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ZeissDistagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount
 
4.6

(based on 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (18)
  • Consistent output (17)
  • Durable (14)
  • Easily interchangeable (11)
  • Rugged (11)

Cons

  • Heavy (10)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (20)
  • Low light (10)
  • Night photography (10)
  • Video (5)
  • Weddings (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (8), Photo enthusiast (7), Semi-pro photographer (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (20)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent overall...fun to use!

(4.5 Stars)...I use this lens for travel and landscape photography. I shoot with Canon 1 and 5 series bodies. I also own and use several other "premium" ultra-wide...Read complete review

(4.5 Stars)...I use this lens for travel and landscape photography. I shoot with Canon 1 and 5 series bodies. I also own and use several other "premium" ultra-wide angle lenses, including Canon's own 14/2.8L-II; 15/2.8; 8-15/4L; 16-35/2.8L-II; 17/4L-TSE; and Zeiss 18/3.5. Predictably, each of these lenses have their own strengths and weaknesses. My impressions after considerable in-field use follow.

The Zeiss 15/2.8 is very enjoyable to use, and for me, produces excellent, exciting results. I find the manual focus to be considerably more smooth than ANY of the autofocus lenses afore-mentioned, and focusing accuracy is not difficult, using OEM standard Canon focusing screens. I'm able to focus accurately and consistently (although after years of relying perhaps too heavily on autofocus, I'm reminded that manual focusing is a skill, and one which deteriorates with neglect). Nonetheless, for landcape and travel photography, I find the Zeiss 15/2.8 to be VERY SMOOTH AND PRECISE in its manual focusing ability. I don't rely on the accuracy of the focusing distance hash marks on the lens barrel when focusing (I judge focus through the viewfinder and/or with LIVE VIEW, without reference to the distance marks on the lens, so the previous post regarding inaccurate distance markers on the lens is not relevant in my use. If I DO use the fixed distance markers on the lens (as when setting hyperfocal distance, for example), I just note indicated distances WHILE CROSS-REFERENCING ACTUAL IN-FOCUS SETTINGS THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER AND/OR LIVE VIEW, without worrying that the "0.8 meters" indication on the lens barrel might more accurately represent "0.6 meters" in reality. Yes, 0.2 meters can make a huge difference if you're very close to your subject, but again, if you use the viewfinder and/or LIVE VIEW to judge focus, the accuracy of the lens barrel markings become a moot point). By the way, I only use the "green dot" (Canon's "in-focus" indicator in the viewfinder) as a rough guide for finding focus; for greater accuracy, I pay close attention to the details in the viewfinder which I consider to be most important within a given scene, and I gently roll the focusing collar back and forth, with decreasing throw, until subject details are rendered with maximum sharpness. For best precision, of course, use of a tripod and LIVE VIEW - or even just live view mode by itself - with appropriate live view magnification, will result in a very, very sharply focused subject.

In my use, I find the Zeiss 15/2.8 to be visibly sharper in the center, and DRAMATICALLY SHARPER IN THE CORNERS, than both my Canon 14/2.8L-II and my Canon 16-35/2.8L-II. Vignetting with the Zeiss 15/2.8 is similar (f/2.8~f/4) to the Canon 14/2.8L-II, and about 1-2 stops greater (darker) than the Canon 16-35/2.8L-II wide open. Most noticeable with the Zeiss 15/2.8 is the extremely pleasing color rendition. It's difficult to describe adequately, but it's noticeable and it's quite lovely. Bokeh rendition is also pleasant, though (like most wide/ultra-wide lenses), not "Wow." Flare control is very good - better than any of my Canon ultra-wides, with the exception of the 17/4L-TSE, which is also very good.

