful way it 'draws' with this '3D' look, favorite for kid pix, no other lens in this focal length range gives the pleasure of that mystique rendition with perfectly smooth transition from in-focus area to out-of-focus area, sharp from wide-open with a tiny bit of veiling glare, critically tack sharp by f/4! impressive indeed, has fairly strong CA, some CA to contend with at f/2 and f/2.8 that vanishes by f/4, for short to medium distances this lens performs extremely well, especially good for people, love it for portraits beautiful skin tones and very gentle focus transitions and smooth bokeh, general walking around, wide-open shooting of colorful things especially to make a slightly 'impressionist' statement, and for travel as it's relatively small (but not lightweight), just beautiful rendering, nice feature is its short MFD of just 0.7 meters for landscapes it is just fine but nothing special, has excellent rendition when used as a portrait lens from f/2 to approximately f/4 and then when closed down beyond that is essentially a AA at between f/2.8 and f/4 is where an interesting transition takes place and it resembles in many ways the f2.8 Elmarit-M (last version) when that lens is shot wide-open but not soft at f/2 or f/2.8 and still renders detail with a roundness and softer contrast strictly for long lens landscape shooting wide-open the AA may be a better choice if absolute resolution and contrast is required, never use a lens longer than 105mm and never faster than f/2 to make portraits as large staring glass eyes are intimidating and destroy intimacy, famous for it's bokeh smooth and buttery, more favorable bokeh than 90AA, soft WO and gets very sharp about f/5.6, buttery bokeh, not clinical, Mandler 'glow' like the 80/1.4 but 80/1.4 is sharp in center at f/2.8 as the 90/2 is at f/5.6, the 90/2 and 80/1.4 are the typical shorter portrait lens choices for R users, a classic and great portrait lens, designed by Dr. Walter Mandler, a great choice for portraits with a bit of 80-Lux-like magic wide-open, my favorite portrait lens, possibly the best portrait lens in the business, can use with an ELPRO 3 close up lens for close up portraits, is spectacular with Elpro-3 close up lens, rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds is smooth and pleasing, has a very nice look to it for portraits sharp but flattering, image quality and bokeh are awesome/excellent, fantastic, the bokeh is amazing, creates wonders for me the pictures it delivers are totally STUNNING superlative at night even wide-open and impressive in daylight, an excellent lens it has the classic Leica look and if you like that you'll love it isn't the very sharpest tool but it's sharp enough and if you do portraits it's beautiful, has essentially no coma wide-open making it good for astrophotography, wonderful color and bokeh, bokeh and subject 'separation' are at least as good as various 85/1.4 lenses, great lens with outstanding bokeh at f/1.4 and f/2 but is a bit soft until f/2.8 and better yet at f/4 colors are very saturated and rich vignettes quite heavily at f/1.4 some CA but not too bad very flare resistant, a bit soft at full aperture, sharpening well a stop or two down from full aperture, draw is flattering with accurate skin tones and pleasing bokeh for portraits, known for excellent bokeh, love the smooth bokeh for portraiture, color quality and flare resistance, holds up well at minimum focus distance, beware of field curvature when using extension tubes, a very special lens with fantastic color rendition, has a bit of glow (i.e., uncorrected #spherical aberrations) wide open that persists a little even at f/2.8 giving a softer look for portraits, shines at faster apertures through f/4 or f/5.6 and at medium focal distances and closer, bokeh is a bit better than the 50 Cron bokeh, great center sharpness, very neutral bokeh, contrasty but not at the expense of tone, classic Leica portrait lens, excels at portraits, some of the best ever portraits, favorite portrait lens, a fantastic lens for portrait work the contrast is perfect for faces, an old simple double Gauss lens, shares the same optical construction as the Leica M lens 3rd version to which it is closely related, design unchanged for 25 years after its 1970 introduction, it's clear that the Nikon 85/1.8G is a better performer, sharp without harshness, color rendition is excellent, out-of-focus backgrounds are a smooth wash of color, such a fantastic portrait lens, like having 2 lenses in 1 wide-open it's dreamy creamy bokeh goodness, and stopped down it's very sharp indeed, not too contrasty, love the bokeh nice colors and micro-contrast a Walter Mandler lens!, favorite Leica lens, f/2.8 is about the minimum aperture for getting most of a face in focus but something special happens when the lens opens up from f/2.8 to f/2 - there's a slight desaturation and a creaminess to the bokeh, and faces just get gorgeous, has a certain character that is wonderful for portraits (rendering of out-of-focus areas: As points go out of focus, points first become a spreading "halo" of light around a sharper central peak, causing nearly-focused areas to have lower contrast but still retain lines and textures. This gives a greater apparent depth of field, with a sort of soft-focus effect "glow" around the nearly-focused areas. Bokeh somewhat better than 100/2.8 APO Macro. The warmer Zeiss 100/2 ZF has more micro-contrast making objects more 3D-like out of the camera while the cooler Leica 90/2 has a slight glow and color richness. Inspiringly-beautiful images. Has a unique "three dimensional" quality ... just something so eye-catchingly 3d about the way this lens renders. There's just something so eye-catchingly '3d' about the way the Leica f/2 Summicron renders shot wide and near wide-open, it's just otherworldly; has essentially no coma wide-open making it good for star photography/astronomy. Very-useable close-up focusing. Beautifully-built, very flare resistant. Closer foreground objects well out of the depth-of-field end up smoothly blurred together, while background objects sometimes produce double lines and harder edges, giving a "painted brushstrokes" effect), incredibly rich colors and a special drawing look that is distinctly Leica, remarkable resistance to flare, high contrast and rich color saturation, detail rendition is best at about f/5.6 or f/8, "liquid" wide-open that has an appeal all its own, nice affordable lens with a very pretty rendering, it makes lovely images, being a Mandler lens (as is the 80/1.4, 90/2 pre-APO, 35/2, etc.) has that nice glow, one of the best transitions from in-focus to out-of-focus, use at f/4-f/11 for best sharpness, low-contrast and soft in the corners at f/2 but sharpens up dramatically by f/2.8 (and by f/5.6 is as good as the Elmarit or 90-AA) which gives the 90-R (and its fraternal twin, the last pre-AA 90-M), its high sharpness and contrast, Leica 90/2 Summicron-M III is in a league of its own it out-Zeisses Zeiss, has higher contrast which makes focus easier than the 80/1.4, a very nice lens but it is no 80 Lux, at f/2 is better in the center than the 80 Summilux, a little low contrast at f/2-2.5, but fine by f/2.8, useable at full aperture for portraits, but not really for infinity shots, essentially no coma wide-open making it good for star photography, an excellent lens and a bargain, bokeh smooth/buttery with Mandler 'glow' like the 80 Summilux, bokeh CA in the small oof highlights (like through leaves) when wide-open that can be offensive, beyond f/2.8 can't really tell it apart from the Elmarit, but the additional stop gives greater focusing accuracy, the Summicron is preferred by some portrait users, other lenses are sharper and more contrasty wide-open but I find myself reaching for the Leica 90 non-APO quite often for a number of reasons especially for indoor people shots:
1) The pictures are flattering. A lot of the lenses above make even my 11 year old son look like a craggy old man. My wife doesn't hate pictures taken of her with the Leica.
2) The bokeh is beautiful.
3) The lens is unintimidating and doesn't make your subject too self-conscious.
4) The lens is small and has a built in hood making it easy to take with you.
5) It's easy to focus manually with its very long throw and (as far I can tell) no focus shift.
6) It's two lenses in one use it wide-open for beauty/leica look/flattering portraits stop it down to f/4 or above for very sharp detailed pictures.
The best way I can describe the pictures I get with this lens is that they look "cinematic". Instead of being one whisker's depth of field which looks very "photographic" you get pictures that look like they're frames from a movie where selective focus is being used deliberately to tell a story., ("Portrait lens with 3D effect: My most '3d' lens is the Leica f/2 Summicron, and that's between a fair number of primes. There's just something so eye-catchingly 3d about the way that lens renders. Shot wide and near wide-open, it's just otherworldly."), has higher contrast than the Summilux 80mm which makes focusing easier but the Summilux 80mm is sharper when stopped down, low light falloff and distortion are exemplary at all distances from maximum aperture on down, the dual-personality of wide-open soft portrait lens and stopped-down tack-sharp landscape lens, very compact for its speed, another Mandler lens, gently sharp wide-open, exceptionally sharp at smaller apertures with great bokeh, (stopped down to f/2.8 and below it's as good as the Elmarit, which is 99% as good as the 90 APO), great at f/2-f/2.8 with a soft yet somehow sharp look very different from the Elmarit but stopped down more the Elmarit blew the Cron away, outstanding center performance across the aperture range, border performance a bit on a softer at f/2, as good as the center from f/4 on, outstanding f/4-f/11, minimal vignetting wide-open aperture, gone at f/2.8, at full aperture contrast is low to medium, with coarser detail recorded with fuzzy edges, performance is quite even from centre to the outer zones, dropping in the far corners, flare is somewhat less well suppressed, stopped down to f/2.8, image quality improves markedly and from f/4 there is a gradual improvement till f/5.6, where an excellent quality is attained, a great portrait lens at f/2 and very sharp around f/5.6 or f/8 a nice combination in a single lens (versus the APO version that is extremely sharp, sharper at f/2 and f/2.8 at the expense of good bokeh), by f/5.6 it's a landscape lens worthy of picking up the finest details, a fantastic lens for portrait work , demonstrates remarkable resistance to flare, high contrast and rich color saturation, a lens with character, 8 aperture blades, excellent bokeh, one of the best transitions from in-focus to out-of-focus, the 90 'cron's bokeh is much smoother and creamier than the 100 APO, no double edging around background and foreground OOF objects, contrast transitions more or less smooth, but OOF highlights carried distinct bright edges, out of focus highlights are smoother than the more geometric highlights of the 105mm Nikkor, excellent color representation and contrast, colors rich and very accurate, one of the most recognized and valued trademarks of Leica lenses, no color fringing, flare or distortion, low CA at borders wide-open, so a solid overall performer, with outstanding center and almost excellent border image quality, "a popular entry lens (e.g. gateway drug) into Leica R medium telephotos for a lot of alternative users due to it's price/performance ratio so they are seen frequently as people sell them move to the 90AA, 80 lux or say the 100 APO (to name only Leicas) as they start stepping up in $$$ with the same rough FL", not as sharp as the 90 Elmarit and nowhere near the newer 90 AA in terms of clarity, color and above all, sharpness wide-open, more "character" than the Elmarit, while the Elmarit is a perfectionist lens, nearly identical optically to the M version, used with extension tubes or bellows the field curvature is huge at close range so a better choice is to use an Elpro achromat with which the lens is quite good in the near-focus range, ELPRO 3 coated achromat turns 100mm, 135mm, and 180mm R lenses into a close-focus optic, especially like using it with the Elpro 3 close-up lens which can get 1:3 magnification using ELPRO 3 vs. close focus ratio of 1:6 without (but closer than 80/1.4) and can use ELPRO 3 (+1.66 diopter, 55mm thread) #16543 with 54-55mm step-up ring for even more #close-up portraits, have been quite pleased with the closeup results with Elpro 3, (two-lens approach: the 90mm Summicron-R for portraits and the 100mm APO for close-ups and landscapes), built in two part telescoping hood, (compared to Nikkor 105mm f/2.5, no contest, the Summicron is sharper, more saturated with beautiful pastel backgrounds when wide-open, smoother focussing, tighter aperture ring).

Leica R 90mm f/2 Summicron APO ASPH, model 11350, E60: {Warning: Has quite a strong rearward #focus shift at closer range so some care must be taken at closer distances; however focus shift is not an issue when stop down focus is always used as with Leitax conversion for Nikon but stopping down more than f/4 yields too much depth of field for accurate focus judgment and becomes too dark so for f/5.6, f/8, etc., focusing at f/4 is probably best}; {WARNING: Focusing the 90/2AA too quickly pumps air into the camera with an audible whoosh and can get dust on the sensor, so focus slowly}; Focus at f/2.8 to partially compensate for focus shift, particularly at close range. Focus at f/2 if shooting at f/2; the newest Leica R lens design; Introduced 2002 with dramatically improved imaging properties especially at full aperture, M and R 90 AA are the same design, better close range than M, only 2000 R lenses were made, legendary lens, world class, outstanding performance at every aperture, on the dream lens list, state of the art, the world's sharpest 24x36mm format lens, #favorite, stellar, superlative lens a pleasure to use, a fantastic lens, just lovely, considered the best 90mm focal length lens ever made for 35mm, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), with many lenses for demanding purposes they need to be stopped down to f/4 there are exceptions of course the Leica 90mm f/2 Apo-Summicron would be one it does just fine wide open, price premium due to reputation and scarcity you need to value the rendering, handling, durability, and manual operation for R lenses to make sense M version of the 90AA is quite a bit cheaper than the R version even with apparently identical optics apparently because the R can be adapted to other SLR's and for cine use, the R lenses are built to last almost forever, a joy to use its compact size, built-in lens shade and ultra-high performance yields gorgeous results, an incredible lens!, near mythical status, a legendary Leica lens with Apochromatic correction for high-performance imaging peak performance is achieved at full aperture impressive contrast rendition, the world's highest-performance photographic lens period, for perfection redefined, a top portrait lens forget all others, probably the best lens ever simply unbelievable, stunning, great sharpness, a stellar lens, best 90mm lens ever made by anyone, beautiful magical rendering, very nice in B&W combining high contrast with high resolution and marvellous grayscale, a great lens at a big price, where the best lenses shine is the realism of the picture and 3 dimensionality this is where the 90mm AA shines, has its unique clean color and tone reproduction which I struggle to replicate with other lenses, aperture f/2.8 perks up contrast nicely, landscape images at f/4-f/8 are ridiculously sharp, both sharp and contrasty, an awesome lens very sharp one of the world's best lenses, more attractive for its ergonomics and focusing range than the optically identical Leica M rangefinder version, not critically sharp wide open sharp enough but with a bit of the 'edge' toned down in line with the general Leica wide open rendering seen in a number of lenses critical sharpness is more towards infinity never been disappointed, just right, fancy lens with outstanding sharpness and colors, an extremely sharp lens with superb color saturation, exotic lens, great sharpness and micro contrast an amazing lens, for those who want perfection some of the best Leica glass made today, the best telephoto lens ever made, incredibly compact, outrageous!!!, detail is really astonishing, perfection redefined, delivers beautiful color and contrast, if I want a nice portrait lens it is hard to go wrong with a 90 Summicron APO, bokeh can be iffy, lens needs to be shaded as it is prone to veiling flare, peak performance is not close up, doesn't have a floating element so its MFD performance is not that spectacular mid-range to infinity it's a fantastic lens, great APO performance, delivers beautiful color and contrast far superior secondary color violet fringing correction than the Zeiss 85/2 Sonnar ZM, has some spherical aberration wide open at nearer distances that will take a slight edge off its absolute sharpness peaks at farther distances and around f/4, with a specular light source and blown out reflection can provoke purple fringing also exhibited purple/magenta fringing in high contrast foreground out of focus areas and the corresponding green fringing in background areas, far more LoCA wide open than I'd expect in an APO lens, delivers exceptional image quality in the f/2.8 to f/8 range on an absolute basis f/2 is exceptional for an f/2 lens wide open but it is clearly less crisp than f/2.8 f/4 is clearly the ideal aperture for significant depth of field and peak optical performance but f/5.6 and f/8 are good choices when more depth of field is needed so long as shutter vibration is not a factor but f/11 is rather dull and f/16 looks downright poor ideal for field work with the right combination of speed, sharpness, ergonomics and handling to make it a superb match for the Leica M240, outstanding on the Sony A7rII, sharp at f/2, a fantastic lens and my favorite Leica lens stays glued to my Sony A7II, VERY sharp starting at f/2.8, peak micro-contrast at f/2.8 - f/4, usual magenta/green color blobs of secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration (common even with the best APO lenses) that f/4 cleans up almost fully, image contrast is slightly low at f/2 but f/2.8 is almost optimal and f/4 brings outstanding results with f/5.6 and f/8 delivering more depth of field, a faint violet haze at f/2 which is banished at f/2.8 with f/4 peak performance, the 100/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R appears to offer slightly better edge and corner performance at f/2.8 but by f/4 is so close in performance that one should probably choose based on other characteristics such as size/weight/distortion and need for macro capability, definitely has a flatter field (less field curvature) than the 100mm f/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R, a favorite in outdoor shooting for its superb contrast and slightly compressed telephoto look, expensive, smooth focusing, considered a reference lens similar to the Coastal Optics 60/4, much prefer the 90AA color rendition over the CO 60/4 the 90AA sets the standard much more than the CO 60/4 as THE reference lens, this is about as good as it gets if you do portraits you can not go wrong just about perfect, killer sharpness at f/2, amazing absence of CA plus great bokeh, doesn't have the consistently buttery bokeh of the Leica R 90 Cron pre-Asph or the CV 90/3.5 APO, very pleasing at f/2, no need to stop down, peak performance is most definitely not reached at f/2 a bit low in contrast compared to stopping down 1-2 stops however the performance is exceptionally good at f/2 and should be used without hesitation when a wider aperture is desired and/or stopping down 1/2 stop or 1 stop is an excellent compromise stopping down to f/2.8 raises contrast nicely for both coarse and fine structures with f/5.6 bringing very high micro contrast and exceptional sharpness to the extreme corners MTF peak performance at f/3.3-f/4, perfectly suited for portraiture wide-open as it isolates a subject so beautifully, such a smoothness and richness would not hesitate to use for portraits, deserves all its accolades flawless, made to be shot #wide-open, love it love love it, gem, stellar lens, the world's sharpest photographic lens, the front element seems to be a dust magnet and easier to scratch than any other lens I've owned the front element curvature is also such that it's difficult to clean all the way to the edges without a tool like a lens pen, Leica's premier 90mm lens, world-class even among other Leica lenses, the only nearly perfectly corrected lens with great bokeh, lovely rendering and stunning performance, love it lovely look, great bokeh, a little magic wide-open and sharp sharp sharp, the image just snaps into focus in the viewfinder, best of the best, king of the list, unparalleled for image quality in the 90mm focal length, amongst the finest lenses that Leica has ever produced, "drool-worthy That lens, lord do I wish I had that lens", lens lust magic its price went out of this galaxy and I gave up because I live on planet Earth, texture you can reach out and touch that's what the money pays for, in the Klsch era Leica was more oriented to designs without compromise, awesome and as good as the 50/1.4 R E60 in its own way, one of the all-time best lenses in the world, videographers are swooping up this lens as being among the faster/more desirable Leica R glass, isn't as sharp at f/2 as I'd expected and has demonstrable focus shift videographers have snapped them up leaving what's left out there pushing US$4000+ a copy purity of color and brutal sharpness stopped down so not a portraiture lens, obviously beats the Nikon 85/1.8G and the Nikon 85/1.4G on all accounts except speed of focusing and bokeh wide open, compact and relatively light with outstanding sharpness wide-open, for portraiture Leica lenses have the benefit of very high micro contrast relative to their overall contrast so skin texture and hair are recorded in a way that makes them look more real and three-dimensional, brutal for portraits, doesn't focus close up and wouldn't be my choice for a portrait lens it's too (brutally) honest, magenta/green blurs of secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration APO has its limitations this level of color correction can surely be improved upon, brings the design up to date for sensor compatibility and uses expensive glass types to give maximum detail resolution and contrast at f/2 with most f/1.4 designs there is a noticeable improvement if you stop down to f/2 offers much the same f/2 with no need to buy an f/1.4 just to get that "one stop down" edge for portraiture has the benefit of very high micro contrast relative to overall contrast so skin texture and hair are recorded in a way that makes them look more real and three-dimensional and also focuses to 70cm which makes it a good solution for tight face shots and close-ups, one of the few lenses up to a more than a 24 megapixel sensor, ASPH designs have a much faster more abrupt transition which slices your scene neatly into planes of focus cleaner and suits the digital medium much better than film because the distinct-edges work together with the discrete pixels of the imaging medium to create a doubly-sharp impression prefer to use ASPH glass on digital cameras and Mandler-era on film, excellent performance at all apertures stopped down it out-Zeisses the 100 MP in drawing style (a characteristic it shares with its predecessor), maybe better at long distances but weaker at short distances than the Cosina Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO macro that definitely has a more soft and gentle bokeh, lack of a floating rear element for better close-focus performance is a weakness (the Leica APO-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 has a floating rear element), not a macro lens and not usually acquired for its bokeh, mild pincushion distortion, a compromise in design in order to produce a fast very compact lens thus leaving near distances for the 100 Makro APO to handle the aspherical element may have something to do with the somewhat 'nervous' bokeh, the 90/2 Summicron-M V3 in terms of contrast at all resolutions this is one of the highest performance lenses ever made you can think of it as "a Zeiss 100 MP Plus", the Canon 85/1.2L II cannot deliver the same bitingly sharp contrast, compact design weighing a mere 520g, a legend, one of the best portrait lenses for portraiture Leica lenses have the benefit of very high micro contrast relative to their overall contrast so skin texture and hair are recorded in a way that makes them look more real and three-dimensional, the only weakness is when you shoot towards the sun, infrared focusing Wow! has visible/infrared focus convergence offered by very few lenses severe infrared flare faint hot spot at center degrades contrast at f/8 sharpness is excellent across the field with very nice differentiation of tones and even color rendition across the frame, excels at PORTRAITS! makes for a GREAT portrait lens on a full frame camera and great for head shots with a crop sensor in another league making other lenses look flat, cold and lifeless in comparison there is a little magic in Leica glass a world class lens great sharpness throughout its range as well as amazing contrast and color no focus shift issues sharp at all apertures as good as it gets for portraits it is absolutely wonderful, highest performance medium tele lens, it doesn't get any better, cleanest color fantastic ability to delineate between subtle hues and produce pure colors, the best lens ever the bokeh isn't perfect I don't care, still state of the art in lens design and craftsmanship, lovely look great bokeh a little magic wide-open sharp sharp sharp, the world's highest-performance 90mm lens, in a compact barrel, blazing sharp wide-open so not as good for portraits as the non-APO version, the APO version is nearly impossible to find and now absurdly expensive, stunning performance, possibly the best 80/85/90mm DSLR lens made, its sharpness is absolutely phenomenal, crazy razor blade sharpness across the frame, ridiculously sharp even wide-open at f/2 and even in the farthest corners, sharp and contrasty at f/2, one of the true exceptional lenses, at full aperture the performance is already as good as that of the Apo-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100mm at aperture 2.8 for an aperture of 1:2 this is a most remarkable feat, doubling of the contrast of the fine textural details (60% contrast at 40 Lp/mm compared to 30% for previous version 90 'cron), beloved, stellar performer, true world-class lens, it doesn't get any better, the brilliance and resolution are superb, phenomenal, fast, sharp and doesn't have any visible distortion ( -0.25%, 30' -0.5%), small, fast & easy to focus and razor sharp but not agressive with incredible colors a state of the art general purpose lens versus the 80/1.4 which is an available light portrait lens, best lens ever created, super sharp and the bokeh is amazing, unflinchingly sharp at all apertures, always super sharp center, corner, and everywhere in between, at every aperture its published MTF curves are superior to every other 90mm lens, razor sharp which is not always what one is looking for in a "portrait" lens, optics are beyond fault, superb bokeh, stands out how natural looking the images are really like the look, magnificent optical qualities, awesome image-capturing wow! what incredible life-like sharpness!, a marriage of killer APO colors with unreal sharpness and contrast, distortion is so slight that it is practically undetectable, vignetting is extremely small and disappears completely from f/4 onwards, pumps dust inside very easily while the 80/1.4 does not, the built-in telescopic lens hood can be locked in its extended position by rotation, excellent for shooting fireworks at f/2.8 - f/4, sweet lens, optically identical to the M version only that the R version is able to focus close, a little weak at close distances, the best telephoto lens ever made, does not focus beyond infinity, I prefer the R90AA over the R80/1.4 all the time, texture you can reach out and touch, with four of five (!) lens elements boasting specialty glass and one aspheric element it's unique among lenses in its exotic construction, precise focusing is critical at the widest apertures, perhaps the best portrait lens ever made, very impressive, but at portrait distances it is less impressive than further away the absence of a floating element starts to show and there is noticeable curvature of field, all of the Leica APO lenses have visible longitudinal chromatic aberration wide open and the 90 APO is the least LCA corrected lens among them, {CA is measured and defined IN the plane of focus. Many of the Leica "APO" lenses that are atrocious at what should really be called "bokeh LoCA" or "exit pupil variance over wavelength" are very good at this point - among others.; Technically you can't really speak of aberrations at all with regards to the OOF areas (outside the focal plane).}, came away feeling unimpressed as the lens really isn't wow'ing me and for whatever reason I like the 90mm pre-asph M better for portrait work, offers unique properties avoiding the color oddities associated with non-APO lenses, incorrect adapter mount thickness can introduce color fringing which is not seen on Leica camera body with DMR, unique qualities in the way it renders out of focus areas particularly specular highlights and bright lights, super sharp but falls apart close up, bokeh can be iffy, excellent bokeh for out-of-focus backgrounds in the center of the image but background bokeh is only fair in the corners at f/2 and for foreground items out of focus the bokeh is terrible, great APO performance, very nice at f/2 but it really lives up to its reputation at f/2.8+, sharp at f/2 and VERY sharp start starting at f/2.8, optimum aperture is f/4, if most of your shooting is at f/2, f/2.8 and f/4 this is the best 90mm lens to get and to use for shooting in dim light but by f/5.6 the advantage over other lenses is gone, offer high performance in #infrared, world-class in visible light and infrared, they just don't build 'em like this anymore, with the exception of the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 APO macro lenses that perform to this level are few and far between, the lens standard for all lenses and I even prefer it to the Coastal Optics 60/4, gives up a little in the bokeh department but the gains in terms of resolution, etc. are fabulous, the bokeh from 90/2 APO is not as good as Summilux 80/1.4, fantastic lens at medium and long distance but shows a massive quality loss at typical portrait distance of 1m to 3m the lens doesn't have floating elements and it really shows high amount of focus shift close-up below 4m as you stop down becoming troublesome below about 2.5m, getting accurate manual focus at f/2 isn't as easy as you'd expect from such a sharp optic, not as well corrected for CA/fringing off reflective surfaces at wider apertures as other Leica fast APO glass (other Leica APOs are essentially CA-free), very sharp from medium to infinity focus but from medium to nearest focus is not very sharp and "glows" a bit just like LUX 80/1.4, starting from f/2.8 the 90 APO is very sharp from MFD to infinity for artistic work f/2 may be useful but for commercial work most clients just don't like shallow DOF especially when there are expensive background setups or laborious make ups, one copy of the 90 APO was great at 1-3m, doesn't have the consistently buttery bokeh of the 90 pre-Asph or the just as sharp CV 90/3.5 APO, some traces of oblique spherical aberration at the image edge wide-open but by f/2.8 the quality is perfect, need to carefully choose backgrounds as tends to have a lot of definition and not the nicest OOF point light sources, wonderful, ruthlessly sharp so without a softening filter or a Photoshop modification can at times be unflattering for portraits, world-class even among other Leica lenses, favorite lens for night shooting and fireworks, beautifully built and quite compact, a brilliant lens with few peers, brilliance and resolution are superb, absolutely top imaging performance, very, very close to the Leica M lens version, extremely expensive optics that deliver world-class performance at a premium price, beautifully built and quite compact, distortion is so slight that it is practically undetectable, to achieve f/2 and still remain apochromatic the 90/2 APO sacrifices both macro ability and flat-field performance at closer range, goes softer under 6 feet at any stop, the minimum focal distance image quality is well below the 90Cron AA's optimum so for close-ups or macro use the 100/2.8 APO Elmarit instead, the Zeiss 100/2 ZF has more of that '3D' look to it which can be just awesome and has macro while the Leica 90/2 AA is better at everything else, has smoother bokeh (blur circles are hard edged with Zeiss vs. soft edged with Leica), and is much smaller, significant field curvature at closer range, any Leica APO lens MUST go back to the Solms factory for any work even a CLA due to the large number of exotic elements and complex construction, choice of aperture should be one purely one of depth of field, bokeh is lovely both front and back with high smoothness, a distinctive look to out-of-focus lights with particularly smooth edges and a solid shape not a strong core/halo effect as with most lenses, sharp at f/2, razor sharp starting at f/2.2, avoid minute-long nightime exposures of high intensity unshielded street lights at f/2 which causes normally invisible high order coma to become prominent but is gone by f/4, very good tonality, bokeh can be a bit take it or leave it, must be used judiciously for woman portraits because it shows all skin flaws, shows out-of-focus color aberrations, absolutely no color fringing (chromatic aberrations), not as well corrected for CA WO especially off reflective surfaces as the CV 90 APO, found no color fringing with DMR/R9 so CA may be due to incorrect Leitax mount thickness, very sharp from medium to infinity focus but from medium to nearest focus not very sharp ("glowing" a bit, just like LUX 80mm f1.4), a better lens than Zeiss's 85 1.4, outstanding lens performance available at any aperture, significant rearward focus shift with stopdown that at close range will result in acceptable but not ideal performance [but focus shift is not a problem when the lens is focused stopped down!], vignetting is extremely small and disappears completely from f/4 onwards, probably diffraction limited by f/5.6 so even f/8 is likely to show a slight decline in contrast, a bit less sharp with close-up subjects (less than 1.5 meters wide-open), pushes and pulls air as it is focused. (Compared to the E55 non-AA version, the difference is not great in terms of sharpness; color saturation, contrast and eveness of sharpness across the frame are marginally better with the AA but you'd only see it in a side by side comparison; shooting wide-open, the 90/2 AA displays the biggest improvement; after that the difference diminishes.), "Apochromatic correction and an aspherical lens surfaces are brilliantly combined in this compact medium telephoto lens to deliver exquisite performance. Two out of its five elements are high-refraction glass. Two other elements feature anomalous partial dispersion. Consequently, the brilliance and resolution are exemplary across the entire image field, even at maximum aperture. This performance can be improved only slightly by stopping down. Light falloff is minimal even at full aperture. The wide f/2 aperture and excellent contrast characteristics result in a particularly bright viewfinder image, enabling reliable, accurate focusing even when there is little light. The close-up limit is 0.7 meters (27.5 in), and in the extended close-up range you can fill the frame with a subject measuring 14x21 cm (5.5 x 8.25 in). With the LEICA APO-EXTENDER-R 2x, it becomes high-performance 180 f/4 mm long telephoto.", "the 90AA somehow compresses the dynamic range, especially compared to my other relatively large aperture lenses, very desirable in extreme lighting," if you don't need a Macro lens the 90mm AA is probably the better overall lens as it is smaller, lighter and faster than the 100mm APO and slightly sharper at medium distances to infinity at similar apertures, optical quality of this lens is comparable to the superb 100mm APO-Macro-Elmarit-R except that the 90AA shows a small amount of distortion while the 100mm APO shows virtually none, much better handling lens than the 80 Lux but bokeh is not as good, focus is smooth and fast, great contrast helps the viewfinder image snap into focus without second guessing, the 90AA is also lighter and smaller than the 80/1.4, takes the 2x APO Extender to become a 180 f/4 APO which is still pretty sharp and takes up so little space and can even use this combo as a macro setup in a pinch, wide-open it is a dream, isolating subjects in sharp focus against smooth OOF backgrounds, really very 3D look with great color and overall clarity, they show up ever so rarely on the used market and their prices since the R line was discontinued have doubled from early 2009 to mid 2010, ~900 cost for replacement of a scratched rear element, entrance pupil 58.6mm behind first lens surface. {Loctite 220 medium on center bayonet screw on red dot side.} Length 59mm, diameter 70mm,
weight 520g.

Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 100mm f/2.8 3-CAM, ("AME"), model 11210: First released in 1987, manufactured for 15 years (20,000 made), this is the 2nd version with smoother focus movement, use for macro, landscapes and stitched panoramas, one of the finest lenses available today, has no equal as a macro lens, the best of the best reference lens, probably the favorite lens among Leica R owners, world class, spectacular, a fantastic lens, a glorious 100 for any purpose, a stellar performing lens, love its amazing color fidelity that is second to none, delivers stunning color rendition, truly a gem the best color fidelity, incredible, stellar, astoundingly good, Wow, the best macro made by man, perfect, a treasure, best lens one could imagine, stunning one of the best if not THE best all-round lens, the king, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), nearly flawless performance at any distance, miraculous, highly desirable for superb image quality, a challenge to get because there are only a few around and they're very expensive, the perfect assemblage of glass and metal (other than how it handles contra-lighting), favorite 100mm lens as great at distance as it is close with amazing color fidelity, widely accepted to be the best macro lens in existence from a sharpness/bokeh/color balance perspective, simply amazing, fantastic Bokeh and image quality, fantastic lens for portraiture smooth bokeh, prefer the apochromatic color, bokeh, and very precise (720 degree) focus throw over the Zeiss 100/2 Marko Planer, micro-contrast is just amazing, does superb portraits as well, one of the best lenses ever, considered legendary with good reason the Leica benchmark by which all others are judged absolute favorite Leica lens superb portrait and short telephoto with amazing macro better than Zeiss, Canon, Nikon, Voigtlander beautiful Leica colors stunning resolution, flawless in #infrared, increased depth of field stopped down makes f/2.8 the ideal focusing aperture, wide open at f/2.8 is about equal to the Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI stopped down to f/5.6 - f/8, love the 100 APO for portraits/headshots also strong at infinity with lush colors the focus throw for portraits is manageable but for long to infinity there is not a lot of travel in the focus, has some field curvature, not only is this one of the sharpest macro lenses ever made but it has an almost movie-like feel to the color very soft and delicate, great all around lens has a beauty to the rendering, there are lenses - there are great lenses - and then there are legends - the Leica APO Macro Elmarit R 100mm f2.8 is in a different league than even other lenses from that great lens maker, have tried very hard to generate chromatic aberrations and have never been successful simply so well corrected that CA really is non-existent, has large enough image circle to easily cover the 33mm x 44mm mini-medium format sensor size and offers an immense image circle as you approach infinity, CA is definitely there but rare to see in real-world shooting the CV 125 APO-Lanthar does a lot better than the Leica in comparison, a bit of CA at near/minimum focus distances wide open which cleans after a stop down, with the very best lenses f/4 is the peak aperture on the Nikon D800 and beyond that diffraction begins to visibly degrade micro-contrast f/4 is the best aperture for peak micro contrast and a visible drop in micro contrast begins at f/5.6 with f/8 being more or less the same as f/5.6 sharpening helps but cannot restore the brilliance of f/4, the subtleties of color it renders is really something unique, somewhat prone to flare with bright contra-lighting which is likely due to the absolutely flat last element surface facing the sensor other than that pretty much perfect optics, delivers very high quality over most of the frame wide open with only the corner areas being slightly low in contrast a situation remedied quickly at f/4 aperture f/5.6 maintains the f/4 quality while adding depth of field which given possible minor focus errors means that f/5.6 should be a preferred aperture, fantastic bokeh and image quality, this lens definitely keeps up with the Nikon D800E, beyond the microcontrast, resolution and lack of aberration the colors are transparently vivid almost prettier than reality, absolutely love the color purity wonderful lens!, the Leica R APO 100 wins the sharpest and has the smoothest bokeh of the trinity (Leica R 100/2.8, Zeiss 100/2 ZF, & Voigtlander 125/2.5) nothing beats the Leica glass, not as well-corrected wide-open as the Zeiss 135/2 ZF.2, even better color than the Zeiss 100/2 MP, in that rarefied class of outstanding resolution and performance, resolves 150 lp/mm in the center and 80 lp/mm in the corners, almost unbeaten at longer focus distances (the 4/280 APO outperforms it) but almost two full turns of focus throw makes it hard to use for people and street photography, outstanding image quality on the Nikon D800E! and easy to manually focus even in low light, performs better than the 90mm Elmarit M or R and quite possibly the 90mm Aspheric Summicron M or R but is heavier than the 90mm lenses and is slower to operate due to the extremely long throw for infinity to 1/2 life size, is longer, and does not balance as well on cameras as the 90mm lenses, most impressed by it's sheer color richness, superior control over color aberrations at wider apertures than the Zeiss 100/2 MP, not necessarily superior for more distant work having some slight field curvature that is absent from the Zeiss 100/2 MP, forward field curvature at the edges, when focused at distance has a forward field curvature to the edges and corners rearward focus shift in central areas and a mild forward field curvature towards the edges and corners, more readily available and relatively affordable (compared to the other APO teles) having been made for longer and in larger numbers some field curvature but if you're looking for color purity and spectacular sharpness that will deliver to the the 36MP sensor it's a wonderful choice as a combo Makro and short tele doesn't suffer from the ugly spherochromatism of the Zeiss 100/2 MP, stronger contrast and saturation that is typical for Leica if you need perfection across the frame at all apertures with #no distortion then this is your lens, a good portrait lens too, for portraits on the Nikon D800E find the bokeh fine and don't mind the longer macro throw, its portraits can be unflattering, just extraordinary, hard to beat is a real under statement the lens that is legendary and known to many as the 'King of Macro', most 'well-behaved' lens, the focus throw is a whoppin' 710, focus throw twice Zeiss 100/2 ZF (~180 vs. 90 from 1m to infinity), the exceptionally long focus throw is great for focus stacking, easiest 100mm lens with which to nail focus, detail is really astonishing, performs as flawlessly at distances as it does at MFD perfect color reproduction love the way it renders, for portraits the performance is phenomenal, the level of detail captured is astonishing, significant field curvature when focused near infinity, very best lens Leica ever made, absolutely a favorite to dream & drool, overall really amazing performance, the most 'well-behaved' lens I have encountered, sharp, zero distortion, APO lenses really are better, color spot-on accurate, tank-like build, astounding resolution, simply sublime, contrast and saturation is higher than found typically on a Leica or on the Leica 60/2.8 macro, much prefer its general character to the 90/2 APO ASPH have yet to see a shot from the 100 that is technically bad has gorgeous bokeh, astonishing sharpness and great resistance to flare add to that the fact that it focuses to 1:2 without any adapters and it is a dynamite lens, handles shooting into the sun well, somewhat prone to flare with bright contra-lighting which is likely due to the absolutely flat last element surface facing the sensor, I am always stunned about the sharpness, detail, the 3D feeling and especially the color reproduction Nikon glass does not come close, extreme example of precision focusing with focusing ring rotating ~680, a must have magnificent lens for macro, the best macro in the 35mm format due to its sharpness, bokeh, build & color, outstanding performance top notch image resolution throughout the frame and across all aperture ranges image quality unvarying from close-up all the way to the infinity, legendary macro lens very colorful and bleedingly sharp, breathtaking can't say enough nice things about the sharpness meshed with the dreamy bokeh even at smaller apertures, no hot spots in #infrared, color reproduction is simply amazing probably one of the best and most accurate among all lenses colors are rich and well saturated creating vivid life-like patterns and giving an impression of three-dimensionality with good contrast even in most difficult lightning situations leaving no room for post-processing improvements, image resolution is simply outstanding corner to corner, chromatic aberration is practically non-existent, color reproduction is one to envy, distortion non-existent, did not exhibit any flare, negligible vignetting which disappears at f/4, color reproduction simply amazing one of the best and most accurate among all lenses, colors rich and well saturated, creating vivid, life-like patterns and giving an impression of three-dimensionality, OK bokeh and great sharpness best color of the Leica/Zeiss/Voigtlander bunch best overall performance great lens on stationary objects off tripod, contrast so good even in most difficult lightning situations leaving no room for post-processing improvements, legendary and it shows uber sharp starting #wide-open nice bokeh (a bit less creamy than the CV 125/2.5), does not focus beyond infinity, significant field curvature when focused near infinity, at near-infinity focus the presence of some field curvature is undesirable for stitching landscapes unlike the planar Zeiss 100, gives the Voigtlnder 125mm a run for its money the Leica 100mm is indeed noticeably sharper, best APO performance of any of them solid and smooth construction build oozes 'quality' focus throw makes for a very good all-round lens that does a great job as a 1:1 macro with the Elpro adapter famous for accurate color rendition no flare issues and a bit more Zeiss-like contrast/saturation than is typical of Leica lenses, sharp, zero distortion, color is spot-on accurate, tank-like build, astounding resolution, actually is not that well corrected for CA off reflective surfaces wide-open (despite being APO) as the 80 Lux, more Zeiss-like handling of contrast as compared to other Leica glass even other APO units such as the 90/2 and modern 180mm's, I would happily sacrifice the extra stop of the Zeiss 100/2 ZF to not have to worry about chromatic aberration or vignetting and also prefer the ergonomics of the Leica 100/2.8 APO better its slimmer body, larger focus ring, and built-in hood, rated with the highest total score ever recorded by Colorfoto magazine (German, 12/2001), image quality dazzles, fantastic probably the world's best short tele lens for SLRs, possibly the best bokeh available anywhere, a stunning lens, legendary macro lens very colorful and bleedingly sharp, exemplary over the full frame at f/2.8 with very good image flatness, excellent rendering of detail and contrast, this exceptional overall performance increases only slightly when stopped down to f/4-f/5,6, distortion of ~0.17%, smoothness of rendering and very nice colors, excellent bokeh looks great with only the slightest tendency to give ring bokeh, bokeh handling a mixed bag with out of focus highlights pretty uniform but occasionally a bit of harsh edging typical in lenses over-corrected for spherical aberration but not too distracting, at very close, macro-level distances good background/foreground separation although anything beyond 80cm produced rather average transitions with both foreground and background objects remaining pretty well defined, a master of all trades except resolution at minimum focal distance but not bad in this area either, CA and LoCA free, my only disappointment was the longitudinal/defocus CA that sometimes can creep in granted it doesn't show often, the LoCA is noticable but is also acceptable, does not have the flat field of the Zeiss 100/2 near infinity, for distance shooting the Zeiss 100/2 is a better choice because of field curvature of the Leica, a bit heavy and hard to balance, lots of turns to go from macro to infinity, without doubt the best macro lens in the world, it is this lens that the Leica factory believes to be their sharpest, the unique versatility is worth every added gram, simply the best unless you never get closer than 70cm to your subjects, gets yet sharper to f/4 or so, can handle flare and harsh lighting conditions like bright backlighting, incredibly rich colors with great tonal detail in them not just saturation pushed, sharper at close to medium distances than the 90Chron AA, nobody likes portraits with an ultra-sharp Apo-Macro-Elmarit 2.8/100!, quite brutal on a womans' face (can be tamed with a Zeiss Softar filter which gives photos a delicate haze of gentle softness without loss of sharpness [come in grades 1-3, according to the Zeiss web-site the difference between one Softar and the next one is "5 years"] while others prefer Tiffen FX2; for portraits the 90 'cron is better), legendary, the finest lens ever created by Leica or any manufacturer, Colorfoto magazine (12/2001) rated with the highest total score ever recorded, optically a stunning lens, the ultimate "best" lens ever made, true world-class lens, the best all around lense money can buy, designed for macro work with slower but more deliberate focus, phenomenal, sharp from f/2.8, sharp near, sharp far, its sharpness is truly astounding, image quality so good that there is really no point in trying to make it any better, by far and away the sharpest lens at 6 feet or less between 90 and 135mm focal length, best from wide-open to say f/4-5.6, macro, exquisite, some longitudinal CA, amazing image quality, vivid colors, color very saturated, color rendition is intense, fantastic shadow detail, a sharp lens with truest color fidelity, bright and vibrant colors, ultimate image quality, the colors really leap out!, out of this world, sharpness and contrast are overwhelming at all apertures (best at f/4), no CA, as eye-watering detail capture as WO as stopped down, natural color reproduction, the same performance at all distances, you just change F stop to change DoF, when it comes to APO Leica underestimates and over-delivers, level of detail captured is astonishing, once you try one nothing else comes close, stunning example of the lens-maker's art - part of my long-term strategy of shooting the best, some say it "shoots like God," close focus, and no distortion, draws so many rave reviews, all-time nearly all-purpose favorite lens, a real dream lens, ultimate best lens ever made, everyone agreed was in a class of its own, extremely sharp from wide-open with exceptional contrast and wow colors, a nirvana lens, performs at its best wide-open and does not improve stopped down, essentially the all-round perfect 100mm lens, the throw and dampening is absolutely perfect, both for 'normal' use and macro proper, out of this world no CA, as eye-watering detail capture as WO as stopped down, natural color reproduction, the same performance at all distances you just change f-stop to change DoF, all-purpose favorite lens (sharp from f/2.8, sharp near, sharp far, macro), as good at distance and portraiture as macro, bokeh very good but the 90/2 pre AA and 80 Lux, famous for their bokeh, are somewhat better, more sensitive to flare than Zeiss 100/2 Makro, slower, more precise manual focus (larger angular rotation of focus ring) than Zeiss 100/2 Makro which unlike the Elmarit suffers from vignetting and chromatic aberation, "the Zeiss rendered a little better than the Leica because it managed to make the scene look 3D. The Leica had that flat colorful look, with a lesser sense of reality and looks like a painting rather than a window", color reproduction is exceptionally accurate, sharp as hell starting wide-open straight across the frame, contrast is somewhat higher than is typical for a Leica - more Zeiss like, (Zeiss Contax N 100mm f/2.8 Makro-Sonnar colors are totally different, i.e., more conserved and Contax always tends to depress green and emphasize red; better bokeh and sharper image of the Leica vs the intangible "3d effect" of the Zeiss; extreme isolation of the field of focus, combined with sharp corners from wide-open and little vignetting of the Leica, vs. the more gradual roll-off and more 3D-like bokeh of the Zeiss; bokeh harsher than Zeiss 100/2 Makro or smooth and creamy Voigtlnder 125/2.5 APO Macro; the Zeiss ZF 100/2 is the bokeh king; the 90 AA may be a tad sharper; will still outperform the more modern Nikon lenses; go for the Leica if you want the sharpest macro lens out there and need apo correction; have always been shocked at how good the performance is, it does everything right and the Leica's performance truly obliterated the Nikon 105mm f/2 DC, the Leica is simply as good as its reputation; even the 100 Makro from Contax Zeiss, a very good lens, can't even approach the APO Elmarit; a highly-corrected Leica lens is much easier to focus manually, extreme example of precision focusing (focusing ring rotating ~680) vs. Zeiss 100/2 (~360), and even where the lens is overkill, the easier/quicker focussing results in more "keepers" than using a lesser lens of similar specs), two versions of focus mechanism as of S/N 3469285 (end of 1988) changed to an improved focus mechanism with single instead of twin guidance, Leica is one of the few lenses actually better in real-life use than it's MTF charts (which are stellar) would suggest, by far the sharpest lens at 6 feet or less between 90mm and 135mm focal length, (Douglas Herr writes: "As with the other Leica APO lenses, the 100mm APO-Macro-Elmarit-R sets a performance standard far beyond any previously available lens. Quite simply, if maximum image detail and color saturation at any focussing distance are your goals, this is your lens."), Nikon and Canon cannot claim a single APO lens between them, I love the 100mm APO because it has great, smooth bokeh and incredible sharpness, ("considered in most circles as THE benchmark macro telelens. It yields perfect imaging performances from f/2.8 down to f/22, where diffraction is kept to a minimum. This feature is crucial for high quality macro work. But it is not only a macro lens, and behaves as a perfectly versatile all rounder. Zero concession on quality from infinity to 1:2 ... Simply the best ... "), has bit of a "not-right" look when used for anything other than macro, technically excellent at all distances but not my favorite 100mm lens for longer distance work there are many other 100mm choices that might not have quite as high resolving power and chromatic correction but yield a better "look" at medium to far distances, it's hard to pin down to any one factor why it doesn't look quite right beyond macro distances if you pixel peep you will find nothing but the utmost excellence in resolution, contrast, and color on the other hand images as a whole are often unexciting the bokeh is not terrible but often not excellent either with white "donut shaped" blur disks common to many APO designs in the transition region between focus and defocus that can cause a "lumpy" look there is some vignetting at f/2.8 which would typically be decreased in faster lenses stopped down to this point it's sometimes hard to separate a clear plane of sharp focus from the rest of the image leading to images that are perceptually soft (even though the actually-in-focus parts are very sharp), appears to have been optimized as a complement to the 90 and 80 R lenses in that it performs best in the macro-to-mid distance as the other short teles have relatively long MFD'd as a result at infinity field curvature is evident and the built-in hood isn't always that effective preventing flare the drawing style for objects at distance is less appealing than the CV 125/2.5, one of the key benefits vs. other macros is the fact that it is consistent in terms of resolution, ca correction and bokeh at all distances and apertures, as good at 1:2 as infinity regardless of stop used, so need only stop down for DoF, has been renowned for years as the best macro lens ever built (though the Lanthar and Zeiss are certainly contenders for the title), Leica 100 APO is more contrasy wide-open than Voigtlander 125/2.5, slightly sharper at infinity than Zeiss ZF 100/2, veiling flare (haze) when light strikes the front element, Zeiss ZF 100/2 might be more flare resistant, the Zeiss ZF 100/2 and Leica 100/2.8 are so closely matched in contrast and resolution that they are effectively the same in performance, while the Leica is clear winner over the Zeiss ZF 100/2 with its very close to neutral color bokeh with clarity of detail it provides and the way in which out of focus areas remain more "true" because the lens imparts little color of its own, both the Leica and Zeiss offerings are stunning performers one cannot go wrong with either one, Leica so sharp that you can easily manually focus at f/5.6 (but you won't get the 3-D effect of a Zeiss macro or the cooler color), hardly any spherical aberration, corrected completely through the #infrared range, evenness of field, absolute film sharpness from edge to edge, no loss of quality when used wide-open at f/2.8, color balance is perfectly neutral, clearly optimized for stellar performance as a Macro lens but at normal to far distances corner performance is not as good wide-open with a significant improvement by stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8, minimum focusing distance is 45cm, 8 elements in 6 groups, 7 aperture blades, virtually no geometric distortion so perfect for stitched panoramas, for precision and ease of focus the throw and dampening is absolutely perfect, both for 'normal' use and macro, fantastic ... probably the world's best short tele lens for SLRs, mechanically it simply blows the competition away, the long focus throw alone is worth its price, built in hood, Construction 6 Groups/8 Elements, Angle of view 25, F-stop range f/2.8-22, closest focusing distance 1.5', maximum magnification 0.45 to 1:2 & 1:1 with optional ELPRO #16545, if you combine the lens with both the special Elpro lens and the 2x APO Extender you can get an extremely high performance for 2x magnification, adding both the Elpro and the 2x APO Extender would yield a 200mm APO Macro lens capable of 2x life size, using the 2x APO Extender with 100mm APO-Macro-Elmarit would perform as a 200mm APO Macro lens to 1/2 life size, dimensions (length x diameter) 4.1" x 2.9", weight 1.68 lbs, 760g, sharpest performance, best color fidelity ... apochromatic lens that focuses all colors equally, avoiding axial and lateral chromatic aberrations ... an astonishing lens, way too sharp for portraits, only drawback as people mention is the, out of focus rendering is less pleasing compared to the Zeiss ZF 100/2 which has larger maximum aperture and the Voigtlnder 125/2.5 which has longer focal length and magnificaton plus the Leica 100/2.8 images do not scream out loud that they are the sharpest, focal length reduced to 92mm at 1:1, does not accept extension tubes well, use with the APO-Extender-R 2x giving a 200mm 1:1 macro, to get stellar performance from the 100 APO you have to bolt the thing down using a sturdy tripod, mirror pre-release, and a long good quality cable-release, to get the best out of the lens though, you've got to bolt it down and lock the mirror up, for stability can use STA-1 rotating tripod collar 14636 (seems not to be strong enough to dampen vibration even with the mirror locked up, too flimsy, too much hassle) with the Leica shoulder stock, the additional tripod collar is not needed, for a 1:1 ratio works great with the Canon "Life size converter" the same one used for the Canon 50mm f/2.5 macro, entrance pupil 22mm behind first lens surface, Leica E60 Lens Cap 131368, 60.
ELPRO 5 1:2-1:1 16545 with hood 12528: a three element #close-up lens especially designed for the Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO Macro lens which fully preserves the apochromatic image properties of the lens while allowing reproduction ratios up to 1:1, exceptional quality, does not decrease the image quality, using a closeup lens means the Leica 100/2.8 will have a shorter focal length and working distance close up while the CV 125/2.5 will give you a longer macro working length, no light loss due to extension when using Elpro, Elpro cuts the contrast visibly, extension tube not as good (significant image quality loss due to incompatiblity with lens optimizations using shifting elements), With the Elpro 1:2-1:1, its operating range can be extended up to a magnification of - in precise terms - 1.1:1, corresponding to a minimum object field size of 23 x 35 mm. The three-element construction of the Elpro 1:2-1:1 is specially designed for this lens unit, thereby ensuring that its quality is retained, or even enhanced, even in the close-up range - in contrast to a solution involving intermediate rings. The "special lens" combining the LEICA APO-MACRO-ELMARIT-R 100mm f/2.8 and Elpro 1:2-1:1 features a focal length of 77mm at 1:2 magnification, and of 71mm at 1.1:1 magnification. The reduction in focal length due to the attachment of this achromatic lens does restrict the free working distance to the object, but also reduces the extension factor considerably. To attain the same magnification with intermediate rings, the exposure times would be many times longer, not to mention the degradation of image quality due to the additional extension. Using the 2x-Apo-Extender, you get a 5.8/200 APO-Lens with 1:1 macro capability - you loose 2 steps on the aperture, but the image quality of both 1:1 (2.8/100 + Elpro or 2x-Apo-Extender + 2.8/100) is equal. The R 2x APO extender with the 100mm Apo-Macro-Elmarit will yield a 200mm f/5.6 Apo lens and both the special Elpro and the 2x Apo Extender can potentially both be used at the same time with the 100mm Apo-Macro-Elmarit yielding a 200mm Apo Macro lens that can yield 2:1 magnification. The 2x Apo Extender can replace the special and expensive 1:2 to 1:1 Elpro for up to 1:1 and would about equal the Elpro though Leica recommends stopping down the lens 2 stops. Using Elpro 1:1 + APO 2x gives 2:1 amazingly sharp. The Elpro 1:2-1:1 consists of the actual close-up attachment and a sunshade, E60, available Leica Rear Elpro Lens Cap 14251.

APO-EXTENDER-R 2x: for focal lengths of 50mm and higher and maximum apertures of f/2 or smaller, combined with APO lenses, superb imaging performance is fully retained, phenomenal, hardly any loss in sharpness with 180mm APO f.2.8, amazing non-APO 180/2.8 is sharper with the 2x wide-open that it is without, a great extender any loss of resolution is negligible, Leica extenders are famous for no lost of image quality the best 2x teleconverter ever made, on full-frame it does introduce some vignetting, may worsen out-of-focus CA on some lenses, doubles the focal length without altering the minimum focusing distance, which in effect doubles the magnification, for example with a macro lens, from 1:2 to 1:1, and reduces the depth of field to that of the doubled focal length, decrease finder brightness to 1/4 of brightness without the 2x.

APO-EXTENDER-R 1.4x: quite special and is made with the special Noctilux glass.

Leica 180mm f/2 APO 11354 E100: "This thing should have an altar in your home if you own one (ask my bank account). Short, fat, fast, sharp as sharp gets and smmmoooth focusing, world class, the ultimate portrait lens, one sweet piece of glass, only 1700 made, objects 'leap' into focus due to high contrast. ... "breathtaking, but like carrying a torpedo warhead around" ... The tripod foot is a work of art." ... phenomenal, one of the sharpest/best lenses ever made, out of this world, all time favorite lens when cost is no object, overkill, the ultimate portrait lens, enough to convince anyone to try the Leica R for optical prowess, double wow, razor sharp #wide-open, an uber sharp lens razor sharp wide open and as a result is generally easy to focus accurately on Canon bodies even with its razor thin DOF, image quality so good that there is really no point in trying to make it any better, no need to stop down at all, guaranteed not to disappoint ... the teles are all razorblades ... "Yes, my wife already knows that she will have to bury me with my R 180/2, it is a work of art." ... Very fast telephoto lens with apochromatic correction produces flawless image quality all the way to the edges of the picture. From infinity to 5 feet. Even at full aperture, you can be confident of achieving photographs with maximum contrast, high resolution and delicately differentiated color rendition. ... great for close-up portraits because it maintains performance at close distances and 1.4m is quite a close minimum focus for this kind of lens ... Internal focusing makes the overall length of the lens remain constant during focusing, and it always feels well balanced in your hand, the tripod foot is brilliant as a hand rest. Not one you'd take with you on a whim. Not really suitable for travelling or much for hand-held use, focusing is a snap, sharpness is excellent even wide-open, not quite as clinical looking as the Apo 180/2.8. {I do hand hold it pretty often, I love doing it, but realistically it's not very practical. The problem isn't really the weight, per se. Yes, it's heavy enough that it can be tough to hold it steady for more than a few moments at a time. But that's not really the main problem. The main problem is focusing. This lens absolutely has to be supported by your left hand (it's far too heavy not to), which means you have a few fingers free to focus the lens. The focus ring is about 100mm in diameter and rotates about 300 degrees, so this is a slow and difficult endeavor. With a monopod or tripod the precision focus is fantastic - 180/2 gives little DoF - but honestly no the lens isn't super practical without one unless you've got very static subjects.} The best portrait lens: nice long tele compression, absolutely smooth and gorgeous bokeh (no nissen, no jittery), just enough sharpness, best hand-holdability for this class and the loose and somewhat short focus throw (for fast MF shooting). What it is ideally suited for is low-light fast-action sports work such as basketball, etc. Somewhat disappointed with the bokeh fairly pronounced "onion ring" effect "cat eye" at the edges quite pronounced octagon shape at f/2.8-5.6 a bit of "ninja star" if aperture is set just shy of wide open. The Canon 200 f/1.8 is a better lens, optically, for my money, than the Leica 180 f/2, it doesn't make things look so flat. (Alternate fast and just as stellar lenses in the 200mm range would be the Leica 180/2 APO or the 1 stop slower but MUCH smaller Leica 180/2.8 APO. Both are out of this world - I've owned them. The former is just under $4,000 used and the latter just under $2,000. Unless you REALLY need/want f/2, I'd go for the 180/2.8 ... the 180/2.0 is incredible and does hand-hold well for a lens its size due to an ingenious tripod mount, but it's like carrying a small torpoedo warhead around in terms of weight and size. Excellent but it's so large and heavy that I would not personally use it since it would fill the daypack to the exclusion of anything else. Focuses beyond infinity. Shows NO fringing wide open but ONLY at the exact point of focus so anything slightly in front/behind or reflected in chrome can show fringing. The f/2.8 is actually sharper at f/2.8 than the f/2.0 and is smaller; the 180/2.8 is far, far, FAR more practical. An outstanding lens, though big, heavy and not really suitable for travelling or much for hand-held use. Focusing is a snap and sharpness is excellent even wide-open. You don't have to stop down the Leica R 180/2.0 In fact I had one for several years before I realised the aperture was sticky (from brand new) because I simply never used it stopped down. It is not quite as clinical looking as the Leica R APO 180/2.8. For almost all intents and purposes, their optical performance is identical, but the f/2.8 obviously is one stop slower. What you gain by sacrificing this stop is a lens that weighs 970g instead of 2,500g, one that uses a 67mm filter instead of odd series 6 filter in a drawer, and a lens that fits easily in a bag, is easy to shoot handheld and is half the price (or less). Only approximately 400g less heavy than the 2,900g Nikkor 2/200 VR. Unless you are going to be shooting at f/2 all day long, the 180mm Elmarit has so many advantages with essentially no sacrifices. The extra stop does not even really help you with handholding since the lens is so much heavier. Agree and yet the 180/2 is simply the nicer lens with a more rounded, relaxed drawing of the image without sacrificing detail. The 180 Leicas deliver better IQ than the 100 macro. That being said, it would be like debating the color of the hair on the angels on the proverbial pin head. Consider the 180's as longer and better versions of the 100 macro. ... Both the 100 and the 180's are actually at their best from wide-open to say f/4-5.6. There are but a handful of lenses from anyone that can perform in that context; A very good 180 is the 180/3.4 APO. It's cheap but performs best at or near infinity vs the f/2 and f/2.8 APOs which perform at peak from close focus distance to infinity.; not free from color aberrations it is relatively free in the plane of focus; Very close in optical performance to the Nikon 200/2 VR which has slightly smoother bokeh and is slightly sharper in certain conditions, but the Leica 180/2 has nicer colors and the handling of the Leica is much nicer lighter, shorter, has a built-in sliding hood, and a real lens cap, and the shape in the hands is better.; Would you say the 180/2 APO has better IQ than the 100mm APO Macro f/2.8?: They are totally different drawing styles. The bokeh of the 180mm cron makes it a superb portrait lens and while sharp wide-open it is not close to the 100mm Makro. Both are extremely good lenses and close to the Leica state of the art. The biggest difference is size. The 180 cron is a beast and sometimes hard to hand hold, 5.5 lbs. 4.6" diameter. The 100mm Macro is tiny by comparison. If you could afford two I would opt for the Makro and the 180 2.8 Elmarit. You don't lose much compared to the cron and it is far easier to hand hold.), even well-machined removable adapters can give way (I'm speaking from personal, horrifying experiences) Novoflex adapter is better for heavy lenses (especially older version for Canon where you cannot dismount a lens from a Novoflex adapter while it's still on the body) screwed in place Leitax mount would be better still, entrance pupil 294mm behind first lens surface, E100.

Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO ROM Elmarit-R, Version 1, product 80289, model 11273, {Both versions I and II were being produced over a period of years 1997-2005, the serial number indicates Version I, but the E67 filter thread indicates Version II} Leitax converted for Nikon F: {Caution: Rear mount does not use Leica's standard diameter screws.} {CAUTION: Shooting at any aperture except f/2.8 means that focus is best done at f/4 which will neutralize the focus shift and deliver more consistent image sharpness at the desired point of focus.} Introduced 1998, hard to come by, rare and hard to find only ~1,900 produced, rare only 1,500 of the last version ever made, the best, true world class lens, just astounding, given this optic's rarity extraordinary qualities and desirability, a special lens, amazing regardless of distance, it doesn't get any better, #favorite, Erwin Puts said the 180/2.8 APO is the best Leica lens ever produced "the best Leica lens I ever tested, better than the 2.8/100 (R) and the 2/90 (M), many people tend to underestimate just how good the better legacy lenses can be, there is no equivalent performer from Canon or Nikon or Sony or Zeiss at ~180mm the ease of shooting the 180/2.8 APO on the Sony A7R II is unrivalled by any adaptation to a DSLR and the EVF is a huge help, Leica R lenses are so precious nowadays, one of the finest lenses ever made, but quite rare and expensive (compared to the "old" Apo-Telyt 180/3.4 that was designed for great distances). This lens alone would be a sound reason to buy into the R system ... this one will spoil you ... approaches the ideal of a lens, a world-class optic for making compelling images the best of the best reference lens, perfect performance wide open, my dream lens, world's best mid-range telephoto lens, a really fine lens, nothing beats it, truly amazing on the Nikon D800/D810 at long distances, feels right handheld on the Sony A7 cameras really quite well suited to the camera, easily focused with the electronic viewfinder on the Sony A7R II and outstanding results can be obtained handheld using in body image stabilization, exotic lens that gives optimum performance at full aperture, the best lens in this focal length region, truly unique and beautiful imaging properties, does not degrade when stopping down and performs as well at close distance and at infinity and give equal image quality over the whole image area", has a reputation for being the best ever 180mm lens for 35mm cameras and possibly the best single lens ever made for 35mm format, clearly the best of all 180/200mm lenses, not as well-corrected wide-open as the Zeiss 135/2 ZF.2, has a cult following among Nikon and Canon stellar reputation, hard to beat for size and performance, really special, incredibly sharp across the frame, if you want the absolute in sharpness (especially in the corners) get the astonishingly expensive APO version, absolutely glorious, image quality at infinity is distinguished by the virtual absence of coma, astigmatism and field curvature stopping down to eliminate these residual errors is therefore not necessary in the close range which with this lens extends down to 1.5m the exceptional performance is retained almost in full, one of the finest all around lenses, increased depth of field stopped down makes f/2.8 the ideal focusing aperture, nearly optimal wide open at f/2.8 and has thrilling color saturation and contrast for low-light shooting at dusk, exceptional in starting out so well wide open, suffers from low contrast wide open which impedes focusing including color haze in the foreground and background (violet tinge and green tinge respectively), delivers a very high quality image even wide open but f/4 improves upon matters with aperture f/5.6 maintaining that performance and f/8 nearly so, some modest secondary chromatic errors a high level of correction but not at all free of secondary color effects (none of the Leica APO R or M lenses are) faint traces of violet fringing are visible on out of focus areas and linger through f/8, out of focus specular highlights wide open the are ovalized ("cat's eye") but these round-at at f/4 the bright ring effect on the edges of the circular blurs is rather harsh somewhat unpleasant bokeh, takes really sharp landscape shots, most 3D POP, dual personality stellar close and distant performance, no competition from Zeiss, astoundingly good, dream lens, will take your breath away, God's own 180mm, the level of detail cries out for a Nikon D800E, the lovely Nikon AF-S 200mm f/2 VR II which is is far better suited to moving subjects (autofocus) is not in the same league as the Leica APO 180/2.8 R across the frame not at any aperture when considering full-frame sharpness, easily the finest 180mm lens available in comparison to the Nikon 200/2 VR (original) or Nikon 180/2.8 ED-IF, like the bokeh much more than the 280/4, a very sweet lens, the absolute in sharpness (especially in the corners) astonishingly expensive, simply amazing but but it's one of the most difficult to find and expensive lenses, videographers are swooping up this lens as being among the faster/more desirable Leica R glass, sharper than Leica 180/2 at f/2.8 by a hair, sharpness across the frame at f/2.8 is amazing but this lens has so little depth-of-field that it really needs careful focusing, very very very good 3D POP, had that distinct 3-D look, "after the first comparison test with my Nikon lenses I was so shocked that I sold the two Nikons and I never looked back since", has no bad habits you don't have to think about optimum aperture, optimum distance, excess weight, or anything else it's all optimum, IQ wise couldn't imagine a more capable lens, enough to convince anyone to try the Leica R for optical prowess, dreamlens, very very very good 3D pop, stunning color rendition and clarity, one of the best lenses ever made, awesome, beautiful piece of hardware with an exquisite mechanical construction, size, weight and ergonomics are flawless, not only an outstanding lens for color photography but also an exceptionally good performer in #infrared infrared performance is phenomenal so well corrected for color aberrations that infrared focus appears to be spot-on with visible light focus a precision match in focus such accuracy is rare sharpness in infrared is superb across the frame performance seems just as good as with visible light which is very impressive by comparison with the vast majority of lenses placing the 180/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R in the top tier of lenses for infrared work, has large enough image circle to easily cover the 33mm x 44mm mini-medium format sensor size, beautifully built and surprisingly light for its size (for a Leica lens), ultra clean & ultra narrow DOF look, seemingly very little depth of field maybe due to the extreme sharpness in the plane of focus somewhat less than perfect longitudinal-CA correction with a hint of green background fringing compared to the 100/2.8R Macro but still it's a great great optic with stunning sharpness across the entire frame even at f/2.8, CA correction is clearly better than all the Zeiss lenses, shows effects of uncorrected secondary color showing a violet tinge in the foreground and a greenish/yellow tinge in the background and even at f/5.6 it retains some color tinge in the background, shows an unusual focus shift forward from f/2.8 to f/4 but from f/4 to f/5.6 it 'balances out', uses internal focusing unlike the Zeiss ZF lenses, easily the finest 180mm lens available in comparison to the Nikon 200/2 VR I or 180/2.8 ED-IF I chose it for its much smaller size and lower weight over the 180/2 APO and it's apparently a better lens than the Leica 180/2 APO at least according to its MTF charts, nearly optimal wide open at f/2.8 and has thrilling color saturation and contrast for low-light shooting at dusk or similar but would not recommend it for general use as the manual focus required to extract its stunning optical results requires Live View but for tripod use it's a superb choice, for portraits the fashion guys like 180-200mm glass longer than the typical 85-100mm portrait lens, wonderful lightness of the focusing ring for one finger focusing, designed to be less dampened for faster manual focusing of moving subjects, the absolute best short tele along with the f/2 'cron, snaps into focus on the camera's viewscreen much more so than a non-APO lens I was astonished at how easy it was to tell when the image was in focus, quality is perfect at f/2.8, and closing down the lens is only useful if you want to extend depth of field, probably the highest performance 180mm lens, out of this world, wow!, absolute best short tele, a hallmark of the 180/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R is its extremely smooth out-of-focus rendering which can be used to draw attention to the subject, will take your breath away, there is nothing like the 'clarity' or transparency of an image that comes from a very sharp fast lens with true APO performance, nearly diffraction-limited at f/2.8, even sharper than the 180/2 at f/2.8, coma, vignetting, astigmatism and linear distortion are barely discernible, as close to perfect as you're going to get, very nearly the equal of the 280 f/4 APO Telyt, as close to optical perfection as you can likely get, awesome, focus beyond infinity, internal focusing that improves imagery significantly and also gives the smoothest focusing, focus past the infinity mark for thermal expansion, spectacular image quality with reasonably compact size, image quality so good that there is really no point in trying to make it any better, for astrophotography it makes nice star images at f/4 although stars look elongated sagittally near ultimate corners at 100% view, a beautiful piece of hardware with exquisite mechanical construction, size, weight and general ergonomy are flawless, the detail and tonal quality are without peer, Chasseur gives it 5 stars for performance, focuses internally, wonderful lightness of the focusing ring so you can focus (and that includes follow focus in action pictures) with the index finger of your left hand while the rest of your hand supports the camera, the focusing ring is the most comfortable and the smoothest I have ever used (much smoother than the 100 macro) manageable with one finger, very smooth focusing ring which has very little resistance so it is easy to move it unintentionally and you have to be careful, the focus ring moves very easily so to prevent accidental focus shift errors you can support the lens on the palm/heel of the hand behind the focus ring and just use two fingers to move the focus ring, APO lens snaps into focus on the camera's viewscreen making it easy to tell when the image is in focus, distinct 3D look, no hot spots in #infrared, stunning performance from wide-open, superb at any aperture and any distance, an amazing lens, small and lightweight, excellent image quality, close focus, smooth bokeh, good flare resistance, focus ring has very little resistance, a clinically very sharp lens so a sickly sharp portrait is definitely nothing artistic under harsh sun light with no fill with all unwanted details/imperfections of a "microscope view" of the skin pores with a headshot taken 5 meters away so is not recommended for portrait of your girlfriend or wife without a softening filter, when stopped down to f/4 or f/5.6 the aperture blades do not make a round circle but kind of a scraggy circle, ninja star bokeh, absolutely no sign of the ninja star issue with a s/n 3897xxx lens but a s/n 38972xx lens with terrible ninja, aperture blades at wider settings (between f/2.8 and f/5.6) can show 'ninja-star' shape, shoot either wide open or f/8, avoid problem bokeh with sawlike reflections (shape of diaphragm in the highlights) at f/4 and f/5.6 due to imaging of the jagged overlap of aperture blades so the Nikkor AIS 180/2.8 ED is far better at these apertures, or use the CV 180/4, my theory is that Leica has decided to use ninjastar aperture shape in order to break bokeh outline highlights which have tendency to have too much brightness in edges, with the later "v2" model the aperture blades never take a position that creates the ninja star bokeh effect at any aperture stop, only the second version starting around 38974xx is free of the Ninja-star effect while the first version has terrible Ninja effect, doesn't have the bokeh of the 180/2 APO, exhibits a clarity lacking with other 180mm lenses, outstanding for color photography, phenomenal, extremely smooth out-of-focus rendering, beautifully built and surprisingly light for its size, optically superb, as sharp as they get and with pleasing characteristics, "you'll get what's called 'APO Fever.' Nothing else will seem good enough, to the detriment of your bank account," shows what is possible with performance #wide-open that barely improves by stopping down, clinical sickly sharp that reveals the details of every pore so a real horror story for women portraits, performance gets worse when stopped down past middle apertures, a lens that will perform on 40-60 megapixel cameras with grace, an exceptionally good performer in infrared, focusing ring too loose, absolutely top imaging performance, extremely expensive optics that deliver world-class performance at a premium price, internal focusing, focus can be a bit fast, built-in lens hood, consider the 180's as longer and better versions of the 100 macro, best from wide-open to say f/4-5.6, infrared performance is phenomenal, will beat Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM in microcontrast, colors, clarity and brilliance when shooting landscapes, the wish for a true macro lens with a focal length of 200mm is practically fulfilled with use of this lens for excellent quality 1:3 macro when mounted on a 30mm extension ring, 970g (2.1 lbs) 34.2oz, D 76mm x L 132mm, 7 elements in 5 groups, close focus 2m, 1.5m, Smallest object field 168 x 252 mm, Highest reproduction ratio 1:7, 14 angle of view, Entrance pupil 294mm (related to the first lens surface in light direction), built-in hood, the Leica shoulder stocks #14188 and #14239 work well for steadier low-light hand-held photography, may want the later #11357 version 2 lens (only 400 made!) that started with serial #3897978 in Nov. 2003 that will take the 1.4x APO Extender #11249 (one source days it has to be in the high 398xxxx) visual verification of at least 1" of clearance from mount to rear element at closest point, this older version 1 of the 180mm f/2.8 APO can be factory-modified to fit the 1.4x APO-Extender, but many users feel that this original design which does not take the extender is sharper, there are two version of the 180mm APO-Elmarit-R (previous 180mm f/2.8 Leica lenses were not APO) the early version does not accept the 1.4x APO-Extender-R, the later version can the modification to the early version to accept the 1.4x APO extender is no longer available, the second version/variant of the 180/2.8 APO fixed the "ninja star" bokeh that could occasionally show up in images with the first version only about 400 of the second version were made making it tough to find, the first version #11273 had the ninja star bokeh and was only able to accept the 2x extender and could not accept the 1.4x extender the second version #11357 does not have the ninja star bokeh and can accept both the 1.4x and 2x extenders complicating the identification is the fact that some of the early versions were retrofitted by Leica to be able to accept the 1.4x extender the second version is otherwise optically identical to the first version the second version is rare only 400 were made and have serial numbers starting with 39xxxxx or higher there were 1500 of the first version made the second version is normally more expensive than the first version as well, second version rarely seen for sale and >$5,000 in 2016, there's also a middle version that won't accept the 1.4x but doesn't have ninja-star bokeh, the 2x APO extender generally reduces the lens' resolution and contrast slightly but noticably, more than the 1.4x's effect, also hard to focus a long lens at f/5.6 (2.8 - 2 f/stops), the combination of this lens and the 2x APO teleconverter is amazing with little image quality loss becomes a pretty sweet 360mm f5.6, lacks a tripod mount, with a Canon Leitax adapter can be used with a Canon 1.4x extender with no problems (this is for the first batch of Leica 180mm APO f/2.8 lenses) because the Leitax adapter adds enough space so that the Canon 1.4x will couple to the lens with no problems, bayonet attachment screws are thinner than with other Leica lenses, either the STA-1 tripod collar #14636 or an aftermarket tripod collar like the Burzynski can be fitted to the 180, STA-1 tripod mount isn't all that rigid tends to flex between the ring and the base plate, STA-1 seems quite flimsy and appears to be made from plastic, Burzynski tripod collar is much more rigid than the STA-1 and the foot of the Burzynski collars has an Arca-style dovetail so no separate plate is required, use Pentax S87 2-lens-diopter with a 67mm thread as a close-up lens attachment, entrance pupil 294mm behind first lens surface, E67, {CAUTION: Leica rear lens mount uses non-standard diameter thinner screws}.
Burzynski Macromount Leica Universal Lens Collar (Rainer Burzynski, Naturfotografie, Spezial-Zubehr, Am Hufeisenstich 1, D-16792 Zehdenick)

Leica 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R, model 11360, {CAUTION FOR HEAVY LENSES to avoid bending the camera's bayonet flange out of alignment: For pictures taken by hand and when carrying the equipment, always hold with both hands: one hand on the lens and the other on the camera. Use the lens carrying strap instead of the camera carrying strap.}: Introduced 1993, legendary design, only about 2,000 built, a breathtakingly superlative lens, absolutely stellar, perfect performance wide open, shouldn't be stopped down use it at f/4 and adjust exposure with the shutter speed, exotic lens, world class, the sharpest Leica lens, simply the world's best tele lens, a fantastic lens, a jewel of Leica telephoto lenses, #favorite, price premium due to reputation and scarcity, a razor-sharp yet compact telephoto lens exceptional sharpness and color accuracy, the best lens ever according to Leica (400 lpm, diffraction limited), a rare, exceptional and expensive lens a favorite long focal length lens for many, one of the highest resolving lenses of all time, the MTF graphs are shockingly good and real-world use confirms, jaw-droppingly sharp at full aperture into the extreme corners, outstanding, an important lens, a mind blowing lens, will never cease to amaze produced between 1993-2009 it still shines on the most advanced sensors one lens rules them all, easily focused with the electronic viewfinder on the Sony A7R II and outstanding results can be obtained handheld using in body image stabilization, it's great fun making a big print and watching as a gallery owner becomes speechless, a great lens and hard to find, an ergonomic marvel it is easy to focus handheld and it doesn't need too much space since it has a telescopic hood, considered by many to be the best lens that Leica makes, an exotic lens, one of the highest resolving lenses of all time, one of the most rare telephoto lenses made by Leica and it is also one of the best, delivers images characterized by an image rendering that no other lens can produce, extreme corners are the pixel-peeper's delight, at the Munich Leica store I bought an APO 1.4x extender for my Telyt 280/4 and they wanted to buy back the Telyt!, best lens Leica made, Leica APO telephotos are nearly flawless, greatest lens of all times now 15 +/- years out of production, the "lens of all lenses", spectacular optical performance, the highest rated stellar lens whether IQ or color rendition or lack of coma/vignetting, indeed a stellar lens, one of the best lenses ever made, in that rarefied class of outstanding resolution and performance, gorgeous tonality and sharpness dream lens, amazing, the color quality is spectacular, there's no other lens that can match its performance at this focal length beyond the resolution its capable of it seems to render more colors in a scene than other lenses also holds up very well in harsh lighting where others break-down along bright edges with CA etc., not as well-corrected wide-open as the Zeiss 135/2 ZF.2, favorite for wildlife at close range, very susceptible to vibration on a tripod, image quality is the icing on the cake the tripod collar, minimum focus distance, balance, light-but-damped focussing action are all superb ... add diffraction-limited image quality and you get a masterpiece, the sharpest lens in the 280mm-300mm focal length range, even with R 1.4x APO Extender it has extraordinary performance, the R 280mm f/4 Apo Telyt with the R 1.4x APO extender is supposed to be sharper than the R 400mm f4 Modular APO Telyt lens, sweet, a color-corrected masterpiece, phenomenal from the center to the extreme corners at full aperture the subject pops into focus no matter where it is in the viewfinder, completely blown away, an amazing lens, triple 'Wow!', colors are rich, well-saturated, clean and with full gradation, neutral bokeh, a masterpiece, among the most contrasty lenses, a lot of people consider it Leica's best lens, apochromatically corrected lens with internal focusing completely distortion-free it performs extremely well across its entire focusing range with highest resolving power precise color rendition and optimal contrast reproduction even at full aperture can focus down to 1.7 m or 67 inches covering an object field of 120 x 180 mm or 4 3 /4" x 7 1 /8" barely 21 cm or 8 1 /4" long so you can still use it for excellent hand-held photography, Increased depth of field stopped down makes f/4 the ideal focusing aperture., it deserves high price as it is a fantastic lens, optical performance is spectacular, diffraction-limited at full aperture from the center of the image field to the extreme corners, the legendary 280/4 APO is hard to find and expensive, heart-skippingly pricey, the 280's optics are such that all else pales by comparison probably the highest resolution SLR telephoto ever made out-resolving every sensor available to date there are a scant few films that can do justice to its capabilities, rendition of out-of-focus areas is not as pleasing as in the 280mm f/4.8 Telyt but still quite good, using only seven elements, flare is well-controlled and color saturation is outstanding, distortion and light fall-off are very small, extremely sharp, the color correction is perfect, really nice bokeh, a killer lens, keep thinking it can't get any better than the 180/2.8 APO but I guess it can!, for wildlife photography the best pictures aren't made with expensive telephotos they are made by carefully sneaking up on the animals, an apochromatically corrected lens with internal focusing completely distortion-free, it performs extremely well across its entire focusing range with highest resolving power, precise color rendition and optimal contrast reproduction even at full aperture, can focus down to 1.7 m or 67 inches while covering an object field of 120 x 180mm or 4 3 /4" x 7 1 /8", barely 21 cm or 8 1 /4" long, focuses to 1:5 lifesize, one standout feature is the rotating tripod mount, delivers the best image quality of all Leica R lenses, most likely THE world's best lens, a breathtakingly superlative lens, as close to Nirvana as I've found, diffraction-limited at full aperture from the center of the image field to the extreme corners, another color-corrected masterpiece, "surely the best lens in the entire Leica R collection", has almost same optical formula as the 180/2.8 APO they are both great telephotos, a real dream lens, a large and heavy and rare and very expensive lens a very good match for the Leica M240, Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon D800E, so good wide-open it puts most other lenses in existence to shame even when they are closed down to their optimal f-stop, as close to perfect as you're going to get, fantastic lens, silky focussing, "have you used a Leica APO lens before? My first few photos with the 280 f/4 APO altered my perspective forever," super quality, image quality so good that there is really no point in trying to make it any better, stunning lens performance even for close-ups, really handy, easy to use and sharp, phenomenal, compact size that is easy to shoot handheld, extremely sharp from wide-open with exceptional contrast and wow colors, a diffraction-limited photographic lens, true world-class lens, among the sharpest lenses ever made, absolutely top imaging performance, extremely expensive optics that deliver world-class performance at a premium price, precision focus is required even at f/5.6 because telephoto lenses have small depth of field, the sharpness, color, clarity and tonal graduation are wonderful, "diffraction limited lens!! this lens has no optical aberrations whatsoever, sorry to report that it does have color aberrations not much mind you but a small (and correctable) amount of TCA, reaches 500 line-pairs/mm, a major disappointment is that for distance much of the time the earth's atmosphere is not optically perfect enough for this spectacular lens due to atmospheric haze and thermal variation (what astronomers calls "seeing"), heavy-expensive-out of production and almost non-available, the replacement for this lens is the modular system that starts at US$16,000 used, if you find it, buy it, in practice requires pistol grip and shoulder stock", will out resolve most films, use film to have a hope in hell of capturing what this lens is able to produce - it is that good, breathtaking image quality, built like a tank, stunning color, can focus beyond , can be used for IR without focussing correction, "upon my first look through the R9 viewfinder with this lens mounted, I must admit to being 'stunned' by the bright, contrasty, and easy to focus image before me," exhibits veiling flare problems when sunlight grazes the front lens element similar to most telephoto lenses, no noticable focus shift when stopping down, excellent lens, one of the very best ever made, once you start using Leica APO glass it spoils you for virtually anything else, prefer the look for doing portraits, the background blur has a very distinct signature to it that is unlike other lenses such as the 100/2.8 APO or 180/2.8 APO, for head shots outdoors f/4 telephoto lenses at about this focal length do almost as good a job of losing the backgrounds as the 300mm or 400mm f/2.8 telephoto lenses used for a pro model shoot in the field, resolution and sharpness is state of the art, its color rendition speaks for its own, colors not correct (slight yellowish brown which is a typical Leitz color distortion), just love it, a superb lens though rather large and heavy for its focal length and speed, peak performance at full aperture from center to the extreme corners, performance at f/4 is primary because f/5.6 crosses the "too dark, too slow" threshold in many shooting venues, awesome, ability to represent every slight variation of color and tone shows vastly greater detail than other lenses despite similar MTFs, micro-contrast is particularly good, the peak performance is at full aperture from center to the extreme corners, the best lens ever according to Leica (400 lpm, diffraction limited), on Nikon D800E is very sensitive to camera shake took full gimbal, MLU and remote release to get this to perform and then it does, the only thing stopping down does is increase depth of field and diffraction because it is optimum #wide-open, internal focusing, completely distortion-free, performs extremely well across its entire focusing range with the highest resolving power, tripod collar looks massively over-engineered wish the Nikkor tele-zooms were designed like that, ultimate quality - it is Leica's best performing lens period, if 200mm or 300mm isn't long enough for you nothing is getting closer will get you better results than a longer lens, Douglas Herr's alltime favorite lens, precise color rendition and optimal contrast reproduction even at full aperture, diffraction-limited at maximum aperture, distortion and vignetting are very low, and flare is extremely well-controlled, some reports of internal flares due to the removed light baffle during Leitax conversion, the alleged flare is a load of bull and it is one of those urban legends not experiencing any flare even shot against the sun with the hood collapsed the lens is perfect!, smooth bokeh and lack of defocus LoCA, spectacular near MFD, the best butter smooth focus ring ever, portraits taken at f/4 have a beautiful background blur (bokeh) that is unlike any other Leica lens, even with the APO tele-converters, virtually no IQ loss with Leica APO 2x teleconverter (unlike Nikon & Canon) - this makes Leica APO teles much more versatile, with 2x APO extender is sharper or as sharp as the Leica 560mm f/5.6 Telyt lens, will still outperform the more modern Nikon lenses, spectacular results on the D800 one of the sharpest if not the sharpest telephoto lens ever made, the filter holder carries a clear NDx1 series 5.5 filter in the filter holder, the filter should be kept in the drawer as it is part of the lens design, without this filter the flange focus distance will change, accepts both extenders 1.4 and 2.0, spectacular results with the APO-Extender-R 1.4x thus creating a stellar quality 400mm f/5.6, use with the latest APO-Extender-R 2x thus creating a compact and superb 560mm f/8, excellent close-ups when used with 30mm extension tube, doesn't seem to be the slightest loss of image quality when adding the 1.4x APO extender, use of the Leica 1.4x APO will have no visible impact on IQ, almost no loss in quality with the 1.4x APO extender, the 280mm f/4 APO with the Leica 1.4x APO extender is outstanding with the Leica 2x APO extender it loses a bit of its edge, both APO extenders are awesome with the 280, the 280 APO with 1.4x extender is Douglas Herr's preference over the Leica 350mm f/4.8 or 400mm f/6.8 lenses, small degree of image degradation when using the 2x APO and no discernible image quality loss when using the 1.4x APO Extender, with the 2x APO focus is too twitchy and the bokeh tends to get more ragged, f/8 maximum effective aperture with the 2x APO means it's pretty much restricted to full sunlight, just killer in quality, with the 2x APO you may need to step down 1 stop to reduce contrast decrease, even with both extenders stacked the quality could only be described as excellent, don't think there is a significant difference in image quality between the 1.4x and 2x extender, as the original lens is virtually aberration-free ... "Under close inspection there is a tiny coating error (it most likely was a factory mistake) on the second element, You can only see it under a different angle and certain light condition, it is about 2mm long, hairline thick, and of course it never had any affects on the quality of the images." ... so much fine micro-contrast wide-open that manual focusing is dead easy - images will 'pop' into focus, a diffraction limited lens, i.e., perfect full open and you only gain depth of field closing down and it remains sharp until diffraction sets in at small stops, the best lens in the entire Leica R collection, modest vignetting of about 0.7 f-stops at full aperture which is reduced to negligible levels by f/5.6 perceivable but not significant distortion of about 0.8 percent well controlled flare, probably the best lens ever made in the 250-300mm range, better than the Canon EF 4/300L IS in actually any respect IQ-wise (will blow the socks of the EF 300 in fine detail resolution, in hot weather heat shimmer eliminates any hope of sharpness once you get more than 20 feet away, color accuracy, absolute lack of CA, color separation and 'transparency' of the images) - especially wide-open or with extender, "After testing the 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt against Nikon 300/4.5 IF-ED, and Canon 300/4 L IS, it is obvious that those lenses are a bad joke compared with this divine lens. Bottomless sharpness, no CA, and no mater you shoot at f/4, 5.6, 8 ... a nirvana lens.", easy to shoot handheld, internal focusing, a hefty lens at 205mm long and 1875g, handles as though cast from solid lead, point spread is the classic apo "raindrop" style of a smooth disk with a thin light rim. Get Leica APO results shooting from adequate support (very firm tripod) and mirror lockup. Apochromatically corrected lens with internal focusing. Completely distortion-free, it performs extremely well across its entire focusing range with highest resolving power, precise color rendition and optimal contrast reproduction - even at full aperture, rotating tripod mount incorporated into the lens' barrel with click-stops at 90 intervals with resistance to rotation adjusted by a thumbscrew. Cleaning the aperture blades on this lens cost about $350 it's a difficult lens to work on and requires very precise re-assembly. It can focus down to 1.7 m or 67 inches (5' 7"), covering an object field of 120 x 180mm or 4 3 /4" x 7 1 /8" at a reproduction ratio of 1:5. The Leica Macro-Adapter-R turns it into a fully functional macro lens. In combination with the Leica APO-Extender-R 1.4x and 2x, it becomes, repectively a high-performance 5.6/400mm and 8.0/560mm lens; image quality loss is negligible. With the Leica APO-Extender-R 2x a magnification ratio of 1:2 can be attained. Both 1.4x APO and 2x APO extenders stacked gave more than decent results to make an 800mm f/11, yielding good results wide-open except in the far corners, a beast to handle but doable with a beanbag, and better than cropping. Length 208mm (8 1/4"), maximum diameter 90mm, 8.8, 7 elements in 6 groups, near focus limit 1.7m, excellent for hand-held photography, usable -25 to +60 C, 4.2 lbs (1875g). It is, of course, also equipped with a tripod mount." Eyelets for the attachment of a strap, built-in telescopic lens hood, 77mm front thread (Series 5.5 in rear filter drawer 14591, special polarizing filter holder 13338, built-in front protection filter), soft nappa leather case 14597 and a lens carrying strap 14312, fully compatible with Leica's 1.4x and 2x APO-Extenders giving rise respectively to 1:5.6/400mm or 1:8/560mm optical systems, close focusing distance of 1.7m means that the lens can achieve a relatively large magnification ratio of 1:5 which can be further increased up to 1:2.9 when using the Leica Macro-Adapter-R, make a lovely close-up lens when used with a 36mm extrension tube at f/5.6, an apochromatically corrected lens with internal focusing completely distortion-free it performs extremely well across its entire focusing range with highest resolving power precise color rendition and optimal contrast reproduction even at full aperture can focus down to 1.7m (5.6ft or 67inches), covering an object field of 120 x 180mm or 4 3 /4" x 7 1 /8" barely 21cm or 8 1 /4" long, you can still use it for excellent hand-held photography also equipped with a tripod mount, Serie 5.5 ND x1 drop in 13026 filter, one of the best features is its tripod mount, the 14188 and 14239 shoulder stocks work well with the tripod mount, Kirk LP-42 Lens plate with pin to prevent rotation, Really Right Stuff also makes an Arca Swiss Lens plate L97L, has a built-in front protective plate, entrance pupil 288mm behind first lens surface, 77. Leica filter drawer version of Series 5.5 Circular Polarizing filter for 280/4 #13338, has closed solid loop around filter.

