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ZeissDistagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras
 
4.9

(based on 33 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (23)
  • Durable (21)
  • Consistent output (16)
  • Rugged (15)
  • Nice bokeh (11)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (27)
  • Night photography (11)
  • Low light (10)
  • Weddings (8)
  • Video (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (15), Semi-pro photographer (10), Pro photographer (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (28)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Lens for Low-Light Landcapes

I have three Zeiss ZF.2 lenses. This is the lens I use the most. The removable lens hood works very well, and allows this lens to adapt to the Lee Filter System....Read complete review

I have three Zeiss ZF.2 lenses. This is the lens I use the most. The removable lens hood works very well, and allows this lens to adapt to the Lee Filter System. For this reason, I use the Zeiss 21mm for twice as many photos as the Zeiss 15mm, especially during low-light situations. Overall the lens is rugged, but don't drop it! The front housing element is easily broken. I have sent this lens to Zeiss twice now for repairs. The service department is great, but when my Zeiss ZF.2 21mm lens is being repaired, it feels like one of my children is off at summer camp. Something is missing! Other than that, the build quality is so good that I am using this lens in off-the-grid locations without hesitation.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

reselution

this lens mounted on 5dsr 50mg pix is a disaster for the big canon it onley resolve 23mg pix out of 50mg pix thats what i call bad you are loosing almoast 60% pixels thats...Read complete review

this lens mounted on 5dsr 50mg pix is a disaster for the big canon it onley resolve 23mg pix out of 50mg pix thats what i call bad you are loosing almoast 60% pixels thats bad

Reviewed by 33 customers

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(0 of 24 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

reselution

By tedtedsen

from norway

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Pros

  • Rugged

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

      this lens mounted on 5dsr 50mg pix is a disaster for the big canon it onley resolve 23mg pix out of 50mg pix thats what i call bad you are loosing almoast 60% pixels thats bad

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      • No

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      (5 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      So far, very good...

      By jeff

      from Central Illinois

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Lightweight
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

        i have the otus 55mm and 85mm, so i've been getting comfortable shooting in manual, mostly with landscape shots, but also some street and people shots.

        The 21 mm for Nikon just arrived, yesterday. I put it on my Nikon D-810 and shot this sunrise in Central Illinois this morning. It is easy to focus and, so far, appears to deliver very sharply focused pictures. I'll try to supplement this note later. Yes, it's pricey, but if the early pictures are any indication, it appears to be a good value proposition.

        I will be in Chicago for almost two weeks and plan to shoot a lot with this lens. Ill try to update this initial impression.

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        • No

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        (14 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Perfect wide angle lens

        By Brian S

        from Toronto, ON

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Video

          Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

          I bought Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 almost a year ago and after a couple of thousands of photos I can say it is by far the best wide angle lens I ever mount it on my DSLR. I've tried Nikon 14-24mm which is simply fantastic performer but when comes to color rendering, macro contrast and sharpness, Zeiss 21/2.8 is the pure winner. I post process all of my photos but I can tell you this lens requires a minimal post production simply because it delivers incredible raw results.The built quality is second to none. Like all other Zeiss glass, 21mm f/2.8 is manufactured to the highest standards, no compromises whatsoever. In comparison, majority of Nikon and Canon lenses feel flimsy and somewhat cheap. The lens is heavy but feels good and well balanced on your camera. The manual focusing is not a big deal due to the fact I rarely shoot landscape subjects with high apertures. Honestly, I haven't found it difficult to use at all. Focusing ring is extremely accurate and silky smooth, pure perfection.Some people say this lens is quite expensive. I was under the same impression but right now I can't disagree more. Considering how much goodness is packed inside this lens, I think it's worth every single penny. My advice, if you need a high performing landscape glass, save your money and buy it ... you won't be disappointed. This is one of those lenses you'll keep for a long time.

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          • No

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          (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent in every way...

          By johnw2k

          from Pleasant Hill, CA

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Get A Clear Filter
          • Large front element

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Night Photography
          • Sports/Action
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

          Unfortunately my first use for this was documenting architectural damage from the American Canyon/Napa earthquake last weekend. Amazing lens! Even in this pedestrian role it produced beautifully focused, wide angle, flat field images with great color rendition. I used it on a Nikon 800e and was able to pull many detail frames with great resolution out of larger images simply by cropping. Low light characteristics were flawless as well. This weekend I hope for some more scenic subject matter; I'm riding the ferry under the new Bay Bridge for the first time. Lens is lighter and more compact than I expected from the reviews but large, nearly invisible, front glass should be protected with a clear filter. I'm old; when I first started I had to focus everything manually. It's a useful skill to practice if you are serious about photography and not difficult with this lens. Very smooth and stable mechanically! This is an exceptional lens well worth the price.

