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ZeissDistagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras
 
4.9

(based on 67 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (60)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (48)
  • Durable (44)
  • Consistent output (34)
  • Rugged (29)
  • Nice bokeh (24)

Cons

  • Heavy (15)
  • Slow focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (54)
  • Video (22)
  • Low light (18)
  • Night photography (16)
  • Weddings (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (45)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (21), Semi-pro photographer (21), Photo enthusiast (15)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Lens in every way

I recently sold all of my Canon lenses because I generally prefer to focus manually and I found that those lenses were particularly difficult to focus accurately. Their respective focus rings were way too...Read complete review

I recently sold all of my Canon lenses because I generally prefer to focus manually and I found that those lenses were particularly difficult to focus accurately. Their respective focus rings were way too sensitive and were easily moved during normal handling of the camera. I was also not pleased with the image quality of the Canon lenses and to be fair, these were all zooms. Several reviewers state that they would give Zeiss lenses a higher rating if they only had auto focus. My response to that is these lenses are sold as manual focus lenses. They're not advertised as having auto focus. If you want auto focus, buy a Canon or a Sigma or any other brand, but stop your whining about these lenses not having auto focus.

This lens feels like brick. It's solid, well made and has silky smooth focusing that stays where you put it. The optics are superb with great sharpness, contrast and color rendition. Corners could be a little sharper, but that's a limitation of most wide angle lenses. There is no perfect lens.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Big dissapointment

Having spent many hours researching what lens to use for my 5Dmark2 landscape photography I decided to go with the zeiss 21mm distagon. The reviews for this lens were very positive. Incredible sharpness,...Read complete review

Having spent many hours researching what lens to use for my 5Dmark2 landscape photography I decided to go with the zeiss 21mm distagon. The reviews for this lens were very positive. Incredible sharpness, color, and micro contrast. Basically, the reviews built this lens up to be uber incredible and indeed some of the sample pix I saw were incredible. However, after using it, I could not understand all the hype. Even with a sturdy tripod and mirror lock up, I got sharper pix with my canon 24-70mm F2.8. The zeiss wasn't much better than the 17-40 F4 either. The sharp corners for which the zeiss is famous for were not that sharp. I looked so forward to owning this lens. I was really dissapointed. Not worth [$] when you can shoot w/ cheaper Canon lenses.Perhaps I got a bad copy but for that kind of price it better be very sharp. Thank goodness for B & H's return policy.

Reviewed by 67 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beautiful Lens

By Brian B.

from Houston, TX

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Macro Photography
  • Video
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

The colors this lens produces are unbelievable. I primarily shoot video with this lens on a Sony A7s full frame and the final product needs almost no post color correction. Excellent for natural light and outdoors, but also works great in low light indoor settings. Solid metal construction. A tad bit heavy, but who cares.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Reviews are correct on this lens

By Mojo

from Austin, Tx

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

    Use for Landscape and 5d mkII. Used appropriate testing methods for stable in focus shots. Compared to 24 tse, extremely sharp canon 24-70, Rockinon etc. I have also used the C/Y version of this lens.
    CA non exisitant. Bokeh is nice, smooth, not nervous.
    Color is beyond awesome. Seldom need to adjust color in lightroom.
    Center sharpness is exceptional, border sharpness drops more than expected.
    Extreme corners have a lot more distortion than expected, and there is more field curvature (out of focus ) going further in to middle than I would like to see.
    Close subjects 2-10 feet have an stunning sharp, contrasty look. WAY more crispness and contrasty edges than anything I have including 24tse.
    Images are so sharp, more than the slightest sharpening Lightroom will cause over sharpening.
    Can close focus like a macro within 5 inches or so. Sharp, sharp detail.
    Hard Infinity is not perfect infinity on 2 recent copies of lens, but very close.
    Starshots on 1 lens had bad comma, 2nd lens much better but streaking of stars on bottom left and top right. So there is a decentered lens element somewhere.
    Focusing(live view) is perfectly dampened, with immediate, accurate movement (not like my canons which are very loose) and a reasonable range of movement to get things in focus. Not too much, not too little(canon 24 tse does not have enough)
    Crazy easy/quick to manual focus vs my standard favorite Canon 24-70.
    Canon shooters just don't have access to the perfect lens yet. If the center sharpness on this lens extended to extreme corners, with less distortion and field curvature, this would be the 2nd most astonishing lens ever made. The CY/Zeiss definately beats it in sharpeness, not CA, or color.