LEICA Vario-Elmarit-R 28-90mm f/2.8-4.5 ASPH zoom lens; one of the very best zoom lenses ever designed, perfect performance wide open, an excellent performer at all apertures and focal lengths, offers outstanding quality that compares very favorably to fixed focal length Leica R lenses. Disappointing compared to the Leica R 28 v2 and Contax 35-70 with color fringing at the wide end 28-40mm so an expensive mistake. A disappointment for me, 28-40 range produced color fringing Best at 90mm, focus most easily at 70mm, performance over the whole image area is very high, not push pull zoom, at 28mm distortion is visible with -3% (barrel distortion) and so is vignetting at 2.5 stops. The distortion on the 28mm end is quite obvious in architectural photography. Can display color fringing and more annoyingly veiling flare the Leica R 35-70/4 is far better for veiling flare resistance and less prone to color fringing. The variable aperture is frustrating David reports that he has found the way to remove the shroud and spring and make the aperture ring to operate the iris, and can do it at Leitax, not recomment to try at home, {CAUTION: mount uses non-standard diameter thinner screws}.

Leica Vario-APO-Elmarit-R 70-180mm f/2.8 zoom lens, model #11267. optical and mechanical masterpiece, optically superb, expensive, worth every penny, absolutely stunning optics, look no further if you want the best optics, huge, heavy, nearly 2kg, be prepared to huff and puff with it on the field, start lifting weights to prepare, best mated with a sturdy monopod, 12 different types of special optical glass, including 5 with low dispersion, exceptional sharpness and contrast even #wide-open, equal or even superior to Leica primes lenses, built-in hood covered with rubber, E77, close focus 6 feet, use with APO-Extender-R 2x for 360mm f/5.6 without any loss of optical performance, the sharpest zoom lens ever made for 35mm cameras, Leica VAE blows Canon EF 2.8/80-200 L out of the water, optically perfect showing amazing sharpness and resolution across the frame at all apertures and focal lengths, sharp at all apertures, very portrait friendly, optical performance at full aperture is brilliant, best performance is at f/4 with slight fall-off to f/8, no need to stop down when focused to infinity but needed closer than 5 meters, veiling flare at maximum 180mm focal length under certain lighting conditions, might even be slightly better than 100/2.8 APO lens, will not only easily blow other zooms out of the water, it will also match and better almost all fixed focal length lenses as well. A particularly finely crafted zoom lens incorporating 13 elements in 10 groups, using 12 different types of optical glasses - five of which feature anomalous partial dispersion - this apochromatically corrected zoom lens delivers performance on a par with fixed focal lengths of comparable speed. It delivers very high contrast and clear differentiation of even the most delicate color gradations at all focal lengths, and across the entire image field down to the close-up range. Both coma and astigmatism are barely discernible. As a result, the possible uses of this zoom lens are almost unlimited: you'll be just as successful with stationary subjects as encountered in art photography and action shots, as in fashion or sports photography, where shooting rapid sequences is essential.

Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 CS Fisheye Lens AI-s for Nikon DX, Version I, c. late 2011; New Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 HD Fisheye Lens Version II with Removable Hood for Nikon DX or FX with AE Chip: Samyang Optical South Korean RokiBowYang lens sold under many brands: Bower, Rokinon, Opteka, Vivitar, Polar, Falcon, Walimex, Pro-Optic, there is also a CS II version with detachable hood for FX use that comes with a removable lens hood that will offer glare reduction and lens protection but can be removed to offer an increased and unobstructed angle of view when shooting with full frame digital or 35mm cameras, ultra wide angle, Aspherical IF MC, 180 diagonal field-of-view for APS-C size image format, rounded image when used with full frame, for s u p e r w i d e shots, hybrid aspherical lenses sharp images, works great! at f/5.6 and smaller the image is super-sharp superb all over as sharp a lens as I've used from f/5.6, softer wide-open in the center at f/3.5 than Nikon's fisheyes but by f/5.6 it's as sharp or sharper and has less lateral color fringes than the exotic Nikon 8mm f/2.8 or Nikon 10.5mm 2.8 G, at f/3.5 and f/4 there is a sharp core to the image but contrast is lower from what looks like spherical aberration, stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8 it shines, at f/5.6-f/11 it's sharp and contrasty all over excellent, some CA in high contrast situations, significant chromatic aberration around maximum aperture, mostly plastics inside, some green-magenta lateral color fringes (automatically corrected by many Nikon cameras) but much less than with Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8, a much less distorting fisheye love the projection objects seem optimally rendered throughout the entire DX frame center less bloated while corners are less squished subject much larger than other fisheyes in the sides and corners so software defishing should give much sharper results the excellent projection keeps the objects on the sides a useful size instead of squashing them into mush as does every other fisheye, uses a pleasing stereographic projection in the corners of the frame shapes remain the least deformed and bending of straight lines is moderate stereographic lenses are difficult to make and usually expensive yet this is the least expensive fisheye lens on the market, prefer the projection, a steal and one of the best for DX, depth of field is so great that the most effective way to focus is to guess the distance and set it on the lens, multi-layer coating to reduce flare, ghosting is negligible, vignetting is negligible and gone on DX at f/5.6, minimum focusing distance of 12", well built and inexpensive, built-in petal-type lens hood, depth of field 0.29m to infinity at f/8 with focus at 1m, 6 straight aperture blades, aperture clicks at f/3.5 and then f/5.6 with no click at f/4, half-stop clicks between f/5.6 and f/16, stops down to f/22, 10 elements in 7 groups, Dimensions (DxL) 2.95 x 2.94" (75 x 74.8mm), Weight 14.7oz (417g), weight without caps 13. oz (391.3g), uncalibrated for focus and some copies require infinity focus adjustment, for repairs contact Elite Brands, Inc.
Lens shave service lenshood removal for FX

10.5mm f/2.8G DX ED Fisheye Nikkor, Angular field ~220: A great, sharp, fun lens, optical gem, fantastic special application lens, it's like being there, the one that gives you a you-are-there perspective, can have hood removed shaved lens hood by Tobias Vollmer, 360pano.de, Germany custom modified for full frame, if you hold it level this lens can capture the reality of actually standing in the spot where the picture was taken better than any lens I could ever imagine, fun house distortion if you tilt it too much up or down, process with Image Trends Fisheye-Hemi software to make it more of a wide angle, DxO and Dxo View Point 2 software corrects distortion rather nicely and so does PTlens, Capture NX2 includes a defishing tool specifically for this lens, a winner, sharp, wide, and bright, not much more you could ask for, packs stunning performance into a cute, small, and neat package, autofocus is fantastic, reasonably fast and very compact, built quality is great, nearly faultless across the frame by f/5.6 or so, vivid high color saturation and image sharpness, chromatic aberration may be absent for distant scenes (CA sample variation and camera correction) although some is present for close-ups, CA in the extreme corners with some subjects wide-open, visible chromatic aberration in the DX corners especially wide-open, some secondary green/magenta fringes at the sides and corners, chromatic aberration while a problem wide-open virtually disappears except at the very edge of the frame when stopped down a little, tack sharp and contrasty with an amazing depth of field, slightly sharper and slightly more contrasty and has slightly better color "pop" than the Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye, especially at larger apertures, problematic for astrophotography as sagittal coma is pronounced at the edges, no corner fall-off and virtually no flare, excellent resistance to flare, flare is amazingly well controlled, ghosting very well controlled, can do environmental portraits with a fisheye without distorting facial features, the slogan "Move Closer!" is redefined by this fisheye lens, near focus limit 14cm from film plane or 3.2cm from front lens element with CRC (close range correction) macro, focuses close enough that even spots on the lens stand out so it must be kept spotless, if you want a really unique perspective for close-ups this lens focuses to an amazing 0.14m the subject nearly touches the front element magnification is 1:5, the projection maintains surface relations, will not accept a front filter but will take rear gels, >200 on full frame with hood removed producing a 28mm circular image, cut off the hood to get a 220 circular fisheye on FX, great results on FX, pincushioning with only lines that would pass through the center of the image stay straight, in a pinch you can defish the lens with software and get something with a little less funhouse effect, the Hemi plugin for Photoshop gives amazing results that uses the entire frame and renders a very natural perspective or PTlens although not as natural looking but with control over perspective, for a total sphere panorama keep the camera vertical in portrait mode on a tripod with a panorama head to make the lens rotate around the entrance pupil (approximately where the golden ring on the lens is) taking four images around the horizon in just one row (the tripod is visible in nadir in the original images which can be cloned away or take a fifth image handheld with the camera pointing down) or if you tilt the camera 30 you get a full spherical in just three images, also allows a high quality 360 cylindrical panorama with 140 VFoV with two shots only, green-channel transmission efficiency 85%, lens T-stop T/3.08, 63x64mm, 303g.

Cosina Voigtlnder 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical Super-Wide Heliar SL I for Nikon F or F2, (F-mount version of the LTM lens used mirror up like a rangefinder camera): (pronounced "Foigt..."; Voigtlnder is pronounced voit len der The "g" is silent, and the "" is pronounced like a soft "e" in English: eh; correctly spelled "Voigtlaender" if the umlaut "ä" is not used.) {DAMAGE WARNING: Mounting it on newer cameras such as F3, F4 or F5 invariably ends with the reflex mirror getting severely DAMAGED. Never ever try to do this on any other camera than Nikon F, F2, and Nikkormat, even with the mirror in a raised and locked-up position!} Film version introduced September 2003, later version 3 needed with digital sensor camera, extraordinarily good, fantastic optics, a great lens, tiny and lots of fun, rare, wonderful little lens, a little treasure, good results, focusing is extremely easy set it to infinity and shoot to your hearts content, best to shoot at f/8 or higher and just leave the focus at 1m on the distance scale for hyperfocal focusing better than autofocus as you dont have to focus at all!, better optically than Leica's ultrawide offerings including the Leica M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH, great on film, exquisite one of the most amazing wide-angle lenses ever created super high contrast super high color saturation super high acutance super super sharp virtually infinite depth of field no distortion which is truly amazing for a 15mm wide-angle lens has an incredibly great dramatic wide-angle look that few lenses can equal almost never works on digital cameras because rear nodal point is almost directly on the film plane almost literally in contact with the film causing corners to have a magenta color shift and the outside edge of the frame especially the corners to be super blurry and smeared whereas with film the corners are sharp even wide open showing vignetting but no color shift (there is a larger version III for the Leica M mount that is better with digital sensors), unlike film it shows annoying magenta color shift in the corners on the Leica M9 and M240 which can be corrected with Cornerfix software but produces wonderfully rich B&W images and is perfect for the Leica Monochrom!, CV15 on the Sony NEX 6 is an extraordinary and tiny combo, pretty much everybody who ever used it has nothing but praise, always sharp even wide-open even in the corners at any distance about as sharp as the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AF-S except that the Voigtlnder 15mm has far less distortion and is easier to use with filters, crazy good rendering, quite good wide-open, a rectilinear lens with as good as no distortion pretty sharp in the center at all apertures whereas the corners are slightly soft at f/4.5 good contrast and neutral color reproduction slightly on the cool side compared to Zeiss lenses, relatively cheap, insanely small and a very good performer, deeply recessed non-retrofocus scale focus lens which requires mirror lockup, f/5.6 or f/8 is optimum but little or no different than wide-open, focus by setting the aperture to f/5.6 and the infinity marker on the barrel to the green f/4.5 depth of field mark (or aperture to f/8 and infinity to the f/5.6 mark) so anything more than a couple of feet or so in front of you will be in sharp focus, with the lens being so wide the depth of field is huge, the hyperfocal setting can come back to bite you by getting only a little closer but then real distance is OOF almost always even stopped down and despite what lens says, not for the critical eye use for family snaps and travel printed up to 8"x10" size, there's a certain "fun" factor in setting this lens to f/8 and hyperfocal and just P&S'ing, distortion very well corrected, no barrel distortion like with Nikkor 14-24/2.8, has very little true distortion probably the cleanest superwide I've ever used amazing really, depth of field is immense, a delight cheap and very sharp, compact lens, small, light and sharp, fantastic, by far the least expensive and smallest 15mm lens ever made in Nikon F mount, really impressed favorite UWA very sharp love the way it seems to draw in flat lighting provides an awesome base for processing RAW files with oodles of natural subtle detail ready to be developed, a great lens at a great price, if you're looking for a super wide the Heliar really is a no-brainer, outstanding quality very happy with it, wide angle with highly advanced flare control for crisp and superb images, sharp as heck, light weight, and almost free, build quality is great, the value is unbelievable, certainly amazingly compact and portable on the camera, and makes a fabulous focus and forget hip shooter out of your SLR, minimal flare, no purple fringing, sharp as can be at f/5.6 and even a tad sharper at f/8, tremendous depth-of-field, scale focusing click-marks, so simple and easy for unnoticed street photography, stops down to 0.3m and has click-stops at 0.5m, 1m, and 2m, making it a breeze to operate without looking on the lens, minimum focusing distance is 30cm, mechanical construction is excellent, first class workmanship, superb wide aperture performance, excellent optical qualities, highly compact and spectacularly good, very good contrast and resolution, especially when closed down one to two stops, impaired marginal illumination requires software anti-vignetting correction at all apertures (Mask/Gradient/Curves action), with a maximum aperture of f/4.5 it's a bit slow for some shooting situations, though fine for outdoor use, soft at f/4.5, best at f/5.6 or f/8, but to really get the lens to its optimum aperture one has to stop down to f/8, degrades very fast above f/8, flare prone including when the sun is in the frame, little flare in real-world use, and inevitable with a lens this wide, always well controlled, extremely small size, low price, and decent image quality, ("Because these little rangefinder optics are not inside-out telephoto lenses, when Voigtlnder says the 15mm SL is rectilinear, they really, really mean it, to a degree that retrofocus SLR optics can't approach. Rangefinder wide angles are much simpler to design, and have exit elements much closer to the film or sensor plane, making corner sharpness and field flatness much easier to achieve. Oh, and they are cheap!"), should be in every Leica rangefinder user's bag, nasty color edges with the Leica M240 just like the M9 but rocks in B&W, serious issues with the Sony A7r strong magenta cast and darkening of image at the corners are greatly visible and would not correct fully with Cornerfix but without smearing, lens is fully linear with almost no distortion other than some very subtle waveform distortion, color and contrast are easily superior with the best of breed $4,600 incredible Zeiss ZM 15/2.8 Distagon, while the viewfinder does have barrel distortion, the lens has no fisheye effect at all and the finder is brighter than the Leica, hold a 72mm filter in front of the lens during the exposure, smallest aperture f/22, 6 groups, 8 elements, 110, 10 aperture blades, closest distance 0.3m, an amazingly close 11 3/4", push on lens cap, (15mm Reverse Galileo Viewfinder is very bright and clear, 4 groups, 4 elements, magnification 0.38, finder diopter, -1.0 D, 33g, caution that viewfinder does not fall off camera, lacks the etched lines so placing the exact coverage of the image captured by the 15mm lens is a little trial and error), the big problem with optical viewfinders is that you don't get focus confirmation which is more of a problem the longer the lens the wider-angle the lens the more an optical viewfinder makes sense, the Voigtlnder F accessory shoe replaces the Nikon F or F2 pentaprism finder and holds the viewfinder. Will only mount on cameras that have the "mirror lock-up" feature; e.g. Nikon F, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, Nikkormat FT, FTN, FT2, FT3, EL, ELW & EL2 (can be used with with adapter on the Canon 5D after adding a 2mm strip of foam padding to the top of the lens!; horrible color shift on the Sony NEX; Sony NEX 5N doesn't seem to have any color shift problems, some slight color shift; great full frame sharpness but horrible color shift on both left and right sides of the frame with the Nikon D700 sensor, remember that LiveView must be active when you remove the lens see "mirror up" below). The earlier mechanical version for Leica rangefinder cameras was "the only regular production 15mm lens ever in LTM or M mount!!! Shooter after shooter has reported great results with it. The 15's importance goes beyond that. It made the new Voigtlnder. When 1st introduced, people couldn't believe a quality 15 lens could be made for such a low price. Cosina gambled big on this lens, and won big. As report after report raved about the new 15, the new Voigtlnder lineup was on its way. The 15 put Cosina's new Voigtlnder lens lineup on the photographic map." There is a new Leica M version with rangefinder coupling, works great with the Leica M8, but the VC 15 suffers badly from the Red Edge problem on the digital sensor Leica M9. The Voigtlnder FL adapter allows this SL version to mount on hundreds of different Leica screw mount cameras. Add a screw mount to bayonet adapter to the FS adapter to mount this SL version on Leica M mount cameras.

16mm f/3.5 Nikkor fisheye AI, c. 1976: {WARNING: DO NOT MOUNT ON NIKON F4 only AI lens with serial number in range 290010 - 291566 fits the Nikon F4 body} superb, the preferred fish-eye for FX, outstanding, one of my favorite lenses, love the lens, it's brilliant on the Nikon D800, by far the best of the 16mm Nikon fisheye lenses, manual focus, one of the sharpest lenses, a sharpness benchmark lens at 36MP, hard to come by, you have to be patient to find one KEH has one or two available every year, don't let anyone tell you that you don't really need to focus with a fisheye you certainly do especially with high megapixel FX cameras and anything remotely up close, certainly need to critically focus to get sharp images on the Nikon D800, favorite fisheye and is one of the smallest and sharpest available, simply the best fisheye Nikon has ever made, very saturated color and very sharp, one sweet lens, resistant to flare and ghosting, covers full frame at about 170, rose to fame in the mountain biking and extreme sports photography market, best fisheye Nikon has ever made, the best fish in Nikon line even today its sharpness is legendary a good sample is a treasure today, the best fisheye lens for a Nikon D800E sharpest of any Nikon FX fisheye not too common but if you can find one jump on it, on D800 it's excellent, simply excellent on the D800, Nikon's best ever fisheye very very good wide open and tack sharp across the frame by f/8 at 36MP, clearly superior in off-axis sharpness at any common aperture, the major plus of a fisheye lens is that distortion of people in the frame is much less disturbing than with an ultra-wide rectilinear projection, the main fisheye advantage is that people or faces (or whatever) don't appear distorted at the sides/corners as with rectilinear shortest lenses at very close distances when the subject itself is more important that even the composition a properly used fisheye will provide a more "realistic" form or shape, don't underestimate the more flattering rendering of people at any where near the edge compared to a conventional ultrawide, fisheye shows bending of straight lines, a fisheye can make some very weird images but if used appropriately they can make some outstanding/non-weird images, keep it horizontal and the horizon will stay that way too can de-fish with photoshop and the hemi plug-in works great!, like the original picture much better than the de-fished if one is careful with the composition the fisheye can be used as a landscape lens, very practical and useful when used with de-fishing software like DxO Optics Pro that can convert to rectilinear despite the resulting characteristic stretching of the edges, great at shooting into the sun, excellent performer and THE lens with which to shoot into the sun, my compact DX wide angle lens sharp even wide-open and has very little flare/ghosting with the sun in the picture point it at the sun and stop it down to f/16 or so to get those really nice sun stars, always wished it focused a little closer than the designated 0.3m, hardly any CA, and so sharp!, sharper than the newer Nikon 16mm f/2.8 AF, considerably sharper than the more common f/2.8 AF version, much better overall than the 16/2.8D, sharp to the corners #wide-open, so much DOF that AF isn't really necessary, AF seems rather superfluous on a fisheye, if conditions permit just set it around f/8 then preset the focus and shoot away, excellent on Nikon D800, a wonderful lens with good resistance to flare small and lightweight easy to carry around all the time, really like the sharpness and cool color rendition of the 16/3.5 AI, very rare 16mm lens, built-in shade, 0.3m (1 ft.) to , built-in filters N, Y48, O56, R60, aperture scale f/3.5 to f/22, 7 iris blades, dimensions approx. 68mm x 60.5mm, 330g, 64mm slip-on front lens cap, really excellent performer, the older 16/3.5 Nikon fisheye is a very fine lens considerably sharper than the more common 2.8 AF version, for landscapes in the mountains this can really be used effectively especially if wanting to shoot stars at night a better lens than the 16/2.8 version but very hard to find, a few architecture photographer pros use a fisheye on a DSLR then just do all the adjustments in Photoshop, 16mm on a DX camera provides a picture angle of 107 which makes it effectively a very small and compact 16mm rectilinear wide angle lens, can do wide-angle macro with landscape photography using an 8mm extension tube such as the Nikon PK-11a with 16-24mm lenses which if you want really really close will allow a 1mm focusing distance from the surface of the front element with the fisheye.

Tokina 17mm f/3.5 SL AIS for Nikon (Hoya): fantastic image quality especially at f/8-f/11, great, gem, eye-popping ultra-wide images, a little beauty, such a sharp lens, nice color and contrast, this lens is fabulous, cheap, amazingly good lens for the price, build quality is exceptional, difficult to find, quite compact and the front element doesn't bulge, a gem, stop down to at least f/5.6-f/8 for results as good as professional zoom, great corner sharpness at f/5.6, sharp as Nikkors with much less lateral color fringing, better ghost resistance and takes real filters, a terrific sharp contrasty lens, colors are bland with harsh rendition especially in contrasty light, some copies have a decentering defect, a fairly high resolution lens especially when stopped down, typical barrel distortion, fairly pronounced degree of barrel distortions (~2.5%), low contrast at f/3.5, improving greatly at f/5.6, strong falloff of illumination at f/3.5, some at f/5.6, mostly gone at smaller apertures, contrast level is very low at f/3.5, at f/3.5 the center and border are already sharp whereas the extreme corners are quite soft, stopping down increases the quality and the peak performance is reached at f/8 - f/11 with an excellent center resolution and very good borders and extreme corners, lateral chromatic aberrations are a significant problem at large aperture settings but at f/8 and f/11 the problem is reduced and not overly disturbing anymore, a low-cost classic and extremely well made, build quality is exceptional thanks on an all-metal body with very tight tolerances, focus is smooth and very well damped, a bargain, a bit soft at f/3.5 but stopped-down to f/5.6 and smaller it's as good as everything else for making actual pictures the smallest, lightest and least expensive lens at this focal length, Focal length: 17mm, Aperture Range: f/3.5-16, Optical construction: 11 elements in 9 groups, Angle of view: 10340', Closest Focus Distance from Film Plane: 0.25m, Focusing system: rotary focus, Maximum outer diameter: 70mm, Overall length: 49.2mm, Weight: 305g, 280g (10 oz.), 67.

20mm f/4 Nikkor AI, Angular field diag. 94: {CAUTION: the protective tab next to the rear element can prevent mounting with an adapter on Canon cameras such as the 5DII because it sticks out far enough that it bumps into the surface inside the camera where the EF mount's electrical contacts are located}, (for landscapes stopped down, optimum aperture f/8-f/11) A legendary lens amongst those who know, tiny jewel, for compact travel it's the best Nikon ultrawide ever made, this 35-year-old lens [venerable but short-lived: never manufactured as an AIS lens, made 1974-1978 as a K lens then starting in 1977 as an AI lens] works as well as today's newest 20mm f/2.8 AF-D it's just a lot smaller! the smallest ultrawide ever made by Nikon or Canon superb FX ultrawide, but not as good as the modern 16-35mm and 14-24mm zooms which are superior, I go out with it in my pocket a gem, excellent sharper than the Zeiss Flektogon 20/2.8 in the corners and much smaller, a sleeper and immensely fun to shoot with, very small very dark corners until stopped down towards f/8-f/11 but by then it is very nice very sharp across the frame, copy variation with some not sharp in the corners or the borders even at f/16, for compact travel it's the best Nikon ultrawide ever made, legendary, superb, among Galen Rowell's favorite lenses for landscape photography was only made for a brief period in the 1970's [1974-1978: non-AI from 1974-1977; AI 1977-1978] extremely compact, lightweight, and optically the best 20mm Nikon has produced, prefer rare 20mm f/4 AI for its size and superb image quality, one of my very favorite Nikon lenses of all time, was actually a bit surprised at how well it performed even wide open on the Nikon D800, new favorite lens, smallest 20mm lens and probably the sharpest, veiling flare at f/4, sharp but definitely has a flare problem if there is a light source anywhere near the frame, fantastic at f/5.6-f/8, a fine landscape lens shot best at f/8 or so, outstanding the mythical Nikkor the optical performer in the whole 20mm dynasty, superb landscape glass, affected with field curvature that bring borders and corners out of focus if you focus closer than infinity for extended DOF for landscape pictures at f/11-f/16 is sharpest in the center if focused at 3m and sharpest in the extreme corners if focused at infinity ended up using it focused between infinity and 3m at f/16 use mainly during travels for its small size and light weight, light and tiny, manual focus is excellent very precise but not fast the focus ring turns 140, great little lens, sharp, no visible barrel distortion on FX, the color accuracy and purity is rather special pure and delicate defined colors, corners are very weak, central resolution is great but corners and borders are rather blurry, #no distortion nor CA, does not flare at all, slight vignetting at f/4, typical Nikkor color, ergonomics are great, from f/5.6 and smaller just rocks the contrast just jumps images appear much sharper Leica like, f/8-f/11 to reduce corner coma, light falloff; extremely compact, lightweight, and optically the best 20mm Nikon has produced, a rare bird only made for 3 years in the 1970's, a great lens if you can find one, a very good and very sharp lens, very sharp and contrasty lens with noticable vignetting, optically it is great even wide-open (one of Galen Rowell's favorites) unfortunately it is a bit hard to find as it was only produced for a year or two, "best ultrawide film lens", the 14-24/2.8 Nikkor will blow the old-timer away, just as sharp as the 20mm f/2.8 lens but vignettes more however by f/5.6 or f/8 the vignetting is all gone, AI only and was not made in AIS, excellent #infrared capabilities but flare in IR can be very troublesome and under some conditions has hot-spot issue, performs well in IR, lens is tiny, sample variation with bad copies soft at infinity, great little lens, compactness and great build, many famous photos shot with this lens, a constant in Galen Rowell's bag it is small and sharp, the smallest ultrawide lens or zoom ever made by Nikon, small size and very good sharpness; not Zeiss 21 sharp at any aperture, but it has good corners at f/5.6 and beyond, great color, and some 3D it's also just so damn small and light you got to love it, also extremely resistant to flare, you can ignore the hood filter threads provide about the same degree of stray light protection as the bizarre HK-3 slip-over metal hood, requires a thin filter to avoid vignetting otherwise use a 52mm > 77mm step-up ring with 77mm filters, has a reputation for being capable to face direct sun; quite small and handy don't need AF because of its hyperfocal ability; this focal length on DX stopped-down to f/11 and prefocused for DOF from 1m to infinity is superb for from-the-hip street shooting; the best 20mm Nikkor I've ever used; favored by landscape photographers for decades, made in quite small numbers less then 23,000 lenses made 1974-1977, prone to flare, way soft in the corners at f/4, performance increases quite a bit by stopping down one stop to f/5.6, peak performance at f/11, sample variation; lovely, compact, a legendary lens, sharp, 3D look, virtually distortion-free and relatively flare-resistant, flare-resistant lens, great into the sun or bright lights; should get the adjective "legendary" for its sharpness and its solid build, at f/4 the depth-of-focus of the lens covers about 10 feet to infinity while sharpness is very good and light falloff at the edges is noticeable, at f/11 it covers about 2 feet to infinity with excellent sharpness and very little or no light falloff, at f/8-16 the lens is amazing, at f/5.6 very, very, very good, at f/4 you wished you had enough light to shoot at f/5.6 or f/8, contrast at all apertures is excellent possibly better than the 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor; tiny, useable near infinity-focus when well stopped down, not at its optimum in the close range, prefer its 3D look, poor corner performance wide-open, the corners are very weak, sharpness drops dramatically in the extreme corners when the lens is used on a Nikon D3/D3S/D3x, the petite 20mm f/4 is a great lens though not immune to flare and showing some barrel distorsion its weakest point, very good nearly wide-open when focused closer; amazingly sharp, very low distortion, field curvature, barrel distortion, moustache distortion exceeding Zeiss 21/2.8 ZF; optically better than the current Nikon 20/2.8 AF; shoot at f/8 for great performance with corners as sharp as the superior 14-24mm; very sharp, contrasty, very little CA, CA wide-open, flare-resistant, small, good micro-contrast; VERY sharp ultra wide with very little distortion, very sharp right into the edges, tiny, all metal, firm, easy to focus; reverse for 12:1 magnification (a reversed 50mm lens will give you close to 1:1 magnification with a lens surface to subject working distance of around 4 inches, 35mm lens close to 2:1, 28mm lens almost 3:1 with a working distance of 1.5 inches), wide angle lenses are weird because their entrance pupils are often located far away from where you'd expect based on focal length so as you try extending them with thin tubes (like the "K rings" such as the K1 ring {CAUTION: K1 ring DAMAGES lens electrical contacts.}) the results often aren't what you'd expect a reversed wide angle lens has a deeper perspective than you'd expect reversed a 20mm lens has about the same perspective as a 50mm macro, for Macro usage reversed on a bellows gives up to 12:1 magnification, does not flare at all, a joy to use shooting directly into the sun, great lens if you can find one, best ultrawide film lens, focus throw is longer with the f/4 version than the newer f/3.5 Nikkor, optically the rare f/4 version is as good or better than newer f/3.5 version, viewfinder only vignetting with K, J, & A screens with f/4 but not f/3.5 version but no significant falloff on film, sample variation, nice but not as spectacular as myth would have it, loss of performance in the corners is very evident for near and medium-distance subjects, flares quite easily, only the 14-24mm and 17-35mm zooms at 20mm can surpass its image quality, visably sharper than the newer 20mm f/2.8 AF-D lens at all apertures no competition really, beats the 20mm f/2.8 AF-D hands down, much prefer over the Olympus Zuiko 21/3.5, better overall than the Oly 21/3.5, great color and contrast, the most amazing bang-for-the-buck, a legendary lens that had a very short production run (c. 1977-1978), contrast is quite high and the "punch" might have given it the current reputation, 63.5 diameter x 35.5 length, 210g, 52.

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 APO ZF Classic for Nikon by Cosina, Angular field diag./horiz./vert. 90 / 81 / 59: {Warning: Keep Zeiss wide angle lenses clean! Very sensitive to front lens element damage and dirt. Meticulous cleanliness of front element is necessary to prevent flare as tiny spots or fingerprints can dramatically degrade images.} {Caution: Focus turns easily so when set to infinity without being noticed it can become set to the wrong distance.} (Carl Zeiss has been making optics for more than 160 years) a fabulous lens, delicious contrast, "the ultimate wide angle lens", the best of the best reference lens, a stellar performer, legendary wideangle for SLR users, adapted to the Sony A7RII is a very workable solution, "god-glass!", "in a league by itself with respect to image color, phenomenal, a spectacular lens, brilliant performer even wide open exceptional level of correction no better lens in this focal length, offers high brilliance with superb flare control and terrific sharpness, results are just superb a must have lens, that 21 is all about foreground, some of the very best fine detail resolution of any lens ever produced a top tier lens, corner to corner sharpness at 21mm makes it a legendary lens, among the lenses with the best micro contrast, a high "Wow!" factor, epic, has the most 3D-like rendering, a lens fit for a king, top reviewers (Diglloyd, Ming Thein, Anothermike) are salivating over its microcontrast and magical rendering, the landscape gold standard, most indispensable architecture lens, widely regarded as one of the very best lenses ever made, incredibly sharp and does justice to the Sony A7r sensor, {CAUTION: with the floating element lens design MUST TAKE CARE TO AVOID USE WITH ADAPTERS THAT ARE TOO THIN (in an attempt to ensure infinity focus) because the lens located too close to the sensor will severely blur the image corners plus cause lateral chromatic aberration yet center performance is not hurt at all}, the wide perspective is important in trying to create a feel of involvement and immediacy for the audience it can also be used in tight quarters and to create the impression of distance between observer and scene/subject, with a hard infinity stop doing landscape work is easy since focusing isn't even needed (often not true when used with a mount conversion adapter), #favorite, the sharpest least distorting wide angle for Nikon, due to its distortion an 80-90% image overlap and care in placing frame edges is recommended for panoramas with this lens, the sharpest lens at f/2.8, best wide prime ever!, superb, a fabulous lens, very appealing, brilliant performer even wide open exceptional level of correction no better lens in this focal length, vignetting with a hot center and dark edges at wide to intermediate apertures, wide angle lenses are harder to use because of the need for strong foreground, amazing contrast, really quite stellar, by far my favorite lens 90% of all my landscape shots rendition and color are without comparison, the sharpest lens at f/2.8, awesome contrast and colors fabulous build, may be big & heavy but it takes a wonderful photo on the Sony A7r absolutely gorgeous photos one of THE most spectacular wide angle lenses ever made, amazing on the Sony A7r, all Zeiss DSLR lenses are usable with adapter on mirrorless cameras (such as the Novoflex lens adapter) and are well suited for mirrorless use since all DSLR lenses have digital-friendly ray angle, mainstay for architectural work, well known for its amazing resolving power, a great lens but not small, it's amazing just wish it wasn't all metal (in Iceland my hands were freezing onto the barrel), character is that of a lens with a lot of depth of field, fantastic with excellent corners, one of those truly outstanding lenses that is a must if you're a wideangle shooter an absolute no-brainer if you're an architectural or landscape photographer highly recommended, the best wide angle Zeiss, the best you can do on a D800, very good performer on the Sony A7r, you're missing out if you haven't used Distagons, subject to red arc flare with sun in frame, the Milvus 21mm update is optically identical according to Zeiss except for a new lens coating that adds a bit more flare resistance, but the ZE/ZF version already has excellent flare suppression, the older C/Y mount version is better at suppressing chromatic aberration but with less sharpness from wide open to f/4. By the time you stop down to f/5.6 the two versions are very similar in sharpness, but the old version is a bit better at suppressing CA. IMO, both version are fantastic wide angle lenses, the small petite and manual focus Zeiss 21/2.8 Loxia is superior to the ZF.2, very strong 3D effect, very few lenses have as much micro-contrast, so much better than anything else in its focal length range the lens performance is well worth the weight, the best wide ever made, stunning into the corners, exceptional 3D, a bit wide for a general use lens, great landscape glass, never fails to amaze, lit from within with that wonderful center zone on near/moderate subjects that nothing else can touch, can heartily recommend, brilliant performer even wide-open, exceptional level of correction, really remarkable the sharpest resolution in a wide angle with superb microcontrast and color, extremely well corrected for color, no better lens in this focal length, very special image quality, superlative point spread function, noted 'contrast monster', a very flat field, very mild field curvature, Dr. Schuster designed the C/Y 21/2.8 Distagon instead of using asph lens elements he used many levels of special glass to get rid of aberrations, very high central sharpness with apparent field curvature favoring the foreground as the edges are approached the use of f/8 is desirable for greater depth of field and to extend satisfactory sharpness off-center and at a distance the demanding Nikon D800E 36 megapixel sensor shows the optical design compromises that were made even with this very best lens, THE landscape lens on the Nikon D800 and a big thank you to Adobe Camera Raw for their lens correction tool, the lens that everyone raves about, resolving power is extraordinary, the colors are simply stunning, just amazing for landscapes, quite possibly the best landscape lens every picture taken by it is magical, the best lens ever, it's a legend for a good reason!, which EVERYONE says is the best WA lens on the planet period, best wide angle in the world, recommend for use with the Nikon D800E / D800 without reservation, expensive but worth it particularly when you have a somewhat centrally located subject placed as the primary point of interest at close to moderate distances that frame off a background (think the classic near/middle/far landscape composition) in these cases nothing is better isn't perfect has some corner weaknesses and some corner shading but if the composition is right there isn't anything better, all time favorite landscape lens you'll be blown away by the edge sharpness, in the wide angle realm for a DSLR you won't find a higher performing lens or one with a more satisfying drawing style, the ultimate wide angle lens sharpness is excellent across the entire frame even wide open on the Nikon D800E noticeable vignetting but it goes away completely by f/5.6 more importantly has a rich 3D saturation and microcontrast structure that makes fine textures (e.g. landscapes) pop this is how all lenses should be constructed focus throw and weighting is utterly perfect with just enough resistance plenty of smoothness and no backlash enormous filter size, the manual focus ring is perfect spinning freely enough to change focus distance quickly but not so loose that you can't set the distance precisely the amount of damping is perfect, the optimal aperture is f/5.6 (f/4-f/8 are nearly indistinguishable in terms of quality), what it gives you is f/2.8 that's pretty sharp nice color ability to (easily) use a filter and above all, beautiful mechanical design the Zeiss lenses are a joy to hold and use they are just flat out fun and a joy to use, 21mm is roughly equivalent to your peripheral vision it's simply impossible to achieve anything approaching a natural-looking perspective with anything wider wide enough to convey space especially in tight interior quarters but not so wide as to appear unnatural, in the wide angle realm for a DSLR you won't find a higher performing lens or one with a more satisfying drawing style its only equal is the roughly half stop slower rangefinder Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH both "world class" lenses for those looking for the very best, one of the few wides that really does the D800E sensor justice even into the edges the center is already extremely sharp from wide open and the extreme corners catch up at around f/5.6 or so, no issue with filter stacking, use it almost exclusively for urban exploration, performs excellently on the D800 even at the edges sharpness and micro contrast is much much better than the Nikon 14-24/2.8, much better than the Nikon 14-24 on the D700 not much difference but on the D800 the Zeiss clearly pulls away, seems sharper and to have better contrast than the Nikon 14-24/2.8 that's part of the Zeiss look all seem to have a similar characteristic in that regard and color rendering sharp out to the corners, has a flatter field than the Nikon 14-24/2.8 probably as flat as any wide prime a great practical plus is compact size and ability to use standard filters actually one of the lighter Zeiss lenses best in image quality, convenience and practicality, much better in terms of image quality than the smaller Olympus 21/3.5 which at 1/3 the price and weight works better for hiking/backpacking, vignetting around 1-1.5 stops in the corners at f/2.8 but almost entirely gone by f/4 distortion up to 2% taking an odd moustache or sombrero-shaped pattern that isn't so easy to correct manually but can be taken care of easily by ACR's built in profile for the lens bokeh is neutral and pleasant with no hard edges, the best wide angle you can buy built of metal and glass built to last a gorgeous thing that happens to make superlative images in every sense of the word truly it is the one wide angle lens every serious Nikon and Canon shooter should own, that famous Zeiss microcontrast the visible result of high resolution, even and high spectral transmission and as little chromatic aberration as possible, all-around it is just one great lens and sooo easy to use, it will spoil you, the t/2.9 transmission is very high thanks to the excellent coatings a deep, saturated look of tonal richness, really a must-have lens, you can't do better, considered by many as the finest landscape lens in the world, beautifully built and has biting contrast even wide open the drawing style is different from the Nikon 14-24/2.8 and if you like the way the Zeiss lenses render sharpness, contrast, falloff into blur and vignetting wide open, which gives great image depth, then you will love this one it also takes filters easily either screw on or Lee type it should last a lifetime or more as the build is that good and its a very practical size to carry about, pretty terrible light falloff anywhere near wide open but at f/4 and on it is really remarkable, voted most magical lens, always seems to put a smile on my face, has such a huge DOF that is it very difficult to miss a shot, so special because of its high contrast in the 40 lp/mm fine detail, insanely good micro contrast, corrected so well that diffraction already diminishes its center performance by f/5.6, what a great lens, awesome, superb at all apertures, the best lens ever, very good 3D POP, a killer lens for 3D and just about everything else you could ask for in a super wide, never fails to produce consistent output with great contrast, color rendition and sharpness even #wide-open, stopping down from f/2.8 to an optimal f/4 increases center resolution by only about 5% and from f/2.8 to an optimal f/5.6 only increases resolution about 10% in the corners, go to lens for landscapes, contender for the ultimate best wide angle lens, the best, just incredible, really is remarkable the sharpest resolution in a wide angle with superb microcontrast and color, Zeiss 21mm sharp is the gold standard, best Zeiss Z* is the 21 and 100makro, better than the Zeiss 100mm when it comes to 3D, when you want DOF, offers so much DOF it turns camera into a P&S, legendary, set it at f/5.6 and shoot anything from 8' on without even bothering to focus, there is no real focusing involved with the 21 unless you are doing close-ups because it has a massive DOF so just focus it very near infinity and everything beyond half a meter will be in focus even at f/2.8, good for juxtaposing foreground and background and exaggerating depth, get close and get low, show depth by including a large forground to lead into the subject the wrong way is to try and "get it all in" or attempting to shoot a panoramic type shot without paying attention to the foreground, the colors and contrast look superb, has an unusually efficient lens shade which largely prevents the entry of side-light, some traces of chromatic errors, together with the 50/2 MP it's a perfect landscaping duo, just amazing, superb, contrast and sparkle/brilliance gorgeous performance", legendary you won't find better lenses at any price, a "superstar" most loved lens in the Zeiss lineup with universal approval, really an berlens, the DOF field is ridiculous, known to be awesome, low-light star making it ideal for architectural interiors, produces dramatic pictures posesses a huge DOF from close up to infinity with everything in between very sharp, floating element design, DOF @ f/2.8 equals something between f/5.6 and f/8 on a Canon 16-35 @ 21 mm, thicker DOF than a simplified model predicts, quite an amazing lens the amount of detail it renders is astounding, the only prime to compare to the Nikon 14-24 (other than the 24/1.4 Nikkor), the 14-24 Nikkor drops in microcontrast after f/4 but the Zeiss holds, the "must have" Zeiss "superstars" that excel at every aperture and at every distance are the 21/2.8 and 100/2 Makro Planar followed by the 35/2 and 50/2 Makro Planar, has a DOF that I have never seen anywhere else not even the Nikkor 14-24, universal consensus is it seems peerless for corner-to-corner sharpness so two shots merged with a 21mm Zeiss would be better than anything an ultra-wide could do, consistently described as legendary and 3D-like, has a way of making shots dramatic and spectacular due to its rendition of color and contrast and to its almost preternaturally deep DOF, a "point and shoot" because of the huge DOF, fully justifies its legendary reputation, quite an incredible lens the fine details it's producing are amazing, fabulous image quality, very sharp wide-open, great perspective, great build quality, produces an exceptionally high percentage of "Wow!" shots, an outstanding performer, insanely great, the best, a true standout there really isn't anything like it versatile indoors and out, Simply Wow!, in a league of its own for landscapes with a completely insane ability to suck in all the fine detail in a scene but it is very wide which can limit its general usefulness, dramatic and powerful images, a brilliant piece of optical equipment, legendary, shows a brilliance that satisfies time after time, Zeiss', best ultra-wide lens, "pop" showing the distinctive Zeiss qualities, likely very close to being diffraction-limited in the central area wide-open at f/2.8 but better overall results on average at f/5.6 with improved edge and corner performance and more depth of field to overcome slight field curvature and any lens/mount/sensor alignment errors which become more critical with ultra wide angle lenses, has a mostly flat field as flat a field as one will ever find in a 21mm lens, often gives a cyan cast in the corners, colors shift towards the corners, heavy vignetting even at f/4, the extremely high detail contrast is great for landscape but not so great if you have people in the frame I simply prefer the more gentle rendition of Nikkors (i.e., the f/1.4 AF-S Nikkor primes), in infrared starts hotspotting at f/5.6, does not exhibit focus shift starts out just slightly low in contrast at f/2.8 nearly peaks at f/4 then reaches peak performance at f/5.6 then maintains its outstanding sharpness, this lens is the real deal, the big daddy of all landscape lenses and is amazingly sharp, for landscape has decisive advantage the ability to take polarizers, gives nice sunstar effect shooting into the sun at f/16 (most other lenses need f/22), keystoning can often be a problem any time you have the camera tilted up or down you will get noticeable convergence of verticals usually unappealing put the horizon dead center and crop either the top or bottom to suit the composition or fix keystoning in post processing, looks far better on full frame and doesn't look quite as nice on a D7000, neutral density filters for long exposures, and neutral density grads for balancing out exposures all three essential to landscape photography, the popular opinion that wider is better when shooting outdoors/landscapes is wrong ultra-ultra wides are best for architecture and interiors when you need to fit a lot in the frame and can't back up focal lengths of 30-85mm is where I'm most comfortable for landscapes, the huge DOF of the 21 makes it so easy to use as a P&S which is not true of a 28mm lens, when you open it up and go near the MFD it goes completely nuts as a special character macro lens with funky bokeh, possibly the best there is, splendid, superlative image quality with corner-to-corner sharpness that delights with every image, there's nothing to touch the 21mm, clearly the king of the wides, pretty damn close to 'perfect' in the UWA range, low-light shooting wide-open at f/2.8 can be done without reservation, delivers excellence at every aperture, doesn't perform at it's best until f/5.6 and smaller, has some higher order distortion ('mustache'), "mustache" distortion easily cured with PTLens, the mild mustache distortion is gone at close focus and replaced by an even stronger pure barrel distortion, other "distortion free" ultra wide angle lenses vignette significantly more, even at f/8 there isn't much depth of field when focussing close, no haze, no blur, just outstanding image quality, stopping down of course improves image quality but wide-open at f/2.8 the results are astonishing, fabulous, color rendition is where the Zeiss wins big microcontrast too, all the Zeiss color and microcontrast that we know and love!, "3D look" when used at wider apertures on nearby subjects, wickedly sharp right from minimum focusing distance all the way to infinity, the undisputed king of landscape lenses, generates more "WOW!" shots than my Zeiss 35/2, devoid of CA, the combination of the Nikon D3x with the Zeiss 21mm /2.8 is exquisite and predictable focus exactly as planned image sharpness is outstanding right where I wanted it with the background blur also placed as desired, Apochromatic wide-angle objective see U.S. Patent 5742439, can be converted to a rock solid perfectly spaced Canon mount with a Leitax adapter on top of the existing Nikon mount and then mounted on a Mirex Canon EOS to Sony E NEX adapter for tilt and swing with no vignetting and can even get 4mm of rise/fall/shift before vignetting appears on Sony A7r, extremely well-corrected for color fringing but it is not absent and can be fixed by Nikon's software Lateral Color Aberration Correction, dramatic CA at 1:1 magnification with an extension tube, without an extension tube at minimum focus distance the lateral chromatic aberration is still admirably low, for astrophotography makes nice images at f/5.6 although stars look triangle-shaped near corners, tried the Zeiss 21mm wide-open for night sky astrophotography and although it performs well there is a bit of sagittal coma vignettes more than I'd like and is 1 stop away from where I'd like to be (f/2), very useful for night sky photography both with short exposures for an almost static sky and for long exposures with star trails, tremendous flare control, rarely can flare unusably, at any aperture the Zeiss 21mm will have more vignetting than any other 21mm lens, I am blown away at how you can shoot in the midday sun sun fully in the frame and retain shadows and blue sky and with very minimal flare if any Simply Wow!, flares with the sun in the frame at certain angles vs. the Nikkor 14-24 which is much better, does flare but is brilliant in many other ways, slightly more resolution combined with a more attractive drawing style and zingier color than the Nikon 14-21 but more affected by flare and has much stronger (waveform) distortion, Zeiss ZF.2 lenses are not water resistant cannot be used in the rain this is how fungus gets started in lenses they must be kept dry! For storage reduce the relative humidity to less than 60% (never under 30% as it is dangerous for the lens) Zeiss generally will not service a lens with fungus because opening such a lens will release fungal spores, the ZF21 beats the Nikon 14-24mm, the PC-E24, and 24-70mm, and the Zeiss ZF25 from open aperture onwards, prefer the ZF 21 ergonomics and brilliance to the Nikkor 14-24, the colors are extremely contrasty I often have to use a polarizer to have a dark blue sky with a Nikon 14-24 lens but not with this ZF lens!, better-corrected for just about everything except rectilinear distortion than the Nikkor 14-24, the Nikkor 14-24 while technically great in terms of versatility, sharpness and distortion just lacks the microcontrast that the Zeiss has a realistic and vibrant look and the Zeiss handles much better, significantly less lateral chromatic aberration than the 14-24mm Nikkor, microcontrast and pop that the Nikkor 14-24 lacks, the preferred lens for 3D pop and color (and the small resolution advantage), the Zeiss is sharper and also has more micro-contrast (fine detail definition and tone separation) and character, the "pop" of the Distagon made the choice easy and the ability to use regular filters but 21mm is a totally different FOV to 14mm, the spectacular Canon 17mm and 24mm tilt-shift lenses have corner-corner sharpness even at larger apertures without the mustache/wave distortion, sharp wide-open even at close range, can use two stacked filters without vignetting on full-frame, and huge DOF due to cleverly managed field curvature, just alive with beautiful colors, contrast, and striking 3D effect the Zeiss is paramount, busy bokeh lens renders some double lines, poorer bokeh because it's an APO lens the only wide/superwide to be APO, very highly corrected for color aberrations and other problems with near-macro close-up performance, ring bokeh close-up at f/2.8, perfect 9 blade diaphragm that is always symmetrical and never out of round, begets beautifully symmetrical 18-pointed sunstars, a great lens but for landscape and cityscapes a little to the wide side for many shots although some photographers specialize in ultrawide, for astrophotography makes nice images at f/5.6 although stars look triangle-shaped near corners, superb in its own way, can use two stacked filters without vignetting, built like a tank, a light (easy to turn) focus action, slippery metal that is easy to drop, this lens is the real deal it's sharp all over, ability to flawlessly correct color errors prevents color fringing and unwanted lack of focus that can result from chromatic aberrations, better color corrected than any other ultra wide-angle lens, ideal for contrast-rich scenes and intense lighting angles, deep DOF already at f/5.6, start to see diffraction around f/13, f/16 is clearly mushy, f/22 bad, floating elements design also guarantees high imaging performance from close-ups to infinity, T* coating not affected by reflections or stray light, the uncontested winner at 21mm on full frame cameras, widely considered the sharpest wide-angle lens ever made, appreciably sharper than anything else at the focal length, really remarkable the sharpest resolution in a wide angle, superb microcontrast and color, great corner-resolving abilities, offers consistent performance across the frame even wide-open with uniform sharpness, really versatile in part because it can be used as a near-macro lens, this isn't a macro lens but with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a minimum focusing distance of 0.22 meters (about 8.5 inches) you can get some great effects that other ultra wide angle lenses out there can never reproduce, talented people could definitely utilize this lens for creative portraiture, ZF version has rabbits ears ("hasenhrl") the new-style meter coupling prong for non-AI cameras which is missing from the ZF.2 version, just no question the 21 Distagon is worth its price, every bit as good or perhaps a bit better than the original for Contax with modern anti-reflective coatings, about as sharp as Leica's best Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH, the Zeiss 21/2.8 is very much the equal of the much more expensive $6500 Leica 21/1.4 the Zeiss controls color aberrations better (it has almost no visible fringes) along with an almost flat field and outstanding sharpness and contrast, quite amazing for a wide-angle lens at f/2.8 to produce 80% contrast at 40 lp/mm, annoying distortion, fairly strong vignetting wide-open which apparently fools the camera into overexposing by 2/3 stops when stopped down, minimum focus 8.64"(1:5). ... simply spectacular in performance, and small and light, unlike the Nikon zoom. ... the tilt/shift PC-E Nikon 24/3.5 is not as well corrected is less compact has worse ergonomics and is 2/3 stop slower with much more noticeable chromatic aberration ... Compared to the Zeiss 21/2.8 the 24/1.4 Nikkor delivers flat, cold and boring color (just like most Nikkors) ... the Zeiss 21/2.8 is bloody good but not in the caliber of the new Nikon 24/1.4 then again nothing is ... just don't like the rendering of Zeiss wide angle lenses definitely prefer the Nikkor 24/1.4G ... Field curvature really isn't a problem in practice if you need very distant objects to be sharp across the frame stop down to f/8 and focus just slightly short of infinity, complex design to flatten the image and the result is excellent, the slight cyan cast in the corners (caused by the optical interface to the digital sensor, not a lens defect, not sufficient to be visible in actual photographs) can easily be fixed in post processing (this problem can be even worse with other non-retrofocus lenses such as rangefinder lenses sitting much closer to the sensor that impart color casts to captures due to varying angle of incidence on the sensor), front focusing when stopped down, somewhat susceptable to flare, the ZF21's other weakness - 'moustache' distortion - shouldn't ever be noticeable with a natural subject like the Grand Canyon. ... If you do architecture you might look elsewhere ... built by Hirofumi Kobayashi in Japan ... heavy for a wide-angle at 23oz ... It's a unique and wonderful thing ... Spectacular yes. Small and light only in comparison to a f/2.8 UW zoom. It's a real monster of a prime. ... I don't think it's a monster at all. It's more of a lean middle-weight. ... 583g, 661g with hood and caps, minimum focus 0.72' at 1:5, entrance pupil 106mm (4.17) in front of image plane, 82 ... the 82mm filter size really helps with vignetting ... The Zeiss 21 still has noticeable sharpness and contrast advantages over the Nikon 14-24, but can you live with the Zeiss's weird distortion? I can, but will probably get the Nikon too. Outresolves the Nikon 14-24 discernably although the Nikon is much better for distortion at 21mm. The Nikon has strong barrel distortion at 14mm. Advantages when compared to the Nikon 14-24/2.8 include weight, size, color, contrast, lack of any CA, excellent flare-control, and the ability to use filters. About as sharp as Leica's best Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH. It is generally agreed that the finest wide angle lenses are the Mamiya 7 43mm and the Zeiss Biogons. The new rangefinder CZ C-Biogon 21/4.5 ZM is much more appealing: no linear distortion, cheaper, and featherweight at 190g.

24mm f/2.8 Nikkor-NC, Angular field diag. 84: best at f/5.6-f/11, very sharp images corner-to-corner even at the near limit thanks to CRC (Close Range Correction), the first Nikkor with floating elements for close focusing, quite good wide-open, at f/8 it is as good as the Nikkor 14-24/2.8, just brutally sharp I love it, a great lens real sharp good for landscapes but watch out for field curvature if you're shooting flat objects like buildings up close, a sweet lens, perfect walkabout lens, actually a very handy street-shooter, a classic favorite, not great by modern standards but was a photojournalist/newspaper fave, enjoy the color rendering, when it came out photographers for world class news photo companies all agreed that this lens was a stunner, handles well and the corner softness wide open is gone at f/5.6, AIS version still for sale new by Nikon in 2012, has a different optical formula and is much less sharp on the sides than the last AIS version, a stunning lens, a real performer, lovely lens, small a joy to use, works best when focused closely but at infinity it's not so good, soft in the corners with lots of vignetting but it's a subtle beauty with a painter's touch, soft in the corners wide open (like almost all non asph lenses) handled by stopping down a stop or two, find 24mm almost always too wide but on other hand not wide enough for crazy shots (where 21mm Distagon is brilliant), wide and fast DX portrait lens not so good in the corners wide-open but the center is very very good at f/2.8, got to be at f/8 for the corners to even start to be decent on a crop body it's better but still not amazing, fine on film but has never received great reviews on digital, reliably mediocre, a favorite in the film era but now a digital loser to avoid, works well on the Sony A7Rii, love it sharp and has good contrast really surprised to see that some don't like it, very hard to focus especially on the D800, was the legendary wide in the lineup (which is why I was so shocked at how poorly it did on digital), just doesn't cope well with a digital sensor, loved it in the film era but find its image quality un-usable on the D600, on the D700 actually quite pleased with it, not very good on Nikon D800 afraid this one is bound for the recycler, copy variation with some quite abysmal couldn't get a decent image from that thing no matter what, unsharp with poor contrast, absolute garbage on the D800, AIS version a favorite wide solution on the Sony A7r small and optically terrific, the best-performing 24mm focal length lens I've tried on the Sony A7r, a very nice option unless you are super critical about extreme corner sharpness color and contrast is impressive, a very compact lens but it's not going to be sharp until about f/8 and you'll need to correct the chromatic aberration to get passable quality even then I've relegated mine to a bag at the bottom of a dark closet, keeping it for the rare occasions when I want to use flare creatively, sample variation one AIS copy found to be superb perfect, incapable of handling sub-5 micron sensor pitch at anything wider than f/5.6, a killer bargain at f/5.6 you'd be hard pressed to find a better optic at any price from anyone, AF-D version's corner quality is terrible even at f/8, flares and ghosts (those ugly reflections of the diaphragm) readily, great with Tri-X on newsprint but on the DSLR the flare and lack of contrast is shockingly unacceptable, a workhorse wideangle on the Nikon F if ever there was one, strangely does quite well on a Nikon D3x even at the wide apertures the corners were OK, performs beautifully on a Nikon D700, excellent from f/4 or f/5.6, when George Lucas tested the Nikkor range to use on his Vistavision cameras for the 1st "Star Wars" he said the 24mm f/2.8 was the sharpest and most contrasty lens around!, Galen Rowell's most used focal length, a capable performer, small and compact with nice color and contrast, sharp corner to corner stopped down to f/5.6, distortion is very well controlled, as distortion-free as wides get, perhaps not as contrasty as more modern glass but still a very good lens, crazy bokeh with closeups that sometimes really works, crazy as in busy harsh unattractive bokeh, terrible bokeh not soft & fluffy, a very nice lens to have for street/indoor shooting when the light levels are low but does not do well when there is a bright complex background due to lots of CA with horrible bokeh, some barrel distortion that is easily corrected in post, not as impressed as many are, for environmental portraits 24mm will not distort facial features if you know where to place the subject in the frame and at what distance and is much more interesting than 35mm, {SC version: has just the right amount of barrel distortion and vignetting so that people in a small room at the edge of the frame look good bent rather than smeared out and fat, best party lens ever if you are doing that professionally for some reason makes everything look like 1970's rock and roll photography, not super duper sharp but has a great personality and is sharp enough}, a so-so lens, with CA removal this lens comes back to life as a very good lens, great lens, small size and excellent optical behavior plus a mechanical quality you don't find in even the best modern zooms, fairly sharp in the center but somewhat fuzzy around the edges, mush in the extreme corners but gets better stopped down but small and light which is why I use them, it vignettes like mad when wide-open and really isn't usable until about f/5.6, the D700 corrects the modest chromatic aberration perfectly, so much detail the sensor resolution sets the limit if you frame 60 people in 3 rows you will count wrinkles on everyone's face assuming you are steady, my most used manual focus lens great for landscape/cityscape and razorsharp weighs almost nothing, very good performance at f/4 and excellent by f/5.6, small size, not the perfect lens for photographing people up close due to distortion, not quite as good technically as the Nikon 28/2.8 AIS, but excellent from f/4.0 or f/5.6, there were very subtle adjustments made to the glass types and curvatures - with the AI version some elements got thinner ususally a sign that they changed to a higher refractive glass type, AIs version has better color contrast probably due to improved coatings, a poor choice of focal length for a walk-around lens, reverse-mounted gives about a 3:1 macro magnification which is awesome! but very short working distance and have to hold the aperture lever open with a finger because usually don't have enough light to focus when stopped down to typically f/16, unreversed use K1 for close-ups {CAUTION: K1 ring DAMAGES lens electrical contacts.}, ghosting with strongly backlit situations, more resistant to flare than AI/AIS version, field curvature close, really shines on the D3x, some wicked magnification using a bellows run all the way out and reversing a 24mm f/2.8 AIS Nikkor somewhere on the order of about 16x but need a bright light source, great results for more than 1:1 magnification with lens reversed on a bellows but a really inconvenient setup, can also try reversing a wide angle lens in front of a telephoto lens for extreme magnification which is easy with older Nikkor lenses that are all 52mm threaded using a 52-52 male-male adapter ring, does not fit on Canon 5D Mark II with adapter because it has a longer tab that sticks out into the mounting area and hits the housing of the Canon body, with a Dandelion chip a 24mm f2.8 N.C AI modified lens gives almost perfect exposure despite not being AIS, 52.

28mm f/1.4D Aspherical AF Nikkor: (1994-2006) an absolutely extraordinary lens, turns night into day, a wide-angle version of Noct Nikkor, for low light action when you're in it, low light environmental portraits, and low light walkaround street shooting, ultrawide with shallow depth of field, an aspherical lens inheriting the concept of the Noct Nikkor to correct sagittal coma aberration, soft wide-open especially at minimum focus distance, demands a very precisely calibrated camera and AF system plus precise focusing is required to get acceptable results at f/1.4, big and bulky due to its high-speed design, admirable blur, the bokeh rendition is quite nice, unique and lovely look the combination of wide angle used with shallow depth of field is great and stopped down the 3D is almost like I can walk into the frame, sharp, even in the corners, even wide-open at f/1.4, except in the very far corners in the last two millimeters of the image it is soft at most larger apertures, comparing at f/2.8 the Nikon 14-24 zoom is better, if you need to shoot at f/1.4, this lens is unequalled but if you want to use it in daylight, any other 28mm AF Nikkor performs the same, love the colors (yellows,blues, purples) it produces in outdoor night shots especially in the natural world after dark (parks), wide-open the extreme corners are quite soft with some field curvature and internal flare, need to stop down to get really sharp images, sharp and contrasty images f/4-f/11, this extraordinary lens allows handheld photography in conditions twice as dim as a 50mm f/1.4 but with much more depth of field, for example, shooting a few frames at f/1.4 and 1/8 second exposure on 50 speed Velvia on the street at night, a nice lens for available light work, if you aren't troubled with its steep price, free from coma, worlds better than manual focus 35mm f/1.4 and 28mm f/2, (recommended for f/1.4-f/5.6 use, but the Contax Distagon 28mm f2.8 is better for f/8-f/16), due to the aspheric element the far bokeh is a big blob with a bright dot in the center, focuses by moving the rear group, slight cyan color cast to optimize lens for grabbing every last photon while shooting under dim artificial light, which makes it kind of ugly for daylight shooting unless you filter it with a Nikon A2 filter that matches the color balance of most other unfiltered Nikkors, for film a Tiffen 812 filter in daylight matches other Nikkors with a A2 filter, for digital a skylight filter's slight magenta/pink cast corrects the cyan cast of the lens, thin filters not required, CRC close focus 1.15', designed for uncompromising low-light wide-aperture performance, other lenses are definitely better choices for shooting stopped down, this little black jewel was the most expensive lens Nikon made, sold only 1-2 a week worldwide when they were in production at $1,700 new, ("You'll probably never see one of these. Because it was so expensive, no one bought them. Because no one bought them, Nikon stopped making them. Because Nikon stopped making them, photographers and collectors now want it, so the price, used, went up to over $2,000 in 2006. As of 2008, the used price has skyrocketed to over $4,000 ..."), Moose Peterson writes: "I ... fell in love with its f/1.4. I don't know if I've ever shoot with it closed down, it just sings so at f/1.4 that I can't get past that f/stop. Yeah, I shoot with the 28mm f/1.4 all the time, not just for star trails and I really love what it does. The way it isolates the subject yet lets a little of the world in makes this a marvelous tool.", if the infinity focus stop is dead-on it makes for easy use for astronomical photography, instruction manual cautions to avoid leaving it in your car on a hot day because the internal plastic may melt, 520g, HN-31 hood and 72-77mm step-up adapter does a much better job than the shallower Nikon HK-7, or can use Nikon HK-4 slip-on Lens Hood, 72.

28mm f/2 Nikkor AI, Angular field diag. 74: (for distance, sun in picture), a gem, lovely lens on the D700, solidly usable wide-open, outstanding lens - you cannot go wrong with it, razor-sharp wide-open corner-to-corner, amazing, excellent lens even wide-open, a wonder one-click-down, beloved favorite, certainly no slouch in the performance department a joy to use, this fastest of four 28mm lenses made by Nikon at the time for professionals was the most difficult to design and manufacture and was Nikon's best, better than Nikon 28/2.8 AIS better corners at equivalent f-stop with finer resolution and less CA, a more balanced lens for landscapes than the 28mm f/2.8 AIS as it is consistently sharp well into the corners and is also excellent with the sun in the image, can be excellent but there is a fair bit of product variation stop down to f/5.6, probably the best of the manual focus Nikon 28's, the Nikkor 28/2 and 28/2.8 both are great lenses, nice bokeh with good minimum focus distance, the tonality with a distinct smoothness and color adds a bit of a romantic feel, a bit of veiling flare that reduces contrast and purple fringing on high contrast areas when wide-open, a one-click-down wonder, good for close range work as well, great close up performance, among the best there is at this focal length, good classic bokeh, a fine lens that focuses really closely and is very high quality close up bokeh is generally okay but I really do not like what it does with out of focus points of light, has a special dramatic character all of its own and it isn't lacking for sharpness like the way it renders midtones, peak performance f/4-f/5.6, CRC, incorporates a secondary helicoid for the front group which is turned by the focusing ring as you turn the focusing ring from infinity to close focus in addition to the entire lens assembly moving forward in the inner helicoid the secondary helicoid also rotates and slightly shifts the position of the front group relative to rear group, outstandingly sharp images and these are produced at all aperture settings from f/2 to f/8 with just a trace of corner softness at the wider settings, at f/2 the results are somewhat softer regarding both border resolution and contrast, quite contrasty when stopped down to f/2.8 and beyond partly due to its fantastic flare resistance, has a #focus shift between f/2 and f/2.8 that fools the green dot which is overcome by using live view, strong infrared hot spot with some cameras and excellent IR performance with no hot spot with other cameras, has a nice contrast fingerprint even though it not quite as bittingly sharp at infinity as some other lenses, color are great too, shines the most at MFD and Mid-Distances, incredible flare resistance, very very good wide-open, excellent at f/2.8, excellent across the frame by f/4, one of the best 28's ever made, great flare resistance, even straight into the sun the results are astonishing truly a flareproof lens, quite contrasty when stopped down to f/2.8 and beyond partly due to its fantastic flare resistance, usable wide-open but the contrast suffers somewhat, excellent stopped down to f/2.8, very usable in low contrast conditions at f/2, great contrast and color pop, a pixel-level blue halo around white point sources when wide-open disappears at f/2.8 causing improvement in fine low-contrast details, excellent near-maximum-it-can-do image contrast at f/2.8, solidly usable wide-open, MTF top notch, highest resolution, about as good as it gets at medium aperture settings where it rivals today's best lenses, at f/4 - f/11 the capabilities are very much like the 28/1.4 AF-D small and compact too, a favorite focuses close with nice bokeh, has some crazy bokeh in difficult shooting environments like foliage, has CRC and does quite well at closer ranage but is even less flat-field oriented than the slower 28mm f/2.8 and f/3.5 Nikkor lenses, a far superior lens than the 28/2.8 AIS with about the same or better level of distortion but much better edge definition and a slightly wider angle of view, bright rim bokeh, has one of the most impressive and distinct signatures, moderate degree (~1.2%) of barrel distortion, vignetting quite pronounced (~0.7EV) wide-open but insignificant from f/2.8, field curvature is modest in terms of wide-angle lenses, when stopped down beyond f/11, sharpness suffers however, when stopped down from f/5.6 lateral CA increases, more so at f/8 to quite pronounced; best for shooting into the sun, unusually resistant to flare and ghosting, can shoot with the sun in the image without flare, for people images in available light it really starts to shine stopped down 1-2 stops it has this ability to deal with contrasty light and make beautiful things out of it, some sample variation, can shoot into the sun with impunity, often not as good at wide stops as the f/2.8 AIS 28mm - but often better than the f/2.8 AIS by f5.6 where sharpness is excellent over the whole frame, "must have" lens, the weight difference was unexpected and surprising when I substituted the f/2 for the f/2.8 Nikkor for the extra stop in terms of both viewfinder brightness and shooting options not a wise move in the long run, love them very sharp and no flare even into sunlight, great close-up, with CRC, good performance and very useful at wide f-stops, small, light (compared to say, the 28/1.4), great bokeh, what's not to like?, makes a fantastic standard lens on a crop camera, not a very popular lens but the performance is worth it, actually sharper in the center (as many Nikkors are) than the better Leica 28/2.8, has a bit more chromatic aberation and never quite hits the corner performance of the Leica but when used close it's really very beautiful, Zeiss ZF 28mm f/2 tests superior in every aspect, ZF 35/2 crushes Nikkor 28/2 in edge-to-edge resolution, green-channel transmission efficiency 83%, lens T-stop T/2.19, can use the deeper HN-3 hood without a filter which deeper than the recommended HN-1 and does not clip the edges works well in low light night shooting otherwise the HN-2 works as well even with filters, 52.

28mm f/2.8 Nikkor AIS, Angular field diag. 74: Nikon end of life January 2011, (for close-ups) CRC focus to 0.2m with the writing inside the filter thread around the front element not on the rim of the focus ring, a gem, universally acclaimed, a stunner, one of the best AIS lenses, perfect performance wide open, really excellent close and at mid distances but weak edges and corners at infinity, excellent at close focus but only average for landscapes, really tops at close range but only ordinary at distance not for landscapes, improved close up because of Close Range Correction (CRC), significantly different optical design and significantly superior to its AF counterpart, considerable sample variation, AIS version still for sale new by Nikon in 2012, AIS lenses are very popular and in demand by a lot of Canon users both for stills and mostly video, a gem that is amazingly sharp at close to mid distances and can focus at very short distances but not the best lens for landscapes, really bad flare with the sun in the image, really happy with it for stopped down landscape shooting with Sony A7r, love it, always stellar results, spectacular wide-open especially up close, just as sharp as some of the newest lenses, AIS build quality is exquisite all a delight to use satisfaction guaranteed will last more than a lifetime as opposed to AF and even more so AF-S lenses which have a limited life expectancy, all Nikkor manual focus AI-s lenses are built to the highest mechanical standards of any lens ever made, the feel of a good AIS lens is like nothing else except maybe a Leica at more than 10x the price, ("It is dead sharp from the middle to near the corners at f/2.8. Contrast, colors and counterlight properties are great even wide-open! Stopping down doesn't make it less good, I tell you. Corners are sharper than with the 24-70 from f/4 and on. But the best thing is the virtually non-existing distortion. Of course there is distortion, but you really have to look hard to see it at all. Hate the barrel distortion and the edge perspective distortion with people at the edges of the frame. A very impressive lens on many levels especially as an architecture lens because it has extremely low distortion. Legendary sharpness reputed to be Nikon's "best" wide angle. One of the most well-corrected wideangle Nikkor SLR lenses in terms of the barrel-shape distortion, which exaggerates the perspective distortion of the people depicted at the edges. As distortion-free as wides get. Exceptional at very close range but not so much at distances the 28mm f/2 Nikkor is better for that has similar OOF rendering as the 50 Summilux M. Great to use close-up with surprisingly nice bokeh for a wide. One of, if not the most, distortion-free 28mm wideangle ever produced by any manufacturer. Extremely good at near to mid distances (competitive with the Leica R 28/2.8 vII) but pretty disappointing at infinity due to field curvature (and probably other issues). The 28/2 AIS just isn't as high performing a lens stopped down. Considered one the great Nikon lenses. Stunning detail on the Nikon D800. Super on the Nikon D800 Very well corrected. Razor sharp on the Nikon D800 particularly up close, is beautifully made and excellent for some product shots as it focuses down to an incredible 20 cm (7") and has very little distortion. You'll never eliminate the football-shaped heads at the edge of the frame (volume anamorphosis) with any 28mm it's too wide. 35mm is the widest that'll allow you to freely shoot people without football-head worry. Has little to #no distortion. For short distances. CRC provides good sharpness down to the 0.2m (20cm) focus limit. Incorporates a secondary helicoid for the front group which is turned by the focusing ring as you turn the focusing ring from infinity to close focus in addition to the entire lens assembly moving forward in the inner helicoid the secondary helicoid also rotates and slightly shifts the position of the front group relative to rear group. Slightly soft at distance very sharp up close. Favorite incredibly sharp close focus lens that gives a great and different perspective. A gorgeous lens just amazing results up close. Optically almost perfect and completely free from barrel distortion at ordinary distances. Flawless and razor sharp on the D800. Later autofocus versions and Nikon's f/2 and f/1.4 lenses are optically inferior. Focuses down to 7 inches closer than any other Nikkor where it is sharp with some barrel distortion. Sharp up close, good bokeh, at further distance and infinity must stop down to f/8-f/11 for distance sharpness or infinity focus. Its a gem and is Nikon's closest focussing lens. The least good part is the bokeh, that looks like with most WA lenses. Wonderful. A great lens I am in awe of that little 28! Razor sharp from its close focus to mid-distances (competent but nothing extraordinary at infinity/near infinity). The 28/2.8 AIS is probably the sharpest 28mm Nikon has ever made with near macro close focus, so much so that it's still in production three decades after its release. In 2010 still Nikon's highest-performance 28mm lens of all time and you can still buy them brand-new. Has a more pleasing bokeh, up close is king, and is crazy sharp in the center of the frame, but the Nikon 28 f/2 AI-s has much better corner performance at infinity. 8 elements in 8 groups with floating elements allows a level of correction seen in no other Nikon wide angle and at all distances. A strong tendency to produce an ugly IR hot spot makes it poor for infrared. Razor sharp up very close and very, very sharp up to maybe 50 metres. At infinity it's not as good and I certainly wouldn't use it as my preferred landscape lens. It's forte is wide angle macro photography. It's very, very good under a meter or so, even when compared to modern glass. However, over 2 or 3 meters away, the corners get surprisingly soft when wide-open. Stop it down 2 or 3 stops (as you are likely to do in landscape work), and it's more than adequate. Sample variation hit or miss. A bit harsh, but not too bad. Focusing closer seems to make it better."), great super sharp lens close up to about 20 feet away but not as good far away no personality, distortion, flare, vignetting or any other flaws but just incredibly competent and sharp kind of boring really, Nikon's sharpest wide angle lens, extremely sharp close-ups, sharpness at infinity doesn't quite measure up, really spectacular for close-range work at all apertures, extremely sharp at f/2.8-4 at close distance but not anything special stopped down or at infinity, the extreme corners never get really sharp at any aperture (a bad copy), difference in sharpnes between center of the image (terrific) and corners (not too good) is clearly visible, vignetting is quite low, distortion is almost non-existant, Nikon's most highly-corrected wide-angle, best f/5.6-f/8, weakness is the subdued colors typical of many Ai-s lenses the colors improve by f/8, the Leica R 28/2.8 E55 latest wins for color and bokeh as well as in corner performance; the 28/2.8 AI-S version is a gem while the Nikkor Series E is a dog and the AI version is merely quite good; virtually devoid of CA, distortion-free for architecture; in production for >26 years and the early ones are usually the very best, distant scenes lack corner sharpness, another copy extremely sharp in corners, ghosting, corner color fringing vs. has no ghosts or flare, flares a lot and has ugly ghosts, you can put the sun anywhere in the image without flare, great sharpness and no distortion, perfectly straight straight lines, completely free from barrel distortion at ordinary distances (all the other Nikkor wide angle lenses have significant and almost identical barrel distortion), hate the barrel distortion and edge distortion, reducing distortion with a wide angle is partially a matter of keeping the camera level, if you put people at the edges of the frame the distortion is related to perspective and not the result of poor optical design, 28mm rectilinear is too wide for shots of groups of people, that's why the old-fashioned photographers who specialised in large groups used a swing-lens camera and arranged their groups in a part-circle, can reduce this problem by simulating a cylindrical projection in software (such as Fisheye-Hemi), the distortion that annoys is the perspective distortion and not the barrel-shape distortion, ironically this the most well-corrected wideangle Nikkor SLR lenses for barrel distortion as a result exaggerates the perspective distortion while a zoom with bad barrel distortion at its wide end will hide perspective distortion, sharpest wide angle made for Nikon daylight photography, optics as good or better than any of Nikon's newest professional zooms, focuses to about 12 inches, this lens has eaten the lunch of the legendary 24 f/2.8 every time I've compared them also the manual focus 35 f/2, not a flat field design, at distance the corners are so-so on an FX camera, used well stopped down never encountered field curvature or corner sharpness issues at infinity; f/2.8: sharp all over with the exception of very slight coma in the corners, some light falloff; f/4-f/5.6 Fantastic, seems diffraction limited!; simply a near-perfect lens, less distortion and sharper in the corners than the Nikkor 28mm f/2; sharper wide-open than the 35mm f/1.4 stopped down to f/2.8; focuses down to 0.2m (0.7ft) providing an impressive Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1:3.9, making this lens the closest focus MF Nikkor wideangle lens ever; focuses to 0.2m (8") giving 1:3.9 magnification probably the closest there is to a wideangle macro in the Nikon line; the 0.2m version is much better than the 0.3m version; definitely the lens to use for reverse macro; sharp 2x pictures when reversed with BR-2A ring (Nikon recommends the focal length of the reversed lens be between 20mm and 58mm if the BR-2A reversing ring is attached directly to the camera); 9x Magnification when reverse mount onto a bellows unit for close-up, wide-open the f/2.8 lens is actually sharper than the f/2 lens @f/2.8; stepping down after that, the f/2 lens wins out, 52.

