Mid Range Performance (f2.8)

Mid-Range (4-6m) Performance at f2.8

Zeiss ZF 85mm f1.4 at f2.8 (centre)
27,684 bytes
Canon 85mm L (Mark 1) f1.4 at f2.8 (centre)
26,884 bytes

As previously, both lenses are really swinging at f2.8. Taking samples from across the frame and scrutinising captures at magnifications of 66.7–200% on screen are necessary to get an accurate flavour of the subtle differences between the two lenses. On balance, the cleaner mid-tone contrast swings me in the ZF’s direction, but both are superb.

Zeiss ZF 85mm f1.4 at f2.8 (centre)
16,670 bytes
Canon 85mm L (Mark 1) f1.2 at f1.4 (corner)
16,547 bytes

These corner tests are compromised somewhat by the fact that one – or both – of these lenses isn’t really 85mm. The Canon is a notch shorter in focal length than the Zeiss, and therefore the stamp target falls just outside the problematic extreme corner. Making allowances for that puts them pretty close to level pegging. If pushed, I’d say the Canon L is still sharper than the Zeiss ZF in the corners at f2.8.

Zeiss ZF 85mm f1.4 at f2.8 (corner)
22,162 bytes
Canon 85mm L (Mark 1) f1.2 at f2.8 (corner)
25,025 bytes