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    • No

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    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Competent lens

    By Serottaboy

    from Austin, Texas

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Distortion

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

    The good. Color is phenomenal. CA is low. Relatively nice manual focus feel. Perfect feel, not loose like my canons. Foreground close focus is fantastic and close objects are very sharp compared to all Canons. Can get within 4 inches of a flower and get crazy detail. Decent sunstar-Build quality, nice tactile experience.

    Not so great. Lot of distortion and even stretching of image at extreme borders. High contrast helped with perception of sharpness at expense of more grain and noise in shadows. Stars had comma- so can't do great milky way. Sunstars had bad flair. Fine detail was good but not fantastic, infinity sharpness did not exactly have me jumping up and down.

    My main lens is a Canon 24-70 L2.8 version 1 for landscape. At f8 or f11 it is very very sharp despite reputation for horrible field curvature. The Zeiss is SO much easier to focus than 24-70 or 24 TSE. Near objects much much sharper. Infinity a tiny bit better. Didn't have me jumping up and down saying "This is the one".

    With a 5dmkii this might give you 5-10% better infinity, 30% better corners and foreground sharpness, close focus capability. 5DMkiii should be higher improvement.

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    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Picture quality

    By Yannis

    from Mexico

    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

    This lens has unbelievable quality of picture that cannot be measured in the technical reviews you read. Photography is about the feeling you create and this lens is helping a good photographer to do exactly that. The colours, the clarity, the famous 3D effect will make you love this lens from the first shots. It is a perfect match to my 3DIII and already put aside my 17-40L which I keep only for cases when fast autofocus is needed. Speaking of which, MF is no a problem for me using the confirmation function of the camera for most of the cases. Not all though. I found view finder with confirmation inadequate for handheld, close shots with open aperture. In this cases, live view is mandatory together with a tripod, if possible. Until canon has split screen, live view is the answer to tight situations. If I had to ask zeiss for something it would be IS, not auto focus. I sometimes go for night or low light photography, but not always I carry a tripod. Thus, I need some lower speeds apart from iso boost. This of course has to do with my personal type of shooting and not that the lens has any problem. It is the perfect lens for its quality of picture and you will not go wrong if that is what you are looking for. Especially for landscapes, street or architecture, it is incredible. Highly recommended. B&H service was perfect as always.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best 21mm in the business

    By Birdman

    from Melbourne

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

      There is nothing that compares to this lens in the 21mm range or thereabouts.
      Its incredible control of micro contrast, colour and resolution is second to none.
      LOVE IT

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Superb

      By Juan P.

      from Olivos, Bs. As.

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction
      • Superb Optics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Video

        Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

        You have to know that this lens is manual focus only. That is not a problem with it not only because of the focal lenght but also ´cause you get used to it. The construction is the best of the best, and the optical quality is superb. You know you want it..

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        As good as the reviews !

        By Ted D Johnson

        from Grants Pass, oregon

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Macro Photography

          Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

          Very sharp! Very accurate color!
          Worth the price!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Awesome landscape lens

          By RichF

          from Ridgefield CT

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Color accuracy
          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Edge Sharpness
          • Intuitive Manual Focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

            As a landscape photographer, I had been using a 17-40 and 17mm Tilt Shift as a prime as my go-to lenses. Then I gave the Zeiss 21mm a try after succumbing to all the raves and now won't look back. Aside from its solid build, and fantastic sharpness and color accuracy, I just love the fact that you can swing the lens as far as it will go to infinity and be perfectly set - unlike other lenses that require you to push back a bit to get it into optimal sharpness. This comes in real handy when you're in challenging conditions. Recommend it wholeheartedly.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Lens in every way