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon for Leica M rangefinder mount: superb optical performance, the best M lens because it offers a magical combination of sharpness and contrast f/1.4 speed gorgeous bokeh superb control of aberrations minimal field curvature and no focus shift at less than half the cost of the best Leica M designs my choice if I could shoot only one lens on Leica M, the best lens available for shooting on the Leica M240, 1/3 the distortion of the Summilux, superior control over field curvature, more uniform and higher contrast wide open, more uniform sharpness sharpness across the field, absence of lateral color, no focus shift, performance at f/1.4 is very impressive, optimized for digital sensors which stands out for its excellent flat image field, internal focus with a floating element design, 10 aperture blades almost circular, large focus rotation angle, unequivocally the star of the ZM lineup, operational excellence ranked above all my Leica M lenses, looks terrific in silver, vignetting is quite pronounced at f/1.4 until about f/4, zero vignetting even at f/1.4, the thick sensor cover glass of Sony A7-family cameras degrades its ultra high grade performance.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A1 Art Series: the lens is phenomenal, inexpensive but high performance, SUPERB right up there in quality with a $5000 Leica 35 Summilux-M ASPH just MUCH MUCH larger corners are sharp, color is rich and saturated and right, bokeh is very nice and beautiful, the lens is built VERY well and looks sweet, everybody who has one loves it, literally and truly the sharpest 35 you can buy, striking wide aperture images with very high contrast and sharpness and smooth background blur relatively free of distracting purple/green color blurs on neutral areas, stunning to see just how good f/1.4 can be, this one is a winner, the wide open performance is just so great without any hint of haze that the only reason to stop down is depth of field control, easily the best 35mm AF lens for Canon/Nikon and it also competes with the best 35mm manual focus lenses does this with a price that is much lower than the others, wins on price, what make this Sigma great is wide open sharpness and almost perfect stop down performance, bokeh looks really terrible onion bokeh plus blur is really non gausian and harsh having a terrible almost square falloff outlines and busy bokeh, quite difficult to find example images made by this Sigma lens with good bokeh, better bokeh at longer distances, good to the extreme edges but a few stops down from f/1.4, the magic lens that defeats technically almost any 35mm on market, easily the best of the 35mm options for landscape better than the Nikkor 35/1.4G in this regard, probably THE best single lens for the D800/E now with the exception of the Zeiss 21 and the Nikon 24, a truly state of the art lens if you find a good sample, excellent just the thing for crawling into a dark space where a tripod would not fit very sharp and has great colors with a minimum of distortion, the best at any price, ruthlessly sharp with excellent bokeh and the images just have something a very pleasing quality subjectively holds up to obsessive FX pixel-peeping if that matters to you, if you need/want a 35/1.4 you cannot possibly go wrong, rules the roost versus the much more expensive Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* and Nikon AF-S 35/1.4G, Nikon 35/1.4G is markedly superior in flare resistance and bokeh is a bit better the distant corners/edges for landscape type targets were rendered better with the Sigma and even in studio work the sharpness advantage of the Sigma is noticeable, consistently out performed the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AI-S at all apertures being sharper and smoother wide open and much smoother in the OOF backgrounds when stopped down, makes the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AI-S just look sad, impressive optical performance (contrast, sharpness, color, bokeh) no other 35mm DSLR lens can touch this stunning wide-open performance, apart from lacking of the Zeiss look (colors, microcontrast) the Sigma is better than the Zeiss 35/2 ZF in other respects Sigma is sharp across the frame and has hardly any LCA/LoCA wide open while the Zeiss 35/2 at f/2 fringes in blue and its corner sharpness lags behind stop the Sigma down to f/5.6 and you'll get super sharp image across the frame whereas the Zeiss 35/2 sharpness is decreasing towards the corners, very soft in the corners at f/5.6 and f/8 on the Nikon D800, especially for indoor available light photography or outdoors photography at night, big and heavy for a wide angle lens, manual focus ring rotates in the opposite direction from Nikon, need to stop down by three stops to f4 before most vignetting becomes not visible, stop down to f/4 to achieve corner-to-corner sharpness, chromatic aberration and distortion are extremely well controlled, stunned at how sharp this lens is on the Nikon D800 especially at f/5.6 and f/8 equals Nikon 200 f/2 VR II for straight out sharpness but not for color, won't work reliably with any of the D800's focusing spots other than the center one, one sample worked very well with D800E on all AF points, preferred the Zeiss 35/2 color rendition, seems to lack good color transfer, most middle distance shots have a cool forlorn look to them, a physically ugly lens, 13 elements in 11 groups, Angle of View 63.4 degrees on full 35mm frame, Aperture Diaphragm Blades 9, Minimum Focusing Distance 1.8 inches (30 cm), 3 inch diameter x 3.7 inches length (77mm x 94mm), Weight 665 grams (23.5 ounces), 67.

35mm f/1.4 Nikkor AI, Angular field diag. 62: design dates back to 1982, "temperamental", the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Nikkors two extremely different characters in one lens wide-open it is like a vintage "glowing" Leica lens and several stops closed down it is one of the sharpest manual focus Nikkors, AIS version still for sale new by Nikon in 2012, legendary, a great lens with some interesting characteristics it is veiled with lots of coma wide open yet still sharp enough for most applications extremely sharp by f/5.6 and f/8 an indispensable lens and one whose rendering you either love or hate, f/1.4 is certainly usable, pretty awful at f/1.4, optimized for shooting at large apertures and at closer distances, has a significant focus shift, weak corners and terrible bokeh at large aperture, starts to become spectacular at f/2, f/4-f/5.6 tremendously sharp/unbelievable detail (except far corners softer), delivers tremendous sharpness at f/4 to f/5.6 but it declines slightly at f/8 and smaller needs to be stopped down to f/4 but boy does it sing at f/4 to f/5.6!, gets worse at f/8 and is better at f/4 or f/5.6, has a lot of chromatic aberration, exhibits a pronounced purple haze at f/1.4 almost like strong veiling flare but this almost all disappears by f/2, among the best candidates for lenses which produce the most "artistic" flare, stopping down to f/2.8 delivers a very high quality image, with results at f/4 and beyond very close to its Nikon 35/1.4G AF-S sibling, has a bit of a wild character at wide apertures a hate / love thing for many if you value great optical performance at wide apertures it's not the best choice, simply perfect at f/5.6 - f/11 sharp as heck with low-moderate contrast and negligible vignetting and CA produces that wonderful ever-so-slight yellow-green tinge that is reminiscent of the old Nikkors perfect for the foliage shots, a gorgeous lens with 3D pop, a fantastic lens and yes the bokeh is smooth, pin sharp side to side from f/2 (and in the center wide-open), heinous coma, you won't find bokeh this busy or coma this ugly anywhere else, suffers from very strong purple veiling haze that is likely a combination of optical aberrations especially axial chromatic aberration lack of focus shift but the presence of strong longitudinal chromatic aberration confuses the issue, at f/1.4 yes it has severe coma and loss of contrast but at f/2 it's much better and by f/4 I doubt the new Nikon 35/1.4G is better, very good by f/4 but doesn't share the peak contrast and resolving power of the newer Nikon 35/1.4G, serious coma in the corners wide-open that didn't effectively vanish until f/8 so not useful for astrophotography and you might as well use the f/2 version for landscape, love the lens because it is flawed glow it has at f/1.4 and the veiled low contrast which holds amazing more detail than it seems biting unreal sharpness in textures it renders stopped down a completely different thing from its wide-open performance, soft focus and "dreamy" looking well built but not all that sharp wide open at about 5.6 it is doing alright sharpness wise OOF rendering is a little nervous and not particularly smooth, barrel distortion used for architectural photography straight lines close and parallel to the edge of the frame are obviously wrong very annoying if framing of this kind is part of your composition, good enough if center sharpness is what you're after after a while you may find yourself avoiding straight lines and light sources, sharp from f/2.8 on and excellently sharp at f/4 and f/5.6 at f/2 it's somewhat veiled and contrast takes a hit but it's actually still very sharp at f/1.4 the magic happens OoF rendering is only so-so (slightly nervous and sometimes distracting but nice whirls) but there is veiling flare, coma, huge aberations and very noticeable vignetting and it all ends up giving some "glow in the dark" cinematic look that's just different from the clinical, optically excellent and correct look that modern day lenses give, actual focal length of 36mm, wonderful, has a unique look, a walk-around wide; a gem, sharp across the frame at small apertures, the best of the manual focus 35mm Nikkor lenses but none of them are that great, at 35mm I'd take Nikon 35/1.4 AIS it's not sharp wide open but from about about f/2.8 to f/5.6 it's still probably among the sharpest today, the new Nikon 35/1.4G is better wide open for $1000 more, while the overall performance is excellent it is well known for its sagital coma flare at and close to the maximum aperture, great 'look' at wide apertures despite soft corners; bokeh is rather busy at f/1.4 close-up; bokeh described as "textured" it's not always smooth but it's not always bad either; love the watery bokeh; more about texture and blur than pop and microcontrast; a stunning lens that has character by the bucketload, just plain and simple great, at f/1.4 it's like a romantic and at f/4 it outresolves anything, the more I use it the more I like it; plagued by mid-field (r=15mm) softness, heinous falloff and veiled softness all over at f/1.4; Fast but small with some barrel distortion (brides really, really don't like barrel distortion in their wedding pictures); fairly serious chromatic aberration issues, not at its best wide-open due to pronounced curvature of field as well as lower contrast and 'glow' from veiling flare but quite sharp in the center, heinous coma, has a central bright spot (internal flare) wide-open, much better at f/2 and world-class at f/2.8; f/8-f/11 excellent overall, CRC, flare and coma are haunting to f/2, marginal performance at f/2 with clearly visible aberrations and smearing, and from f/2.8-f/8 there is simply nothing to compare amazing in terms of color and sharpness, the colors just pop, very cool (bluish) color rendition, bokeh busy, bright-edged circles, quite harsh at f/1.4 due to high-order overcorrected #spherical aberration, a lot smoother at f/2.0, at f/2.8 you are left with undercorrected low-order spherical aberration which is good to get smooth bokeh, truly ugly bokeh at f/1.4 with bright edges around the blur discs, but at close distances it's nice and smooth so it might suit for close-ups, improving massively at f/2, very smooth and pleasing rendition at f/2.8, harsh bokeh due to CRC especially when wide-open and less than 4 feet from the subject, the bokeh is extremely creamy but hard to get when the subject is >1.5 meters away best used up close and personal can also focus extremely close about 5"-6", the DoF is razor thin, portraits at f/1.4 with a perfectly round aperture from about 5 feet or more exhibit a pretty nice out of focus rendition but when moved in tight the internal shifting of the elements CRC engaged and the background blur becomes ugly, love-hate (mostly the former!) relationship sometimes seems utterly useless wide-open until you find one of those times when it can do what no other lens can do it actually is very usable for some low light situations provided no strong light sources are in the frame, wide-open it's got a lot of flaws (CA, glare) that can add charm to a photo this lens can add something of a signature at f/2.8 to f/5.6 it's incredibly sharp it renders complex textures for example better than any other lens I have a lot of detail color response is indeed different than from current lenses it's less vibrant, punchy and vivid, this lens is not everybody's taste, infrared performance is poor because of a huge IR hot spot that ruins the image, the AI version has 7 aperture blades the AIS 9, draws in a very ugly way whenever you don't focus quite close, sharpness wide-open is OK, but no more than that, sharp at f/4 - best lens ever, harsh and brutal bokeh at wide apertures, still bad at f/2, contrast at f/1.4 is extremely low making exact focus difficult, it's stellar at f/2.8 and smaller, f/2 is probably its only real weak spot as it's still soft in the corners but the distinctive look of the wide-open lens is gone, but f/2 is a great aperture for portraits as the bokeh is at its best and it's quite sharp in the center, size/weight - quite small for the fastness, wide-open the central sharpness is fine although purple fringing is at times severe, shows pretty serious chromatic aberration on digital, the sharpness wide-open is compromised at longer focus distances, has distinct curvature of field and distortion which the Zeiss ZF 35/2 does not, like 35mm focal length because it presents context a story-telling focal length because there is enough room in the frame for the subject and some context, an awesome lens if you like its character, although the image quality of the 35/1.4 AI/AIS has been further improved by the new AFS 35G this by no means indicate the older lens is a poor performer it can still challenge even a D3X in terms of resolution, it's probably one of the sharpest Nikkors ever at f/4, good sharpness wide-open at middle distances, reasonably good contrast and reasonably even illumination wide-open, very good stopped down, but without the "snap" of the 35mm f/2 AIS, manual focusing is very difficult and much less accurate than 28/2.8 AIS for instance, same optics since 1969 introduction, there were very subtle adjustments made to the glass types and curvatures, the older N and N.C versions used radioactive thorium glass that turns a bit yellow as it ages, AIS has more aperture blades, reduction from f/22 to f/16 minimum aperture in later versions, macro when reversed at f/8 for roughly 1x-3x magnification over the focus throw of the lens or unreversed on a 12mm extension tube, 52.

35mm f/2 Nikkor AIS, Angular field diag. 62: was a very popular lens choice among many street film photographers, sharp at f/2, very decent wide-open and sharp from f/2.8, fantastic tonality and razor sharp by f4, very sharp images throughout the aperture settings, peaking around f/4, but f/8 needed to obtain extreme excellent landscape corner performance, a stunner at f/8, tiny and quite sharp in the center from f/2.8 or so up but even at f/8 it struggles a little with edge and corner resolution on landscapes with the D800, quite excellent, a favorite in the film era but now a digital loser to avoid, razor sharp, excellent contrast and vibrant colors, in your face contrast/pop, superb performer, really good, very nice bokeh, what a lens! excellent performer fantastic!, smooth out of focus areas, love this lens gorgeous signature, outstanding images and a very flat field, yes there's other lenses with better MTF curves but few with better looking optical signatures, was in every wedding photographer's kit back in the day, some sample variation, the best are sharp wide-open short the far corners, and very sharp by f/4, most wide-open shots look like they were done on hazy overcast days due to a pixel-level blue halo around white point sources when wide-open but a slight blue halo still lingers by f/2.8 and the lens gets really good at f/4 as stopping down causes improvement in fine low-contrast details, a truly amazing lens has great OOF rendition for a semi wide and a dreamy look but sharp at the same time, favorite lens for street shooting in all kinds of light, excellent near-maximum-it-can-do image contrast at f/4, all show noticeable illumination fall off wide-open, nice bokeh, ghosting, mild flare, AIS is the best manual focus version, one of the more contrasty MF Nikkors and reasonably resistant to flare, can yield sparkling images, noticeable vignetting wide-open; "really underrated" lens, Galen Rowell's favorite lens for aerials and night landscapes, compact size plus compatibility and rendering ability with the Nikon 4T +2.9 diopter closeup diopter, never liked 35mm f/2 AIS because it has a problem with ghosting for night photography, Nikkor 'bugeye' 35mm f/2 on a Nikon F a workhorse and it looked sooooo cooool, love its close-focusing ability, stopped down the 35mm f/2 AIS has a "snap" not seen with the Contax 35mm f/1.4, the Contax 35mm f/1.4 has a greater separation between subject and background style which makes it better for portraits and narrow DOF shooting than the 35/2 ZF, more than acceptable also at full aperture, and fantastic when stopped down; incapable of handling sub-5 micron sensor pitch at anything wider than f/5.6; #infrared performance is not bad but shows a weak IR hot spot when stopped all the way down; focuses well, a problem with ghosting for night photography; wide-open and with point sources of light the corners are really bad; at f/2 it has coma that's visible in slides without a magnifier (point light sources near the corners take on butterfly shapes) and OOF circles near the corners get weird Noctilux-like hard-edged half-moon shapes big ones, (The 35/2 is better in many ways than the Contax 35/1.4. It's smaller, lighter, has nicer bokeh and a very much flatter field of focus. The Contax 35/1.4 is stunningly sharp stopped down to f/2.8 and beyond, but even on DX it has to be stopped town to f/5.6 for sharp corners, while the 35/2 is pretty sharp over the entire field from f/2. The Contax 35/1.4 gives a bit less CA too, but if you shoot mostly stopped down to f/4 or more, the 35/2 is as good or even better. Both beat the 35/2 AF. The Contax 35mm 1.4 is less prone to flare. My old 35/2 purple fringed like crazy and really wasn't useable on the Nikon D700. Reversed for 3:1 macro for 35mm film or 2:1 macro works very well for scanning medium format film with stitching 6 (2x3 array) magnified images to reproduce 6x6 film (or even better 28 images at 3:1 for 6x6cm medium format). 52.

35mm f/2.5 Nikon Series E AIS: soft wide-open, the "sweet spot" is firmly placed from f/5.6 to f/8 only, no measurable distortion, truly is a piece of junk, just about the worst lens you can mount on your camera, good for playing with UV but for general photography there's basically one usable aperture, quite good for #ultraviolet photography, image quality for UV is adequate but don't expect miracles as far as sharpness is concerned, 5 elements in 5 groups, removal of the frontmost and rearmost lens coatings with an abrasive causes unsharpness due to the dents you have polished into the glass element and its really not essential because this lens works great with the coatings intact.

Novoflex Noflexar 35mm f/3.5: #Ultraviolet performance is excellent, unusual 1960's macro lens, very sharp and well made, the front section pulls forward for closer focusing, excellent macro according to Modern Photo of Jan. 1965, relatively simple optically with four elements in four groups and a preset aperture, does not have an auto diaphragm, mildly retrofocus type of design, made with Nikon (NIKWEIT), M42 (COWEIT), and Exacta (EXWEIT) mounts, F-mount versions are rare, the legend and numerals tend to wear off over time, normal helicoid with a variable push-pull extension tube reaching 1:2 magnification, at the end of the travel of the focusing ring yank the lens hard and it extends on a click-stopped inner stage which looks odd but works well, very short working distance, impressed with the sharpness when used as a macro lens, very handy all purpose ultraviolet lens for general and close-up photography, very good UV transmission reaching below 350 nm, produces nice sharp pictures in UV with minimal focus shift, works beautifully on a Nikon D200 even at infinity but on the Nikon D700 may obstruct the mirror mechanism near infinity, 49.

Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon ZF Classic: A more subtle lens than the Zeiss 35/2. Not as immediately impressive, but, upon inspection, more small detail, more subtle colors and volumes. Also, very impressive bokeh, which gives it a unique look close-up. Terrible purple fringing wide open with trees against bright sky, not gone by f/2. Designed for a rapid defocus effect quite lovely painterly look. Needs to be stopped down to get decent performance and even here you have to realize the lens has a bit of field curvature and some astigmatism in the corners, so corners will be pretty good, but not excellent. At f/5.6 or narrower the lens behaves very well with fringing and pretty well with coma (another big weakness of the lens). The real strength of the lens is its bokeh which is excellent (rare for a 35mm lens). It is so detailed that it even maintains spatial placement in OOF areas. It is also easier to focus than the 35/2, except of course wide-open, where DOF is very thin indeed. The most difficult Zeiss lens to focus for wide open people photography (also the Zeiss 85/1.4 and 50/1.4 are difficult). On the minus side, the obvious size, weight and cost, and price. Also, some field curvature requires a bit of care. And, while it is sharp wide-open, contrast is slightly less than stopped down. Overall, if you love the 50MP, either you want more of the same, and the 35/2 will be great, either you want the best ZE in the lineup, and a slightly more elegant rendering, so that you have more variety in your bag, and the Zeiss 35/1.4 will delight you. The Zeiss 35 f/1.4 is larger, heavier, more expensive, and much more refined than the Zeiss 35/2. Its ability to render very fine detail, and subtle shadings, to give 3D in the out-of-focus areas is a joy to behold. Its bokeh is really a joy. Exceptional 3D. Astounded by the detail and the transition to out of focus. Has slightly more intense/sensitivity colors than ZE 35/2 and has none to very little CA where the 35/2 has some CA. Very strong color fringing in high contrast scenes wide open but pretty much gone by f/2. The 35/1.4 has an undercorrected spherical aberration design which allows it to render smooth bokeh and have slower transition from in focus to out of focus regions and objects in the OOF areas are blurred but retain their shape better than a normal lens. This also renders a slight haze at f/1.4 and f/2 which is gone by f/2.8. This is why the 35/2 is sharper at f/2 than the 35/1.4. The 35/1.4 has this split personality of being slightly hazy with soft bokeh when at wide apertures and then rendering sharp when stopped down. But the 35/1.4 has some field curvature and the 35/2 has no field curvature.

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 ZF Classic for Nikon by Cosina, Angular field diag./horiz. 63 / 54: extraordinary, favorite of all the ZF lenses, a real winner, truly spectacular, Wow, the best 35 ever made for Nikon, a great lens for 3D pop much better than the 50MP for this, wonderful lens, great all-around choice and much smaller and lighter than the Zeiss 35/1.4, practically perfect at all apertures, among the lenses with the best micro contrast, lotsa "pop", if compact is your thing this lens may be your best 35mm focal length option it is extraordinarily good, the Nikon D700 + Zeiss 35/2 is all I use 95% of the time, other than price can't think of one single drawback, dislike the unusually high vignetting at wider apertures (worst at infinity at 3EV and better closeup) which others like (the combination of clear colors and vignetting which made images look more three dimensional and pleasant) but which can be removed with ease in postprocessing at the expense of elevated noise in the affected areas and more obvious unsharpness, best ever 35mm lens for 24x36mm, delivers good bokeh, gorgeous with people and landscapes, really great close up, focal length for environmental portraits, strong 3D effect, absolutely magical, fantastic resistance to flare highest contrast lens for against-the-light shooting, great lens, just blew me away, a high contrast lens, 3D pop beginning wide-open, most 3D POP (3D pop is a matter of high contrast and sharpness on the subject combined with nice out of focus transitions and a smooth bokeh in fore- and background), for the sort of 3D that does not involve short DOF this is the one, but of course it pops even better with semi-short DOF, for the sort of 3D that does not involve short DOF this is the one, best among Zeiss lenses in ability and frequency to produce 3D like elements in photos, an extremely good all rounder with extreme contrast that is better at mid distance than infinity, the special T* coating (7 layer still best of all!) and a much denser blue channel (about 15-20%) gives the Zeiss glass this 3D look, excellent, bitingly sharp!, a world class lens for practical purposes impeccable, WOW what a lens! the way this thing draws is beautiful, extremely low distortion and chromatic aberation, great street lens, ideal for street photography when people are most important, this lens certainly earned its reputation as it truly is a great lens (despite commentary first after the Zeiss 35/1.4 introduction and later with the Sigma 35/1.4), one of the best period close focus street landscape portraits, a great landscape lens, produces 'wow' pictures at close and moderate distances, one of the best period close focus/street/landscape/portraits, brilliant on FX or DX, a great lens, on the smaller sensor it is a perfect all-rounder, the 35/2 ZF is super easy to focus and also a fantastic lens while focusing the 35/1.4 ZF can be very tricky wide-open, one of the best primes around but if you are looking for everything the f/2 does really well plus improved stopped down performance you should look at the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4, very good in terms of color and contrast and projects a very 3D image but it simply does not have a lot of small detail, manual focus is difficult with kids and even stealth street photography, love the 3D pop and colors, great at closer distances and wider apertures but stopped down it is a bit lacking, stopping down from f/2 to an optimal f/4 increases center resolution by only about 10% and from f/2 to an optimal f/5.6 only increases resolution about 15% in the corners, it is no resolution king more of an artists tool (using the Zeiss 50/2 much more because of its very high resolution), the best sharpness front to back of three lenses (compared with Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF and Nikon 35/1.4G AF-S), a good focal length for full-length (head to feet) street portraits, still has a bit of chromatic aberration at f/11, will not give tack sharp corners by f/5.6 and will always show a little CA even at f/8 in those corners, rising CA with smaller apertures, nonsense chromatic aberration is reported to increase with an increasing f-number but what happens is that lateral chromatic aberration which is independent of the aperture becomes more clearly visible because other aberrations are reduced, testing at infinity stopped down to f/8 CA is a non-issue, lack of magic at infinity, if you don't nail focus the image will fall apart quickly so the 35/2 at infinity must be right on some Zeiss lenses go past the infinity stop and this very well could explain poor results at infinity, only fault is a little CA wide open in strong contrasty light which clears up pretty well by f/4, the focus throw on the Zeiss 50/2MP is similar to the 100/2MP which takes long to focus the Zeiss 35/2 is much faster, 35mm and 50mm are both important focal lengths like them both but rarely carry them together choose which one to take with you for the day, with the 35mm focal length on 135 film size or FX digital the distance of your horizontal view is approximately equivalent to your distance from the subject so it is very easy to visualize without bringing the camera to your eye in other words if you take a picture of a garage door that is 10ft wide and you stand 10ft from the garage door you're framing will be about the width of the garage door, not spectacular but slightly edges out the Nikon 35/1.4G and Rokinon 35/1.4 (better than Canon 35L), does not have a 'painterly' effect, a 'reportage' as opposed to an 'artists' lens, as a landscape lens less than impressed if you look at the MTF you can see why especially when compared to the 21/2.8 which is in another league, good result with f/5.6 but images can get muddy around f/8 so trying to keep foreground and distance both in focus usually does not work too well, deep DOF with foreground + infinity is tricky, much prefer Zeiss 21 and 50MP for landscapes, the Zeiss 35/1.4 would perform better on distant fine detail especially in the center (i.e., despite the field curvature of the 35/1.4), certainly decent at infinity but the Contax 35-70/3.4 (@f/5.6-8) is still the best 35mm for stopped down infinity shooting, a very particular look with biting sharpness and contrast colors look very natural, outresolves any existing sensor certainly when stopped down a little bit, the recent T* coatings are the most flare resistant of any brand and they do miracles to micro contrast (and are one of the best in terms of light transmission) but unfortunately their scratch resistance is poor, performed brilliantly as a reportage lens, 35mm for general walkaround street photography and subjects in the 8-15 meters range 35mm is particularly effective "on the move" since its framing horizontal width is roughly equal to distance to subject, have always had a fondness for 28mm lenses on film and full frame but find 35mm a more all-around useful focal length, favorite lens for street photography, well regarded for micro-contrast and strong 3D, a spectacular lens its pictures are impressive from the first look lots of saturated colors and a great "3D" effect maybe more than any other rendering just a bit on the clinical side not unlike the 100MP, like the render it gives for evening and night shooting the dark orange glow is what makes it for me you just tell the 35/2 to go shoot a night scene and it always scores, has too much contrast for portraiture, looks great with young skin but is a little too contrasty for anyone showing a little age, pretty terrible light falloff anywhere near wide open but at f/4 and on it is really remarkable, not built as well as the Nikon AIS series by a long shot with aperture blades in strange angles, poor aperture ring, and lots of loose aluminium, even more dynamic range between dark and light and more neutral in color than the Zeiss 100/2, the 35mm f/1.4 Ais Nikkor is somewhat smaller, better than the Nikon 35 f/1.4G specifically in color rendition and a slight edge in sharpness, very easy to focus, so much optically better than the Nikkor f/2, a truely excellent lens, perfect focal length for indoors at house, in a restaurant or at the park definitely a vacation lens focal length, the best 35mm for F-mount, superb at all apertures, famed 3D rendering, OOF transition is best for landscape and large DOF shooting, a wide normal incredibly versatile, the best 35mm lens most-used focal length, unequaled for landscape with the Nikon D3x, at its best around f/4 to f/5.6 and has a slight weakness in the corners at infinity, can have CAs in the corners even at f/5.6, most "3D" lens of all, beginning wide-open has the most 3D POP, for the sort of 3D that does not involve short DOF this is the one but of course it pops even better with semi-short DOF, very good wide-open and improves when stopping down, the best moderate wide angle lens ever, extremely good but not as fabulous as The Magnificent Four (Z* 21, 50MP and 100MP, plus the 250 Superacromat), odd for a macro lens for a 36MP sensor and edges/corners might be more of an issue, never quite liked the 35/2 for traditional landscape photography because it lacks the high contrast in the fine details that the 21 Distagon, 50 MP and 100 MP have so you won't get the same great rendering of textured surfaces such as gravel or sand the 35/2 Distagon's micro contrast in the fine detail in the image is mediocre at best while what makes the 21 Distagon special is precisely very high contrast for those spatial frequencies only encountered one 35mm prime really good for landscapes - the rangefinder Zeiss 35/2 Biogon ZM, find the 35/2 ZE lens to be nothing short of terrific for landscapes, largely free from spherical aberration issues, a superb overall performer a 'no-brainer' choice for anyone looking for a traditional Zeiss-iness, downright brutal on skin tones and blazingly sharp wide-open, a great choice if you don't need the versatility (blur capability and speed) of f/1.4, much better IQ and color rendition than Nikon f/2.8 professional zooms but a manual focus lens is more suitable for relaxed shooting, love the sharpness of this lens as well as the colors and the bokeh, sharper at f/2 than the new Zeiss 35/1.4 ZE, harder to focus precisely than the Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2, you cannot go wrong!, best of the best there's no contest really the only downside is a bit of barrel distortion but it's easily corrected, noticeable barrel distortion, has a moderate level of barrel distortion (1.8%), has a lot of barrel distortion while the rangefinder Zeiss Biogon ZM 35mm has none, not very flare resistant, flare especially nightshooting, shows a minimal amount of ghosting and flares at largest apertures but stopping it down to f/8 and beyond can yield some nasty flares such as a large blob taking almost half of the frame and changing the color, you have to really try to get the lens to flare a slight re-composure and the flare is gone, flare is exceptionally well controlled, outstanding for flare, also makes a great night-shooting lens, a beautiful lens with a very special rendition and it shines in night photography whenever shades of orange/yellow and browns are present in the picture, a lovely piece of glass with exceptional wide-open performance, great resolution and high contrast straight from f/2 with great rendering basically everything you'd want in a moderately wide angle lens, significant vignetting wide-open, LoCA in the bokeh is very evident, too much CA and loCA, there is some CA at high contrast edges but this is the only real "flaw", lateral chromatic aberration found is present in quite low amount much better than most lenses, a star performer, superb, incredible, do not like the extreme contrast wide-open while it is a great landscape / technical subject lens it makes the shadows on peoples faces look very dark and deep like they were from a horror movie unless fill lighting can be used, known to be awesome, it's that good, almost perfect, best micro contrast, fabulous, it's incredible, awesome, worth every penny, favorite of all the ZF lenses because its just so good because it has corner to corner sharpness that even the D3x can't complain about because its just sooooo much sharper than anything else available in this focal length that nothing else including the Nikon 35 f/1.4 can touch it, Gotta love that lens!, an amazing piece of glass, has a special character and is highly highly recommended, earns top marks from the reviewers, a favorite, love it absolutely wonderful to use the contrast is magnificent as with all Zeiss lenses you can't go wrong with this one my favourite lens ever!, Zeiss lenses made the colors alive, its just so good, has great micro-contrast, renders beautifully, and wait till you see reds and greens with this lens, simply has no equal in Nikon or Canon, zoom or prime, images are tack sharp the color and contrast are legendary Zeiss if you're clicking people and portraiture is your class of photography you'll really have fun with this lens, the Zeiss 21/35/50/100 ZF lenses are far superior to the Nikon 24-70mm zoom, the 35mm focal length is wide enough for landscape/cityscape/group portraits and at the same time long enough for close up portraits without too many distortions, a focal length for full length portraits, really great close up, it's perfect except for some vignetting wide-open, somewhat unforgiving for portraits - the detail is often brutally honest and unflattering unforgiving with skin and the slightest imperfections great when photographing cowboys and babies less so with everyone else, breathtaking for landscapes at f/8, for the ultimate results, produces dramatic/spectacular pictures and is sharper and more clinical with higher contrast and higher color saturation than the Rollei Zeiss 35/1.4 (which produces more subtle and subdued images with more painterly boldness, more 3D and it's ability to separate a foreground subject from the background even when stopped down that most people prefer to the 35/2 ZF), better than the Summicron 35/2 which especially loses at the edges on fullframe, favorite of all the dozens of 35mm focal length lenses, the best 35mm SLR lens at every focusing distance, a floating element (CRC) lens which Zeiss failed to mention in their literature for the first year or so, always crisp to the point of bordering on the slightly clinical its very obvious sharpness at every distance makes every picture spectacular, my favorite lens but for closer portraiture it is devastatingly unkind to the subjects, very kind with portraits of children because they don't have wrinkles, one of the greatest lenses in the entire FX lens universe there is no other SLR lens by any manufacturer that can touch it, pinnacle of street lenses nothing else compares, don't see any "magic" as in the Zeiss 21mm and 100mm lenses, not quite as good as the ZF50MP or ZF100MP, Zeiss lenses have a look unlike anything else, focusing ring is smooth and stable very nice indeed the build quality is super, can be harder to focus than longer lenses particularly in lower light as the detail is smaller even with the increased DOF, compared to all the other Nikon (and even more vs Canon) is just another league, probably the most flawless of the Zeiss lenses and maybe of any lens available for Nikon mount, a superlative lens with no weaknesses except very minor but not minute CA and some vignetting wide-open, vignetting is painfully clear, traces of lateral chromatic aberration, about 2 stops vignetting at f/2, not just a lens to shoot at wide apertures with exceptional at f/8 as well, really good but quite cumbersome, ran circles around both the Canon and Nikon 35mm's and in low light far easier to focus manually with its inherent contrast, the sharpness wide-open and micro-contrast detail give this lens a look that Nikon lenses can't compare to, the way this lens renders is truly fantastic, the pictures have a truly 3D look to them, cannot recommend it highly enough it is a crime almost to mention any other 35mm SLR lens in the same breath, no other Nikon or Canon lens - prime or zoom - touches it, one of the best 35mm in production today and certainly the nicest for F-mount, lens is great different than Contax Distagon but still perfect!, a superlative lens with no known weaknesses except very minor but not minute CA and some vignetting wide-open, noticeable barrel distortion, weakness is its vignetting wide-open at f/2, improves in sharpness from f/2 to f/2.8 and peaks at f/5.6, my only complain is it's size quite long otherwise it's amazing you may start to dislike colors from other lenses once you get used to Zeiss, tremendously sharp all the way from minimum focusing distance to infinity, produces strikingly sharp images even at minimum focusing distance, excellent for shooting fireworks at f/2.8 - f/4, no focus shift, bitingly sharp even at minimum focusing distance, great color and contrast, almost as high in contrast as the ZF100 but easier to handhold at slower shutter speeds and might handle flare a bit better, the flare control is impressive, considered the most consistently "3D" of all Zeiss lenses, its "3D" prowess is unmatched, stunningly sharp the colors are brighter and the subject isolation leads to 3D rendering more so than any other Zeiss, great contrast, an f-stop advantage without being too wide great for low light even though it is an f/2 as at 35mm focal length you can get away with 1/30 second most of the time whereas for 50/1.4 need to use at least 1/60 second, nothing beats the rangefinder Leica M 35 Summilux ASPH for street photography, 35mm focal length is the go-to lens for street photography very useful much more than a 50mm lens can do landscape and people my favorite lens to go light in town/cityscape, 35mm focal length feels like "a wider 50mm" lens much more like a standard lens than like a wide angle so can use it for just about anything from product shot to leaves and flowers close up to group portrait or not-too-wide landscape, don't like for landscapes and prefer the 50mm and 100mm Makro Planars stopped down or the very wide 21mm for landscapes, not my favorite for landscapes because of rough sharpness at infinity it has so high local contrast that the fine details drown while at short to medium distances I like it a lot, 28mm and 35mm are the classic focal lengths for street photography but 28 is very definitely a wide angle and in that sense is much less versatile, a "full building" shot that is easy to take with a 28mm lens is impossible with the 35mm focal length lens unless one is quite far away quite different "walk-about" philosophies much more spontaneous with the 35 versus much more architectural with the 28, great build, still looking hard for any cons, cannot find any even half-serious flaw, a devastatingly effective walk-about lens, lightweight walkaround lens when traveling, you will be thrilled with its performance!, fast lens with high microcontrast "pop", bitingly sharp with lovely image rendition and contrast, so many fabulous captures with the lens a fantastic performer, simply amazing, "wow" many shots that look unique, superbly sharp, flare resistant, high contrast with little light falloff wide-open, some CA in the corners at small apertures in high contrast areas, a little CA, faint traces of CA, just wish it didn't vignette so much at f/2, about 2 stops vignetting at f/2, vignettes wide-open but gone by f/4, the ultimate landscape lens because of its excellent performance all over the field, you will love the Zeiss 35 after you see the better color, microcontrast and sharpness across the frame you will be hooked, sharp across the frame and makes a perfect landscape lens, a great landscape lens, masterpiece, highly recommended, amazed every time at how sharp it is, way better then the Canon 35L, at f/2 this lens kills the 35L and then brings it back to life to kill it some more, significantly sharper than the Zeiss C/Y 35/1.4, images from this lens jump off the screen, amazing, sharp wide-open, absolute standout, a "superstar" most loved lens in the Zeiss lineup with universal approval, separation between foreground objects and background ("pop") definitely much better than the Zeiss Distagon 50/1.4 and 85/1.4, very easy to focus and very useful as a Point & Shoot when set on the hyper-focal distance for f/11, how did Zeiss manage to combine in the same lens the world's best lens hood with the world's worst lens cap?, sure ain't small or light, optically it has no quirks like some of the other ZF's my most used lens these days, have yet to try a lens that gives the same pop regardless of focal length, the color rendition is really pleasing, 35mm is the classic focal length for the reportage lens, great corner-resolving abilities, gorgeous luminous rendering and incredible performance across the frame, bokeh very nice smooth and not harsh at all, has a pretty forgettable bokeh, floating element, faint color fringing in out of focus areas, distinct CA at high contrast edges only visible in extreme scenarios especially if these occur towards the border of the image that can be reduced by post-processing, has a few flaws ... "The 35/2 is better at ~2-3 meters than at infinity, in my opinion. Don't know about the others. But it might be interesting to some that I don't think this is a good 'landscape lens'. DOF is too well defined due to very good correction of spherical aberration, which means that you'll have to stop down a lot to get a deep DOF. On the other hand; you can separate your subject from the background even at quite small apertures. Not by "blur", but because it lessens the finest details in the background in a nice way. I think this is what the whole 'Zeiss look' is about." ... "I seem to like the infinity/landscape images of the Leica 35 more so than the Zeiss 35 ... while also acknowledging the Zeiss 35 delivers more 3D than the Leica ... particularly in the ~2-3 meter distance you mention. Sounds like street goes to Zeiss, landscape to Leica (@ 35mm FL)??" www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/886603/2 ... [-Quite significant barrel distortion, but it is "clean" and very easily corrected if you have to; -Heavy CA in the outmost corners at f/2-4. Unlike many other lenses, it's really only the corners that are affected; -"Color vignetting". This is probably something that most people will never see, but it is there. Color shifts slightly towards cyan/green in highlights and towards magenta in the shadows, in the corners. {varies, possibly sample dependent, probably due to sensor's IR filter and position of exit pupil, also seen with ZF 21, not an inherent lens defect} ... still the best lens I've ever used. It's great from f/2-16 at all distances, but it shines the most at medium distances and just slightly stopped down, where it makes the subject "pop" even when DOF is quite large. Because of this, I don't miss f/1.4 at all], the look and bokeh are amazing similar to the Contax G2, the Zeiss destroys the Nikkor 35/1.4 at wide apertures through f/2.8, a superb performer even wide-open, the 1:5.3 reproduction ratio allows near-macro shooting, well-corrected, exceptionally sharp, floating-element design lens, some design similarities with the old Contarex equivalent no Contax equivalent, with all those Zeiss qualities in spades, outstanding wide-open as well as stopped down and at all focus distances, will not disappoint under any conditions except perhaps for faint color fringing on high contrast edges, astonishing resolving power, reproduces colors accurately, modest distortion, favourite of the ZF line, sharp from edge-to-edge and vivid color rendition, mild barrel distortion which is OK and can be used to straighten horizons, legendary quality, well-corrected for aberrations across the field, avoids the flare issues seen with manual focus 35mm Nikkor lenses an outstanding performer, an amazing lens and the best 35 in the SLR world only the Leica asph lux M rangefinder is better better than Canon L35/1.4, Zeiss Biogon 35, Leica 'cron asph 35/2 M, and Leica R cron 35, a very good lens but not in the same league as the rangefinder 35mm Biogon, outperforms the Nikon 17-35mm, the Nikon 24-70mm and the Nikon 35mm AFD in just about every way, image quality at f/2 is on a level with the Nikkor 24-70/2.8 zoom at f/4-5.6 and the Zeiss gets better stopping down, the ZF35 is highly praised in reviews by Sean Reid and Lloyd Chambers as well as the Rponses Photo review where the distagon scored the highest optical rating of any lens ever tested, best all-around Zeiss Distagon lens with superb performance at f/2, does not suffer from the pronounced CoF (curvature of field/plane of focus) found in the Zeiss 25mm and especially the 28mm ZF lenses, the bokeh and crispness of this lens is unmatched, wonderful rendering qualities, scored the highest optical rating of any lens ever tested in the Rponses Photo review, the 35/2 Distagon is not the 35mm Biogon the Biogon is universally praised while the Distagon seems to be a very good lens but not in the same league as the rangefinder primes, this focal length lens is often useful for street and discrete photography but a lens this large isn't, excellent at f/2 but stop down to f/2.8 or f/4 for outstanding quality, stopping down to f/5.6 (or f/2.8 - 4) improves the contrast significantly, borders are very good at large apertures but it takes till about f/4 before the quality gets excellent, sharpness is optimal wide-open at f/2 and about the same at f/2.8 but contrast and vignetting improves, purple/green fringing in high contrast situations, outstanding performer across the frame at every aperture, the best 35mm I've ever had and I've had a lot of them, absolutely stunning lens, have nothing but great things to say about it, love this lens, beautiful bokeh and solidly made, the color saturation and perceived separation between objects at varying distances is outstanding, images tend to 'pop' more than with typical AF Nikon or Canon glass, blows the Nikon 35mm f/2 out of the water with a certain pop and richness to the colors that is hard to explain and is razor sharp, 3D 'pop' effect, bitingly-sharp imaging across a flat field at all focusing distances and apertures with no color aberrations, offering performance wide-open that improves only a little upon stopping down so suitable at f/2 for all sorts of low light shooting without having to be concerned with optical performance, resolution in the center is about as good as it gets, very slight level of barrel distortions, CAs are moderate, CA prone in high contrast situations, very strong resistance against flare, bokeh is very smooth, corner to corner sharpness, for landscape work preferred to the Nikon 35/1.4, much sharper than anything else available in this focal length, unusually shallow depth of field wide-open, highly recommended, focus snaps in quite quickly, color is spectacular, warm and pleasing color rendition, I'm blown away by the 3D quality, focus ring has a very short throw, very easy to miss-focus between roughly 10M and infinity takes a miniscule movement of the focus ring to go from a nice landscape to a nice shot 30' in front of your sneakers, a mediocre overall performance a lot of CAs all over the frame when the lens was wide-opened but greatly improved with stopped down, f/2 doesn't give any advantage other than focusing - it is unusable with color films because of CAs, focus shift appears absent, huge for a 35mm focal length, looks good on paper but just not a very practical lens - it weighs a hefty 530g, uses a 58mm filter, and lacks autofocus, aperture ring of the lens is very close to the camera's body, quite stiff and the adjacent barrel has the same surface, a touch of barrel distortion close up, very impractical lens that impresses people, for street photography think wide angle, a Leica M2 and a 35mm f/2 Summicron lens is the "classic street shooter" outfit for street shooting a Leica rangefinder is unsurpassed, nothing else including the Canon 35L and Nikon 35mm f/1.4 can touch the 35/2 ZF, easily outperforms the Nikkor AF 35mm f/2, resolution in the center is about as good as it gets, DX borders are very good at large apertures but it takes till about f/4 before the quality gets excellent, shallow depth of field wide-open, level of vignetting is about average for a lens of this class, very slight level of barrel distortions, CAs are moderate, very strong resistance against flare, bokeh is very smooth, produces breathtakingly high center resolution figures straight from the maximum aperture setting, stunningly sharp essentially from wide-open, has nearly no CA and essentially #no distortion, slight degree (~0.7%) of barrel distortion, green-channel transmission efficiency 85%, lens T-stop T/2.17, wide-open CAs (purple fringing) are really quite pronounced, relatively pronounced vignetting wide-open but from f/2.8 onwards the problem is negligible, chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are very low at large aperture setting but get stronger towards medium apertures (f/8), high degree of correction of off-axis aberrations such as coma wide-open at f/2 so useful as an astrophotography lens, a masterpiece of the Zeiss SLR family, big, expensive, and slow at f/2 not f/1.4, while the CV's are very well built the Zeiss lenses are clearly a step up in build quality, CV vs. ZF nearly identical in finish and build quality, build quality totally different - ZF are built to a higher standard, best image quality of any lens of any focal length I've used to date, much less the 35mm, no coma or spherical aberations, fantastic contrast, MFD is 30cm and 1:5.3 ratio, has a floating element, not a macro lens but works fine with an extension tube, entrance pupil 86.0mm (3.39) in front of image plane; the Zeiss ZF lens caps are awful [replaced with Nikon style pinch caps], {Caution: B+W F-Pro filters fit but XS-Pro filters are too large and prevent the Zeiss bayonet hoods from attaching to Zeiss lenses}, 58.

Cosina Voigtlnder Ultron 40mm f/2 Aspherical SL I, AIS/P for Nikon: #favorite, Voigtlander LH-40N Lens Hood
Cosina Voigtlnder Ultron 40mm f/2 Aspherical SL II, AIS/P for Nikon, c. 2008 (second digit of serial number is year of manufacture), {Warning: Select body wheel aperture control on the D700 body to use Live View because if you select using the aperture ring on the lens, Live View does not work. Must fully stop down because D700 and not the aperture ring sets the aperture.}, made by Cosina (CV is a common shorthand for the Cosina-built Voigtlnder lenses), introduced Oct. 2007, compact and performs well, sweet lens, optics are fantastic, small and inconspicuous (for street shooting people really tend to notice a large lens being pointed at them), the smallest lens available for Nikon cameras, extraordinarily sharp, a sweet lens, among the very sharpest lenses of all time, the sharpest pancake lens, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), has a buttery-smooth manual focusing helicoid, unobtrusive, unexpected value, lovely lens, the smallest lens available for Nikon cameras, makes the camera so small and people don't mind as much, an interesting slightly wide angle "normal" with good bokeh, good close focusing, and is very small and lightweight, a tiny little pancake lens that is great for a wide aperture walkaround very sharp with nice bokeh at a very reasonable price, one of the very sharpest lenses of all time, remarkably small lens for its focal length, on the "never sell" list, "I got a Voightlander 40mm just a couple of days ago, and I am getting more pleasure using that thing than the law allows", each new SLR lens on the market seems to push out the limits of acceptable size and weight Voigtlnder fills a gap by making ultra-compact primes, contrast is low at f/2 with good sharpness for the central 1/3 of the frame by f/2.8 but for sharpness over the frame f/5.6 IS MANDATORY so its versatility is strictly limited, arguably the equal of the Nikon 35/1.4G AF-S, very good lens at all apertures but has some spherical aberration wide open and some focus shift, delivers a very fine image at all apertures, a really good across the frame performer and handles nicely on the Sony A7, a nice little lens, small amount of focus shift, really good for a lightweight hiking kit, best walkabout lens high image quality in a compact package, almost a pancake and is fantastic in construction and image quality, the best most capable 'normal' manual focus lens in F mount currently available for decent money, sharp already at the largest apertures, one of the very sharpest lenses, great choice, it's beautiful, small and light with amazing image quality, a great value, one of the very sharpest lenses of all times for Nikon SLR's, monstrously sharp, very cool contrasty and sharp with better bokeh than you expect in the normal range, prefer to a 50mm lens in just about any situation, loving what that tiny little Voigtlander accomplished looks at least as good as the Nikon 50mm G lenses with less distortion too and even hangs in there with the Nikon 60mm macro, my favorite full-frame lens, a sleeper not necessarily as well corrected in all ways as the Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF and 35/2 ZF lenses or the Nikon 35/1.4G AS-F but size and weight and sharpness are excellent, in rendering the CV40 and CV58 are quite different lenses than the apochromatic CV90, CV125 and CV180, the original SL II version was discontinued but the 2012 replacement SL II "N" version is the same optically and utilizes all-metal construction instead of a rubberized focusing ring, highly recommended, a very tiny 'pancake' lens that fits easily in a pocket but provides good corner-to-corner sharpness and superb bokeh, small sharp unobtrusive, like most pancakes the edges and corners are going to be weak with vignetting, softness, and some distortion, pretty easy to pop in to focus with just your eye's judgement, its quite easy to manually focus, a gem, very good for global contrast, favorite lens for hiking great image quality in a small package as with most Voigtlander lenses well built and the focus ring turns so smoothly, no hot spots in #infrared, bokeh is reasonably smooth but a bit funky towards the corners sharpness is great over most of the frame straight from f/2 the main weakness is that it's not bitingly sharp stopped down and doesn't give the best colors but I haven't found anything that fits my needs better better than the CV 35/1.2 rangefinder lens, it's a good idea to get a smallish non-perfect lens that could complement a larger one that is "perfect" the Ultron is really good for most purposes a better allrounder, a small lens that feels so nice an excellent travel partner when I want to travel light, it truly is a Goldilocks lens just right, superb with optics and ergonomics I prefer to Nikon's own classic manual-focus lenses, pretty easy to pop in to focus with just your eye's judgement, really small and light it really helps when you have to point a camera into people's personal space, 40mm is the ideal normal lens, better than Nikon's own lenses it has better optics, better mechanics, and better ergonomics, sharp into the corners wide-open, starts sharp across the frame and gets better as you stop down, stopping the 40/2 Ultron down one stop improves performance noticeably and its performance is excellent in the f/4 - f/5.6 range with f/8 being required only for the extreme corners, some chromatic aberration in the corners with Nikon D800E, due to its superior aspherical optical design the Voigtlnder 40/2 is sharp and contrasty even wide-open and doesn't have any coma, vignetting is terrible wide open, not quite as sharp as the Zeiss 35/2 ZF.2 in the corners from f/2 to f/5.6 but for the money the Voigtlander is fantastic value, I found my Voigtlander to be the equal of my 35mm ZF in the corners if not better sample differences at work no doubt, has a little bit of spherochromatism, may exhibit quite a lot of #focus shift by stopping down you don't make the DoF extend towards you but only away from you (if sample variation one thing that suffers pretty badly when you have a badly aligned lens is spherical aberration at wide-open aperture), definitely not as good as the Zeiss 35mm/2 Distagon ZF.2 but is much more compact the Voigtlnder 40mm/2 is soft in the corners wide open due to coma but gets much better just one stop down at f/2.8 at night the coma makes small light sources that are away from the center of the image look like 3 pointed caltrops at f/2 it's more useable at f/2.8-f/11 if you want a higher definition image, the 35/2 Zeiss is a brilliant lens but it's huge and quite heavy, the small size is a great advantage if you want to put the camera with lens mounted in a briefcase, quite usable wide-open at distances beyond two or three times the minimum focusing distance, there are a few shortcomings like the busy bokeh and the corner softness wide open but for most applications it is a very solid performer advantaged by its small size and affordable cost, a tiny little pancake lens that is great for a wide aperture walkaround very reasonably priced but still is a very sharp lens with nice bokeh gives a bit of a different look than the Zeiss or Nikon primes maybe a bit warmer color but like most pancakes the edges and corners are going to be weak with vignetting, softness, and some distortion, medium-soft bokeh which becomes more harsh when focusing farther away, vignetting is very high at f/2 but OK at f/4, {in many ways behaves like a "typical" 50/1.8-2 lens with all the usual aberrations/quirks still present but "turned down" by ~75%; e.g. there is a bit of "glow," coma and "triangular bokeh" towards the corners, purple fringing, etc., but all at reduced levels from a more "traditional" fastish-50 design. The CV40 is extremely good at large-scale image contrast: dark regions in a bright image remain very dark, and it is very hard to get any kind of flare out of the lens (red ring around the sun is possible when shooting directly into the sun; or around a bright automobile headlight at night) probably an advantage of the small number of optical surfaces. The lens struggles, however, with local high-contrast transitions: with, e.g., tree branches against a bright sky, there will be a lot of light "bleeding over" the edges even with a moderate amount of stopping down. Chromatic aberrations are present, but seem to diminish at closer focus distances. The viewfinder image seems very clear and easy to focus with. Bokeh is reasonably smooth --- none of the bright rings that some 50/2s show, but sometimes soft double-edging.}, second best at wide apertures to the Zeiss 35/2 ZF as the ZF rocks already wide-open while f/2 isn't the CV's forte, at f/4 and f/5.6 borders are poor, sharper than the Zeiss 50/1.4 from f/2-f/2.8, lower micro-contrast and duller colors than Zeiss 35/2 or 21/2.8, nice and small, a flat design, walkabout pancake lens, the smallest pancake lens you can put on your Nikon, expensive and worth it, an excellent lens, pops, a keeper easy to focus, excellent IQ and surprisingly good in low light a lot of bang for the buck, really pleasing bokeh, it could be the only lens you need for everything, works great, a joy to use, bundled with a close-up lens for 1:7 to 1:4, the only current-production pancake which has an aperture ring and is cheaper new than a OM 40/2, (SL I is larger), AI-P (in Nikon designation, i.e., an AIS MF lens with a CPU and no distance encoding), the SL II versions of the Ultron 40/2 and the APO-Lanthar 90/3.5 come with dedicated close-up diopters which the SL versions did not, virtually no flare control, moderate hard to correct distortion that is not linearly distributed, good sharpness across the frame, decent bokeh, heavy vignetting wide-open, weak image quality at the edge of the frame near the maximum relative aperture, high coma, significant vignetting on full frame, mediocre corner sharpness until f/5.6 or smaller, some vignetting and softness in the corners, extremely sharp and contrasty even at f/2 in the middle, corner performance is acceptable wide-open but not inspiring, little-changed at f/2.8, but f/4 shows a nice improvement, with f/8 required for the best results, an optically and ergonomically superb lens prefer to Nikon's own classic manual-focus lenses, the choices are very slim when looking for a 40mm f2.0 pancake with auto aperture, rounded diaphragm, aspherical glass, etc. but don't like the very clinical look to its pictures and doesn't have the best handling either just doesn't excite, lovely close portrait really "pops" from all the clutter in the background, bokeh is stellar at short distances and quite OK at larger distances and/or when stopped down a bit, bokeh is mediocre, aspherical element succeeds in eliminating coma, lens hood is tiny, comes with a close-up lens, optically very good, sharp and contrasty even wide-open unlike Nikkor spherical design lenses among the sharpest lenses sharper than Nikon's sharpest fixed normal lenses, focus is as smooth as silk, perfectly damped with no play, an awesome lens, very well built, has very smooth bokeh and is very sharp and contrasty, slight barrel distortion, very sharp lens straight from f/2 but especially around f/5.6, a tiny bit less contrasty at f/2 in the far corners but still easily superior to anything from Nikon and seems as good as Leica's newest 35mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M ASPH, distortion and vignetting is generally negligible in field conditions, very minor barrel distortion, sharp with no distortion when used with the supplied close-up lens, no ghosts, lateral chromatic aberrations are a bit higher than average but they don't reach worrisome levels, has a little bit of spherochromatism (out-of-focus highlights can sometimes take on a little bit of green or magenta color fringes), biggest problem of the lens is the only average quality of the bokeh, at f/2 the bokeh can get down right ugly, equal in resolution to the Nikkor 50/1.8 AIS both center and field, but has better correction of the residual aberrations (less color fringing, probably thanks to the use of aspherical surfaces) and the OOF highlights are smoother and rounder (9 bladed diaphragm), the classic 'standard' lens with focal length equal to the negative's diagonal is 43mm, I'm happy as a pig in malarky with the CV 40/2, extremely easy to focus, a joy to focus, too small to handle properly, handling and IQ are top notch, slight focus shift, bokeh looks awesome, cute and not much more, significant vignetting at f/2 which is greatly reduced by f/4 as expect for its diminutive size with a design philosophy opposite the huge uniformly illuminating Sigma 50 f/1.4, image edges are sharper than at the center. This does not appear to be field curvature, Nikon 45/2.8 PC-E and much more expensive Zeiss ZF 35/2 are optically superior, noticeably better than the Nikkor 24-70/2.8G and it is TINY, I am 400% happier with the ZF, the SLII versions don't quite have the higher quality of build of the original SL's bayonet hood mount vs. screw mount, metal vs. rubber focus ring, and the nice two-tone finish, don't know why the CV 40mm and 58mm SL II sometimes get bad marks for bokeh both are great, optically superior to and a stop faster than the other Canon adapted options (Pentax 40/2.8, Contax or Nikon 45/2.8), can fit a Canon 5D with an Ultron attached into my regular winter jacket pocket, Nikon 35mm f/1.4 is much sharper at f/2 (possibly sample variation) but has much worse bokeh, half the size and visibly sharper at wide apertures than the Nikon 35mm f/2 AIS, "All in all it is a lens that will never give you bad surprises: it might not be the best, but it has NO major weak point. Sharpness at f/2 is decent (and since it is a modern aspherical design it doesn't have a 'blurred' look wide-open), contrasty and flare is extremely rare. Colors are excellent (a strong point of the CV line-up), not as saturated as the Zeiss but with a slightly warm tone that gives coherence to the recorded picture. CA is present at f/2, but COMPLETELY corrected at f/2.8. Vignetting is frankly strong at f/2, average at f/2.8, and disappear at f/4. Sharpness is maxed at f/2.8 in the center and f/5.6 in the far corners. In fact, if you consider this lens as a f/2.8 one with an extra possibility to go for a larger aperture, you'll think it is an excellent lens with the possibility to sacrifice IQ when light becomes problematic", "not quite a match for the Zeiss ZF 35/2 in terms of resolution or contrast, but it comes close, probably couldn't tell the difference on an 8x10 or shooting handheld in lower light, much smaller and about half the price with a CPU, the CV 40/2 gets the performance by using aspherical elements in an otherwise much simpler design, has hard infinity focus stop, as well corrected for spherical aberration as a macro which does lead to less than satisfying bokeh in some circumstances, the Zeiss 35/2 ZF Distagon is better optically but the Ultron is great for handling nice, small and the focus ring can really be operated with one finger, handily beats the Nikon 24-70 zoom, and by f/5.6 offers corner-to-corner sharpness across the frame, noticeably better than the Nikkor 24-70mm G, the close-up filter has a 39mm diameter and it fits in the screw-on "flat" hood which has a 52mm exterior diameter to fit the Ultron's 52mm filter thread the lens specs say that the Ultron maximum magnification increases from 1:7 without the close-up filter to 1:4 with it, a great value, the best all-round lens option in the 35/40mm range unless you're shooting primarily tripod-bound," early samples had QC problems, CPU enabling full modes and metering on all Nikon bodies, 6 elements in 5 groups, 57, 9 aperture blades, nearest distance 0.38m (1.25 feet) with maximum reproduction ratio of 1:7, exit pupil distance 62mm, diameter 63mm, length 24.5mm, weight 6.337 oz. (179.6g), mount AI-S, CPU integrated, domed metal hood which doubles as a 39mm step-down ring, step-down hood (52mm to 39mm) and close-up lens for 39mm thread (0.5mm fine pitch which matches Leica) which gives 1:4 magnification with a close focus of 0.82 feet (0.25m), optional macro adapter 1:1, 39, 52.

Zeiss/Hasselblad 40mm f/4 CFE IF T* may be the best available medium format wide angle lens, very sharp, an astonishingly good lens extremely impressed with the image quality truly lovely the way the background blurs away yet with precise sharpness at the plane of focus the way in which detail is rendered is stunning showing exceptionally smooth yet sharp rendition an outstanding performer, gorgeous bokeh bitingly sharp with excellent contrast #1 choice for a wide angle, has only one focusing ring, is sharper than the Biogon 38mm and produces amazing pictures has slightly more distortion than the 38mm Biogon which is automatically corrected by the (free) Hasselblad Phocus program and, in general, is not a problem in landscapes, prefer composition with 40mm lens with SLR finder over auxiliary finder with a 38mm Biogon on SWC, having both 40mm and 50mm lenses is too close in focal length, does not make a good portrait lens, that Zeiss bokeh truly lovely the way the background blurs away yet with precise sharpness at the plane of focus, very three-dimensional image rendition characteristic of Zeiss glass and medium format focal lengths, the way in which detail is rendered is stunning, an outstanding performer, an extreme retro focus lens, a very good and expensive lens but just hate the distortion (moustache type), Lens front reads: "Carl Zeiss Distagon 4/40 IF T*", Best wide angle lens. Last lens designed by Carl Zeiss for Hasselblad with design goals to improve Distagon 40mm FLE, improve sharpness at infinity for landscapes, eliminate the second focusing ring (the FLE ring) to greatly improve ease of use, improve the focusing mechanism to make it smoother and more precise, minimize chromatic aberration in order to match the best digital backs. Zeiss succeeded and produced the best lens ever for Hasselblad, produces better images than any of the newer (non Zeiss) lenses on the digital H series, features a true floating mechanism which uses a single focusing ring to achieve smooth and precise internal focusing, advanced modern glass types and the internal focusing design provide outstanding image quality over the entire focusing range from 0.5m to infinity, specially designed with digital photography in mind, lens corrections are extremely well balanced resulting in state-of-the-art top performance, gorgeous bokeh, bitingly sharp with excellent contrast, manual focusing is so much better than with HC autofocus lenses, number one choice for a wide angle, exceptionally sharp with one of the lowest distortion of all wide angle lenses, excels for landscape and architectural photography, photography of interiors and for press photography, single focusing ring makes it much easier to use in the field than the CF FLE or CFi FLE versions, works on all 500 series and on 200 series cameras, can be used on the H series with an adapter., 0.5m MFD, Focal length 40.8 mm, Aperture range 4-22, Angle of view diagonal/horizontal 89/69, No. of elements 12, T*, Focusing range 0.5 m (1' 7 in) - infinity, Filters 93, Weight 1130 g (2 lb 10 oz), Length 122mm (4.8"), Code 3020039.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Best Autofocus Lens the best optical performer with autofocus for Canon or Nikon exceeded only by the manual focus Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon, Ming Thein prefers the Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, image quality is stunning, results are mind-blowing, the bokeh and transitions aren't exceptional its the sharpness and microcontrast at the point of focus that's stunning, sharp but boring and often with ugly bokeh, does not have the 'dreamy' bokeh, not seeing anything that's appealing to a professional portrait photographer.

Sigma Normal 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Autofocus Lens for Nikon AF, Asp. model 310-306, (older "Sigmalux" ;-) [a night-time walk-around lens, excels at wider apertures and closer range, for low light, not landscape or constellations, not especially good landscape-lens where corner sharpness is important, optimised for portraits #wide-open up close] {Warning: if focused past infinity the rear element is extended with glass exposed subject to damage.} Introduced 3/2008, the BEST 50mm around, this new "fast 50" lens essentially redefines its class, "King of the Night", highly recommended, quite magical ultra smooth natural rendering & wonderful bokeh, gem, delivers something special, really a spectacular lens you'll love it!, there's just something about the rendering (suspect it's the bokeh quality) that makes it a great portrait lens, outstandinggentle and coherent bokeh King of Bokeh, color and contrast are incredible, renders beautifully, a winner, favorite DX portrait lens, good but since the corners fall apart at wide apertures I think of it as a DX lens, has a nice character and if you love to shoot people wide-open and/or in available light this is the lens, dreamy rendition, love the buttery smooth bokeh, the best 50mm prime, performance wide-open is phenomenal, actually built to be shot wide open not many of these around, world class wide open, lens with the best balance in bokeh and performance wide open, Sigma's top lens, beautiful rendering, bokeh ta die for, bokeh is superior to any other 50mm lens best in bokeh but poor at the edges even stopped down, dull everything, a really nice lens but it doesn't get so sharp stopped down and the look wide open while beautiful is also somewhat lacking in character and color, no magic here though it is sharp, Sigma's prime lenses have excellent repair rates, sharpest normal lens, at f/2 produces images of high clarity with enough microcontrast and the most creamy bokeh available, LoCA is really bad sharp as hell at central parts of the image bokeh often nice OOF highlights wonderful around f/2, field of view is noticeably wider than that of, say, a 50mm f/1.4 AF-S Nikkor or the 50mm f/1.4 ZF Zeiss guess that the actual focal length is around 45 or 46mm. while performance at the wider apertures is very good it doesn't really improve when stopping down, shooting a fifty close to wide open most of the time this lens is my favorite in that focal length range, better although larger than the Nikon 50/1.4G offering, wonderful, an optical marvel, almost perfect performance wide-open is phenomenal compromise is big size and weight, very nice wide open or at f/2, bokeh is fantastic so good, has a smooth and wonderful bokeh, superb correction of coma, killer resolution with ultra-smooth bokeh and great colors and contrast, superb correction of coma, the real calling of this lens (and its 85mm big brother) is portraits, among 50mm SLR lenses for people at portrait distances the Sigma is preferred, has a lot more character and smoother bokeh in similar f-stops than Nikkor 50/1.8G, a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera shooting a subject 15 feet away has a depth of field of 2.3 feet at f/1.4 increasing to 4.7 feet at f/2.8, if you get a good copy this is the 50 you need for weddings & family, very very (very!!) nice bokeh also sharper in the center (which is most critical for portraiture) from f/1.4 to f/2.8 than any other autofocus 50mm available in the Nikon mount, stopping down from f/1.4 to an optimal f/4 increases resolution about 25% in the center and about 50-100% in the corners, relatively unsharp between f/1.4-f/2.8, for central performance and bokeh, love those flares, has some 3D-talent not as much as some Zeiss lenses but it can show some pop, a lovely lens with nice bokeh and it's sharp in the middle of the frame but the corners aren't remotely sharp (at any aperture, especially wide open) and it has LoCA, some pronounced "onion ring" bokeh effect, a unique drawing style, best bokeh, wonderful smooth bokeh with pleasing bokeh-highlights, a special lens when used just right produces images with superb sharpness and smooth bokeh works very well on crop frame cameras and at middle (5 to 15 feet) distance so it's a wonderful indoor lens schizophrenic autofocus on full frame cameras and to a slight extent on crop frame cameras will when closer than 5 feet front focus but further than 20 feet will backfocus, often mis-focus near infinity focus the symptom is generally strong front-focus the lens autofocuses at 20-50 feet out instead of infinity (one of the worst offenders along with the Nikon 50/1.4G and Nikon 24/1.4G), remember to center your object because borders aren't sharp and use manual focus because autofocus accuracy is not one of its strongest points, optimized for close up, wide-open, and creamy bokeh the exact opposite of the Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 ZF, the best money you will spend sharp enough wide-open the color and contrast are great, soft contrast and desaturated colors, slightly lower contrast at f/1.4 than ZF 100/2 at f/2 which is to say quite high contrast, slightly more saturated colors than most other lenses, has the best bokeh in an autofocusing lens for Nikon also has the fastest focus considered very sharp in the center at any given aperture has three main drawbacks somewhat expensive larger heavier and overall bulkier than any of the other 50s not particularly sharp in the corners until stopped down to f/5.6 or so this is the lens to get for sports, portraiture and very low light work not the lens to get for landscape or if you want to be discreet and need to keep weight/bulk low, an overcooked design with weird coma effects in the out of focus areas at the edges of the frame that are a consequence of privileging mushy bokeh at the center, love it for street photography and indoor low light no flash pictures bokeh is wonderful, when in creamy mood nothing beats the Sigmalux at f/2, at f/2 renders more beautifully than other 50mm lenses including contrast, offers very pleasing imagery and in that regard it's an outstanding candidate but have concerns about build quality for the longer term as compared to Nikon build quality based on reliability in rental situations, resolution and bokeh in a nice subjective mix, as a dedicated portrait lens for professional use the large Sigma is better than the much smaller and pocketable 50/1.4G Nikkor but if you want a fast lens to carry around or travel then the Nikon may be a better choice the Sigma is definitely sharper wide-open but the Nikon is sharper when stopped down, Sigma is much sharper even in center when stopped down compared to f/1.4 - same applies to Nikon 50/1.4G as well since the Sigma is sharper at f/1.4 than the Nikon some people make the wrong claim that it does not need to be stopped down for sharpness, highly recommended for portraits, the clear choice if you plan on shooting a fast prime at f/4 and above in low-light conditions, not the greatest wide-open in the corners but the center is spectacular for portraits the Sigma is the best 50 out there, the best there is but not fond of its rendering too smooth and unpersonal, unacceptable corner softness can give images a mild spherical appearance, has a fairly flat field for DX but not for FX, the 50mm autofocus lens with the best wide-open center sharpness and bokeh, it's crazy good, images just seem to pop love the contrast, weakest micro-contrast, optimized for wide-open, built primarly to be used at very wide apertures, a dream lens with beautiful bokeh, very good at short distances and wide-open, exhibits 'schizophrenic autofocus' closer than 5 feet it will front focus but further than 20 feet it will backfocus, a wonderful lens for daytime it's light gathering ability is amazing, very saturated colors, high contrast at wide-open apertures, the best money you will spend sharp enough wide-open the color and contrast are great, focus is fast enough for continuous focus for sports, very nice bokeh at night used wide-open f/1.4-f/2.8 for a close subject, a popular choice for its excellent bokeh and sharpness, goodness wide-open, starts sharp wide-open and gets better all the way to f/4 where the image is as good as it gets, incredibly beautiful bokeh, if you like smooth bokeh the Sigma is by far the best, portrait as a cardboard figure apart from the background lacking the 3D appearance that Zeiss lenses and the Leica 50/1.4 E60 exhibit, wide-open it is sharper than the Zeiss 50/1.4 Planar ZF, much better wide-open than the Nikkor 50/1.4G which focuses fast enough for funerals but not weddings, you're not going to find a better fast 50 in AF than the Sigma for the money not sure you're going to do that much better at any price CA is amazingly well controlled for a lens that fast the bokeh could be spread on toast very sharp even wide-open, a gorgeous lens that is remarkably sharp when used wide-open where it loses a wee bit of contrast which can easily be corrected in postprocessing, outstanding value especially for low-light shooting at f/1.4-f/2 and shorter distances, offers very strong performance in the central 1/2 area, falling off outside that, never gets critically sharp from corner to corner, and seems particularly unsuited to shooting near infinity focus, the edges look terrible, seems to be designed for close range wide-open shooting, with a crop camera the angle of view is equivalent to a 70mm lens used on an FX camera and the sharpness extends across the entire DX sensor, extremely fast autofocussing, with little kids autofocus at 50mm is nice for when it gets hectic, Sigma has done a superb job with excellent wide-open performance avoiding the haziness typical of f/1.4 lenses, corner coma in the last 1-2mm gone by f/4, not fully apochromatic just out of focus specular highlights can get a slight green or purple tint in transition from darkness to light gone by f/4, actually slightly wider than 50mm, much #focus shift, quite noticeable focus shift when stopping down, significant rearward focus shift with aperture stopdown requiring adjustment (when focussed at f/1.4 the focus shift exceeds depth of field until f/5.6), shoot either wide-open or at f/2.2 or higher to avoid focus shift, it does at 50mm what my Nikkor 85/1.4D does at 85mm: render aesthetically pleasing photographs, much better portrait lens than the Nikkor 50/1.4 AFS and Zeiss 50/2 Makro Planar, at around 46mm the actual focal length of the Sigma 50/1.4 is visibly wider than the Zeiss 50/2 Makro Planar, background bokeh is all cream, just whipped, thick cream, with sugar added, foreground is just as creamy and smooth, transition from focus to blur is exquisite, background specular highlights are rendered as perfect filled circles, a lot of fun doing night shooting and candid available light portraits, wonderful glass if you want autofocus and creamy smooth bokeh, nicely diffuse background elements are its hallmark, "a wonderful lens for daytime. It's light gathering ability is amazing. However, I find that it is too "bright" for night landscape/architecture (f/4-f/16) use. The grey scale intensity is not gradient. The transition from light to dark and dark to black can be too abrupt for my liking. Having said that, if used wide-open f/1.4-f/2.8 for close subject, it does render very nice bokeh at night.", smoothest bokeh paired with contrast and resolution wide-open beating the rest of them, a huge plus is its unusually even illumination over the frame wide-open at f/1.4, sharpest of the AF 50's, actually noticably wider with focal length about 46.6mm, very high image quality with sharpness optimized for the central 2/3 of the frame while stopping down raises sharpness very nicely across the frame, sharper at all apertures with better bokeh and far less vignetting wide-open but more flare than the smaller Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4, fast focusing and incredible bokeh (unlike the new Nikon 50mm f/1.4G), "holy cow is that a sharp lens!!!!", outstanding MTF curve for f/1.4 that exceeds the Zeiss ZF 50/1.4, Siggy50 POPS at f/2, sharp and contrasty even at f/1.4 and with a smooth rendering of out-of-focus areas, radically smooth bokeh with almost no purple fringing, fairly obnoxious color bokeh in the foreground blur while the background is much better controlled, ghosting flare well controlled, veiling flare (haze) usually well controlled except with direct sunlight striking the front element causing a hot spot flare with a particular angle of incidence that it handles badly (but better than the Nikon 50/1.4G), even wide-open, close-up sharpness remains high, optimized for closer range and wider apertures with better performance at closer distances than at infinity, sagittal coma flare has not been corrected, field curvature (edges focus closer) 15ft-infinity reduced by f/4, has a fairly flat field for DX but not for FX, field flattens at shorter distances, as far as repairs the Sigma primes are trouble-free other than focus issues, all of the 50mm lenses disappoint in their ability to render point sources as points: sagittal coma flare is prominent, and none are really suitable for astrophotography or cityscapes until f/4 or so, works well for astrophotography with 10-13 seconds unguided at f/1.4 and ISO 1600-3200, the saggital coma corrected but curved field Noct Nikkor at f/1.2 still is king of the bokeh contest, but only marginally over the Sigma 50mm at f/1.4, so, you're really getting your money's worth on the Sigma, due to mechanical vignetting all f/1.4 lenses are only f/1.4 in the very center so coma does not start to disappear in the corners until you stop down enough to overcome the mechanical vignetting, if bokeh is your thing, and you want it super smooth, the Sigma 50/1.4 delivers, bokeh absolutely impressive - about as good as the Rokkor 58/1.2 or the OM 50/55m f/1.2, less CA than the Noct Nikkor, could be considered a T-stop (transmission stop) f/1.2 lens when compared with competing 50mm lenses, multiple coatings and aspheric elements to prevent flare and chromatic aberration, color bokeh can show the very common magenta/green fringes although less than seen with numerous other lenses, flimsy AF and longitudinal CA but the smoothest bokeh paired with contrast and resolution wide-open beating the rest of the 50mm-58mm f/1.2-f/1.4 lenses, HSM (hypersonic motor) drive for quick autofocusing, focuses quickly, silently and quite accurately on the Nikon D3 and D700, schizophrenic autofocus (works very well 5 to 15 feet distance, so a wonderful indoor lens, closer than 5 feet it will front focus, further than 20 feet it will backfocus, not a calibration issue), compared to previous designs, significantly improved sharpness at large apertures, and substantially lower vignetting, sharpness declines steadily into the corners, chromatic aberration (both axial and lateral) has been impressively minimized, and distortion is low - in optical terms there's simply little to fault, made to work wide-open, very fast auto focus, Sigma is clearly sharper and creamier than Leica glass, sharper, less vignetting and CA than the Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 E60, relatively smooth depth-of-field transitions, razor-sharp where the focal plane is, sharp wide-open in center, corners unsharpness at wide apertures but much, much better than the other 50mm f/1.4 lenses which however have measurably better corner sharpness at smaller apertures, flare and CA resistance, bokeh that really knock your socks off, extra-large aperture that guarantees superior peripheral brightness, minimum aperture f/16, slightly soft wide-open but depth of field is so shallow at f/1.4 that real-world results are mainly dependant upon focus accuracy, sharpness increases progressively on stopping down, with optimum results at f/4-f/5.6, at apertures of f/8 and smaller, diffraction takes its toll, 0.6% barrel distortion, lateral chromatic aberration is kept reasonably under control, and while measurably higher than other 50mm lenses, is unlikely to be a problem in use, more striking is a complete lack of axial chromatic aberration at f/1.4, appearance of magenta central CA at f/2 indicates that the plane of best focus has shifted slightly to the rear at this aperture compared to f/1.4, a symptom of residual uncorrected spherical aberration, scarcely visible color shift toward blue (unlike Sigma's reputation for yellow shift), one significant flaw comatic flare to f/2.2, minimum focusing distance 17.7" (1:7.4), 8 elements in 6 groups, 9 rounded diaphragm blades, 3.3" diameter, 2.7" long, 505g, molded glass aspherical lens perfectly correcting coma aberration, sagittal coma flare, super multi-layer lens coating reduces flare and ghosting, front element diameter 60mm, oversized barrel design to reduce vignetting at wide apertures, Hyper-Sonic Motor, EX-finished exterior, DG for 35mm size sensor or film, 77.

50mm f/1.4 Nikkor-SC, Angular field diag. 46: soft wide-open, good colors but a bit low in peak sharpness, low contrast wide-open, prefer the Nikkor-S (a single-coated beauty from the first professional Nikon SLR system, very sharp) as the SC doesn't have enough contrast, Nikkor-SC tends to have this weird "creamy" color cast, buttery bokeh, Nikkor-SC shows glow at f/1.4, Nikkor-SC definitely has a glow to it and is pretty sharp in the center, the Nikkor-S has got a nice glow at wide apertures perfect for when you want to soften the skin rendering at wide apertures but plenty sharp stopped down with a nice low-contrast rendering from the single-coating, older single coated lenses are absolutely superb for black & white work (much better shadow detail, much easier to print, they seem to have that 'glow' everyone appreciates caused by a tiny bit more flare), like to match the older manual focus lenses to the period of the camera bodies, prefer most of the time older lens designs with softer rendering and better handling characteristics, especially focusing., AIS version still for sale new by Nikon in 2012, yes there's other lenses with better MTF curves but few with better looking optical signatures than the white-nosed 50/1.4, a favorite lens because of its technically flawed optical signature softness wide open with tendency to flare and low contrast yet tack sharp when need be, fast but small with some barrel distortion, gives up something in resolution for improvement in brightness and focusing ability, usable at f/2 with good results, impressively sharp from f/2.8 to f/5.6, corner softening disappears by f/2.8, above f/4 it is fairly sharp but below f/2.8 it's so soft as to be worthless, excellent f/4-f/8, excellent image quality at middle and smaller stops, dreamy at f/1.4, sharpness increases after f/4, very sharp at f/8 and f/11, excellent image quality stopped down, a lovely little lens very sharp at least stopped down a bit, illumination fall-off shows until about f/4, good up close, horrible otherwise, shows very obvious barrel distortion at minimum focus, 50mm Nikon primes at f/1.4 have always had more in common with ash trays than optics, occasionally can see slightly bluish circle "hot spot" sensor filter reflection at small apertures like f/16 [?which lens version], the 50mm f/1.4 AIS version is better, a 1.8/55 Takumar gives much better images and costs less as does a Helios or Pentacon, not one of the better Nikkors, 52.

