I do not know how much experience you have had mounting the AF CZ 135mm f/1.8 lens. I have to tell you, for its size it is quite a piece of heavy glass. Adding the lens hood makes it only that much heavier. In fact, so much so, that the front ring of the optic is stressed and more than a few folks have actually damaged the lens (necessitating its subsequent repair) by using the lens hood regularly.
That is not my experience, but I suppose it may lie in my future. Anyway, the chance of getting fingerprints on your front element while mounting this particular lens are ... very high. Those fingerprints can cause glare in your images and should be wiped clean. Having a prophylactic-filter (e.g., UV or CLEAR) can reduce that problem, as if it does get finger-printed, you can easily remove it and shoot print free, then quickly screw it back on when you are finished. Anyway, that has been my experience with this lens. I still would like to know that if I did decide to shoot THROUGH the UV-filter, my autofocus would be a clean one ... but as it currently stands, IT IS NOT.
Hence, I am going to the expense of popping for a an ULTRA-CLEAR filter and trying it out. It should be here by the end of the week.
I would do the same thing Don does. If I was shooting professionally and could easily afford to replace a $1500 lens, but couldn't afford to blow a shot, I wouldn't. But with my more expensive lenses I use a UV filter and when I am doing something more important (like shooting a wedding) I take it off and keep the hood on.
At first I questioned if even a higher quality UV filter would help the AF issues, it seems like you still might get some funky glare or doubling that would cause problems, but hopefully better quality glass and coatings will fix that issue. I'm interested to hear how it turns out.
This full frame business has been a bit tough on the wallet. With my limited resources I have had to turn to the tried and true practice of primes. I am currently without a wide-angle shorter than 35, and only own one zoom right now, which typically stays at home. It is a good (but old lens) but I rarely use that range. All of my lenses except the 85 are 1990ish designs, and the 100 and 70-210 haven't been made since then.
I have started to see the stress that a FF sensor puts on your optics. The Tamron version of the K-M 17-35 that has been the source of some of the recent discussion in this thread was seeming interesting to me, but it seems like you guys have discovered it to be optically questionable.
At one point I read where someone guessed that Tokina and Tamron worked together on their 17-35 2.8-4, but I'm pretty sure Tokina, Tamron, and Sigma are no more likely to work together than Burger King and McDonalds on a hamburger. I do however feel pretty confident to make the assumption that the Tamron and K-M versions are twins.
I may be on my own here but I can't see the point of buying quality glass and then shoving a window on the front, especially when a modicum of care and good practice negates most of the problems. No matter how good the filter it's still an extra piece of unwanted glass or resin between subject and lens.
Nothing wrong with old glass, I have a bunch of it. My only new glass is the 70-300mm G.
Make no mistake I would thoroughly recommend the lens especially on APS-C where the corner performance is much better and, of course, it wins hands down on price.
Here's a Black Forest Lanscape ..
Camera: Sony DSLR-A700
Lens: KMAF 17-35mm f2.8-4
Exposure: 1/200th at f8
Focal Length: 17mm (26mm equivelent)
ISO Speed: 200
24th August 2009
and here's some 100% crops ..
In most of my efforts, the KM AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 "D" has been a very "acceptable" shot. I think I would find myself hard-pressed to imagine the exceptional need for the SONY CZ 16-35mm f/2.8, if I did not already have enough glass to stuff a whale with.
If you only have room for three lenses ... the choice would be pretty clear as to what would be best ... providing your wallet can truly afford it all. Again, as I always do ... I ask, "Can your photography afford to be without the Zeiss solution?"
For now, the answer is ... "yes, quite." But then again, I reserve the right to change my mind, should the "need" arise and I do happen to have another $2000 that needs disposal of.
WOW! :eek: , that's a crackin' shot. As close as I have looked at it, it seems equally as clear as shooting the CZ 135mm f/1.8 "naked." A tremendous improvement over the Hoya (Calumet) UV filter I was trying to use.
So, I have solved the "filter-covered" lens issue to my satisfaction ... and believe me, I do not take this lightly. Screw UV filters ... I am sticking with the ULTRA-CLEAR. :cool:
Now, while I realize there are only a few members using this particular lens, but I tend to believe that if you satisfy the optical condition this one, you have found your answer for nearly everything else. Call it an "optical metric", if you will.
The ø77mm is the same filter-ring diameter for nearly all the important SONY/Zeiss lenses:
- 16-35mm f/2.8
- 24-70mm f/2.8
- 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM
- 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM
- 135mm f/1.8
and as such, buying a set (ULTRA-CLEAR & Circular Polarizing) of high-performance ø77mm filters will go along way in future lens purchases. It also covers the ø77mm K-M/TAMRON AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 and ø77mm SIGMA AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6.
You can always employ the use of a step-down ring to fit other diameter rings, such as the ø72mm CZ 85mm f/1.4 or the ø67mm SONY/Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Also, the B+W Kaesemann Polarizer is also a grand filter, looking very crisp when tested. (I would hope so ... whew, pricey)
Anyway, I am happy to announce that a long and painful process has come to an end ... with a very positive result.
Yeah, I know ... but, I have to say that in the past five years, some SIGMA glass was rather testy, requiring its return and alignment. I found my 10-20mm in immediate need of "optical alignment", as soon as I cracked the box. Three weeks later, I had it back and it was looking good. Still, a shipping debacle I would have rather missed.
Now, the HSM role raises it head ... to improve overall performance. In a bold move, I have decided to move ahead and grab both the super wide (on a FF) AF 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG EX HSM Aspherical (21.2 oz) and the Zeiss-challenger AF 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX IF HSM (27.9 oz).
Price-wise, I wind up with BOTH lenses for just $26 more than the CZ 24-70 f/2.8 (33 oz) sells for, alone. Of course, that is ignoring the purchase of the obligatory 82mm Kaeseman CP-filter (which is also usable on my SIGMA AF 20mm f/1.8 DG EX lens. It's a split-decision, on that one.).
Review after review has the SIGMA 24-70 so close to the Zeiss 24-70, that they literally tumble all over each other, in various performance points. Well, I am willing to give the SIGMA a solid position in my lens bag and prove it to me. I hope it does perform to my satisfaction and if it doesn't ... the SONY can always come to the rescue, later.
If all goes well, this could be complete by week's end. The "2010 Glass Improvement Plan" rolls on ... next stop ... Geez ... don't say it too loud. :rolleyes: