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Lens review

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2

28 June 2011
Szymon Starczewski

8. Vignetting

The Zeiss 1.4/35 is a big lens – the biggest in its class. It might suggest good vignetting results. Let’s check first how the situation looks on a small APS-C/DX sensor.

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2 - Vignetting


As you see, the vignetting is noticeable without any problems at the maximum relative aperture, where it amounts to 32% (-1.1 EV). The situation improves significantly on applying f/2.0 because then this aberration level reaches 17% (-0.53 EV). The problem disappears completely by f/2.8. A chart below shows how the Zeiss compares with its competitors.

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Zeiss
1.4/35
Nikkor
1.4/35G
Canon
1.4/35L
Sony
1.4/35G
Samyang
1.4/35
f/1.4
32%
32%
32%
24%
21%
f/2.0
17%
14%
16%
11%
9%
f/2.8
5%
5%
8%
4%
4%


As we wrote previously, because of the significant dimensions of the lens, we expected a good result but somehow it is not especially pronounced here. The Zeiss still loses to the Samyang and the small Sony.

Perhaps full frame will be much more favourable for the Zeiss? Let’s check it out.

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2 - Vignetting


The situation is a bit better but certainly we can’t say that the Zeiss left all his rivals behind. Quite the opposite is true – the values shown here are very similar to those of other lenses. At the maximum relative aperture the vignetting is easily noticeable, as it amounts to 55% (-2.29 EV). It is keenly felt also by f/2.0 where it reaches the level of 36% (-1.27 EV). By f/2.8 and f/4.0 the problem decreases to low or negligible levels because the values we got there are 17% and 8% respectively.

A chart below presents an exact comparison of the results, got by the Zeiss and its rivals.


Zeiss
1.4/35
Nikkor
1.4/35G
Canon
1.4/35L
Sony
1.4/35G
Samyang
1.4/35
f/1.4
55%
60%
70%
59%
48%
f/2.0
36%
44%
50%
43%
34%
f/2.8
17%
25%
35%
23%
19%
f/4.0
8%
15%
27%
15%
12%



Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2 - Vignetting