50mm f/1.8 Nikkor AIS ("longnose"), Angular field diag. 46: f/2.8 to eliminate trace of corner softness, f/4-f/8 outstanding with enviable snap and clarity, but f/5.6 needed to obtain extreme excellent landscape corner performance; performance hardly can be improved, as sharp as they come, nice rendering, the crown jewel of Nikon's catalog, optics as good or better than any of Nikon's newest professional zooms, Nikons best ever 50mm lens for stopped down use, close to the Zeiss look, something of a planar clone and is remarkably Zeiss-like in its rendering, the only 50mm lens that could come close to the current Zeiss 50/1.4 from f/4 and on the IQ is very "crisp" with a high local contrast, killer sharp slightly but definitely sharper than the Nikkor 50/2 lens that has slightly better bokeh, like this older lens because of its moderate contrast for B&W film, simply amazing small, light, sharp and with nice bokeh of course it doesn't give as nice colors as modern lenses but the rendering and sharpness is still there, has really jarring bokeh on wide-open shots, horrible crosseyed bokeh, hard-ringed OOF highlights and other busy OOF artifacts, occasionally can see slightly bluish circle "hot spot" sensor filter reflection at small apertures like f/16 [?which lens version], color is a bit pale, green-channel transmission efficiency 95%, lens T-stop T/1.83, certainly better at f/1.8 & 2.0 than its more expensive sibling the 50/1.4, slightly better than 50mm f/2, the AI version of this lens is easier to focus because it has longer focus throw, good in #infrared and this manual focus version does not suffer from the hot-spots seen with the AF version, 52.

50mm f/2 Nikkor-H (for "Hex" 6 elements), Angular field diag. 46: a magnificent lens, extremely high performance, excellent, sharp and contrasty images already at wide apertures, even at f/2, enjoying the higher contrast, really, really sharp, the sharpest 50mm lens Nikon has ever made, just as sharp as some of the newest lenses, nothing like it made later on, really beautiful, a real gem, in the center it is sharper than the Zeiss Makro Planar 100/2 ZF and is responsible for bitingly sharp prints it is sharp on the D800 it is sharp on the Sony A7r and it will be sharp on the next higher-megapixel camera, great, a lovely double Gauss, one of the best 50's ever made very very sharp with beautiful bokeh, prefer by a large margin over later AI version, flatter focus field than the later f/1.8 variants, one of the sharpest lenses Nikon ever produced better than any of the 50mm f/1.4 or 55mm f/1.2 Nikkors of that era, a real gem, really beautiful, maybe Nikon's best ever 50, best lens classic gem a sharp contrasty close focusing little tank, a great little performer, nice contrast and sharp, the pre-Ai 50mm f/2 HC auto is generally accepted to be aperture for aperture the best 50mm lens Nikon ever made, perhaps the sharpest 50 Nikon ever made renders color beautifully and b/w quite richly as well, tack sharp at f/2, a fantastic everyday lens, curvature of field coming from center to forward rolling toward camera on the edges of the frame desirable for a portrait because the distant background at the edges and corners is more blurred, one of the commonest Nikkors ever since it was the default or 'kit' lens on a huge number of early Nikon SLRs, much sharper then its faster cousins even wide-open a very compact lens as well as being built like a tank, the much-overlooked but sharpest of all the Nikkor 50's, very little barrel distortion at minimum focus, there is just a trace of flare and corner softness, and beyond f/2.8 it renders excellent image quality, starts performing after closing down to f/2.8 up to f/11, veiling from spherical aberration at f/2 which lowers contrast which is greatly improved by f/2.8 and contrast is perfect at f/4, wide-open it shows some vignetting but after f/2.8 it gets very good, sharpness increases when closed down but it is sharp from corner to corner from f/2 to f/11 but never sharp as the 50/1.4 AI at f/8, some flare and ghosting, not multi-coated like the AI version, this lens does lack a bit of contrast and sharpness wide-open, center sharpness is pretty good but corners not great until f/2.8, from f/2.8 to f/11 shows remarkable performance, at f/16 image quality drops and results in a softer image, veiling from #spherical aberration wide-open which lowers contrast but greatly improved by f/2.8, and contrast is perfect at f/4 and smaller, soft until stopped down to f/4 but it's a lovely and appealing softness prone to nisen-bokeh or harsh doubling, classic gem sharp, contrasty, close focusing little tank, minor barrel distortion, extraordinary ease of focusing with a focus ring that flicks with one finger, without play, slop, grittiness or any need for damping, lightweight and needs no hood as well, extremely high performance, in infrared shows some unevenness of light across the frame, "color rendition, contrast and a special character that sets it apart from so many other excellent lenses", really special most beautiful color reproduction and contrast, fast lens at a bargain price used, a Zeiss Sonnar derivative, softer wide-open than the 50mm f/1.8, superior bokeh and overall rendering characteristics compared to the 50mm f/1.8 that is a hair sharper, harsh out of focus rendering, not a lens known for good bokeh nonetheless it is a great performing lens, out of focus areas are really jittery, the jittery bokeh adds a nice energy to the image almost as if it's a live scene with motion in the background in a shot of a pretty face or a flower it might not work so well, can produce very sharp images, the reproduction range available with the PK-13 is from 1:2 (lens at infinity) to approximately 1:1.44, reversed on a BR-2 the (fixed) reproduction ratio is approximately 1:1.21 with minimum focus is ~8in and working distance of ~4in, (AI version: "very soft wide-open with purplish CA, veiling flare a problem when shooting into even diffuse bright light"), 52.

Carl Zeiss 50mm f/2 T* Makro-Planar ZF Classic for Nikon by Cosina, Angular field diag./horiz. 45.5 / 38.5: {ALERT: When doing macrophotography of a reflective object, the lens' chrome hood bayonet and white lettering on the front of the lens barrel both need to be masked in black to prevent reflections}, wonderful optically and as versatile a 50mm as you'll ever find, a stunning lens, versatile normal lens with lovely bokeh, walk around lens, for macro and landscape, fastest 50mm macro lens, in a league of its own, superb contrast and sharpness, awfully hard to beat, stunning lens, not apochromatic but a symmetric design capable of lovely results, stunning very impressive, superb and supremely versatile, Best of Zeiss, a very high performing lens very mild and barely detectable focus shift, the best, a nearly as-good-as-it-gets lens, outstanding on film and even that isn't anywhere near as good as the Zeiss 55/1.4 Otus, pleasing bokeh from a symmetric Planar design with spherical elements (no aspherics), seem to get the best colors out of this lens, stunning on the Sony A7r superb both close and distance, a pretty special beast and a superb performer, one of the nicest lenses money can buy!, performs brilliantly at all distances, simply one of the finest lenses dead sharp at f/2 plus beautiful and bokeh makes for as good a 50 as you can shoot add the close focusing up to macro and it's the most versatile 50 there is, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), a great lens with very good sharpness and colors that has just two weak points to get really sharp corners you have to stop down to at least f/8 or better f/11 for the last few pixels in the extreme corners while for most situations f/5.6 is perfectly usable and shows in certain situations a slightly nervous bokeh not always and in some cases this nervous bokeh can even be attractive, field curvature character is very difficult for landscapes as it doesn't have a "smooth" curve but instead it's pretty flat until the corners and then suddenly curves a lot in extreme corners also pretty bad astigmatism in the corners at infinity so never gets very sharp in the extreme corners at infinity the center and middle zones should get sharpness and microcontrast if focussed correctly using an infinity stop or some other inaccurate way to focus then will not get microcontrast so always focus in magnified mode for microcontrast there is no "hyperfocal" shooting that just doesn't work focus to what you want to have good contrast not to any stupid midrange compromise distance try to avoid scenes requiring longer focus distance than 0.5 meter/1.5 feet due to extreme corner field curvature and hard vignetting both issues are gone when shooting close-ups or makro as the image circle is enlarged by lens extension enough to move the bad corners out from the frame, displays double line bokeh at mid distances behind the subject, dislike the reverse curvature there is nothing so distracting as to have a central subject in focus surrounded by OOF background only to have the corners turn sharp at the farthest distances, 50mm macro lenses are for general use as a super-sharp lens that also gets very close if needed, delivers good bokeh, fabulous all-rounder on Nikon D800, offers modest performance at f/2 but at f/5.6 it performs at a very high level except for the far corners also has secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration through f/4 and a wiggle of field curvature outside the central 2/3 area and a sharp inflection just past the edges, at landscape distances is mushy at the extreme edges and only sharpens up into "usable" territory at around f/7.1, some edge and corner rearward field curvature, only the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon outperforms it in micro contrast and that difference is very small once stopped down to f/4, a better option due to its versatility a street/macro/portrait and basically everything else lens, having a very hard time nailing focus shooting people at f/2 with the Nikon D800 when the eyes are viewed at 100%, for ultimate quality and absolute versatility with a little more punchy contrast compared to the Leica R Elmarit 60/2.8 Macro and the older Contax Zeiss C/Y 60/2.8 Macro which is wonderful for general/informal portraits but does not do very well around infinity and is is actually quite fuzzy unless you stop down to f/5.6, has iffy bokeh and corners wide open the corners suck, there is nothing wrong with the corners at f/4 these are good and at f/5.6 excellent color as well as microcontrast and sharpness nearby and at infinity are excellent the best affordable 50mm option, the Zeiss 50/2 MP is the best of the bunch not only because it's the fastest but it beats the 60/2.8 C/Y in mid-range/infinity sharpness especially below f/5.6 and has better microcontrast it is also sharper and contrastier overall compared to the Leica R 60/2.8, one fine lens almost perfect, seems to maximize its center resolution by f/4, capable of highly satisfactory results on a high-density sensor the use of f/5.6-f/8 would be well advised, stopped down to f/4 - f/5.6 it offers exceptional contrast at a level close to that of Leica's 50/1.4 Summilux-M, doesn't have much 3D pop that is the Zeiss 50/1.4 Planar, modest performance at f/2 but at f/5.6 it performs at a very high level except for the far corners has secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration through f/4 and it does have a wiggle of field curvature outside the central 2/3 area and a sharp inflection just past the edges, "problematic" extreme corners, less foreground/background magenta/green color cast secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration than the Leica M 50/2 APO ASPH, some secondary color commendably controlled about as well as the Leica M 50/2 APO ASPH, as far as Zeiss 50's go I prefer the Planars to the Makro-Planar which has a less pleasing bokeh and some corner trouble wide open, has an unusually "fat" depth of field aperture for aperture which can be useful for portraits a bit sterile while the Zeiss 50/1.4 Planar has more character, no focus shift, very detailed strong colors, no major failings except for very few unsharp pixels at the very edges, rendering just a bit cold and clinical, offers outstanding performance with the SpeedBooster telecompressor for Sony NEX cameras and when color fringing + distortion + focusing helicoid excellence + macro capability are added into the equation has no credible competition, just a very fine 50mm great close up, uber useful great at close range, exceptionally high MTF (contrast/sharpness) all the way to the edges of the frame, the best you can do on a D800, a superb macro lens, for landscape, macro, and portraits, the fastest short macro lens but only goes to 1:2 reproduction working distance is a little short, some spherochromatism / longitudinal CA wide open on high contrast subjects optically it delivers nice separation and 'bite' at all distances has a very long focus throw with far distances a bit too bunched up the white front lettering and silver ring are very obviously reflected in shiny subjects, walk around lens, nothing touches it for color rendition, the best sharp and high contrast right from f/2 with minimal field curvature and minimal focus shift, not apochromatic and could not be without raising the price considerably but it is a symmetric design capable of lovely results, bokeh and clarity plus its a great macro, OOF rendering creaminess when you shoot up close, focus shift is negligible in a class by itself with regard to focus shift of 50mm DSLR lenses its near lack of focus shift means that peak results can be obtained at any aperture with no fuss and no compensation needed which sharply increases the odds of getting a crisp image the majority of the time, serene super sharp with lovely OOF and a graceful rendering, offers terrific real-world sharpness the 50mm lens of choice unless one needs f/1.4 and it has the bonus of being a fine macro lens and any-distance lens at the same time, T/2.1 or so wide open, trace of focus shift (focusing it at f/2.8 in Live View mitigates), outstanding performance superior to many other 50mm lenses including three Canon 50mm lenses, five Nikon 50mm lenses, and the Zeiss 50/1.4 Planar, much sharper than Leica Summicron-R 50 E55, optimized at mid to close distance with much less image curvature (probably the best in its class) compared with Leica R 50/2 may be the reason why 50/2 ZF is not razor sharp in the center, a more practical choice over the 50/1.4 Planar or the Nikon 50/1.4G especially on modern high-resolution digital DSLRs unless one must have the fast/bright aperture and it is much easier to focus in Live View (or by eye) also well corrected for close-up work and has less field curvature, equally good at infinity only flaw is extreme corner outstanding performance, favorite macro lens also using it for landscapes and it is a great tool for panorama stitching plainly an addictive lens even with an APS-C sensor camera! great handling, the best IQ for general use and for DX portrait in particular, much nicer than the Zeiss 50/1.4, very sharp, very nice bokeh, great landscape glass, a joy to focus, and of course lovely, crisp pictures, a great versatile lens for both landscapes and close ups, AMAZING for landscapes you would be hard pressed to find better! has some corner weakness but nothing that can't be fixed if you're into stitching Makro-Planar rendition is amazing the Zeiss 100mm is the better of the two, smudgy extreme corners until stopped down a bit, wide open the extreme corners show extreme field curvature things far away suddenly snap into focus when focusing quite close, outstanding at all distances though not quite in the same league as the Zeiss 100/2 MP because field curvature necessitates stopping well down with the Zeiss 50/2 if you want sharpness into the extreme corners, does have some field curvature to the corners but all 50mm lenses have field curvature, the small brother of the 100MP you can't isolate your subject as easily and yes the extreme corners at f/2 are softer but the general look is very similar, the 50MP at f/5.6 trounces the 100MP at f/4 across the frame out to the wide edges it is so good it has a clinical look that may turn some off, the bokeh is too nervous especially with foliage, it has different character at different distances, wide open the 100MP is clearly better and gives better separation because of the focal length but they are of the same family with bokeh characteristics, color, microcontrast all looking similar and different than the planars, a love-hate thing due to its difficult corners and ho-hum bokeh in some circumstances, recommend for use with the Nikon D800E / D800 without reservation, very good for landscapes provided you either stop down somewhat or use the corners carefully or work with the field curvature to not get soft corners, doesn't have nearly as nice bokeh as the Zeiss 50/1.4, prefer the Zeiss 50/1.4 for landscapes; really don't like the 50/2 MP everything I read made me believe it was a mini-100MP but nothing could be further from the truth extremely weak far corners (just a few percent) with nasty field curvature plus too much DoF at f/2 and a total lack of the magic which makes me love the 100MP so much; shorter focal length macro lenses have an increased field of view compared with longer focal length lenses that can make it harder to control the background and a shorter working distance which is fine for inanimate objects but may scare butterflies, frogs, etc. and gives less flexibility with lighting, the best out of a mediocre 50 field (Canon can't do any better btw), full-frame users might need to stop down to f/4 for the very extreme corners, some field curvature at edges/corners, field curvature as edges and corners are approached which is odd for a macro lens and limiting for full-frame sharpness, the extreme corners are soft wide-open due to field curvature, closer in rendering style to the 100 MP than the 35/2 Distagon, (the 50/1.4 Distagon is also a fabulous lens for landscapes with rendering a bit different from the 50/2 MP and100/2 MP), for 1:1 magnification 50ZF+PK13 is optically better than 100ZF+PN11, too heavy for what it delivered 100MP a better choice, no CA wide-open, renders beautifully, very strong 3D effect, great at landscapes/cityscapes stopped down a bit, the choice if you need f/2 and bokeh, quite nice and pretty easy to focus, very very sharp and with such a close focus you can treat it like a wide-angle lens and poke it right into the middle of things if there is any fault at all with this lens it is that it may be perhaps too contrasty and not quite subtle enough in color it is not an APO lens, can be quite a good performer in #infrared, some coma wide-open that goes away when stopped down for example to f/5.6, astigmatism in the extreme corners is more likely being seen than actual coma (points of light turn into triangles), everything I read made me believe it was a mini-100MP but nothing could be further from the truth extremely weak far corners (just a few percent), nasty field curvature, too much DoF at f/2, and a total lack of the magic which makes me love the 100MP so much, sharp as they come, not for street long focus makes it slightly slower for quick focus changes, excellent from minimum focus distance to infinity, a terrific lens - very sharp, very versatile! great as a standard lens and macro, one of the sharpest lenses in anyone's lineup many photographers prefer it over the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 because of its razor sharp images love the Zeiss look, an exceptional lens blew away the Leica 35 Summicron-M in sharpness (the contrast is the difference) very eye opening not even close, if you want a smooth bokeh and max sharpness corner to corner the Zeiss 50mm f/2 makro wipes the floor with the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS, as far as repairs the Zeiss primes are among the most reliable very occasional centering issue is all, superb at all apertures, does well in sharpness, clear winner in flare control, don't like the shape and character of its flare even if it's quite difficult to make it flare, the more I stop it down the less I like it at f/5.6 can produce some really nasty flare also produces hideous sunstars, veiling flare is low but it has a tendency to ghost (big purple blobs), Zeiss apparently changed the anti-reflective coating with the ZF.2 model and made it worse the newer coating results in a yellower color cast and blue-colored flare where the older ZF version had more neutrally colored flare, the best performer in controlling LoCA, great micro contrast and nice color if you like blue darkest blue skies you will never see, focus feel is almost erotic leagues better than the plastic-barrelled Nikon, exceptional by being really good at all distances and apertures, nice bokeh performs well at f/2 and performs well at close range and at distance good resolution and micro contrast use it for landscape, street and portraits kinda does it all, brilliant I could shoot at f/2 all day long with this lens, has rearward curvature near the edges so even f/5.6 will show some weakness in the corners for landscape photography, for landscape photography f/8 is the ideal aperture for maximum sharpness, full-frame corner performance doesn't come up to the grade of the Nikon 55mm and 60mm macro lenses even at f/8, resolution is excellent but some astigmatism is present in the extreme corners peak performance is reached at f/8 though f/5.6 is very close contrast drops slightly at f/11 and more at f/16, walk-about go-to lens, 50mm focal length is not ideal for traditional headshots with perhaps a little bit of shoulder because the distortion of nose etc. is too strong if the face is not exactly perpendicular to the optical axis but for full torso portraits the 50 focal length is very good, probably the best 50mm manual focus lens, especially good for landscapes and be the best for close up work, image quality is fantastic, colors and contrast are pure Zeiss and it's a macro lens so you can take really nice close-ups, fairly punchy rendering but with supremely fine color separation, superb for sharpness, contrast and color, semi-lively, slightly clinical, essentially no spherical aberrations (SA) and not much of longitudinal CA (LoCA), very soft extreme corners until stopped down somewhat that comes from rearward field curvature, at medium focus distances has some noticeable field curvature rearward curvature at the edges only the last tiny bit in the extreme corners only noticeable if you pixel peep at 100% still a great lens for practical purposes are essentially flat-field, please make it 10% larger in diameter so that the performance can extend out into the corners there are always compromises, soft corners wide-open are visible even at web resolutions so cannot be considered a flat field lens unless stopped down significantly or shooting at infinity, rendering style emphasizes detail and sharpness even wide-open and close up, not a more painterly look that suits portraits more than the somewhat unflattering look that the merciless MP casts on models, insane sharpness corner-to-corner and super-low distortion, for slightly more environmental portraits the 50/2 MP ZF is a superior portrait lens to the 100/2 MP ZF because sharpness is equal but it has less CA and the large DoF for its aperture helps to get the face more in focus, least '3D' of the Zeiss ZF/ZE lenses capable of 3D but more difficult to get than with other Zeiss glass still much more similar to any other Zeiss ZF/ZE lens compared to say Canon or Nikon glass, nice but its not a landscape lens, for use at f/5.6 and f/8 AND at long distance the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZF is sharper and a better choice for landscapes for a landscape 50 there is nothing to compare to the Planar 1.4 which excels in detail and color at distance, very easy to focus because of the dampened focus ring and the focus throw is also about 270 so it also enables you to focus very precisely especially for close-up work like the recessed front element which is helpful since it doesn't handle flare as well as some of the newer Nikon lenses, pretty much great at any aperture a lens of very few compromises, sharper and in raw optical terms superior to the Zeiss 35/2 ZF/ZE however ultimately the composition and focal length are the deciding factor and that's more an issue of style, the only lens that has never failed me it always delivers, if cash is no object will likely smother all of the other 50mm models, there really is very little excuse for not owning this inexpensive little gem, has field curvature at infinity still strongly present at f/4 and clearly visible at f/5.6 this means that this is not the lens for future landscape shooting when we have 40-50Mpix since then we will be diffraction limited at f/4, the optimal aperture for peak sharpness and contrast is f/5.6, a bit soft in the very extreme corners wide-open at distance due to field curvature, for landscape photography f/8 is the ideal aperture for maximum sharpness, great for stiched panoramas as overlap makes field curvature irrelevant definitely the best 50mm lens for stiched panoramas, minimal barrel distortion (~0.42%) will not be visible, has the stiffest focus ring of the ZF/ZE line, razor sharp images, lack of any focus shift, great color and flare resistance, very frustrating amount of flare not just shooting into the sun but night shooting with street lights as well of the Zeiss Cosina lenses the 50mm MP may flare second most to the 21mm while the Nikon 60/2.8 AFS does not do this, flare is extremely well controlled, veiling flare is almost non-existent when including the sun in the frame, fast lens with high microcontrast "pop", from f/2 to f/4 it is much better than the 50/1.4G Nikkor in sharpness, does not have a flat field out to the corners while the Nikon 60/2.8G does, CAs and contrast and while the Nikon pictures are flat and a little bit dull the Zeiss pictures' combination of the creamy bokeh and sharpness/contrast of the in focus areas make the pictures "pop", bitingly-sharp imaging across a flat field at all focusing distances and apertures with no color aberrations, versatile because it can go from 1:2 macro all the way to infinity with outstanding quality along with great bokeh at all times, easy to shoot because sharpness is top notch and relatively planar (minimal field curvature), magical when shooting portraits wide-open, amazing at infinity, has no equal, doesn't quite have the pop that the Zeiss 21mm has especially at infinity, a bit more field curvature than the Zeiss 100mm but pretty much the finest 50mm SLR lens you can buy, the best all-around 50mm fully useable at all focused distances from wide-open down to f/22, floating element along with the f/2 aperture avoids focus shift, very sharp at f/2, superb as a general walk-around lens for unhurried daylight photography, offer great value as a two for one kind of lens both wide aperture narrow DOF portraits and macro, greater depth of field than with a longer focal length macro, fantastic colors and when you know how to work it the bokeh is amazing, point highlights in out-of-focus areas become ellipses due to vignetting because the front element is so deeply recessed within the lens barrel not generally noticeable during the day but background lights in night-time scenes are invariably flattened so will not serve particularly well as a wide aperture prime for night-time and the Sigma 50/1.4 is vastly preferred for night-time, has a major weakness in that its corners fall off sharply, that's funny...mine doesn't, if you look at Zeiss' MTF chart you'll see it drops off sharply the last 2mm, my favorite piece of glass, the best lenses in the Zeiss line are the Makro Planars, careful thought should be given to making it the "standard" 50mm lens on one's camera, exemplifies the brilliance and snappy color of the Zeiss glass, micro contrast is incredible even at distance, use it in landscape or portrait mode to stitch large sweeping panoramas easy to generate 100 MP files that are a joy to print to 3' x 10' on canvas that are so detailed that you can see each blade of grass in an enormous landscape, an all round winner great at f/2 with nice bokeh and performs well at infinity and at close focus, excellent for shooting fireworks at f/2.8 - f/4, love that this lens is sharp wide-open, my favorite Zeiss lens (for the moment), very sharp, very little distortion or CA, great Zeiss 3-D/microcontrast and color and performs well both close up and at infinity, plenty of micro contrast so with some quick levels editing in Photoshop it is very easy to get the image to pop, no major weaknesses flare and vignetting are so typical in most fast lenses, terrible hellish flare plus inner reflections forget about counterlight, some weakness to flare surprisingly the amount of flare was higher with smaller apertures for example with the sun positioned close to the frame with the sun rays hitting the front side of the lens at about 60 despite deeply recessed front element, virtually distortion free, 1% barrel distortion, about half the distortion of most 50mm designs but still surprising for a macro lens, both Leica and Zeiss call 1% distortion unobservable by the human eye (which is untrue of course), focus helicoid is so buttery smooth, very smooth but long throw is slow when shooting action, stiffest (hardest to turn) focus action of the Zeiss series, noticed the stiffness of the focusing ring not bad or a problem but it surprised, the double helicoid can develop rotational free-play over time not using the snap-lock bayonet hood supplied and thereby eliminating that rotational mechanical shock seems to delay the onset of the focus slop, can't imagine a better compliment to the Siggy, corner to corner sharp at f/8 or maybe even wider and 1/2 life macro to boot, CA free, sharper at f/2.0 than just about any other 50mm SLR lens is at f/2.0, probably has less CA than any other fast 50mm lens, floating element, focus ring travels about 300 to go from infinity to the minimum focus distance, field curvature towards the corners, 9 aperture blades which maintain a fairly round opening up to f/5.6, by f/8 the 9 sided polygon is evident, wide-open and even at f/2.8 it can have cats-eyes towards the corners from mechanical vignetting and also some onion-ringing at f/2.0, especially at f/2.8 and up bokeh is subtle and smooth, tendancy to produce double images in the bokeh, very smooth transitions from in-focus to out-of-focus areas, at f/4 and f/5.6 sharper than any Nikon or 3rd party lens, unusually good performance when stopped down to f/16 and sometimes even f/22 particularly amazing in this respect, for distant shots including landscape/citiscape panoramas, it's incredible sharper than belief corner-to-corner with good color and contrast, almost be "too sharp" for closer subjects, for astrophotography makes nice images at f/5.6 although stars look elongated tangentially badly near corners, very nice, outstanding flare control, beautifully crafted and great size complementing D700 with great bokeh, color rendering is great for landscape/nature/architecture but for portraiture prefer Nikkor 50/1.4 AFS and Leica, some design similarities with the old Contarex equivalent no Contax equivalent, corner weakness at infinity with very fine detail even at f/5.6 but spectacular quality at 1m, for astrophotography makes nice images at f/5.6 although stars look elongated tangentially badly near corners, almost #no distortion which makes it great for panoramas, a 77mm Sigma 50/1.4 lens cap fits the 50/2 ZF hood it clicks on the felty inside of the hood quite nicely, works fine with a Contax 67-86 Ring and Contax #4 Metal Hood with convenient push on metal caps, actual focal length 51.7mm, 8 Elements / 6 Groups, Angular Field of View 38.5 at Horizontal @ Infinity, Minimum Focus 6.4" / .24 Meters, Magnification 1:2, f/2.8 to f/22 in 1/2 Stop Increments, 1.1 pounds / 530 Grams, W 2.8" x L 2.5" (72mm x 65mm, Excluding Hood), entrance pupil 55.7mm (2.19) in front of image plane. 67.

Contax/Yashica Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.7 T* MM, #6807634: MM ("multi-mode") supports Program and Shutter priority modes on newer Contax/Yashica bodies, manufactured by Tomioka Optical, a division of Yashica/Kyocera, Contax lenses are a GREAT way to affordably get a very real cinematic look from a golden age in Zeiss optics, for high contrast dramatic rendering, fantastic, a no-brainer, smaller and lighter, a perfect travel combination, small and really sharp so a great lens for hiking, lightweight yet solid feel, super smooth focus and handling, high resolution, a little soft at f/1.7 but sharpens up a lot at f/2, will take until f/4 or f/5.6 to get edge to edge sharp, great contrast, wonderful colors, pretty much the sharpest old manual lens wide open will sharpen up quite a bit when stopped down, haze wide open though the underlying image seems to be sharp, the budget standard lens for the old Contax RTS system of the 1970s, fast, has that warm romantic feeling that CZ is noted for, color rendition is great, has always had a reputation as a snapper performer, great bokeh, sharper than the C/Y 50mm f/1.4 but of course not as fast, the CZ Planars are great the f/1.7 is a little bit better than the f/1.4 version wide open but doesn't focus as close as the f/1.4, a more classic Double Gauss, though its got something special not seen in the other Double Gauss 50mms, hexagons show up at f/2.8 onward, really like the bokeh at f/2.8 and smaller but not a fan of the hexagon highlights, bokeh is a mess at f/1.7 - f/2 with well defined rings, well built, sharp, good colors, very cheap, small, flawless sharp throughout the aperture range, one of the best sharpest best micro contrast 50mm lenses basically defect free, very sharp from wide open all the way to f/8 with no defects, good bang for the buck extremely sharp and contrasty, LoCA isn't an issue, the best manual 50mm lens I ever used may also be the best bargain available today, one of the best manual focus 50mm lenses for separation at distance i.e., pops up the subject even at a distance of 4-6 meters, performs exceptionally well from f/2.8, great stopped down a bit wide open it has a somewhat soft presentation with pastel-like color, outstanding border quality that closely matches performance in the center from f/2.8, sharp across the entire frame at f/5.6 - f/8, has an unmarked click stop slightly down from wide open Zeiss' way of saying that f/1.7 is for emergencies and to really think of it as an f/2, mild vignetting at f/1.7, a traditional style Zeiss lens that has spherical aberration and therefore has focus shift (depends on shooting distance) and is hard to focus wide open due to lack of contrast (hazy view due to spherical aberration) and focus shift (needing compensation to shoot closed down) spherical aberration causes a dual "personality" with a very different rendering style wide open vs. f/2.8 the people liking better corrected modern Zeiss 50/2 Makro Planar tend to find the SLR Zeiss 50/1.7 (and the Zeiss 50/1.4 Planar) wide open "personality" awful (hazy rendering, swirly bokeh with sharpened edges on bokeh highlights), can avoid using wide open and instead use optimum aperture of f/2.2 - f/5.6 where bokeh is excellent has field curvature the transition of curve is smooth but the flat area in the center is much smaller than the Zeiss 50/2 Makro Planar, very nice bokeh at f/1.7, negligible CA less then 0.2px, a traditional double-gauss design that does not manifest significant longitudinal CA, OOF highlights carry bright well-defined edges which hints at over-corrected spherical aberration, really disliked the bokeh, a little bit of barrel distortion, 60cm close focus distance is a weaknesses, does suffer somewhat around borders at wide aperture settings but overall quality is still one of the best among 50mm prime lenses, 7 elements in 6 groups, angular field 45 degrees, minimum focus 60cm (2ft), lens hood g-11 soft or no. 4 metal, weight 190g (6.7oz), dimensions 61mm x 36.5mm (2.4" x 1.4"), 55.

Hasselblad 6x6 Zeiss Distagon 50mm f/2.8 FE T* 2nd Version (20517): [6x6 diagonal angle of view of 75, 6x6 horizontal angle of view of 58.5 is similar to 32mm horizontal angle of view of 58.7 on FX, roughly equivalent to 28mm] "This is a real ZEISS lens made by ZEISS in Germany, not some offshore rubbish made by Sony or Cosina and simply branded 'Zeiss' for show."[Ken Rockwell] Excellent lens!!, stunning, great performer, a fantastic lens, made in Germany, an extraordinary example of optical magic, "the mighty Distagon", floating elements, the whole reason to use the 203FE in the first place is the Zeiss glass the really exotic glass is only available in FE trim I particularly loved the speedy 50mm Distagon with its very very bright f/2.8 maximum aperture, pretty hard to find, has lovely bokeh, better reproduces shaded objects' details, love the brighter image with the F/FE lenses, "Zeiss FE-Lenses for Hasselblad 200 series cameras are at least twice as fast as the corresponding focal lengths from the CFi/CFE series. On top, they offer more close-focusing capability. This was made possible only by excluding the central shutter from the lens.", one of the best lenses Son Minh Pham has ever tested, really exotic glass I particularly love after two decades of peering through an f/4 T* lens the extra stop was a godsend, Zeiss Hasselblad V lenses are mechanically built to perform even after years of heavy abuse still amazing after 20 to 30+ years without visible drift the mechanical part will never be as good in more modern lenses, heavy, a truly superb lens just wish it was lighter, Hasselblad 50mm f/2.8 lenses are very common, next to the 110mm f/2 the 50 wide-open is pure magic!, not quite as wide as the 40/4 CFE IF but faster and more modern great lens with less distortion, one of the most highly sought after lenses for the Hasselblad focal plane shutter cameras, the F series lens version with a floating group is the best optically excellent at the cost of size and weight, FE version comes with the addition of electronic contacts with 2 versions cosmetically always the same optically although the filter ring on the latter version does not rotate when focusing, using the 203FE as a walkabout camera means there is only one sensible lens choice: the 50/2.8 Distagon FE, prefer the 2.8 FE lens version for the extra stop and the electronic contact between body and lens [the FE version transmits aperture data to the internal meter in the 203fe body] it's sharp at all apertures and there's not the extra FLE ring to adjust (that floating lens element adjusts automatically in this lens) if you're shooting fast in changing light or changing framing it's quite useful to be able to use an FE lens with Aperture Priority and have the camera automatically adjust the aperture, the "classic" Hasselblad outfit is 50mm + 80mm + 150mm lenses, a 50/80/150 kit on 6x6 would be about the same as a 30/50/90 set on a full frame DSLR almost the classical 28/50/90 35mm film kit, if you want uniform bokeh across the field you need to use medium format lenses on the smaller 24x36mm format, massive, huge with large hood difficult to shade, the second version of the FE weighs a bit less, the 16.5" close focus makes it very easy to use in close quarters great shots in cramped spaces, the 50mm perspective is superb for 6x6 landscapes, close focus although the second version does not focus quite as close as the earlier versions, of the 24mm, 45mm, and 85mm focal length PC Nikkor lens choices the 45mm PC is the most useful for macro and close-up work, front element does not rotate as it did in the 1st version, fits inside a Profoto ring flash, the nine element lens design is an achievement being extremely compact despite the speed and wider angular field, a wide angle lens for the 200/2000 series cameras and equipped with databus contacts for use with the 202FA, 203FE and the 205TCC/FCC cameras, highest resolution Hasselblad 50mm lens at f/8 with 200 linepairs per millimeter in the center and 100 lp/mm at the 6x6 edge, and #wide-open at f/2.8 it reaches almost 120 lp/mm in the center and more than 60 lp/mm at the 6x6 edge, at f/2.8 40 lp/mm at the edge of the frame is more realistic, superb correction of distortion and all monochromatic and chromatic aberrations image quality excellent the design with nine lens elements is very compact despite the speed and large angular field this is a particular achievement in view of the fact that is owing to the mirror motion is the distance of the last lens surface from the film must be about 35% longer than the focal length when focusing the spacing between internal lens elements is changed (Floating Lens Elements) this considerably improves image quality in the close-up range and makes it possible to reduce the shortest focusing distance to 0.32m, has four floating front elements (FLE) that move independently from the other 5 elements when the focusing ring is turned unlike the f/4 FLE lens which requires annoying and easy to forget manual control of the floating elements using a separate front FLE ring, for FX tilt and shift via Mirex adapter with consistent image quality even if fully shifted and with nearly insignificant CA much better IQ than Canon TS-e 45mm, {Tilt-shift: 1. Level the camera critical so that vertical lines are vertical which is a mark of a real pro; 2. With the TS at zero for tilt and shift set the exposure; 3. Critical focus using 10x live view; 4. Shift the lens for the composition and take the photo}, has a non-rotating front so the cumbersome current Compendium ProShade 6093T can be used with the correct mounting ring, can use a 86mm adapter ring to attach the Lee filter system, Closest Focusing Distance 0.42m (1 ft 5 in), Maximum Magnification 1:4.7, Dimensions (Length x Diameter) 112 x 80mm (4.4 x 3.25"), Weight 1240g (2 lbs 11 3/4), Filter Size 93mm, uses 86C (M86 x 1mm coarse thread; same size filter as used by Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4) filters which vignette (86mm filters with coarse threads, NOT the usual 0.75mm fine threads) or 93mm filters held by the 86C screw in shade which do not vignette. 86C.

Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon T* ZF.2 Otus: {WARNING: HANDLE OTUS LENSES GENTLY as the mechanical internals are subject to catastrophic impact damage.} {CAREFUL: A Zeiss Otus lens front element replacement will cost $900 to $1,500.} Built by Cosina in Japan, introduced late 2013, the first lens in the high performace Otus ("owl") line, peerless outstanding optical performance, incredible, stellar performer near faultless super sharp even across the frame wide open super lens with very modern renderings and exceptional performance, optically as close to perfect as any lens ever made, the best stills lens on the planet, exceptional and unmatched by anything else, best lens ever with a 35mm camera, has the magic no other normal lens has, the best Zeiss glass, state-of-the-art, IQ monster, when you have the Otus in your bag it's hard to shoot with anything else, when Zeiss designates a lens as "APO" it's the real deal, cost-no-object, a world class lens, best of the best, stunning performer, the very best normal lens ever produced for a DSLR (or rangefinder), nothing else reaches this level of performance across such a wide envelope from the extremely challenging zone of maximum aperture all the way up to where diffraction kicks in, with the Otus never hesitate or second guess shooting wide-open a technical masterpiece that truly creates artistic freedom, it's about the most perfect lens one can own, at f/1.4 is better than many other lenses at f/5.6, if I could shoot only one lens on a DSLR it would probably be the Otus 55/1.4 outstanding imaging and a reasonable size and weight, has something mystical about it render is painterly colors are accurate and gorgeous the smooth bokeh makes the images appear like they were shot with medium format slight vignetting wide open and some slight barrel distortion other than that it is about perfect image quality is stunning in contrast + bokeh + color and detail, outstanding optical quality from the center to the borders negligible to not existing fringing superb sharpness and micro-contrast straight from f1.4 great bokeh images that have a medium format look, deserves a place amongst the legends, reference lens for anything approaching its focal length regardless of subject distance!, exceptional micro contrast, thoroughly embarrasses the competition at every single measurement, the IQ monster stellar performer very little fringing either in the focus plane or out of it and super sharp even across the frame wide open for that extra bit of performance when willing to put up with the size, every Otus lens comes off the K9 test bench with strict quality control procedure, "a 12/10 formula, aspherical, high refractive index and floating elements, near focusing to 0.5m, and telecentric / retrofocal construction based off a wide angle lens formula instead of a modified double-Gauss for better edge performance", just as good at f/1.4 as it is at f/2.8, near perfection at f/2.8, the world's finest lens ever made for a DSLR, one cannot do better, the sharpest lens yet, the best night lens, sharp depth of field transitions, very easy to focus, best lens I have ever used, for that medium format look Zeiss Otus has it, takes the best qualities of the modern Karbe-era Leica ASPH lenses smoothes them out a little and then adds the Zeiss three-dimensionality, the extra clarity and its beautifully rendered out of focus highlights makes Otus 55 special along with its phenomenal contrast and sharpness across the frame the Otus advantage is maximum at wide open apertures, a truly apochromatic design and the lens' focal plane is nearly flat, #favorite, worth every cent it costs and even then it's still a bargain, a very expensive very large lens that is the best lens available optically in this focal length, As for saving money: if you go straight to Otus then you dont waste money buying all the steps in between ;-), carrying three Zeiss Otus lenses is a serious physical burden, splendid performance and a delight to use splendid and delightful enough to make me forget how intensely I hate and despise heavy lenses, believe the hype, perhaps the best lens ever made for the Nikon F mount, special purpose lens which requires very precise focusing and will punish sloppy shot discipline the Sony A7RII is a good body to mount it on because of the EVF, magnification and stabilisers, but the ergonomics are terrible and it feels like the mount is going to be ripped off slow to use and not suited for moving subjects but the results are unbeatable when everything comes together, sharpest normal lens on the market, Oti are overkill for 24MP sensors, aimed squarely at professional photographers who demand the utmost in sharpness, resolution and contrast for portrait shooting, the sharpest lens so far, Zeiss "APO" really means a standard way above anyone else even Leica, particularly brutal at the transition point between in and out of focus, the ultimate tool for those who need/demand/want ultimate performance, very smooth bokeh very sharp from corner to corner even wide open too heavy to carry around all the time, insanely great high-end, uses cine lens bearings for focusing, a pretty amazing lens but very punishing on focus precision because the focal plane is so well defined that anything on either side is very obviously out of focus, it's as good as everyone says it is, the absolute best lens in the world today, if you wish for the very best results ever available, legendary lens, wonderful 3D separation and the absolutely gorgeous bokeh, has a double-sided aspheric element, better than other lenses at all apertures "at f/8 all lenses look alike" is a canard, the highest performing lens I've ever seen, astoundingly good wide open at f/1.4!, because f/1.4 allows isolation at distance which is a useful creative tool when you need it, it's crazy crazy sharp incredibly well corrected, one of only a few lenses that are really good center to corner wide open, the Sigma DG HSM Art lenses are absolutely not in the same league as Zeiss Otus they need a lot of stopping down at 50MP to get to quality that the Otii deliver wide open, the best lens in the world, silky-smooth long focus throw similar to cine lenses no better feel is available, has an image circle which is exactly sized for the format it is built for maybe 3mm around 24x36mm, Zeiss has truly taken lens design to the next level, the 85mm Otus is even slightly better, incredible detail, contrast and smooth bokeh across the whole image frame a lens without any optical compromises, Ming Thein says that fast lenses are best used pictorially to isolate and create some separation at distance but not to make a wall of bokeh, very easy to focus unlike Nikon AIS lenses (sharp lenses are much easier to focus manually), viewfinder of the Nikon D800 is not adequate for focusing especially at f/1.4, very sharp across the whole frame without field curvature contrast and clarity wide open is unmatched, optic aberration corrected to the highest degree same league as Coastal Optic 60 but 3 stops faster, sometimes has very high levels of vignetting wide open, the lens is gorgeous manual focusing is rather easy the sharpness and lack of fringing makes it easier the downsides are size and cost it's on the heavy side for a walk-around lens, the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon and the 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar are the finest DSLR lenses ever made also rate as superior to the best Leica M glass in their respective focal length range, the Zeiss 55mm is harder to focus accurately using an optical viewfinder than the 135mm, best DLSR or rangefinder lens ever made, these ultra lenses (Noct, Otus etc.) are excellent wide open but truly outstanding stopped down, the Otus at f/1.4 is better than many lenses at f/5.6, absolutely no wide-open veiling haze of spherical aberration or secondary longitudinal chromatic aberrationthe bane of nearly all f/1.4 lenses it's not just that the 55/1.4 is razor sharp at f/1.4 it also controls aberrations exceptionally well and with very little field curvature this is the best normal lens ever produced, the people behind Otus are the ones that design Master Primes, was told by Zeiss that the design team is the same the characteristics of the Otus are very similar to the Master Primes (at $24,000 each) right down to the lack of focus breathing, the ultimate tool for those who need/demand/want ultimate performance it won't be for everybody, the medium format Leica S system glass was amongst the finest ever produced for any system however the Otus takes that performance and does the same at two stops faster no question now that the D800E/Otus combo is not just optically better but also more flexible (higher ISO), does not exhibit any focus breathing (unlike almost all still lenses not designed for cinematography), the first lens (of any focal length) to be both f/1.4 and apochromatic, at f/1.4 there is about a 2mm focus tolerance range for peak performance on a portrait head shot high grade lenses show trivial errors, has 7 special glass elements 6 with anomalous partial dispersion glass and one aspherical, the first ~50mm lens for the 24x36mm format with the retrofocus Distagon design, sharp lenses are much easier to focus manually, the sharpest that money can buy when mounted to the Sony A7r you'll be in awe use magnification to ensure focus incredibly tough to use wide open, a great combination with the Sony A7r, more Leica look versus the traditional Zeiss bite, Bjorn Rorslett "was immediately struck by the peculiar color rendition flat dull and devoid of sparkle" http://nikongear.com/live/index.php/topic/52395-xmas-parade-wotus/, don't like the look, vignetting wide open is too strong for my taste, takes the best qualities of the modern Karbe-era Leica ASPH lenses smoothes them out a little and then adds the Zeiss three-dimensionality splits an image very nicely into planes at nearly any distance there is a very fast transition between in- and out-of-focus areas very very special a lethal weapon both utterly transparent and emphatically revealing what the lens lacks in aberrations and flaws manifests as this clarity and transparency that's almost unique if there's any coloration it adds a tiny bit of pop and sparkle through the way it handles contrast and tonal transitions matches the resolution of the D800E's sensor wide open at f/1.4 even in the corners beyond that you gain a little more microcontrast and of course depth of field things plateau from around f/4-f/8 remarkable resolution a truly apochromatic design focal plane is nearly flat, mild field curvature is about the only weakness (a slight bias to the foreground at the edges), much less need to change the colors than with other lenses, exceptional performance even in the corners at widest aperture derived from the already excellent 4/50 CF FLE medium format lens design which has a 9/8 formula with additional corrective elements and image circle much larger than 35mm (vs. nominal 43mm image circle for ordinary full frame lenses) bokeh amongst the best lenses of any focal length, no veiling haze no purple fringes no uneven sharpness one gets used to this and then most other lenses feel disappointing by comparison, why manual focus in an auto focus world? It's easier to center and space the elements if they are in metal rather than plastic cages needed for AF, the Otus is not large it's huge and you'll need a battery grip for better balance with vertical images but it's worth it, a lens more than capable and worthy of today's high resolution sensors, the sad thing is that it will be lost on most people really must have impeccable shot discipline and be printing very large to see the difference then the lens truly shines, the look and rendering style of the Otus is as close as you're going to get to the look of the Zeiss Master Primes used in cinema right down to the lack of any visible focus breathing this is not a coincidence as the same team who designed those Master Primes also designed the Otus, in some ways the two Otuses are very much like the Anniversary lenses for the C/Y mount, lens image quality is so gorgeous, truly delivers in every way and is as close to being a perfect lens as I've ever come across, that good wide open is pretty remarkable, like all T* coated Zeisses it has almost zero flare, exceptional in starting out so well wide open, resolution "the absolute best SLR lens in the world today", stunning results, the pinnacle in optical quality on a DSLR, demolishes other 50/1.4 class lenses, at f/2.8 is better than any SLR lens tested at lensrental.com, wide open the Otus is spectacular on the Sony A7R and by f/2 matches or beats the best Leica lenses at f/5.6, bokeh vignetting increasingly oval towards edges of image, almost identical size and weight as the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar, lenstip editor's choice, part awesome lens and part portable free-weight fitness machine, regarding sensor stack thickness adversely affected when no glass was in the optical path vs. when 2mm thick glass was in the optical path exit pupil distance and maximum aperture both come into play, same weight as the Nikkor 24-70 and 14-24 heavy but manageable handheld, to take full advantage of the resolving power you'll need a tripod, will easily see the difference from other 50 mm f/1.4 lenses in the absence of veiling haze and LoCA, really love this lens one of those luxuries in life. Perhaps the ultimate normal lens absolutely incredible cross-frame performance wide open and at any aperture Zeiss decided traditional double-Gauss-derived planar designs weren't good enough for the likes of the D800E so they used a Distagon derivative with an image circle large enough for medium format no compromises. Under close focus conditions at minimum focus distance was clearly better than 'real' macro lenses (the Sigma 150mm, Sigma 180mm and the Zeiss 100mm MP at the same magnification) a surprising result. Macrophotography with an extension tube yields exceptional results. Match or better macro lenses when used with extension tubes. Shooting macros both on tubes and with the magnificent Nikon 4T works rather well. Hot-spot in the center so might not be a good contender for infrared. Focusing range 0.5m (19.68") , 12 elements in 10 groups including 1 aspherical element and 6 special elements with anomalous partial dispersion to eliminate chromatic aberration, Angular field, diag./horiz./vert. 43.7 / 36.7 / 24.9, Coverage at close range 246 x 163 mm (9.69 x 6.42"), Filter thread M77 x 0.75, exit pupil distance 78mm, Dimensions (with caps) 141mm (5.55"), Diameter of focusing ring 83mm (3.27"), Weight 970g (2.22 lbs).

55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikkor Auto (Compensating Aperture), Angular field diag. 43; Nikon Micro-Nikkor-PC, multi-coated: The Aperture compensated versions (serial numbers 171501-273153) are the best with macro size subjects; like a wine, the older (version) is the better!; highly regarded one of Nikon's best; love that lens sharp as a tack; performance at infinity of the PC version is excellent; fantastic wide open; Fabulous lens except the coatings don't play well with automatic white balance so you have to do a manual white balance to get the most out of it; the non-compensating versions have improved performance at a distant at the cost of slightly less perfect close-up performance. (No CRC hence a compromise between close/distant performance, while the later 55mm f/2.8 version has CRC but often gets oil on the aperture blades.), generally better performer than the 55/2.8. Nearly ever 55/2.8 has major issues with oil on the aperture blades the 55/3.5 is much more reliable, usually cheaper and every bit as good optically. The best macro lens because it's small, light, and cheap. Optimum aperture for copying film to digital is about f/8. A two-shot camera stitch of 6x6 medium format film will be much better than any flatbed scanner, except that it is almost impossible to get your colors sorted out properly from a digital photograph of color negative film. The color negative orange mask color can be quite readily overcome by adding a complementary blue filter to the lens of a DSLR and increasing the exposure to compensate. All varieties of the Micro-Nikkors are some of the best lenses Nikon has ever made. Among Nikon's sharpest lenses. Just outstanding for close up work. For cameras which meter with this lens wide-open before stopdown get exposure errors which get progressively worse as you focus close because the compensating aperture screws up the metering. Can still produce stellar images decades later, fabulous lens, a great lens sharp, colorful, and versatile, EXTRAORDINARY image quality, a sweet lens always great, #favorite, spectacular, amazing image quality at all distances, a consistently great lens some say it's the best lens Nikon has ever made sharpest just short of f/8, one of the best lenses ever made for close up work, exception to the trend of modern zooms having better image quality than old glass, stellar, extremely sharp with a flat field and a lovely bokeh, very sharp to the edges, really nice bokeh, razor sharp, possibly the sharpest macro that Nikon has ever made, spectacular at all distances, merits every superlative, a great copy lens corner-to-corner sharp with zero distortion, a great lens never disappoints, sharpest lens hands down, one of the best lenses regardless of manufacturer, D800 loves it, astounded at its resolving power on Nikon D800 it's just amazing unlike some macros it's great at infinity, an excellent lens on the D800 edge-to-edge, seems to simply snap into focus very noticable the real forgotten gem, Modern Photography reported Nikon describing the 1956 Micro Nikkor (Nikon's first ever Micro lens) a 5 element rangefinder 55/3.5 Micro lens as an apochromat the same optical formula was reused in the famous F mount Micro Nikkor in 1960, hate to take it off the camera, astounded at its resolving power on my D800 it's just amazing unlike some macros it's great at infinity, excels on the Nikon D800, the earliest one from about 1968 (the design that was optimized for 1:10 ratio and apparently not much else) while absolutely horrendous at infinity is BLAZING sharp from about a foot to five feet on the Nikon D800E to the point where I'd need to shoot with something very serious like my Nikon 200/2 or Zeiss 135/2 Apo Sonnar to be any sharper, very noticeable that it snaps into focus the real forgotten gem, hate to take it off the camera, for distances under 5 feet the chrome barrel light blue markings for the ratios on the barrel as you extend the focus one with the scalloped ring is the sharpest lens I own at f/5.6 on a D800E, a symmetrical lens, really outstanding lens, zero distortion, good flare resistant design, sharp as a tack, no CA, light, sturdy build, tailor-made for flat artwork, offers remarkable spatial and color resolution at a bargain price it stitches effortlessly focus blends are easy too since the lens "breathes" little, a great lens but the new Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AFS G Nano is better, dirt cheap, pin sharp, negligible distortion, computed for optimum performance at 10:1, peak close-up performance f/5.6-f/8 at 1:10 magnification, the central sharpness is highest fully open at 1m distance, sharp wide-open stopping down gradually diminishes the attained resolution only the corners would sharpen up a bit until f.5.6 after which they also would soften again, sweet spot of the lens is from f/3.5 to f/11, you should use it stopped down to at least f/8, maximum sharpness needs an aperture setting of f/8, beyond f/11-f/16 sharpness rapidly deteriorated, it does not get really soft until f/22, stunning lens, very sharp, one of the sharpest macros ever made, a treasure and legendary in performance, truly special, a bit nicer color, and the out of focus nicer than the AI version, Nikkor-PC Auto version (Nikkor-P was the first version optimised for overall performance) is the sharpest of the lot with best OOF but for macro work the earlier scalloped focus ring versions are better, pre-AI diamond grip P version is superb at infinity, greater depth of field than with a longer focal length macro, it's sharp enough but lacks the contrast and punch of newer better coated lenses, a bit undersaturated color can be fixed in picture control or post processing just choose "vivid", pretty much replaced it by the 60AFS, better contrast that the Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 version which is not nearly as good close-up although better at infinity and the f/2.8 version has a problem with oil on the aperture blades, Sigma 70mm macro and Tamron 90mm f2.5 SP are sharper, image quality suffers for landscape shots; can use Nikon TC-16A autofocusing teleconverter to get down to almost life size; use M, M2, or PK-13 for 1:2-1:1 close-ups; "reversed on a bellows it can fill a DX frame with a single peppercorn FX would require 1.5 peppercorns I suppose, but they're tough to saw in half"; perhaps one of the most versatile lens among the Nikkor family and easily one of the best companion lens for bellow use. 0.8-4.5x (normal position); 66-15mm working distance (normal position); 1.8-4.5x (reversed); 68-50mm working distance (reversed); 5 elements in 4 groups; image quality is best at f/8 and degenerates as lens is stopped down further (normal and reversed); 5x Macro setup (see photo): {camera, PK11A, PB4 Bellows, M2 Ring, BR-2A reversing ring, reversed Canon 250D +4 diopter #close-up lens, reversed 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor}; focus the lens closer to its minimum focus distance to engage the floating element CRC system when reversing; 52.
(Note: The Canon +4.0 diopter 250D, available in 52mm or 58mm, is for lenses up to 135mm and the +2.0 diopter 500D, available in 52mm, 58mm, 72mm or 77mm, is for lenses longer than that.) Canon 500D #close-up lens 77mm.
Nikon Close Up Attachment Lens 3T (+1.5 diopter, 52mm thread), 4T (+2.9 diopter, 52mm thread) and 5T (+1.5 diopter, 62mm thread), 6T (+2.9 diopter, 62mm thread) are superb 2-element achromatic #close-up lenses, much less expensive than the Leica Elpros.

58mm f/1.2 Noct-NIKKOR: Ai-S version released in 1982, the fastest, sharpest and most contrasty lens ever made by Nikon when compared to any other lens at f/1.2 or f/1.4. Used wide-open, its performance is unbeaten, and if you shoot at these apertures, you'll love the Noct. Deserves a place amongst the legends. Legendary 6-group 7-element lens created for low-light / nocturnal use. Love the thing for cityscapes after dark and stars always shoot it wide open. Unlike conventional lenses, the Noct-NIKKOR is just as sharp and contrasty at f/1.2 as it is stopped-down. Strong focus shift. It doesn't get less contrasty, softer or more hazy or veiled when shot at f/1.2 as do other lenses. Outside the central 1/2 area its performance is marginal. 9 diaphragm blades, 1 front spherical element, picture coverage 40 50', minimum focus distance 0.5m, Dimensions 63x74mm, Weight 465g. Manufactures used 58mm because of the problem with designing a fast 50mm (f/1.4 or faster) without retrofocus. 52.

Cosina Voigtlnder Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL Series II, AIS/P for Nikon, c. 2008 (new version of the limited edition 58/1.4 Topcor): {Warning: Select body wheel aperture control on the Nikon D700 body to use Live View because if you select using the aperture ring on the lens, Live View does not work. Must fully stop down aperture ring because the D700 command dial and not the lens aperture ring sets the aperture of chipped lenses.}, lovely, superb optical performance, unbelievably good, image quality is just plain lovely, image quality is exceptional probably the best f/1.4 normal lens in Nikon F mount ever produced, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), a pure pleasure to use, really great bokeh, bokeh likely beats out either the Nikon 50/1.4G or Sigma 50/1.4, rave bokeh reviews, [need to verify the following due to inconsistent reviews: seems (?sample variation) to be a sharp Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide lens that is superb for portraits with the background out of focus even substituting for a Noct-Nikkor but has such severe curvature of field at least at distance that a planar landscape will be mostly out of focus except in the center so a portrait lens that is not for landscapes and not a general purpose lens], slightly dreamy image wide open, a bit of Leica glow, every bit as good as the Zeiss ZF 50/1.4 Planar and perhaps even a little better in the corners and at f/1.4 the Nokton's bokeh is smoother and creamier, really a gem of a lens with great build, great optics, on the "never sell" list, great looks results are superb at all apertures with a bit of old school magic dust glow at f/1.4, sweet bokeh with silk smooth focus ring and very sharp excellent build, one of the best manual focus ~50mm lenses for separation at distance i.e., pops up the subject even at a distance of 4-6 meters, fairly sharp wide open and really, really, really sharp by f/4 pretty good 3D pop, a super little lens with great performance and very nice build quality as well but fairly strong purple fringing wide open in high contrast situations, sharper and has less chromatic aberration than the Zeiss 50/1.4 ZE/ZF.2 between f/1.4 and f/2.8 very sharp overall with smooth bokeh, pleasant colors and good contrast, very smooth, sharp to the DX crop corners wide-open, has some of the creamiest bokeh wide open similar to the Rokkor 58/1.2 and sharpens well with stopping down, long focus throw which allows more precise focusing but makes it impractical for very fast changing focus (short focus throw at portrait distances is the weak point of the Zeiss 50/2 MP), excellent for precise focusing, optics are awesome, kinda perfect very nice indoor portrait lens, vignetting wide open is very minimal and disappears really fast, vignette gone by f/2, impressive for its low level of focus shift making it not only a lens with lovely bokeh but one from which predictable results across the entire aperture range can be obtained without any fuss while there is a noticeable focus shift from f/2.8-f/4 the amount is relatively small and much less than the 50mm alternatives, on the side of the image the zone of sharpness is strongly biased to the foreground due to field curvature, violet halos around the light sources at f/1.4 and f/2 due to secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration that is greatly reduced at f/2 and essentially gone at f/2.8 this secondary color haloing is responsible for lower contrast seen at f/1.4 and f/2, an exceptionally good lens a very good portrait choice for DX users, high-quality lens in every respect, truly sharp and very high contrast even wide-open bokeh is rich in color but smooth with regard to luminousity, black and white conversions benefit greatly from high overall lens contrast particularly in flat lighting, bokeh not as smooth as the Sigma 50/1.4 but it seems to have better color and a more interesting bokeh, a lens hood is strongly suggested when shooting at f/1.4 to prevent sunlight from striking the front element but stopping down to f/2 eliminates the flare completely, amazing lens, for portraits an underrated great performer, works great for portraiture both on FX and on DX, ideal for portraits, a high speed classic portrait lens allowing closer working distance than an 85mm image rendition is targeted not so much for contrast as for bokeh and visual appeal small and light and very compact, quite a bit of CA, stopping down to f/2 the Nokton leaps forward in contrast along with most of the obvious aberrations being reduced by 90% (hazing, color fringing, etc.), favorite portraits tend to be shot at around f/3.2, really superb resolution in the center even wide-open and in the edges and corners by f/2 while at f/5.6 it's sharp enough that it exceeds most reviewers ability to measure one of the few lenses that can do so, the sharpest lens around 50mm maybe on earth? both wide-open and stopped down but especially wider than f/2.8, the "poor man's Noctilux", renders portraits very well sort of a middle step between the Summicron 50R and a Zeiss Planar, my favorite DX portrait lens and my preferred lens for half length shots on the Nikon D700, actual focal length varies with focus field of view of 54mm at infinity and about 70mm at its closest focusing distance, a bit soft in the edges wide-open and f/2.8 before its sharp across the frame don't know that I like it quite as much as the Leica 50 f/1.4 but its close enough to make that arguable, a throwback to the early days of SLRs when it was impossible to design a good 50 mm f/1.4 because of the ~40 mm back-focus requirement by relaxing the design to 58 mm you could get away with a double-Gauss at f/1.4 and thus achieve far better performance, oval shaped highlight bokeh wide-open on the frame periphery and dissapearing by f/1.8, an impressionistic lens like the Rokkor 58, outperforms the NOCT-Nikkor by a wide margin on an entire-frame basis at any aperture, fantastic bokeh and sharpness from corner to corner, so creamy, use for group portraits, especially a portrait and close up lens, really pleasing bokeh, a lovely lens with incredibly smooth bokeh colors are kept but contrast goes down giving a very appealing look it is not overly 3D but is not flat either, bokeh is fine just the spherical aberration overcorrection doesn't die down until f/2.8, has a somewhat nervous bokeh before you close down to f/2.5 - f/2.8, the Topcon 58/1.4 from which it is derived is similar but with more spherical aberration and not quite as sharp at wide apertures, extremely sharp wide-open, a great lens and sharp wide-open, beautiful bokeh and stunning image quality even wide-open, loCA wide-open, tends to flare wide-open in high contrast environments but once it is stopped down to f/2.8 the flaring stops, gives a soft edge on the side of subjects almost like a ghosting effect, very poor infrared performance with a hotspot from f/8 - f/22, draws with quite respectable bokeh, great bokeh, good resolution wide-open, the Nokton 58/1.4 is a revised version of Cosina's 2003 limited edition 58/1.4 Topcor, the shortest fully symmetrical f/1.4 tele you can have given that the rear element has to stay 38-39mm from the sensor in order to clear the mirror is 58mm, for high definition landscape use, nice colors, color rendition is just so pleasing, contrast, and sharpness coupled with great bokeh built nicely too, very sharp by f/4, at f/5.6 this lens is a world-beater!, it's an amazing bargain, one of the best bargains, unsatisfactory image quality at the edge of the frame near the maximum relative aperture, high coma, huge vignetting on full frame, a no-brainer for a high-quality manual-focus 'normal' lens, delivers excellent detail across the frame wide-open at f/1.4 though contrast is quite low, stopping down to f/2 pops the contrast up considerably, by f/4 the results are superb across the frame, beautiful bokeh and terrific image quality even wide-open on full-frame, lovely bokeh, like the nervous bokeh, bokeh wide-open is actually horrendous, if you like bokeh with character the Voigtlander is excellent, superb resolution in the center even wide-open, and in the edges and corners by f/2, at f/5.6 it's sharp enough that it exceeds most reviewers ability to measure, one of the few lenses that can do so, the smoothly rounded aperture in the f/2 - f/2.8 range is an advantage, delivers excellent detail across the frame wide-open at f/1.4 though contrast is quite low but it's already so good at f/1.4 that there should be no hesitation in using it wide-open when the need arises, stopping down to f/2 pops the contrast up considerably, by f/4, the results are superb across the frame, purple fringing on high contrast edges greatly reduced by f/2, peculiarly edges appear sharper than the center, moderate vignetting of little concern improves rapidly until f/2.8 where it ceases to be a concern, no focus shift, strong field curvature, using a Nikon D800 on center produces a sharp image by f/4 but elsewhere in the frame it renders a very low contrast image with impaired sharpness persisting at f/8-f/11 low performance in general since there is no evidence of sharpness anywhere in the frame at any aperture except the center which might well be its design goal as a classic type design not a good choice for a planar subject specialty uses where a particular type of rendition is desired but not a general purpose lens, sunlight striking the front element causes terrible flare at f/1.4 but stopping down to f/2 eliminates the flare completely, bokeh very pleasing, bright ring bokeh, with some distance to subject and foliage or highlights in the background will show its somewhat "busy" "nervous" bokeh, "don't much care for it, I find the bokeh horrible and the rendering ho-hum", outperformed by the Zeiss 50/2 MP in all regards except maximum aperture color and contrast are a bit more muted than the Zeiss and bokeh is a bit busier, have been really happy with it it's one of those weird lenses that you have to learn how to shot wide-open and up to f/4 it gives you some rather interesting bokeh the colors are different from the Zeiss, its character is special but you have to learn it use it mostly at f/2 - f/2.8 and am very pleased how it performs, does very nicely close-up although it doesn't get into macro range rather fond of it for general use and prefer it to all of the Nikon 50/1.4's, although the AF-S is similar in performance (but not look), hands down the much more expensive Zeiss 50/2 Makro Planar is a better lens than the Cosina Voigtlander 58/1.4 (sharper everywhere, nicer bokeh, great color, less CA, and 3D pop), favorite in the 50-60mm focal length, early samples had QC problems causing 1/2 stop incorrect exposure later fixed, over exposes by two stops which is easily corrected but some have sent theirs back and had the overexposure corrected and the later production ones have been corrected, the most recent "corrected" version still overexposes, a recent one doesn't overexpose, suffers from chromatic aberration which shows up in the bokeh and on either side of focus to a marked degree, a revised version of Cosina's 2003 limited edition 58/1.4 Topcor, 9 aperture blades, 320g, 352g with hood and caps, 64.4mm diameter, 47.5 length (2.54" x 1.87"), AIS, 7 elements in 6 optical groups, 40, minimum focal distance 45cm (1.48') at 1:5.8 (0.17x magnification), can use 8mm PK-11 and 14mm PK-12 Nikon extension tubes stacked (total 22mm extension [have a 20mm Vivitar extension tube]) for close focusing this lens, screw-in metal lens hood LH-58, a 67mm snap-in cap works perfectly with the LH-58 hood [=$39], 58.

60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor G ED AF-S: Introduced 2008, discontinued 2014, outstanding, a flat-field macro designed for copying, great color, gorgeous natural rendering with punch and clarity and a sense of dimensionality for the ages and sharp enough that even crazy pixel density doesn't faze it, one of the very sharpest lenses, little gem, one of the few magic lenses because of the rendering it gives simply beautiful, great for general photography, top pick for handy close range all-around fast-shooting lens, ideal for slide copying, among the very sharpest lenses of all time, stellar, love this lens! uber-sharp with a flat field and virtually non-existent distortion along with high contrast and accurate color, under-appreciated fast and quiet AF sharp at every aperture and nice bokeh lightweight too, better than just sharp it's nano coated magic, the Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G is one of the reason why I would always keep a Nikon camera, reaches 1:1 through internal focusing alone the lens doesn't extend, does real macro at 1:1 without an extension tube unlike the earlier manual focus Nikon 55mm lenses, like the rich contrast, the modern nano-coated optics are worth the extra expense optimized for both near and far distances doubles as a very nice short portrait lens very sharp from f/2.8 superb color rendition and bokeh, very sharp and you could consider skipping the 50mm focal length altogether with this if you don't mind a relatively slow f/2.8, out resolves all of the regular' 50 1.4s and 1.8s, an excellent all-around choice which allows 1:1 macro close-ups all the way to infinity with top-notch results very pleasant bokeh and great sharpness throughout the frame with minimal color aberrations, sharpness is quite disappointing at small apertures around f/16 excellent in terms of color fringing and distortion, inexpensive and performs without compromise for portraiture no geometric distortion very usable perspective especially for fashion, has very little lateral chromatic aberration but longitudinal chromatic aberration is visible as are traces of spherochromatism some work has to be done in postprocessing to remove traces of this, has a 9-bladed perfectly round aperture diaphragm that makes for very smooth out of focus areas bokeh is amongst the best, maximum effective aperture at 1:1 is about f/4.8 because magnification always results in some light loss. Nikon lenses and bodies are the only combination that reports this correctly, has a bit more microcontrast bite' than overall global macro-contrast, has significantly greater 3-dimensionality than the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G, fantastic for just about everything, a well regarded portrait lens on DX, one of Nikon's very sharpest lenses of all time, very fast at focusing, nearly instanteous makes a huge difference with little children who are running around a lot, a fine macro lens which delivers effortlessly but doesn't have Zeiss rendering, even with its faster speed it it very precise, fairly consistent image quality across the frame image quality is respectable at f/2.8 but contrast is a bit low so stopping down to f/4 is worthwhile very good but has some limitations in the micro contrast in fine details away from the central 1/2 of the frame even when stopped down to f/5.6 contrast is slightly low at f/2.8 improves to f/4 peaks at f/5.6 and quality holds at f/8 on par with most other Nikon lenses very good in context but not as good as one might want for general use where sharpness over the entire frame is desired the use of f/8 delivers the best results while also providing enough depth of field to compensate for minor focus errors f/8 is required for sharp corners distortion is close to zero field curvature is a very real issue because it impairs sharpness in the desired area which feels "unpredictable", sharpness is already excellent at f/2.8 though with the D800E you'll probably have to go to f/4 or f/5.6 to hit peak resolving power across the frame, diffraction softening will set in by around f/13 or so with the D800E, noticeably soft at infinity on the edges and as such is not a very good landscape or pano lens, suffers from longitudinal chromatic aberration (bokeh fringing') which can be quite annoying on specular highlights, controls CAs brilliantly unlike the older AF-D model where the CA was pretty strong at f/2.8, a wonderful lens that finally retired my 55 f/3.5 AI lens after so many great years, a great value for its price, razor sharp, lightweight, distortion free, reasonably priced and its autofocus is fast and reliably enough to use as a standard lens, bitingly sharp, of Nikkor lenses most 3D pop and microcontrast, traces of magenta/green color fringing on out-of-focus areas (this effect is present in nearly every commercially-available lens), in the middle focal length range the best lens Nikon has to offer, love the colors, the punch, and the clarity, autofocus helps for product photography works very well and offers outstanding sharpness with a flat image field, the optics are great for using it as a portrait lens, a superb portrait lens use wide-open and it is sharp yet soft at the same time lovely color and quiet accurate autofocus, my favorite portrait lens, good enough for the portraits in the 24 MP D3x Nikon brochure, don't forget that babies are tiny at the beginning! I took many of my best baby shots (e.g. eyes, hands) with my AF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro lens later on that lens also proved to be really useful as it has a much faster autofocus than my 50mm f/1.8 so that I was more or less able to keep up with the children who just move in an entirely unpredictable way, 60mm focal length is not useful for insects, reference standard on the 12MP FX bodies but performance clearly isn't up to the D800's demands plenty of longitudinal CA (especially in the bokeh) that wasn't there or almost negligible on the D700 sharp already at f/2 but not critically bitingly sharp until f/4-5.6, does a brilliant job as a general purpose lens thoroughly recommend for the D800, a good portrait lens for DX, G lenses do work on some of the Nikon film cameras (including F4, F5, F6, F100), unless shooting in low light or really do want only part of subject's face to be in focus don't think you'd miss much by going with an f/2.8 lens, works great for portraits of children, perfect for portrait its bokeh is beautiful, amazing for wedding details, an amazing lens far more versatile than the "micro" name suggests, for fashion or fine art you need the aesthetic qualities to be exactly right the 60/2.8 is clean, sharp near or far, and free from distortion it's one fashion favorite that's cleaner than the Nikon 50/1.4G, better than both Zeiss ZF.2 50MP and 100MP for macro very sharp, 1:1, the short macro could probably come close to being the ideal single focal length lens if you could only carry one lens, Nikon knocked the ball slap out of the park with this lens as a normal lens it is wonderful and has beautiful skin tones and micro contrast as a macro lens it is equally superb, a lovely lens sharp with stunning bokeh, crazy sharp at every aperture everywhere in the frame, for portraits that kind of sharpness can be cruel!, unfortunately does not work well for infrared there is a weak but clearly visible IR hot spot and sharpness suffers, quite good for portraits with a perspective some find more pleasing and extreme sharpness very good bokeh and really nice tonality/3dimensionality without being brutally harsh on faces, newest and best of the Micro-Nikkors, the best lens in the middle focal lengths the best lens Nikon has to offer even for non-macro not the fastest focusing lens around but good enough, geometric distortion is non-existent, some lens and body combinations just sing in synergy and the D7000 and 60 2.8G is one such happy marriage of demanding camera body and excellent lens, tops in ease of use due to fast AF-S focusing with manual override a fast-working lens, biggest bang for the buck Nikon lens optically very impressive and perfect for DX portraits, great short length lens for portraits especially on DX, outstanding image quality both close up and at distance making it a great all-around standard lens, at high magnification you should avoid stopping down as much as possible because of diffraction even wide-open you're at a much smaller effective aperture (which argues with extension for high magnification for doing a aperture step down series to determine at what f-stop diffraction becomes visible and then using focus stacking to attain additional depth of field; Diffraction Math: Effective aperture = Marked aperture * Square-Root(1 + Magnification); Magnification = Subject Size on the sensor / Subject Size in real life; Magnification = [Extension - Focal Length] / [Focal Length]), near zero distortion and a flat field (no field curvature), autofocus in continuous mode is very efficient for quick shots at close range, size and weight are comfortable and never a concern, a bargain for the features and quality it delivers, top-grade lens suitable for the most demanding users, compared with the Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar autofocus is handy 60mm is a better working distance and the Nikon 60/2.8 has a flat field out to the corners which the Zeiss does not, super sharp from f/2.8 through f/11, very acceptable at f/22 but not at f/32 on the Nikon D3, much better performance at the wider apertures and at distance compared to older Micro-Nikkors, colors are rendered vividly saturated and image contrast is high all the way up to f/16, slight LoCA even stopped down to f/8 or more, rather high CA, focuses quickly, silently and the lens doesn't increase in physical length, focus is absolutely fast, fast autofocus but may need a manual adjustment to get started if starting way out of focus, gorgeous bokeh, very smooth bokeh, highlights tend to show a busy onion-ring like pattern, lots of vignetting at f/2.8, some very slightly visible pincushion distortion, 12 elements in 9 groups, highly advanced internal focus (IF) design with two aspherical and one ED element, Nikon Super Integrated Multicoating with one element with nano crystal coat, the world's first professional aspherical macro lens, unfortunately does not work well for infrared weak but clearly visible IR hot spot and sharpness suffers., diaphragm with 9 rounded blades, stopping down to f/32 it's remarkable it really stays round!, at closer distances the lens becomes slower and it can stop down as far as f/57 at 1:1 where the maximum aperture is f/4.8, working distance is 48mm at the closest focus distance (1:1), high quality plastic body and filter threads, a 12/9 design with aspherical and ED elements as well as Nikon's Nano Crystal Coating, exit pupil distance 61mm, 89 x 73mm, light weight, 15.1 oz./428g, HB-42 bayonet hood must be removed for extreme close-ups to avoid blocking light, can attach 52mm slide copiers using the Nikon BR-5 62mm Mount Adapter, 62.

Jenoptik CoastalOpt 60mm f/4, UV-VIS-IR SLR APO Macro, Coastal Optics: A superlative multi-spectral lens with perfect color correction, for critically-sharp images f/5.6 should be the aperture of choice at closer distances and f/8 near infinity, optical designer James Brian Caldwell, Ph.D., introduced 2008, Jenoptik is Leica's digital imaging technology partner, gorgeous, superlative, remarkable on several accounts, parfocal and true apochromatic performance, tour de force color correction the gold standard in correcting, even the Zeiss Otus lenses at f/4 are not as pure in color as the Coastal, the best corrected lens for color consisting mostly of fluorite elements Leica APO lenses do not even remotely approach its level of correction, offers perfect correction of primary and secondary color while also offering a high MTF performance to the corners by f/8, Lens for Multispectral imaging, 315-1100nm apochromatic correction, 290-1500nm transmission, floating optics made of glass/quartz/fluorite, automatic aperture, built in CPU for Nikon DSLRs, Nikon F mount. 52mm filter thread. Apparently it has a hotspot from about 1:1.5 magnification to about 1:3 when stopped down from f/4 onwards. Can be cured however, by using an extension ring or a very narrow sunshade., the lens is really a superachromat, superb in infrared, amazing lens, the reference standard for macro lenses highest resolution macro, wickedly sharp, ranks as the modern reference lens for UV and IR photography, #favorite, completely apochromatic from 315nm to 1100nm wavelength one of the most distortion and aberration free lenses, a multi-spectral lens with total correction of primary and secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration no production lens can approach its level of correction free of secondary chromatic errors yielding an amazing neutrality for out of focus areas along with a very special "transparent" spectral transmission, an amazing thing that is the gold standard for forensic macro photography, best lens for color performance and 1% linear distortion, visible band performance is better than any lens I know of except for the Leica 180/2.8 and 280/4 APO tele lenses, as good as the Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO Macro, the only lenses that I've found that are completely free of secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration (color bokeh) are the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro and the Voigtlander 180mm f/4 APO macro, one of the best performing lenses for Nikon mounts, better corrected than even the Leica 50/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH, a gorgeous lens, superlative lens, the colors are just so real and vivid, one of the most technically perfect lenses ever made, better visible-band color correction than any other 50-60mm macro lens visible band MTF exceeds all lenses in its focal length class unique color correction from 315nm to 1100nm which no other photographic lens comes close to matching a tool for forensic scientists, art conservators, and others who really need a better way to do multispectral imaging the optical materials and coatings required to achieve this don't come cheap, unique color look neutral natural color beautiful saturated colors in macro work a favorite for flowers, just about perfect for a copy-camera lens in a studio, tremendous sharpness truly apochromatic and so well corrected that there never is any of the color fringing than one might observe with other lenses also serves as a wonderful normal lens for visible light work always with me for field work even on occasions where no UV or IR is planned a marvellous lens if you can afford it quality and price coincide for this lens one of my top favorites parfocal over the entire spectral range so making multispectral images is not a hassle, the finest lens available in terms of color correction (perfect color correction from UV through visible through infrared, far superior even to Leica "APO" lenses) but especially at distance it does not perform at the level of the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar in terms of sharpness showing blur off-center at f/4 and f/5.6 on the Nikon D800 or D600 aperture f/8 may be needed because at f/5.6 the Coastal 60/4 is visibly blurred at the edges and corners (field curvature) when focused at distance with the unfortunate side effect of slightly reducing micro contrast in the central areas but is unavoidable if one wishes the optimal results over the entire frame, looses sharpness at f/8, diffraction is worse in infrared than visible light a 24 megapixel full frame camera like the Sony A7II becomes diffraction limited in 950nm near infrared by f/5.6, human skin is translucent in near infrared so there isn't really a sharply-defined surface to focus on that effect tends to overpower choice of aperture human skin in near infrared never looks really sharp at any aperture and DoF plays a bigger role than you'd expect as you're looking through some skin layers, if money is truly not an issue ought to be considered among the best primes glass for the Nikon D800, a complete absence of any color errors of any kind which leads to an unusual clarity no other lens can match its color correction, highly unusual color rendition incredibly lifelike, better than other lenses including Leica and Zeiss, indeed a remarkable lens, a true superachromat, the only lens ever made that covers UV-visible-IR 315-1100nm fully corrected with zero focus shift if you're into IR photography it's the gold standard, the all-time "best" lens in this focal length category practically diffraction-limited across its aperture and focusing range, the real deal the magenta/green color fringing seen with conventional lenses is completely eliminated the effect is an uncanny clarity a lifelike rendition you just won't find in conventional lenses the achievable depth of field seems to be higher, 12-layer coatings, the real depth of field is not diminished by latent aberrations or chromatic errors, striking color rendition, for infrared it's the ultimate performer, perfect lens for Fuji IS Pro, achieves unprecedented correction from #Ultraviolet through #Infrared by combining fluorite and quartz with elements made from carefully selected high transmission glasses, 5 of its 10 elements made of calcium fluorite CaF2, it truly is an exotic lens, zero focus shift, the gold standard for infrared photography, diffraction-limited by f/8 across the UV-VIS-IR spectral band except at infinity where aberrations requires f/8 to sharpen the edges and corners, shows some coma and oblique spherical weakness until f/8 on the Nikon Nikon D800, performance in the extreme corner suddenly gets great at f/8, the reference lens for all other lenses, the real best lens ever the colors are always perfect, the best of the best reference lens. A "perfect" lens. Only one lens is completely free of not only lateral chromatic aberration but of a secondary or tertiary chromatic error (that would be seen as some mild hints of red/cyan fringing at the edges of the image in an out of focus extreme backlit area) and that is the 60/4 Coastal Optics macro, and perhaps one or two Voigtlander APO lenses (but not Leica APO lenses of any kind). Way beyond anything like the Micro-Nikkor 60mm G and the Micro-Nikkor 85mm PCE. Complete absence of any color errors of any kind which leads to an unusual clarity uncanny clarity, a lifelike rendition you just won't find in conventional lenses no other lens can match its color correction not Leica M, not Leica S, not Leica R, not Zeiss its spectral transmission is unusually even from UV through infrared, leading to highly unusual color rendition incredibly lifelike. Provides full apochromatic correction over a broad waveband ranging from the onset of atmospheric ultraviolet transparency at 315nm to the limit of CCD/CMOS sensitivity at 1100nm in the infrared. A high performance lens for Forensics, Law Enforcement, Science and Fine Art. It has superb focus correction from UV thru IR (310 nm - 1100 nm). It is a perfect lens for use with SLR or DSLR cameras with UV or IR sensitivity. It also includes aftermarket cameras with modified sensor filters or stock cameras such as the Fuji UVIR or IS Pro DSLR. Flare and ghosting minimized across entire performance range with advanced ultra broadband AR coating. Automatic diaphragm for maximum viewfinder brightness. Precision manual focus with long life all-metal construction. Advanced floating element design including five calcium fluoride elements ensures stunning performance in all conditions. No focus shift from UV thru IR. Excellent UV transmission. Huge overkill in terms of performance and price if you only need it for shooting in the visible light. About as sharp a lens as it gets. Maximum sharpness occurs already at f/5.6, but the lens keeps up its performance very well up to about f/16. However, given the right subject even f/45 delivers useful sharpness. In practice no color aberrations of any kind occur which is unusual to say the least. Absolutely no focus shift over the entire spectal range from UV into IR (315 - 1100 nm), so it can be focused in visible light and you can go on shooting UV, IR , or any combination afterwards. If you accept a slighly lower transmission, its range extends all the way from 275 to 1500 nm. This makes the lens simply perfect for multispectral photography. Secondly, it has stellar image quality across UV, visible, and IR spectral bands so indeed lives up to to the "APO" designation. The coatings are computed to minimise flare and ghosting over the entire spectral range it covers and there is absolutely no hot spots in IR with this lens. (The classic check for infrared hot spots is photographing a brightly backlit circle that shows white around the edges of the frame. The hotspot will show as a light spot in the center of the dark central field. The Expodisc is also a reasonable test for hot spots and corner falloff.) Included a CPU. The focus action is a little sluggish since the collar is very well damped, but on the other hand the focus stays put when you attach a filter to the 52 mm front threads. The travel is very short between 4 m and infinity (due to all the fluorite and quartz elements inside, the infinity mark can be overshoot slightly), but becomes very generous towards the nearer limit that corresponds to 1:1.5 magnification. Add a PK-13 or similar tube and you can go beyond life size as well. The optics are so well corrected that sharpness extends all over the field and there is virtually no field curvature. A very slight darkening of the corners of the frame can be detected with FX and f/4, just so that also the nit pickers of this world are pleased. Stopping down to f/5.6 or beyond deprives them of this small pleasure. According to the designer, Dr. Brian Caldwell, the theoretical maximum performance occurs already at f/5.6. Since the lens already wide open is an excellent performer, you can feel free to shoot it at any sensible aperture setting. Stopping down provides excellent sharpness up to around f/16 depending on the camera format (FX, DX), but further down towards the f/45 minimum the quality gracefully declines. At least with the D3, I'd say f/45 shots are entirely acceptable (given you add some USM to the output, to offset the inevitable loss of contrast). Bokeh is nice although the rather short focal length means the background can begin to intrude when you stop the lens way down. A truly superb performer when used outside the visible spectrum. Good suppression of flare and ghosts in UV and IR. This product ranks as the modern reference lens for UV and IR photography. There is a potential hot spot issue for the very close range. Hotspots at magnifications 1:1.5-1:3.5 in aperture ranges of f/5.6-f/45. By magnification 1:3.0, the hotspot at f/11 has become very diffuse. At f/5.6 the hotspots were much lessened but still detectable at magnifications 1:1.5-1:2.5. At f/8 the hotspots looked similar to f/11. From f/16-f/45 the hotspots were rather glaring and present at magnifications 1:1.5-1:3.5. Once at or past magnification ratio 1:4.0, there is no evidence of hotspotting. Workaround for macro photography is to focus the lens no closer than 1:3 and then use extension rings to achieve the desired closeup magnification. {HOTSPOT WORKAROUND: How much extension tube is needed? 8 mm of extension with the lens set at 1:3 takes the overall performance to 1:2; 18 mm of extension with the lens set at 1:3 take the overall performance to 1:1.5; 20.5 mm of extension with the lens set at 1:3 take the overall performance to 1:1.4.} Another trick is to use a high-megapixel camera like the Nikon D3x and avoid the hotspot range and then crop out what you are trying to capture, given the extra pixels. Macro extension tubes mitigate the effect, and the hotspot does not appear in non-macro photos. Use of extension tubes did not resolve the hotspotting issue. The hotspot is an optical design issue and does not vary lens to lens. Hot spot for my lens only occurred near 1:1.5 and at f/16 or smaller. Need to use a focus rail not the focus helicoid to stack photos due to its short focus throw of 210 as even the smallest change in the focusing barrel produces a noticeable change. A few lenses that give the Coastal Optics a decent run for its money are the 65/4.5 macro-nikkor, 60/4 s-orthoplanar, and 85/4.5 ultra-achromatic takumar. The magnificent but now defunct Alpa 35mm cameras had a 50mm Macro Switer 1.8 and 1.9 lens that was apochromatic and had this extraordinary color richness and 3d quality, but the 37.8mm flange to film distance will make it next to impossible to mount on a modern SLR. Even better corrected for color error than the extraordinary Zeiss Superachromat lenses. Quartz-fluorite lenses such as the UV-Nikkor aren't well corrected in the IR but this new lens offers unprecedented image quality from 310nm in the UV all the way to 1100nm in the IR. Very short focus throw of around 210 degrees even the smallest change in the focusing barrel produces a noticeable change hard to focus stack need to use a focus rail to focus stack due to its short focus throw. Does not include a hood so use the Nikon HR-2 or B+W 52mm rubber hood. 8 curved Aperture Blades, circular shape. Will focus from 0.264m to infinity with a macro magnification of 1.5. Maximum Magnification 0.75x, Angle of view 40 (full frame), Focal Length 60mm, Aperture Range f/4 - f/45, No. of Elements / Groups 10/9, Max Format Size 24 x 36mm, Transmission Waveband 290-1500nm, Apochromatic Waveband 310-1100nm, Focus Range 264 mm (10.4in) - Infinity, Close Focus mag 1:1.5, Mounting Flange Nikon F Mount, Filter 52mm thread (M 52 x 0.75), Length 73.4mm (2.7in), Weight 535g (1.18lb). Focal Length 60mm, Aperture Range f/4-f/45, No. of Elements / Groups 10/9, 5 Fluorite Elements, no Low Dispersion or Aspherical Elements, Max Format Size 24x36mm, Transmission Waveband 290 - 1500nm, Apochromatic Waveband 310-1100nm, Focus Range 264 mm (10.4in) - Infinity, Close Focus mag 1:1.5, Mounting Flange Nikon F Mount, exit pupil distance 58mm, Filter 52mm thread (M 52 x 0.75), Length 73.4mm (2.7in), Weight 535g (1.18lb).

