Sunday, August 08, 2010

Zeiss Distagon 21 on Sony NEX

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:
  1. MF Assist zoom always defaults to the center of the frame so you have to keep moving it back to the area of interest.
  2. 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).
There may be workarounds for both of these issues, but there aren't a lot of customization options on the NEX-3 so I'm doubtful.

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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Aravind,

Nice test! I am impressed with that detail at that high ISO!
Any chance to see a picture of camera with lens on?
What camera do you usually use for that lens?



Aravind Krishnaswamy said...

Yep, I'll get an image of the lens on the camera shortly. The Distagon is a ZF.2 mount which I got only recently primarily for use with the Nikon D3s.