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Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon vs Nikon 14-24/2.8 Under Difficult Lighting (Flare)

See the review of the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon in Guide to Zeiss.

Stephen F ( writes:

Do you remember our discussion of the ZF 2.8/15. Let me entertain you with the followup. ;-)

After consulting your review and re-thinking many times, I didn't find a reason to keep the Zeiss.

Even though I've made the best pics of my life with it and I really loved the rendering of the lens, I made the brain decision (why spend so much money if it doesn't bring clear advantages, blabla….). As always with decisions driven by brain (not heart), it turned out to be wrong.

I ebayed my ZF 2.8/15 to someone who knows nothing about floating elements (he thought that the inner movement was a defect, he didn't believe me and emailed Zeis for confirmation ;-))

A few months later, February in Greenland, 40° Celsius below zero, I experienced the point where the Zeiss has a huge advantage over the Nikkor.

As I did with the Zeiss, I went into extreme back-lit situations, really nice stuff. Really hard work for every lens. The Nikkor (as would nearly every other lens) ruined virtually every shot because it rendered fireworks of different disturbing lens flares.

The most strange thing was a diagonal violet beam across the whole image, coming from the sun in the picture.

From last summer I knew that the Zeiss handled those situations with frightening perfection. So, there was the difference between the Lenses, there was the clear reason In needed. I've re-purchased the Zeiss and I'm very happy with it... Currently back in Greenland with the ZF 2.8/15 and it's unique rendering.

BUT, there is a new fact which lets me bang my head against the wall. Zeiss has a dedicated polarizer for the lens (now available, it wasn't last summer), a very expensive one. Crazily expensive. The frame of this Polarizer is so thick (around 1cm) that it leads to visible vignetting in the corners.

A dedicated Polarizer which is promoted as (unique) selling point for this lens - and it's vignetting because of the overly thick frame. This is so weird. Others provide slim frames for wide angle lenses, Zeiss provides an extra-thick frame. I am eagerly awaiting the response from Zeiss concerning this fail.

DIGLLOYD: Flare control is indeed excellent.

As for the Zeiss 95mm polarizer, it does have some vignetting in the extreme corners when stopped down a bit. It’s minor, but I suspect the design was not made without a reason.

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