This comparison was shot as a follow-up to confirm the D800E sensor alignment issue (same Nikon D800E body, issue confirmed), but it turns out to show the color correction behavior and contrast differences of the 135mm APO-Sonnar usefully in relation to the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC. Unfortunately.
A (second) Nikon D800 body also shows a similar alignment issue, though to a slightly less extent. Two 35m lenses were also found to display the issue on the D800E. Bad luck with two bodies, both headed to Nikon for “to spec” alignment. There were actually multiple comparisons made with both bodies, focusing on the gutter area at left and center and right as well as the top of the roof. Results consistently showed (with both cameras and both lenses) a forward bias of focus on the right side. By itself, that makes for a mystery (2 against 2), but two other lenses (35mm focal length) suggest that the bodies are at fault.
Article continues for subscribers...
If you’re already a subscriber, CLICK HERE TO LOG IN
diglloyd.com’s Guide to Zeiss includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution, Retina-grade examples for all ZF.2 and ZE lenses and in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare. Since 2007, Guide to Zeiss is the authoritative review and practical reference for Zeiss lenses for Nikon- and Canon-mount cameras. Subscriptions cost $ per year.