The Zeiss Distagon 21 f/2.8 has a reputation for being one of the best wide angle primes out there. I've found this reputation is quite deserved. Thanks to a F-mount to Sony NEX converter, I had the chance to try this lens out on a Sony NEX-3 recently.
The Zeiss lenses have a wonderful micro contrast and saturation to the images they render. None of the images have had saturation boosted in post, only curves adjustments to optimize contrast.
Manually focusing a lens on the NEX-3 is easy but not trivial. Two quirks of the NEX-3 that get in the way are:
- MF Assist zoom always defaults to the center of the frame so you have to keep moving it back to the area of interest.
- Half pressing the shutter button zooms back out to full view when you are in MF assist zoom. Since I usually half press the shutter before taking the shot (so that I don't have to mash down the shutter button while taking the shot, minimizing shake).
I am very pleased with the image quality (both the high ISO IQ of the NEX-3 and the wide open IQ of the Distagon). This is a 100% crop of the first image, wide open, ISO 1250.