Carl Zeiss versus Canon L and Nikon Lenses


Feb 24, 2010
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#1
Hi All

I have read that Carl Zeiss lenses have been described as being able to give the pic a 3-D effect.

I have not read about Canon and Nikon lenses having a 3-D effect.

Are Carl Zeiss lenses superior ?
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#2
Hi All

I have read that Carl Zeiss lenses have been described as being able to give the pic a 3-D effect.

I have not read about Canon and Nikon lenses having a 3-D effect.

Are Carl Zeiss lenses superior ?
It is not 3D effect. 3D can only be achieved using 2 cameras or a 3D capable camera. What you are referring to is probably called thin Depth of Field. Any lens can create that if used correctly.

And brand of lenses do not determine quality. You need to evaluate the specific lens to see if it is a good well designed lens and if it will fit your needs.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#3
Some lens connoisseurs refer the so called "3D effect" as the way Zeiss lenses render the scene, and its microcontrast attribute.
Maybe it is german labour.

But every system has their "star" lenses, and you will not be short changed using either nikon or canon lenses either.

Ryan
 

photoart

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Feb 21, 2009
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#4
Some people call it the "pop" effect. Not only zeiss or leica lenses are capable of creating it, some good lenses can have that kind of effects, including canon nikon and even sigma
 

rhino123

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#5
Carl Zeiss produce excellent lenses, but it is by no means superior lenses as compared to Canon and Nikon lenses... it all boils down to personal preference over many things such as bokeh, sharpness, etc...
 

Berkins

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Aug 29, 2010
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#6
Actually most prime lenses are able to allow u to isolate your subject from background at large apertures. Not necessarily zeiss
 

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#7
Actually most prime lenses are able to allow u to isolate your subject from background at large apertures. Not necessarily zeiss
Nope. It's not an attribute that's specific to prime lenses. Most "zoom" lenses can do the same thing, if they are of the right telephoto length.
 

Berkins

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Aug 29, 2010
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#8
Rashkae said:
Nope. It's not an attribute that's specific to prime lenses. Most "zoom" lenses can do the same thing, if they are of the right telephoto length.
You're right.
 

Aug 4, 2010
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#9
Some lens connoisseurs refer the so called "3D effect" as the way Zeiss lenses render the scene, and its microcontrast attribute.
Maybe it is german labour.

But every system has their "star" lenses, and you will not be short changed using either nikon or canon lenses either.

Ryan
Obviously narrow depth of field is not a characteristic unique only to Zeiss lenses, but rather caused by factors such as aperture, focal length and distance.

The "3D effect" that the threadstarter is asking about is exactly what giantcanopy has explained... which is the way Zeiss lenses render the scene, rather than the sort of effect we enjoy in Avatar-like 3D movies. Again, there are also non-Zeiss lenses which have this characteristic.

See for example, this photo i took at Chinatown this morning with the Zeiss 25mm lens... notice how the old men in the photo seem to be 'popping out' from the picture? The background still holds quite a bit of detail, so it doesn't seem to be a depth-of-field issue...

 

tikiman

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Aug 20, 2009
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#10
Not just Zeiss lenses does a pop out effect. There are a lot of old legacy lenses that does that too. IMO, there are a lot more factors involved than just zeiss lens. ie Distance from subject, interaction/integration of subject with environment, aperture value, lighting, etc. Using zeiss lens does not automatically makes the pic pop. My uncle still takes pictures as flat as changi airport.

What I think is that zeiss lenses are pin sharp on focus, nice contrast and (most importantly) manual focusing force users to take more time to frame the scene properly through the VF, as compared with an AF nikon or canon lens.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#12
Here is a good real along this line of thought. ;)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/sharp.shtml

Each brand has some lenses where the occurrence of this '3D' effect is higher than other lenses.
On some brands, ppl call it '3D', others call it 'pop'; etc (the Pentax ppl like to call it 'pixie dust')
Some ppl discount it altogether as being happening more often on some lenses, and attribute it to shallow DOF, lighting and photographer skill (so any lens can do it).

Personally I find that it is a combination of shallow DOF, very good sharpness at point of focus, contrast and micro-contrast as well as rendition and lighting.
To me this effect occurs more often on some lenses than on others and sharpness is not the only factor but usually a pre-requisite. Price is certainly not a criteria as well.