Hasselblad 6x6 Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.8 T* FE Lens: [6x6 horizontal angle of view of 38.5 is similar to 51.5mm horizontal angle of view of 38.5 on FX; comparing 6x6 and 35mm lenses, just divide the focal lenght of the MF lens in half and add 10%, so 80mm roughly equals 45mm equivalent] introduced 1991 (the newest Hasselblad Zeiss V lenses are old enough to vote), made in Germany, this is the lens almost everybody buys when they purchase a Hasselblad, "Planar" is Zeiss' name for a family of standard to short-telephoto focal length fast aperture lenses with near-symmetric designs, symmetrical concept double gauss lens design, the standard lens providing a 35mm equivalent field of view of 44mm a perfectly natural perspective on 6x6 format, must have for any Hasselblad V system kit a superb standard lens very versatile, one of the best all-purpose lenses made, optically superb, beautiful bokeh, love the look contrast and color, the best all rounder great for most things, the bokeh is great at all apertures, virtually no optical aberrations, far from ordinary a staple it's a classic, produces some wonderful true skin tones and physically it is wonderful to work with the focus-ring on this large lens, the shallower depth of field with medium format makes an f/2.8 much like an f/1.4 in 35mm format, 80mm on 6x6 is much wider than one might think it's like a 50mm BOTH ways which makes it much more versatile than a normal lens on 135 cameras, Hasselblad 80mm f/2.8 lenses oddly are uncommon, a true planar with #no distortion, supersharp, has very average image quality (much higher resolution with the 60/3.5 or 100/3.5 lenses althrough the 60 is a much larger/heavier lens and the 100 is nicely compact), never seen anyone consider the 80mm lens average on the contrary stunning images chock full of the trademarked Zeiss micro contrast, some Hasselblad 80mm portraits are impossible to duplicate on a full frame or smaller sensor, anyone who can't see the difference from an image taken with an 80mm normal lens (with 6 x 6 or 6 x 7 format) vs a 50mm lens taken with a 35mm sensor is either blind or has very unskillful eyes, no vignetting, the combination of shallow DoF and clear sharp in-focus areas wide open is pretty unique to medium format, medium format is less forgiving with its narrower DOF so you should stop down until (almost) every lens is good, another aspect of using medium format glass on full frame or crop sensors is that you can mostly kiss vignetting good-bye due to the oversized image circle as well as the better uniformity of transitions for those who want evenness across the frame medium format glass can be a new realm but to avoid vignetting a fast lens such as the Leica R 80/1.4 used stopped down may be a better choice than a medium format lens which is relatively slow used wide open at the same aperture, less sharp than the 110/2, the Mirex/Hasselblad rig has a much higher IQ and just as easy to use as the Canon 45 & 90 TS-E, much nicer IQ than Canon TS-E 90, much higher IQ than the Canon 90 TS-E, no medium format lenses from the Hasselblad reproduces the same LP/mm and contrast on a 24x36mm sensor surface as a dedicated good prime for 24x36mm, typical Zeiss rendering but "cooler" colors than the C/Y's or ZF/ZE's, no CA, the long play of the focus-ring makes for exact focusing, colors true to life like nothing I've seen an 85/1.4D Nikkor produce, the Plannar is so sharp it should be illegal, peaked at the center at 68 line pairs/mm, contrast and colors are stunning its like the clarity you get in chilled air, curvature and vignetting wide-open 24x36mm at f/2.8 is NONE, no focus shift, can't believe this use with Nikon FX DSLR has gotten so little attention optics are truly miles ahead of any Nikkor glass, using only the center sweet spot of the medium format lens on a small format body is overkill but the image quality is unbeatable, subject pops, great contrast and good detail, works quite well with nice isolation of the subjects, not a favorite lens for bokeh, couldn't be happier used with Mirex adapter as resolution tone and tilt and/or shift performance is very strong, much nicer Zeiss rendering than Canon 90 TS/E, not optically flat despite its name, slight curvature, barrel distortion, the real Carl Zeiss Planar was the 100mm f/3.5 and was significantly better than the 80mm f/2.8 at a much higher price, those who demand best performance will not choose the 80mm lens but will opt for the 100mm Planar that is a legendary design by any standard that was not changed in the entire existence of the 100mm Planar, {The Hartblei 80/2.8 [which uses Zeiss 6x6 optics] offers gorgeous results, including exceptionally transparent color rendition, velvety-smooth bokeh and very "dimensional" separation of the background from in-focus areas. There is something very special about its image rendition, and it maintains high contrast and beautiful color throughout. While it's not a macro (close-up) lens, results at close range are terrific with resolving power outstanding even at the closest focusing range. Portrait photographers should look hard at the 80/2.8; it offers a more lively and appealing look than any of the Canon and/or Nikon offerings ... superlative bokeh and color rendition ... unique optical qualities ... The difference in rendition between the Hartblei 80mm and an older Hasselblad/Zeiss 80/2.8 I once shot is just tremendous, the latter having really ugly bokeh, but the Hartblei 80/2.8 offering just stunning results.}, 0.6m closest focus, the detail and sharpness is in a league of its own, there's something about the Zeiss Hassy optics which is unequalled, as far as 'Zeiss is nice' goes the Hasselblad Distagon T* 50/4 and Planar T* 80/2.8 certainly have it up the ying yang resolution of fine detail, microcontrast, robust color and contrast, solidly built, tack sharp and shows no perceptible light fall-off, distortion, or chromatic aberrations, a nice and smooth bokeh, lens is nearly perfect, the T* anti-refection coating and internal stray light reduction treatments results in unbeatable image contrast and color saturation, razor sharp, amazing resolving power at 100lp/mm across the entire 6x6 frame, the CF 80 cannot compare with the best 35mm lenses very soft wide-open with contrast much lower than expected and did not get decent until f/8, crystal clear, pin sharp, color perfect and distortion free, very compact and light, image quality perfect at all f stops, even illumination, using medium format lenses on 35mm cameras avoids vignetting and provides a larger image circle for use with tilt-shift adapters such as the Mirex, the mirror box on a DSLR is the limiting factor in how much shift can be applied and with the Mirex adapter with the camera in landscape orientation 12mm is the maximum vertical movement upwards before you see the mirror box with Hassleblad lenses, incredible color accuracy, perfect contrast and pin-sharp detail, razor sharp and crystal clear, the best lens I'll ever use, professional photographers use this lens for their great medium format beauty shots often advertising makeup, unevenness of illumination is very mild so gracefully invisible, very sharp and contrasty, contrasty lens, it's sharpness is sometimes too much with each fine hair rendered in detail, performs equally outstandingly at all aperture settings, pretty much equally sharp centertocorner and at all apertures with only a slight loss of sharpness at f/2.8, has very good resolution starting at f/4, the best quality is at f/8, f/5.6 is the sharpest and highest contrast aperture with f/8 and f/11 very very similar and noticeably softer at f/2.8 and f/22, spot from f/5.6 to f/11, f/5.6 and f/8 are reliably excellent, don't try to take 6x6 close "head" shots with an 80mm lens or you will have generally unappealing perspective distortion (big noses, small ears), no visibly perceptible distortion feel free to run horizons along and as near to the frame edges as you wish, bokeh subtly smooth, better bokeh than any of the pro-level Nikkor zooms, bad bokehugly pentagons for out-of-focus highlights caused by a 5 aperture blade lens the outrageously ugly bokeh was a huge surprise, though some people may dislike I find the pentagonal bokeh beautiful an irreproducible characteristic of these Carl Zeiss lenses, the best aperture is wide-open or fully stopped down the problem is the five bladed iris that turns out-of-focus highlights into nasty geometric shapes at f/2.8 there's a perfectly circular aperture and at f/16 there's extended depth of field both of which preclude problems but at any stop in between watch out!, macro images using extension tubes show excellent image quality, with Mirex Tilt/Shift Adaptor does loose image quality at the edges in a full shift but at 10mm it looks really strong & at full tilt for close-up (no shift) is very strong while the Canon 90 TS-E is quite poor at those extremes, CFi version has floating lens elements ensuring high performance within the close focusing range, a good performer in macro with extension tubes, entrance pupil 27.5mm behind the first lens vertex, 7 elements, lens rotates counterclockwise to remove from Fotodiox pro Nikon adapter, a very good lens to use for macro with extension tubes excellent image quality, bay60 bayonet filter.

Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 APO-Planar T* Nikon F mount lens: {WARNING: HANDLE OTUS LENSES GENTLY as they are subject to catastrophic impact damage.} Uber Lens offers unprecedented performance, built by Cosina in Japan, introduced late 2014, a reference lens, the world's best lens ever developed for the 35mm format, state-of-the-art, the best Zeiss glass, exceptional and unmatched by anything else, cost-no-object, an optical achievement of the highest order, best lens there is, sweet colossus, sets a new world class standard, the best DSLR lens, deserves a place amongst the legends, reference lens for anything approaching its focal length regardless of subject distance!, best of the best, the very best lens ever produced for a DSLR (or rangefinder), best 35mm lens ever made, nothing else reaches this level of performance across such a wide envelope from the extremely challenging zone of maximum aperture all the way up to where diffraction kicks in, the Otus is simply in another league from the Zeiss Batis 85 it's fat and heavy but once you test it and watch the gorgeous images that it produces it's very difficult to come back to other lenses, lenses have to get bigger to perform better because more elements are required for higher levels of correction and resolution, exceptional micro contrast, the second installment in the new line of super-lenses, delivers the most transparently beautiful imagery ever seen on a DSLR in every case not just portraits with a transparency that rivals or beats everything in every way, if you want perfection (or nearly so) for color correction in an f/1.4 lens there is only one answer today Zeiss Otus, the first thing one notices is the build quality and silky smooth cine-bearing long focus throw it looks and feels like an ultra high quality item in a league by itself compared to the conventional brand names, it weighs a ton at about 2.8 pounds with lens hood and caps, easily the most formidable 85mm lens on the market to be expected coming from a goal of uncompromising image quality, transmission issues can be solved with coatings and some lenses lose barely any light at all (the very complex Otus designs, for instance, are f1.4/T1.5), if you are addicted to optical perfection in every aspect and without any compromises this is the perfect match and simply the best lens, spectacular lens, #favorite, the Otii are held to very tight focus skew plane-parallel tolerances best in the industry, Big Bertha!, obviously not the best choice for those craving a lightweight and compact autofocus solution, the very definition of 'clarity' subtle nuances are perfectly rendered, seriously impressive performance, insanely great high-end, uses cine lens bearings for focusing, amazing, the best short tele lens in the world sublime performance in almost every possible photographic situation, does things in the corners that no other Nikon lens can do at any aperture there is no comparison, no better lens for portraiture the sharpness, contrast, fine details and bokeh are all peerless, sharp depth of field transitions, breathtaking rendition of even the finest details, color transmission and accuracy of rendition is utterly brilliant, possibly the most highly corrected lens ever for a DSLR, delivers ultimate resolution at all apertures but at the expense of smoothness of background out of focus areas under some circumstances because of the aspherical element the 'bokeh balls' are sometimes seen to have texture aspherics are part of the optical formula required for that level of apochromatic correction, resolution definitely influences tonality because you eventually reach a point in lens design that to increase resolution you must have higher apochromatic correction which in turn winds up influencing color and tonal gradation too, owing to its degree of correction with extension tubes it performs nearly as well as the 85 PCE Macro even close up, Zeiss' lens designer Dr. Hubert Nasse feels that the 85mm Otus is the best lens and focal length for photographing people, a superlative lens in every respect, there really aren't any medium format lenses that reach the Otus level but then again the only lenses that reach the Otus level are the Otuses, infinity focus changes slightly with temperature so that there exists no fixed infinity focus and no hard-stop, image quality is basically identical to the Canon EF 85LII, once you reach the bleeding edge incremental improvements become increasingly costly the laws of diminishing returns apply to photography too, many Professionals shoot Otii stopped down with strobes no one can reliably manually focus using the OVF at f/1.4 or f/2 so in reality f/4 or so is mandatory, extremely challenging to consistently hit critical focus wide open to nail focus rack it slowly while shooting a burst live view and a tripod is highly advisable, focusing issue solved with a Zacuto pro finder and live view (stability, magnification, real DOF), extremely shallow depth of field wide open plus that beautifully crisp transition between in and out of focus areas makes achieving critical focus both necessary (missed focus is obvious) and challenging, wont have to recompose after focusing does not appear to suffer from any visible focus breathing, concave front element, out of focus very distant point sources show concentric ring texture in the big round highlights, can shoot into the sun without fear of flare, shooting at open aperture adds creamy bokeh and subject separation (3D pop) without paying a price for sharpness (if you nail the focus), no visible chromatic aberration longitudinal or lateral contrast is amazing at every aperture as is microcontrast and ability to resolve high frequency and low contrast detail structures resolving power does not appear to improve with stopping down, delivers very high resolution and contrast right from open aperture so stopping down mainly increases depth-of-field only, a slight improvement in microcontrast stopping down to peak around f/2-f/2.8, fairly flat-field you must compensate by back focusing slightly if you center focus and recompose for an edge subject, just an extra degree of clarity beyond the 135mm f/2 APO Zeiss but not until stopped down to f/4 or so, vignettes pretty strongly at f/1.4 that causes out of focus bright spots toward the corners to turn into ovals much rounder at f/2, none of the Nikon lenses at any aperture anywhere match the Otus at f/1.4 nowhere close in resolution or drawing, the Leica R 80 lux is far behind Otus in terms of resolution and CA, for astrophotography no coma to be seen anywhere in the frame even the extreme corners, designed in Germany and built by Cosina in Japan (with a German quality control technician) with 100% optical tests consistency and quality control is far better than Leica, Zeiss customer service is second to none and light years ahead of the much more expensive Leica Zeiss really exceeds expectations, quite enormous this lens is a monster, special purpose len which requires very precise focusing and will punish sloppy shot discipline the Sony A7RII is a good body to mount it on because of the EVF, magnification and stabilisers, but the ergonomics are terrible and it feels like the mount is going to be ripped off slow to use and not suited for moving subjects but the results are unbeatable when everything comes together, the internal cams and lens mounts are much more delicate than the external metal shell and can be damaged by deceleration of the heavy glass elements which can also be chipped on their edges where held producing catastrophic damage when the lens is dropped with a repair cost of $2,500-$4,000 so a dropped lens may be a total loss with almost no external damage evident just one of the double sided aspheric elements costs $1,200, famous Planar symmetric lens design invented by Dr. Paul Rudolph at Zeiss in 1896, not intended for close-up but works just fine with 8mm or 14mm of extension, match or better macro lenses when used with extension tubes, APO Planar with 11 lens elements in 9 groups with aspheric surface, six of special glass, 3 elements of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion, floating elements design, Focal length 85 mm; Aperture range f/1.4 f/16; Focusing range 0.8 m (31.50") - ; Entrance pupil position ( in front of image plane) 90 mm / 3.54 in; Free working distance at MOD 0.65 m / 25.59 in - ; Number of elements/groups 11 / 9; Angular field, diag./horiz./vert. 28.24 / 23.71 / 15.97; Diameter of image field 43.2 mm; Flange focal offset ZF.2: 46,50 mm (1.83"); Coverage at close range (MOD). 36 X 24mm frame 278.85 x 185.61 mm / 10.97 x 7.31 in; Image ratio at close range 1:7.7; Rotation angle of focusing (focus throw) 261; Coverage at close range 278,85 mm x 185,61 mm (10.97" x 7.31"); Filter thread M86 x 1.00; Dimensions (with caps) 138 mm (5.43"); Diameter of focusing ring 101 mm (3.98"); Length with caps 138 mm / 5.43 in; Length without caps 122 mm (4.80"); Diameter max 101 mm/ 3.98 in; Weight (as weighed) 1244g / 2.74 lb with hood and caps; Lens hood 99g; Front lens cap 23g; Weight (nominal) 1140g, not a lens for the weak-armed. 86.

Canon 85mm f/1.2L FDn (New FD mount): {CAUTION: Be careful not to break the thin brittle glass lens rear element which functions as a very difficult to replace cover for the floating elements; Do not force the aperture ring which works only when the lens is mounted on a camera; Do not open or attempt to disassemble this lens as it has two bearing rings with a very large number of tiny ball bearings about 95 that will fall out!} Canon FD lenses are the predecessors to Canon L glass, and have a superb pedigree they have a pleasing organic rendering that is not dissimilar to Zeiss Contax C/Y. Marketed March 1980, amazing, jaw droppingly beautiful, best FD lens ever made, beautiful, awesome, a fantastic lens, simply stunning!, some say it's still Canon's best, favorite portrait lens total control over depth of field because it is such a fast lens bokeh creamy and delightful, spectacular for its age, phenomenal for portraits, what a lens!!, always outstanding, has character galore and there is no other lens like it and no other lens will do what it does, without peer in its range of focal lengths, stunning lens, favorite Canon lens, an amazing optic love shooting with it wide open where sharpness and contrast are excellent but the depth of field is so narrow have to be very aware of photographer's own movements when using it the slightest movement back or forth and subject may be rendered out of focus, one of the kings of creamy bokeh, amazing, without peer in that range of focal lengths, perfect amount of contrast to do manual focussing accurately wide open built well and the manual focus ring is large and tactile with great focus throw gets out of your way when shooting which can't be underestimated, incredibly very sharp at f/1.2, it simply rocks, the 'magic' of f/1.2 is just too tempting, favorite lens ever in any mount, the bokeh at f/1.2 is simply wonderful, subject isolation is amazing!, one of my all-time favorite lenses a joy to use wide open with the focus peaking of the Sony A7 Series cameras capable of producing stunning IQ with spectacular out of focus rendering, almost the same optical quality as the EF 85 f/1.2L in a much smaller package, the last 85 you'll need if you can handle its size/weight, the bokeh of the EF II version looks smoother, FD version does not have the EF version issues of focus by wire and electronic control of aperture, in good light the EF II and FD versions are indistinguishable it's only when you have a strong light source in the frame (the sun) that you see the EF 85L pull away in terms of flare control outside of that, sharpness, bokeh, colors, etc. are practically identical the FD version has a closer minimum focal distance too so it's easier to shoot with, relatively compact especially compared to the EOS versions, the depth of field at f/1.2 is so shallow that to get the focus right manual focus with the FD version is the way to go the manual focus ring on the EF 85L is terrible, much more flare than the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Otus, what stunning image quality, even at full aperture the manual focusing is a delight, very magical lens, a very special lens, top class optics, creates that very special creamy bokeh look which no lab test can really quantify, the magic is only when it is shot #wide-open at f/1.2, needs to be stopped down to about f/2.8-f/4 to get meaningful DOF for tight portraits or use wide open for full length portraits in lousy light, but some people like the thin DOF for creative portraits wide open, one of the best portrait lenses below $1000, the most advanced 85mm manual-focus lens ever sold anywhere way beyond anything ever from Nikon or LEICA more technology in it than anywhere else out-of-this world performance sought-after by astronomers super-sharp even wide-open at f/1.2 very little distortion was one of Canon's top flagship lenses one aspheric element floating-element design for exquisite performance at every distance multicoated, manual focusing is pretty hard at f/1.2 so often use 10x magnification focus assist. Loaded with abilities that can make almost anyone with an ounce of skill into an abstract artist. More flare than Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Otus. NOTHING renders like an 85L 1.2 lens and it is more like a big fat paintbrush than a camera lens. A superb portraiture lens; exceptionally sharp in the center and not very sharp in the outer half (much astigmatism off-center) A bit of a specialty lens, and is spectacular at what it does (referring to EOS Mk II version). Has terrible coma but it is a fun lens and the center of the image is very nice. The way it can paint your subjects is quite remarkable and while not everyone enjoys this look, when used sparingly or in certain portrait conditions it can be jaw dropping and sometimes even haunting. Truly a gem. Probably the sharpest fast lens in this focal length wide open. Buy it for wide open performance. Due to the extremely wide aperture, focus really pops in and out of focus making it very easy to focus using focus peaking. Not right for every situation, but when it's right, no other lens will do. The most famous Canon manual focus lens. Bitingly sharp stopped down and unexpectedly sharp at f/1.2. Gives very clean near perfect images desite sometimes showing onion ring bokeh because of the aspherical element. Canon was one of the pioneers of the so-called "super-speed" lenses. Wide open it is very sharp, depth of field is very shallow, micro-contrast is quite high, and the bokeh is lovely and smooth. One impressive lens! It's one I'll never sell. Lives up to its reputation 30 years later. The best lens in that range much better than the Zeiss 80/1.4 ZF. Possibly the most interesting fast Canon lens of them all. Arguably the best short tele ever made and rightly deserves it's "bokeh king" cult status razor sharp rendering (still very good at f/1.2) and great colors a little cooler than usual for Canon well controlled distortion and superb 3D pop all contribute to its stellar reputation. Overly smooth gaussian blur-like bokeh. Same optics as the earlier version FD S.S.C. The FDn bayonet mount which you twist when mounting on the camera has a button on the side of the mount to unlock it whereas the FD breach lock mount does not. {CAUTION: Before you mount an FD/FDn lens to an adapter, make sure that the aperture is set to a numerical value and not the green "A" or circle. These auto settings cause a pin to protrude from the back, so it won't mount on adapters.} Comparing with the current Canon EF 85/1.2 lens more than 30 years of design separate the old and the new versions and no visible optical advancement. The smaller and lighter manual nFD 85L lens weighs 680g is 71mm long and is 80.8 mm in diameter while the current autofocus EF 85L MKII weighs 1025g and is 84mm long and 91.5mm in diameter. Weighs 760g and has a volume of 487cc. "This kind of speed in a lens of this focal length has long been sought after by photographers, but was unavailable until Canon's break-through technologies in aspherical lens design. Because of this type of construction, optical performance is almost perfect at every aperture, not just wide open." The older FD 50/1.2L is better than the EF version due to changes in the formula regarding hazardous materials and the addition of the AF system It's widely known that the EF version has focus shift, and I don't recall that the FD version does. Aspherical, 1976, which has 9 aperture blades, with the aspherical surface being hand ground. Superb results and bokeh on the Sony A7r. Seriously amazing the image quality is almost identical to the much more expensive and much bigger EF 85mm 1.2L II lens. Better than the later EOS autofocus models. The EF 85/1.2 did not compare with its manual focus brother. The sharpest lens I ever owned. Superb performance especially wide open significantly shaper than the Contax Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 results are stunning. This is a world class optic! The 85mm lens is NOT radioactive as is the FD 55mm f/1.2 Aspherical lens and the FD 35mm f/2 concave front element lens which use thorium glass. The new FD mount is adaptable to the Sony E mount and micro 4/3 mount, but not to Nikon F or Canon EOS mount. Easier to use on the Sony A7 than on the original Canon bodies. The Zeiss Contax 85mm f/1.2 anniversary lens is a copy of this Canon lens with substitution of a special glass element for the element with the aspheric surface. The Canon 85/1.2 lens is sharper and has less coma wide open than the Zeiss. Canon just can't compete with the Zeiss color. Zeiss Contax anniversary lens' CA is attenuated to non noticeable even at wide open but this is one of the area where the Canon 85mm f/1.2L fails. All FD lenses have a hard stop at infinity. Not unit focus the rear element doesn't move with focusing so any adapter used must be precisely the correct thickness. {Has a rather easy focus adjustment setup: Remove the rubber grip, unscrew the 3 screws that hold the focus ring on, slip the focus ring off to the rear of the lens. You now have access to the focus hard stop. It is a silver tab with 3 or 4 screws. Loosen the screws so the tab slides. Put the lens on the adapter and camera. Adjust to infinity with aperture wide open and reassemble.} An aspherical surface employed in the second element of this lens makes it the world's first telephoto lens to be so blessed. This lens sets another precedent in being the first telephoto to incorporate Canon's Floating System, insuring good resolution even at the closest focusing distance of 0.9 meter. Perfect for available-light portraiture, this lens is the essence of high performance and provide a high degree of detail even under extremely low light conditions with its aspherical element. Has terrible coma but it is a fun lens and the center of the image is very nice. For macrophotography with 100mm of extension tubes at f/1.2 you get magnification of a bit more than 1:1 with razor thin DOF which makes for unique results you cannot possibly get with any other lens. The bokeh is just perfect. {Canon R/FD/FL lenses use a breechlock mount. The 'New FD' mount was introduced in 1976 with the Canon AE-1. The fundamental change was that New FD lenses pretend to be bayonet-mount. Instead of turning a locking ring on the lens (the silver ring at the base of earlier designs) you now turn the whole lens barrel just like everyone else's lenses. The mounting surfaces still remain still against each other (instead of the rotational slipping against each other of bayonet mounts) but the rest of the lens turns in effect the whole lens barrel is now the 'locking ring'. The R/FD/FL lens mount has three outer bayonet lugs (for the breechlocking action). The mount inner diameter is 48mm with a flangeback of 42mm which is one of the thinnest flangebacks. This makes it easy to adapt almost any lens to Canon R/FD/FL mount but very difficult to use Canon R/FD/FL lenses on any other camera. The FD has a breech mount ring (a large silver colored ring). The FDn has a rectangular button and no large silver breech mount ring. Though they use the same mount, they mount on very differently. The FD is cumbersome to mount. The FDn mounts like a modern bayonet mount lens.} Lens Construction 8 elements in 6 groups (including one aspherical element); 8 Diaphragm Blades; Minimum Aperture f/16; Coating: S.S.C (super spectra coating); Closest Focusing Distance 0.9m (3 ft.); Maximum Magnification 0.12x; Angle of view: Diagonal: 2830' Vertical: 16 Horizontal: 24; Maximum Diameter x Length 80.8 x 71mm; Weight 24.1 oz./682g; Hood: BT-72; Cap: C-72 (CG2-0073), 72.

85mm f/1.8 Nikkor HC AI (very rare; the latest multi-coated version the best of all), Angular field diag. 2830': manufactured with kit AI, the "Blow up" (movie) lens, stunning from #wide-open, a winner, the big star of the show, second version of Nikon's first 85mm lens for SLR cameras, c. 1972, a lovely portrait lens with gorgeous bokeh, really good, has character, gets used the most for available light portraits, excellent bokeh, wonderful, a good lens on the D800, nothing like it made later on, very nice lens, sharp images with just a trace of detail roundness ("bokeh"), just as sharp as some of the newest lenses, a fine performing classic lens with beautiful out-of-focus rendering, nothing "swirly" about the bokeh but it renders differently - less clinically - than some modern 85mm lenses, great color and sharpness not found on any other lens, an amazing lens, very nice rendering and sharp what a lovely portrait lens, really good, one of the lightest weight fast lenses in the 75-90mm range, pleasing color saturation, this lens is amazing, one of the best lenses, has a unique look, yes there's other lenses with better MTF curves but few with better looking optical signatures, delivers stunning images, beautifully soft for portraits, wonderful bokeh, just chock full of swirly character, funky bokeh when focussed close wide-open, soft at f/1.8 but sharpens right up at the next f-stop the diaphragm blades give ugly octagonal shapes if the background is busy, a Biotar design with fantastic bokeh that is almost as good as the Nikkor 105/2.5, a great lens, "my cold-dead-hands lens delivers wonderful images", for casual available light people shots it is the first lens to reach for love the speed, a favorite portrait lens, its "draw" has a delicate quality that makes it a joy to use for portraits, so good as a half-length and head & shoulders portrait lens on a film body that I never felt a real need to make the switch to an f/1.4 lens, has a special look that none of my other lenses can give a subtle warmth to the pictures of my loved ones, love it to use for woman portraits, sharpness, bokeh, and narrow depth of field, great sharpness, bokeh, and color, a great combination of price, value, build, speed, sharpness and character, optically quite good, single layer coating of earlier version makes it somewhat vulnerable to flaring, absolutely stunning for everything from portraits to landscapes, a favorite for Nikon users in the early days stayed basically unchanged in the lens line for nearly 15 years the lens featured in the famous classic movie "Blow-Up" renders sharp images with just a trace of detail roundness (that's currently called 'bokeh') and a pleasing color saturation, it does funky things occasionally with point light sources OOF behind the subject and has the typical green/magenta CA in front of/behind the subject but it also has a tremendous, unmistakable character that was lost with the "upgrade" to the 85mm f/2 Ai, acceptably sharp even wide open it got really into its stride around f/4 and exhibited excellent image quality and contrast up to f/8 or so due to its high speed it flared quite easily was replaced by the much softer 85 mm f/2 in 1977, best version is this latest multi-coated version (HC), multi-coated versions are a rarity, sharp from wide-open, can produce very sharp images, minimal CA, great colors and bokeh, very good wide-open, excellent stopped down slightly, acceptably sharp even wide-open, far enough back when shooting DX baby pictures that the baby is not afraid/intimidated so is more likely to smile and the lens is just out of reach of sticky fingers, when photographing people on a DX camera it has an angle of view like a 135mm lens on FX which is much too long for use indoors in many situations, an 85mm lens on a full-frame camera shooting a subject 15 feet away (a pretty common portrait distance) has a depth of field of 9 inches at f/1.4; 14 inches at f2.0; and 19 inches at f/2.8 so stopping down to increase sharpness still leaves a nice narrow depth of field, very similar in optical design to the planar derived 75/1.5 Biotar, simply superb great bokeh, excellent image quality and contrast f/4-f/8 or so, flares quite easily, a real pig worst ever in producing flare from lights at night, 6 blade aperture affects bokeh when not wide-open, bokeh is poor, the last version of this superb lens before it was replaced in 1977 by the small but mediocre much softer 85/2, A rare find. There just aren't that many 85/1.8's around the ones I see are very expensive. (While the f/2 is a fine lens the f/1.8 is better Better wide-open, better 1 stop down, less vignetting, sharper wide-open and better sharpness over the whole field sooner, better bokeh, less veiling flare wide-open, higher build quality, better coatings.) A focal length for head and shoulders portraits. The 85mm focal length is long enough to get a good "head and shoulders" or "waist up" portrait without being uncomfortably close to your subject, is not so long that it will compress the depth of the shot to the point where the photo will appear "flat," and is versatile enough that to get a "full length" portrait you can take just a few steps back and frame accordingly. Optical construction similar to CZJ 80/1.8 and, notably, Helios-40. Beautiful colors, nice rendering, slightly swirly bokeh, uniform sharpness across the frame. "Make sure to get a good hood, the HN-7 works well, but shooting without the hood nearly wide-open at a backlit portrait will grant you much praise from the subject, has a nice dreamy yet sharp quality, a Must Try with this lens." Even outshines the Jupiter-9 easily and it takes a lot to say that! What a lens! Sharp and contrasty straight from wide-open (unlike its successor, Nikkor 85/2). The only drawback is the diaphragm that consists of 6 straight blades; most K-version lenses had 7 curved blades, producing more even OOF rendering. A much better lens than its successor, very sharp by f/4 but not that exciting wide-open in the corners, decent enough in the center, distortion is negligible pincushion (corrects at 10' (3m) with -0.5 in PS CS2), bokeh is poor, has only a primitive six-bladed diaphragm, [the reason it's hard to find in is that it doesn't actually exist per se. The last run or so of the 85mm f/1.8K was sold with factory-applied AI rings mounted instead of the original pre-AI aperture rings, but it's not actually an AI lens (it lacks the max aperture coupling post that is the real difference between AI and AI-converted lenses), the only 85mm AI is the f/2.], weight 420g, Length 62mm, Optics 6/4, angle of view 28, Macro 1:9.8, Minimum Focus 1000mm, Hood HN-7, 52.

Carl Zeiss Contax Sonnar T* C/Y Sonnar 85mm f/2.8 MMJ, Kyocera Japan: favorite 85 alt lens, exquisite, a little known gem, absolutely gorgeous rendering, super sharp, nice bokeh and brilliant color and contrast, cats-eye bokeh in corners bokeh defect of having larger DOF in corners, small too, great rendering and handling, delivers the archetypical Sonnar look, awesome for small, contrasty & 3D-ishness, a near perfect lens, particularly love the 85/2.8 Sonnar for portraits, lower in contrast and bite wide open and rivaling the Otus 85 in resolving power and microcontrast when stopped down its small size and fantastic performance have made this my choice of 85mm unless I need one of the specific special attributes of one of the other lenses no aspherical elements which makes for very smooth transitions and bokeh, spectacular at any aperture with smooth background blur and a great transition between the plane of focus and the background and it's extremely tiny the sort of lens that makes you want to go out and shoot, 3D pop, a tiny gem that's smaller than most 50/1.8's you can always have it with you and not notice it's there til you need it if you work stopped down on a tripod this may be all the 85mm you ever need except you'll soon discover the spherical design leads to very smooth front and rear bokeh, if I'm not going to need wide apertures or autofocus I like the C/Y Zeiss 85/2.8: nice rendering and fast enough plus absolutely tiny, and if using it at f/8 or smaller for landscape work there's almost no difference between that and an Otus anyway, one of the finest 85's ever made favorite all-around lens, oozes Zeiss goodness, favorite lens sharp with nice color love it, one of the best portrait lenses below $1000, highly recommend crisp and sharp wide-open but also with good bokeh for an f/2.8 lens and also has a certain character and color rendition that's pleasant, a wonderful all-around lens but a bit too contrasty for portraits will not render as beautifully as the non-APO Summicron-R 90mm f/2, a lovely lens especially for landscape at smaller apertures wide open there's a slight bit of softness and LoCA but that may not be undesirable for portraiture with studio lighting you will probably be using it at its nicest apertures of f/5.6 - f/8, very good CA control except for extreme conditions fine skin tones and color balance with excellent bokeh, the only problem is the damn thing needed to focus 6 inches closer!, the bokeh gets beat out by the Canon 85L FD and Leica Summicron 90mm, is reportedly very similar optically to the Contax G 90, same optical design plus compact size and true focal length as the Contax/Zeiss G90, the Batis 85 while very sharp is much less 3D looking and less pleasing overall, a beauty, sharp and beautiful color, landscape and portrait is just stunning, Sony A7rII + Contax Glass = Match made in heaven! Small, lightweight and inconspicuous. Really sharp wide open very small lens. Light, sharp and draws nicely. Just a peach. The best of the C/Y bunch. Bitingly sharp. Sharp at f/2.8 (both close and far away) and really nice rendering. Stunning colors + high contrast + acuity + sharpness + beautiful bokeh + compact size = perfection. (46.5mm 230g) 55.

85 mm f/1.4 Nikkor AF-D IF, Angular field diag. 2830': superb chunk of glass, "the Cream Machine" (but the 58mm f/1.2 Noct Nikkor is creamier), most favorite lens, a true wonder of the world, near-perfection, the perfect portrait lens, the very definition of fabulous bokeh, a very nice focal length for portraits of couples, sharpness, bokeh, and color is just fantastic, one of the Nikon lenses with the best bokeh, a sublime lens, bokeh to die for, pleasing bokeh, 9 curved diaphragm blades, images with this lens are different than other Nikkor lenses - simply breathtaking, absolutely gorgeous bokeh, gaussian type bokeh, autofocuses very fast, wide-open the results are simply stunning, improves up to the peak performance at f/2.8-f/4, extremely pronounced corner softness at f/1.4 and still significant even stopped down to f/4, the corners test a bit soft until about f/5.6, at f/1.4 the lens has a very observable vignetting (a bit more than a stop) and gets down to the half-stop level not worth worrying about by f/2.8, haven't seen many f/1.4 renderings that wouldn't have been better at f/2 to f/4 which is the Cream Machine's sweet spot, consistently flares under tungsten light in super dark streets and with complex contra studio artificial lighting which the Zeiss 85/1.4 ZF does not, autofocus is not particularly fast or accurate, with this lens changing the focus point is much more accurate than re-composing, susceptible to flare and CA, prone to flare so use the hood always, chromatic aberration wide-open is quite serious, axial color (longitudinal chromatic aberration) can be troublesome, a slightly flatter field at the wide-open setting wouldn't hurt, #spherical aberration really cripples this lens when wide-open, dated 30 year old all spherical design with softness wide-open vs. aspheric Canon 85/1.2L, Leica 90mm f/2 APO Summicron-R ASPH and inexpensive Korean Polar 85mm f/1.4, but a near perfect FX portrait lens as it is, just short of amazing, just amazing, "apart from the 200 f2.0 it is Nikons sharpest lens and gives my Leica M lenses a run for its money", much slower and louder autofocus than 24-70 or 70-200, really dislike the hood, moderate rearward #focus shift with stopdown that at close range will result in acceptable but not ideal performance, though it might well be, (the AF lens outperforms its MF 85/1.4 predecessor by a comfortable margin at wide apertures, equals the MF lens at f/5.6 and is less sharp in the f/8-f/16 range, AF has better bokeh), from f/2.8 and up the performance of the lens is superb and neither distortions, CA nor vignetting are something to worry about, however, at f/1.4 and to a lesser degree at f/2 the lens shows a couple of flaws - the border resolution is only good, the level of contrast is reduced and the results show lots of CA, a pronounced degree of purple fringing at harsh contrast transitions and longitudinal chromatic aberrations, that all said, certainly capable to render beautiful large-aperture results with a shallow depth-of-field and an exceptionally smooth bokeh, phenomenally sharp and smooth bokeh which combined with its narrow depth of field, gives a remarkable 3-D effect, has a lot of CA, used as a long portrait lens, 85mm is popular for fashion or full-length portrait images but is not a head and shoulders portrait focal length on FX 85mm can't be used for tight head shots without sizable cropping, for indoor sports, and just because it's so nice, optically slightly inferior the Zeiss Planar ZF T* 85mm f/1.4, better than Zeiss 85/1.4, better than AIS Nikkor, the 85/1.4 AIS, while not as sharp as the AFD 85/1.4 at the widest apertures has less color fringing and a beautiful manner in which it "draws" the image, the field of view given by an 85mm lens is excellent for astrophotography.

Cosina Voigtlnder SL APO-Lanthar 90mm f/3.5 Close Focus, Series I, for Nikon, manufactured 2001-2012, production volume for Nikon 90/3.5 APO exists in 1000 to 1500 [Limited Production "Luxury" Voigtlnder SL SLR Lenses A limited edition series of Luxury SLR lenses produced in Japan by Cosina styled to look like classic Zeiss Ikon Voigtlnder Contarex lenses from the late 1950's, a time when the German camera industries were at their zenith representing the high water mark in quality of construction along with the Leica M3, and Rolleiflex 3.5 F; very compact, optics near perfect on a D800, ideal focal length, close focus capable, super sharp up close and very very good at distance, high quality construction; a favorite lens small, relatively light, close focusing, and 36MP sharp at all distances outstanding color and contrast; compact and performs well; very good really nice and compact; a tiny but high performance lens especially well suited to anyone looking for exceptional quality in a very compact package build quality is similar to Zeiss ZF lenses top image quality begins wide open can easily fit into a small pocket makes an excellent choice for a compact travel kit including a lens like its 40mm f/2 sibling delivers impressive results; a true favorite; been looking for one for over a year and not one has appeared; excellent on the Sony A7; compact and excellent lens even at 36MP; best handling 90 on the Sony A7 famous for flare but that's moot with the right hood; very compact with a very pleasing build quality; very sharp, has very nice bokeh (in spite of the moderate aperture), and it's quite compact and light with the provided dedicated diopter, it allows almost 1:1 macro; Contarex lenses in particular, were works of art and have rarely been bettered, the Oberkochen works producing lenses of overall outstanding quality, showing just what the Germans were capable of when money is no object; the optical company was founded by Johann Christoph Voigtlnder in Vienna Austria in 1756 and started to make cameras and lenses in 1840.]: Incredibly sharp, very smooth bokeh, and beautiful colors, a lens of exceptional quality, very sharp with nice bokeh, they're really made of unobtanium, excellent landscape lens also very nice for studio portraits, the super sharpness and excellent control of CA make this lens ideal for landscape use, but it can work great also as portrait and snapshot lens, remarkable little lens, the colors look great, love its purity of colors is wonderfully sharp, an amazing lens very sharp and despite its slow aperture has very good bokeh build quality is great too, an optically and ergonomically superb lens, one of the ten sharpest lenses, crazy sharp and super light, does the Nikon D800 justice small, relatively light, great close focus capability and a mechanical joy to use, very sharp even at f/3.5 and gets better still stopped down but an f/3.5 lens doesn't develop much of a bokeh, needs to be stopped down a bit for maximum bite, a small mobile portrait/macro lens, performs very well even wide open, Erwin Puts once compared it to the Leica M 90 Elmarit and thought the CV 90 APO M-version (identical optical formula to the SL) its equal, sharper and better with color than the Leica Tele-Elmarit-M 90/2.8, a killer lens very well APO corrected and very close focus stick a tube on it tested mine against my Leica 90 AA R and sold the Leica, does not quite have the magic of the Voigtlander 125, more contrast and more edge sharpness than the Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, replaced my 105/2.5 Nikkor with the 90/3.5 CV due to the much closer focusing distance AND the 90/3.5 is much sharper up close f/3.5 provides a thin-enough DOF for most of my uses, very impressed by its sharpness on the Nikon D800e especially night cityscapes, a great lens for landscapes, studio portraiture, and close ups, can't believe the IQ that is packed into that tiny lens!, beautifully flat-field lens with no field curvature image sharpness is outstanding to the corners even wide open and distortion is too small to detect, may not be quite as good as the Zeiss 100mm MP but quite stunning for the price and quite easy to focus, has slightly better colors than the Zeiss 50/2 and 100/2 makro-planars, every bit as sharp as the Zeiss 100/2 MP at f/3.5 but I don't use it for portraits so much as for landscapes as it doesn't go to f/2, an excellent performer it's slow but sharp from wide open, free of aberrations, and smooth as bokeh can be for f/3.5, for landscape, studio portraiture, and close-ups the Voigtlander excels choose it for superior bokeh and color rendition since the f/3.5 aperture is not a hinderance (in fact most of that is shot at f/5.6 or greater so the f/3.5 aperture is a non-factor), while being very good for closeups I found it quite dull and flat rendering at longer distances and the vignetting is also terrible at f/3.5 don't expect Zeiss image quality, a little sensitive to veiling flare, handles CA very well even far into out-of-focus areas, would certainly not be thrilled with the image quality if accustomed to Leica and Zeiss glass very good but slightly boring about the same as a good modern Nikkor very small lens mostly for closeups or stopped down a bit for more general use, one of the best lenses available around 90mm sharp from corner to corner already wide open with beautiful bokeh and good contrasty colors built like a tank that will last a lifetime consider a plastic Nikon lens only if you need autofocus, superb on the Nikon D800E, very sharp at every aperture with good contrast, exceptional quality in a very compact package, top image quality begins #wide-open, for travel the Voigtlander 90/3.5 is a clear win over the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar in keeping the bag size and weight down, a gem very sharp and really a delight to use indeed a lovely lens, the sharpness and clarity are right up there with the best of lenses, superb on the Nikon D800E, more of a landscape and closeup lens but renders pretty decent portraits, would choose for landscape, studio portraiture, and close ups where the superior bokeh and color rendition of the Voigtlander is preferred and the f/3.5 aperture is not a hinderance for these types of shots, very sharp and despite its slow aperture has very good bokeh the build quality is great too, consider for your medium range landscape photography lens very small, very light, cheap, extremely sharp, and f/3.5 is fine for landscape, quite impressed with the CV 90mm SLII on the Nikon D800 good enough to hold up to the D800 sensor, a well-defined alternative to the Zeiss, Canon or Nikon experience at the short telephoto FL and not an "affordable" alternative to any of them because it excels by being already sharp at f/3.5, peaking at f/5.6 and rendering purity of color where vivid colors predominate with no muddling from uncorrected CA (recall that the Zeiss and Nikkor 85G are designed by intent not to overly correct for these), outstanding performance corner to corner that appears superior to many if not most Nikon lenses, outstanding results wide open that are already at or very close to peak performance stopping down to f/4-f/5.6 helps with vignetting and of course depth of field which as a practical matter make f/5.6 or f/8 "better" than f/4 simply to mitigate a very small focusing error excellent at all apertures f/3.5-f/8 are all superb and effectively the same somewhat surprising is how well on the Nikon d800 the 90/3.5 resists the effects of diffraction making it unusually versatile as f/3.5 through f/8 all deliver excellent performance corner to corner and even f/11 holds up quite well against the onslaught of diffraction but definitely avoid f/16 and f/22 a tremendous value in terms of image quality and compactness and size/weight distortion is zero, better corrected than the Zeiss 100/2 MP, not at all as good as the ZF 100/2 Makro-Planar a bit boring and without the great local contrast of the Zeiss, super-sharp and contrasty everywhere at all settings optically and ergonomically superb, excellent border sharpness, nowhere near as good as the Voigtlander 180/4 APO, a beautifully flat-field lens (no field curvature), image sharpness is outstanding to the corners even wide-open, stellar performer wide-open, sharp already at the largest apertures, distortion is too small to detect, consistantly sharp from wide-open edge to edge from close-focus through infinity. A general purpose telephoto that is very sharp and has nice bokeh. Not fast but extremely well built and very small producing wonderfully sharp, contrasty images with saturated but true color. Sharp as tack wide-open, APO, buttery bokeh. Excellent bokeh Very creamy looking. Really sharp wide-open. Very sharp indeed with excellent resolution but lacks that Zeiss' 3D look. Bloody boring very sharp for close-ups but vignettes like hell and isn't good at all at infinity. The Zeiss Sonnar 85/2.8 C/Y is faster, cheaper, more contrasty, with better color rendition than 90/3.5 Voigtlander. Extremely sharp at all distances, excellent color reproduction, vignetting wide-open, needs to be at ~f/5.6 for uniform field illumination, bokeh is usually very smooth and well controlled, with no distracting artifacts but can sometimes being slightly "swirly" wide-open from the lens' mechanical vignetting. The close focus ability is very handy for general walk-around use. Nothing special at larger distances, but superb for close-ups, portraits and stuff like that. It gives a "smooth" look to the images, while still being very, very sharp straight from f/3.5. Vignetting is actually pretty bad at f/3.5. Cheap at $400-500. Very compact for its focal length and very sharp wide-open. The reasons for getting the Voigtlnder 90/3.5 are the good close-up performance, the smooth rendering and bokeh, the total lack of LoCA, and the small size. The earlier SL model is similar but a bit heavier and bulkier than the SL.2 version. Truly "apochromatic" lenses don't show LoCAs but these lenses are very rare especially below 100mm. For dedicated macro or landscape work I would take the Zeiss 100/2 for everything else, the small size and pleasing IQ of the CV 90/3.5 make it a winner I also prefer the look of people photos taken with the CV 90/3.5 to the way they look with the Zeiss 100/2 (except for very young children). Wide-open and at f/4 has very good sharpness, but reaches the super sharpness around f/5.6. Compared with Leica 90/2 non-APO hard to tell any difference bokeh included really. At f/4+ couldn't tell CV apart from Leica 90/2 AA at 100% other than the CV had slightly smoother bokeh and no CA fringing off some chrome. Like a slower version of the Leica 90/2 AA with creamier bokeh. Definitely is not like Zeiss has excellent sharpness, very smooth bokeh and good CA control, but not the T* colors and Zeiss microcontrast. Weak contrast and not so appealing colors gives a slightly "stale, dull, lifeless" look. Great close-ups. A great lens. There is nothing wrong with contrast and color. Different characteristics compared to Zeiss, but it is no less in my opinion. Great bokeh for an f/3.5 lens. A slow lens, modest vignetting wide-open, quite sharp and I like what it does with colors. Sharp, crisp, well saturated with shimmering, iridescent, jewel-like colors. At full aperture a high contrast image with clear definition of very fine detail over the whole image area from center to corner. Stopping down improves microcontrast a bit. Some slight vignetting. Love the CV - SHARP, clarity, bokeh, handling, nice 3D effect in some pics. Very sharp, great clarity from APO design, great creamy bokeh, accurate color, moderate contrast, very good tonality with slightly higher contrast. Nice 3D effect in many cases. Great colors, contrast and resolution, consistantly sharp from wide-open, edge to edge, from close-focus through infinity, a fantastic lens, pretty damn stellar when you need just plain straight up sharp and accurate performance, a nicer all-round lens a bit slower but much smaller with similar performance to the 125/2.5 and has close focus for near macro work, lush colors, like 1/2-priced Zeiss, 6 elements in 4 groups put together in a small and neat package for portability, small and light while retaining the optical quality and some close focus capability of its bigger siblings, magnification of 1:5 at its 50cm minimum focus distance, chromatic aberrations are much better controlled than on most other 80mm or 90mm lenses purple fringing is mainly absent except occasionally around very bright specular reflections when used wide-open, purple fringe is only prevelant when shot wide-open in the harshest of conditions so you almost have to try to get it and it is easily corrected in post processing, my only complaint would be that CA is a little more than I would like to see wide-open, the APO performance of this lens is absolutely the point of it, very similar performance to the Leica 90/2 AA, no CA/fringing off a reflective grill in the shot versus the Leica 90/2 AA which did show chromatic aberration, you will hardly find a sharper lens, very sharp, one of the sharpest lenses, very close focusing (12" IIRC) and sharp as hell starting WO even at MFD, very sharp, fantastic bokeh, lovely color, a killer lens very well APO corrected and very close focus, sharp as hell starting wide-open, impressed with the close focus capability, close focusing and APO - although it will occasionally show some modest purple fringing under the right circumstances, center peak sharpness at f/5.6 and the borders improve to excellent quality, peak performance at f/5.6, best DX border performance at f/8, diffraction reduce quality from f/11, slightly warmer colorization and may be a little sharper at f/3.5 than the 125mm f/2.5 Voigtlnder, CA/fringing is less than the Leica 90AA so the CV 90 and the Leica 80 lux made a nice combo, very, very close to Leica APO quality CA but can purple fringe when pushed under the right circumstances so not quite as superb as Voigtlnder 180/4, ergonomics are perfect, super-sharp and contrasty everywhere at all settings, optically and ergonomically superb, excellent tiny lens, extremely sharp images, distortions and CAs are non-issues and vignetting isn't really field-relevant even at f/3.5, slight pincushion distortion which is invisible, no CA/fringing off a reflective grill versus the Leica 90AA which did, bokeh is superb but underdeveloped due to the rather small maximum aperture, the Nikon HS-9 makes a very nice lens hood in place of the awkward original allowing use of a standard 52mm lens cap the contours of the hood perfectly fit the lens allowing for compact reversed storage the finish is identical to the lens a 52mm Nikon pinch cap fits on the HS-9, negligible (0.2%) pincushion distortion, flare in contra light situations, no flare flare resistant, closest focus 0.5m at 1:3.5, 58x64mm, 390g, SL75/90/180 share LH-75 or LH-75S (round or rare square, one report says LH-75S is the round version) hoods, 49.

Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2 T* Makro-Planar ZF Classic for Nikon by Cosina, Angular field diag./horiz./vert. 25 / 20 / 9: {Caution: need to stop down to f/2.8 to focus accurately at f/2 the faint purple halo is an ambiguity that can lead to slightly less than the best focus}, {ALERT: When doing macrophotography of a reflective object, the lens' chrome hood bayonet and white lettering on the front of the lens barrel both need to be masked in black to prevent reflections}, descended from the really amazing Arri/Zeiss master Prime movie lenses and with Zeiss' newest, magic, phenomenal, optics are stunningly good, silly good minus some CA the color rendition is out of this world, special spectacular lens, produces breathtaking results, one of the absolute best lenses you can buy, for the aficionado of great optics, Best of Zeiss, love its sharpness and great bokeh, very few lenses have a flat field this is among the very best, preferred all-around telephoto while marketed as a macro lens it is also superb at distance with "high and flat" MTF free of field curvature plus no focus shift and no distortion and unrivalled bokeh delivers richly saturated colors with very high contrast no other lens in its range can pull all that together so many shots just have that special quality to them not seen in other lenses in its range, has the magic, best coatings, lens coatings not satisfactory, unequivocally world-class lens the best of the best reference lens, wow, two steps beyond spectacular, strikingly sharp very contrasty yet capable of delivering images with a rich saturation and three-dimensional pop, has a well earned reputation, nothing else comes close to the way it draws its subjects, sharp starting wide open, bulky and awkward just can't give up as I love the images it produces so much, unbelievably sharp to the extreme edges even at its widest aperture, soooooo good on the Sony A7RII, very few lenses have a flat field the Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar is among the very best, nice bokeh, poor CA and fringing control, have to stop down to f/4 or even f/5.6 with shiny stuff to avoid chromatic aberrations, at f/5.6 it's a razor the bokeh is butter, CA but other than that it is divine with beautiful rendering and it is a very worthy portrait lens, all of the Otuses are better than the makro planars which suffer from longitudinal and lateral CA, Zeiss 3D effect, tight focus in some copies, very expensive given not APO, almost zero distortion (~0.01) and better than the minimal distortion of the Leica R 100/2.8 (-0.1) and Voigtlander 125/2.5 (0.35), only thing it does better than the Zeiss 135/2 ZF is close-ups between 1:2-1:4 (135/2 goes "only" to 1:4), significant 1.8 stops of vignetting at f/2 but by f/2.8 has less vignetting (0.8 stops) than the Leica R 100/2.8 (1.05 stops) and Voigtlander 125/2.5 (1.25 stops) when also at f/2.8, significant longitudinal chromatic aberration wide open but at f/2.8 only 25% more lateral CA than the apochromatic Leica R 100/2.8 and Voigtlander 125/2.5 [comparison of macro lenses http://www.slrlensreview.com/web/entry/100mm-macro-comparison-part2 ], spark, biting sharpness and unbeatable bokeh!, extraordinary, a stellar lens, the best in the ZF lineup, incredible for general photography, delivers good bokeh, a stunning portrait and close-up lens, 3d pop and a great lens at infinity, one of a rare few having what can be termed a "flat field", about as flat-field as any lens gets, suitable for stitching and architecture with near-zero distortion, great for tight portraits (you can get really close) and has beautiful bokeh the background just melts, go to lens for portraits, works especially well for portraits of kids, a flawless lens (it does have CA wide open) but that may not be always what you want when shooting a flawed world one of the 2 Zeiss "legends" with the 21 Distagon, the priority is on displaying the sharpness from each and every detail almost painfully so for portraits, this can be unflattering for landscapes that part of the focus ring travel is very short and thus a bit tricky to focus accurately even stopped down, having a very hard time nailing focus shooting people at f/2 with the Nikon D800 when the eyes are viewed at 100%, the Zeiss look is all about contrast which works great with landscapes, objects and wider portraits but the more subtle contrast of Leica is gentler to skin variation, dislike "the Zeiss look" particularly for portraiture, might be the finest lens I've ever used, what a great lens color is just amazing, like best for panoramas by far the best lens for anything but action, most used for stitched panoramas, if you want sharp landscapes use stitching every part of the image is in the optical sweet spot with no fuzzy corners so resolution is limited only by your ambition and patience, one of the best lenses in the world by far the easiest lens to focus pictures are absolutely amazing, its strictly controlled field curvature termed a "flat field" lens make it an outstanding example, a reference lens against which few lenses compare, one of only a rare few lenses having a flat field with only a faint trace of field curvature on a 36+ megapixel DSLR at some focus distances, has for many years been considered the sharpest prime lens made ridiculously expensive and worth it, ~97.5mm in true focal length, the best you can do on a D800, utterly superb capable of outresolving the sensor everywhere in the frame wide open spectacular highly recommended, recommend for use with the Nikon D800E / D800 without reservation, can't recommend this lens enough for any sort of macro work one of the few lenses that can keep up with the resolution of the Nikon D800E even at maximum aperture and versatile enough to serve both as a macro, a portrait lens, and a short telephoto, closeup ultimate resolution still life and studio lens with beautiful rendering, three quarters of its very long focus throw is below 1 meter of distance, stitched panos are to die for so sharp, absolute stunning in combination with the Nikon D800, produces wonderfully natural color on the Nikon D800E, typical soft viewfinder image which makes it a touch more difficult to focus than all the other Zeiss lenses which focus easily, it's just too good, a fantasic lens, exceptional 3D, two steps beyond spectacular results are just spectacular not only as a macro but as a long portrait or short telephoto lens, the lens with 3D pop and a great lens at infinity, shoots portraits as well as it does macro, the best macro lens money can buy optically it's just about perfect, a pleasure to look at and use, contrast, bokeh and sharpness are just out of this world, love the sharpness its like writing with a switchblade dipped in ink, longitudinal chromatic aberration but no lateral CA doesn't shorten its focal length when focusing close which means framing stays the same on focusing also constant f/2 throughout the magnification range which makes for some spectacular separation reaches 1:2 on its own only downside is that the further distances on the focusing ring are very close together which makes precise focusing a little tough for the Nikon D800E it's utterly superb capable of outresolving the sensor everywhere in the frame wide open, doesn't shorten its focal length when focusing close which means framing stays the same on focusing and it's also constant f/2 throughout the magnification range, outstanding at all distances with a flat field, exceptionally lovely blur characteristics (bokeh), the color aberrations can fixed in less than one second by the LoCA correction of Capture NX2 to remove the fringes almost completely, can correct purple fringes by NX2 but it doesn't work equally with green fringes, fringes are no problem in real world photography anymore and besides that these very moderate fringes wide open are almost gone completely at f/2.8, a high level of violet fringing usually indicates a significant focus error sharpness at f/2 is quite high but micro contrast is a bit low due to the slight haze effect caused by apparent longitudinal chromatic aberration which is also responsible for the violet fringing visible as a halo around high contrast areas stopping down to f/2.8 pops micro contrast up very nicely and is actually close to peak performance but f/4 brings another small bump in micro contrast peak performance is reached at f/4 which is the optimal aperture with f/5.6 showing a subtle decline in micro contrast on the very fine details as one might expect from diffraction there is a little more of this micro contrast loss at f/8 and by f/11 the loss has now dropped performance below that of f/2 albeit without the violet fringing stopping down to f/16 is of dubious value since the loss of micro contrast is not likely to be offset by the modest gains in depth of field one tip is to focus at f/2.8 in live view which greatly reduces the haze effect and adds a nice bump of contrast, has a strange depth of field thing going almost as if it has an expanded sharp area around the focus distance followed by a sudden drop to unsharp but still with a tight blur and then keeps this tight blur for quite a while, doesn't shorten the focal length as it focuses closer which maintains working distance as well as minimizing focus breathing but a huge amount of extension is required to deliver only 1:2 magnification, amazing ability to cut an image into very clear planes at every aperture there's an abrupt transition between in focus and out of focus a lot of the Leica 50/1.4 ASPH-M which has a similar ability, considered the sharpest prime lens, best 100-mm lens ever made, rendering is pretty close to the Nikon 200/2 VR's and for a lot less cost, have heard very often that the Zeiss 100/2 and Nikon 200/2 are pretty close to each other which says a lot about the Zeiss, much closer MFD (0.44m vs .8m) and lighter weight (660g vs 920g) than the Zeiss 135/2 APO Sonnar, bokeh CA wide open is its one weakness otherwise it is very close to perfect in almost every aspect zero distortion, extremely sharp across the whole frame, excellent bokeh, and wonderful colors, amazing mixture of sharpness in the focus area and the softness of the bokeh in the background when you hit it right there is a beautiful 3D effect it is beguiling, (in the category of best 100 ever you would have to include at least the 100/2 Contax, 100/2.8 Leica Macro, and 110/2 Hasselblad), seems marginally sharper and may be a little more true to the original colors than the Voigtlander 125/2.5 and because of the shorter focal length will always show more in the background (less subject isolation), world class, king of bokeh, wonderful lens, makes for an amazing portrait lens, shoots portraits as well as it does macro, outstanding in portraiture for its bokeh, color rendition, and tonal transitions, AMAZING for landscapes you would be hard pressed to find better!, outstanding for landscapes and portraits, a great street lens focus just pops in of all the Zeiss for street this is the easiest to focus usually work between f/2-f/4, the one that I regard as a special lens I wouldn't want to be without, exceptional one of the very best lenses for still-life, landscape, and macro photography, the blues and greens are unmatched by any other macro lens, I am always drawn to the colors and pop of this Zeiss, better background blur and macro working distance than the 50/2, at mid distance it has insane contrast and picks up small detail and yet still maintains gorgeous bokeh, some of the best bokeh from any lens almost the perfect lens tack sharp wide-open with great color, and bokeh and Zeiss build quality, quite an awesome lens, unequaled for landscape with the Nikon D3x, better micro-contrast and nicer focusing than Nikkor 105/2.5 and Hasselblad 110/2 (more contrast in viewfinder), better balance on the bulky D3, once you have used a modern Zeiss lens you'll be hooked if I had to choose one lens to keep it would be my Zeiss 100/2 even ahead of my Nikon 200/2, auto aperture, great for people, macro, and scenery, the sharpest lens in the Zeiss lineup, excellent border sharpness, portrait magic, people with it usually love to use it wide-open, the color rendition is slightly warm and perfect for skin tones, very warm color cast, has too much contrast for portraiture, looks great with young skin but is a little too contrasty for anyone showing a little age, corner-to-corner sharpness, amazing, simply marvellous, a must-have, so out of this world, very strong 3D effect, 3D pop for sure, best of the best, superb, a reference lens! few lenses deliver the results that the 100/2 Makro-Planar can, a fantastic all-around lens, perhaps the most contrasty modern Zeiss, best Zeiss Z* are the 21 and 100makro, subjects requiring near-zero distortion should be shot using the 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar whose distortion is about 1/4 that of the 50/2 Makro-Planar, the best medium telephoto lens available for Nikon F mount, excellent at all distances, really a gorgeous lens both in build quality and results the only caveat is that users should have good eyesight for accurate focus because extracting its premium optical results requires pinpoint focus, one of the easier Zeiss / manual focus lenses to focus the focus throw is long and precise with the exception that at or near infinity focus throw gets short (can use live view for precise focus), probably the most difficult Zeiss to focus as it has the most Zeiss-ishness one of the attributes responsible for the "Zeiss look" is the overly defined out of focus rendering consequently making it harder to distinguish out of focus from in focus in focus areas seem to Moire in the viewfinder and this is the visual cue I use to focus with, superb at all apertures, 'uber-contrasty', in infrared has no hotspots for RG715 but using a B+W 093 or equivalent it starts to hotspot at f/5.6, offers a higher contrast image than the Voigtlander 125/2.5, can give great results for portraits, really like the Zeiss look for portraits over the Nikon 105/2 DC look, the Nikon 105/2 DC has more pleasing skin tone, much better IQ and color rendition than Nikon f/2.8 professional zooms but a manual focus lens is more suitable for relaxed shooting, a little too much contrast in the output and the colors are not APO and seem to lack some of the subtlety found in APO lenses like the CV-125 APO-Lanthar, Leica 100mm APO Elmarit R, and the Coastal Optics 60mm APO lens, outstanding sharpness for use with a 36MP sensor but needs better axial color correction to reduce purple halos in the f/2 - f/4 range as well as background color cast still likely to produce the best sharpness in the entire ZF.2 line, at the top of the heap for its focal length but not really as good as it needs to be for the Nikon D800E and its future higher resolution successors, I don't like its high contrast for people images, slightly lower contrast wide-open but close to peak performance one stop down at f/2.8, stop down to f/2.8 if you want to pop contrast a bit, simply magic with its rendering, corner-to-corners sharpness wide-open at f/2, barely usable at f/2 due to color fringes but perfect at any aperture between f/2.8 and f/11, as well as gorgeous bokeh, has an outstanding bokeh that is even better than the Nikkor 105/2.5, 3D POP, famous for its outstanding bokeh, I know some people prefer the bokeh of the Nikon 85 1.4G but I like the color and contrast of the Zeiss, a flat field, and high performance close up and at infinity, has a flat field and near-zero distortion, one of the best lenses for tele-landscape photography because if you stop down a bit it is the sharpest lens in the world with the best microcontrast, punchy in your face color with lots of contrast for in your face high contrast landscapes, it is truly unbelievable for portraits as well as landscapes its wide-open qualities are nothing short of mindblowing in terms of full-frame sharpness, color & bokeh love the compactness as well as its handling most fun manual focusing ever after all it's a miniature version of an ARRI Cinema lens, an exceptional lens but it is pricey, lively and painterly, extremely sharp in the plane of focus, somewhat clinical, and prone to LoCA with certain backgrounds and distances, LoCA in the bokeh is very evident, can't compete with the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 125/2.5 in regard to freedom from color fringing, superb for stitching panoramas because of extremely low distortion and corner-to-corner sharpness, you can always tell the difference between the 100MP and other Zeiss lenses that 100 shows so much detail, great for stiched panoramas but need a longer pano rail to correct for parallax, really nice portrait lens, used for street shooting regularly with strong results, at around f/2.8 to f/4 for street photos, for portrait work the Zeiss is for men, works for kid pix but I've never seen anybody over 30 who thinks the Zeiss 100 makes them look good, the sharpest modern lens in production, quite a bit smaller and less intimidating than the Nikkor 70-200/2.8 zoom for portraits, gives a thinner DOF at f/2 than the new Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AF-S does at f/1.4 and which is not even close to Zeiss rendering/micro contrast, the bokeh king, incredible bokeh besting the Nikon 85/1.4D and 105/2 DC, has a non-linear DOF 'bubble' that gives a rapid sharpness-to-blur transition yielding a thinner DOF than a simplified model predicts, if you like good bokeh and subject isolation you'll love the 100 MP, outstanding at all distances, incredibly crisp and consistent at all distances, macro and portrait photographers should consider this a "must have" lens but it's equally excellent for distance shooting, with some serious reservations due to the lack of APO it has slightly better distance performance than the Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO, one amazing toy, go-to lens for just walking around or exploring a new place, in a class of it's own, amazing to work with and the "look" it produces brings a tear to my eye, also do alot of product photography and macros with it. fantastic lens for tight portraits and lifestyle photos, a lens that gives me "Wow!" shots, sharpness and bokeh to die for, really something special when it comes to smooth bokeh, fast lens with high microcontrast "pop", one heck of a lens!, amazing 3D pop and the bokeh is to my taste but CA can sometimes be a problem it's the only compromise, don't be afraid to stop down it'll increase the keeper rate for correctly focused images and there is still plenty of bokeh in most cases, outside of the Voigtlander 125 which you can't really get the 100/2 ZF is without peer, compared with Leica 100/2.8 APO the Zeiss has an extra stop available but uncorrected CA in the OOF areas and the Planar Zeiss' lack of field curvature is desirable for stitching landscapes, compared to all the other Nikon (and even more vs Canon) is just another league, the easiest Zeiss lens to get "Wow!" shots from, only does 2:1 whereas others traditionnally do 1:1 which means that you get less magnification with it than with other macro lenses, so sharp and so rich in detail that portraits with it can be considered unkind as the very slightest imperfections on the model's face are shown mercilessly, difficult to focus but extremely sharp and contrasty when you get focus where you want it to be, spectacular lens, clearly stands apart from the most used modern autofocus macro lenses high microcontrast, best-in-class bokeh, superb color rendering, the Zeiss lens coatings perform particularly well in comparison to other lenses in blue light especially in darker areas be careful in such light to not ruin matters by using a warming filter or even a "neutral" filter with some brands they'll kill off the gorgeous blues and indigos, need to avoid white/pale colored subjects in high contrast situations because then the only weakness of the lens will show: red/green CA just in front and behind the plane of focus, cannot take off the camera going to be accused soon of not owning any other lenses, magical when shooting portraits wide-open, a portrait lens should show a pleasing three-dimensionality without too much telephoto foreshortening or too much big-nosing because of exaggerated perspective, landscape shots with the 3D look, not easy to focus on moving objects and at longer distances so not perfect for street photography, a unique and beautiful signature, my favorite flower lens, it's really incredible how it can combine a large micro-contrast with excellent, subtle tonal transitions this is the secret for 3D images, less smooth bokeh which works better for shots of men but not for beauty shots of women where I prefer the softer smooth type of bokeh, like the drawing style of Zeiss 85/1.4 better than the 100/2 for portraits but the focus shift of the 85mm lens threw me off, bokeh sometimes a bit harsh but most of the time it's very painterly and beautiful, very sharp starting at f/2 with awesome bokeh if you like Zeiss T* contrast and saturation it's got it in spades of course CA control is weak sharp as hell with T* colors and saturation and great bokeh but will color fringe, (not too much should be made of color bokeh even Leica R or Leica M APO lenses show some color bokeh as do even the best Nikon and Canon and Zeiss optics stopping down greatly reduces the effect and usually by f/4 things are "clean"), many very fine lenses have this drawback of axial chromatic aberration, color and contrast are superb, handling is great for a Macro a joy to use, definitely a lens to get when you're looking for the best, Zeiss ZF lenses calibrate the mechanical stop to be exactly at infinity, on the Nikon D3x sharpness is ridiculous wide-open I've never had a prime perform this well, a stellar performer and built to last for a lifetime of use, the best lenses in the Zeiss line are the Makro Planars, a unique and beautiful signature, an elegant piece of equipment and nothing less than a stellar performer, OMG this is probably the best 35mm lens period, honestly ideal from portraits to makro work to landscapes, it's amazing, things just look better when shot with this lens, the combination of its world-class optical performance combined with its beautiful bokeh is a combination that offers stunning "3D" image rendition, ridiculously expensive and worth it, under-priced in the rarified world of high performance optics, a world-class must-have lens for the macro or portrait photographer offering bitingly sharp images wide-open with beautiful background blur, one of the best lenses of all time, excellent for shooting fireworks at f/2.8 - f/4, stellar performer, best lens ever, a wonderful lens that is razor sharp with amazing bokeh that handles beautifully, doesn't lose focal length as you focus closer giving significantly more working distance an an internal focus lens, the higher the magnification and the larger the aperture used the greater the advantage of the Zeiss in terms of image quality, isn't APO and can't compete with the Voigtlander 125/2.5's bokeh, shows significant longitudinal CA wide-open as well as a violet/green defocus CA, I have to chuckle regarding complaints about purple fringing wide-open if Leica can't eliminate purple fringing in the $10,495 Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 I guess that's the way it is, for someone shooting often at wide apertures yet wanting the in-focus part to be really sharp the Zeiss would be the clear choice, it outresolved the Canon 7D sensor which means it will cover 46 megapixels on a full frame body with the same pixel pitch (diffraction limit f/6.9), absolutely incredible, never seen anything that sharp, flawless focus - stiff but great, colors and contrast are Zeiss-like wonderful, bokeh is beautiful, creamy and smooth, some of most beautiful background blur available today, bokeh is sometimes distracting, there isn't really anything else like it, nor anything else I'd rather shoot in that focal length range (unless I needed autofocus), offers bitingly-sharp image rendition with extremely pleasing bokeh along with a brilliance that simply isn't there with equivalent Nikon and Canon offerings, micro contrast does wonders for landscapes, uses the "ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime optics from Hollywood's movie industry" enabling exceptionally selective focusing, the combination of its world-class optical performance combined with its beautiful bokeh is a combination that offers stunning "3D" image rendition, vignetting at f/2 in the is quite visible, remains visible at f/2.8, and disappears by f/4, unusually high amount of vignetting at f/2 rather surprising and disappointing for a medium telephoto lens, vignetting continues to persist all the way through f/4 and disappears completely only around f/5.6, a warmer tone than Nikkor lenses, really like the color rendition, some seriously good colors, lovely color and contrast rendition, colors well saturated saturated creating rich, 'popping-out' textures, a great lens for landscape as the colors will be vivid and will pop literally! especiaslly the green setting on Vivid is too much with this Zeiss lens! had to dial down from my Nikon lens color settings and sharpening a nice problem to have indeed, prone to underexposure by a third to 2/3 of a stop sometimes which is easy to correct, I do not have any underexposure problems on my D200 could that be that you are using accidentally 3D Matrix metering?, flash exposures a bit unpredictable and this may be a result of the ZF not communicating distance information in the same way as fully electronically linked lenses, if you have a Nikon from D300/700 or D3 series you do not gain much by the ZF2 version you can use Program and Shutter Priority Mode and use the camera for setting the F stop to tell you the truth I sincerely prefer to do so in the lens itself and do not love the G type Nikkors because of that, the f/2 maximum aperture is unique among macro lenses, an excellent portrait lens due to the creamy bokeh and the warm tone of Zeiss colors, killer landscape lens uniformly sharp across the frame and contrasty bokeh is on the pleasant side of "nice" and it will do you fine for both portraits and landscapes, the combination of Nikon D800 and Zeiss 100mm/2 Makro Planar is incredible, performs incredibly well on the D800, a dream lens, incorporates floating lens elements, not stiff but not light focus action, early models were really stiff, two steps beyond spectacular, has perhaps the finest bokeh available today, excellent bokeh that is very slightly better than the Leica 100/2.8 APO, so sharp and its 3D effect is alluring but it's not complimentary as a portrait lens because it's so sharp and contrasty that every pore shows prefer the Leica 100/2.8 APO for portaits, users concerned with speed and bokeh can easily choose the Zeiss 100/2 ZF without reservation over the Leica 100/2.8 APO though the Zeiss has some vignetting and aberration wide-open, it is completely usable at f/2, by f/2.8, it is nearly at the performance of the Leica, and by f/4, they look remarkably similar, the 'cleanest', most 'natural' lens but it doesn't have as much "WOW!! It looks so real!!" like the Leica 100 APO Macro does, better at distance than Voigtlander 125/2.5, a superb portrait lens, one of the finest SLR lenses ever made, in the same class as the Nikkor 200/2VR, at f/2 it offers stunning performance in sharpness along with creamy smooth bokeh, truly in a class of its own, focus shift is absent, bitingly-sharp imaging across a flat field at all focusing distances and apertures with no color aberrations, distortion free at 0.2%, distortion of ~0.08% is one of the lowest among any class of lenses, no detectable distortion even examined at actual pixels using a rule across the image, when focus is hit results are just spectacular, some CA, Achilles' heel is longitudinal chromatic aberrations at f/2 - f/2.8 with magenta in front and green to the rear while from f/4 onwards it's not a problem, chromatic aberration shows up readily in images shot at f/2, stopping down to f/2.8 makes it far less apparent and it is usually gone by f/4, shows the ugly magenta/green discoloration common to non-APO lenses, didn't like the purple fringing when wide-open, the purple fringe is difficult to accept as it literally ruins some images, fringing is almost non-existant and you really have to challenge the lens to get any, Nikon NX2 software does the best job on NEF files presenting CA/color fringing and it's automatic once the option is selected in the default settings, straight from Nikon Capture NX2 I simply don't get to see any CA even with the Zeiss glass, some CA while shooting wide-open but not as bad as I was expecting and actually better than my copy of 50MP but it's only the cyan/magenta wide-open kind and there is literally no CA while shooting against the sun, produces sharp images even at f/2 all the way into the corners, vignetting can easily be removed, contrast and resolution improve slightly by stopping down, maximum is reached at f/5.6 and is maintained very well to f/11, useable at f/16 if depth of field is absolutely required, never mind the diffraction effects, which start to show at f/11, distortion free, use for stitched images, not only a Macro but a long portrait / short telephoto lens, Focal length 97.5mm, Aperture scale: f/2-f/22 (1/2 stop clicks), Focusing range: 0.44m infinity, Angular field, diag./horiz./vert.: 25 / 20 / 9, Coverage at close range: 48 X 72 mm, Image ratio at close range: 1:2, Number of elements/groups: 9 / 8, Filter thread: M 67 X 0.75, Weight: 680g, As weighed: 583g, 661g with hood and caps, Dimensions (with caps): 76mm, 89mm long, doesn't show any flare unlike the flare sensitive Leica 100/2.8 Macro, faster (smaller angular rotation of focus ring) manual focus than Leica 100/2.8 Macro, constant at f/2 with focus including macro unlike other macro lenses, gorgeous but the focus scale is optimized for macro so it is quite difficult to focus for medium to long distances, For non-macro use w/D3 on tripod, completely redesigned optical formula which does not even resemble the one used with the older Contax branded version, Zeiss ZF is much sharper and more contrasty than Nikon 105 f/2 DC. At f/2, the difference in sharpness and contrast is so blatant that I now dare NOT shoot the 105 DC wide-open. Comparing the 105/2.8 VR Nikkor to the 100/2 Zeiss isn't much of a battle a very easy win for Zeiss. Clearly offers higher micro contrast (contrast of very fine details) and less vignetting than the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR. The images from Zeiss at f/2 are very reminiscent of the awesome images from Nikon 200 f/2 G VR. The drawing style of the ZF 100 and the Leica 100 are quite different could easily see a case for "needing" both. The Planar lens design was created by Paul Rudolph at Carl Zeiss in 1896 and originally featured a six-element symmetrical design. Of the Zeiss ZF lenses, this is the best performer and should be the first in one's consideration, maximum ray angle at sensor of 13.6 (full frame), {CAUTION: Zeiss bayonet hoods must be treated gently because they have a spring loaded latch that sometime locks into place if the hood is dropped easy to fix! it may be possible to unjam the latch that prevents remounting the hood by gently releasing it with a tiny probe or jeweler's screwdriver to return the silver part of the hood to the proper position; a replacement 100mm hood is 180; Zeiss' instructions: "Sometimes, improper detaching of the lens shade can cause that the silver locking ring will not turn back to its end position. So the lens shade cannot be attached anymore. To solve this problem, just shift back the silver locking ring to its end position with a small screwdriver as indicated in the picture ['Unjaming Zeiss Bayonet Hood']."}, with a Nikon PN-11 extension tube magnification to about life-size can be reached, if you use the nikon PN-11 tube which provides 52.5mm of extension, there's a built in tripod collar on it, this is very useful as not only can you flip to portrait easily, Nikon PN-11 (52.5mm extension tube with a built-in tripod collar that makes it easy to flip to portrait orientation and improves balance to reduce vibration) at 1:2 - 1:1 the IQ is still great and with the PN-11 and 2 PK-13's (27.5mm each) at 2:1 the IQ still holds, adding a PK-13 will put the focusing range to roughly 1:3.7 to 1:1.3, decreased image quality with extension tubes as is expected for a lens with floating rear element design which requires that the actual focus distance be accurately set on the helicoids, can also use a Canon 500D close-up lens (72 or 77mm) mounted using a step-up ring to give maximum magnification of 1:1.3 at 35.5 cm focusing distance (WD is 15 cm), for use with an extension tube removing the lens shade is advised since it otherwise tends to shade the subject, for stitched panoramas the entrance pupil is located at the best possible position for stable shooting on a pano head, move the camera back by exactly 45mm on a Manfrotto 454 sliding plate to have no visible displacement between near and far objects using live view with maximum magnification, actual focal length is 97.5mm, entrance pupil 65.4 mm (2.57) in front of image plane, rear bayonet is attached with special screws, 67.