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          • No

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          (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          An outstanding wide field lens

          By mark

          from The Woodlands, Tx

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

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

            Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

            As a long time user of Hasselblad Zeiss lenses, I can tell you Zeiss is pretty much as good as it gets. This one performs (including test targets) as expected with the exception noted below. Lens distance markings are very accurate. Note that Zeiss seems to have used a COC (circle of confusion) diameter of 0.023mm rather than the larger 0.030mm more commonly used by others for calculating their Depth of Field scale (for full frame format). However, and I will just use an example here, for shooting at f11, if you "set" the near and far limits for your desired Dof by reading it from the lens using its f5.6 index pair rather those for f11, you will be getting a COC of 0.012mm which actually yields a reasonably sharp image, on a full frame 35mm style camera, across the indicated f5.6 Dof range. Note a 2 stop difference in indicated Dof indexes yields a COC of half the diameter. I have used this scheme for many years and it works well for me. Unfortunately, it's often not possible, at f22 which is as far as this lens stops down, to get the desired Dof (say, infinity to 18 inches while neeling on the ground to get that rock in the bottom of your frame, yes, the one you are neeling on). The problem I have encountered with this lens, at least my copy, is that, while you are still good at f16, it jumps to very soft at f22 - and it looks to me like spherical abberation (old time portrait lens) rather than difraction. Have seen this mentioned by at least one well known reviewer. What this means is that Dof is going to be limited by not stopping down beyond f16 unless you can stand the softening. That's about all I can think of to say (am really just whining here). By the way, this Dof thing has nothing to do with the lens itself - it's just how Dof works and is common to all lenses. The lens is very small except for its front end and even though its construction is all metal (what you expect, plastic?), it is very light and has the same general look and feel, as its much larger, not to mention more expensive, medium format bretheren.

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            (0 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            A terrific tool!

            By Jerry, the barber

            from San Clemente, CA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              I have taken only a few pictures but, I tell you, they are different!!!

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              • No

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              (0 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Superb Quality Color Clarity

              By Jobe III

              from Harwich, Ma

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Color Contrast
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Focus Ring Will Move

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              Try this lens and you will not be disappointed

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (26 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Lens for Low-Light Landcapes

              By magamba

              from Port Alberni, BC

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Lightweight
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Weak Casing

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Video

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              I have three Zeiss ZF.2 lenses. This is the lens I use the most. The removable lens hood works very well, and allows this lens to adapt to the Lee Filter System. For this reason, I use the Zeiss 21mm for twice as many photos as the Zeiss 15mm, especially during low-light situations. Overall the lens is rugged, but don't drop it! The front housing element is easily broken. I have sent this lens to Zeiss twice now for repairs. The service department is great, but when my Zeiss ZF.2 21mm lens is being repaired, it feels like one of my children is off at summer camp. Something is missing! Other than that, the build quality is so good that I am using this lens in off-the-grid locations without hesitation.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Reputation important but experience more

              By Piero l'Apostata

              from Milano (Italy)

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Slow Focus

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              Now I'm using the lens on Nikon D90,but the final use will be on D610.
              Sharpness is fantastic and colors reproduction too.
              Manual focus,also in a wide angle lens,limits same shoot opportunity.
              At any rate this is a first appraisal .

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              • No

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              (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Lives up to its name

              By Nancy

              from Idaho

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                I read many reviews before purchasing this lens. It is all that the reviews say it is. Exceptional lens, nice and solid feel to it. Manual focus is very smooth. No vignetting. Very sharp to the ends of the image. Great color and contrast. Very happy with the lens. I also bought this lens since I can attach a polarizer and filters. Be aware that some lenses do not allow you to attach filters.

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                • No

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                (1 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Awesome

                By Raj

                from San Jose, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

                  Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                  This lens is awesome. Natural crisp color and excellent build quality. Shipping could have been handled better. The product wasn't shipped until 72 hours after placing the order which was disappointing.

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                  (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Fantastic Wide Angle Lense for FX

                  By Bitpimps

                  from USA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Compact Formfactor
                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Flexible Filtering
                  • Professional Appearance
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Mild Vignette

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                  At first glance:

                  The quality and attention to detail in machining is really impressive, it makes my high end Nikkor lenses look cheaply made in comparison. It feels heavy but the weight is just right if you consider that its made of 100 percent precision machined aluminum, without a hint of plastic.

                  The bayonet hood mounting ring is made of CNC aluminum, the bayonet hood itself is plastic but this does not detract from the quality of the unit. Unlike Nikkor lenses this does not show any tendency to fall off or wobble. It took a few minutes to figure out how to put it on, once on it fits snug, there are alignment indicators on the lense body and the bayonet ring for mounting the hood on the lense.

                  I hope they payed as much attention to the crafting of the optics as they did the metal work.
                  The review sites I've seen certainly think so, customer reviews seem to back this assessment up.

                  Features:
                  - F2.8 Aperture,
                  - Fully Manual Lense (Focus and Aperture rings)
                  - 82mm threaded filters work, fits various plate filter systems with an adapter ring.
                  - Fits both Nikkon FX and DX cameras but if you spent this much on a lense you may as well go buy the FX.

                  Manual operation means there is no slop in the focus ring or aperture rings, once its at infinity it does not go beyond infinity.
                  Buzz light year would not approve of this feature but I do.
                  The aperture ring movements are crisp and precise.
                  My 14-24mm AF f2.8 Nikkor dwarfs this lense by comparison.
                  The lense cap is simple to install and remove with the bayonet hood on.