I agree with previous posters who have observed that the Zeiss 15/2.8 is optically superior (in virtually every measure) to any (all) of the Canon ultra-wide lenses, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE EXCELLENT AND EXTREMELY VERSATILE 17/4L-TSE. Obviously, the Canon 17/4L-TSE has the advantage of perspective control, the value of which cannot be underestimated, however, I do find focusing, holding and general handling of the Canon 17/4L-TSE to be less comfortable - and therefore, less enjoyable - than the Zeiss 15/2.8. Mounted on a tripod, and used patiently and with great premeditation, the Canon 17/4L-TSE is superlative; about equal in optical quality to the Zeiss 15/2.8. Of course, the Zeis has a few degrees extra width in its perspective, and again, the color and detail rendering on the Zeiss is uniquely satisfying.

Clearly, the Zeiss 15/2.8 has some very compelling "pro's"; here are a few "con's" in my opinion: (1) complaints about the front lens cap being too loose and falling off ARE VALID. My biggest hassle with this issue was that in removing the lens from my bag, the cap would invariably "auto-detach" and remain in the bag, having been pulled off as I lifted the lens out. This created an extra step - and extra time - that I had to expend in retrieving the cap from the bottom of the slot in my bag where the lens was stored. Storing the lens inverted in my bag (lens cap facing up) was not a convenient option, as the front element is quite large, which makes it less than ideal as a gripping surface (not to mention the risk of dropping the lens because you've picked it up by the lens cap, which is already too loose!). SOLUTION: I found that carefully and discretely placing a very small stip of black Gaffer's Tape to each side of the built-in metal lens shade on the Zeiss 15/2.8 lens added just enough extra diameter to the lens shade, that the otherwise nice metal lens cap fits quite snugly - easy to remove, but grippy enough to stay on the lens, even when pulling it out of its tightly padded nest in my lens bag! Cheap, easy fix!; (2) the coating on the front element of the Zeiss 15/2.8, though lovely to behold, is quite tacky (sticky), hence, not easy to clean. If you prefer using dry lens tissue to wipe your lenses, you'll find this to be a delicate, difficult task, with lots of torn tissue. Not a major setback, but something to be aware of and prepared for; (3) the lens has no rubber gasket to seal the lens-to-camera mount (unlike most Canon "L" lenses). Again, not a big deal, really, but you WILL notice some tiny ingress of dust and debris if you leave this lens attached to your camera while subjecting it to extensive travel and use; (on the other hand, Canon's thin rubber lens seals are notoriously delicate (they're easy to tear or damage, even when mounting slowly and carefully), so maybe this, too, is a small point?; (4) like all Zeiss ZE lenses, the Zeiss 15/2.8 has the lens-to-camera mounting alignment "red dot" painted ON THE INNER SURFACE (the flat, silver surface where the electronic contacts are), which makes it a bit more difficult to see and use while mounting the lens. Once again, not a huge deal, but in actual field use, noticeably less convenient than Canon's EXTERNAL (on the outer collar) red dot placement; (5) finally (this "con" may perhaps be more suitably placed on the Zeiss 95mm Circular Polarizer, rather than on the 15/2.8 lens itself?), the Zeiss 95mm Circular Polarizing filter (sold as an expensive optional accessory) is interesting (I own it), and it does "work" with this lens, HOWEVER, be prepared for some very sifnificant (almost unrepairable) VIGNETTING. I've found this problematic at all apertures and focusing distances, but particularly at the smaller apertures (e.g. f/8; f/11; etc.). I find this disappointing (though not completely unexpected) considering that this is a Zeiss designed and dedicated filter, specifically optioned on the Zeiss 15/2.8. Additionally vexing, because of the semi-circular integral lens shade, REMOVING the filter from the lens can sometimes be difficult (there's very little filter area to grip, due to hood incursion).

So...in summary, I'm VERY happy with my Zeiss 15/2.8, and I find that it's almost always on my short list of must-take-with-me lenses. I still use and will never sell my Canon 17/4L-TSE, and I do find some niche use for my Canon 8-15/4L. My Canon 15/2.8 Fish and 16-35/2.8L-II have seen much less action over the past 8 months (since I've purchased the Zeiss 15/2.8), and alas, I must admit, my Canon 14/2.8L-II has been virtually side-lined (forgotten). If you enjoy wide or ultra-wide shooting, or if you otherwise have a need for a lens in this focal length range, and if you're willing/able to focus manually, then I really can't imagine anyone being less than very happy with this truly excellent optic. As with all tools, if you understand and accept its limitations (see above), it will serve you faithfully and well, and offer you many, many years of satisfaction and reward...

