I am busy preparing images made with the Zeiss ZE 35mm f/2 Distagon for my Guide to Zeiss ZF/ZE Lenses. Examining the images I made, I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the image quality. While the ZE 35/2 Distagon is not perfect (no 35mm lens is), it is bitingly sharp, with lovely image rendition and contrast. The trick, as with all lenses, is nailing the focus, because at f/2 some really nice results are possible.
If you’re a Canon user, you’ll love the ZE 35/2 Distagon (provided you don’t require autofocus!). I have no hesitation in recommending the ZE 35/2 Distagon for immediate purchase; my longer experience with the optically-identical ZF 35/2 Distagon (Nikon model) is confirmed as with the ZE version.
At about $1004 , the ZE 35/2 Distagon is well within reach of serious Canon shooters, and a great introduction to what Zeiss has to offer. Especially for landscape use, I’d strongly prefer the 35/2 Distagon over the Canon 35/1.4L and reasons why are shown in my Guide, not to mention it’s about $400 less costly (I do own the 35/1.4L).
At larger size, this image, taken in very flat light, shows a lot about the ZE 35/2 Distagon, and will be presented in the usual large size in my Guide, along with actual-pixels crops from various areas of the frame. I have a nice selection of other images including some wide open at f/2 that teach some interesting lessons.