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Lens review

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2

21 February 2012
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • excellent build quality and a very solid casing,
  • sensational image quality in the frame centre,
  • decent image quality on the edge of APS-C/DX sensor,
  • great correction of chromatic aberration – both lateral and longitudinal,
  • slight distortion,
  • moderate coma,
  • low astigmatism,
  • not bothersome vignetting on APS-C/DX sensor,
  • very good work against bright light.

Cons:

  • image quality on the edge of full frame could have been a bit better,
  • huge vignetting on full frame.

The Carl Zeiss-Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 is undoubtedly a very well-done lens with a lot of merits and few flaws. If you decide to buy it you will certainly appreciate its exquisite and timeless build quality and an excellent image quality in the frame centre, along with good correction results of most optical aberrations.

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Still we feel slightly unsatisfied after the test. The Zeiss costs almost as much as the Canon EF 24 mm f/1.4L USM II and is just a tad cheaper than the Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.4G, being slower by 1 EV than these two at the same time. Such combination of price and aperture indicates that we should have got a perfect instrument but this lens is hardly perfect – we found some minor flaws in our test. You should keep in mind, however, that the initial prices of the Canon and the Nikkor right after their launch were higher. The Zeiss is the youngest lens in this group as it has just been put on the market so its price might be inflated. Perhaps after a time it will decrease to such a level that the difference between the tested lens and products of Canon and Nikon will be more pronounced, giving more food for thought.


Sample shots

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/3200 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.68 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/6400 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.7 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 6.48 MB
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/50 s, ISO 400
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.57 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/160 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.2 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 5.21 MB
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.9 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/3200 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.14 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.13 MB
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/5000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.9 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/4000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 5.26 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 9.23 MB
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.27 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.25 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 5.64 MB
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25 mm f/2.0 ZE/ZF.2 - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 9.18 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.33 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 25 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.05 MB



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