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Wait for alternatives

I am a Zeiss fan. I use a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 on a Leica M9 and constantly marvel at the edge to edge detail. So I really anticipated the 15mm for Canon. I...Read complete review

I am a Zeiss fan. I use a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 on a Leica M9 and constantly marvel at the edge to edge detail. So I really anticipated the 15mm for Canon. I also have a 5D III and enjoy shooting very wide landscapes in southern Utah. Unfortunately, I had to return this lens. Optically it is as advertised. Very clear and undistorted edge to edge. But there were two problems. One was the lens cap. Tilt the lens down and it falls off. It cannot be attached to the lens and is useless if the lens is not in a case. The other was the focus scale. Actual infinity focus was way short of the infinity mark on the lens. The only way to focus the lens I received was with the focus light in the camera viewfinder. And then I could not touch the lens without moving the large and very sensitive focus ring. So much for the signed certificate of quality control.

Here are the options for Canon users. I own or have owned each:

17mm f4 TS/E. Optically as good as the Zeiss 15. It is slower (f4) but I don't find that a drawback for shooting landscapes. Best flare control of all the wides I have used. It will not take filters and has a large exposed bulb in front that must be protected. The tilt/shift features are a real plus. I think this is the best option to the Zeiss for now.

Canon 14mm f2.8. In the center this is a very good lens but the corners are hit and miss and often are really bad. It will flare badly if the sun is in the frame.

Canon 16-35 f2.8 II. Again, the center is excellent but the edges are soft and cannot be used in an enlargement. Flare can be a problem.

Wides are Canon's biggest drawback at this time. There are frequent rumors of a new very wide Canon zoom similar to the Nikon 14-24 so I plan to shoot the 17 until a new lens comes along.

Reviewed by 23 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

It really is an awesome lens.

By Shutters

from Ketchikan, AK

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Easy Manual Focus
  • Great Balance On 6d Or 5d
  • Rugged
  • Smooth
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography

    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

    Lots of choices out there and it took me a long time to make a decision. I settled on the Zeiss 15mm over the competition for two reasons. The filter threads, so I can use ND's, and the fact that it doesn't have a large bulbous lens sticking out. This lens doesn't fog up as easily as some of the other super wides do. There is "life" in this lens for lack of a better word. It is exciting to use and the manual focus thing is so easy. My 5D lll and 6D beep and lights flash when you focus. No, it isn't auto focus but it sure is easy to use. This lens is fun. Also, I own many L Series lenses and they are just fine but when you turn the focus ring on the Zeiss you go, "oh my gosh, this is amazing!" P.S. My cap has never fallen off.

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    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Not as advertised

    By Mike Schroeder

    from Sedona, AZ

    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

    The lens is depicted with a sun shield. It was not included with the lens. It was not offered as an accessory. B&H wanted another $300. I have purchased $10s of thousands of dollars from B&H. Apparently there has been a management change as customer service and truth in advertising NO longer exists.

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    5.0

    Gorgeous

    By South Shore Lake Erie

    from Cleveland, OH

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Wonderful

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Video

      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

      I have not sent film shot in the 1V out to be developed yet but this 15mm on the 7D shows details and rendition unlike any other lens (Zeiss 18mm, 28 & 40mm Voitlanders, Canon zoom L's) used to date, it is exceptional. Very happy and looking forward to years with this lens although composition with this lens requires thought due to extreme wide angle in film or full size sensor. Oh beware the aluminum cap stays in place but when you drop it (and you will) it may deform - be careful shaping back into round. I dropped twice first day of usage. Cap almost too large for pocket, recommend UV filter and once out for action just rely on UV filter for protection. And lastly don't deform the petals by allowing the camera and lens weight to aborb impact when setting down - aluminum is beautiful but can be deformed rather easily

