What is a Carl Zeiss lens exactly?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by nossie, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    Hugo Boss for clothes, Porsche for cars, Canon for Lenses... errrr no it's Nikon... errr wrong again it's Carl Zeiss! Who the fek is Carl Zeiss and what's he got to do with anything? If he's "all that" why don't Canon and Nikon beat him up and take his stuff?

    Isn't his technology a bit old?

    Carl Zeiss (September 11, 1816 – December 3, 1888) was an optician commonly known for the company he founded, Zeiss. Zeiss himself also made a few contributions to lens manufacturing that have aided the modern production of lenses.

    http://www.zeiss.com/
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    not every Zeiss lens is great, but some of the best lenses are made by this company.

    so we in Europe should be happy that we can make lenses which can compete ... wouldn't it be sad if it was all Japanese (Nikon and Canon) ? ;)

    Actually, we also got B+W (filters) in Europe, which now belong to Schneider-Kreuznach, another great lens company, for both the lower consumer segment (mobile phone lenses and p&s lenses) but also for the high end of high tech specialty lenses for military and scientific use, which most of us cannot afford.

    Saying why do Canon and Nikon not beat up Zeiss or any of the other companies is like sayin why doesn't Nissan and Toyota beat up BMW and take their stuff ;)
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Historically one of the leading designers/manufacturers of optics. Engineering in general was (and still is) a proud part of German history. Prior to WWII, both Leitz (would later become Leica - Leitz Camera) and Ziess were the leaders in optics with Leitz specialization in microscopes. Amazingly, both survived relatively well during the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. It is rumored that Allies made special efforts to preserve engineering and manufacturing centers during the war. IIRC, one of Leica's early engineers had either working history with Zeiss or was very knowledgeable with Zeiss design.

    To this day, Zeiss optics are still one of the best and used in many applications.. more than just photography which is not the only widely used application of optics.. They make lenses in many mounts (including M-mount)... their booth at the photoexpo always had a crowd and I drooled a bit at their display.

    The technology used by these "old" companies are far from out of date.... surpassing more "popular" or "well-known" companies. Sometimes you just don't realize a particular product has glass made by another company such as Zeiss.

    Canon and Nikon are not the world..... but the Japanese sure should be credited for their leaps in technology.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, lots of today's submarine technology is based on inventions made towards the end of WW2, and so is a lot of today's rocket science.

    Quantum mechanics, what today's computers are based on, is almost one century old.

    So old does not always mean bad ;) And "new" does not always mean "better".

    In fact quality standards for many sorts of products were way better 40 years ago than today. And if you see the problems Canon and Nikon have with their quality end-control with their lenses ... well, that tells the whole terrible story of extreme mass production ;)
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And yet another comment ... Hugo's clothes, even those which are a bit more expensive, are rather poor in quality compared to some less known companies. ;)
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!! A lot of products were built better in the old days.... and many plastic cheaply built products are actually more expensive now. Kinda makes me feel that generations before us believed that a well built/designed product will carry on its own in the marketplace. Now a days... its all about the bottom line.

    There was a time that most of the parts of a camera were made out of brass! oooOOooo you can feel the quality just holding them... Works of art.

    I was at B and H a few days ago and a fairly old gentleman pulled out of a box what looks like a MINT Nikon Rangefinder. OMG... it looked like a work of art. I pulled out my M3 and we had a nice chat.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah but Hugo's pants and jackets fit me. Unfortunately the fit is more important than anything so i'm stuck with a very small selection of expensive cloths which can be a real pain sometimes.

    What do you mean by his technology being old? No autofocus? Some of the nicer lenses like the Zeiss Planar 50mm are sharp, err very sharp. Especially compared to the Nikon and Canon counterparts. Other lenses not that good. But one thing is certain and that is build quality is top of the line.

    Do you need a Zeiss lens to be a good photographer? No, but the lenses are "all that" just like Hassleblads are "all that" and indeed Zeiss do make lenses for hassleblad mounts too. So if you have the spare capital and you want to impress someone with a nice camera because you utterly lack any other talent strap a zeiss on your hassey and go get some girls.
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Same here ;) Best choice for me (if you do not talk about custom-tailored).

    But quality is not the best ..

    Unfortunately most girls won't know what a Zeiss lens or a Hasselblad camera is. The best you could get is a comment like "Wow, that is certainly a big one". ;) But that could be achieved with cheaper cameras as well :p

    Hmm, but if you want to chat up pro models, then your approach could work ;)
     
  9. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    :fangs:I knew I'd find a few raw nerves with this one while I was looking for the avid fans Vs the peeps that'd call it over priced plastic etc.
    Sure old stuff is great, just look at my car hehe. And I'm sure a company doesn't last the ages by being crap but then again look at $ony.
     
  10. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shot a Contax G system for a few years, and by far, the best part of the system was the Zeiss lenses. Really top notch. When I changed systems, I did not miss the camera bodies that much, but I sure did miss the lenses.
     
  11. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    By the same logic cars, cameras, trains, motorbikes, bicycles and a great many other things have been around for a lot longer so maybe it's time to do without them.
    As for clothes, bridges, roads, buildings... we still use the basic technology that has been around for thousands of years and it all still does the job.
    Come to that the species Homo Sapiens has certainly gone over it's 'best before' date ;)
     
  12. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

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    Creating quality glass takes a lot of research, mathmatics and scientific grunt work to create. Back in the "old" days, all of this was done by a lot of very smart people. Then along came computers and all the grunt work was reduced from dozens or more people and months if not years of work down to a box and a computer operator. When you lose the human touch, you lose a lot of the beauty and craftsmenship of a product... but you do make a lot more money.

    Mike
     

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