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Zeiss Standard T2.1 lens vs. Speed Panchro Series II or III


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 03:12 PM

Looking at the different options for 35mm lenses for a PL mount 35mm Arriflex and was wondering if anyone had experience with the Zeiss Standard T2.1 primes or the Cooke Speed Panchro Series II or Series III primes and had an opinion. It would be these Zeiss lenses, a 16mm, 24mm, 32mm, 50mm, and 85mm.

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And it would be these Cooke lenses with a Les Bosher PL adapter, 18mm Ser. III, 25mm Ser. III, 32mm T2.3 Ser. II,40mm Ser. II, 50mm Ser. II, and 75mm Ser. II.

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How do they perform as far as sharpness, color(are the Zeiss the usual cool and the Cookes the usual warm)? How far do you need to stop them down before they hit their sweet spot? And if you have used both, how do they compare to each other?

I realize this is a really broad question. I'm just beginning the exploration of 35mm. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
-Tim
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:35 PM

Hi Tim,

The lenses are quite different, the Zeiss Standards are far more modern & typically Zeiss, PL mount from the factory still used all the time.

The Cookes have a beautiful soft look, however as they are in their original state, focus pullers will have a hard time.

The Zeiss are more usable today IMO, be aware that the Zeiss 16mm & 24mm will porthhole when wide open on a digital sensor or P+S adapter, that's why they cost less than Super Speeds.

All of the lenses can be used wide open, however stopping down 1.5 stops you will see an improvement, if you want a very sharp image.

Stephen

Looking at the different options for 35mm lenses for a PL mount 35mm Arriflex and was wondering if anyone had experience with the Zeiss Standard T2.1 primes or the Cooke Speed Panchro Series II or Series III primes and had an opinion. It would be these Zeiss lenses, a 16mm, 24mm, 32mm, 50mm, and 85mm.

Posted Image



And it would be these Cooke lenses with a Les Bosher PL adapter, 18mm Ser. III, 25mm Ser. III, 32mm T2.3 Ser. II,40mm Ser. II, 50mm Ser. II, and 75mm Ser. II.

Posted Image

How do they perform as far as sharpness, color(are the Zeiss the usual cool and the Cookes the usual warm)? How far do you need to stop them down before they hit their sweet spot? And if you have used both, how do they compare to each other?

I realize this is a really broad question. I'm just beginning the exploration of 35mm. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
-Tim


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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:42 PM

The Zeiss T2.1s actually do not have that razor sharp Zeiss look with a fast focus fall-off of the Ultra Primes and Master Primes. Instead they go a bit more in direction of Cooke look. But they are still plenty sharp, expecially if closed down. I recently saw an architectural shot comparison test and the Zeiss 14mm Distagon looked better than the equivalent Cooke S4.
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:56 PM

Thanks Stephen and Max.

be aware that the Zeiss 16mm & 24mm will porthhole when wide open on a digital sensor or P+S adapter, that's why they cost less than Super Speeds.


Stephen, I plan to use these lenses on an Arriflex 35mm camera, shooting 1.85, (in the academy frame, not full frame). Will I still run in to the porthole (is that the same as vignetting by the way?) problem when shooting with them wide open?

Thanks,
-Tim
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:15 PM

Hi Tim

Shooting on film with these lenses is fine, film does not mind if the light hits it at an angle, sensors on the other hand do.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:21 PM

Hi Tim

Shooting on film with these lenses is fine, film does not mind if the light hits it at an angle, sensors on the other hand do.


Thanks Max.

-Tim
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:25 PM

Thanks Stephen and Max.
Stephen, I plan to use these lenses on an Arriflex 35mm camera, shooting 1.85, (in the academy frame, not full frame). Will I still run in to the porthole (is that the same as vignetting by the way?) problem when shooting with them wide open?

Thanks,
-Tim


Hi Tim,

No problem whatsoever shooting on 35mm film. Portholing looks like vignetting, but the cause is different, when you stop down it goes away, with vignetting it will get worse!

Film does not care the angle that light hits it, a digital sensor does! I guess the Cookes may well have the same issue, but I have never tested them on a digital sensor.

Stephen
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#8 Dan Goulder

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 12:53 PM

I recently saw an architectural shot comparison test and the Zeiss 14mm Distagon looked better than the equivalent Cooke S4.

From which series was the Zeiss Distagon used in the test?
Thanks.
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 01:02 PM

From which series was the Zeiss Distagon used in the test?
Thanks.

Standards I was told.
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:53 PM

Okay, it is now about a year later, I have slowly put together a nice set of Speed Panchro lenses, one at a time. The set consists of the 18mm Ser III, the 25mm Ser III, the 32mm Ser II, the 40mm Ser II, the 50mm Ser II, and the 75mm Ser II. I had Guy at ZGC overhaul them all and have shot some test footage with all of them. They look good.

I had the chance to put them up on a lens projector today, and look at them next to a set of Zeiss Standard Speed Primes (the T2.1 versions) and a set of Zeiss Master Primes, and a set of Cooke S4 lenses. They stacked up really nicely with the Zeiss Standard Speed Primes, and have very similar characteristics. I was really surprised how sharp the Speed Panchros were, even wide open.

Naturally the Cooke S4 lenses blew away the Speed Panchros, and the Master Primes were unbelievable. Would love to have a set of those babies.

It was really great having the chance to look at the lenses with a lens projector. Would love to have a projector for my shop.

Best,
-Tim
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#11 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 02:10 AM

The Standards are one of my favorite lens series.

They're light.
They have a great range.
They're sharp enough to feel modern, but soft enough to feel organic.
They perform well wide open.
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