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      • No

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      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Understand it and you'll love it

      By DMLederman

      from SanRafael CA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Great color
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Takes A 95mm Filter

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

      I've had the lens for several weeks and have used it on three occasions. The first was on a seashore hike with all photos handheld. The shots ranged from very good to so-so, and I was fearful that I had possibly gotten a bad copy. The initial problems involved softness around the edges, occasional CA, and what I thought might be excessive distortion. I emailed four samples to Zeiss in Germany illustrating the issues and received back a detailed analysis of the photos with excellent suggestions of how to address the issues. These suggestions were extremely helpful.

      Before hearing from Zeiss, I decided to run some of my own tests using a tripod and a controlled scene of a very long straight wall of wire mesh baskets filled with rocks. The tripod was perfectly leveled, and I shot photos from three different distances. At each distance I focused on the center of the wall and shot at all full stops from F2.8 to F22. The results showed great color, extraordinary sharpness except at the edges and very little distortion. The edge softness was more pronounced at F2.8 and F22 and not very noticeable at F5.6-F11, as might be expected. After running the tests it was easy for me to conclude that the issues I had at first really had to do with learning what the lens can and cannot do.

      I heard back from Zeiss after satisfying myself that the lens was terrific. The comments I got on the pictures I sent were very helpful. More importantly, the advice I was given was even more valuable. In a nutshell, in most cases it is best to make sure that the edges of the photo are sharply focused than the center. According to Zeiss, "You will see that small differences in focusing will not affect the sharpness on the optical axis (center of the image) in a noticeable way, but they will lead to huge differences in the performance on the edges of the image." Two days ago I took the lens out for another handheld exercise implementing the advice, and the results were like night and day. The edges were sharp with no loss of center sharpness.

      The take away is that this lens is just amazing.

      Attached are a couple of handheld photos. Because the lens has such a wide viewing angle, it is hard to avoid clutter. Both photos were opened in Camera Raw, Sharpening was set to 0, and the photo was opened in PS and reduced in size. There were no other corrections made. Both shots could have been sharper at the edges had I been more careful at following the Zeiss advice.

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Worth the expense if you use it as intended

      By Canadian Chris

      from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography

      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

      How I use the product:

      As a fast, wide angle lens that has none of the distortion associated with wide angle lenses.

      I bought this specifically for a trip to Finland, where I was travelling 500 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle for a week to shoot the aurora borealis, the northern lights. This was in February of 2015.

      For this, I needed a very fast wide angle lens, since shooting the aurora makes very specific demands on the lens. You need a fast lens, so you can take the shortest exposures possible to freeze the sharp aspects of the light curtains.

      You need a wide angle lens, to take in the sky and landscape. Most wides want to show all kinds of barrel distortion. This lens shows no distrotion. Ken Rockwell reviewed it and showed that it is so sharp, it demonstrates exciting aliases, or it is so sharp that it exceds the ability of the sensor to capture the sharpness it delivers.

      Things that are great about it.

      The construction is solid as can be; the lens hood is part of the lens construction, and the lens body is metal. It's a beautiful, beautiful piece of work. Even the lens cap belongs in MOMA. A milled piece of aluminum that friction-fits on the end of the lens.

      This is a manual focus lens, ideal for shooting the northern lights. You set the lens wide open, you focus on your star or planet that gives you the sharpness you want, and now set up with a shutter release cable and once the lights come up, you fire. You do have focus assist, a nice feature on the Zeiss manual focus lenses.

      After one very long session shooting the aurora in Finland, I came inside, the camera and lens were covered in tiny icicles, but The lens functioned beautifully. It, like all Zeiss lenses, gives me phenomenal color and crispness.

      Things that aren't so great.

      Only caveat with this lens is use of filters. First, the cost of a polarizing filter for a lens this size will cause you to fall right off your branch. But then, so will the price of this lens.