            By Enormus

            from Beaverton, OR

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Rugged
            • Sharp with good contrast
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • NONE

            Best Uses

            • Interiors
            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

            I recently sold all of my Canon lenses because I generally prefer to focus manually and I found that those lenses were particularly difficult to focus accurately. Their respective focus rings were way too sensitive and were easily moved during normal handling of the camera. I was also not pleased with the image quality of the Canon lenses and to be fair, these were all zooms. Several reviewers state that they would give Zeiss lenses a higher rating if they only had auto focus. My response to that is these lenses are sold as manual focus lenses. They're not advertised as having auto focus. If you want auto focus, buy a Canon or a Sigma or any other brand, but stop your whining about these lenses not having auto focus.

            This lens feels like brick. It's solid, well made and has silky smooth focusing that stays where you put it. The optics are superb with great sharpness, contrast and color rendition. Corners could be a little sharper, but that's a limitation of most wide angle lenses. There is no perfect lens.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Really Impressive Lens!

            By mjt

            from Cincinnati, OH

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Macro Photography
              • Video

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

              This lens is as good as folks say it is, very sharp with excellent color. This is the fourth Zeiss EF lens I have added to my kit, I also own the 35mm Distagon, 50mm macro-planer and 100mm macro-planer lens. I am completely delighted with these lenses. When you hold each lens in your hand, the build quality is immediately apparent. They are a pleasure to use and the sharpness of focus is awesome. No doubt there will be some more Zeiss lens in my future. I use these lens for video on my Sony NEX-FS100 and for Photos on my Canon T2i.

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              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Very Good Lens, Zeiss Quality

              By Theberkshire

              from Berkshire County MA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Architecture
                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                I was looking for a really good wide angle lens to use with my Canon 5D MkII and decided on the Zeiss 21mm. To be honest I had no real knowledge of the Zeiss line of manual focus lenses until I stumbled upon the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 when looking for a fast 50mm for low light and video. I was so impressed with the 50mm that I decided to continue the trend and purchase the 21mm and the 100mm MP and commit to the manual focus world. As a note I am using the EG-s focusing screen with these lenses and it helps alot with acheiving proper focus. I find the 21mm to be right on par with the exceptional build quality of all the Zeiss lenses I have experience with. The lens is very well built and seems extremely durable yet very elegant in its design. I personally find a lot of value and personal pleasure working with equipment that is aestically pleasing and elegantly designed. This lens just feels like high quality equipment and that is before you even put it on the camera. The focus ring on this lens is very nice. It is easy to grasp and it has just the right ammount of resistance to give a good feel while focusing. It is one of the easier Zeiss lenses that I have to focus. The picture quality has that typical Zeiss contrast and coloration (they all have this in commen) which I find quite pleasing. The lens is very sharp. There is some slight vignetting in the corners when opened up. For reference I did purchase the Zeiss 82mm polarizing filter and there is no problem with vignetting from the filter. I am happy with the 21mm focal length with the full frame camera. There are a lot of creative possibilities. You can get things to bend with that wide angle look or you can pull it in tight. I would like to note that my style of shooting is mostly slow and methodical. Mostly on a tripod with adequate setup time and or video. I find the manual focus to be more of an asset than a hinderence but if this is not your style you may find the manual focus too slow. That is the only potential con I would have with any of these Zeiss lenses. I don't even see the price as a con because all the lenses at this level of quality are a least this expensive if not more. All in all a great lens. Oh, lastly, it is a great lens for architecture.

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Amazing Lens

                By Mshen

                from New Jersey

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography
                • Video

                Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                Very clear

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                exquisite lens but...