105mm f/2.5 Nikkor-PC (Xenotar-type design with large rear element), Angular field diag. 2320': According to the lens designer "it delivers a beautiful balance of focused and defocused (blurred) images, as well as higer resolution with natural gradation. The Xenotar-type lens design with the ideal aberration correction made it the perfect lens for portraits." Can still produce stellar images decades later, a wonder lens, really good, just marvelous, fantastic, among the greatest SLR lenses ever made, astoundingly good for its price and age, a stunner, super excellent, one of the most popular portrait lenses ever made, highly regarded one of Nikon's best, Nikon's all-time champ was the legendary 105mm f/2.5, a lens that all Nikon users need to own, exception to the trend of modern zooms having better image quality than old glass, saintly it produces such beautiful rich images, pretty spectacular all around, considered one of Nikons best-ever classic lenses, the must have Nikon manual lens possibly the most popular portrait lens ever a real bargain as lots were made pocketable very useable wide open with f/2.5 a sweet spot for DOF in portraits with nice sharp subject and lovely soft background modern focus screens work at f/2.5 so you get an accurate DOF preview wide open, hard to beat for portraiture, very impressed with it as a landscape lens, the old but oh so wonderful little gem, a legendary lens with great optics, the de facto Nikon portrait lens for many years this lens does not require any further introduction as it is a legend!, outstanding portrait lens, legendary a very sharp piece of glass offering a very flattering perspective for photographing people, the grand dad of portrait lenses, on the "never sell" list, one of the best lenses ever, for astrophotography wide open is sharp to the edge on the stars, truly the Alpha and Omega of Nikkors, excellent portraiture lens, The "Nikon Compendium" by Hillebrand and Hauschild says that "many photographers consider it to be the finest lens Nikon has ever produced", #favorite, excellent in #infrared, a little gem, a deservedly 'legendary' lens, wonderful bokeh great rendering contrast very low wide open so needs to be stopped down to f/4 or so, greatest portrait lens ever manufactured shot at f/4 which is its optimal aperture according to Nikon, much smaller and has a better drawing style for portraits than Zeiss or Leica 100mm, inexpensive and performs without compromise for portraiture, superb microcontrast that makes the rendering exceptional, a living legend, an enduring classic with impeccable character, stellar, one of the true classics of all time, a fantastic lens, one of the world's finest "portrait" lenses, an unbeatable portrait lens with excellent sharpness, one of the classic Nikkor primes by all accounts one of the finest lenses Nikon has ever made, I have been using Nikon cameras and lenses for just over 50 years this lens is the finest I have ever owned, favorite portrait prime, a very sweet lens, optimized for resolution at f/4 unusual for any lens was the greatest portrait lens of all time at f/4 there's enough depth of field for a head and shoulders portrait to just pop out of the background almost 3-dimensionally creamy bokeh for portraits the effect of the background out of focus blur contrasted with a sharp human subject is uncanny unequalled in its era, gives approximately the same shallow DOF wide open as an 85mm f/1.8 lens, the greatest portrait lens of the film era magical properties imputed to it optimum aperture f/4 not the typical f/8 shooting at f/4 and normal head-and-shoulders portrait distances the person being photographed just pops out from the background a very 3-dimensional look, the MFD is a bit too long when I want to do a partial head portrait but then I just need to throw on a PK11A and it's good, a brilliant gem of a lens, just has something more how smoothly it goes from in focus to OoF, there is nothing like manually focusing one of those beautifully crafted and engineered manual focus lenses, the best used bang-for-your-buck lens in the Nikon catalog even if it can be "beat"' by some newer designs, there is something magical in that lens something that just is not in modern glass something dreamy and special , the trusty old bokeh king, so good and quite cheap too, hard to beat, the famous 105mm f/2.5 is one super lens, a bit of magic in the way it draws an image especially a portrait stunning results and an excellent landscape lens being very sharp across the frame when stopped down, on D800 it really starts to show it's flaws especially in the corners wide open, a legend among Nikon shooters, Henry Posner of B&H Photo finds this "the best lens ever made just brilliant", spectacular, the Nikon data sheet listed its optimal aperture at f/4 rather than the f/5.6-f/8 of most lenses at f/4 a head and shoulders portrait would just pop out of the background with excellent bokeh, probably the best portrait lens if you know how to use manual focus, deserves all the accolades that are bestowed upon it sharpness is outstanding, still excellent on a Nikon D800 for landscapes stopped down to f/4 or f/5.6 sharp across the whole frame great portrait lens at f/2.5 as well, don't discount it just because it's "old" very sharp with wonderful bokeh on the Nikon D800, built beautifully a wonderful piece of engineering, flawless and razor sharp on the D800, marvellous on the D800E, excellent even on D800, favorite lens and on the D800, great choice on the D800, stopped down to f/5.6 is very very good across the frame and a favorite landscape lenses but it sometimes does not handle flare very well and barely holds up to 36MP on the D800, best lens never disappoints, built beautifully a wonderful piece of engineering, delightfully artistic bokeh, the best lens ever made, it truly was a classic, well-deserved reputation for being an exceptional portrait lens for head & shoulder shots and headshots on a film body, truly one of the great lenses of all time, just wish that I could get closer than 1 meter with it, a beauty, up through the 1970's Nikon only made very expensive manual focus Nikkor professional lenses such as this with enameled brass barrels and brass helicoids, just stunned by the quality of the materials but most of all by the color, sharpness and smooth background rendition and at least it doesn't have the weight and purple fringings everywhere of the Zeiss 100/2 ZF, superb sharpness, can still hold its own among fancy modern aspherical designs but it's probably not the absolute best portrait lens, a perfect lens for portraits I use this lens with the Nikon 800E and LOVE the results sharpness to the corners is overrated in the context of portraits and I use the Zeiss Makro Planar 100mm f/2 for everything else, has it correct 105/2.5 Nikkor for portraits and 100/2 Zeiss for everything else, the Voigtlander 90/3.5 is smaller in size with much closer MFD and is sharper at f/3.5 than the Nikkor 105/2.5 is at f/5.6, you cannot buy a better lens for portraits at any price used it multiple times a day during my newspaper days, one of Nikon's great lenses marvelous results, a remarkable performing lens, perhaps the greatest lens ever made it compared favorably to the Leica 90mm f/2.8 Elmar, comparing to the 70-200VRII at the same focal length it is clear to see that the 105/2.5 separates subject and background just that bit better, miles better than the Nikon 85 f/1.8D, superb microcontrast makes the rendering exceptional makes this lens special and results in rendering that attracts everyone, 'cinematic' rendering, absolutely fantastic on Nikon D800 terrific bokeh all through the range and very sharp and it sure makes for a lighter kit than my Zeiss lenses, one must-have that everyone loves, if you want a fine fine portrait lens this is it, simply one of the most subtly beautiful lenses ever, an amazing lens, with the combination of composition colors contrast exposure and all the intangibles that differentiate a normal picture from one that is truly great this lens can convey a magical feeling, simply a beautiful lens with its materials optics focus feel etc., the reason I switched to a Nikon system many moons ago, a Nikon legend many photographers consider it to be the finest lens Nikon has ever produced (c. 1993), the reigning portrait lens for 35mm film for decades specifically designed for optimal 'pop' at f/4 giving it its special look enough DOF for the entire head but clear separation of head from background, the manual focus on older Nikkor lenses is so much better then the new lenses don't understand why Nikon stopped putting this type of mechanical quality in their top of the line lenses, fantastic even wide open and has very little distortion, extremely sharp from f/4 on down and renders out-of-focus elements very beautifully, a bit soft at f/2.5 with considerable longitudinal CA but it's splendid at f/4 and absolutely sharp across the field at smaller apertures, nice and very usable wide open at f/2.5 and especially at f/2.8 but not as sharp as it is at f/4, at f/2.5 but there's some softness which is not at all unpleasant for portraits that's part of what makes it such a good portrait lens stopped down to f/4 it's very sharp indeed, never met a single person who did not fall in love with that 105mm lens and it is just great on the Nikon D3x, a gem small and cheap, love the feel of the focus ring plus the metal body exudes reliability and toughness, one of the joys of these lenses is how beautifully they are made such a pleasure to use them, holding my older Nikkors can be very therapeutic, a remarkable piece of glass, a fantastic everyday lens, a pure gem very affordable, small and light with spectacular optics, THE essential Nikon lens shockingly beautiful, one of the best options for manual focus portraiture, you might totally fall in love with its rendering it may well have been the most famous Nikkor lens in the film era and for a very valid reason, that lens is amazing, has a muted "old fashioned" look, old and very cheap but AMAZING, gives you the impression of having a Zeiss lens this feeling comes not only from the sharpness but also from the marvelous colors, produces more interesting background (portrait wide-open) than Nikon 105mm f/2 AF-D DC, at f/2.5 and f/2.8 the bokeh is really beautiful soft and creamy at f/4 bokeh starts deteriorating and at f/5.6 is "bad" with ugly hexagonal shapes instead of circles (the newer version has 7 aperture blades), a simply epic performer if you value really good bokeh probably the 105DC is better but for the price the old manual focus lens cannot be beat, prefer the 105/2DC for it's better IQ and the AIS for it's compact size, fabulous lens the equal of 105DC and 70-200VRII for portraits, less contrasty and the color is cooler and less punchy than the 70-200 VRII look of the 105 is more flattering to skin bokeh is very good but CA can be a problem and so can flare so watch your light, bokeh second to none at that focal length, use the 105 f/2.5 AI and the 135 Q f/3.5 (AI'ed) over the 70-200 VRII for a posed portrait session for an adult where autofocus is not important because of the look that these lenses render for portraits the 105/135 combo is also lighter in weight and bulk while shooting, gives a muted "old fashioned" look, a classic, a star, really outstanding lens, really shines in portability AND sharpness across the frame, a sweet lens one of the legendary Nikons from the film era and very deservedly so, one of Nikon's legendary lenses and is optically superior to the Nikon 105/2.8 macro, Nikon's finest AI/AI-S lens, prefer the AI version since it has 9 rounded aperture blades and produces the creamiest bokeh of all versions, razor sharp even wide open, a lens that is pretty sharp (even if no longer best in class sharp) but also a lens with some character medium to medium-high contrast (as opposed to high contrast for the 70-200 VRII zoom) and it's bokeh rendering while nowhere near that of the 105/2 AFD DC is better than the zoom, very low chromatic aberration wide-open, longitudinal CA can be a problem for example with silver earrings, one of the sharpest lenses of all time, plenty usable wide-open and brutally sharp by f/4, at f/4 it magically becomes sharp with beautifully dreamy bokeh, looks gobsmackingly good!, one of the best Nikkors of all time, a great performer on the Nikon D7000, a great classic lens, so nice, one of the best manual focus lenses ever made by Nikon, exceptional, yes there's other lenses with better MTF curves but few with better looking optical signatures, excellent #infrared performance with no IR hot spots, a fantastic lens but with a 1m near focus limit and it is somewhat sensitive to flare, a truly wonderful portrait lens, it's very hard to improve on a mature time-tested standard of near perfection, image quality is in the same league as the Nikon 85/1.3D Cream Machine and its focal length is better suited for outdoor portraits, for the odd occasion when the Zeiss 100/2 MP is too large or heavy, the Cosina-made Zeiss ZF lenses are so mechanically inferior to the 1950s Nikkors it's scary the Zeiss Makro Planar 100/2.0 is no match to the Nikkor 105/2.5 in construction quality, I am astonished that the modern Zeiss lenses are not Nikon 1960's equal but then very few lenses are, surprisingly good but the Zeiss 100/2 MP is clearly better, but it's twice the size and weight and ten times the price, prefer the Zeiss 100/2 MP for portraits as a better all round lens, lacks a little contrast compared to the more modern Nikkors but that's not a bad thing for a portarit lens, very sharp but not as sharp as some of Nikon's newer modern professional lenses such as the 60 f/2.8 G or even the 24-70 f/2.8 let alone the 200 f/2 and other super telephoto lenses that cost a small fortune, image quality is great actually quite good for landscapes as well as portrait distance work, for portraiture an excellent lens prefer its look over the 70-200 VRII very lightweight compared to the zoom, makes everything it touches into a spiritual experience, just wonderful, great lens, my favorite, lives up to its reputation, love it for its color rendition, bokeh and small size, terrific piece of glass, a superb lens, practically a one stop slower Summicron, the quintessential Nikkor for portraits, for portraiture the best by a long shot, has a muted "old fashioned" look, dirt cheap, sharp as hell, and smooth bokeh it really has everything except a short MFD very close in performance to the ZF 100/2 with rendering better for portraits, gorgeous, great lens, love it really stellar images, great lens that is very sharp with great color rendition, a real corker, a great lens, quite impressive dead-sharp, really pleasing bokeh, the best lens nikon ever made if you ask me and the bokeh is just amazing, one of the best value lenses nice color, bokeh and sharp as well, one of the best lenses for portraiture, I've never met a single person who did not fall in love with this lens and it is just great on the D3x, the secret of Nikon full frame!, a gem, quite good at f/2.5 and very very good just one short click down at f/2.8!, a pixel-level blue halo around white point sources when wide-open immediately disappears just 1/3 stop down causing improvement in fine low-contrast details, excellent near-maximum-it-can-do image contrast at f/2.8, the legendary manual focus 105mm f/2.5 of 'Afghan Girl' fame, shoot from wide-open to about f/5.6 to get the most out of the residual #spherical aberration that Nikon left in to give it the creamy bokeh that it's noted for, by f/5.6, it is getting clinically sharp, great at f/2.5 for great bokeh, super-sharp at f/4 and still good bokeh, at f/2.5 and f/2.8 the bokeh is really beautiful, soft and creamy, at f/4 it starts deteriorating and at f/5.6 is "bad" with ugly hexagonal shapes instead of circles but the newer 105/2.5 has 7 blades, straight aperture blades of the AiS version OOF highlights will get "gearlike" from f/5.6 unlike the curved aperture blades of the earlier versions, get AIS mount (which starts from serial number 890001, manufactured starting 08/1981) with a built in lens hood or get a lens hood for it because it is prone to flaring, the AIS has a built in hood that never stays in place, the inbuilt lens hood is brilliant because it's always there, slides out of the way if not required or you fit a polarising filter, works so well because it has lots of longitudinal CA, relatively small and light, a pure joy to use for any kind of portrait, easier to use handheld without motion blur than 135mm focal length, famous for its sharpness and bokeh, they just give a 'pop' like some Zeiss glass, a really fine design, a classic Planar design, simply amazing lens that produces beautiful images, favorite for their rounded aperture blades, incredible plasticity (3D), holds its own with any Nikon lens any at all I think of it as being maybe Nikon's most perfect lens simple, elegant and stunningly effective, just as sharp as the f/1.8 version in the center but much sharper away from the center at f/2.5, small and light, fantastic with tubes, the much more expensive Nikkor 105/2 DC, Zeiss 100/2 Makro Planar, and the Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VR-II at 105mm have better overall image quality than the 105/2.5 AIS but not by a vast margin, completely fine using at maximum aperture, blistering sharp at f/4 and nice and dreamy at f/2.5, in the 1970's Modern Photography considered it as sharp a lens as you could get, best price/performance ratio, you'd have to spend a lot more money to beat it, the best portrait lens I ever used and a general purpose gem a lens I'd never part with, designed to different resolution and contrast standards than many modern AF lenses and in consequence has a "look" difficult to duplicate with many modern lenses particularly flattering for female portraiture in it's era "smooth" skin tones, best glass I've ever put on my Nikon D700 definitely a legendary lens the transition from in to out of focus and bokeh is the prettiest of any lens I've used including the Nikon the 105DC and 70-200VRII, not just for portraits stopped down it works well for landscapes and street shooting, produces very sharp, contrasty images, focus is very crisp with a sudden line between in focus and out, and everything looks quite luscious, the real pleasure of the Nikkors is their silky smooth focusing and the feeling I get that I controlled just that bit more of the creative process old school, really old school, brutally sharp and also a rare seven-bladed lens [verify for versions owned] that has great out of focus areas, breathtakingly sharp, never fails to amaze me "optically perfect", tack sharp wide-open, beautiful bokeh, bokeh isn't great unless shot wide-open especially when dealing with specular highlights, compact, built tough, with gorgeous color rendering, back in the day the most impressive lens, a bargain in light of its fantastic images offers about the biggest bang for your Nikon buck, can't think of a better classic portrait lens even at twice the price, the best lens you can get for portraits for under $900, the classic portrait lens, the best lens nikon ever made, the bokeh is just amazing, can't think of a better classic portrait lens, picture quality is simply astonishing and looks pretty 3D, does 3D exceptionally well, rich colors almost a glow this effect is very flattering to skin which surely is one reason this lens is so nice for portraits - especially for older folks with bad skin, adding a black Softnet filter produces very pleasing flesh tones and complexion the ladies love it, more 'true' color to it than Zeiss, the transition from in-focus area to out-of-focus area is very smooth and yet able to maintain some 3-D look, picture quality is simply astonishing looks pretty 3D, tremendously sharp images from f/4-f/16, high-contrast, easy to focus, sharp, contrasty and beautiful bokeh, bitingly sharp images even wide-open at f/2.5 where the extreme corners are a little soft mainly due to field curvature, but f/8 needed to obtain extreme excellent landscape corner performance, too sharp for female portraits when stopped down, incredible bokeh, legendary portrait lens, wowed by its sharpness and eye popping color and contrast, a hair soft but fabulous for portraits, stellar images, one of the truly great lenses of all times and a definite Nikon classic easily holds its own against any modern lens, a great performer a joy to use, designed by Yoshiyuki Shimizu; portraits f/2.8-f/4, sharper for landscapes f/5.6-f/8, contrast increases f/11-f/22; stunning lens, tack sharp, almost no chromatic aberation, has lots of longitudinal CA, only with strong frontal light it gives serious CA that cannot be corrected in Bibble, Lightroom or NX but closing aperture down makes it disappear very soon, smoother bokeh plus better contrast and smaller size than the one stop faster Nikkor 105mm f/1.8, the Leica 90/2.8 Elmarit R has with far better correction of chromatic aberration, truly special, among the best Nikkors ever, and among the best portrait lenses ever made by any lens maker; by far the best lens that Nikon has ever made - shoot at f/8 in the studio and you will really see why it is the best!; very sharp at infinity and wide-open, sharpness decreases at close focus with wider apertures, 39" MFD, performance declines at wide stops near minimum focus (both conditions together), otherwise this lens is excellent even wide-open, sample variation with many a hair soft but fabulous for portraits shocked at how crisp and just plain excellent with the best copies, works well for macro with extension tubes such as PK-11 & 12, with PN-11 52.5 mm extension tube it goes just a bit beyond 1:2, never liked it on tubes the longitudinal CA gets completely out of control at close distances closeups are fuzzy while longer shots are wickedly sharp, newer Xenotar-type lens offers significant improvements in close-range aberration fluctuation, as well as peripheral light, spherical aberration and coma compared to the earlier pre-1971 Sonnar design (chrome barrel, serial number <286,276), delivers a beautiful balance of focused and defocused (blurred) images, as well as higher resolution with natural gradation, the Xenotar-type lens design with the ideal aberration correction made it the perfect lens for portraits, the Xenotar is a tad sharper at very close distances, {Lenses that are from serial number 120,101 to 286,276 are Sonnar and Singlecoated. Lenses after 400,000 are the modern Gauss design and Single Coated. Lenses after 500,000 are Gauss and Multicoated. Lenses after 740,000 are Gauss, Multicoated and AI. Lenses after 890,000 are Gauss, Multicoated, and AIS.}, especially when the two were stopped down to f/4 - 5.6, prefer the pre-AI models with the scalloped focusing ring better dampened and just feel better, AI version renders OOF highlights better due to its curved aperture blades than the AIS version with straight blades, the AIS version has an edge on sharpness but not by a lot while the P-C version has a slightly more buttery bokeh, always heard that the AIS is good but not as good as the older ones, the PC version is sharper wide-open and has a less blocky blur than the AIS version, AIS version has better color contrast probably due to improved coatings, most versions have NIC coating but AIS version manufactured after about 2000 has slightly improved SIC, AI has same glass but longer focus throw than AIS for better manual focus, the AI and older copies are supposed to be better than the latest AIS which has a built in hood that is loose and cheap feeling with an old beat up copy but stays put at any distance it is extended when in good condition, hood is wobbly crap, for medium to long distance actually sharper at f/2.5 than the Zeiss ZF 100/2 was at f/2.0 or f/2.8 (but by f/4 and onwards the Zeiss gets ahead), and the contrast of the newer Zeiss ZF 100/2 is better, the Nikkor 105 f/2 DC is considerably better, if you're traveling light it also can do double duty as a semi-macro with an old Sigma 2-element 52mm achromat (+1.6 diopter), it definitely plays pretty well on extension tubes, works remarkably/shockingly well with the TC-200, or TC-201 teleconverter, great at night, excellent for astrophotography, 376g (13.3 oz), 2.6" (65 mm) long x 2.6" (66mm) diameter, 52. http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/technology/nikkor/n05_e.htm 105mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor, Angular field diag. 2320', AIS: an ultra sharp lens, a phenomenal lens, stunning lens, arguably the sharpest of them all, perfect for macro, excellent optics and mechanics at least as good as today's newest 105mm lenses when stopped down, truly special, excellent macro lens tack sharp with great bokeh, looks awesome at f/4, distortion is practically nil, no CA, sharpest of all of the Nikon 105mm lenses, the best macro lens ever made by anyone, has the best working distance of any of the 105mm Micro's, doesn't shorten its focal length when focused close, since it uses fixed optics and not CRC with a floating lens element it may be used wide-open at any magnification, Very good bokeh, top-notch results demands that the lens is stopped down less than ~f/11, conventional versions have 7 straight aperture blades, a great macro lens overall better than the f/2.8 lenses, really good and free of optical problems like purple fringe and chromatic aberrations, hard infinity focus stop is great for astronomy, far superior in terms of ergonomics, value, and at least as good if not better image quality than autofocus Nikon macro lenses, there's no way that the 105 f/4 AIS matches the 60mm f/2.8G optically, nowhere near the resolving power of the 55mm f/3.5 Auto Micro Nikkor, superb on its own or with a PN-11 and doubles as a great portrait lens, unit-focusing design not infernal focusing so it does not suffer from focus breathing which would change the image size making it ideal for software focus-stacking, the TC-200 and TC-201 teleconverters may lead to vignetting, sample variation with some not great at wide stops; an ultra sharp lens especially at the 1:8 reproduction and because it doesn't use floating elements or zoom, its optical core is locked down solid so nothing changes if it is put on different cameras with adapters [while other lenses that use floating elements may degrade image quality if the adapter thickness is not correct]; for close up (can obtain 12:1 images) use stacking the 50/1.8 AIS Nikkor (with its diaphragm used for setting the aperture to avoid vignetting) is very good in front of the wide-open 105mm lens; very good #infrared performance with no hot spots IR focus shift that largely can be taken care of by refocusing according to the red dot on the focusing scale; use PN-11 for 1:2-1:1 close-ups, lens has two reproduction ratio scales engraved in orange above the distance scale the lower scale gives the magnification for the lens alone without a tube (from 1:10 to maximum of 1:2) while the upper scale gives the magnification for the lens when used with a PN-11 tube (from 1:2 to 1:1), prone to flare, AIS has focus lock screw, single large helicoid focusing so at 1:1 (life size), f/8, its effective focal length is 210mm with maximum working distance (compared with later Nikon f/2.8 and AF versions), resolves 65.1 lp/mm, add a Zeiss Softar #1 for portraits as this lens has harsh bokeh, K screen will black out at close-up/macro distance so use U, B, or E screen. 105mm f/4 Bellows-Nikkor, Angular field diag. 2320': optical design is a Tessar derivative calculated for close focus; image quality is excellent; single-coated, the lens is prone to flare; superb for serious macro use; can focus to infinity and get swings and tilts with the PB-4 bellows; the 105mm f/4 bellows Nikkor mounted on a Nikon PB-4 bellows is ideal for food photography; terrific macro capacity by mounting (not reversed) onto front thread of 105 mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor with K3 ring, yields 1-2x magnification without any light loss at all so effectively equals a sharpest ever 50 mm f/2 lens with viewfinder brilliantly clear and focusing a joy!, at f/8 diffraction softens the center and the sides are as sharp as the center, on bellows can be focused from infinity to larger-than-life, the ideal setup for focus stacking uses this lens on a Nikon PB4 bellows allows you to keep the lens-to-subject distance constant and move the camera the sensor is then moving through the thickness of the image avoids focus breathing where the image magnification changes with focus, has a manual pre-set diaphragm, all the bellows and conventional focusing versions (1974-1983) use exactly the same 5-element optical design and all have excellent performance, single-coated which is more than adequate for this simple design, wonderful 12-bladed preset diaphragm. To select an aperture, press both unlock buttons on the middle black ring, and rotate the middle black ring to the desired aperture. To focus, turn the rearmost ring to the left to open the diaphragm to f/4. To meter or shoot, flick the rear ring to the right; it will stop exactly at the set and locked aperture. Flick the rear ring back and forth as you focus and shoot. #Ultraviolet response is adequate don't expect miracles in terms of sharpness. Performs well in #infrared excellent sharpness and a lack of hot spots is a winning combination significant IR focus shift. Hasselblad 6x6 Carl Zeiss Planar 110mm f/2 T* F, Angle of view Diagonal 39, model 20419, SKU #HAM0430Z11: [6x6 horizontal angle of view of 28.5 is similar to 71mm horizontal angle of view of 28.5 on FX; comparing 6x6 and 35mm lenses, 110mm roughly equals 60mm equivalent] Legendary, stunning lens, the best lens in medium format, made in Germany, the Noctilux of Hasselblad, the NOCTILUX of medium format lenses, the classic V-System Carl Zeiss portrait lens, the F version of this lens was produced between 1991-1998, often cited as one of the finest lenses made by Carl Zeiss, the "Zeiss Noctilux" for 6x6 for a fraction of the price of the Leica lens and with much better contrast and sharpness even at f/2 it is sharp and contrasty, very sweet, a dream lens, the lens that everyone claims is the "best lens ever", easily among the sharpest lenses ever made for Hasselblad, an astounding lens, the best portrait lens of all and the fastest in the Hasselblad family images produced by this lens give wonderful glow to the skin, one of the most beloved lenses for the Hasselblad, the "Noctilux" of Hasselblad that will produce stunning bokeh!, most admired lens, bokalicious indeed, will produce stunning bokeh, superb extraordinary resolution, it is a beauty, {Hasselblad is the only complete system. Further there are new and used parts easily available. Service is available and easily accessed. None other compare.}, such a 3D look about it and the out of focus is beautiful, I'm in love truly amazing, a legendary portrait lens, pretty rare known as the Noctilux of medium format Ming Thein has been using this on the Pentax 645Z Medium Format DSLR Camera with an adaptor what a combination if youve wanted Zeiss pop and microcontrast with that 51MP sensor this is it will also of course mount to just about anything else thanks to Hasselblads extremely long flange distance and large image circle, #favorite, amazing bokeh, a great lens, superb, a fantastic lens, unique lens that cannot be duplicated by any other medium format lens, one of the best portrait lenses ever made, performance is truly remarkable deserves to wear the crown of super-fast lenses in the medium format world, has always been known for being a very special lens, not a macro lens but has quite a small minimum focus distance and the bokeh is just amazing, #wide-open this thing is surreal, in format-equivalent terms f/2 for medium format is like f/1.2 on fullframe 35mm, keep in mind that f/2 in the medium format world is approximately similar to f/1 in the 35mm format, which produces incredibly shallow paper-thin DOF, focal length has a far stronger effect on background defocus than does aperture, is indeed a "dream" lens just like the noctilux of Leica which outputs incredible bokeh and unique characteristics, quite sharp (although not exceptionally so) and its rendering is sublime, will also fit on Pentax 645D and Leica S2 with an adapter, when used with an adapter on a 35mm camera the larger image circle and the longer flange-focal distance results in a chroma free and very low vignetting image this kind of uniformity is much more important than what people see in MTF charts which are valid only for flat repro situations, very hard to get, a fantastic lens, fell in love with the Zeiss Planar 110/2 a great tool for location portraits, a great lens to use but it is very heavy however the 'blad sits comfortably cradled in your hands and this is not a problem but get the focus lever, charming in its rendering, an extraordinary example of optical magic, its rendering is special giving a unique look, a more classical rendering a softer look but not unsharp it just has less contrast, one of the best portrait lenses ever made, super fast, superb imaging, exceptional 3D, a dream lens, the best Hassey Zeiss lens, certainly one of the finest drawing lenses, one of the most highly sought after lenses, manual aperture Hasselblad Zeiss optics are very expensive but the best optically, Hasselblad built a reputation with near-flawless Zeiss optics in the 20th century, buttery bokeh, gorgeous the most pleasing optically, one of the best portrait lenses ever made, best portrait lens on the market the bokeh is so wonderful and the DOF so shallow that the subject seems to leap off the page!, the finest bokeh lens, shallowest DoF among the best choices currently in the MF world for shallow creamy Bokeh, truly superb the clarity is almost scarry, a stellar optic really only "super special" at f/2 and f/2.8 (still very good at smaller apertures just that it gets to looking a lot like other lenses in that focal range like the 120 macro), love the resolution the way it render skin tone is amazing, looks perfect to my eye has a unique look at f/2 and f/2.8 but it extends to f/4 as well beyond that it just looks like a nice mid telephoto at f/8 it is very very sharp behaves very similarly to the Leica 75/1.4 Summilux M so if you like the 75/1.4 you will probably love the 110/2 for their respective systems they represent a super-fast short telephoto with great bokeh, not very good wide open and needs to be stopped down quite a bit to equal the other Zeiss lenses in performance yet it produces a very distinct look that people like a lot, resolving power of the significantly lighter weight Hasselblad CFI 100mm f/3.5 is a much better although when stopping down the 110mm f/2 is close to catching up by f/5.6, stopped down to f/5.6 the 110mm f/2 Planar is an excellent lens but that is not what most users have in mind, chromatic aberration can be very annoying with severe purple fringing, spectacular with the Sony NEX-5N (using a 6x6 medium format lens on a crop sensor!) haven't been able to achieve anything like it with any other lens, sort of similar to the Zeiss Z* Planars at least close up, gives the 75 Lux look (and f/4 still carries a bit of it too), very pre-APO Leica 90/2-like when wide-open and sharpens up nicely as you go down a couple of stops think of it as Hassy's version of the Leica 90/2 pre-APO, the only 'con' is that unlike the Leica 80 Lux or the 90/2 (pre-APO) wide-open and up close the transition from out-of-focus to in-focus to out-of-focus (front to back through plane of focus) is Zeiss' more distinct or abrupt vs. Leica's gradual and smooth the color and details within the plane of focus is sweet but can always tell 110/2 shots on 24x36mm from 80 Lux or a 90/2 pre-AA by this trait, the FE lenses are great very fast and they focus much closer than CF lenses, the lens aperture diaphragm is an intricate affair much more so than that of C series lenses, many of the F/FE lenses have a compound aperture the secondary blades make the aperture rounder when it is larger than ~f/8, beyond which they have no effect the idea is to produce rounder specular highlights in the out of focus regions, irregularity in the aperture shape is typical of the F/FE lenses, not a macro lens but has quite a small MFD and the bokeh is just amazing, the depth of field at f/2 close up is amazingly narrow just a few millimeters, sometimes selective focus is more important than being "tack sharp", the legendary 110/2 isn't particularly sharp wide-open (speaking of high frequency MTF here, not subjective 'sharpness'), the 110/2 is very sharp at f/2, fell in love with the Zeiss Planar 110/2 a great tool for location portraits shot wide-open it optically cleans up cluttered surroundings thus saving me time very useful for wedding coverage shooting candid portraits indoors, wonderful for available light photography, a gorgeous lens by any definition, quite unique in that it has beautiful bokeh, can be quirky sometimes the bokeh is lovely and at other times not so nice double lined OOF effect, absolutely gorgeous for available light portraiture at f/2.8 or f/2, one of the best medium format lenses, wonderful it's the shallow depth-of-field that makes it so magical, Hasselblad 110mm f/2 lenses are rare, similar to a Leica Noctilux shot in 'feel', fastest Hasselblad lens, the bokeh is wonderful like the Nikkor 85/1.4D but the clarity of the image seems superior, one of the most elite lenses, a lens that I absolutely adore the Noctilux of medium format, ultimate portrait lens for 6x6 format!, great lens and among the best in class, as sharp as the best 35 mm lens you will love the resolution more importantly the way it renders skin tone is amazing, wonderful for available light photography a relatively small lens making it easily hand-holdable, equally adept at wide-open apertures for buttery smooth bokeh and stopped down for very sharp images across the frame, has a softness wide-open akin to some of the best 'fast' Leica glass, longitudinal CA is present, for portraits the longish lens combined with narrow dof makes a wonderful combo, fastest Carl Zeiss lens in 6x6 medium format, one of the best medium format lenses, "Hasselblad lenses by Carl Zeiss are legendary for contrast, flare resistance, color saturation, bokeh and are in a class of their own compared to even the best 35mm format glass", excellent lens for portrait photography, the way it renders skin tone is amazing, a fantastic optic, fast and sharp, easy to focus, great bokeh, slight CA wide-open, close minimum distance, not flare prone and, great at all focal distances, have quite grown to like the stop-down button which makes stop-down work much faster only the Hasselblad V lenses have this quick stop-down slider, the only thing this lens does not do well is macro with tubes, f/5.6 for high resolution, a lot of controversy about using this f/2 lens wide-open not very sharp wide-open but the shallow depth of field is beautiful, most people recommend closing it down to f/5.6 for sharper images, but why pay this much for an f/2 lens to stop it down? people buy this lens to shoot wide-open, superlative performer in the center at every opening but weak in the corners (last centimer of the 6x6 frame in each corner) at f/2 while good by f/5.6 very nice image not too big easy to shade and to use with filters, focuses down to a little over 2 ft @ f/2 which can account for some amazing shots close up and wide-open, sticky aperture if not used aperture wide-open tends to stick if you don't jog it once in a while use your lens costs about $100 to fix if stuck having the aperture stick is notorious for this lens, it's a pretty well known issue that Hasselblad lenses need to be used frequently or they will get stuck many owners and stores exercise their lenses weekly, beautiful image wide-open very sharp images when stopped down a little, an absolutely extraordinary lens aberrations and distortions are virtually nonexistent since only using the centermost part of the lens where optics performance is maximum, compared to the 6x6 field of view the crop factor is 1.6 with FX and 2.4 with DX, has a distinctive lens signature that provides rich high-contrast images and smooth bokeh, expensive for a non-leaf shutter lens, this one lens is why the focal plane shutter Hasselblad camera is worth having!, you get it for the wide image circle to use for tilt and shift via the Mirex adapter and for that it's great, you are using the sweet spot of the image circle, easy to focus in dim light and incredibly sharp, "Hassie CZ lens", not too many medium format lens can match or beat high end 35 mm format optics and the Hasselblad Planar T* 2.0/110 is one of those exceptional lenses, this 7-element planar lens is an advancement of the classic Planar lens developed by Zeiss which for the first time offered an excellent anastigmatic flatness of the image field for a fairly large angular field, features a uniform sharpness across the entire image field, kind of big and heavy, impossibly thin depth of field when shot wide-open a challenging lens to shot with but when you nail it the results are pure magic, favorite Hasselblad lens for portraits by a mile, for people and portraits the 110 is perfect, focuses really close for a medium format lens, lets you completely blur out the background, even for a full body portrait, the best of the bunch of all the Hasselblad F lenses, one of my all-time favorite lenses has a distinctive lens signature that provides rich, high-contrast images and smooth bokeh, the out of focus area is superb, at f/2 it is soft and ethereal while when stopped down to f/8 (the f/5.6 to f/11 range) it is very sharp, shows some of the expected bright-ring effect around out of focus points of light that all lenses have that are not totally corrected for color, has Zeiss 3-D effect, add to that a close minimum focus of 0.32 meters, offers extremely close focusing distance, closest focusing distance for medium format not being a macro lens, absolutely superb, bokeh is fantastic beautiful and creamy smooth, a remarkable lens compact, fast and very sharp, fairly compact and easy to focus barrel, the shallow DOF is very attractive for certain purposes adds more flavor or even romanticism if you will the effect is very subtle though (some people might be helped more by adding a net or a Zeiss Softar to their normal lenses in order to get a clearly visible "atmospheric" effect as the large diameter lenses are definitely more subtle than these filters), the 110mm really stands apart from a 80mm lens with and without Softar, sets the bar when it comes to defining stiff focus, a technical marvel amazingly sharp for a lens of such a large aperature but not sharper than other lenses of comparable focal length, very smooth but very fine pitch focus, one you just got to have, a superb lens for portraits, a fantastic lens as it renders out of focus areas beautifully, magnificent lens, excellent, optically exactly the same as the Rollei lens, exceptionnaly high brilliance and sharpness in the center wide-open but medium format corners weak at f/2 but only on the last 10mm and never objectionable, soft at f/2, sharp at f/4, extremely sharp at f/5.6 - f/8, maybe a little soft at f/2 but quite sharp from f/2.8, low light and limited depth of field are what this lens is about, as a 'general purpose' lens it is nothing special but when restricted to use 'wide-open' for subjects that can do with what the 110 mm does then it is unbeatable, separate the subject from the background, suffers from longitudinal (or bokeh) CA, shows CA on high contrast edges with backlighting, definite color fringing from the Fotodiox adapter and little to none with the Novoflex [Nika + Haring], some Hasselblad adapters do not get to infinity focus, the Hasselblad lens is even easier to manual focus than the Rollei version on the Rollei 6008 series, David Odess thinks that there is no way you can reliably focus a 110/2 at f/2 on a 200 series Hasselblad because the film flatness is simply not reliable enough, the Rollei system is simply better, can be used on a Contax 645 using an adapter with the advantages of having electronic focus confirmation in the view finder and a 1/4000th top shutter speed for using f/2 in brighter light, use on 24x36mm rather than medium format enhances the flattening effect from longer lenses due merely to perspective geometry at the subject distance and you're cherry-picking the lens's central sweet spot, the DOF issue is real with this lens but for many shots nearer infinity it works quite well (as opposed to being right on top of the subject), absolutely no problem with DOF a wonderfully fast piece of glass like this is a pleasure to shoot with, it focuses really close for a medium format lens so you can fill the frame with a face without an extension tube and at f/2 the eyes are in focus with the tip of the nose and ears going soft, when you want extremely shallow depth of field it is superb, wonderful for candids at weddings its the shallow depth-of-field that makes it so magical, found that it is faultless of course there will be difference of opinions, "Many photographers have purchased the 2000/200 series Hasselblads so they can use the 110mm lens! It has been a favorite amoungst many fashion and portrait photographers.", can be used on a PhaseOne camera with cheap fotodiox adapter and P45+ medium format digital back, the Hasselblad F and FE lenses all can be adapted and used on most any focal plane camera Mamiya, Contax 645 or on a Nikon, Canon or Minolta/Sony, "I have no other Hasselblad equipment and won't buy any. I'm not a fan of Hasselblad ergonomics but am willing to put up with it to use this lens. I don't think I've ever stopped it down more that about f/5.6.", "I use the 110mm more than any other lens.", not really something special what the 110 has going for it is its shallow depth of field and perhaps rather mellow rendering, a great lens when you know how to use it wide-open, a good lens for stopped down, portraits, very good for close up pictures of plants and butterflies, many years fastest glass ever in medium format, unique in that it has beautiful bokeh, fine focus pitch, equally adept at wide-open apertures for buttery smooth bokeh and stopped down (to either f/5.6 or f/8) for very sharp images across the frame, definitely better/best stopped down to about f/8, gives beautiful background at f/2 and is very sharp at any f-stop, razor sharp lens, performs very well once stopped down and is just as sharp as a superb macro lens in the center areas once stopped down, however takes f/8 to reach the macro's sharpness level attained wide-open, a favorite lens to mount on Nikon PB-4 bellows, outstanding in the center and does sharpen up considerably in the medium format corners once stopped down, for low light (stage photography etc.) or street photography it has a big advantage because of its large opening and bright viewfinder image, just stellar, as good as it gets for people shots outdoors used with a reflector for fill in, it's fast, easy and the results are magnificent, stop down to f/2.8 to help with DOF and bring contrast and resolution up a bit while not hurting the out of focus areas, for astrophotography by f/4 almost all trace of coma or spherical aberrations in the medium format corners is gone, the lower contrast and resolution of f/2 can leave a soft picture even when you do hit focus, at f/2 you have effectively zero depth of field just breathing will be pulling you in and out of the sharp zone, it's a lottery and even with terrific technique you'll lose a hefty percentage of your shots, seems effortless to focus, better with digital that does not have to contend with film curl, "I shoot wide-open all the time, and don't have any softness issues. I think this is my sharpest lens... also use it on a Canon 20D with adaptor... sharper than any Canon lens I own as well", has a distinct character and you either like or dislike that too, some of the magic of this lens comes from being close to the subject, closer gets you more magic, the 110/2 focuses down to a little over 2 ft @ f/2 which can account for some amazing shots close up and wide-open but a focusing challenge, absolutely gorgeous for available light portraiture at f/2.8 or f/2, by all means get it if you need the speed or shallow DOF for what it is it's amazingly good, but if you're going to be at f/4 or beyond most of the time it's the wrong lens, definite color fringing on Nikon with the Fotodiox adapter and little to none with the Novoflex, aperture is set on the ring and the lens is stopped down using the DOF preview lever, F and FE lenses are a bit brighter than the C lenses and do not have a shutter so you do not have to worry about stuck shutters and servicing them every couple of years, extraordinary like ASPH Summilux, highly recommend this giant glass!, can be used on a Leica S2 digital medium format camera via a Hasselblad to S2 adapter, very good results with Zeiss 2x teleconverter, buy the 1.4xe to use with it, combine with the Schneider 1.4x Longar to get a lens of approximately 154mm excellent with little if any discernible loss of image quality, fantastic bokeh quality, the shallow DOF wide-open can be challenging but the bokeh is second to none and it's just got something special, will benefit on 24x36mm sensor as you'll be capturing the center 20mm of the 110/2's MTF, the image covers much more than the sensor so it can be used wide-open with no edge effects, larger manual focus lens barrels handle well on a 35mm body due to nice fat focusing grips, etc., Zeiss Hasselblad lenses are not really worth bothering with using adapters to mount on a Sony A7 series camera unless you need the very large image circle for movements, can be connected using an adapter to a Contax 645 medium format camera with focus confirmation (needed and unavailable with Hasselblad series 200 bodies), works amazingly well on Contax 645 (with adaptor), later versions cemented the two rear elements together and have a small square baffle behind the rear element to attempt to increase contrast [1999 Zeiss report in Camera Lens News no. 7] but that did not lead to a detectable difference so no the glass wasn't improved on later FE models (the FE versions are only valuable for use on the Hasselblad 200 series cameras because they have the "E" data bus contacts for the Hasselblad metered cameras), F version has a bigger image circle than the FE version, tends to produce double contour lines at certain distances, that later FE model baffle creates a square which makes for ugly bokeh rings and vignettes until f/5.6, the older lenses without the rear baffles of the newer FEs might have cleaner bokeh, same Zeiss 110mm lens is available for Rollei but is much heavier due to built in shutter and motors for the aperture and the shutter, numbers are painted on and not engraved so they can wear off, Product Number 10 21 88, Production History 1991-1998/1999 (Replaced by 5th Generation with a square plastic rear baffle which causes undesirable squarish shape bokeh vignetting; versions 4 without the rear baffle and 5 are FE), Lens Composition 7 Elements / 5 Groups, Floating Element No, Angular Field of View 39 Degrees on Hasselblad 200 Series, Actual Focal Length 110.8mm, Minimum Focus 0.8 Meters (31.5 Inches), Aperture 5 Blades, F-Stop Scale f/2 to f/16 in 1/2 Stop Increments, Filter Size 70 - 77mm with Bay 70 Adapter, Filter Connection 70 - Bay 70, Lens Cap Bay 70 #51648, Lens Hood Bay 70 110-250, Weight 750 Grams (1 Pound and 11 Ounces), Lens Size 83mm Wide x 88mm Long, 7 elements in 6 groups, entrance pupil for FE version is 55.2 mm behind the first lens vertex, 87x82.5mm, 760g, Angle of view Diag./Horizontal 39/28, No. of Elements 7, Focusing Range 2 ft 6 in-infinity, Length 3 7/16 in (87mm), lens rotates counterclockwise to remove from Fotodiox pro Nikon adapter, lens shade for FE (TCC) model is 3040576 (or 3040739 + adapter 3040744), Hasselblad F 110 Hood model 40576 or huge compendium shade, sample or model variation very prone to flare which could be awful at times vs. no problem with flare (older Rollei version possibly more prone to flare), no flare problem with use of large lens shade, superior flare resistance, the older/cheaper F version uses the odd-ball bay70 size filter mount instead of the more common bay60 while the newer FE version with electronic contacts uses bay77 filters. Mirex Tilt Shift Adapter 105 for Hasselblad Lenses / Nikon cameras (direct connection): does 15mm shifts with a simple dovetail which is machined 90 rotated from the tilt dovetail (after Austrian Army Captain Theodore Scheimpflug); {Best practice: need for metering with the lens in a neutral position you cannot shift the lens and then meter with the camera as usual; however, some combinations of lenses and bodies will meter accurately despite being the lens being shifted}; {Note: some Mirex adapters have an undocumented adjustment screw that controls setting 0 tilt that is needed if the supposedly untilted image is not sharp from top to bottom because the adapter isn't hitting its neutral position}; a portrait oriented +/- 15mm horizontal shift panorama simulates a 54x36mm sensor; use hex key to adjust hex head screw tilt movement dovetail tension next to the locking screw; meter first in neural position then T/S or use manual and chimp. {For botanical photographs where I want both the distant horizon and small plants at ground level to be in focus, with the camera perhaps 150200mm above the ground, I apply what I think is about the right amount of tilt (you get quite good at this with practice) and frame the shot (note that altering tilt changes the framing, the opposite way to what you might expect). Use live view 10 to focus on the distant horizon, then move the focus point to the foreground and check the focus. If it is correct, you are ready to shoot. If not, note which way you need to turn the focus ring to bring the foreground into focus. If you need to focus nearer, you need more tilt; if you need to focus further away, you need less tilt. Adjust the tilt and try again. Two or three iterations will usually get you there.}. www.mirex-adapter.de, info@mirex-adapter.de {Mirex Adapter Locks: Knurled thumbscrew unlocks curved dovetail for up-down tilt or left-right swing with radius centered on the sensor exactly like the back movement on a view camera, with a scale in degrees (0 when centered to maximum10 tilt/swing), and a hex head screw dovetail tension adjustment is provided next to the locking screw; Push bent/angled spring loaded index tab (with a fine "rack" with 1mm teeth so it detents in 1mm increments) to release next to scale unlocks straight dovetail 15mm Shift or Rise/Fall Movements that are traditionally lens or front standard movements generally used for perspective distortion control such as reducing the keystone effect when shooting tall buildings, seeing "around" unwanted objects, shooting mirrors directly on without the camera being seen, wide angle stitching, and stereo pairs; Sliding notched flat tab unlocks adapter rotation (which latches every 9); Push curved edge tab for ???Hasselblad lens bayonette release}. Contax 645 Carl Zeiss Apo-Makro-Planar T* 120mm f/4: In the Contax 645 lens system, a Kyocera product, the 120/4 Macro was the star unsurpassed for bokeh or character until the $7,000 Leica S 120/2.5, exceptional, everybody should have the pleasure of using the 120 APO at some time an absolute jewel of a lens, the end-game lens for macro, a lens that truly has the magic, there is something special to the images, at small apertures has the best performance, simply fantastic, macro 1:1, floating elements, 37 angle of view, even reaches the extreme image quality level of dedicated Carl Zeiss S-Planar high resolution copy lenses at life-size copying tasks a unique benefit only available with Contax, for sharp close-up photos with vivid details, very very sharp with excellent color and contrast natural looking, dream lens, the bokeh is amazing, one of my all time favorites, simply the best medium format macro lens, favorite for its combination of CA correction, sharpness and bokeh, exquisite clarity and color, astounding, the real killer macro lens, it is truly APO, truly outstanding lens one of the best in its class, best lens ever sharpness, color, nice bokeh in most instances, flare resistant, precise focus, flat focus field, very little color fringing even wide open pretty much peerless, superb manual focus macro, portrait or studio lens, chromes with this lens are breathtaking, gorgeous bokeh makes for beautiful portraits, a well known great performer, a legend, razor sharp and smooth bokeh impressive, just WOW!, a must probably the sharpest medium format macro lens before the Leica S system renders very similarly to Leica 100 APO, a great lens and one of my all time favorites, best macro lens in medium format bar none, the bokeh is superb, wow an amazing performer!, covers subjects from infinity to life size (1:1), floating elements (FLE) optimize the performance throughout the entire focusing range, long throw focus, floating elements (FLE) optimize the performance throughout the entire focusing range, the sharpness of this lens amazes me, like it for its combination of CA correction, sharpness and bokeh more than Leica R 100/2, Zeiss 100/2 ZF, or Voigtlander 125/2.5, definitely usable with lens wide open, gives images a sense of realism, highlight bokeh rings are awesome, the bokeh is superb, colors are extremely saturated but not unnatural, contrasty especially at shorter distances, light weight, highly recommended, simply the best lens I've ever used on any camera, incredibly sharp with the classic Zeiss 3-D look, chromes with this lens are breathtaking, the built in aperture ring of the Kipon adapter for full frame 35mm is useless as it only creates vignetting and doesn't affect depth of focus but the Apo-Makro-Planar does not have to be stopped down for performance as it's already superb wide open, buy a NAM-1 adapter and send to conurus for conversion then you can use every C645 lens flawlessly (including AF) on Canon (but this is not an autofocus lens), this lens is one of the main reasons to buy the Contax 645! I have the other lenses from 35mm to 210mm, except the 140mm; all are wonderful but this is the very best, the sharpest lens I've ever used, uncompromising image quality, highly regarded, there are lenses - there are great lenses - and then there are legends in a different league than even other lenses from that great lens maker in the Zeiss line the 120mm f/4 Apo-Makro Planar is such a lens, it offers resolution and micro-contrast with a dimensionality to images rarely seen, Kyocera discontinued production of the Contax 645 system in 2005, this is a real Apochromatic lens the real deal there is no color fringing whatsoever and this likely contributes to the remarkable resolution, a gold standard lens, the only problem is flare from strong background light, especially impressive are the photos showing banknotes and coins sharpness nuts will love them, the sharpest and most color neutral lens I've ever tried it outperforms by far the Hasselblad Makro-Planar 120mm f/4 CF with its many decades old design, the Hasselblad Macro-planar is not even close to the Contax, has about the same color saturation as the Leica APO Micro Emerit-R 100/2.8 but even better APO correction and smoother bokeh, infinity to life size (1:1) without the use of any additional accessories with floating elements (FLE) that optimize the performance throughout the entire focusing range the Apo-Makro-Planar T* 120mm f/4 lens even reaches the extreme image quality level of dedicated Carl Zeiss S-Planar high resolution copy lenses at life-size copying tasks, manual focus, long throw focus from minimum to maximum takes more than two complete twists of the barrel, if you do portraiture in medium format this is the only lens you need, sometimes portraits are too sharp, an amazing lens superbly sharp at both close up and infinity the best bokeh ever just wonderful, known to suffer from straylight issues with some contrast loss under various situations especially when backlit or strongly sidelit the Hasselblad 120 CFE actually outperforms the Contax 120 at macro distances so in actual shooting you will see higher realized contrast from the Hasselblad 120 CFE after Zeiss went through a lot of trouble to eliminate straylight issues with the latest versions of the Hasselblad lenses, far better than the Hasselblad 120mm msacro, the Contax 645 120 macro is not even close to the 100 S-Planar, the Contax 100mm f/4 S-Planar lens has the highest MTF for any macro lens at 1:4 scale and f/8 and is our lens of choice, electronically operated aperture, effective focal length 119mm, 8 elements in 5 groups, min focus 42.5cm, entrance pupil 23.2mm behind the first lens vertex, 99mm (4") by 86mm (3.4") in diameter, weight 780g 796g (27oz), hood Contax GB-74, 72. Kipon Contax 645 mount lens to Nikon F Adapter, allows focus to infinity, brass with high quality coating, with aperture control ring, aperture diameter can be controlled from about 37mm (1) to 7mm (6). Petzvar 120mm f/3.8 Medium Format Petzval fine art portrait lens for Hasselblad V mount by Denys Ivanichek: Not a re-designed or improved lens made by genuine Petzval scheme of two achromatic groups of elements with all of its inherent flaws and imperfections, uncoated, same as original Petzval. A special and important portrait lens invented by Joseph Petzval in 1840 the first usable portrait lens ever created. It was a lens designed to cut down on exposure time from 30 minutes to mere seconds. The Petzval lens was invented in 1839 and is generally considered photography's first successful portrait lens. Oddly enough, it was invented by a Slovakian Professor working at the University of Vienna named Jozef Maximillian Petzval. Petzval's lens was produced only in Germany by Peter Wilhelm Friedrich von Voigtlnder. Petzval design lenses the first mathematically calculated lens scheme, that improved the speed of the portrait lenses. In 1840, Joseph Petzval, a Professor of Mathematics at Vienna University, came up with a lens design that provided for speeds of f/3.6, which was many times faster, than all existing lens designs available at that period. Famous for unique swirly bokeh out of focus areas. Swirly bokeh and focus fall off in the off-center areas that is caused by uncorrected astigmatism and chromatic aberrations. The swirlies are a consequence of using a Petzval lens on a format larger than it covers. The Petzval has more distortion at the edges and usually doesn't render straight lines anywhere near as well as a rectilinear. They were made to shoot wide open for portraits and were not intended for landscape use. A Petzval lens really only does one thing well: portraits with the subject dead center. Variable iris aperture f/3.8 - f/16, effective focal length 120mm, image circle of coverage 80mm, lens mount Hasselblad "V" for Hasselblad 2000 or 200 models with focal plane shutter (also available for Pentacon six "P6"), total production of 33 lenses in Pentacon Six (P6) mount and 13 in Hasselblad V mount (c. August, 2014), filter thread 72mm (m72 x 0.75), closest focusing distance 85cm, no electronic cpu (fully manual), max. body diameter 80mm, length (collapsed) 106mm, length (extended) 126mm, weight 560g. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1162663202/the-petzvar-f-38-120-mm-medium-format-petzval-port http://ivanichek.com/Medium%20format%20Petzvar%20Petzval%20lens.htm Cosina Voigtlnder Macro APO-Lanthar 125mm f/2.5 SL, Series I, AIS for Nikon, (1:1 macro), manufactured c. 2001-2002 (second digit is year of manufacture), one of the "Limited Production 'Luxury' Voigtlander SL SLR Lenses", production volume for Nikon 125/2.5 APO exists in 2200 to 2500 copies: introduced in the early 2000, produced in limited numbers from 2001-2002, best f/3.5-f/8, ridiculously sharp f/2.5-f/11, elusive "macro" design, What a lens!, the most wonderful macro lens ever made, extremely rare, near impossible to find, a rare gem indeed, one of the best lenses made, legendary, my all-time favorite SLR lens, marvelous in every way, "Beautiful, rare, legendary", "WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW....", a true APO design, the APO really does make a difference, colors and sharpness are simply stunning!, colors always 100% right on the money with the natural scene colors & tones, the best commercial lens on the planet!, favorite lens of very experienced macro photographer Michael Erlewine, it is a lens to die for, spectacular, a hand-built exquisite feeling to using it, the best macro lens ever made or maybe it is even the best short telephoto ever made very sharp over entire frame even wide open absolutely no CA (the lens has true apochromatic design) and has exceptional bokeh even magnificent Zeiss 100/2 macro planar pales in comparison, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), requires f/5.6 for peak performance, until the Zeiss 135/2 the best of the 100-135mm group even ahead of the 100/2 Makro Planar and that's saying something, the bokeh rendering of CV125 is more aesthetically pleasing than that of the Zeiss 135/2, like the rendering much better than the Nikon 85/1.4G for portraits, among the lenses with the best micro contrast, just gorgeous rendering, this is what NO LoCA looks like, at 1:1 has a tad of CA still one of my all time favorite lenses with very sweet bokeh, one of the best F-mount lenses ever made hands down, a magical lens, #favorite, the best macro lens I own and I use it all the time even though I have a shelf full of some of the best macro lenses in the world at the ready has no major negatives very fast, amazing but heavy, a lens that can do magic, almost nothing beats it Repro Nikkors do but they are far less versatile, shoots portraits as well it does macro, very sharp, focuses close, bokeh as good as it gets, the bokeh is exceptional, deserves its APO designation yet it's known to be a "cream machine" for the smooth bokeh it produces, the most exciting lens I've ever held, one of the greatest lenses ever colors absolutely fantastic sumptuous and correct not to mention the bokeh and resolution, focus action as smooth as they come, reproduces to 1:1, has 9 blades (great bokeh) the works has a "magic" quality that words can't express and a very-long focus throw that makes macros and stacked-photos so very easy very sharp at mid-range and even at landscape distances this is the little lens that could and it does, color rendition is just superb, absolutely amazing!, extreme optical quality, a stellar lens, incredible, a fantastic lens, a lens to crave, impossible to find, simply the most exciting lens I've ever held, probably the best in that focal length on the entire planet, the perfect lens in that range, a pleasure to look at and use, I'll never think another lens is good ever again, truly great, the most wonderful macro lens ever made, shoots portraits as well as it does macro, one amazing hunk of glass, a tough lens built well, wonderful lens, it is THE BEST short telephoto lens ever made, one of the few lenses that actually lives up to the hype truly special in terms of resolution, bokeh, color rendition and 1:1 macro use it even more as a short tele than as a macro, my everyday lens, the only lens that is sharp, fast, has a long focus throw, goes to 1:1 and is apochromatic, lens of choice for macrophotography, just stomps other macro lenses all into the ground in terms of clarity, sharpness, color accuracy, color correction, and so on at every focus distance from 1:1 macro to infinity the differences especially wide open are very noticeable when compared side by side there is absolutely no contest, a "perfect" lens, extreme optical quality, just a hint of vignetting wide open that is gone at f/4 beautiful bokeh, rounded diaphragm, absence of CA, while clearly not optimised for 1:1 it still works very well in the close-focusing range and gets even better elsewhere the designers have struck a perfect balance giving the photographers a quality lens for close-ups combined with excellence at longer distances all in conjunction with a stellar bokeh and virtually no axial colour aberration in fact it's mainly the onset of lateral colour fringing (blue fringe) that limits the lens towards 1:1, beautiful colors, crisp detail ... everything you wish for in a lens, one of the nicest lenses just renders gorgeously, precision crafted tolerances beautiful design, among the best options in faster lenses along with the 200/2 if LoCA bothers you, one of the very few lenses below 200mm that won't show magenta/cyan LoCA, simply the most exciting lens I've ever held, like the CV 125 more than Zeiss 100/2 MP because it has less CA, better in all ways I care about than the Nikon 200mm f/4 macro, moderately long focal length lenses are easier to focus manually due to the zone of sharp focus being much more apparent in the viewfinder with the rest being blurry and the APO correction should also help seeing the limits of said zone with precision compared to lenses with aberrations, the most amazing thing besides its sharpness is that it has practically no CA nada, most Leica APO lenses do have purple fringing outside of the plane of focus the only lens I know of which has none is the Coastal Optics 60mm although I guess the CV125 comes close, a better all-around lens than the Leica 100/2.8 APO probably use it more as a short tele than a macro, a great macro while the Leica 100/2.8 APO is excellent at all distances, just a trace more "gentle" maybe "silky" in its rendering than the "punchy" Zeiss lenses, bokeh is wonderously smooth and the sharpness at f/2.5 makes it eminently useful there though I think it reaches its peak at around f/5.6, accurate focus easier with the Voigtlander, the most wonderful macro lens ever made, most magical lens makes every image look special, APO lenses really are better, the best and sharpest ever made macro lens, truly unique for the 35mm format in focal length + macro + flat field for landscapes & stitching + APO, very high quality construction beautiful to behold very sharp rendering at all apertures good for portraits fantastic background blur abilities bokeh as good as it gets low dispersion type glass hardly ever creates color fringing! very expensive hard to find lens design may draw attention no lens tripod mount, excellent lens for digitizing 35mm film with a Nikon D800 at 4,357dpi for 135 format the quality seems to be somewhere in between the best flatbed scanners and professional drum-scanning services can also easily quadruple by using a bellows or short extension tube and stitching the results or almost double by shooting the film in portrait orientation while your camera is in landscape orientation to get 8,000dpi on the Nikon D800, bokeh reputation as a "cream machine" is well-deserved luscious blur like the Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF.2, built like a tank, tack-sharp at full aperture, have seen two different copies perform significantly different with regards to resolution at infinity, the wonderful bokeh makes it very suitable for portraits and eliminates the need of a 135mm lens for portraits I cannot praise this lens enough, genuinely apochromatic without the bothersome out-of-focus color fringing of the Zeiss Z* 100/2 AND has a flat field making it great for stitching images AND a bokeh that dissolves away into a creamy delicate blur AND does skin tones with such startling grace AND renders colors true AND out-resolves the sensor of the Nikon D700 by a wide margin and the Nikon D3x, no substitute for the Zeiss Z* 100/2 if you want the characteristic Zeiss pop, soft compared to the Zeiss ZF100/2 at f/2 and f/2.5, less sharp wide open at f/2.5 than the Zeiss ZF100/2 wide open at f/2, the Leica R 100/2.8 APO beats both the Voigtlander 125 and the Zeiss ZF100 in bokeh, skin tones and general image quality, added to the fact that it is the sharpest of the three lenses, generates most beautiful out of focus blur among all macro lenses which makes it one of the most desired pieces of glass ever made, the trueness of color along with velvety bokeh is legendary, extremely rare, stellar performer #wide-open, great but it is a little too low contrast wide open, 1:1 macro and top notch bokeh with No CA unlike the 1:2 macro Zeiss 100/2 ZF, does a wonderful job in avoiding color fringing as seen with the Zeiss 100/2 ZF, softer and lower contrast than the Zeiss 100/2 ZF, offers a slightly less distracting background than the Zeiss 100/2 ZF if only for its lack of color fringing and shallower depth of field due to longer focal length despite the smaller max aperture, degrades a bit at infinity, stellar for close up and mid range but around infinity I do think the Leica R 100/2.8 APO is better, the differing reports about long distance problems are probably due to sample variation, more apochromatic than the Leica 100/2.8 APO macro, obviously and markedly better than my Zeiss MP100 F/2.8 C/Y AEG macro, great lens that does live up to the hype great bokeh but colors don't pop like Zeiss 100/2 MP and Zeiss 35/2, fantastic background blur abilities bokeh as good as it gets, hands down the best macro lens has no major negatives very fast, very sharp, focuses close, reproduced to 1:1, has 9 blades (great bokeh) the features that set this lens apart from other fine macro lenses are the fact that it is truly apochromatic (APO) and has such exceptional bokeh also very sharp at mid-range and even at landscape distances, three colored (red-green-blue) rings decorating the lens barrel to indicate APO, tonally muted images straight out of the camera the files can take and need a steep contrast curve in post, harder to blow out highlights seems to handle contrast better, no focus shift, APO is a huge plus for macro as is 1:1 without an adapter, has higher macro contrast than the Leica 60/2.8 micro, the longer focal length results in better subject isolation than the Zeiss 100/2 ZF, definitely much less if not no chromatic aberration compared with the Zeiss 100 f/2 Makro-Planar, more subtle lower contrast and less acurately color matched to the actual subject than the Zeiss 100/2 ZF but tonally much more like the actual subject, the full package APO, 1:1, auto aperture, wonderful color, nice bokeh, and sharp enough too I like using it more than most other lenses, the most beautiful close-up macro shots I've ever seen, a stunning lens, very high quality construction beautiful to behold, a fantastic lens if you can find one at reasonable price, the most sought after exotic of all exotics, legendary lens that produces creamy smooth bokeh, out of production and extremely rare, expensive but worth every penny, one of my biggest regrets is selling my CV 125 never ever sell it you will never forgive yourself, the best macro lens that ever existed, spectacular portrait lens, shoots portraits as well as it does macro, optically perfect with zero chromatic aberration, really like the color, draws in a slightly more pleasing manner than the Zeiss 100/2 ZF, must be simply the best lens ever made for F-mount versatile as well from 1:1 macro to portraits and stitched panorama landscapes images require no post-processing whatsoever the bokeh is distinctly unique and beautiful, extremely low vignetting, non-visible distortion, tack sharp from corner to corner, impeccable full metal build quality, build quality easily matches that of best Leica lenses, extreme example of precision focusing with focusing ring rotating ~630, the exceptionally long focus throw is great for focus stacking, true macro with 1:1 magnification ratio, this lens simply knocked me out the most gorgeous bokeh and the most poetic rendition of flowers I ever saw, it isn't the macro aspect that catches my attention it is it's image quality in general so it doesn't need to be limited to macro, very sharp starting WO and great CA control, really sharp amazing even fully open, a fantastic lens, absolutely fabulous!, many enthusiastic accolades, legendary lens that produces creamy smooth bokeh, an amazing piece of glass really hard to beat, stellar reputation, simply great, cult status, highly sought-after, this lens has NO weaknesses and delivers outstanding results, needs to have contrast added routinely in post processing, stellar performer, rare and beautiful macro lens that has the notoriety of being one of the fastest optically perfect macro lenses ever made features zero chromatic aberration, extremely low vignetting, non-visible distortion, and absolutely pin sharp from corner to corner full metal high quality machining with a lustrous black finish, in the used market the 125/2.5 remains in high demand and enjoys a cult following for its extraordinary performance, just seems better over all than the Zeiss 100/2 MP ZF, there are sharper lenses in the class of macro lenses (Costal Optics 60mm APO) and also more subtle color treatment lenses (Leica 100mm APO Elmarit) but I know of no lens that is as steady and solid a workhorse as the CV-125 (day in and day out it takes great photos, and is sharp enough for me), more "classic" rendering from the CV 125/2.5 with lower local contrast and smoother colors than the Zeiss 100/2 ZF, the CV 125/2.5 has some spherical softness or front like bokeh while the Zeiss 100/2 ZF is more clean, T-stop difference that CV 125/2.5 transmits noticeably more light so images are brighter than Zeiss 100/2 ZF which shows a darker image taken at the same f-stop (or due to different calibration of the aperture linkage), flat field with color that's just spot-on true and sharpness that's crazy at f/2.5 and only improves by f/5.6, the champ, amazing, a winner, in the "great glass" category, almost like a marriage between Leica bokeh and Zeiss snap and threedee, offers a slightly less distracting background if only for its lack of color fringing and shallower depth of field due to longer focal length than the Zeiss 100/2 MP, very much a marriage of the best qualities of Leica and Zeiss, a lens that gives me "Wow!" shots, superior CA control and is actually sharper than Leica 100/2.8 APO but inferior in bokeh and helical focus provides 1:1, a very useful lens with no drawbacks at all, very hard to find, you will be in heaven, very well may be the best macro lens (and also general purpose) lens in the 100/105/125/135mm class of lenses from anyone superior to even the highly regarded Zeiss 100/2 Makro Planar, because unlike the Zeiss, the Voigtlander gives you NO lateral or longitudinal CA - none - a purely APO design also sharp as a tack, has gorgeous bokeh, and betters even the (awesome) Zeiss 100/2 with smoother and more natural tonal transitions one of the classic "best ever" lenses very few were made, thus the rarity, way beyond anything like the Micro-Nikkor 60mm G and the Micro-Nikkor 85mm PCE, I'm a lucky man! incredibly good both at close-up and infinity, focus throw is amazing almost two full turns of the barrel to move from min focus to infinity unprecedented control, even better than the Zeiss 100/2 which is an impressive trick, the best lens I've ever owned, smooth CA free bokeh is where the lens excels, very sharp with hardly any CA and admirable bokeh truely a wonderful lens colors are very subdued and heavy a little bit less exciting color than Zeiss Contax Planar 100, too pastel for my liking, lacks of contrast and under strong light conditions there are some areas with no-texture whereas Zeiss can manage this with no problem because it has great coating, regards to bokeh the most beautiful close-up macro shots I've ever seen, and a stellar portrait lens two lenses in one, interesting bokeh not busy but also not as smooth to be boring, superb build quality, beautiful workmanship, if you shake it gently you can hear and feel the inner and outer barrels contacting each other, very sharp, basically no weaknesses, the all-star of the SL-I series, long focus throw makes it great for pin-point manual focus as a macro at high magnification but is not so great for portrait or for faster paced work, the black painting is slightly prone to scratches, focusing is extremely sensitive when used for distant subjects, overfocusing past infinity, just a hint of vignetting wide-open which is gone at f/4, fine bokeh, beautiful bokeh, rounded diaphragm, absence of CA, beautiful colors, crisp detail ... everything you wish for in a lens, like its image quality and versatility: absolute control over CAs, outstanding colors even better than my Zeiss ZF 100/2, image quality at par with the highly regarded Zeiss 100 f/2 with even better chromatic aberration correction, outstanding from few centimeters to infinity, almost beyond reproach and its bokeh is simply marvellous, "a lens to die for", an amazing piece of glass really hard to beat!, amazing lens every part speaks quality (except maybe the rubber hood cover - because they're so easy to lose), the pictures are magical, very sharp with hardly any CA with admirable bokeh truely a wonderful lens, the bokeh alone is worth twice the price, ... "gives me a 'wow' factor each time I use it" ... very sharp, a jewel of a lens, hardly any CA, admirable bokeh, truely a wonderful lens, very subdued colors ... superior CA control and actually sharper than the Leica 100/2.8 APO but inferior in bokeh, better than Leica 100 APO by having basically no longitudinal CA (aka LoCA or bokeh CA), infinitesimal practically absent cyan LoCA, CA and LoCA free, a very well corrected lens, by far the easiest to use macro (or any other) lens ... It is incredibly sharp right from wide-open, a real APO lens, basically zero CA and LoCA, fringing, etc., colors are neutral and basically perfect, bokeh is amazing significantly better than other macro lenses in this class, making it an ideal portrait lens as well, solid all-metal construction with 530 ultra-smooth focusing and stylish square metal hood ... excellent reputation, but is almost impossible to find on a Nikon mount ... remains in high demand and enjoys a cult following for its extraordinary performance ... it is more or less impossible to find one I searched for years with no luck ... {Paul Yates (cogitech) writes: "Imagine combining the best aspects of the best portrait and macro lenses together into a single lens with superlative build quality, incredibly long, as good at distance as it is up close, smooth focus throw, and then throwing in (true) Apochromatic correction, floating elements for perfect performance from 1:1 all the way to infiinty, and (of course) including a very sexy metal bayonet hood. I cannot think of one single thing I don't like about it, and I cannot imagine any lens that could replace it. In fact, I cannot imagine any two-lens combination that could replace this single lens. Good luck finding one."}, {Repair: The spacer segment between the lens mount and lens assembly got loose over time although it didn't fall apart. Easy fix was to remove the mount and retighten it.}, focus dampening also takes some getting used to after Zeiss and Leica - not as smooth and some backlash, shake and lens barrels touch, lacks a depth of field focus scale by aperture on the lens barrel, really nice color balance in addition to sharpness and smooth background, auto diaphram, very capable macro lens while not that impressive at mid distance and longer, resolution excellent straight from f/2.5, the con is that from f/8 or smaller diffraction sets in, looses its magic once the lens is stopped down to f/8 or smaller, all-round lens for close-ups, extreme example of precision focusing (focusing ring rotating ~630), barrel distortion (~0.21%), "vari-focus" with about 85-90% of the throw in the macro range which makes focusing in the non-macro range very quick but still precise infinity to 1m is a 45 turn and from 1m to minimum focus distance is about 275 focus couldn't be any more perfect, favorite for portraits, image quality is superb from the widest to the smallest aperture, 530 focus throw, incredibly smooth, beautiful square metal hood, extremely sharp, no CA at all, some of the best bokeh I have ever seen, best bokeh bar none! great APO performance sharpness is medium compared to Leica 100/2.8 colors are muted compared to Leica if you are into artistic look this is the best, has easily stolen the title "the portrait macro" from the Tamron 90/2.5 Adaptall, you are getting two lenses in one, and that one lens is difficult to beat in either category, yes it's as good as people say, my favorite lens, 11 elements in 9 groups, optics are superbly corrected, virtually free of lateral chromatic aberrations (an exceptional and also very rare characteristic), apochromatic, renders vividly saturated colors and high-contrast images all the way from infinity to the close limit at 1:1 with a close focus distance 38cm, and with the lens just under 6" long, 20, has developed a cult following for its extraordinary performance, king of bokeh, one of those few cream machines, magically sharp with 9 aperture blades, really really gorgeous performer, excellent absolutely stunning bokeh, but once stopped down to about f/8, it looses the magic, good at infinity but not excellent, the ultimate in long working distance macro lenses and additionally produces images out to infinity which are simply unmatched in terms of clarity, sharpness, and color as an apochromatic design the lens produces virtually no CA at all the best lens ever!, no CA at any aperture at any focusing distance, CAs and LoCAs control is almost perfect, not in front or behind the plane of focus, wow, a lower contrast optic that produces fantastically flexible RAW files, minimum working distance is 19cm, 9 aperture blades, absolutely stunning bokeh, very compact (88x76mm) but fairly heavy (690g), usable wide-open with only a very slight drop in visible detail but considerably lower contrast, optimized for macro not infinity, very high quality traditional construction, quantity produced very limited, styled to look like classic Zeiss Contarex lenses, even down to the gorgeous chrome bayonet-style, unsuited for Infrared photography since there is a huge hot-spot present in IR no matter what aperture is used, square, snap-on black metal hood (but much better than the Zeiss Makro ZF 100/2 which suffers from CA, very prone to purple fringing, and doesn't have as nice bokeh; absolutely zero CA NONE great bokeh beautiful colors amazingly sharp wide open and has an absolute clarity but Zeiss 100MP has way more character; the Sigma 150 OS is longer, better corrected apochromatically, sharper, autofocuses, has OS, is weathersealed, and is about half the price; bokeh, focus ring, and lack of LoCA are better than Zeiss ZF 100/2 Makro; far superior to Contax 135/2.8 and Tamron 90/2.5), the Leica 100/2.8 APO does outperform it handily, Voigtlnder is more prone to flare then the Zeiss ZF 100/2, 58, design related to Zeiss ZF lenses also manufactured by Cosina, Japan, Mr. Kobayashi, President, a collector's item, the highest prices (by some margin) are gotten for the AIS version perhaps because the Nikon version is the most future proof since it is fully mechanical and easiest to use on other mounts. 135mm f/3.5 Nikkor AI, Angular field diag. 18: scary-sharp even wide-open, and is faster than all but the most expensive pro zooms, as sharp wide-open as any lens I've ever used, performs brilliantly, very sharp even wide-open, #no distortion, better than any pro zoom, exceptionally sharp, extremely high image quality, truly a gem, a great portrait lens with excellent bokeh, beautifully made, stunning results, can produce very sharp images, bokeh only fair often causing it to be considered either bad or a highly underrated superb lens, sharp and contrasty at every aperture, very good sharpness at all stops edge-to-edge, a good lens if you care to baby it a bit can flare and have sensor reflections at small apertures but does render portraits very well and is very light watch out for CA too, the 135mm focal length is either too long or too short, slightly less resolution at f/3.5, excellent by f/5.6, sharpest of the three AI/AI-S 135mm lenses, significantly sharper wide-open than the 135mm f/2.8 stopped down one stop, just a bit better than the f/2.8 version and much smaller, excellent little lens even at 36MP shoot it wide open at MFD and it's very sharp also very sharp at long distances does not have good flare/ghosting control though, non-AI Nikkor 135/3.5 uses exactly the same optical formula as CZJ 135/3.5 Sonnar and Jupiter 37A while this multi-coated AI version with 7 straight aperture blades and rubber focusing ring uses a Ernostar design (improved over the Sonnar one), 52. Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar T* ZF.2: superlative, a world-class performer, the best lens available on a DSLR, "Otus without the name", "optical performance is absolutely identical to the Otus 85mm and 55mm lenses", a fantastic lens, the best Zeiss glass, corrected almost perfectly, a reference lens, ultra-high micro contrast over the entire frame only exceptional lenses can deliver, it is incredible just really really good, the finest 135mm lens ever made, blew my mind, magnificent gorgeous color with beautiful contrast and great bokeh, amazing out of this world, from-another-planet level of quality, simply stunning, good as an Otus, no question an awesome lens, definitely an Otus-class optical design, one of the best lenses there is period, the current best lens in existence, downright amazing, legendary lens, best in class very difficult to focus because of the relatively short throw and abrupt transition but oh boy what a rendering! manages to do this without any aspherical elements which makes for very smooth out of focus areas and transitions despite that apochromatic bite for the bokeh fans and those who need isolation at distance, a telephoto reference lens against which no others compare, sets a new performance metric among DSLR lenses, approaches perfection, perfected to a minute and hyperfastidious degree, it has no peer in its focal length range basically an Otus for less than half the price on a DX camera it's like having a 200mm f/2, quite special, the king of clarity, truly is world class, one of the highest rated lenses of all time, astounding, unsurpassed moderate telephoto, OMG out of this world the color is amazing, tried it out and am now spoiled forever, #favorite, the absolute sharpest lens you can possibly get (according to DXOMark sharper than 55mm and 85mm Otus lenses), so do not EVER photograph any woman over the age of 14 with this lens!!!, no doubt one of the world's great lenses, amazing optically perfect best 135mm ever made, focus is not an issue with a lens such as this when a lens is sharp and has no optical flaws at f/2 it's easy to focus, technically most perfect lens a great landscape lens rather big and heavy on the small Sony A7RII it feels unbalanced the Leica 135mm f/3.4 APO-Telyt-M is a great lightweight alternative for f/5.6 landscapes and a perfect match for the A7RII (or the CV 125/2.5 APO), image quality is already nearly perfect wide open at f/2, Zeiss' lens designer, Dr. Hubert Nasse, explains that the earlier Zeiss 135/2 APO is every bit as good as the more recent Otus branded lenses and could be but is not sold with the Otus body cosmetics only because it was developed prior to the Otus project, the Zeiss lens has oomphs of testosterone and the feel-good factor not to mention bragging rights so why settle for 2nd best? treat yourself to the Zeiss it's eye candy in addition to being the best 135mm lens, capable of producing a 31mm square image on a larger than full frame sensor, the main negative is you will no longer be happy with any other lens you ever had or purchased, out in the field of marginal use and carries a heavy penalty of size and weight one quickly grows tired of one out of focus eye and blurry everything except the iris f/4 is more appropriate even for modest depth of field, don't like the flare when pointed at the sun, the smaller and lighter E mount Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 on the Sony A7R II is highly portable and ultra-high performance, a shutter speed of 1/350s and above is safe (1/2.5-1/3x) for hand held photo's using a Nikon D810, one of only a few lenses that are really good center to corner wide open, an extra degree of clarity when stopped down to f/4 or so, unwieldy, if you want no holds barred performance and don't care about size, a superb lens one of the highest resolutions overall and the corners are amazingly good even wide open the optics are as good as it gets, a lens for those of us who care about the subtlety of highly corrected lenses, practice your manual focus and focus bracket anything critical, for distance it has a way nicer focus throw than the Zeiss 50mm or 100mm Makro-Planars, resolution is not the only reason this lens is so good what you get beyond it's resolution (which is essentially as high as anyone has tested on any DSLR) are three things: the famous Zeiss microcontrast and ability to delineate tonal and spatial items in the scene; proper and correct handling of subtle highlights and near-highlights subtle tones and colors that lie near each other are properly and realistically separated; and the Zeiss 135 is the most "not there" lens that doesn't impart some imprint on the scene uniquely astonishing in the way it just renders, has amazing color fidelity, acuity, and rendering that is very distinctive sharpness, even at f/2 is phenomenal one of the most perfect true Apochromat optics, essentially no astigmatism and practically no CA or purple fringing of tree branches shot with the sun directly behind them disgustingly perfect, a fantastic lens to use a stellar performer, don't think there is a better lens far outresolves the Nikon D800E there simply isn't anything better in real life usage as good as it's gonna get absolutely tremendous lens world class reference standard insanely good beyond impressive magical you'll be in heaven, no other 135mm lens from anyone is really in the same category, occasional double line bokeh at close-up distances, focus snaps immediately in the viewfinder, manual focusing is rather easy the sharpness and lack of fringing makes it easier, unlike other manual focus lenses the manual focus operation seems to be much easier visually than for example the the Voigtlander APO 125mm f/2.5, makes the most interesting shots that separate themselves from all of the point and shoot focal lengths that numerically dominate the worlds photos, moderately easy to focus accurately using the D700 optical viewfinder with Katzeye screen, a joy to manually focus because it's so sharp from wide open so it's very easy to focus and to trust focus peaking, the rendering is really something special hands down better than the autofocusing Zeiss Batis 85mm for the Sony FE mount, think of this lens as a shorter lighter manual focus 200 f/2, the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon and the 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar are the finest DSLR lenses ever made also rate as superior to the best Leica M glass in their respective focal length range, manual focus is easier and quicker than with the Zeiss 100/2 Macro, compared with the (a bit relaxed) rendering of the Voigtlander 125/2.5 (a very seriously nice piece of glass) the Zeiss 135/2 has a bit more global contrast and a bit more microcontrast plus better coating and thus highlight rendering, surprisingly shows considerably more depth of field than macro images with the Voigtlander 125/2.5 when used at the same settings, achieves a very high DxOMark lens score of 40 points and achieves an equally extraordinary 28P-Mpix sharpness score on the 36-Mpix D800 not only is it pin sharp at full aperture from corner to corner sharpness levels at f/2.8 are similar to those at f/5.6 on rival offerings chromatic aberration is also extremely low as you might expect with a lens boasting four anomalous partial dispersion glass elements and an Apo moniker from a firm such as Zeiss distortion is low vignetting is similarly low while transmission is still very good at 2.4 T-stops, at f/2 wide open you'll see some color fringing in items in front of the focus plane but won't see any on objects IN the focus plane, wide open at f/2 if you look hard you might detect the faintest trace of bokeh fringing, there is vignetting at f/2, for photographers wanting the very best, a world-class standout, one of the very best lenses ever produced for the 35mm format, a great lens with image quality comparable to the Nikon 200mm f/2, as awesome as the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon Otus, "offers outstanding clarity of detail, high contrast, and high resolution at any aperture, making it a perfect choice for medium-range portraits, very sharp easy to focus lens, landscape, and reportage photography", would recommend for tele landscape over the Zeiss 100/2 ZF since the 135mm has APO correction and also higher resolution, usability of the Zeiss 135/2 is much better than the 100/2 due to the 135mm's longer focus throw at normal shooting distances, three quarters of its very long focus throw is above 1 meter of distance, startlingly good, perfectly corrected (the Zeiss 100/2 ZF is more versatile but has CA wide open), the best in the Zeiss line-up, performance is outstanding for its sharpness and micro contrast with superb control of color errors and pleasing bokeh, offers correction so good that with a monochrome modified D800 very little focus difference is seen (at 36 megapixels) when changing from no filtration to blue or green or deep red filtration (extremely impressive!), absolute best lens in the Zeiss ZF.2 lineup, one of my favorite close-up lenses even through it is not a close-up lens, favorite small animal lens, its performance qualifies it as perhaps the best lens available today for Canon or Nikon, delivers a very high level of image quality with outstanding control of color aberrations and very high micro contrast even wide open, the highest performing lens in the entire Zeiss ZF.2 / ZE lens line indeed one of the highest performing DSLRs lenses available and is thus a must-have for any serious shooter, compelling presence exhibits a combination of its high micro contrast and beautiful blur qualities opposed to each other at wider apertures but also maintaining decorum as the lens is stopped down nothing unpleasant develops, the main negative is you will no longer be happy with any other lens you ever had or purchased, falling in love with this lens which I have not done for a long time, a pure Zeiss breed, delivers corner to corner and near to far the sum total result is truly exceptional especially at wider apertures where its high level of correction for aberrations results in a richness of rendition, , same weight as the Nikkor 24-70 and 14-24 heavy but manageable handheld, much better to focus by live view and by eye than the Zeiss 100/2 because of the level of correction, amazed at how easy I was able to focus, very small amount of longitudinal CA (the Voigtlander 125/2.5 is better corrected) but sensor blooming might be a contributing factor, beats nearly every lens in the Leica M line (with the possible exception of being at least as good as the Leica 90/2 APO ASPH and Leica M 50/2 APO ASPH when at their best stopped down), at least as well corrected as the two Leica R 100/2.8 and 180/2.8 APO lenses for secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration (if not slightly better) and it is free of lateral chromatic aberration and is at least as sharp as the two Leica R APO lenses especially near the edges, even if you stop down the Zeiss 100mm to f/4 the 135mm is still sharper wide open DOF is however extremely thin so that one can easily miss the focus bokeh quality and colors are great but it vignettes a bit wide open stopping down to f/2.8 helps with vignetting quite a bit the bokeh circles are never round except exactly in the center they are oval and it gets worse towards the borders when stopped down you can definitely see the aperture blades in the bokeh with the reproduction rate at 1:4 it is hard to call this lens a macro with extension tubes the quality decreases rapidly and so does the usable DOF the Zeiss 100/2 is a much better lens as a macro, remember that DOF is much more dependent on focal length than it is on aperture, subtle pincushion distortion while the Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar shows no distortion at all, not particularly beautiful bokeh, another superb product from Zeiss, a sweet lens amazing f/2 performance, Holy Cow! produces amazing images and deserves worshiping the Holy Grail of the 135 sharp wide open the colors are beautiful, snappy and vivid contrast and edge detail are mind blowing bokeh the out of focus areas rendered are simply gorgeous the transition from in and out of focus is smooth and dreamy the 9 blade aperture generates beautiful spheres which are pleasing to the eye contrast is so good that the focused area comes to life, the outer finish of the barrel is very slick and could easily be dropped, better and sharper with more contrast at f/2 then the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC at f/8, wow the best lens for a DSLR on the market today offering performance at the level of the best Leica R APO glass superlative a must-have optic representing the very best optical performance of the Zeiss ZF.2/ZE lens line one of the very best lenses on the market today, under close focus conditions at minimum focus distance was clearly better than 'real' macro lenses (the Sigma 150mm, Sigma 180mm and the Zeiss 100mm MP at the same magnification) a surprising result, much better corrected for longitudinal chromatic aberration than the Leica R 100mm f/2 APO, due to floating lens elements it is disappointing on a long extension tube like the Nikon PN-11 which causes the corners to get rather soft while the central portion of the image remains sharp works better with the Canon 500D 77mm diopter lens for closer than normal focusing but it's not as good as the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro Planar ZF.2 for real macro work, this is the 135 to have, the optics are based on Zeiss's highly regarded CP.2 2.1T/135 $5,700 cine lens, uniform blur discs instead of the soft blur discs of lenses with under-corrected spherical aberration, close focus down to 2.62 feet, elements/groups 11/8, angular field, diag./horiz./vert. 18.7 / 15.6 / 10.5, coverage at close range 145 x 96 mm (5.71 x 3.78"), image ratio at close range 1:4 (but it even works well enough with extension tubes to get closer), filter thread M77 x 0.75, dimensions (with caps) 128 mm, weight 920g (2.03 lbs), rear bayonet is attached with special screws. Nikkor 135mm f/2.0D AF DC: {Defocus Control: To use as a normal lens leave DC at its 0 (neutral) setting. For maximum sharpness, leave the DC control centered at 0 so that bokeh is the same front and rear. Improving bokeh decreases maximum sharpness. To emphasize the background blur, move the DC control towards the R. Start with the aperture f-stop setting equal to the DC ring setting. For "soft focus" try an f/2 aperture with f/2.8R DC or more. Set the DC first then focus. Refocus whenever changing the DC setting. The instruction to refocus after changing the DC control is not open to negotiation you end up with a complete mess when you forgot it.} {Tip: Can get very sharp results in the focus plane, by experimenting with DC Ring settings. You do not need to do AF tuning. Instead, with your aperture wide open to f2, set your DC ring settings BETWEEN f stops sequentially from between f/2 and f/2.8, to between f/2.8 and f/4, etc. Test at each setting. One of these between settings will be true zero. Once you find true zero, compensate accordingly for front or rear defocus settings. Although you will find f/2 quite sharp following this method, there will be a leap in IQ and sharpness at f/2.5.} Introduced in 1990, Nikon end of life January 2012, magic for people photographs, ultimate portrait lens, still favorite portrait/glamour lens!, a soft-focus lens from many years ago, one of the best lenses for portrait creamy bokeh machine, the King of Bokeh, the worlds best portrait lens, an epically good lens, unfocused reds that smooth skin, the very definition of fabulous bokeh, a truly beautiful lens breathtaking images and colors rendered, a great lens great compression and gorgeously smooth bokeh love the rendering has an almost cinematic look to it (more neutral, less contrast and punch than recent lenses with coatings especially wide open) which I really like a beautiful subtleness to it, quick autofocus for being screw driven accurate and consistent pretty sharp wide open and as sharp as you would ever want a lens to be by f/4 too many people mistake low contrast for a soft image when shooting wide open with this lens, resolves pixel-level detail from corner-to-corner by f/3.2 on the Nikon D800, really designed to hit its stride around f/3.2 and at that point it is perfect for portraits and sharp across the frame with chromatic aberration not much of an issue there are very few reasons to use this lens wide open, the worst con is chromatic aberration when you shoot a subject with a bright background you'll get chromatic aberrations all over the subject and if he/she wears a white shirt or dress it gets quite annoying this is one of major reasons why some people hate this lens, favorite portrait lens a bit soft at f/2 but there are very few things that I would ever take at f/2 with this lens with DOF as thin as a razor blade sharp across the frame at f/3.2 and beyond outresolving the Nikon D800 f/3.2 is a pretty good aperture for portrait work on a long lens, out-resolving the 70-200/2.8 VR II at f/2.8 and f/4, the all time favorite portrait lens there's a beauty, the lens is legendary the background blur control is so appealing and the built quality is amazing, one of the lenses people say that they would never sell, sold close to 50,000 copies, the background blur is incredible, just amazing for portraits, a superb lens and while it doesn't have quite the resolution as the Zeiss 135/2 wide open it is less than half the price and autofocuses one of the best value lenses available, as good as few portrait lenses ever were bokeh from heaven sharp across the frame by f/3.2 breathes a little bit so at closest focus distance it is about 115mm which is a nearly perfect portrait focal length, the only downside is the color fringing, one of the all metal toughest AF lenses ever made, delivers good bokeh, it's very good at flattering faces, if you want a dreamy looking soft image then use larger DC values than the aperture you set, for a pleasing smoothed portrait of an older woman use wide open at f/2 while focusing on her ears and setting DC to R 5.6, in a class on its own sharpness, accurate skin tone and gorgeous bokeh not super-sharp at f/2 but wonderful by f/2.8, stunningly at f/4, bokeh gorgeous, the most horrendous axial chromatic aberration the background is beautifully smooth but the slightly-out-of-focus bits of the subject turn into traffic lights and getting it to focus accurately is a pain, the two DC lenses reign supreme with the best bokeh among Nikon's line-up save for the uber-pricey Nikkor 200mm f/2, not as good as the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII optically, lightness and nobility in its rendering that I haven't seen in any other lens including the Nikon 200/2 VR which is phenomenal in its own right strongly recommend the Nikkor 135/2 DC if portrait work is your primary reason, otherwise I like the Zeiss 100/2 ZF better as a general purpose lens, whether you use the DC or don't use it is immaterial if the two DC lenses didn't have defocus control they would still be two of the best portrait lenses in history, would never sell it despite new lenses or better resolution has a magical render!, for portraits 50mm full body, 85mm half body, and 135mm for headshots, excellent image quality, zero distortion, a great lens but the focussing isn't great and it isn't pin sharp until f/4, absolutely razor sharp at f/2, average at best until f/4-f/5.6 the design is inherently low in contrast and longitudinal chromatic aberration can be a major issue, good at f/2.8, great by f/3.2 and astonishing at f/4, works just fine on Nikon D800 pixel-level sharpness across the frame by f/3.2 the bokeh is absolutely top notch love its character as a portrait lens, bad chromatic aberrations evert test shot outdoors had crazy purple/green fringing, great results on D800, as portrait lenses go the LoCA is annoying and not using f/2 helps, LoCA is often beyond correction I didn't buy it as an overweight f/4 f/2 is for desperation spent far too long trying to de-green a bride's hair, 135mm f/2 Zeiss is much better behaved and scarily sharp but hellaciously expensive, the Nikon 200/2 VR is just too big, nobody will be disappointed with the Zeiss 100/2 ZF it's just that the Nikkor 135/2 DC has such a beautiful rendering which gives it the edge when it comes to portraiture, probably the best if portraits is all you do, arguably the world's best portrait lens also Nikon's sharpest 135mm lens, affected strongly by chromatic errors that require at least f/4 to quell to an acceptable level, appealing image quality absolute favorite delightful bokeh, at close focus distances the focal length breathes somewhat so at closest focus is about 115mm which is a good focal length for portrait work, works beautifully on the Nikon D800 from f/3.2 it is sharp from corner to corner, love the ability to blur the background and make the subject stand out, best hand-held portrait lens ever, as well as a killer-sharp 135mm lens, hate the LoCA and not long enough to make fussy backgrounds go away (nothing loses a semi-distant background like a 400 f/2.8), wide open it's absolutely terrible in the sharpness department, among Nikon's sharpest lenses ever produced with sharpness exceptional even wide open at f/2 in the corners, my second copy is significantly sharper than my first, front-focusing issues supposedly are common, very visible LoCA as is almost everything else this fast, a disaster the LoCA is unacceptable and the autofocus is iffy, has much more purple fringing than most lenses but this is taken care of by the Axial CA correction option in VNX and CNX 2, rather soft it is not only the sharpness but also the contrast and the AF precision of the 135mm that is disappointing, don't give up on the 135 it gives renderings that you can't get with any other lens, focal lengths longer than 135mm tend to be impractical with difficulty in communication and lens repositioning plus the effect due to long distance perspective is unappealing the flattening effect of a lens that is too long is simply ugly, an excellent performer on the edges once you stop down to f/2.8 and pin sharp by f/3.2, a big lens due to its fast optics, a bit bulky for travel but the results are amazing, one of Nikon's sharpest lenses which can be got for a song, best lens at this focal length, simply a stellar lens prefer 135/2DC to 85/1.4G, stellar on the D700 but the D800 is showing its limitations still a great lens to shoot with but far fewer tac sharp images, it is incredible on the D800 renders totally differently than modern lenses, not so great at 36MP way too much CA not the sharpest wide open AF too quirky Nikon 135/2 AIS is better, the 70-200/2.8 VR II is sharper at all apertures from f/2.8 and has faster more reliable autofocus also handles flare much better, some veiling flare at f/2 and even at f/2.8 if you look closely but by f/4 the 135/2DC is very clear and sharp at near distances the 70-200/2.8 VR II easily beats it at f/2.8 but at f/4 they're quite close, the best specialized portrait lens, all time favorite, 135mm focal length for head and shoulders portraits, the reason to mount a DC lens is bokeh not sharpness, an awesome lens that autofocuses relatively slowly, difficult to focus lens, has a beautiful rendering, love the look that distinguishes the DC lenses (there is a learning curve to get the most out of the lens be patient you can create a horrible look if the lens is set incorrectly), with the old coating it is a relic that produces excellent skin tones, a very special portrait lens with really beautiful skin tones and the effect that the skin looks very smooth, most beautiful Nikon lens, has never let me down a very sharp wonderful lens, haven't been able to get one sharp photo at aperture larger than f/4.5, a specialty lens for portraiture only, stop it down a little for best image quality and to ensure sufficient depth of field and still get a nicely rendered soft background, include to go all in on superfast lenses, works beautifully on the D800 from f/3.2 it is sharp from corner to corner, sharpness requires f/4, a medium contrast lens tuned for skin performance, unsurpassed skin tone rendering, skin color that are very true to life don't think there is an other lens made that will beat the 105 and 135 DC as far as skin colors, "painterly" effect that is unique, Nikkor DC lenses are not soft focus lenses! You use the Defocus Control ring to subtily alter the smoothness of the out-of-focus areas in your picture with the DC lenses by matching the number on the DC ring with your working aperture. Use the R settings to smooth the background and the F settings to smooth the foreground OOF areas. Overall sharpness will decrease slightly and you have to refocus. By altering the #spherical aberration correction of the DC lens with the Defocus Control ring you can force kind of a soft focus effect by using a higher setting on the DC ring. Like setting the DC ring to 5.6 and using f/2., dialed in all the way it brought a true glow out, moderate contrast look, {NOTE: the zero marking on the DC ring is not necessarily the true zero of the adjustment which makes a huge difference can check with Reikan FoCal's Aperture Sharpness test}, a stunning piece of glass, all time favorite Nikon portrait lens doesn't get much sweeter than this, spectacular hard to imagine that Nikon could improve the 135DC one of my favorites, for portraits prefer this more soft with great bokeh lens, de-focus control which enables you to choose your bokeh and to choose your soft focus all in the sharpest lens that Nikon ever made, about 115mm actual focal length on the short focus end so not too long at all on FX what a beautiful lens, the fastest and longest lens this side of the 200 f/2, the perfect focal length for portraits on an FX body nice sharp portraits with a creamy bokeh, not only extremely sharp but has a lovely tonal rendering, the extra reach great for grabbing candid portraits, incredible lens creates special images which I am not sure could be done by another lens, has a real manual-focus ring that works exactly as it should, manual focus is the best of any autofocus lens it's even better than most manual-focus Nikon lenses, absolutely love it for tighter crops, a dedicated portrait lens, its autofocus is a marginally useless feature in terms of reliable critical focus for wider apertures, it not only de-focuses front or back as desired (and with some added glow to it) but also slightly shifts the apparent focus point which makes many owners think there is something not right with it at plain DC=0 this lens is nothing but amazing, set this ring to the same R aperture at which you're shooting which turns background into the softest smoothest washes of color you've ever seen (or set at the same F aperture for harsh background bokeh and smooth foreground bokeh) leave the defocus image control ring at zero and the 135 DC simply acts as the sharpest 135mm lens you've ever used the in-focus part of the image is always ultra sharp this is not a soft-focus lens it's only the unfocused parts of the image which are made softer the defocus control only controls defocus of the parts of the image that are not in focus but if you set the control beyond the aperture you're using you can get a softer focus effect adjust the lens from normal to super bokeh to soft focus if you push it too far when you set the defocus image control away from zero the focus shifts so be sure to focus after you set the defocus image control, one of those rare gems that is sharp and produces skin tones that can't be duplicated by Nikon's 70-200 f/2.8 VR or VR2 zooms, Diglloyd recommended hand-picked gear unusual defocus control lens get one while they're still made excellent for an ultra low light kit to go all in on superfast lenses, love the 135 more than the VR2 which is sharper at all apertures above f/2.8 but the 135 has superior bokeh, brighter and sharper than the 70-200 f/2.8 VR2 but slower focusing, known for it's soft and natural skin rendering, gorgeous with human skin but suffers from focusing issues wide-open and a bit lower contrast than newer lenses, this old fast glass does have lots of aberrations at wide apertures, if you use f/2 you set the DC ring to +2 or -2, at f/2.8 set the DC ring to +2.8 or -2.8 and so on, a plus setting at the DC ring will soften the background bokeh (at the expense of harsher foreground bokeh) and a minus setting will soften the foreground bokeh (while the background bokeh will get a bit harsher), {Leave the DC control set to 0 (zero) and it is very sharp in the center wide open and sharp across the frame at f/2.8. Use the DC control as suggested in the instructions and it moves the OOF area as described. Where the lens gets very interesting is when the DC control is set to a smaller f-stop than the selected aperture, i.e. aperture f/2.8, DC control f/4 or smaller. If a hardish light is used as the main light, I use an Elinchrom 18 cm reflector with a grid, the highlights appear to have a sharp core surrounded by a halo. Although it is isn't marked, the DC control actually goes to f/8, using this setting at an aperture of f/2.8 or f/4 gives an effect similar to that produced by Hollywood photographs of the 1930's. 'Ladies of a certain age' think the resulting images are wonderful.}, wide-open is a bit soft, nasty color fringes, basically useless if you hate chromatic aberration and need VR over 70mm, color fringes on blonde hair at f/2 are a big pain, LoCAs are really hard to correct in post processing, bad LoCA but a very good lens if you avoid monochrome transitions in the out-of-focus area, stop down (at least to f/4), or shoot in black and white, not extremely sharp wide-open but still very very usable, crazy sharp at f/2 if used properly, at f/2.8 to f/4 image sharpness is excellent, at f/2 images can be very soft due primarily to spherical aberration but also chromatic aberration which is gone by f/2.8 so hardly ever use it at f/2, not as sharp as I sometimes expect at f/2 although still good but is wonderful by f/2.8, fine tune it mine is sharp from f/2.2 but require +20 focus adjustment, misfocuses at times in low light which can get annoying, if shooting at anything smaller than f/5.6 don't use the DC ring or you'll find that nothing is in focus, focus breathing to 120.2mm focal length as it focuses to its closest distance, only about 1,400 sold per year, not quite as sharp as the far superior 70-200VR2 that is much more versatile and doesn't misfocus occasionally like the less conspicuous 135/2DC, it is half the weight and size and is a full stop faster but the 70-200 VRII runs circles around it, 70-200 is sharper and defocus is almost the same at f/2.8 so no reason to have the 135 maybe the defocus in the 135 is slighty better but the color fringes are bad, the purple fringes was enough to turn me off, if you dare to have slightly too little depth of field for example, focus on someone's eyes and have their hair start to blur then, wide-open it has the worst LoCA, has more CA than either the Zeiss 100/2 ZF or Leica R 100/2.8 and is not as sharp as either but has fantastic bokeh, great lens speed, and autofocus, just a superlative lens with good resolution out to the corners, very sharp center to corner at f/2 at mid to long distances (beyond about 10') with some very slight field curvature barely noticeable at wide stops near infinity, performance is poor near minimum focus at wide apertures, the 135mm's only a "nice to have" only found use for the DC feature occasionally and CA in the out-of-focus area can mean extra time spent in post-processing if it was stolen or destroyed tomorrow I doubt I'd replace it, breath-taking when focused wide-open but proper focus is not always easy {how to get precise focus every time: Try a shot with the DC controls zeroed; Try additional test shots using DC -.5, -1, -1.5, etc. and +.5, +1, +1.5, etc.; One of those shots will be exceptionally sharp make note of the DC setting; always set the lens for that DC setting, at every aperture, for always very sharp results; If you want DC effects, simply add or subtract the DC number you want to your test number, not to zero}, defocus control only affects the softness of the edges of out of focus regions (and to a lesser extent overall image sharpness) the relationship between depth of field and amount of background blur is purely defined by the scene geometry the DC can only alter how the bokeh looks, not its amount the bokeh of the DC lens is potentially smoother than the 85mm lenses, a protection/UV filter with my lens seems to increase the CA, soft until stopped down so useable at f/4 but I wasn't happy till f/5.6, you just have to understand how shallow the DOF is, the quality of the light really does seem to matter with this lens, very sharp shots at f/2 when the light was contrasty, trouble finding an accurate focus point under tungsten lighting, if the subject is a young child the flexibility of a zoom particularly when using a ringflash means the 70-200 wins hands down, no zoom lens matches its bokeh or delicious skintones and it is also one stop faster and focuses closer which adds up to much more shallow DOF, nothing hyped about the 135DC it's a spectacular lens and I much prefer it to the rather boring 70-200VR2, make sure that the DC ring is in the dead center to use the lens as a conventional 135mm f/2 and get the best sharpness out of the lens to get the best bokeh out of the lens move the DC ring to the left and set it at the f-stop you are currently using if you go beyond the f-stop you are using the lens goes soft as if you had a soft focus filter on it for example for shooting a portrait at f/4 control the background bokeh by turning the DC dial to the left one, two, or three clicks (2, 2.8, 4) and adjust to get the bokeh effect you desire beyond 4 to the 5.6 setting the lens will soften and blur some of the in-focus objects giving a soft focus look, especially with DC set to non-neutral this lens seems to confuse the autofocus system (usually front-focuses) so try setting the fine tuning adjustment but different apertures and DC settings might require different offsets, for head shots, 3/4 portraits and some close-ups I have to yet find another lens that compares with the 135/2DC but I don't really care for it much as a general purpose tele because once away from your subject it somehow loses its magic, no hot spots in #infrared, 105 and 135 DC lenses perform not as well wide-open due to aberration and lack of ED glass elements the largest aperture setting to use 99% of time is f/2.8 on both DC lenses am more comfortable using 105VR and 70-200VR2, ED glass absent from 105 and 135 DC lenses is why the 70-200mm VR2 produces much better optical performance, the bokeh of DC lenses surpasses the 70-200 VR2, cannot be replaced by the VR2, I find that the 70-200mm VR2 produces better bokeh than the DC lenses, 70-200 is also excellent but it does not have the same portrait magic, the VR2 won't give you the same magic that you get from the 135DC but the DC won't nail focus on fast moving subjects nor let you hand hold at a 15th of a second, DC lenses tend to miss focus due to spherical aberration on FX, and you need to fine tune AF for certain camera-to-subject distance values, center sharpness it is almost as good as the new 85G or 24G but corner sharpness is not as good as any of new Nikon AFS primes, has that certain look that I can't duplicate with the 85 f/1.4G more of the nostalgic/classic look, would give up my 85 for this lens without thinking twice, bokeh that's buttery-soft, one of Nikon's sharpest lenses ever, has bad flare performance, has the old school Nikon colors definitely not in line with Nikon's Nano lenses, possibly the nicest bokeh of any lens Nikon's ever made, magic, the DC feature isn't as hard to figure out as many people make it to be, and the lens is wonderfully sharp even wide-open with the DC neutral, the AF isn't as fast as some of the other Nikkors (85mm f/1.4D can AF much faster) because of the way the screwdriver AF is geared on that lens, among the world's greatest portrait lenses, you'd be doing yourself a favor if you used only this lens as your only tele it's that good, weak-in-the-knees good!, has a particular beauty in its rendition a unique gorgeous transition to out-of-focus, at f/8 this lens is the sharpest I've ever seen and the quality of photo (color/contrast) is incredible, built like a tank, prone to strong CA when used wide-open on digital cameras, has the worst LoCA I've ever seen I'm selling mine because I don't want to spend time removing the green hair and purple shirt collars from any more wedding photos, can present serious CA from f/2 to f/2.8 most of the times it is possible to correct in post-processing, rather strong longitudinal color aberrations but absolutely beautiful bokeh, see some wild LoCA, frustrated with the longitudinal chromatic aberration the bokeh is beautiful but the cost is spending ages trying to remove the purple rinse from any slightly out-of-focus hair losing my fondness for the optic, newer 135DC starting with serial #500xxx and above should have much less CA wide-open, longitudinal CA that is hard to fix but rare, purple fringing longitudinal CA is its main fault in high-contrast situation below f/4, has lateral CA as well, better CA performance on FX than DX, but it has fantastic bokeh, great lens speed, and autofocus, bokeh is good but nothing extraordinary, not the best bokeh, flares with relative ease at wide apertures, green-channel transmission efficiency 86%, lens T-stop T/2.16, compromised/complicated autofocus, focus after using DC to avoid the subject being out of focus, AF is not always accurate with some subjects, bad copies auto focus inaccurately unfixable front focus, focus error increases as you get closer to the subject so if you try to correct it with in-camera fine tuning you improve the situation on some particular distance and make things even worse on the others, the AF/MF changeover collar tends to fail in about half the lenses (it's the same design on the 60mm f/2.8D, 85mm f/1.4D, 105mm f/2.0 DC, 135mm f/2.0 DC, 200mm f/4 micro-Nikkor, and the old 80-200mm), back-focusing issues, it has more CA than either the Zeiss 100/2 ZF or Leica 100/2.8 APO and is not as sharp as either, but it has fantastic bokeh, great lens speed, and autofocus, Zeiss 135/1.8 for Sony A900 blows away the Nikon in every way: color rendering, tonality, detail, bokeh (close, but a slight edge), and perfect saturation, and MUCH sharper wide-open, built-in telescoping locking metal hood that rotates to lock into the extended position, Haruo SATO of Nikon received US Patent 5,841,590 on Nov. 24, 1998 for the defocus control design its cross-section looks very much like that of the Zeiss Makro-Planar, 7 elements in 6 groups, extra rear optical flat to protect against dust, 9 rounded aperture blades, min. focus distance 1.1m (max. magnification ratio 1:7.1), exit pupil distance 59mm, 120x79mm, 815g, filter non-rotating, build-in barrel shaped hood, 72. Hasselblad 6x6 Carl Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f/2.8 T* F: [6x6 horizontal angle of view of 21 is similar to 97mm horizontal angle of view of 21 on FX; comparing 6x6 and 35mm lenses, 150mm roughly equals 85mm equivalent] a superb lens and one of my favorites, a top-class lens with extraordinary versatility suited for documentary, editorial and portrait photography, made in Germany, the classic portrait lens focal length for Hasselblad, the standard 6x6cm fashion lens focal length, will flatter even your favorite model, the perfect lens for 6x6 head and shoulder portraits, beautiful bokeh, the best of all Zeiss lenses between 120mm and 180mm, ideal for portraits, very very sharp love the lens, bokeh is consistent and is gorgeous, one of the classic portrait lenses, a favorite focal length of wedding photographers at one time, light and easy to focus, outstanding lens, a very good lens indeed, a superb lens and one of my favorites, beautiful optic, incredible lens, sublime, a very good lens for people and portrait photography, the classic Zeiss portrait optic, for portraits use the 150mm with a softar for women, one of the classic 6x6 portrait lenses, the classic portrait lens for the Hasselblad an extension ring will turn it into a macro lens, when coupled with a 16mm extension tube becomes an outstanding portrait lens, 150mm focal length is the least used, in the Zeiss white papers on optics it's the Sonnar they show as what they consider to be the perfect portrait lens, shallowest DoF among the best choices currently in the MF world for shallow creamy Bokeh, like all Sonnars a Cooke Triplet derivative, 150mm is the 6x6 classic Zeiss portrait optic focal length, easier to hand hold than 180mm, unlike 180mm does not produce too much compression which leads to a flat look that makes the 180mm not popular for portrait, VERY impressed even wide-open, the performance is great, very very sharp, it is the sharpest lens in the 120 to 180 mm range of the Zeiss/Hasselblad (Makro-Planar 120/4, Sonnar 150/4, Sonnar 150/2.8, Tessar 160/4.8, Sonnar 180/4) and almost no one knows it, Hasselblad 150mm f/2.8 lenses are common, F version is a bargain ~$500 (not true of FE version which is much rarer ~$1,500), a better performer than the 150/4 CF and easier to focus because it is brighter, full utilisation of the correction potential of this type of lens has resulted in superb image quality and high speed, beautiful bokeh exhibits that Zeiss character and micro detail ... and the big apertures provide pleasing bokeh when shot wide-open, need an extension tube for head and shoulders portraits with some Hasselblad 150mm lenses, the 16mm extension tube works best for portraits including head shots, great for three-quarter length portraits, often use an 8mm or 16mm extension tube to shoot portraits there is a chart giving the exposure compensation needed for various lens/tube combinations, my favorite in this focal length neighborhood, it is quite small (same housing as the Planar 110/2), extremely compact at the infinity setting the distance between the front lens vertex and the film plane is only as long as the focal length, iris is not round when stopped down, very bright (f/2.8), and is capable of resolving fantastic 200 line pairs per millimeter like the famed Biogon 38/4.5!, get one if you can!, you won't regret it, a superb lens and one of my favorites, 150/2.8 FE lens discontinued at the end of 2001, very shallow depth of field obtained at f/2.8, for portraits you will not use the f/2.8 very often and even f/4 is too shallow most times, light weight and easy to focus, some LoCA wide-open, there is no leaf shutter version of this f/2.8 lens, entrance pupil 58.9mm behind the first lens vertex, 5 blade aperture diaphragm, Focal Length 151.1mm, Angle of View Diag./Horizontal 29/21, No. of Elements 5, Focusing Range 4ft 6 in-infinity, Weight 1 lb 9 oz (710g), Length 3 7/16 in (87mm), Bay 70 filters B70. Cosina Voigtlnder 180mm f/4 APO-Lanthar Close Focus, Series I, AIS for Nikon: a rare bird, hard to come by, production volume for Nikon 180/4 APO exists in 700 (possibly up to 1,000) copies, less than 1,000 copies manufactured in Nikon mount, the rarest of all SL I series APO-Lanthar lenses, only 3,000 total made (of which only 1,600 were in Nikon mount), at most 1,000 units were produced in 6 mounts over a brief period in 2003 with production ending 4 months after its announced introduction, they were made in Nikon, Pentax, Olympus & M42 mounts (possibly others) the Nikon version used typically sells for 40-50% more than the others ($1,000-1,200), discontinued in 2003 with last stock globally sold out by early 2006, since then rare on eBay with only 3 appearing 2010 and 1 in 2009, near impossible to find: Telephoto with world-class chromatic correction, wonderful, cream machine, great colors and contrast, one of the forgotten marvels, highly recommend unbelievable especially for its size, a true APO lens with a very high level of correction for longitudinal chromatic aberration and secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration as well as lateral chromatic aberration appeals as an exceptionally compact 180mm telephoto with that excellent chromatic correction lens coatings leave something to be desired (flare and contrast) but it is generally a good performer, its almost impossible to believe the focal length color correction is phenomenal and whilst overall contrast is somewhat low compared to modern designs it does make for very smooth tonal transitions micro contrast is excellent but watch out for flare use of the hood is a must, one of the best corrected APO lenses aroundnot even Leica APO lenses approach its level of correction, deserves a place amongst the legends, there is simply no other option if you need a high quality lightweight telephoto, so small and portable that you will use it lots more than anticipated a great lens for portraits and other near subjects, its compact size and high performance will never go out of style, very tough at times to get it to be sharp at distance, sharp as a tack at infinity correctly focused but it's very hard to focus at infinity because you can't rely on the hard stop and the focus throw is incredibly short at long distances, remarkably small lens for its focal length, a strong performer in terms of resolution, does not like anything in front of the lens filter seems to take a bite out of the sharpness, when it's used in cooler temperatures (<70F) seems to be much sharper than when used in the heat (>80F), smallest lens with such a long focal length and outstanding optics on the Sony A7rII, about half the volume and half the weight of the Leica 180/2.8 APO but f/4 may give pause to some like it because it's so compact and lightweight compared to the Leica or Nikon 180 offerings fits into a jacket pocket easily which is a big plus under some circumstances, some hiking landscapers look for slow but outstanding lenses (even if we have faster bigger ones for other purposes), a lovely little lens, a fantastic lens, there's no other lens quite like it, a stunner that also travels well, extreme optical quality, the gem of the teles the most amazing lens I've ever set my eyes on! even doing macro with extension tubes, one of the nicest lenses just renders gorgeously, a very good lens at f/8, a very high level of correction for longitudinal chromatic aberration, secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration and lateral chromatic aberration appeals as an exceptionally compact 180mm telephoto with that excellent chromatic correction lens coatings leave something to be desired (flare and contrast) but it is generally a good performer, tiny lens, very sharp, great color and bokeh, a keeper for sure, total absence of longitudinal and transverse chromatic aberration, the one lens I've never been able to make fringe either in or out of the focus plane, only two lenses (the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro being the other) that are truly free of secondary longitudinal chromatic aberration (color bokeh) both being f/4 lenses which is a major brightness compromise, better up close than at distance very compact, smooth out of focus areas and highlights, drop in image quality at infinity, not the sharpest lens but great colors and great contrast, resolving power and acuity seem to vary with distance maximum aperture of f/4 at infinity is less than ideal you really need f/5.6 or preferably f/8 beyond f/11 diffraction sets in so you've really only got two usable stops at infinity at middle distances (say up to about 300-400m) things move up a stop f/4 becomes acceptable and f/5.6 is excellent at middle-close distances (between say 20-100m) all apertures are usable and f/4 is pretty darned good even towards the edges on a Nikon D810 at no point does the microcontrast threaten an Otus it's a fairly low contrast lens that has high resolving power but moderate contrast at best, wouldn't dream for letting it go for less than $2000! its quality vs. size/weight ratio is unbeatable so wonderful to be able to go out with such a small and discreet lens and still get that range & image quality without gathering attention or hurting your shoulders a dream to focus manually with because of its moderate aperture build quality is top-notch (as a matter of fact it's housed in an Zeiss Contarex lens body and put together by the same people who make Zeiss Z* lenses), this lens is in the "pried out of cold dead fingers" category, handles CA very well even far into out-of-focus areas, it's just awesome to be able to take a telephoto out and nobody will be able to tell that you're carrying such a long lens, mine was not sharp at longer distances, mine is sharp at infinity, in two of three copies the end stop of focus infinity point of the lens in reality was more close than infinity, at infinity it isn't so much that it's soft it isn't that it's a 'close focus' lens so focus gets twitchy toward infinity where its harder to get precise focus, close focus is not quite close enough, at infinity it can be a bit tough to exactly nail the focus, a little sensitive to veiling flare, flares in a dramatic and contrast reducing way but can be tamed to a large extent by shading the front element, an excellent lens maybe not up to the very level set by the shorter 125/2.5 but it can't be very far behind at its peak performance for middle-ground subjects up close sharpness drops so does it towards infinity since we're talking about a small decline from a very high level of performance this means that even under the less ideal conditions will easily best most other lenses very crisp yet delicate rendition of scene tonality just like the old ED large-format Nikkors not bad but less resistant to flare and ghosting for #infrared photography no hot spots and no significant focus shift for IR at all, aperture blades can close assymetrically in many samples, what I like most is its compact size and close-focus ability, so light that it's become irreplaceable in my travel kit, great pano lens, no doubt this lens delivers sharpness, bokeh, contrast, close focus love it's small size, hard to beat, stellar performer #wide-open, closer than 3m this lens doesn't really have an equal, generally considered a close focus lens optimized for near to medium distance subjects, a great component of a travel kit, performs very well at infinity and MFD, infinity stop calibration sample variation some copies don't focus to infinity or may require stopdown to f/8 while other copies are superb at infinity, one of the true cream machines, tiny and sharp with lovely color and bokeh, a great 'pocket' tele close focus allows its smooth bokeh to shine true APO gives a very clean image so sharp and so small! and the build quality is top notch, tack sharp from wide-open, extreme optical quality, moderate vignetting wide-open, practically gone at f/5.6 and all gone at f/8, sharpness center to edge is very good even at f/4, but it slightly improves at f/5.6, from f/5.6 to f/11 it's difficult to distinguish differences until it declines at f/16, as expected, apart from half an f-stop of vignetting and tiny loss of contrast it does as good a job wide-open as at f/5.6, relatively low contrast wide open, unacceptably low in contrast (hazy) at f/4, shoot without hesitation at f/4, stop down to f/5.6 to pop the contrast up and yield more even illumination, f/8 is also excellent but beyond that diffraction begins to degrade image contrast, a pronounced veiling haze wide open which greatly reduces overall contrast but stopping down to f/5.6 helps immensely with f/8 bringing the best result but diffraction intrudes by f/8, a close focus lens optimized for near to medium distance subjects, the compact size makes it my preferred telephoto for outdoor/hiking use, sharp and clean from wide-open at any focusing distance with the main drawbacks being the slow maximum aperture and slight vignetting at f/4 the close-focusing distance (down to 4ft/1.2m) is handy for detail shots bokeh is decent but not exceptional in areas nearer to the focus plane there can be some double-banding which smooths out at farther distances, excels for medium to close distances, bokeh is better than the Voigtlander 90mm and more on par with the 125mm, bokeh is not as good as the Leica 180/2.8 APO, great lens for candid street photography but wouldn't chose it for classic portrait work it's wickedly sharp and its relatively deep DOF compared with an f/2.8 means that more than the typical sharp-eye is in focus bokeh can get pretty funky when the background is "busy" and only a few metres or so behind the subject, a wonderfully sharp though not perfectly APO lens quite superior to the much heavier Nikkor 180/2.8 AIS, very good for closer by pictures but it lacks sharpness for objects further away cropped Zeiss 100/2 ZF pictures are much sharper, like most its compact size and close-focus ability, great image quality in a tiny package, the performance versus size is simply awesome you can take it to events and never get weird looks or questions, it is a true apochromatic lens as can be seen by the overall purity of color and the very small amount of axial CA but that doesn't mean it has zero axial CA or zero lateral CA, subjects which are rendered flawlessly by the 125 APO can have color fringes with the 180 not much but easily demonstrable contrast is a tad lower too and this makes the color rendition less pure so "less APO than the 125", never happy with its lens coatings (contrast), wish it had more modern coatings it's not very high in contrast, marginal lens coatings, the close-focusing distance (down to 4ft/1.2m) is handy for detail shots, gets a little front heavy fully extended for close focusing ... but the thing is so tiny it's no big deal love this lens, bokeh is decent but not exceptional in areas nearer to the focus plane there can be some double-banding which smooths out at farther distances, on Sony camera with magnified focus and especially on TAP autofocus adapter it's revealed as being much sharper at infinity than I thought (I think it was just the shortness of focus throw making it hard to focus exactly at long distances that gave it a rep for being good but not great at infinity), so small and usefully close focussing, easier to focus accurately than the Nikon 200mm f/4 AIS, bokeh is not as good as the Leica 180/2.8 APO and Mamiya APO 200/2.8, after it went out of production people finally realized how nice a highly corrected APO telephoto is, comparatively tiny, a lens with character, a very good performer without any major weaknesses, sharp as hell starting WO even at MFD, no aberrations, Steve's camera in Los Angeles or CameraQuest can adjust infinity focus if lens does not reach infinity, very sharp wide-open, shows very little vignetting, distortion, or CA, Leica-APO-quality in it's CA control, purple fringing absolutely absent, one of a very few exceptionally well-corrected apochromatic lenses that eliminate such color aberration effects as the fairly unpleasant out of focus color bokeh, not a true APO lens showing color fringing in the corners (but no axial chromatic aberration) completely correctable in software but far less than with the Nikon 180/2.8 ED AF, a very close proxy to the Leica R 180/2.8 APO if you can find one, superior to the older much heavier Nikkor 180/2.8 AIS by any metric, the CV is the crown prince to the Leica King as well as much cheaper and with auto stop-down, could not find any used sample in the market that current owners were willing to sell which says a lot about this lens!, bokeh beautiful, one of those few cream machines, great colors, lens coatings are not as effective as others but offering more subdued color rendition that yields a unique character, color less saturated than Canon 70-200L f/4 IS that has a hood larger than this lens, all the SL series APO-Lanthars have a focusing that is geared for close-up use which allows critically precise near focusing but at the same time focus near or at infinity is very very touchy and likely to cause focusing errors unless the user is aware of this characteristic of the lenses, all of the APO-Lanthars (90/125/180) focus ever so slightly beyond infinity, built beautifully, the square version of the hood is way too short and inefficient, very close focusing (12" IIRC) and sharp as hell starting WO, even at MFD, works as a macro lens when put on a bellows, a fantastic little lens, heck of a good value, though a little difficult to focus, very well dampened and smooth, has 9 elements in 7 groups, 9 aperture blades, a smallest aperture of f/22, a close focus distance of 3.9 feet at 1:4, picture angle 14, diameter 65.6mm, length 79mm, and weight of 485g, 49, introduced September 2003, LH-75S bayonet hood.