      Second, if you DO use a filter (polarizing, haze, etc), you must be VERY careful not to overtighten the filter. Since the lens hood is part of the lens body, it is tricky getting filters on and off. If you overtighten a filter, you will NOT be able to use a filter wrench to get it off, which could be catastrophic if you had a filter stuck on when you were trying to shoot the aurora borealis (you cannot shoot the northern lights with a filter owing to physics of light that result in all images being ruined with reverberating light rings in all your shots). So the fear of having a filter stuck on a lens that's nearly 3K keeps me very, very careful in not over tightening my filters.

      Overall:

      This lens is unparalleled in its sharpness for a wide angle. This lens gets gorgeous color saturation. This lens is built beautifully; metal, solid, butter-smooth focus ring.

      It can do landscape work that other wides cannot do. It is unmatched in my exprience. If you want a very well-made, super sharp wide angle, I know of no other on the market to beat this one.

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      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      As Stunning as They Say

      By MJT

      from Cincinnati, OH

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Beautiful Color Render
      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

        This is my eighth Zeiss lens and I continue to be amazed and impressed with the quality built into all my Zeiss lenses. This lens is no exception and is as stunning as other interviewers have stated with fantastic color reproduction and low distortion across the entire image. I have no issues with the lens cap seems to stay put. I use this lens for both video and photo.

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Gold standard

        By oldman

        from MN

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

        micro contrast and reslution is best I have used. Beats 14 to 24 Nikon.

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        • No

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        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Stunning Quality

        By Enormus

        from Beaverton, OR

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Photography
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

        I've only had this lens for a few days, but so far the images I've made have been exceptional. I have to say, though that it does seem a little soft around the corners at apertures wider than f5.6. This lens shows some vignetting that can be easily corrected in software. Center sharpness is phenomenal. And, like all Zeiss lenses, it is built to last. I don't find the lens cap to be a problem like so many other reviewers have. It stays put.

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        (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing Glass

        By ENormus

        from Beaverton, OR

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Architecture
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Tight spaces

          Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

          Just received my 15 from B and H and have to say that it is a truly beautiful lens. The limited tests I shot with so far show that this lens excels above the rest. Punchy, sharp, gorgeous are but a few of the adjectives I'd use to describe the performance of this lens. I can't believe that some people actually sent theirs back because of the front lens cap. It's on there securely and appears to be working well. I find it incredible that people would nit-pick something as trivial as a lens cap. I guess optical performance isn't as important as how well they perceive a lens cap to stay on. Go figure. I own a total of 10 Zeiss lenses now and I would never go back to any other brand. I adapted the Sony a7R I just received to use Canon mount lenses and have found this to be the ultimate combination or sharpness, contrast and resolution. I got rid of my Phase One P45+ and Hasselblads and went to the Sony/Zeiss combo. I don't like autofocus so these lenses are perfect for me.

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          • No

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          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Stunning wide angle!

          By Matt

          from Minneapolis

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Video

            Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

            We use this on primarliy ona Canon Mark III and a CanonC300. This lens is crystal clear, the colors are beautiful, and it is super fast. We also own the CP2 15mm cinema version of this lens and it is exceptional with our rails and follow focus. We got this lens as a second unit and it seems equal to the Cinema version in optics, just not in build/functionality.

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            • No

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            (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            WOW !!

            By hobbes

            from vancouver b.c.

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

              this is an amazing lens,,,cant really put into words how much i am enjoying shooting with this lens.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Superb Manual Focus UWA

              By NWPhil

              from Oregon

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

              So in sum:
              - Yes, it's manual focus, so you need practice, patience and technique, as it's not easy to MF with any UWA;
              - the cap issue... as others said, a small piece of gaffers tape inside the cap will work
              - Filters: there are now new adapters (i.e. Wonderpana and Lee) that will work on this lens, and actually in other UWA; You don't have to buy zeiss filters - Marumi has an excellent thin CPL, and so does Zeiss now.
              - Infinity focus and scale issues - Yes, Zeiss will fix that even if out of sale warranty
              - mounting issues - a small piece of gaffer tape locates the inside red dot; so no more struggle to find it

              It's a fantastic lens, with beautiful color rendition, even with night shots - works great in starscapes btw. As others said, I barely have to adjust contrast or color, but being a UWA, one has to be careful framing; so, not a walk around lens, or snap-shots style.