Here is one shot with a MF Pentax M85/2. Not an expensive lens at all.



Another one from a K24/2.8 (again not an expensive lens). Stopped down and wide angle, so less DOF is certainly not the principle criteria here.


Lenses are designed for sharpness, contrast, aberration control, speed, size, etc. There is no free lunch, certain aspects are traded off for others. There will be nice and not-so-nice lenses in any brand.
 

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Feb 24, 2010
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#13
Some lens connoisseurs refer the so called "3D effect" as the way Zeiss lenses render the scene, and its microcontrast attribute.
Maybe it is german labour.

But every system has their "star" lenses, and you will not be short changed using either nikon or canon lenses either.

Ryan
Can anyone please suggest such "star" lenses that more often than not give the "pop out" , "3-D" effect from the Nikon, Cannon & Sigma range of lenses ?? Many tks
 

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Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#14
What I think is that zeiss lenses are pin sharp on focus, nice contrast and (most importantly) manual focusing force users to take more time to frame the scene properly through the VF, as compared with an AF nikon or canon lens.
The Autofocus Zeiss lenses also have the wonderful microcontrast that gives that "3d" effect.
 

rhino123

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#15
Can anyone please suggest such "star" lenses that more often than not give the "pop out" , "3-D" effect from the Nikon, Cannon & Sigma range of lenses ?? Many tks
What do you mean? Alot of lenses are doing that effect... as long as you know how to control it.

Sigma 28mm f1.8 Mini Wide II





Canon 70-200mm f4L





Canon 100mm f2.8

 

#16
I've seen a Zenith lens giving a very strong 3D pop, giving a lot of lenses a run for their money.

Here is some pictures of so called 3D pop effect or aka subject isolation on a 1986 Zeiss Planar, pardon my low shooting standards:




Here is another substandard one




Dont mistake lens sharpness for "pop" effect.

Oh well, Zeiss, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Zenith, Olympus etc.
They all make well made lenses, its up to you to bring the best out of them :thumbsup:

I do notice zeiss has a real strong "pop" effect compared to the others then again, there is so many lenses made by these manufacturers, I cant remember every single one of them.

A lot of old canon & nikkor lenses back then copied zeiss formula, very well made, bang for the buck, a lot of japanese sonnar & planar copies back in the old days after the war.
 

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Jul 9, 2009
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#17
I think this is a rather 'abstract' issue in the sense that I believe not all are able to discern the differences, sometimes subtle? Personally for me, its pretty obvious the 3D effect that is apparent in some glass like the ASPH leica lens as well as the Modern Zeiss glasses. As a nikon user, I also noticed that the latest G primes are amazing in their pop effect, I believe the microcontrast and rendering is slightly different as compared to previous generation (AFD?)

And yes I think its different from whether its the aperture, or subject-background distance or composition. Its more like how each lens distinctively render the scene and also its characteristics, microcontrast, rendering of shadows and highlights..
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#18
I think this is a rather 'abstract' issue in the sense that I believe not all are able to discern the differences, sometimes subtle? Personally for me, its pretty obvious the 3D effect that is apparent in some glass like the ASPH leica lens as well as the Modern Zeiss glasses. As a nikon user, I also noticed that the latest G primes are amazing in their pop effect, I believe the microcontrast and rendering is slightly different as compared to previous generation (AFD?)

And yes I think its different from whether its the aperture, or subject-background distance or composition. Its more like how each lens distinctively render the scene and also its characteristics, microcontrast, rendering of shadows and highlights..
Quite agree. I cannot really put a finger and define this 3D pop effect, but those who has seen enough will see that certain lenses render differently. I often take it as a crisp rendering of defined edges/ high contrast on the focused area, bringing the subject out.
Some lenses even in their widest aperture with subject isolation still makes the scene flat out.

But. I doubt it can be readily scrutinized, since it is something that one has to deliberately look for, and often times, post processing and bad composition readily distracts me off anything first from any of these supposedly 3Dish lenses. Of course again, especially for Zeiss users, YMMV.
 

blueskye168

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Aug 28, 2006
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#20
Is there a 3D effect for this photo?

yes...saw his fingers moving...see carefully again...like 'tie-a-butterfly-knot'...see that...:bsmilie::bsmilie:

Yup...somehow there's this 3D:heart:effect on the figure...double-checked...!!;)
 

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