180mm f/2.8 ED Nikkor AIS, Angular field diag. 1340': great lens, incredible bokeh, another Nikon legend, use for head shots and tight face shots, another classic portrait lens, superb, one of the best AIS lenses, just as sharp as some of the newest lenses, has Zeiss like color, a bit of magic, very, very sharp, with peak quality at f/5.6-f/8, quality images wide-open, best f/5.6-f/16, but f/4 needed to obtain extreme excellent landscape corner performance; best one stop down at f/4; stopped down it looses its edge; one of Nikons sharpest telephotos suitable for wide-open shooting; flare and ghosts can be a problem under high-contrast conditions; some slight CA but has wonderful optical qualities; Relatively small and compact it is a great prime; simply one of the sharpest lenses Nikon ever made; bokeh is really very nice; often used by pro photographers at rock concerts and by nature photographers at dawn and dusk due to its combination of range, speed and image quality; for astrophotography wide open is sharp to the edge on the stars; a better than very good lens; everything about the lens is great from wide-open, all the way into the corners, can use with a K1 5.8mm extension ring for sharp close head shots {CAUTION: K1 ring DAMAGES lens electrical contacts.}, a classic Nikkor lens with a well deserved reputation for sharpness, sharp at f/2.8 and every other aperture by reducing the secondary chromatic aberration, very good at f/2.8 and awesome at f/4-f/11, as all Nikkors it has some light falloff wide-open that mostly is gone at f/4 and is completely gone at f/5.6, #no distortion, nine-bladed diaphragm, the best of the 180mm Nikkors (F, Ai-S and AF-D), the axial CA seems even more pronounced with digital sensors than film and remains visible to some degree even up to f/8, disappointing on the Sony A7RII just can't keep up, pretty heavy and lots of CA, loads of CA of all sorts and subtle purple cast wherever you look although quite a sharp lens relegated to B&W shooting until a CV 180 APO displaced it entirely, great wide-open delivers as a near-macro lens on tubes love it for candids, while accurately focusing this fast lens is a joy and far easier than the Voigtlnder 180mm f/4 (it seems to me that the Nikkor delivers much brighter viewfinder illumination than the 1-stop difference would suggest), for portraits the working distance is too far at times, infrared performance is poor due to a severe IR hot spot issue, pictures have some magic I don't find with other lenses except the 105/2.5 even the 70-200VRII doesn't come close it's not about sharpness, more bokeh, micro contrast, etc., the purple discoloration can be seen just about everywhere in the frame so can best use it in lower contrast lighting conditions (where it renders colors quite vividly) or to create B&W images in lower light situations, [better than Minolta 200/2.8 APO, Canon 200/2.8 (less sharp and "over-saturated" color), Nikon 200/2 AIS (a superb performer, but too large and heavy), Leica 180/3.4 APO (great for infinity only, and with substantial fall-off), Leica 180/2.8 (non APO - just OK), Olympus 180/2.8; compared with Nikon AF version, diaphragm blades are not exposed, less color fringing (like none) and better bokeh, excellent sharpness across the frame, with minimal light fall-off, from wide-open, excellent for astrophotography, one of the best bargains, AI-s is plenty sharp even though the AF is sharper. Also superb is Angenieux 180/2.3], Filter factor: If you use a polarizer (1-2/3 stop factor) with a 180mm f/2.8 ED AI-s lens, override the data in the Non-CPU-Lens menu tell the menu that it's an f/5 lens and the matrix metering will be perfect in every light, use PN-11 extension tube for 1:3 close-ups [(limited to 1:3.4 to 1:2.4) and allows a large working distance (80-60cm!)], AIS 180/2.8ED + PN-11 extension tube produces extremely high quality macro results, the PN-11 extension tube with tripod mount makes using the 180 much easier by providing good support as well as improving the close focus distance, use with Nikon TC-201 2x Teleconverter.

200mm f/4 AI, Angular field diag. 1220': great lens, great optical and mechanical quality, gem, a wonderful lens, excellent, the size to quality ratio is spectacular, sharp and small, slender, nicely-handling and unobtrusive telephoto, optical gem, performs quite nicely, great optically and small there is nothing like it now in Nikon's autofocus lens offerings, great images, #no distortion, a little low in contrast, probably the contrastiest old Nikkor, no ghosts feel free to point it right into the sun at sunset, susceptible to flare, the rather long minimum focus distance limits its general use but superlative as a landscape lens easy to bring along and has great sharpness and contrast for those 'compression' effect shots of mountains, cities, etc., one of Nikon's less appreciated jewels, small, light, and holds up well on Nikon D800, great on my D700 but seriously runs out of gas at anything above 12 megapixels, really runs out of steam on a 36MP body and also has flare issues not as good as the Nikon 70-200/2.8 AFS VRII at any aperture, just does not hold up at 36MP especially off center also has some CA and flare issues, very good lens on 12MP but starts losing it at 24MP and higher, for the money one of the best and most compact lenses, impressively sharp even wide-open, good at f/4 but stellar above, peak performance by f/5.6, but f/8 needed to obtain extreme excellent landscape corner performance, quite good at infinity, an amazing macro lens for bellows use, brilliant lens sharp enough wide-open with great bokeh, for a fine, underrated, and very lightweight prime you can't beat the 200/4, exceptional, amazingly sharp wide-open and is oh so small for a reasonably fast 200mm lens, very sharp stopped down, and a great size, stunningly contrasty and sharp at f/4 to f/8, fairly heavy vignetting in the far corners wide-open at f/4 the only weakness of this lens, crap no bite/crisp/pop, sharp all over with some light falloff at f/4, no light falloff by f/5.6-f/8 and as sharp as it gets, very very good wide-open, as sharp as any at f/5.6, so light and compact for a 200mm that it is hard to believe it can be so sharp and contrasty, relatively small and light compared to other 200mm solutions, needs quite a high shutter speed to get crisp shots, always surprised by the IQ of this lens when I use it, very, very good, light and sharp with slight CA, a bit of color fringing in some situations wide-open but this lens is fantastic better than the Nikkor 70-300 VR, at full aperture some vignetting is visible, which disappears at f/5.6, as good as the Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VR I in the center and much better at the extreme corners, junk - small and light but slow and fuzzy - don't waste your money on one of these, poor infrared performance with a drop in image quality and a troublesome IR hot spot, extremely well made, light, compact, inexpensive, small, handy package, works great with extension tubes and close-up lenses, works fine with Nikon achromatic diopters and with reversed lenses yielding magnification of 200/X, where X is the focal length (in mm) of the reversed lens (best results are obtained by attaching the longer lens to the camera and reversing the shorter one, transforming the shorter lens into a highly corrected close-up lens, whose diopters are 1000/X, for example, a 50mm lens acts as a highly corrected, multicoated, multielement 20 diopters close-up lens; one of the best bargains, the Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AI-S is slightly better in sharpness and contrast but both lenses are excellent and the 200/4 is so much better than most present zooms, 180 ED AIS is much much better, strongly disagree because the 200mm f/4 is the clear winner; the shooting aperture must be set on the 200mm lens attached to the camera and the shorter, reversed 50mm lens is set at its largest aperture, focused at infinity), with +1.5 diopter Nikon 3T, 1:3.3-1:2 range at 83-68cm from the subject, with the +2.9 diopter Nikon 4T achromat, 1:1.2 reproduction ratio, great as a macro lens macro used with Sigma achromatic 52mm macro close up lens ?+1.6 from the Sigma 90mm Macro plus Nikon TC200 or PN-11 tube giving very sharp macro combination at 3x enlargement, AI version has stiffer focusing, (better optical performance than AF, far better made mechanically than any AF lens, just as sharp as larger and heavier 180mm f/2.8), AIS version has better color contrast probably due to improved coatings, built-in telescoping hood, nine-bladed diaphragm, 52.

200mm f/4 Nikkor-Q: 1960's adequate lens that has been superseded by better optics and needs to be stopped down to f/8, but surprisingly this old single-coated lens can be used for UV photography. While the UV transmission compared to the reference lens, UV-Nikkor 105 mm f/4.5, isn't bad (-2 EV), you do need to stop down to get good sharpness and there is a signficant #focus shift, more than in IR. If you don't expect miracles, this lens can be a cheap way of getting into #ultraviolet photography. The #infrared performance of this old-timer is very good no hot spots occur and if you stop down to f/11 excellent IR results can be achieved.

Carl Zeiss Hasselblad 250mm f/5.6 CF Sonnar Superachromat, Zeiss Cat. No. 104532: [comparing 6x6 and 35mm lenses, 250mm roughly equals 135mm equivalent], made in Germany, rare lens with quartz and fluorite elements developed for NASA using a very different optical formula compared to the normal 250mm lens, designed for Zeiss by Prof. Maxmillian Herzberger, the first camera objective lens with perfect color correction a ZEISS development from 1972 features a lens made of fluorite (Calcium Fluoride) prepared originally for the American Space Program with a very small production of less than 50 units per year delivered only for special orders, fluorite lenses are hygroscopic and tend to splinter when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations so are only used within optical systems, one of the best lens ever made, finest photo lens ever conceived and brought to reality with perfect (far beyond apochromatic) color correction never achieved before over the entire spectral range from 400nm (the border of the ultraviolet range) to 1,000nm (which is far inside the infrared domain) with residual aberrations within the Rayleigh limit, single coated T-coating (not T*) to pass UV and IR for #infrared photography and #ultraviolet photography, comes without an infrared-index mark because no infrared focus correction needs to be applied, an ultimate lens built in three versions all with the same optical formula one of the few lenses whose performance doesn't appear to improve as you stop down because it's already so high at maximum aperture doesn't have the macrocontrast of other Zeiss lenses but microcontrast in abundance there is no T* coating on any version of this lens because it interferes with IR/UV transmission some care must be taken with flare tricky to use because of length and vibration and focus throw (very long, so transitions are slow) but when everything lines up the results are uniquely transparent especially on the 50MP medium format CMOS sensors the medium format equivalent of the Voigtlander 180 APO-Lanthar, five aperture blades, the focussing ring can rotate beyond infinity to allow use in a variety of temperature conditions, fabulous, great glass, simply the best telephoto lens for Hasselblad, one of the top-of-the line lens of the Hasselblad system a special purpose lens with unique optical design which gives perfect chromatic correction an ideal lens for close portraits and tightly framed shots, exceptional Hasselblad lens, amongst the very few medium format lenses to hit the diffraction limit of white light 250 lp/mm at f/5.6, {You can meter quite easily with the 203FE even when using older C and CF lenses. This trick requires using the lens leaf shutter. Simply put the camera in 'A' mode and focus and compose as usual. Read the shutter speed displayed ('250' for example). On the lens body, dial in the shutterspeed '250' so that it coincides with the maximum aperture of the lens '2.8' on the aperture dial. Then you can flip on the EV lock and dial in the aperture you want. This sounds complicated but in actuality is quite easy and smooth.}, one of the sharpest tools they run about 3x the price of a standard 250 if you can find one, makes a nice portrait lens (even on a APS-C sensor DSLR with 1.6x crop factor) i.e. angle of view 400mm focal, really good background bokeh at f/5.6, diffraction limited in the central area (image field of 38mm x 38mm), a classic, even adapted to 35mm format it is stunning, maybe the perfect landscape lens, no color fringing at all probably the best lens ever made even exceeding the Leica 90/2 APO, a better lens than the Sonnar 250 or the Tessar 250 due to better color rendering less flare at 4-7 times the price, an extremely valuable lens, made in limited numbers as Schott melted only one batch of a special glass Zeiss needed for it later Hasselblad bought all these "Telephoto Power Packs" speculation was that Hasselblad planned to sell them to NASA, The CFi improved the black flocking to reduce internal glare; especially important in the SA lens as it does not have multi-coating (in order to allow it to transmit non-visible wavelengths through it's quartz elements). This lens is considered to be one of the premier lenses ever made. It was originally designed for NASA to use on the lunar landing. Of course, it garnered many accolades and became a very desirable, but rare lens. These lenses went out of production years ago. The CFi and CFE models are the most desired versions (CFE = CFi + electrical contacts). The design of the Superachromat is better than an "APO" designed lens, which are designated to be the best telephotos of most manufacturers, having from short UV through visible into IR all parfocal,
{Quote by Dr. Kornelius Fleischer (who for many years worked for Zeiss), posted on a forum in Oct., 2000:
"The Sonnar Superachromat 5,6/250 was introduced in 1972. It was the result of years of optical calculations with the goal to build a telephoto lens with a performance that was only limited by diffraction. To achieve this goal, chromatic aberrations needed to be corrected on a level never before achieved in a telephoto lens. In other words: The secondary spectrum had to be reduced below the "Rayleigh limit". Apochromatic correction (developed by Prof. Dr. Ernst Abbe at Zeiss in the 1880's) would not be sufficient to achieve this goal. Something had to be done which goes even beyond apochromatic correction: Superachromatic correction. This level of correction was envisaged and theoretically described by Max Herzberger in the late 1950's, but he was unable to achieve it in real world optical design. At Zeiss, Determann eventually came up with a usable solution in the late 1960's.
"Photo magazines that have seriously evaluated this Superachromat 5,6/250 ever since came to the conclusion that the Zeiss Superachromat is the best camera lens ever conceived.
"All of this is why my heart of a lens liking person loves this 250 mm Superachromat. The NASA also loves it. And since they used it in multi spectral camera systems including infrared imaging channels, Zeiss T* multi layer coating was not applicable with the Superachromat, since that would have limited transmission for infrared. So other measures had to achieve stray light control with 'only' single layer Zeiss T coating. This fact, and the very demanding manufacturing process (= only few could be made back then) led Hasselblad to target it at scientific applications.
"In the meantime Zeiss has more than doubled the manufacturing capacity for this lens. From a background of quantities there is no reason any more to limit this lens to NASA, scientists, and myself. However, there is one more consideration: Contrary to popular belief not all lenses with the same focal length produce the same depth of field at the same aperture! A typical example is the Superachromat 5,6/250: It produces extreme sharpness (250 linepairs per millimeter) at the plane of best focus. But slightly off (which may be caused by photographer's focusing error, film position error, curvature of film, humidity, registration error of mirror or focusing screen, magazine wear, to name just a few), the sharpness drops dramatically. It can drop even below the levels the sharpness of a Sonnar 5,6/250, or the one of a Tele-Tessar 4/250. In other words: the performance of the Superachromat is extreme, but nervous. It requires advanced technique on the part of the photographer and also well aligned and maintained equipment, to actually utilize the full potential of this lens. Once all this comes together, the Superachromat shines. No other lens in the world ever gave me fine details with this clarity! This lens is perfection for perfectionists."},
this one has been used a lot so the shutter works well and the aperture isn't sticky the body has a few imperfections minor/harmless mars, nicks and scratches and the little button that can be used to lock the ShutterSpeed and Aperture ring together is missing (and not essential), Prontor CF shutter, 6 elements in 6 groups, weight 985gm, B60.

Carl Zeiss Hasselblad 250mm f/5.6 C Sonar Chrome Lens For Hasselblad 500 Series: manufactured 1957-2013 in Germany, B50 filters (later B60), 32.8 oz./929g (later 35.3 oz./1,000g), not quite as sharp as the 250mm Superachromat, this C version weighs the least built the best costs the least takes the smallest filters built-in self-timer same optics as the newest versions has an automatic analog computer that calculates the depth of field, corners are as sharp as the center, doesn't get sharper as stopped down so go ahead and shoot wide-open, enjoyable focal length for tight head shots, solid chromed lathe-turned brass, EVS controls to set an EV (exposure value) from a lightmeter press the ridged tab towards the camera and move it until the triangle points to the EV number the aperture and shutter speed rings are usually locked together to retain the same exposure (EV) regardless of how you rotate the ring once set then rotating the ring lets you choose different apertures or shutter speeds while retaining the same exposure, to preview the depth of field press-in the little lever shown near the "11" if your lens is cocked the diaphragm will stop down and change as you set apertures to reset it to stay open either take the picture or set the lens to f/5.6 at which the diaphragm will stay locked wide open as you set different apertures, the V X M selector sets the flash synchronization and the self timer to unlock the V X M selector lever move the little lock lever (near the 25) towards the front of the lens X is normal for modern studio strobes or connecting to digital backs and ordinary electronic flash M is for M-type flashbulbs V is the self timer push the lever all the way towards V and you'll get an 8 to 10 second mechanical delay after you press the camera's shutter the self timer always uses X sync when it fires, 8.2ft/2.5m close focus, a perfect lens for head shots better than the 150mm as it lets you stand far enough away to get the best facial rendering, diaphragm 5 straight blades, stops down to f/45, has a little bit of pincushion distortion, roughly similar to what a 135mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera, angles of view 18 diagonal, 13 horizontal and vertical, depth-of-field scale with red indicators that move automatically as you set the aperture, depth of field is indicated for a 60 micron circle-of-confusion which is twice the size usually used for 35m cameras, most of the weight is towards the front, size of C version is 3.11" (79 mm) diameter by 6.14" (156 mm) extension from flange, becomes 31.95mm longer when focussed to its close-focus stop, focussed at infinity, a very simple 1930's 4 elements in 3 groups optical formula that delivers great images at least single coated T* multicoating is unnecessary with the simple optical formula of this lens. (Famous "Earthrise" photo from the Command Module of Apollo XI, in lunar orbit on July 20, 1969 was shot wide-open at f/5.6 at 1/250 on Ektachrome with a Zeiss Sonnar 250mm f/5.6 on a modified Hasselblad 500EL/70).

300mm f/2.8 IF-ED Nikkor AIS: As good as they come, with complete removing of chromatic aberration using extra-low dispersion glass, born from the wish of taking sharp photos with shutter speed as fast as possible at the Sapporo Winter Olympics (1972). In common with most super-speed lenses it flares quite easily when shooting against the light. Maximum sharpness is near wide-open, between f/2.8 and f/4, although contrast improves up to f/5.6. Tough to beat on versatility covers well sport, stage, fashion, outdoor portraiture, candid, nature, zoos, safaris, and it takes teleconverters very well. In Japan 300mm is a popular focal length for portraits with a very flattened perspective. Very sharp even wide-open, contrast improves to f/8, excellent with teleconverters. Excellent for portraits with uniform circular illumination type bokeh. Vignetting at full aperture is quite moderate. Sharpness deteriorates quickly when the lens is stopped down beyond f/11, can cover 6x6cm format, focus as closely as 10' (3m), can be used with all Nikon 1.4x teleconverters to give a useful 420mm f/4 unit, but the results with most 2x converters are not spectacular. Excellent with modified 1.4x TC-14E Mark II with tab removed. Works great with 1.6x teleconverter TC-16A as autofocusing 480mm f/4.5 with slight light falloff at aperture ring f/2.8 gone by f/8, extension tubes will soften the image to a certain degree, rotating tripod collar, HE-4 is the correct hood, L37 filter in 39mm holder, 39.

"Herding cats:"
Questar 700 MK I T Mount Mirror Lens, 700mm f/7.8 (fixed), T/11 catadioptric, c. 1977: Super sharp mirror (reflex) lens. For those with deep pockets the Questar 700 (only 822 lenses manufactured) is the best mirror lens ever made. A rare Gem made by Questar. The American firm of Questar has a great reputation making telescopes, and still make among the world's finest. When Questar turned their considerable expertise to a camera lens, they came up with the Questar 700/8. This is a T mount lens, which means it can be adapted to virtually all 35mm SLRs just by changing the rear adapter. When tested by Modern Photography in the 1970's, the Questar 700/8 was rated the best mirror lens they had ever tested. Questar Corporation, founded 1950 They are the world's leader in the development and manufacture of high quality Maksutov Catadioptic lens systems. Their original telescope, the Questar 3.5 was the first in space. The Questar name is synonymous with quality. The firm has produced optics for government, aerospace and industrial applications for about 50 years. In the amateur community, they became the standard against which others have been measured. The company operates out of a small headquaters in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Head and shoulders above all the other vintage cat lenses. Busy ring bokeh, low contrast, vignetting. The bokeh doughnuts of catadioptric lenses ARE distracting they're high contrast and very bright because the mirror concentrates the light, unlike good bokeh, which is neither. Mirror lenses have the same depth of field as refractive lenses of the same aperture but lower contrast is due to the effect of the obstruction on the lens MTF, not due to the use of mirrors as is sometimes suggested. Most mirror lenses are awful but others are rather good, especially when you consider the cost. One, fixed aperture which is pretty slow, even for a long lens, plus a central obstruction, so very dim in the viewfinder and difficult to focus except in bright light. That means they really need a tripod or monopod. They are smaller and lighter than an equivalent regular (refracting) lens but do remember that they have a lot of limitations like peculiar 'donut' shape ugly bokeh, low contrast, inability to change aperture, no autofocus, etc. Can get outstanding pictures if you are careful with composition and use a tripod or rest. The OOF highlights can be distracting if you aren't careful with composition and exposure. The shape of the donuts changes as they get farther from the axis due to vignetting. The trick is to set up shots that don't have o-o-f highlights. Since the out-of-focus highlights are images of the aperture, the only way to avoid them is to have no highlights in the out-of-focus portions of the photo. For example, airplanes or birds in flight against a blue sky, or pictures of the moon don't show out of focus doughnuts. Love my mirror lens for Lunar photography, however, never tend to use it at all for normal photography (photographing the Moon gives no out-of-focus areas so the 'distracting' bokeh is not an issue). Close focus is a macro-like 10 feet, 1:4. Some high-end reflex lenses (Questar Maksutovs) used to have a ring you could install that would effectively screen out rays from the periphery of the lens to prevent the appearance of spherical aberration when the lens was used under 30ft. Need to be careful with out-of-focus areas that are linear, such as underbrush or waves on water as these come out doubled, and can be really ugly. If you buy the right mirror lens and work very hard you can attain technical mediocrity, at least within the limitations of the slow speed of these lenses. General purpose tools they ain't! The DOF is quite narrow. The lenses are very portable and I've found useful in certain types of nature photography. This lens design was created for use in astronomical observation, where the subject is always at infinity and depth of field is a non issue, but they are difficult to apply for other uses. Their smaller mass makes mirror lenses more prone to motion blurring due to vibration than heavier refractors of the same focal length. Broadband coatings with 20% greater light transmission start with serial number 107xx. T-mount: T2 version is a screw mount using a male M42 x 0.75mm metric thread on the lens with a flange focal distance of 55 mm (T-mount was originally designed by Tamron). {WARNING: T-mount should not be confused with the M42 lens mount which is also 42mm, but has a 1mm thread pitch instead.} Came with metal Questar front cap and Questar leather case. The tripod mount is removable and rotatable. Close focus is a macro-like 10 feet. Lens focuses though its range, but will focus past infinity to allow for heat expansion. Concensus seems to be that the best mirror lenses are mediocre compared to refractors. Every Questar telescope made up to 1976 was a visual system that could also accommodate a camera for photography, then in May the first twelve sets of optics for the new Questar 700 were delivered. The Questar 700 is a purpose-built 700mm f/8 ultra telephoto mirror lens made for use with 35mm format SLR cameras; this is not optimized for visual uses. Focus was controlled by in the MKI variant by rotating the rubber-clad focus dial on the lens barrel, or in the MKII variant by a rack and pinion focuser attached at the rear of the lens. The lens includes a Swivel Coupling at the rear so an attached camera could be rotated throughout from portrait to landscape configurations. Therefore the lens could be adapted for use with most popular film or video cameras of the day by use of an optional 'T-Adapter'. At first glance the lens resembles a Questar Maksutov optical arrangement but with a more prominent larger central obstruction, but the 700 was a completely new design patented by Questar. [U.S. Patent 4061420, Dec. 6, 1977. "Catadioptric Lens System" the new design implemented in the Questar 700 lens. The invention provides a highly corrected catadioptric telephoto lens made up of an aspherized negative meniscus corrector lens, a Mangin type primary mirror, a secondary mirror, and two additional corrector lenses in line.] This is a catadioptric lens incorporating a magnesium-fluoride anti-reflection coated Corrector Lens with a pretty severe hyperbola correction, matched to a Mangin style aluminized Primary Mirror and with two field flattening lens elements in line. With no variable diaphragm (typical of mirror lenses and telescopes too) the exposure brightness is controlled either by adjusting the camera shutter speed and or by use of a filter threaded into the rear of the 700 lens or with an optional Quick-Change Filter Holder. Questar provided filters including Polarizing and UV Haze that could be stored into the custom fitted red velour lined brown leather lens hard case. The hard shell leather cases were made in either a cylindrical case profile with flap open lid, and later a rectangular arrangement with flap lid and with spaces in the lid for filters. The lens was a well regarded mirror lens in its day; when reviewed in the January 1977 issue of Modern Photography magazine it was highly regarded in terms of resolution for this class of optic, and medium in contrast. These lenses show only barely perceptible chromatism owing to the two refractive elements within, quite acceptable given the state of lens tech then. In June 1980 Questar evaluated increasing the light throughput and contrast by assembling three 700 lenses (SN's 106xx-xx) with Broad Band coatings. This was such an noteworthy improvement that all Questar 700 lenses assembled after July 1981 (SN's from 107xx) incorporate the higher efficiency coatings. By the time the last optics sets made for the Questar 700 were completed in November 1986 some 822 lenses had been made, by the late 1980's almost all of these sets had been sold in assembled lenses. Serial numbers "starting at 10011 (1976) to current number of 10925." [written 2002 or later] No evidence of internal reflections when used for solar eclipse photography, even shooting the diamond ring, while a Canon 300mm f/4 L lens showed lots of internal reflections definitely recommended for eclipses. Had a hard time getting one, as the rumor was the CIA was buying 'em up. Can increase focal length easily by using a 1.4, 1.7, 2x teleconverter. If you run across a 700/8 Questar at a price that fits your budget, pounce on it. (The 3 " Questar Standard telescope has a 90mm f/14 optical tube with a reflex finder, a diagonal and barlow lens built-in to its unique back. A shorter f/7.8 optical tube used mainly as a telephoto was called the Questar 700. The 95mm filter size of the Questar 700 = 3.74 inches), 95.

Perkin-Elmer Solid CAT 800mm f/11 (fixed) 4" catadioptric mirror lens: This Perkin-Elmer lens was also sold as the Vivitar Series 1 Solid Cat. Rare lens. Rare!! Originally designed and built for US Military by Perkin-Elmer Co. Early 1980's design. One of the least known, yet most interesting, of the Vivitar Series 1 lenses was the 800mm f/11 Solid Catadioptric lens. Optically, the Solid Cat performs very well, but due to its slow aperture, it can only be used on bright days. Distracting doughnut bokeh due to central obstruction. Out of focus branches appear doubled. Try to avoid bright points in the picture as they give you the donuts. Impossible to handhold it need to use a monopod or tripod. Exceptional build and very good image quality for a mirror lens. This lens is a T-Mount lens which makes it easily adaptable to just about any camera for a very low cost. An old Perkin-Elmer design that is rather rare and has a cult following. It was originally designed and built for the U.S. military by Perkin-Elmer. There also was a 600mm f/8 lens in the series of the same design. What made these two mirror lenses unique was that they were of a solid glass design, with no air spaces between the front lens, rear mirror and front reflector. This means that this 800mm lens weighs less than 3 lbs and is just slightly longer than 3 inches in length. Interesting for a less bulky solution. It also means that this lens is extremely rugged. The lens barrel is metal and feels like it could survive reentry. This lens is part of the first wave of Series 1 designs that Vivitar produced. It is a "solid catadioptric" design, which means that there is no space between the optical elements - the lens is one compact chunk of glass and metal, making it very short and rugged. The 800/11 and its shorter sibling, a 600/8, were designed by OPCON Associates, a company founded by Ellis Betensky, who used to be a senior optical designer at Perkin-Elmer. OPCON Associates also worked on the Skylab telescope project. The design was produced by Perkin-Elmer, who also worked on the Hubble telescope project. The advantages of the solid cat design and the association with space age technology are emphasized in the lens manual. When these lenses were new they sold for about $650 (around $2,000 in today's dollars). The Vivitar Series 1 line of lenses was designed by an American company, Opcon Associates, of Stamford Connecticut, whose chief designer, E. Betensky had worked for Perkin-Elmer as a senior optical designer. Perkin-Elmer worked extensively at the time for NASA as well as other U.S. government agencies and is renown as the designers and builders of the Hubble Space Telescope's optical systems (including the near-sighted mirror). A filter screws onto the rear of the lens, inside the collar The best method of removing or installing a filter is to remove the "T" mount for easier access. On some DSLRs, the protruding flash may impede the mounting of the lens. Lens will fit Nikon manual focus cameras: Nikon F2AS and Nikon FM-3a, Nikon Autofocus cameras: Nikon F5, F4s, N90s, F100 and some Nikon digital cameras like Nikon D1X, D1H, D100, D2H, D2X, D200, D300, D700, D7000, D800 and Nikon D3x. This lens will not work on Nikon D40, D40X and any other digital camera that requires AF-S lenses. This lens can also be used on Canon EOS 5D MII, Canon EOS 1Ds MIII, Sony A99 and A900 and ALL other D-SLR with PROPER T-mount Adapter. Lens aperture is a fixed f/11. This is one of the more compact 800mm reflex lenses ever made. Minimum focus distance is 23ft. or 7m. Lens has tripod mount and removable hood. Weight is 3.4lb. Lens is 5 inches long and 4 inches wide. Warmer and not as high resolution as modern refractive lenses. It's a very interesting lens, but quite hard to use because of the slow aperture. Build quality is amazing though. See the patent drawing depicting a "700mm f/11" Solid CAT lens, which I will assume was scaled up with some adjustments to the 800mm f/11 that went into production; the 600/8 is described in the same patent and is very similar but not quite identical in design.
I have colored this drawing for clarity: blue represents refracting glass elements, gray the metal barrel, and cross-hatched white represents the mirrors. Perkin-Elmer's Solid CATs were all designed by one person, Juan Rayces, in an evolutionary process that can be traced through 3 stages in patent documents from the late 1960s and early 1970s: in the first, the path between primary and secondary mirrors is 100% solid, but an aspheric surface is needed for apochromatic correction; in the second, all surfaces are spherical and it's still 100% solid between mirrors but Lanthanum glass is required for correction. In this, the most sophisticated development, Rayces eliminated the need for aspherics and special rare earth glasses by the addition of 2 air spaces in the path between mirrors. The additional air/glass refractions thus created enabled him to cancel out residual spherical aberration and coma using all-spherical surfaces and, even more interesting, only ONE grade of optical glass for all elements (except for the final cemented achromatic doublet, which is of conventional crown/flint construction). Focusing is done by moving the cemented doublet fore and aft relative to the rest of the lens. In the faster 600mm lens, the achromatic pair is replaced by a single element, but there is a small difference in glass properties from one element to another (having essentially the same refractive indices but different dispersions). The lens is 8.4cm long, has a 10.8cm diameter, and weighs 1.36kg. The minimum focusing distance is mentioned to be 7.6m, but the lens is marked down to 7m and the focus ring can be turned before that (it can also be turned beyond infinity). The extra range of the focusing ring is typical for mirror lenses and is intended to cancel the impact of temperature on the focusing range. Anyway, regardless of whether this lens focuses down to 7.6m or to around 6m, it is clearly not a lens that was intended to be used for close up work. Comes with a tripod mount that can be loosened to allow the lens to be rotated while attached. A metal hood is also included and, uncharacteristically for mirror lenses, it is very short - under an inch - allowing the lens to be stored in its case with the hood attached. The VMC coating of the front element looks amazing. The focusing ring has a knuckled rubberized portion and on the main body of the lens one can find the inscriptions "MADE IN U.S.A." and "U.S. PATENT 3926505". Both 600mm and 800mm versions use rear 35.5mm filters. Came with four 35.5mm filters: 25(A) - Red, 8(K2) - Yellow, UV Haze - Clear, and ND-6 - 4xND. {WARNING: NEEDS TO ALWAYS BE USED WITH A REAR FILTER ATTACHED, because the optical design relies on the presence of one more glass element with specific thickness. A filter is required for proper optical path. The lens manual also makes it clear that standard 35.5mm filters of unknown thickness are not recommended.}

Zoom lenses:

