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EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2023-03-25 15:05:16

Zeiss MTF Examples

Examples on this page are the Zeiss ZF.2 for Nikon and/or ZE for Canon EOS (same optical design).

Example — Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

No 50mm lens that I’ve tested (12 or so) can show center to corner consistent sharpness. It just doesn’t happen for 50mm and wider angle lenses because of design tradeoffs (optical, as well as size/weight constraints). The Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon is the best by far, and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A shows promise.

All 50mm “fast” lenses (e.g., f/1.8, f/1.4, f/1.2, f/0.95) I’ve tried also have wave field curvature, especially f/1.4 and faster ones. There is even some field curvature with the Zeiss 50/2, observe the bulge near the 18mm offset and the subsequent drop-off (see graph below). The f/1.4 designs have much more of a “wave” in the mid zones, so the 50/2 is doing very well here right out to frame edges at 18mm.

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  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
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Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Variants Makro-Planar f/5.6,Planar f/5.6 available in full article
Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar MTF at f/5.6 (infinity) , 10/20/40 lp/mm

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