                By MBR

                from Massachusetts

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Rugged

                Cons

                • Marked Vignetting At 28
                • Poor Lenscap Design

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                Purchased for landscape and other wide angle work to replace Nikon 17-35 f2.8 which is a bit soft in the corners. The Zeiss is beautifully machined and a pleasure to focus. It is indeeed sharp in the corners even at 2.8. Unfortunately there is marked vignetting which discourages use at 2.8 unless such an effect is sought. At f5.6 or f8 the lens is not better than the Nikon. Has very similar resolution throughout. There may be subtle qualitative benefits in color or " micro-contrast " as touted in many reviews but I could not see or appreciate such qualities.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                I now have a problem!

                By yipDog

                from Mesa, AZ

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                    As the headline says...most of my other lenses look bland in comparison. I have mostly Canon "L" series too!
                    There's just something different about the Zeiss...color, lack of distortion, sharpness...and the bokeh!

                    I use this for video and stills. It creates that "3D" look separating the subject and background more than any other lens I have used.

                    I now need MORE ZEISS!! Addicted!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Gorgeous.

                    By duke

                    from los angels california

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Video

                      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                      Zeiss, or the leading proponent towards "you get what you pay for". Physically solid, smoothest focus you can get before entering into the cine lens genre...and the imagery is just outstanding....couldn't be happier.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Stellar!

                      By Region

                      from Hudson, NY

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Clarity
                      • Great glass
                      • Highest Quality
                      • Precision

                      Cons

                      • No Protective Bag

                      Best Uses

                      • Architecture
                      • Architecture interiors
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery

                      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                      What can I say...it is a Zeiss Lens and it doesn't get any better than that! Precision of a fine Italian racing machine and clarity to the corners. I was a bit concerned about manual focus and realized instantly there was no cause for concern. On my 5D Mark II this is a dream lens. Worth every penny when you see the results!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great !!

                      By julio Monteghirfo

                      from Stamford, ct

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Video
                        • Wildlife Photos

                        Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                        the best for a canon camera

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Night and Day

                        By MemFF

                        from Mmphis,TN

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Lightweight
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Macro Photography
                          • Night Photography
                          • Sports/Action

                          Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                          I've been a professional photographer for over 30 years. Many, many years ago I worked with Contax cameras and Zeiss lenses. Then Hasselblads with Zeiss lenses. Converting to digital, I began with Canon and their line-up of prime and zoom lenses. I would rent Zeiss lenses when the client demands dictated the selection. Nothing wrong with the Canon primes but there is a huge difference in the "thumbprint" of Zeiss and Canon. I finally purchased the Zeiss 21 and 100 and never looked back. Great optics!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No
                          • Similar:
                          • 100mm Zeiss

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                          (6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          don't judge a lens by its cover

                          By umitk

                          from istanbul

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Less distortion
                          • Rugged
                          • Sharp

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Video

                            Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                            an excellent lens. period. with a poor cover (34 $ if you want to replace it!) which becomes in three pieces at the first day without applying any force or doing something wrong but only touching it. the lens has so little wide-angle distortion that you can use it in very cases where you normally cannot use a 21 mm. about using in photography there is no word to say. but in video, it gives you the chance to have unique shots. and I couldn't compare in any kind of scientific way but I have an impression that it decreases the moire in MarkII a little too - compared some other lenses. this has to be checked of course.

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                            • No

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                            5.0

                            So far so good

                            By Fiz

                            from Grand Junction , Co

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Photography

                              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount EOS DSLR Cameras:

                              I have only had Z 21 for a full week. I have tried all kinds of shots from night, indoor, close ups, and vast views. It will take some time to perfect the focusing aspect with this lens which I fully expected. I love the manual focus and it is truly smooth and easy to hone in on a perfered subject. I have yet to get a truly crisp shot yet but am getting closer. The clarity edge to edge was a new revelation for me and I could clearly see the difference as compared to my canon L lenses, that is great news. The color and contrasts definately are impressive so far. I am going to Canyonlands next week and I can't wait to see what I can come up with using this lens. So far I am very pleased and would recommend it for any serious landscape photographer.

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