14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S ED-IF G Zoom-Nikkor, Angular field diag. 84-114: ("Wide Thing") Zooming out to 24mm helps protect the front element when moving around; {IMPORTANT: Strong focus shift, a very sharp lens with challenging peripheral-forward and central-rearward focus shift (moves its peak zone by aperture), actually declines in sharpness when stopped down its stellar f/2.8 and f/4 performance degrades at f/5.6 and f/8 sharpness declines in the center of the image when stopped down from f/2.8 to f/5.6 due to a forward #focus shift to the rear focus shift with Nikon 14-24 cuts resolution in half!!! stopping the lens down cuts off peripheral rays, leaving central rays which are not optimized for the center (apparently the lens is optimized for the frame as a whole), the result is that the focus shifts to the central rays, which are focused on more distant subject matter: blur develops at the point of focus! so when not wide-open need to manual focus stopped down with live-view because the lens is optimized for #wide-open central sharpness giving high contrast without the usual haze this anomalous behavior should be taken into account when using the 14-24 at short range if you're looking for peak sharpness exactly where you've focused and that area is near the center of the frame and you're shooting at f/4 or smaller apertures (not f/2.8) bias the focus forward a bit so that the result lands on the desired area, rearward focus shift over most of the frame and (relative) forward focus shift at the corners}; Nikon end of life November 2017; a fragile lens, Lensrental.com reports (9/2010) a 17% annualized failure rate (Zoom sticks) vs. 5.5% median failure rate for all lenses for 2011 17% annualized failure rate [Zoom sticking (13), soft (6)] for 2012 they report that when it first came out had barrel issues but the problem is certainly fixed now a trouble free lens; doesn't include the most useful wide-angle range which is between 24 to 35mm on FX; 3.9% distortion at 14mm; nearly #no distortion between 18 and 21mm; certainly very distorted at the 14mm end (much less at the 24mm end) it's also sharpest at the 14mm end, whereas it's less exceptional as a 24mm optic; best at 18mm; peak performance at 15mm; peaks right at 15mm on the D800E offering it's best image quality right at that focal length it drops off just a touch at 14 (although still worlds better than the 14 prime) and very very slowly fades a bit on the way to 21mm where it's still very very good and then drops off noticeably at 24mm particularly at distance where I no longer use it on the D800E; no issue with the Sony A7r at all focal lengths; 14-24 Nikon with Sony E mount is fine with the Novoflex adapter but not with cheaper adapters as they flex too much or set at the wrong flange distance and cause soft sides to the image; the 24mm absolute corner (less than 5% of the image surface) is the only weak spot; has strong (but regular) barrel distortion at 14-16mm from 17-20mm it's geometrically spot-on and you can't say that about any prime lens at that focal length just a fabulous thing; superior in every way compared to primes if you're willing to pay more and accept the size; best at the 14mm wide end at 24mm you can find better lens but not at 14mm; really have to be aware of field curvature definitely is not a focus-and-reframe lens; the king for nightscapes and long exposure shooting; must be held level and flat to avoid distortion and unatural curvature will focus within a foot of the sensor from 18-24mm allowing close focus wide angle shots not a people/portrait lens people are distorted by ultra wide angle lenses but they can be an interesting addition to any image when placed at the center or at a distance; an absolutely amazing lens with no real image quality flaws; utterly incredible IQ wise will replace and better practically any collection of primes you could want to use instead; for landscapes a truly amazing lens; best choice for astrophotography at 24mm; a great indoor tight-corner lens; on the Nikon D800 it maintains it's nice rendition all the way out to the edges of the 24x36 frame; well suited for night sky astrophotography; shooting into the sun with the sun in the frame is no problem but shooting with the sun just off the frame is a flare nightmare; be very careful with the sun just out of frame the lens is a flare machine; very good at f/4 for astrophotograpy; use for interiors and landscapes and Nikon 24 f/1.4G for low light and portraiture (if you want wide angle with shallow DOF you won't get that with the 14-24 like you would with the 24/1.4); if I already had the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 I don't think I'd be standing in line for the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 ZF.2 that is clearly the best lens in the corners; such mixed reports on the D800; on D800 the corners are rather soft; corner sharpness is worst at 24mm and gets progressively better as one moves to the wide end; looks like it has serious issues in the corners with the D800; the lateral CA is pretty bad on the D800E; performing very well on my D800 corner sharpness is still there; on D800 not good at 14mm obvious corner sharpness issues AF issues at 24mm center is sharp T-stop is probably closer to f/4 than f/2.8 average to good performer; the corners are rather soft; close but not quite in the awesome league performance at 14mm lets it down; for landscape work love the image quality and color rendition; isn't a landscape lens no filter ring, bad with flare, and has a worthless non-removable hood; a spectacular performer for interiors almost never travel with it due to the size and weight; seems like a lens designed for use at wider apertures you can actually notice a drop in contrast going from f/4 to f/5.6 so f/8 isn't it's best aperture doesn't seem like a lens whose primary purpose is landscape; flares like a MF'er; amazing contrast; wonderful for #infrared; a superb lens; the world's best wide zoom; perhaps Nikon's greatest optical achievement of the "FX era"; hands down the absolute BEST landscape lens that Nikon makes; ultra-wide lenses are not for "getting it all in" they are for letting you get closer and therefore creating stronger images; has a huge image circle that practically covers 645 hence the super-sharp corners on 35mm; superwides are for interiors and for emphasizing the foreground in a landscape while separating foreground objects from the background (the opposite of a telephoto that compresses distance); the least used favorite lens; without a doubt much more impressive to clients than the Zeiss 21/2.8 ZF; get down low and very near foreground objects; when depth of field is inadequate one should focus in the distance because the eye is accepting of some foreground blur but leading the eye from a sharp foreground to a blurred background is not comfortable if in doubt focus bracket; for shots at f/4 or smaller apertures autofocus at f/4 with live view then stop down; peak performance at f/4 which produces the greatest micro contrast; focusing at f/4 gives the best focus; the hardest part is learning how to incorporate it into your creative thoughts for example getting low and close; composition becomes very critical sometimes just moving slightly up or down or a step sideways or a small change in focal length can make a huge difference an accurate 100% viewfinder helps; the best ultrawide zoom ever made - period sharp all over the frame at every focal length and aperture, a great nightscape lens, on the Nikon D800 you need to stop down to f/4 and smaller for best results the edges aren't so hot, at its best at the widest end of it's range own it for its performance from 15-20mm at 24mm its not in the same league as the Nikon 24/1.4G, gotta watch the flare but very sharp particularly 15-21mm, surprisingly flare resistant despite the enormous front element, lower contrast and with weaker color than Zeiss ZF lenses, has fine sharpness at middle apertures but images are clinical and lack the vitality and fine color and contrast of the Zeiss 15mm ZF lens, has nasty CA even at f/11, resolution wide open is very poor and the CA is disturbing [in response "I find nothing you've written to be true"], without the significant vignetting of the Zeiss 15mm ZF which interferes with nighttime sky photography, sharpness is about equal (and stellar) the Zeiss 15mm ZF color seems ever so slightly warmer on the Zeiss 15mm ZF and center contrast ever so slightly higher but the Nikon has better overall corner performance, wide open at f/2.8 the Zeiss 15mm ZF is much sharper than Nikon and CA less than Nikon when they stopped down to f/5.6 both are sharp Zeiss 15mm ZF vignettests stronger than Nikon but the Zeiss has much more microcontrast and gives 3D effect, about twice as much lateral chromatic aberration for the Nikon that is very noticeable as for the Zeiss 15mm ZF, a 'cyclops' lens which gathers crud on the front element with relentless ease and doesn't take a filter easily, produces very contrasty images but somewhat lacking in micro contrast the Zeiss 21/2.8 is much better in this regard; best lens for night skyscapes; Nikon D800 images show a surprising amount of chromatic aberration at some focal lengths; quite good at 16mm at its strength; terrific at 14-18mm focal lengths but doesn't seem to do corners well at 20-24mm; for astrophotography the best compromise although not perfect is excellent even at f/2.8 with slightly elongated stars in the corners not coma and minimum CA; this is a G lens, so not for Nikon F or FA but works great on Nikon F4 with matrix metering but only in Program and Shutter priority exposure modes and not in Manual or Aperture priority as it lacks an aperture ring; best wide angle lens for the Nikon D700; best zoom ever; simply AMAZING; superb; world's finest ultra wide angle zoom; best wide angle zoom in existence, you'll never find another lens to touch the 14-24, has caused a huge stir several reviews have called it the best wide zoom ever made only the legendary Zeiss 21mm Distagon is sharper corner to corner, much less distortion at 21mm than the Zeiss 21mm Distagon, a spectacular giant beast, widely regarded as the finest wide angle zoom made, a stellar performer, my favorite Nikkor, ridiculously good for landscape work, no hot spots in #infrared, one of the finest lenses ever made the view from 14mm is incredible, the best wide-angle lens image quality rendered by this lens is almost flawless effortlessly deliver dramatic perspectives unwieldy, ugly, and expensive and you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers, the best wide angle, a magical lens, spectacularly good, there is nothing better, on DX where it becomes equivalent to a 21-36mm lens it absolutely is over the top outstanding with almost virtually no distortion, the best ultra wide angle zoom, there is the fantastic 14-24 which is a pain to lug around and then there are a bunch of lenses that are more practical but less good, may be the best lens I'd never use, use it more often than I thought on DX the crop factor makes the field of view like a 21-36mm, it's so bloody good there is nothing really else quite like it I'm astounded what designers Haruo Sato and his coworker have done with this lens' design, the ZF 21 is sharper at f/2.8 than the 14-24 (at 21mm, at f/2.8), the Nikon 16-35/4VR is lighter and less expensive but unfortunately not on the same page optically, no comparison in image quality between the two lenses the Nikon 16-35/4VR is so much poorer, unless you really and truly need filters and/or VR stick with the 14-24 and call it a day, while an extremely low flare lens overall can generate ghost image spots even when the light source is 90 to the side of the lens axis the ghosts are small and very difficult to see while shooting, catches the sun and flares at every opportunity, a very very good lens sharp and contrasty edge to edge one of Nikon's very best however most people that purchase it don't use it very much because it is large and heavy and they don't shoot wider than 24mm very often, this lens is the daddy of wideness, fat piece of magic such an awesome lens, world class, the super wide zoom that just doesn't disappoint, image quality is really stellar, flawless the sharpness and color saturation are simply incredible, nothing Nikon has ever made before comes close, unbelievably good given its range, resolution, sharpness and color rendition are simply superb it's as good as the laws of optics allow, coma free wide-open, a great lens love the color rendition, best FX wide angle zoom, micro contrast and sharpness across the frame, great option for street photography if you like being close to your subject, best wide angle for real-estate and office photography, for all documentary architectural work interiors and exteriors, superb for that kind of work a residential kitchen for example or a larger project, good for architectural photography application with carefull composition and keeping in mind the limits of digital manipulation and the resultant crop effect on the final image have been able to produce better architectural photographs than with a view camera, enjoys a stellar reputation, without peer as a super-wide with the possible exception of the Zeiss 21mm, may well be optically the greatest wide-angle lens ever created, the high optical performance, low distortion and f/2.8 aperture make it a big winner, considerable barrel distortion at 14mm which needs to be corrected in post-processing, impressive results at f/2.8 and optimal performance by f/4 with small but noticeable drop in micro contrast (a loss of brilliance) in central areas at f/5.6, loses contrast at f/5.6 in central areas, its stellar f/2.8 and f/4 performance degrades at f/5.6 and f/8, distortion performance is remarkable and very impressive easily matching or beating the alternatives, complex mustache distortion which can be corrected in post with satisfactory results, never found another wide in this league sharpness across the frame is outstanding, geometric distortion very easy to correct (no moustache), when it's raining the front element is a raindrop catcher, zoom versatility, a GREAT lens but can be a pain with dramatic cross lighting in landscapes causing flare with the sun at about 90 worse than with the sun in the image, big flaw is flare/ghosting outdoors in sunlight, seems to bend the sunlight from almost anywhere to produce flare spots, hold you hand off to the side and out of the frame to shield the sun from getting to the lens or change your position slightly, very well corrected CAs/LoCAs worth every single penny, an extravagance, the f/2.8's are pro zooms pros need them amateur can use them if they are well-heeled or absolutely obsessed about image quality, very small amount of easily correctable CA at some focal lengths and apertures, a phenomenal lens as remarkable as anything Nikon has done in its storied history, by far the only thing worth considering, unbelieveably outstanding, a truly world class lens, stellar performer, the favorite, a crazy wide, better than the Nikon 16-35/4 but extremely impractical for travel, fantastic lens for capturing overall scenes but not suitable for group shots of people due to distortion especially toward edges (not a wedding lens) instead use 17-35 Nikkor for groups of people, has caused a huge stir, mind blowing, super-duper, astonishing quality, will be a Nikon legend, works like a charm the best ultra wide lens of all time, "Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow!", OMG the detail delivered is amazing, the best ultrawide ever made, top-notch, with outstanding image quality few primes can match its performance which is even more astounding given its remarkable ultra-wide zoom range color, contrast, sharpness are all terrific, albeit with some field curvature and corner weakness, especially at wider focal lengths unbelievably good given its range it enjoys a stellar reputation with high optical performance for astrophotography good at f/2.8 and very good at f/4, phenominal for astrophotography even at 14mm wide-open at the corner of full frame there is no coma star images are points, low distortion and f/2.8 aperture that make it a big winner the filter issue is a non-issue so size and weight are its only real downside ergonomics are awkward enough so rarely shoot it go-to lens for conditions that require autofocus or quick action or cannot move around, Lee and Fotodiox have a filter holder filters for the 14-24mm lens Fotodiox offers a polariser and 2 ND filters with a 145mm thread, polarization filtering doesn't work for angles as wide as 14mm sky polarization is maximum only at right angles to the sun and falls off as cosine away from that also the circular portion of the polarizer essential to the workings of your exposure and autofocus doesn't work at extreme angles, very sharp wide-open and stunning across the frame from f/4, not necessarily a landscape lens this is a lens for getting up close "in your face", its one weakness is a tendency to lose micro contrast in central areas when stopped down beyond f/4 although outer areas improve by doing so, really nothin' like it, a no-regrets lens, without a doubt the best wide angle zoom every offered, considering it is a zoom it's THE best piece of optical engineering to date, wonderful, excellent lens best used for autofocus and when the shooting demands rapid adjustment of angular coverage, its coatings (including the nano-crystal coating) are absolutely stellar, of limited use, rarely walk with it for indoor or museum only, best in my bag but least used, typically don't even travel with it for my local indoor work it is an excellent lens but for landscape I'd pick something else that is not such an extreme wide and can take filters, for interiors it covers a critical range and a zoom can save you when you can't step back, great focal range, sharp, colors (blues and greens), limited use, yes but you will be surprised how often you start using it for everything from cityscapes to strange close-ups, I do travel with the 14-24 and use it for indoor and landscape, can't believe how close I can get to my subject and get a whole lot more in the frame, a very extreme lens for those who really enjoy super wide if that is what you want it is a wonderful lens but if you are not into super wides it could potentially be totally the wrong lens for you, a great performer but largely useless for landscapes, 24mm is the weakest focal length of this lens, has a more clinical look and less distortion than the Zeiss 21/2.8, much less flare than the Zeiss 21mm with the sun in the frame at certain angles, still plagued by flare spots when pointed anywhere close to a light source despite the application of nano crystal coating, flares nicely with bright lights in the image generally better than similar lenses so long as you shade it from light sources just outside the frame, quite sensitive to flare, sun shining on the front element (or even close to it) will probably result in flare, always fighting flare with anything within that 150 circle, there is strong but easily corrected barrel distortion at 14-15mm but by 21mm it is undistorted while the Zeiss 21mm ZF has difficult to correct moustache distortion, remarkable very impressive distortion performance easily matching or beating the alternatives, Nikon's newest and best wide angle zoom, stellar optical performance, the world's sharpest ultrawide fixed or zoom lens by a huge margin, at 24mm less barrel distortion than the Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED at the cost of a bit of wave distortion, in a class by itself, superb in its own way, world's best ultra-wide zoom, will make almost any shot look incredible, nearly as good as the famous Zeiss 21 Distagon, at 21mm the Nikon zoom is very well corrected purely as a 21mm prime the Nikon zoom is at least as sharp as the Zeiss 21mm ZF (even without attempting to correct the Distagon's moustache distortion in software) and tonally sweet too plus the other focal lengths are a substantial bonus, for architecture and simply capturing the story of an environment it is unbeatable, the versatility of a zoom for precise framing without the need to crop later cannot be overstated and you get the full resolution of the sensor for your scene as opposed to losing resolution if you have to crop, "inexplicably feels exactly right - has it all: excellent sharpness and resolution, very low distortion, great color rendition, very fast AF and superior build quality - in short, as close to perfect as a lens will probably get", sharpness incomparable, exceptional edge-to-edge sharpness, insanely good on the D3, really good on the D7000 (21-36mm DX equivalent angle of view) with 14-24 and 50/1.4 lenses being a winning DX combo, vignettes wide open less than the Zeiss 15/2.8 Distagon, the world's best ultra-wide zoom, sharpness/contrast, flat field, color and uniform illumination are outstanding, best wide zoom ever made, green-channel transmission efficiency 90%, lens T-stop T/2.99 (measured at 20mm), for astrophotography good at f/2.8 and very good at f/4, silent wave motor for fast autofocusing, two extra low dispersion elements and nano crystal coating for superb sharpness even wide-open, performance is impressive use it without hesitation wide-open, though f/4 is a worthwhile pick-up over f/2.8, weakest aperture is f/2.8, sharpness across the field but especially in the corners and contrast improve at f/4-f/5.6, blazingly sharp and devoid of any coma or softness at every aperture, everywhere in the full film and FX field, begins to suffer from diffraction at f/16, quite noticeable color fringing (lateral chromatic aberration) as the corners are approached that can be eliminated using the Capture NX 2 'Auto Color Aberration' feature, modest field curvature well suited to landscape photography curving to the rear away from optical center (much better than the Nikon 24-70/2.8G at 24mm focal length), not very suitable for stitching due to its entrance pupil being located very near the front (the NPP [?nodal point] is near the very front of what is a long and heavy lens so when mounted on a pano head the center of gravity of the lens is a long way behind the axis of rotation and counterbalancing this isn't easy because the counterweight has to stay outside the very wide image cone of the lens), as a G lens without aperture ring it can only work on the Nikon F4/F4s camera using P or S mode (where the camera sets the aperture) but not M or A mode because there is no way to manually change the aperture, designed from ground up to be the perfect full frame (FX) ultrawide, far sharper (corner to corner), an amazingly good lens, easily outperforming any prior lens (zoom or not) in its territory, even the Canon 14mm f/2.8L II! if you like to shoot wide with unbeatable image quality on full-frame, this is the only game in town, at 24mm the clear winner (over the the Nikon 24-70/2.8G, 24/2 AI-S, and PC-E 24/3.5) for consistent sharpness across the frame, shows more contrast, and is better in overall rendering than any prime made in it's range, and it's best performance is wide-open and f/4, clearly sharper at f/4 than f/2.8, the only aperture where the CZ Distagon 21/2.8 is sharper, images are at least as good as images out of the now-fabled Distagon 21/2.8, Nikon is slightly sharper (except at f/2.8) and has less vignetting and warmer colors than the superb Zeiss ZF 21/2.8, color and contrast looking dead by comparison to the very much to be commended ZF 21/2.8 Distagon, rectilinear throughout its range, super sharp, only vestiges of corner fall-off at 14mm @ f/2.8, high contrast, vividly saturated colors, quite low propensity for flare and ghosting, up to 114 picture angle, barrel distortion is very visible close-up and wide, strong barrel distortion at 14mm, around 20mm there is a cross-over to pincushion distortion, all but free of distortion at 21mm (unlike the warmer Zeiss ZF 21/2.8 which suffers from prominent disturbing wave/moustache distortion, worse strong vignetting, and uneven color rendition with a cyan/blue color shift toward the corners), by far the best lens choice at 21mm for distortion-sensitive applications, internal focusing, rear elements are used for fast auto-focusing, nano-crystal coating applied on the inside of the front element, lowest wide angle lens flare and ghosting, I would not look to anything else for a solution, not for a minute, delivers extremely crisp detail all the way to the cornermost pixel even close-up at 1.5m in front of the lens, distortion minimized at 17-19mm, special purpose lens, can't use filters or a regular lens cap), the front element is always exposed and subject to damage, even worse for a landscape or outdoor cityscape/architecture, no filters no polarizers for water, color saturation, skies, no ND grads to balance exposures, the main advantage of an ultrawide angle lens compared to a stitched panoramas is the greater depth of field that can give very dramatic pictures with a subject very close with the background in focus, and sometimes the distortion you get with an UWA actually adds to the final picture, only the legendary Zeiss 21mm Distagon ZF is sharper corner to corner and may be the perfect compliment to the Nikon 14-24G, which starts getting less than spectacular from 18mm, heavy. Exit pupil distance 81mm at 14mm focal length and 96.5mm at 24mm focal length. 35.3 oz/1000g. Filter Size is rear gel. In the cold it is easy to shatter the attached plastic lens hood with plastic shards damaging the front element coating at 15 F but Nikon repaired the lens, replaced the hood, front element and the helicoid for only $260. {Problem warning: There is a recurring problem with very stiff or 'catching' zoom rings in 1% of Lensrentals.com rentals. At times the internal barrel seems to 'catch' in the outer barrel. The problem seems to be the inner barrel getting knocked off of center and rubbing against the outer barrel. It seems to occur after shipping (probably from getting shaken or jarred). Once the problem starts it slowly gets worse. Other than the barrel sticking thing they're really rather trouble free.}

18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 D ED IF Aspherical AF Zoom-Nikkor: best midprice film wide-angle, highly recommended as travel wideangle zoom, very light that makes for a nice lens to use, superb contrast, very sharp, beautiful color rendition, fun, small, lightweight, fast, it is my travel lens under harsh circumstances (in place of 14-24/2.8), preferred by a lot of photojournalists to the 17-35/2.8 because of the smaller size and weight, optical performance competitive with the Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 AF-S at a third of the price and weight a fixture in Galen Rowell's camera bag, really showed its flaws especially bad flare, exceptionally weak performer on full frame, definitely the poorest performance of any lens in its range, simply unsuitable for full-frame cameras, one of the worst lenses that Nikon has ever made, dull, low contrast images anywhere outside the central 2/3 area, an acceptable performer stopped down to f/8, you need to stop down to at least f/8 if you want the edges sharp, sharp but lots of barrel distortion skip it, strong blur with low contrast at edges and corners, images all soft, very strong distortion at the wide end, simply cannot recommend this lens for any purpose on full frame, a poor investment in any sense: optically or mechanically, poor corner sharpness, distortion and color fringing, heavy fall-off and pronounced field curvature issues, advise a strong sedative if you intend to employ it on a full-frame camera, if this lens showed up gift-wrapped I'd promptly sell it, suffers from lack of sharpness at the edges which can be mitigated (not solved) by stopping down to f/11 so not the best tool for landscape and more suitable for photojournalism/reportage if one doesn't need f/2.8, but it doesn't take much of a crop to completely eliminate the affected areas, moustache style distortion, DxO Elite has D700 distortion correction software for this lens that works extremely well, flares and looses contrast very easily so needs to be well shielded from the sun or bright light source at any f-stop, AF just about instantaneous, easy to use and gives great results, performs very well at f/11 throughout and at wider stops at middle focal lengths, second sharpest behind the $1,800 14-24mm f/2.8 AF-S, pretty much does the same thing as the $1,500 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S in plastic with more distortion but with slightly better sharpness, for a lot less money, inelegant and plastic, low value here in terms of investing for the long term in lenses that will last, not a pro lens by any stretch of the imagination, this lens is spectacular, on a budget (money or weight) this would be one of only two lenses I'd take with me, a lot of complex barrel distortion at all focal lengths, very pronounced barrel distortion at 18mm, really bad at 18mm (~3.1%), least at 35mm (0.8%), so not for architecture or seascapes with horizon lines at the image top or bottom, unless you need low distortion this lens is the clear winner, CA very pronounced at 18mm (less so beyond), on Fuji Velvia 50 film, snappy, contrasty and sharp images at all focal lengths even wide-open, a little soft in the corners at all focal lengths wide-open, but still better than fixed manual focus lenses, sharpens up and gives fantastic results stopped down a couple of stops, soft edges even stopped down and miserably soft everything wide-open, corners are always soft regardless of aperture, isn't horrible at f/8 but it's sad to cripple a D700 with a lens like this, remarkably good given its price and FL range though the corners are relatively soft toward the short end particularly at wide stops, falloff wide-open especially at 18mm mostly gone by f/5.6, sharp in center at f/4, perfect by f/5.6, corner sharpness best at f/11-f/16, pretty useless at dusk no versatility, no flare or ghosting, close focus 13" (0.33m), 81mm x 81mm, 370.1g, 7 rounded blades, HB-23 plastic bayonet hood, optional CL-S2 soft pouch case, requires slim polarizer to avoid bad vignetting, 77 [=$243; $600 B&H new; $643 Nikon refurb]

24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED IF Zoom-Nikkor: Ken Rockwell's favorite lens Best midprice film zoom "the best performing midrange zoom I've ever used!", also Thom Hogan's recommended Economy FX lens, the right walk-around zoom lens, this is a G lens, so not for Nikon F or FA but works great on Nikon F4 with matrix metering but only in Program and Shutter priority exposure modes and not in Manual or Aperture priority as it lacks an aperture ring; tiny, fun and easy-to-use cheesy plastic zoom lens that is also the best performing midrange zoom I've ever used, this is the one, a gem but a little rare, buy it, gets good reviews by almost everyone, just wonderful on a Nikon D700, small, light, sharp, fast AF, a real steal for a lens this good, optically the equal the huge professional 28-70mm AF-S, long discontinued and scarce, the coolest little lens, get the quality in a smaller package, AF action is fast and silent, nice nice piece of glass very fast focusing very fast focus tracking, strong distortion at 24mm and 85mm, a good performer does have distortion and both ends not razor sharp but it is a very respectable inexpensive FX lens with AF-S! It is fun, and when I run out and I want to travel lite I pop on my 24-85G and pop a extra battery in my little case and off I go and take a SB-400 if I think I need a flash, sharpest midrange zoom I've used, sharp and contrasty even wide-open, at all focal lengths, even sharp in the macro range, a little less contrasty in the corners on film wide-open, which cleans up a stop or two down, probably Nikon's easiest to use lens, undervalued great lens, very good lens on FX and all that you could want stopped down a bit - lightweight and makes a good all-around mountain landscape lens, moderately fast variable aperture mid-range zoom that takes a very nice portrait, has good edge-to-edge sharpeness, little vignetting, takes a fantastic landscape, has great color, is lightweight, and is relatively fast focusing, super light and small and the AF-S feature means you can just grab the focus ring at any time and adjust the focus manually, allows instant manual focus override, focusing speed is instant and the noise non-existent, has ED glass and is IF which part of its formula for excellent quality in such a small package, wide focal lengths are squeezed together, some light falloff wide-open at 24mm, CA at 24mm only, green-channel transmission efficiency 83%, lens T-stop T/4.39 (measured at 35mm f/4 nominal), feels cheap, its only flaw is some distortion that's trivial to correct in Photoshop, HB-28 hood, 67, does not need thin filters.

28-80mm f/3.3-f/5.6 G Zoom-Nikkor: this is a G lens, so not for Nikon F or FA but works great on Nikon F4 with matrix metering but only in Program and Shutter priority exposure modes and not in Manual or Aperture priority as it lacks an aperture ring; great macro and instant autofocus, stellar performance, remarkable results, amazing lens for the money killer 'sleeper' lens, very light, very sharp, and very good bokeh, much less distortion than the 28-200mm G, dinky 7-ounce (190g) plastic zoom with incredibly, unbelievable amazing good performance, works ridiculously well on the Nikon D3, excellent on the Nikon D810, performance so good that no one will believe it possibly can come from a lens this cheap, amazingly sharp and capable a real plastic fantastic, recommended for hiking pretty much all plastic but featherweight and a good performer, my all time favorite is the cheapest looking of them all optically the lens is superb produces excellent results performs better than it has any right to, nice lightweight daylight lens on the D700, puny plastic wonder amazed at the images this little midget can produce tack sharp, light as a feather, and great for hiking a sleeper lens if there ever was one!, super sharp images, instantaneous focusing, and super close macro, focuses more closely than other Nikon lenses, autofocuses faster than any other Nikon AF lens including the AF-S lenses, uncanny how instantly and exactly it focuses, boatload of barrel distortion at 28mm goes away by 50mm, contrast falls just a little bit in the corners wide-open, but clears right up stopped down one stop, resistant to ghosting, HB-20 hood, 58.

28-80mm f3.5-5.6 AF-D Zoom-Nikkor: crappy little plastic-mount cheap lens is a surprisingly excellent performer, among the best midrange zooms, sharp at all apertures and focal lengths, very good and very sharp and very cheap I can never understand how that piece of plastic can take such a sharp pictures, instantaneous AF, barrel distortion at the wide end, focus after you select your focal length, 7 oz., $100, and sharp!, HB-20 hood, 58.

28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-D Zoom-Nikkor: far better than you think, selling for $500 it covers an enormous range of focal lengths, and works far better that it has any right to, pretty sharp all over, but only focuses to about 6 feet, the best made lens you can get for your Nikon, nice lightweight daylight lens on the D700, light falloff and softness in corners goes away when stopped down, distortion except at 40mm, the Tamron 28-300VC is the best of the superzooms for FX, HB-12 hood, 72.

28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF Zoom-Nikkor: optical masterpiece, a gem of a lens, this is a G lens, so not for Nikon F or FA but works great on Nikon F4 with matrix metering but only in Program and Shutter priority exposure modes and not in Manual or Aperture priority as it lacks an aperture ring; "vacation lens" sought after like crazy because it is compact and quite good optically, to cover all focal lengths very sharply and have decent macro (no pro tele focuses as close) but the AF isn't all that fast, stellar performance, sharp as a tack, small, light and optically decent if you don't push your luck, nothing can quite compare to the compact lightweight 28-200G and it is at its best right at 200mm not the best bokeh though far from perfect but also quite a performer, useful on account of its diminutive size but doesn't resolve well enough, a walk around lens it is quite sharp and great in combination with the D700, the best do-everything lens, works GREAT! on the Nikon D800 the distortion correction fixes the main complaint about this lens which was circus-mirror distortion check the Correct Lens Distortion option in the D800E and Bingo! cheap tiny close-focussing do-everything lens, very sharp, remarkable results, a miracle, a highly capable all round travel lens that is sharp with good color/contrast and EXCELLENT resistance to flare and ghosting (much better than 70/80-200mm Pro Nikkors in this regard), great between 35-150mm at middle apertures for landscape/cityscapes, not for critical work but use without any hesitation as a walkaround or travel lens, maybe consider it a constant f/5.6 lens that way tightens up the wide end which isn't as good as the tele end, few were manufactured, some vignetting, tiny light-duty do-everything gem, optical masterpiece, best do-everything lens for the Nikon D3, very few were actually made might have a difficult time getting one, not only is it pretty sharp in most cases but it focuses so closely at every focal length (down to 17" at every focal length, much closer than any other Nikon tele ever), surprisingly sharp and doesn't have any lateral color fringing, agile, on the wide end distortion and vignetting are pretty bad but contrast, color and sharpness seem OK, an allround lens as its size, weight and versatility make it a unique lens, tiniest 28-200 ever, almost all plastic, very well made, works great, dinky plastic, focuses very close, zooms easily, zoom ring turns in the opposite direction from most other Nikon zooms, super sharp, corners sharp by f/8-11 at most settings and f/11-16 at the 200mm end, Galen cautioned "just make sure you use f/8 or f/11," lots of pincushion distortion trivial to correct with Photoshop, AF is slower, bokeh is fairly poor, almost no ghosting which is outstanding, focuses very close, 1.4 feet at every focal length, HB-30 hood, 62.

Contax Carl Zeiss T* Vario-Sonnar 35-70mm f/3.4 Macro MMJ (made in Japan), 1994 or later, C/Y mount Leitax converted for Nikon F by David Llado: {Warning: Focusing this slow lens with an optical viewfinder is not easy. You must zoom first before focusing because it is not parfocal. So open it wide, focus it, stop it down, zoom in or out to compose, then open it wide again, then re-focus, then stop it down again. Cannot zoom-in to focus and zoom-out to compose. No trouble focusing when using live view on a tripod.} {CAUTION: Do not apply pressure to the front of the lens, crush the front, or set it down resting on the front element, as the mechanics of the front of the lens is easily damaged and will allow in/out play of the front element becoming mechanically loose so it will be able to be moved by about 1/2 to 1mm which is abnormal and enough to affect focus.} Introduced 1986 based on a design from April 26, 1982, as of May 2013 Zeiss still services MM Contax lenses at the Oberkochen factory in Germany, the first batch is from serial number 7,015,569 to 7,025,540 and was initiated in 1986 for a total of 9,970 examples, the second batch was from 7,228,451 to 7,238,450 for 10,000 examples dating from 1994, the second batch was totally from Japan, Contax/Yashica mount, manufactured by Kyocera in Japan, [Contax is not a Japanese brand and never has been. Contax is one of the two traditional Zeiss camera brands, the other being Zeiss Ikon. The classic Contax and Contarex cameras were all German designed & built. The brand is wholely owned by Carl Zeiss AG.], the magic zoom easy to forget it is a zoom, little gem, a legendary lens, love this lens!, deserves the limelight, superb, light weight, trounces all!, a "six star lens" (near perfect best of the best lenses you used in your lifetime), really awesome, optical masterpiece, incredible sharpness and clarity and a great macro to boot (1:2), once stopped down it simply delivers the contrasty Zeiss look with biting sharpness, an outstanding lens, the magic zoom easy to forget it is a zoom, just stunning!, very very good as good as 2-3 primes, a lovely lens, dead sharp and with lots of POP, really versatile sharpness across the focal lengths and macro mode, a fantastic landscape lens, delivers even on the demanding 36MP sensor of the Sony A7R and shows nearly flawless f/8 performance, remarkable on the Sony A7r outstanding once stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8, a very strong performer at f/8 (35mm the weakest corners though), a versatile lens that offers impressively good image quality especially in the wider half performs best when used as a compact lightweight landscape/travel lens at f/8-f/11, favorite on the Sony A7 series camera fairly small with image quality that is as good or better than most primes and a great macro function as well, what a wonderfully versatile lens, relatively compact for the amazing optical performance, fantastic, a great lens amazingly sharp a series of primes in a zoom!, the best 35mm for stopped down infinity shooting, great for landscape and architecture, the lens is superb, has that special something, amazing in the corners so sharp no fringing or casts perfect, incredible sharpness and clarity, and a great 1:2 macro to boot, amazingly good flare control, among the lenses with the best micro contrast, the sharpness is astonishing already full open at the center corners need to stop down to f/5.6, has an unmarked click stop slightly down from wide open, very nicely corrected better performance at f/5.6+ than most 50mm primes highly recommended, many positive yet uncommon attributes: vibrant yet realistic color palette accompanied by near perfect yet creamy neutral tones classy under terrible light conditions ethereal highlight control fine tone separation in flat light 'walk in to the frame' sense of image depth soft retention of context detail in OOF CA close to non-existent excellent bokeh at 70mm with almost no astigmatism close to no curvature of field best used as a 40-70mm lens Carl Zeiss optimised for the longer end, a landscape star that is best at f/8 with no distortion plus a flat field and great corners, CA control is just amazing for a 20th century lens without special assistance by the use of aspheric elements etc. as is color rendition as well as contrast and distortion field lens designed for stop down distance performance peak is f/8, field curvature can result in focus beyond infinity at the borders, reasonably priced with good image quality and punchy color, loaded with Zeiss sauce, stunning on the Sony A7r, Zeiss says that the performance is equal or superior to that of a fixed focal length lens throughout the zoom range, optical masterpiece that will challenge any prime remarkable close focusing ability fantastic Macro function legendary in the stills community for a reason, razor sharp rendering, a known gem, a very small one-touch zoom with incredible image quality, rivals primes across its range when stopped down, push-pull, not par focal, not someone's cup of bokeh but stopped down landscape shooting it is gorgeous, can be a pain to work on because the focus mechanism has 370 - 1mm ball bearings in it (2 races of 185 ea.), provides 1:2.5 macro, this lens is my definition of apochromatic, micro contrast exceeds the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 almost as generally contrasty as the Zeiss 35mm f/2, a great lens, much sharper than Canon 24-70mk2 and Nikon 24-70, at f8 and 70mm it bests the Sony GM 24-70, one of the all time great zoom lens ever built (much superior to the Leica 35-70mm f/4, Leica 35-70mm f/4 has better resolution wide open but Contax f/3.4 wins at small apertures, has pleasant bokeh and is lighter than both the Zeiss 50/2 MP and 35/2 Distagon in the ZE/F line. Better corners and less distortion (at 50mm) than the 50MP, great presence and harmonious color, the only zoom that showed a better MTF chart is the Leica 35-70mm f/2.8 which may be the best zoom from any manufacturer ever but super rare and expensive), a gem but very hard to come by as people who know this lens don't sell, amazing quality zoom that doesn't break the bank, lightweight and discreet, what a lovely lens, wonderful landscape lens with plenty of contrast that requires minimal postprocessing, great focal length range with beautiful and saturated colors and fine contrast but its vaunted sharpness is obtained at the expense of having detail, a featherweight, sharpness, contrast, 3D rendering/micro-contrast is simply amazing, images really pop, color/contrast a Zeiss if ever there was a Zeiss bold, contrasty, punchy, and saturated, just produces stunningly good landscapes stopped down to f/8, love this lens on the Sony A7R, the Sony A7R loves the 35-70 brings out all the subtlety of the color and microcontrast this zoom has in abundance best used above 45mm a little CA appears at the short end, pleasant bokeh and is lighter than both the Zeiss 50MP and 35/2 Distagon in the ZE/F line better corners and less distortion (at 50mm) than the 50MP, great one of sharpest and most micro-contrasty lens ever made wide-angle distortion, hardest-to-focus lens which absolutely confounds the optical viewfinder maybe 30% of the time deep DOF masks the focal plane focus peaking is very effective even in dim light at f/8 provided you have some moderate contrast edges, a bit weaker at 70mm, like it more in the 35-50mm range, isn't that good wide open, tends to perform better at 70mm than at 35mm and not be razor sharp in the corners to at least f/8, the extreme corners on the C/Y 35-70 loose fine detail by f/8 whereas the ZF 35/2 will hold it, lateral CA is very well controlled better than with the ZE/ZF 35/2 for instance, best lens ever, stunning, featherweight, my most carried lens, one of the all time great zoom lens ever built, very amazing, nice bokeh and very close MFD, the only zoom lens that has minimum CA and is extremely sharp, the macro function is amazing, the macro mode is also really useful and sharp like prime lens, exquisite detail all the way across the field, very useful, not much bigger than a prime and super performance, crisp, sharp, with excellent contrast, flare control and nice bokeh, sharpest and most versatile medium tele, literally no CA, sharp edge to edge from f/5.6 to f/16, doesn't go wide enough or long enough, really needs f/8 to be acceptably sharp, sharpens up at the corners at f/8 vs. f/5.6, comes into its own at f/4 and gets a bit better by f/8, little to no difference in sharpness from that point on, edge-to-edge sharpness is exceptional, color rendition is unmatched, contrast is perfect, CA is practically non-existent, compact and light, perfect for street shooting, the only issue is vignetting at 35mm up to about f/5.6, its real Achilles heel is geometry has 2% worse barrel distortion than the 35mm prime, bokeh is kinda blah wide-open, the front element rotates, nasty push-pull zoom action (one-touch in CZ jargon) with disagreeable traits as sucking dust thoughout the lens and the camera interior, moving the center-of-gravity, and encouraging the FL to "creep" from the force of gravity, great hand hold-ability, great low light photography at wider aperatures, love the contrast and color of this lens, can use for landscapes when traveling and not worry about having to bring a lot of primes to get good edge to edge sharpness, a great lens, the only zoom that showed a better MTF chart is the Leica 35-70mm f/2.8, number one go to lens for landscapes, renders a sense of depth in the image, pronounced 3D, optically spectacular hard to beat in good light and/or tripod use, to die for colors and contrast, very strong Zeiss color and contrast, a great great lens, love it small and light a pleasure to operate nice close focus versatile, love the results on full frame, performance is really really incredible, one lens that has it all (except speed), the macro mode is like a built in extension tube in its action, macro feature makes it very versatile, focuses as close as 25 cm, the point of the 35-70 is to use it at f/8 for landscapes don't really see it as a versatile lens for other things, exceptional walkaround zoom images have nice pop and colors and are very sharp, the macro is just plain awesome really sharp results, from f/4 - f/11 really is sharper than Canon macro lens, nothing comes close love it there is a reason why I recommend this lens and the Zeiss 21 to everyone, can't imagine going somewhere where I intend to take landscape shots without it great for hikes very useful for landscapes sharpness and IQ is absolutely top class when stepped down number one landscape lens the close focus is a super bonus the rotating front element is annoying when using a polarizer, a pain to use with a polarizing filter but that is a small detail compared to all the benefits it provides, the rotating front keeps me from wanting to use it in the day and 3.4 min f-stop keeps me from wanting to use it at night, deep blue skies and snappy color and contrast, great sun stars if you shoot into sun, a fair bit of barrel distortion at the wide end its only flaw, designed to be best at the wide end stopped down (since that's where you would shoot landscapes) and best at the long end near max aperture (since that's where portraits happen), at least as good as the 35/2 FE for landscapes and better CA correction at f/5.6 but bokeh not nearly as good, at f/8 there is nothing I can find at fault, worse extreme corner performance than the Zeiss ZE 35/2, the Zeiss ZE 35/2 is better for landscapes, flatter field at infinity than 35/1.4 ZE, best corrected Contax for slow aperture work at 35mm, all C/Y 35-70's are MM version, major vignetting until f/8 and quite a bit of distortion, loses some performance at the long end, very difficult to focus accurately at 35mm without a split screen, [?copy variation] 35mm is the weakest focal length, best performance at 35mm, stellar at the 35mm setting tack sharp wide-open in the center heavy vignetting until f/5.6 - f/8, infinity sharpness is best at 35mm at f/8 or f/11, quite unremarkable at f/3.4, sharpest of the 35's at f/5.6+ biggest advantage is probably the flat-field (it is a close-up lens and this is really sets it apart from the other 35's for hyperfocal work) and lack of CA taking a picture of text wide-open suggests it's a superapochromat the sharpest 50mm ever at f8 for 35mm candid use others with greater speed which are better for landscapes it's probably the best choice, at infinity and f/5.6 the 35/2 ZE and CY 35-70 perform almost identically, the Zeiss ZE 35/2 has more CA than the C/Y 35-70 when both are stopped down for landscape, manual focus is actually the smallest of several annoyances the biggest annoyances are loss of aperture control and lack of EXIF information, nasty push-pull zoom action (one-touch in CZ jargon) which offers such disagreeable traits as sucking dust thoughout the lens and the camera interior, moving the center-of-gravity, and encouraging the focal length to "creep" from the force of gravity exacerbated by the weight of the solid metal barrel, the front element rotates a little gotcha if you like to use polarizers the macro function is amazing, a great landscape lens but not for "snapshot" shooting such as birthday parties, bokeh is kinda blah wide-open, really impressed colors and contrast are very good edge to edge sharpness even wide-open the only issue is vignetting at 35mm up to about f/5.6, a wee bit soft at f/3.4, can use this lens for landscapes when traveling and not worry about having to bring a lot of primes to get good edge to edge sharpness, not an easy lens to find, most owners are happy with it and tend to hold onto them highly recommended, knocked out by the performance, somewhat unknown yet fantastic lens not especially fast or of a wide range but its results are nothing short of exceptional, equal or sharper than any Canon lens within its range even including L primes, a very impressive macro function, tack sharp, absolutely ridiculous how sharp it is diffraction limited on my 16mp Canon 1DsII at f/4 for most focal lengths only lens I know of (ignoring the Leica 30-70mm f/2.8 version) that beats the Canon 70-200/2.8 IS and Zeiss macro lenses, at f/5.6 rivals most prime lenses, clearly not as good as the 21mm Distagon or the 100mm MP (especially the sharpness wide-open and the bokeh), both the Zeiss 35/2 and 35/1.4 primes have an edge when it comes to micro contrast so are better than 35-70 but stopped down the differences narrow somewhat for landscapes I prefer the 35/2 because the 35/1.4 has a little bit of field curvature, wide-open it is so soft as to be useless, center frame MTF is very high at f/3.5 at all focal lengths but falls away after 5-7mm from center so subjects with strong center presence will therefore convey high sharpness but others less so, stop down to make the lens really sing, sharpness at far focus is best sharp even wide-open, wide-open especially in the corners is its Achilles heel but by f/5.6 you should see dramatic improvement across the frame, its real Achilles heel is geometry barrel distortion, the sharpest of the Zeiss 35mm lenses at f/5.6+ the biggest advantage is probably the flat-field (it is a close-up lens, and this is really sets it apart from the other Zeiss 35's for hyperfocal work) and lack of CA taking a picture of text wide-open suggests it's a superapochromat it also has some other focal lengths, close-focus, and the distinction of being the sharpest 50mm ever at f/8 for 35mm candid use the other 35mm Zeiss lenses are better, least not for their speed for landscapes it's probably the best choice but it is slow and has a rotating front element that makes it cumbersome to use with a polarizer, only excellent at f/5.6 to f/8, does not show any weakness in the corners at infinity, at f/5.6 the DOF is somewhat wider than the Zeiss 35/2 which may be the reason why the 35-70/3.4 resolves more details in some structures the most visible difference between both lenses is maybe that the 35/2 can have CAs in the corners even at f/5.6 while the 35-70/3.4 is almost CA free, at least as good as the Zeiss 35/2 for landscapes but a one trick pony to shoot almost exclusively between f/5.6 and f/8 while the Zeiss 35/2 is good at every aperture additionally the bokeh of the Zeiss 35/2 is really nice whereas the 35-70/3.4 bokeh is really poor in comparison, used almost exclusively for landscape it's a great choice, use it in daylight, economical & versatile vintage jewel really is almost like having 3 decent primes in one body with a little macro to boot [30-50-70], a sweet lens and the macro function is useful if you do not need autofocus it is a little cracker, a great secret weapon the svelt Contax lens makes for great hand hold-ability, its close range capability is handy when you're walking around, this little gem works great for flower close-ups, ticks all my boxes hard to imagine a more versatile lens, build quality most impressive the damping couldn't be more perfect, sharp and has beautiful bokeh, performs well wide-open at 35mm focal length but needs f/4 for that biting sharpness, gets somewhat less dramatic at close focus distances, one of the easiest lens to post process images from, details really jump out with a little sharpening yet at 100% the details are not ultra sharp like the 21mm is consistent micro-contrast across the frame creates the impression of sharpness and adds 3D one reason the CY zooms are so good color is the key image attribute of this lens consistently reproduces exact colors just as remembered provided brightness is correct, a serious contender for 'most 3D lens', if you could only use one lens, suggested nickname "Vario-Stunnar" 35-70, somewhat unknown yet fantastic lens not especially fast or of a wide range but it's results are nothing short of exceptional equal or sharper than any Canon lens within it's range even including L primes! lives up to its reputation, decent wide-open and excellent at f/5.6, at it's peak performance from f/5.6 onwards shoot at f/5.6 mostly unless the DOF is needed, slight diffraction effects starting at f/11-f/16, not parfocal so compose adjusting the focal length first then focus (others disagree saying that the 35-70 is parfocal), hard to imagine a more versatile lens, lightweight and discreet, the performance is really really incredible, lovely lens, fantastically sharp with great color/contrast, such a small lens, low-cost, the perfect backpack lens, economical & versatile vintage jewel it really is almost like having 3 decent primes in one body with a little macro to boot, has that special something, this lens is fun!, there will never be another one which simply adds to the classic status, love this lens very versatile great color and sharp, as a walkaround never ceases to amaze, love the colors on this lens, it's a pleasure to work with, sharp and has beautiful bokeh, not normally a fan of the bokeh on close-up shots, a favorite lens, wonderful lens, the lens optically is spectacular hard to beat in good light and/or tripod use, its a great great lens, colors, sharpness, and micro-contrast top notch, makes highlights look so natural, this is one of if not the only manual focus/alt zoom worth owning, the barrel rotates making filter use difficult otherwise it is simply fantastic a zoom with a great macro feature is very handy in a small bag, a fabulous lens, an optical knockout, this lens 'paints' a picture a look like no other, a serious contender for 'most 3D lens', mechanically silky smooth over the lengthy focus rotation throw with a fine gradient even to macro focus just beautifully damped, the front lens does rotate but usually in shooting landscape you're focused out at infinity plus or minus and the little bit of rotation doesn't effect the use of filter much but you do need to pay attention to it I use polarizers and the Lee holder on this lens very often, the guides are made of cheap materials and the shifting of the lens in and out of macro is enough to do it in eventually the failure symptom is a few mm of free play in the end of the barrel in the fore aft axis, it has a habit of the seating screws coming loose near the mount and inducing play which will negate the sharpness it actually has retightening screws is a quite an easy 5 minute fix, Contax-Yashica was too ambitious in this lens and the so called "shoots like a prime" in fact shoots about as well as other zooms and is nowhere close to primes in my testing and Imatest results, I would discount Imatest quite heavily in this case due to the close focus orientation of them these lenses were field lenses designed for stop down performance rhw peak is f/8, one of the sharpest lenses you will find and better then any competing current Zeiss equivalent focal length, slightly sharper and had less CA (basically none) than the Zeiss 35/2 ZF if you have a good copy it's probably fair to say that it shoots like a prime, because of field curvature it focuses beyond infinity at the borders but stopped down the sharpness was very impressive, at 35mm 35-70/3.4 VS is as almost as good as 35/2.8 Distagon C/Y save more pronounced barrel distortion at 50mm it is hardly distinguishable from 50/1.4 or 50/1.7 C/Y planar at 70mm it is slightly less sharp and contrasty than 85/2.8 Sonnar C/Y, have to get use to backwards zooming out for 35mm and zooming in for 70mm, "reversed zooming" has to do with the hood to give maximum shielding effect at all focal lengths, since it is push-pull it acts like a mini vacuum cleaner and sucks air/dust onto the sensor, don't know about dust pumping being any worse than other lenses, barrel distortion shows strongly at 35mm (disputed something isn't right does not show that much distortion), some purple fringing on chrome car parts, love the colors and look, whether on full frame or on crop, this lens delivers, an optical knockout, beauty, favorite, what a lovely lens, little gem, rare indeed to see so many different photographers produce high impact images so uniformly, look very appealing, the great lenses largely do the heavy lifting by themselves, ergonomics unacceptable especially the push-pull zooming, spectacular lens but couldn't get used to the handling, one of the least suitable lenses for action shots, reputedly hard to handle so need to compose then focus, at the wide end it is often hard to accurately focus by eye due to the slow aperture, amazing optics, in good light there's a lot of pop out of the lens so you get a pretty good idea when you're in focus, definitely a nice piece of glass, macro goes to 1:2.5, close range capability is handy, works great for flower close-ups, ghosting/flare is not an issue, excellent resistence to flare use for time exposures at night with bright light sources, smooth transition from in focus to OOF areas, a very good lens if sharpness is your thing, the corners are especially impressive and free of curvature, sample variation wide-open it is so soft as to be useless especially in the corners but by f/5.6 you should see dramatic improvement across the frame, another copy totally blurred corners and borders at f/3.4 at infinity, another copy never soft just somewhat less sharp at f/3.4, another copy not bad wide-open, at far focus where it is best is sharp even wide-open, pretty decent wide-open in the regular mode especially at the 70mm end but in macro mode need to go down to about f/5.6 for good image quality, this lens at f/5.6 rivals most prime lenses, stopped down required to make the lens really sing, for landscapes 35-70 is a great focal length on full frame, lights make superb lovely 8 pointed stars at f/16, use stopped down on or near near infinity for landscapes it's too hard to focus as an all around lens, difficult to focus doesn't exactly pop into focus in most cases, the focusing technique for macro is to slowly rock backward and forward to move the point of focus turn the focus ring basically only to change magnification, not parfocal so when you zoom you need to refocus, for all practical purposes this lens is parfocal which is really nice for manual focus, no field curvature whatsoever, use a lot for stitching, in order to get down to f/22 you have to zoom out below 50mm but can use f/22 at 70mm if you zoom out then close the aperture then zoom back to 70mm, incidents of purple fringing, another copy has very good control of fringing this lens does so many things well give up some speed and gain a lot in return, should see very insignificant levels of CA (check the MTF sagittal/tangential line relationships for this issue) and corner performance is a highlight even with FF at 24mp, two copies showed close to zero lateral CA it only shows up in the blurred corners at f/3.4-5.6 purple/blue fringing is also present at these apertures on brightly lit things like chrome from cars, another copy had purple lines everywhere and infinity so completely off that it couldn't be reached at 35mm due to front elements being misaligned during a repair so needed to delicately take off the rubber ring remove the two holding screws and take the front elements out of its helicoid then screw it in again in a different position (another screw thread) which conveniently lined up perfectly and it is absolutely perfect now with all the old problems gone, there is a small curved "block" around part of the shroud held on by 2 tiny screws that needs to be removed to clear mirror on Canon 5D or on some need to file enough metal so that the 1mm high step where the curved part was removed was almost down to the painted surface for about 120 http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/862783/2#8143062, works just fine without hitting the mirror on the Canon 5D using the Kindai adapter, the rear element does not move during focussing but it does move when zooming so adjusting infinity should only be done by choosing the correct adapter thickness, Leitax/Nikon-mount conversion is fully reversible, Contax MM mount lenses are marked with a green color small aperture number which AE lenses do not have, some AEG lenses have the ninja star aperture, AE and MM often have different coatings apparently MM version seems to be more flare resistant (but MM coatings also vary), Kyocera continues to service only the MMJ, uses Contax metal hood number 1 with 67/86 ring, 475 grams. 67.

Contax Vario-Sonnar T* 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 Vario-Sonnar Zoom: APO grade correction with stellar contrast and rendering at 100mm focal length. Better than the Zeiss own primes in that zoom focal length range tricky to use push-pull design but very very smooth and a joy to pull focus on an aftermarket tripod collar is a must there is simply no way to get a sharp/stable image out of it otherwise overall contrast is low like non-aspherical designs of that era but relatively good micro contrast means youve still got a lot of information to work with as with all tele zooms performs better at the wide end.

70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR II Zoom-Nikkor ED-IF, Mfr. Part 2185: {WARNING: Do not remove the lens or turn the camera off within a second or two of releasing the shutter button or the AF button (VR turns itself off and secures the mechanism after 1-2 seconds).} Nikon end of life November 2019, actual focal length is 72-192mm at infinity but "breathing" to 70-134mm at close focus (with 2x teleconverter 144-384mm at infinity but 140-268mm at close focus), at close range focal length designation is WAY off, marked "200mm" is really 134mm at 1.4m close focus, 147mm at 2m, 164mm at 3m, 176mm at 5m, 186mm at 10m, 192mm at Infinity. [Such fast tele-zoom lenses place an afocal lens (a Donders variable-magnification telescope) in front of a regular photographic lens, and thus behave very differently from ordinary unit-focusing prime lenses. None of them lose or gain a stop of light at close focus despite the reduced focal length they're all simply f/2.8 lenses. Whether zooming or focusing, the size of the diaphragm doesn't change. The f-number at infinity is defined as the focal length divided by the entrance pupil diameter, not the 'physical aperture size.' The entrance pupil and physical diaphragm diameters can be different because lens elements in front of the diaphragm can change its magnification. (The diaphragm is placed in or near the regular lens behind the afocal lens.) Although the physical diaphragm doesn't change size, the entrance pupil does change size when the lens zooms, because the magnification of the upstream Donders lens changes. But since the Donders lens is afocal and appropriately sized it doesn't affect the relative aperture (f-number). The f/2.8 telephoto zooms use an optical construction that doesn't require a change in size of the diaphragm to maintain f-number when zoomed. That's because the zoom effect comes from an afocal lens in front of a conventional lens.] {CAUTION don't allow this heavy lens to dangle freely on camera which could warp the lens mount}, {CAUTION it is important not to turn the camera off or detach the lens from the camera while vibration reduction is still in operation in order to allow the vibration reduction system to lock moving parts in their default storage positions don't change VR lens with camera power on do not have vibration reduction active when changing lenses; turn camera off before removing lens so that VR will be locked down and not left to rattle; never turn VR on unless it's actually needed; VR should normally be off if your shutter speed is over 1/500 or camera is on a tripod; if something is moving you use Active but if it's just you moving the camera use Normal; http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm}; with vibration reduction you need to wait a half second for the stabilization delay and then use bracketing multiple images which is important because shots will usually be slightly different in sharpness; pro sports photographers almost all shoot sports with VR OFF; a fragile lens, Lensrental.com reports (9/2010) a 21% annualized failure rate (Zoom sticks, VR failure, AF failure) vs. 5.5% median failure rate for all lenses for 2011 20% annualized failure rate [VR (7), AF (4), zoom (6), soft (4)]; autofocus repair by Nikon costs $432 (standard rate for parts+labor replacing a major component); this is a G lens, so not for Nikon F or FA but works great on Nikon F4 with matrix metering but only in Program and Shutter priority exposure modes and not in Manual or Aperture priority as it lacks an aperture ring; sample variation with bad copies showing asymmetrical blur and at f/2.8 plus an obnoxious central hot spot but capable of very high imaging quality should the optics perform as designed, excellent performer on D800 sharp everywhere in the range at every aperture with 85mm setting better than the 85/1.4 G at f/2.8 and comparable to the 85/1.8 G at f/2.8 no AF issues, as sharp at 200mm as it is at 70mm, must-have outstanding and fast telephoto zoom, the lens is too expensive, too short for birds and sports, too heavy for walk around shots, the physical size makes it just too obtrusive at informal gatherings, too obvious in crowds and as a result is seldom used when it is used, it's a technical marvel, heavy for me and intimidating to the kids for portraits, beautiful piece of equipment, one word review: "Wow", fast and accurate it's a wonderful lens, "Every time I use it, it never ceases to impress, it really is a stunning lens", one of the best zoom lenses ever made, one fine lens, that's a WOW!, approaches prime quality even wide open, amazing optics damn good at 200mm but there's a reason people wax poetic about their spectacular Nikon 200mm f/2 lens which the MTF shows to be even better optically than the zoom, if you want a 200mm lens you'd better only shoot at infinity if you are using the Nikkor 70-200/2.8, delivers good bokeh, image quality is simply amazing with it's 3D rendering and endless sharpness/contrast combined with lovely bokeh, the best zoom lens you can mount on a Nikon full frame body, one seriously impressive amazing lens and can hold down everything the 85/1.4G can't do and do it extremely well, very sharp at 200mm f/2.8 and has outstanding autofocus performance but its rendering is a bit harsh (contrast in general and bokeh at mid to long distances) compared to the 200/2 lens, bokeh shape at f/2.8 is circular at 70mm but not at 135mm and 200mm where it mechanically vignettes like a cat's eye, very sharp wide open at f/2.8 and that's why it's worth all that money, at f/2.8 it gives insanely beautiful bokeh and retains sharpness and micro contrast, one of the best portrait lenses, the world's standard professional telephoto zoom, portrait subjects seem to get intimidated by the sheer size of this thing pointing at them, tack sharp wide open and there's a common tendency to shoot it that way all the time for portraits but the DOF sweet spot at about f/3.5 which reduces focus errors and gives a superior rendition of the face with more in focus and retains the bokeh we all want usually at "200mm" and always above "100mm" due to the focus breathing issue that limits the actual focal length to below 140mm for portraits, shows a significant quite objectionable focus shift to the rear, loses on focus breathing and weight but has great optics progressively shortens to an effective 135mm at the near focus distance of 1.5m and only hits 200mm at infinity so you don't get the magnification you expect and this hinders the ability to previsualize compositions, absolutely the most fabulous medium telephoto zoom ever made!, in event situations you really need the flexibility of the zoom lens, a heavy but otherwise great portrait lens and one favored by fashion photographers, faster focusing ring type AF-S lens with 10 electrical contacts (not gear type with 8 contacts), the best Nikon zoom ever made, excellent at all focal lengths, very much optimized for the close to moderate distance, optimized for performance in the close through moderate distance ranges, simply AMAZING, sharpness measures the same at 70mm and 200mm, sharper at 70mm than is the Nikon 24-70/2.8, not so great wide open at 70mm needs to be used beyond 85mm and positively sparkles at 135 now with the D800 it's "in your face" obvious, really cannot deliver enough resolution for the 36-megapixel Nikon D800 while central sharpness can be excellent at most focal lengths off-center sharpness is not so good the 16-megapixel Nikon D4 is better suited after all it is a lens designed more for sports and action than anything else landscape shooters on the D800 are not well served and should instead consider the Zeiss 100mm f/2 and the Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R, best for sports and landscape shooting at a distance, also a great portrait lens, one of the great lenses of all time astoundingly sharp in the closer/moderate distance ranges where people are usually photographed sharp pretty much anywhere can replace a whole set of telephoto primes also packs a pretty serious whallop in terms of contrast this lens can do anything, you simply won't get anything sharper than this but it's huge big, long and heavy, soon feels like a rocket launcher which limits its practical use, fantastic lens but huge it easily occupies space that three primes would take for work where the flexibility of a zoom is needed it helps but for normal usage it is inconvenient and intrusive when not in use it's a huge inconvenience it also draws a lot of unwanted attention and it is almost impossible to not get noticed and too easily get mistaken for paparazzi fantastic lens but practical considerations limit use and enjoyment, can be intimidating for subjects who aren't used to being shot by big lenses, a class leading sharp lens, invaluable but dislike its bokeh at longer distances and somewhat harsh rendition in contrasty light, a superb lens and very versatile, finest optical performance available in a telephoto zoom, incredible image quality, one of the best lenses in the world, "wow this thing is crazy nobody deserves a lens this nice", unbelievable sharpness and color fidelity, truly world class lens, just an amazing lens excels at both the portrait/studio distances AND the landscape distances, by far the most incredible piece of glass I've ever used, the first lens I grab for portraits!, at intermediate distances can yield somewhat harsh bokeh although at short distances the bokeh is beautiful, depending on the subject matter primes can work better (such as for candid photos of people) or worse than the 70-200 (which is better for landscape and architectural details), the bread and butter of professional event photographers everywhere, the whole enchilada Nikon's best VR AF-S D3x-worthy optics nano coated and weather-sealed good bokeh it all adds up to a very good package, in the 100mm range for fashion the 70-200/2.8G VR2 will surprise you because it is as good as anything out there in the close/moderate ranges although not a bokeh or medium contrast portrait lens, just love the fast and reliable autofocus when used with the Nikon D700, stopped down to f/4 it works very nicely with the Nikon D7000, on the Nikon D800 has somewhat low contrast at f/2.8 but improves nicely to f/4 at which it peaks while micro contrast drops visibly at f/5.6 and beyond, shows sample variation with left/right asymmetry at the edges which can show disappointing low contrast with weakness at f/2.8 which improves nicely to f/4 then improves just a hair to f/5.6 and then degrades badly at f/8, best telephoto zoom for theater and sports, nothing compact about the 70-200 f2.8 VRII but trust me anyone that owns it comes away saying it's there BEST lens! Ever! on so many levels it continues to amaze me how it does not miss a AF and how sharp it is wide-open, a stunning and versatile performer, among the best of the best, really delivers, it gets you into the world-class territory from the mid tele (85mm) through moderate tele (200mm), phenomenally good even wide-open highly recommended, sweet lens, stunning and convenient but a bit heavy, amazing just a splendid optic use it more than anything else, awesome, glorious contrast and rendering, amazing!, the best zoom in this category, love that sharp at f/2.8 lens!, great image quality but just so intimidating!, control of color fringing, ghosting flare and overall sharpness and contrast are outstanding for a zoom of this type, optimized for all focal lengths at closer to moderate focused distances, frustrating on the 24 megapixel Nikon D3X at long distances because images just don't get sharp at any aperture, for low light nightclub shooting is very contrasty and a bit slow, a great lens (for technical/architectural/landscape) but has pretty harsh bokeh at long distances (when focused to about 10-20 meters or longer) and it's too contrasty to work for a lot of stage lit stuff harsh even, but very very sharp, when traveling I leave the Zeiss 100mm f/2 ZF lens at home since the Nikon 70-200mm VR2 is just about as good, performs better than the Nikon 85/1.4 AFD (easily) and even a bit better than the Nikon 105/2DC which is one seriously sharp lens stopped down and to my shock is VERY close in sharpness and possibly superior in contrast to the Nikon 200/2G VR1 at close distances only while at far distances the big expensive 200/2 surpasses everything including even the Nikon 70-200mm VR2), the 200/2G is significantly better but only at long distances, distortion is an unflattering pinchusion type (bowing in) at 200mm, gradually diminishing towards the wide end to barrel distortion, the biggest frustration is its inability to get close the reduction of close-focus ability to 1:8.3 (at marked 200mm) is a big deal for tight head shots (eg beauty and fashion), or close-up nature shots that will force you to carry a macro lens to solve that issue quite an annoyance in terms of convenience the focal length change is troublesome because it changes linear perspective by virture of the need to move in closer, gives sharp macros with +2.0 diopter Canon 500D close-up lens, use the Canon 500D to turn 70-200 into a macro zoom results are very good stopped down a bit, long minimum focus distance, at intermediate distances can yield somewhat harsh bokeh although at short distances the bokeh is beautiful, ugly bokeh when focused at long distances >20m, would not shoot portraits at 135 f/2.8 but instead would step back and shoot at 200mm f/2.8 for nicer bokeh, T-stop is close to f/3.5, T/3.2, optical peformance is unquestionably about as good as it gets for a zoom of its range, impeccable from f/2.8 in 150-200mm and seriously good from f/4 in 70-150mm, a subject isolating f/2.8 zoom that works at f/2.8, the DOF is very thin at f/2.8 and "200mm", differences between the 70-200/2.8 and Nikkor 200/2 are minimal at best, the 200/2 (the cheapest of the scary glass) wipes the floor with the 70-200/2.8 VR2 at all focus distances, at f/5.6 it really truly excels in the close/moderate distance range where it's staggeringly good to the point that it embarrassed the 85/1.4 and 105/2 DC due to increased contrast perceived as more detail, far superior at both 105 and 135mm focal lengths than the DC lenses, in high contrast lighting the nano-coated 70-200 II displays very aggressive contrast and gives a "rugged" look to performers whether I want it or not, an extremely sharp lens with really strong, brilliant contrast, particularly in the closer distance situations which is exactly what you don't really need if you're shooting portraits, optimized for close to moderate range subject distances vs the Canon lens which is optimized for near infinity subject distances, not that sharp in very close focus distance but it is very sharp at landscape distance or mid distance, not pleasing for people subjects in high contrast light has very harsh bokeh at medium-long distances and the contrast of the images from the zoom are such that in six months and many thousands of images I haven't managed to get acceptable results on people subjects with it too harsh, harsh bokeh at longer distances >20m, the high contrast makes it better suited to landscape and architecture than people photography but this depends on the light (stage light for example can be very contrasty), a great general purpose lens when I want to travel light (compared to the 200/2) and yes it is a perfect "people" lens the one's that say it isn't simply don't know how to use it, approaches Nikon 200/2 image quality and offers the advantages of size and adaptability, has a touch more contrast and bite than the 200/2 and for some subjects that works and for some it doesn't, the 70-200 does seem to be a slight bit more contrasty in a side-by-side comparison with the 200/2 but not enough to worry about, the Nikon 200/2 is essentially a duplication with less utility and the differences while they exist are small but the bokeh with that lens is something special, really good bokeh, the new 70-200 VRII is almost the 200 f/2's equal and is lighter, less expensive, and more versatile, tonal transitions are very very good but they are not quite at the level of what the 200/2 can do, differences between the 70-200/2.8VR2 and 200/2 Nikkors were minimal at best, if I'm shooting fashion in the closer distance ranges stopped down a bit where the punch of the VR2 zoom will be of benefit it's the lens I'll mount instead of the 200/2, where bokeh is concerned the 200/2 has the edge (incredible maybe the best of all of the Nikons) but the zoom is so close in quality to not justify the expense, optical quality close enough to the 200/2 and is more convenient and cheaper to own, when you're trying to pack efficiently for a trip where you can't carry it all the quality is very much such that in some circumstances I now can leave the 200/2 behind and not worry about that which never happened with the previous incarnations of the zoom also the VR2 completely schools any and all Nikon 105mm lenses so it's become my 105mm lens of choice as well, sharper than both 105/2.8 VR Nikkor and 105/2 DC, very impressed beats not only 85 and 105 primes at most if not all common apertures but also ties and possibly beats 200/2 at "studio" distances at f/5.6, not a f/1.4 prime from Zeiss or Nikon but in 99% of the situations you get into this zoom is on a level where the difference is completely uninteresting, unbeatable for people shots outdoors, pretty much a dream come true (except for that focal length breathing up close), best 70-200 ever made, stunning sharpness #wide-open, so stupendously good I almost feel it came as a gift from a superior life form on another planet, just awesome, one of the best lenses I've ever used, incredibly sharp at all focal lengths and apertures even wide-open, sharp corner to corner, very little vignetting and what's there at wider apertures is easily fixed, IQ is close to the Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF, the Nikkor 200-400mm and 600mm have better IQ (micro-contrast and color rendition, and even a little more sharpness) but these lenses cost way more so it's not a fair comparison, you're not going to find anything longer than the 70-200 that is lighter, also unless you're working with a very healthy budget you're not going to find anything "affordable" aside from the 300 f/4 after that lens you join the $5000+ club, the best in its class so far, really super IQ, shots with this lens just pop, an accomplished performer that will satisfy the most demanding of photographers, gives great bokeh, beautiful bokeh, one of the Nikon lenses with the best bokeh, a "must-have" lens, as close to a "must-have" lens as any on the market, a dream to use, Nikon's best yet, the best 70-200 made to date by anyone, best 70-200 bar none!, represents some of the best optical engineering to date, completely new lens: new barrel, new optical formula, new VR, new coatings, new lens hood, everything was totally redesigned from scratch, the de facto Nikon pro lens, love it IQ is outstanding, as Nikon's top tele zoom this is a must-have for every full-time professional, the 2009 seventh iteration of this series since 1982 with only half the distortion of any of the lenses that came before it, one of the finest telephoto zooms yet produced by Nikon or Canon, optical quality is very high seriously doubt if Canon or Nikon has ever made a zoom in this range of this caliber it's that good, the most accomplished lens of its type and a perfect companion to Nikon's top-end bodies, the sharpest, least distorting, fastest and most accurate focusing fast tele zoom ever from Nikon, optics are excellent, build and handling are near-impeccable, balance of the lens is excellent, autofocus is fast, incredibly fast focus going from infinity focus to close-focus and back again in under a second, silent and accurate, image stabilization as good as it gets, super-sharp at every aperture and focal length, comparatively weak relative to primes at long distances whereas at close and intermediate distances it is fantastic, sharpest at the 70mm end of the focal lengths, at f/4 the lens is as sharp as it gets, diffraction limiting begins to set in at f/11, casual shooters will become addicted to the perfect focus and best-yet sharpness and freedom from distortion of any Nikon pro tele zoom, silent wave motor autofocus using a Nikon D3 always nails subjects in perfect focus especially at f/2.8 where it matters always dead-on with no offset or error for still subjects, delivers outstanding image quality combined with autofocus and vibration reduction a "killer" combination, bokeh is superb and at f/2.8 rivals that of the venerable and amazing Nikon AFS 200mm f/2 VR, edge-to-edge sharpness is not stellar at 200mm at larger apertures but this limitation can be overcome by stopping down, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the best zoom ever made in any mount and simply better sharper wide-open with a bit less CA than the Nikon, autofocus is blazingly fast, auto-focus is very fast, to move between auto and manual focus just grab and turn the focus ring (without throwing a switch; "M/A" setting is more sensitive than "A/M" setting for engaging manual focus), image quality is exceptionally high for a zoom and the quite impressive vibration reduction feature works very well for handheld shooting down well below 1/100 sec at 200mm tack-sharp results with VR with automatic panning detection are a huge plus, VR II vibration reduction with claimed four stops (actual three stops) of improvement is so good it produces perfect tripod-equivalent sharpness most of the time hand-held at 1/8 of a second at all focal lengths but a three+ shot burst is recommended (the slower the exposure the more shots are needed in the burst), use normal VR for hand-holding from a fixed position and active VR when in a moving vehicle, turn VR off on tripod, vibration reduction is critically important to get much sharper images hand held with long lenses and with all lenses in dim light for subjects that hold still, VR makes the bigest difference at about 1/2 - 1/15 of a second exposures with normal lenses critical to sharp hand-held images up to about 1/60 second with normal lenses and up to about 1/500 with telephoto lenses VR is the key to sharp shots at the exposure times typical of indoor and available light shooting and for grab shots made outdoors in fading light, zoom ring is perfectly logarithmic and precise enough to allow perfect framing at every focal length, Nikon's closest focusing f/2.8 tele zoom which makes it a must-have for full-time pros, close-focus distance is specified as 4.6 feet and measured at 4 feet, two inches (50" or 127cm), fully compatible with Nikon D40, VR inoperative on Nikon F4 and only program and shutter-priority modes are available, color rendition very nice, very good control of color fringing, no lateral color fringes, outstanding flare control but highly susceptible to veiling flare (haze) when light strikes the front lens element so the hood should be used at all times sunlight that grazes the front of the lens is the worst case that can make images unuseable, ghost and flare suppression with nano crystal coat, ghosting flare and overall sharpness and contrast are outstanding for a zoom of this type, flare and ghosts are not a problem no ghosts with the sun outside of the image, contrast is superb with exceptional sharpness, bokeh is wonderful and varies from great to neutral, 9 rounded diaphragm blades, mostly beautiful bokeh with occasional not so appealing bokeh on the specular out-of-focus highlights showing a double or triple ring effect, background blur is pleasing very conducive to portraiture, variable quality wide-open, f/2.8 is definitely not optimal showing results from very good to marginal depending on focal length and focus distance, a huge jump in contrast and cyan/green color shift from f/2.8 to f/4 along with decrease in vignetting (which is only visible is at f/2.8 at 200mm), sharp by f/4 which invariably delivers excellent results yielding 90% of the benefit of stopping down, slightly better perking up of contrast at f/5.6 which achieves peak performance and is the aperture of choice where depth of field is not a consideration, at f/8 very faint but observable loss of contrast due to diffraction a great aperture for the 70-200VR2 used if desirable for depth of field, then contrast drops with further stopdown, f/11 shows further diffraction softening, delivers top-notch images at f/4 can simply set it there and forget about it, shoot the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II with confidence at f/4 - f/8, with f/4 delivering 90% of the performance to be had, avoid f/2.8 as there is a clear jump in performance by going to f/4 and 90% of the performance gains occur from f/2.8 to f/4, with incremental gains occurring to f/5.6, and negligible gains (if any) going to f/8, so use f/8 for increased depth of field or to "hedge your bet" because of focus errors, background blur is pleasing and sharpness top notch, excellent close-range image quality, 200mm performance that can really only be described as superb, f/2.8 delivers a t-stop of about 3.5, unflattering unappealing pinchusion distortion (bowing in) at 200mm gradually diminishing towards the wide end to barrel distortion, at 98mm focal length distortion is gone, somewhat susceptible to flare with direct light sources in or close to the frame, poorly-designed lens hood too shallow and with curved ends, marked increase in angle of view on focusing closer (focus breathing), shortens focal length at close distances to ~65-135mm at a distance of 5 feet losing the lovely blur qualities possible with a true 200mm lens and causing objects to shrunk as you focus closer, inability to get close due to focal length shortening with a reproduction ratio of 1:8.3 covering about 8"x12" so not a macro lens, forget about tight head shots, the smaller focal length of the VRII at close focus distances compared to the VRI has not turned out to be a problem for portrait work can still get tight head shots without having to even come near the minimum focus distance, image quality remains outstanding at close range, nano coatings are outstanding to deliver high contrast with bright backlighting, put a Canon 500D close-up lens on a 70-200mm f2.8 and you have a very good macro, 70-200AF-S VRII + TC-20EIII is the "magic combo," teleconverter 2x only for short to medium focus distances anything over about 20m starts to get a bit mushy, putting a 2x teleconverter on a zoom lens is a lousy way to get above 300mm, stop down the teleconverter a little for best results, combo is nothing short of spectacular!, combo is not quite as great as the much more expensive Nikon 400/2.8VR but at most distances the image quality difference isn't huge, a brilliant combo on a DX body as the 'poor mans' 210-600mm f/5.6 equivalent angle of view for critters, by itself works great on the 16 megapixel Dx Nikon D7000 it is extremely sharp even at 200mm f2.8 but with the TC-20E III it is quite poor on the D7000 (pixel density is equivalent to 36 megapixels on FX), the D7000 is a great substitute for a teleconverter on a few select lenses with exceptional sharpness such as this one, large, heavy, and awkward at 54.3 oz. (1,540 g or 3.4 lb) so it sacrifices portability and convenience for all-out image quality, it is a wonderful lens but I wouldn't take it on vacation if you carried it for me, 21 elements in 16 groups with 7 ED elements, internal focus, epoxy-coated magnesium alloy outer body, extensive sealing against dust and moisture, exit pupil distance 146mm, 3.4" (87mm) diameter x 8.2" (205.5mm), picture angle 3420' - 1220', manual focus goes the full range in about a third of a turn, works really well with the TC-17EII teleconverter with slight image softness when shot wide-open (f/5.6) but stopping down by one stop (to f/8) removed most of this softness and produced minimal (and very acceptable) image degradation but with slight decrease in the speed and success of focus tracking of fast moving subjects, green-channel transmission efficiency 78%, lens T-stop T/3.19, petaled plastic bayonet hood HB-48, alternate hoods are the screw-on HN-28 or HN-31, semi-soft case CL-M2, tripod collar is quite rigid, 77.

Nikon TC-20E III AF-S 2x Aspherical teleconverter, 2011: Nikon end of life January 2020, with 70-200 AF-S VRII on Nikon D700 "the magic combo", world's first teleconverter with an aspherical lens, simply an optical miracle, this combo can deliver, designed for the new 70-200 AF-S VRII this is a miracle combination you end up with a 140-400 f/5.6, you can take decent sharp, contrasty pictures @ 400mm, wide-open (f/5.6) and a shutter speed of 1/30 to even 1/15 sec., much better than 80-400VR Nikkor, combo has extremely well controlled and barely visible vignetting wide-open, amazing fast and accurate autofocus, and exceptional corner sharpness but the 200-400mm f/4 Nikkor focusses much faster, exceptional, the IQ with this combo is magic extremely sharp, no CA, and handheld it feels solid, the VRII works well, and AF is fast, works with electronic aperture control "E" lenses, images are pretty stunning considering the degradation of quality normally associated with a 2x, amazingly great results!, the result is stunning autofocus is as fast as w/o the converter and VR works the same, the "Nikkor magic combo"is a worthy successor for the 80-400VR, AF remains very fast including in lowlight conditions, instant AF! Wow, tends to stay sharper out towards the corners than the other teleconverters, vibration reduction with the teleconverter is exceptional, decent sharp, contrasty pictures at 400mm, wide-open (f/5.6) and a shutter speed of 1/30 to even 1/15 sec., 2 stops loss, sharpness wide-open, corner sharpness nothing less than exceptional, some loss of sharpness but it retains detail far more than I was expecting and it is much much much better than the TC-20E II, this TC will not disappoint you remarkably good detail even wide-open, [on D300] while it is a good combo you have at least to stop down to f/8 to get good sharpness, bokeh maintains unchanged, corner sharpness very good, vignetting visible wide-open but extremely well controlled, one of the most amazing things of this combo is the AF speed and accuracy, exceptional sharpness for a telezoom+TC combo, while using this combo on a D300 the results are far inferior, some minor play in fitting to camera body at times resulting in contacts not making appropriate contact causing a non-functioning autofocus of the lens give the converter a slight twist and the issue is resolved, loose screws may need tightening and LocTite.

70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Zoom-Nikkor: soft 200-300 mm wide-open which is fine for portraits, but for landscapes use tripod & 300mm at f/11, minimum distortion at 90mm, very lightweight 480g, 117mm x 74mm, close focus 4.9', slow AF, great 9-blade diaphragm, works just great, best inexpensive second lens, deal of the century, lack of ED glass means that it has significant chromatic aberration issues that are easily seen, one of the worst lenses sold under the name of Nikkor, the IQ is not nearly so good as on the VR version, if you stop it down a little or don't zoom beyond 200 mm its images look the same as the $1,000 lenses, just isn't good enough at longer focal lengths, images soft and noisy in use, coma distortion and softness galore at 300mm, not to mention it has the worst kind of plasticy feel (get the 75-300mm Nikkor instead much better build quality and optical quality), HB-26 hood, 62.

80-200 f/4.5-5.6 AF-D Zoom-Nikkor: {CAUTION: delicate plastic mount do not pick up camera by the lens which might break off} Nikon's Lightest Tele Zoom (1995-1999), churns out great images, optically quite decent, liked by Galen Rowell and Thom Hogan, best image quality at f/8, image contrast is lower than professional lenses and color saturation is slightly muted, worthy of consideration for those situations where you need a telephoto zoom but need to keep your kit small and light (333g), super-lightweight disposable plastic-mount lens, junkiest plastic AF telephoto zoom ever mechanics as dinky as Nikon makes them, a plastic snapshooter-grade lens with impressively decent optics, made in Japan, gives images about as good as Nikon's pro f/2.8 zooms for 1/10 the cost and 1/4 the weight, best use of this lens is for saving weight, all plastic except for the autofocus gears and the glass, avoid the widest and smallest apertures and you'll get sharp, contrasty results, bokeh is fine, no CA, traces of chromatic aberration across the entire frame, inexpensive very compact lens (96mm long at the 80mm focal length setting) fine for most outdoor photography, wide-open at f/4.5 and 80mm good except at the very edges with contrast down a bit especially at near focus distances but at f/5.6 and 200mm the results drop to fair, produces very good images when stopped down to f/8, at f/8 and f/11 especially at the 80mm end the lens produces sharp, contrasty images from edge to edge, at the long end it's just little less contrasty wide-open, no distortion at 80mm and pincushion distortion at the tele end especially close, very slight barrel distortion at the short end and more evident pincushion on the long end, distortion is minimal but still clearly visible at 200mm, no distance scale, 7 aperture blades, minimum focus is 5 feet (1:6.2) its biggest limitation while the almost as light 28-200mm G gets to within a foot and a half, but this 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 lens is sharper wide-open and has less distortion than the 28-200mm G, front element rotates during focus and less so during zooming, sturdy polycarbonate body, 10 elements in 8 groups, optional HR-1 flexible rubber lens hood, 52.

75-150mm f/3.5 Series E AIS, version 1: Series E lenses are not called "Nikkor", gem, produced 1980-83 designed to go with the Nikon EM, multi-coated
zoom lens with a metal lens barrel, image quality as good if not better than many of Nikon's current lenses it's that good, the cult classic, one of the most amazing lenses Nikon ever made, surprisingly good on the Nikon D600, beloved favorite, a really nice lens indeed, excellent optics in a supremely compact form, a cult favorite as a portrait zoom with good reason, very pleasing rendition, the nearest to a cult classic stunningly beautiful quality and an impossibly low price used mechanically rock solid, optically beautiful, and has fine bokeh, a fantastic option for travel photography, my favorite zoom, excellent optical quality, the cult lens extraordinaire, marketed as a budget zoom for beginners but which became a cult favorite of top fashion photographers because of its clear but uniquely smooth and gentle rendering, loose push-pull constant aperture zoom, zoom creep, front element rotates during focus but not during zooming, compact, fast, light, sharp and easy to use, color fidelity is superb, used by Galen Rowell, an easy lens to love, the lovely bokeh makes it great for portraits, the manual focus lens that I like most, optically first class, inexpensive and performs without compromise for portraiture, stellar the optical bargain of the century, sharp, nice contrast, great bokeh, fabulous bokeh wide-open, the cult classic and a bargain price wonderfully rounded way of painting very smooth for portraiture, a legendary bargain which may need to have the zoom creep fixed but is aesthetically a standout, looks fantastic on my Nikon D3x, the only zoom I've ever used that actually has reasonable bokeh and it's sharp in an old school way with a luminous 3D quality, every bit as good as the prime lenses that it replaces, one of Nikon's best telephoto zoom designs, beautifully sharp and bright, for the price it's amazing, has developed a cult status in ways few manual focus zooms have achieved a cult telephoto zoom, quite a bargain performance in a nice compact package, one of the best kept secrets fantastic lens, one of Nikon's best telephoto zoom designs, achieved "legendary" status for its performance to the point that the lens was even included in Nikon's own "One Thousand And One Nights" series for breakthrough and superlative lens designs, a very good lens, deservedly got a reputation for its excellent quality, another little gem sharper than the Nikon 105/2.5 at f/8, performs beautifully produces stellar work, an excellent portrait lens with some of Nikon's best telephoto bokeh, very pleasing defocusing quality, one of my absolute favorites super sharpness even wide open, awesome color and contrast all around, tiny, light, and very well built, takes an HR-1 rubber hood which is actually quite helpful in controlling flare, none of the Nikon Series E lenses had rabbit ears, some believe it was made by Kiron, the true surprise is that it actually works quite well as a portrait lens the bokeh is beautifully rendered, CA is a problem, very nice look one of the few zooms I would use for portraits, reasonably sharp wide-open, perform worst at 150mm, corners a bit soft at 150mm but at 75mm satisfied with the edge to edge sharpness at f/3.5 and there's very little light falloff, stop down to f/5.6 and the lens is as good as Nikon has made in the 75-150mm range with only a minor drop-off in sharpness at the very corners, pro caliber by f/8 and f/11, f/8-f/11 range to obtain optimum sharpness, by f/8 couldn't ask more for as far as sharpness and contrast, a very slight dreamy quality to the contrast rendering while colors are rendered very naturally and without overpowering contrast almost ideal for portraiture, holds up beautifully at minimum focusing distance where many lenses suffer in terms of performance, purple fringing wide-open which clears up as the lens is stopped down, parfocal focus is constant through the zoom range, flare when pointed towards the sun (AIS better than AI version), works much better on DX than FX (wides on FX and tele on DX), metal body, there are two versions of this lens the later flocked one with a fixed chrome lens fastening ring next to the aperture ring instead of a black plastic ring is slightly more desirable because the inside of the housing was modified in the later metal ring version to reduce internal reflections, zoom creep can be fixed by using tape on the barrel, very good with tubes and/or close up lenses for macro work, excellent at infinity too, a splendid performer when close-up lenses are added, works very well with the Nikon 3T close up lens or an extension tube for macro but not flat field, made by Kiron (Kino Precision Industries), 18.3 oz. (520g), 65x125mm (2.6" x 4.9"), HN-21 screw-in metal lens hood, just fine with the TC-14a or TC-200 or TC-201 teleconverters, 52.

80-200mm f/4.5n AI Zoom-Nikkor: Nikon's smallest and lightest professional telephoto zoom of all time handles extremely well and takes normal 52mm filters a dream to hold, focus and zoom, and it's super-duper sharp, the most insanely sharp of all tele zooms, best at f/8-f/11, push-pull zoom, the sports and action lens of its day, use with 4T for #close-up photos where it performs great for flower and insect photography, 3T (1.5 diopter, 52) and 4T (2.9 diopter, 52) are killer on this zoom lens great results for macro and way more convenient than primes, ghosting, the dream lens of all Nikon users in the early 70's, the lightest and optically the best really superb totally rugged will survive anything, for inexplicable reasons a pleasure to use (in spite of the rotating front), bokeh is marvelous out of focus backgrounds are always soft and undistracting, sharpest tele zoom I've ever tested, super-sharp even at 36 megapixels wide-open at f/4.5, optics as good or better than any of Nikon's newest professional zooms, so well made that it works with little if any lubrication so it can work in temperature extremes, needs only a tiny flick to move the settings, moves so easily with no play in any of the movement, 52.
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html [Bjrn Rrslett]

Astro-Physics 4-Inch diameter, 610mm f/6 Triplet Apochromat High Resolution Refractor (Roland Christen) - "4 inch Tube Assembly" - Low Power Widefield Telescope - An ideal Astro-camera/RFT that can also be used at very high powers with no annoying color. Field coverage is 3.2 on 35mm format at f/6, 4.8 with f/4 flat field telecompressor. 4" f/6 Tube Assy, giant focuser, coated optics, hand-corrected to 1/20 wave peak. (1/56-wave RMS) Astro-Physics refractors are so good that the term "Christen Triplet" is virtually synonymous with excellence. Everyone wants an Astro-Physics refractor. ... Waiting list: As of 2010 wait times for Astro-Physics refractors are now in the 10 year range!!! Roland makes the absolute best APO triplet refractors in the known universe. Stunning optics. Astro-Physics, Inc., 11250 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park, IL 61115.