                  Obviously I use this for landscapes, I have compared it with my Nikkor 14-24mm and they are indeed very similar.
                  However Nikkor has a slight performance advantage over this lense, in low light the Nikkor retains more detail over this lense. Zeiss maintains a huge lead due to the aforementioned flexibility with filtering options. If your big into filtered shots for very technical/artistic exposures this could be your new go-to lense.

                  I may be imagining things but so far some of my images show a slight tendency to vignette using a D800E. A Recent photo expedition shows that even at extreme edge of the horizon in good light, this lense captures very sharp and detailed photos. I was able to pick out individual plants and flowers.

                  This is definitely a lense to buy if you have the cash.

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                  • No

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                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Outstanding lens!

                  By CleanLivin

                  from Chapel Hill, NC

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Sharp And Excellent Dof

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Not Cheap But Worth It

                    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                    I've been shooting Hasselblad digital (H4D-50MP) for several years. Health issue and weight of the Hassie system forced me to sell gear and look for a lighter alternative.
                    Went with the Nikon D800E AND this lens.

                    The 21mm Distagon has exceeded what I expected from any DSLR rig!
                    Highly recommend it to anyone that wants an exceptionally sharp lens that I feel can grow with DSLR cameras as they exceed the 36.3MP sensor.

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                    • No

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                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Reputation precedes it.

                    By fly-by-night

                    from NY

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Expensive but worth it
                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery

                    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                    Landscape use. This has to be one of the best for 35mm format. Lightroom 5 has support built-in for removing the relatively high distortion. The Canon 16-35mm/2.8L II gives it a run for the money, but the Zeiss wins out in color and contrast. I wish I could own an entire series of Zeiss primes. That's all that I would need. The thing is built like a tank. Focus is very smooth.

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                    • No

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                    (15 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent color, contrast, resolution

                    By Ron in NYC

                    from New York

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Excellent color
                    • Excellent contrast
                    • Excellent resolution

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography

                      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                      I have been mislead by lens reviews. The most recent instance where
                      lens reviews caused me to make an unwise purchase was the Nikkor AF-S
                      28mm f/1.8G. That lens gets rave reviews on nearly every web site.
                      Mine had serious auto focus problems and terrible chromatic aberration
                      of every type. It was marginal on the D800 and a disaster on the D7100.
                      I got rid of it and began looking for a wide replacement for either my
                      D7100 or D800. This time I ignored reviews and rented lenses to form my
                      own opinions using my own camera bodies. Of the lenses I rented for
                      either camera body, the Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 on the D800
                      was clearly the best. Its outstanding features are beautiful color,
                      excellent contrast, and excellent resolution; all at wide apertures. I
                      had been avoiding Zeiss lenses due to the lack of auto focus. It turns
                      out that I actually like manual focus better. One feels more in control
                      and with practice can focus more accurately and with more convenient
                      control over depth of field due to the markings on the lens. I think
                      that the lessons here for Nikon shooters are that, due to Nikon's poor
                      quality control and slow and expensive service, third party lenses
                      deserve serious consideration and that renting before you buy is a wise
                      precaution.

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                      • No

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                      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      replaced 16-35

                      By hikerdoc

                      from New Hampshire

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery

                        Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                        Decided to replace Nikon 16-35 VR with this prime. Build is superior, image very sharp. It is manual focus only, but outside of about 2 meters almost everything is in DOF anyway.

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                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Excellent lens

                        By TimØ

                        from Atlanta

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Excellent Color rendition
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Sharp

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                            Use it for landscapes and some architectural. Great color, sharpness, and pure mojo.

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                            • No

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                            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Top Notch Quality

                            By Andante

                            from San Jose, CA

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery

                              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                              I have tried Distagon with Nikon D800. Could not really compare it to Nikon 14-24mm: I have in posession 17-35mm f2.8
                              This lens is absolutely amazing for lanscape photographer. Quality build is outstanding. It's sharp. It's though not cheap, but built to last.

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                              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Outstanding wide angle

                              By Numael

                              from Destin. FL

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy to Use
                              • Good Video Quality
                              • Great Picture Quality

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Travel

                                Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                                Quality and build with almost no comparison. If I only had to bring one lens with me it will be this one. Amazing focusing mechanism and IQ to match.

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                                • No

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                                (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                As good as others say

                                By JohnB

                                from Folly Beach, SC

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Durable
                                • Easy to Use
                                • Great Picture Quality

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Landscape/Scenery
                                  • Travel

                                  Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                                  I use this lens for environmental and landscape shooting. The focusing is smooth and accurate. The lens is not all that heavy but can be intimidating with the hood mounted. The Zeiss 21 is sharp edge to edge, in my first shots I had a little fuzziness in one corner only and that was probably due to being too close to the subject matter. Even so the lens will focus quite close. This is a precision lens manufactured to exacting tolerances and feels it. I rented this lens first before buying to be certain it fit my needs.
                                  Highly recommeded.

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                                  • No

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