A Very Brief Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 Review

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by entropic remnants, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    Bought the lens here (thanks jloden) used to replace the Fujifilm 14mm which is excellent, but I want something a little wider.

    It didn't disappoint its first time out. I used it on an urbex run and here are its high and low points as I see it:

    It's Great Because:
    • It focuses very, very close when you need it
    • It's very sharp across the frame, even wide open, and stays sharp to fairly small apertures
    • Surprisingly flare resistant compared to many ultrawides
    • It "renders" or "paints" very nicely including surprisingly good bokeh for an ultrawide
    • It has an aperture ring, as a proper lens should
    • It's attractive is a minimalist ultra-modern sort of way
    • Aperture ring is very positive and not so easy to accidentally adjust as some Fujinon lenses
    • It's lightweight
    • Metal mount
    • It doesn't have the feel of a traditional Zeiss because of the deliberately lightweight design (both good and bad depending on what you're used to)
    It's Not So Great Because:
    • The AF is not fast, but it's not terrible -- just not world class
    • Focusing is fairly noisy in manual or auto -- not objectionably, but not good for video for sure
    • The aperture and zoom rings are smooth rubber -- they work, but I don't like the feel of them
    • It's bigger than I think it needs to be in some ways
    • Slightly less common 67mm filter size
    • It's pricy but ultrawides this good are relatively rare
    • It is named after a frigging parrot and now I see a gaping beak every time I see it
    • It doesn't have the feel of a traditional Zeiss because of the deliberately lightweight design (both good and bad depending on what you're used to)
    • Can't use LMO corrections on the X-E2 (at least, not so far)
    If I was asked to compare it to the Fuji 14mm I'd say they are both very good, but with a slightly different look with the 14mm perhaps having more contrast punch -- but the 12mm isn't far behind and has other good qualities. The 14mm is WAY faster to focus, has that nice focus clutch, and is much smaller even with -- maybe especially with -- the hood on. If you need compact, get the Fuji perhaps -- but I need wider and I'm not waiting for the 10-24mm zoom to come out and be evaluated and available.

    For me the 12mm is a better choice, but it is bigger and that may be a deal breaker for some. I shoot from the tripod for a lot of urbex with an X-M1 in MF mode and the lens looks positively ludicrous on the X-M1, lol. It looks like the lens is wearing the camera rather than the other way around.

    Overall, if you're into really wide, this is a great lens. Having had both though, I can heartily recommend either so if you're deciding between the two lenses you can't lose no matter what you choose.

    Here's a few samples shot with the lens from the recent trip:

    11395669506_1f5a1fce49_b.
    Being a Tourguide: Executive Bowling Alley by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    11393729945_73e2d461d7_b.
    Being a Tourguide: 713 by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    The next shot is a beyond ridiculous flare opportunity and I've never had an ultrawide that was any better, regardless of the flares you see in this shot.

    11393740736_4d935e34f9_b.
    Being a Tourguide: Considering Options by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    11408946094_71d09d44d4_b.
    Being a Tourguide: Cave of Winds by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    11410463115_82950df968_b.
    Being a Tourguide: Scattered Remains by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Here's some shots using the Zeiss as a photo-journalistic style lens at a grandson's birthday party -- and you can see a little of the bokeh here in the one shot:

    11427586785_dc48c82443_b.
    At Isaac and Andrea's Birthday by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    11427605836_3cbf5261a4_b.
    At Isaac and Andrea's Birthday by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
     
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  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    795
    Jan 31, 2013
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Looks like a very sharp performer for a lens this wide. Great photos, John, and thanks for sharing the review here!
     
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  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    Thanks, Amin -- and thanks doubly for "featuring" it! :D
     
  4. Isoterica

    Isoterica FujiXspot Regular

    170
    Feb 10, 2013
    I guess I'm strange or something because I like the results of that ridiculous flare opportunity :)
     
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  5. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    I like it too, lol -- but a lens which can't control flare under certain circumstances can ruin rather than enhance a shot. I prefer control over unpredictable effects. If I didn't, I would go shoot a nice Holga with light leaks and crappy plastic lenses!

    [now I'll hear from the Holga fans... sigh]
     
  6. Mikey

    Mikey FujiXspot Veteran

    277
    May 15, 2013
    Louisville, KY
    Wonderful shots, John! Yup, that 12mm is quite the performer.
     
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  7. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    LOL.

    Glad you're enjoying the lens John! I agree with pretty much everything you said, this and the 14mm are both excellent, and I'd have no hesitation recommending either one. That awkward 67mm filter size is basically the reason I decided to keep the 14mm instead of the 12mm after owning and using both. Otherwise I'd probably have gone with the 12mm - wider is almost always better when it comes to WA lenses for me :D
     
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