SLRgear reviews Nex 24/1.8 Zeiss; Pany 20/1.7 better?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by ronbot, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. ronbot

    ronbot Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 27, 2010


    The beloved 20/1.7 is far from perfect (slow and loud AF, non-internally focusing, etc) but seems to have better optical performance overall than the much bigger/heavier, more expensive 24/1.8 Zeiss.

    Looking at the graphs, the pany is generally sharper even at 1.7 vs 1.8. Both at f/2, the pany gets sharper still where as the Zeiss barely improves.

    The distortion is seems bad on the Zeiss where as the pany basically doesn't have any (because of SW correction?).

    Vignetting is a lot better on the Zeiss though.

    Still, I expected better from this $1000 Zeiss branded lens.
  2. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 5, 2011
    ya, thats pretty bad. Just consider how much smaller the panny is. less than half the weight and only a little over a third of the length.

    The sony has better vignetting, macro and AF though.
  3. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 2, 2010
    For some reason the Zeiss test is conducted on a Sony NEX-5. The Panasonic is on an E-P1. Looking at the comparitive still life images at 100% I'm not sure I can really spot that much difference. Also how much the results are affected by the camera / sensor used, is another factor.

    The Zeiss is designed to work on the NEX-7, amongst other cameras, so that might make a difference also.

    Since the lenses are designed to work with different systems and aren't interchangeable comparisons are somewhat difficult. I use NEX and m4/3, and as a general rule m4/3 images are (mostly) slightly sharper. However I have a Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 which is sensationally sharp on a NEX-5n but somewhat less so on my m4/3 cameras.

    The 20mm is a very good lens for m4/3 cameras, and I have no doubt that that the Zeiss will be the same for NEX cameras. Considering that if you shoot raw, you can basically "change" the performance of a lens pretty significantly, add in the fact that lens profiles come into play, and it becomes very difficult to state that one lens on one system has a "better optical performance overall" than another lens on another system.

    If you prefer m4/3 and the 20mm and it suits you better then all well and good, but personally I'd be wary of going any further than that.
  4. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Comparing results between different systems and even between different cameras belonging to the same system is not possible, because resolution (or, to be more precise, spatial frequency at 50% contrast) is affected by the sensor and the AA filter more than by the lens. The comparison is absolutely meaningless; all you can say is that the lens A on the camera B has better resolution than the lens X on the camera Y.
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    You can compare some things, like how even performance is across the frame (although even this may be affected by microlens arrangement, eg NEX-7 vs NEX-5N), coma, CA, etc. Absolute resolution cannot be compared across systems using SLRGear data.
  6. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 5, 2011
    That's unfortunate, they seem to have the most comprehensive charts. DPReview normalizes all their data.
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Other way around.

    DPR gives lph. That's an objective measure that can be compared easily across systems. SLRGear gives you blur units. Those are normalized.

  8. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Even with internal focusing it remeains to be seen if this Zeiss indeed focuses faster and accurately (especially in low light) when mounted on Nex body vs Panny 20mm mounted on m43 body.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    ...and the E-P1 is probably the softest, lowest resolving of m4/3 camera bodies, so that might make a difference also.