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Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar

The Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar might be the finest lens I’ve ever used—and I have many, both Canon and Nikon. I don’t rate lenses just by how sharp they are, though the 100mm qualifies in that regard, with stunning detail across the frame wide open at f/2 that simply eclipses the performance of the Canon EF 100mm macro, a fact which will be demonstrated in my formal review. (In the meantime, please see the July 08 entry for more information).

Lens performance is about a combination of things, including sharpness and contrast, color rendition, distortion, flare, and bokeh, the way the out-of-focus areas render. I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of using a lens with more beautiful bokeh than the Zeiss 100mm. The velvety-smooth out-of-focus rendition combined with high resolving power at high contrast is stunning—it creates a 3-dimensionality that I’ve not seen before.

It was windy yesterday, so I shot a series of handheld images while the plants waved in the breeze, shooting multiple frames at ISO 400 and f/2. Below are a sampling. All shots are unmanipulated, using Neutral rendering in Digital Photo Professional.


Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro Planar @ f/2, handheld, Canon 1D Mark III

Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro Planar @ f/2, handheld, Canon 1D Mark III

Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro Planar @ f/2, handheld, Canon 1D Mark III

Want an in-depth review of the 100/2 Makro-Planar ? Look no further:

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