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Reader Likes Nikon 60/2.8G Macro, Asks About Zeiss 25mm and 28mm Distagons

See also May 19, 2011 reader comments on a similar topic.

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G

Markus M in Germany writes:

I wanted to thank you again for your great advice as regards the Nikon AF-S 60 Micro! I have bought the lens used from a dealer in Germany, and I am very happy with it. It is very sharp, and also great at distances further away (not infinity), in my opinion better than the Zeiss ZF 50 in this regard.

As you have shot with the Zeiss ZF 28 and the new ZF 25, I would be interested which lens you consider to be sharper. It is clear to me that you like the 25 better:-)). As regards the 28, I would be really interested in your opinion as regards the following:

You wrote in the review that the 28 behaves really well when shooting into the sun/ contralight. How does the 25 compare?

Color: Is the 28 similar to the pureness/ clarity of the 25?

Sharpness: Is the 28 as sharp in the centre of the frame as the 25 (it is clear from what you wrote that the 25 is considerably better in the edges)? Or at least comparable?

CA: It is clear that the 25 is considerably better than the 28. But I think the 28 can be corrected in postproduction.

Ability to manual focus handheld: Is one of them considerably easier than the other?

I am asking this because I got a quite good deal for a 28 (second hand, around 500,- Euro), but if the difference between them is huge ("night and day"), I will pass it nevertheless. To be sure I will keep my Nikkor 24 f/ 1.4 G (especially for moving subjects, or taking photos at night), which is a fine lens also. I like the focal length around 24 mm:-)).

Again thank you so much for giving me your personal opinion! It is very much appreciated!

DIGLLOYD: one has to be careful with “better” because the term takes meaning only when adequate context is given.

The new 25/2 Distagon is better corrected for color than either the 25/2.8 or 28/2 Distagon, and it would be my preference over either of those.

I use the 25/2.8 Distagon more than the 28/2 Distagon primarily because of focal length (field of view). But the 28/2 is really designed more for environmental portraits or similar documentary context. The 28/2 has more field curvature which is particularly strong to the corners, but this is actually less than most other 28mm designs of other brands, so keep the context in mind. Stopping down to f/5.6 largely makes this point of no importance except for the far corners.

Both have similar properties: high contrast and brilliance, and the 28/2 has an extra stop to play with, which I really like for its own reasons, especially for its vignetting (ditto for the 25/2.8 at f/2.8). Both lenses have some lateral chromatic aberration, but I have not found this to be an issue in most of my shooting. Both lenses are very sharp and contrast at center by f/4.

Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon, Zeiss 28mm f/2 Distagon

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