Guide to Zeiss ZF/ZE Lenses
ZF/ZE 15mm f/2.8 ZF/ZE 18mm f/3.5 ZF/ZE 21mm f/2.8 ZF/ZE 25mm f/2 ZF/ZE 25mm f/2.8 ZF/ZE 28mm f/2 ZF/ZE 35mm f/2 ZF/ZE 35mm f/1.4
ZF/ZE 50mm f/1.4 ZF/ZE 50mm f/2 macro ZF/ZE 55mm f/1.4 Otus ZF/ZE 85mm f/1.4 ZF/ZE 100mm f/2 macro ZF/ZE 135mm f/2 APO Sonnar

Since 2007, diglloyd’s Guide to Zeiss ZF and Zeiss ZE Lenses is the world’s authoritative guide for existing owners of these lenses, as well as a valuable reference for prospective buyers, including both still and video shooters. Updated regularly for new insights and new lens models, it has saved many readers the difficulties in deciding which lens(es) to buy, before buying them!

The Zeiss ZF/ZF.2/ZE Lenses review captures what was learned in over five years of ongoing use of Zeiss ZF/ZE lenses to make real images under field conditions (not a test lab). It’s a review from the perspective of a photographer wishing to make satisfying and compelling images.

You’ll get a huge head start understanding the strengths and limitations of these remarkable lenses, so even if you already own one or more of them, the insights presented will help you use them to their potential.

Readers frequently report that the detailed coverage in the review saved money by helping them choose the right models prior to purchase.

Hundreds of hours of shooting, tests, and analysis went into preparing this review from June 2007 ongoing into 2013; this is the most complete and comprehensive review of the Zeiss ZF/ZE lens line available today. Nothing like it is available anywhere else, at any price.

See what readers are saying: Testimonials Page.

Topics covered:

  • Overview and discussion of the Zeiss ZF and Zeiss ZE lens line, based on 4+ years of shooting all the ZF/ZE lenses on both Canon and Nikon DSLRs;
  • High-quality and high resolution examples and comparisons for every lens;
  • Sensor size and lens performance on different sensor sizes;
  • MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) discussion in general, and for each lens;
  • Curvature of field (for certain models);
  • Extensive discussion of resolution chart and testing issues;
  • A general discussion on bokeh (out of focus image rendition) with extensive examples for each lens;
  • Sample variation discussion based on two samples of each lens;
  • Subtleties of image rendition;
  • Focus shift and how to mitigate it;
  • Tips for accurate focusing.
  • Advice and recommendations.

There are numerous examples, minimally compressed—that’s why the review is over a terabyte in size! For each lens—

  • Overview and discussion of each lens;
  • Numerous examples at high resolution, minimally compressed for maximum detail and fidelity to the originals;
  • Bokeh (out of focus image rendition);
  • Resolution chart;
  • Direct A/B comparison(s) with other lenses (Canon EF and/or Nikon). For example, the Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar against the Leica 100/2.8 APO-macro-Elmarit-R and Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro.
  • Extras: color correction Photoshop layers for the 18/3.5 Distagon.
  • … view the full table of contents

Lloyd Chambers (author, “diglloyd”)

Lloyd is a researcher and writer on photographic technique and technology, as well as Mac performance for photographers. His online publications include Making Sharp Images, Advanced Photography and Guide to Zeiss ZF/ZE Lenses. Lloyd writes for Photo Technique magazine and maintains an active blog, MacPerformanceGuide.com, and an extensive selection of photography and related articles.

You’ve done a remarkably good job in providing information that is not obtainable elsewhere and even though I am just beginning to read your comments and reviews the subscription was more than worth the price. It reminded me of the hints that Ansel Adams would give his students for real world shooting. I look forward to delving deeper into your reviews and counsel. — Ralph Z

Thanks for a great website, the ZF/ZE review is the best I have ever seen! — J