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Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

MTF on Mirrorless Cameras

The design condition for the ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon is for 0.8mm thick sensor cover glass; see the MTF page for performance discussion for the as-designed platform of Leica M digital.

Mounting the 35/1.4 on a mirrorless Sony A7x camera (using an adapter) causes ray angle issues that severely degrade MTF because the sensor cover glass at 2.5mm thick refracts rays increasingly strongly away from center. Not until f/8 is reached does performance approach as-designed performance, and it is still impaired. See MTF charts below. On Micro Four Thirds, the sensor cover glass is typically 6mm thick, and the effects are extreme.

See also Astigmatism and Lateral Color in Making Sharp Images.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q, Leica SL.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly the Summilux/Summicron/Elmarit choice and/or Zeiss ZM.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning. Processing parameters are discussed and shown.
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  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

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Depiction of ray paths through sensor cover glass

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