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              (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens

              By robertwall

              from Atlanta, Georgia

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

              Shooting architecture and real estate requires that I have a high quality ultra wide angle lens. For years my go to lens was the workhorse Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L. In many ways, the Canon is an outstanding lens and I have come to rely upon it's flexibility reliability. But There were aspects that bothered me. Some of my work, particularly architectural work, is demanding. So I decided to bite the bullet and get the Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens. I have had the Zeiss now for about six weeks and have had the opportunity to use it extensively. This is what I have found. First of all, the build quality. The Zeiss is a solid, rugged lens. The Zeiss has outstanding range. I can now hold greater highlight detail while still retaining extraordinary shadow detail. The Zeiss is outstanding in low light shooting situations. The Zeiss is sharper that the Canon EF 16-35mm, even factoring in the fact that the Zeiss is manual focus. Plus, there is less barrel distortion with the Zeiss. These were the things I had expected when deciding on the Zeiss from having read a number of reviews of the lens. But I got a bonus I didn't expect: a savings in work flow time. The Zeiss is one of the most accurate lenses, color wise, I have ever had the privilege to shoot. I used to spend a considerable amount of time tweaking color, making sure my neutrals were neutral. I had come to expect this. With the Zeiss, my color tweaking is minimal, if I find it necessary at all. I have literally cut my work flow time in half. That is a benefit that is worth every penny I spent on the Zeiss. My one complaint about the Zeiss is that it is manual focus, and that you have to be very precise in focusing. But, if you take the few extra seconds to do this properly, the rewards you get are outstanding photographs. I am a Zeiss convert.

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              (5 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              What a lens

              By mcgraphics

              from St Louis, MO

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Strong Construction
              • Very little distortion
              • Works Well With My Canon

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Big Groups
              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

              I have not been a wide angle lens shooter until I bought the Zeiss.
              I was lucky to be able to use this lens at Maine Media Workshops and after I looked the results I had to have the lens. The shots where crystal clear and sharp.

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              (21 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Here is the truth as of June 2013

              By Vonzable

              from Chandler AZ

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Night Photography

                Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                I use this lens for Architectural photography. I almost passed on this product because of the reviews. Some stated that the lens cap falls off. FALSE. It is machined rather well and has a fuzzy inside coating that keeps it snug. Next the excessive weight. MODERATE. I use to shoot with the 16-35, and the weight seems about the same. The image quality is "night and day" over the Canon 16-35. With the financial terms available at B&H, it made this purchase a no brainer!!! The lens will pay for it self within a month. The Canon body still beeps when it hits the focus point, so there is no love lost with the manual focus. If you are serious, buy this lens. The lens hood has a flat spot so it is easy to set it down with out it rolling around. Photoshop/Bridge has a profile for this lens in the settings. JUST DO IT!!!! I thought about this purchase for a year. That's about 365 days of stupid procrastination.

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                • No

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                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                No lens cap falling off

                By Jason Zhou

                from Hong Kong

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery

                    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                    I know people say if you tilt the lens down and the lens cap falls off. I don't know if Zeiss has done something to that already. But I know the one I got, it doesn't have this problem. Even when you face the lens straight to the ground, the lens cap stays where it should be.

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                    • No

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                    (39 of 40 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Excellent overall...fun to use!

                    By Triple7

                    from Alexandria, VA

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Optically Outstanding
                    • Premium Build Quality
                    • Strong Construction
                    • Very Smooth Focusing

                    Cons

                    • Difficult to Clean
                    • Heavy
                    • Lens Cap - See Fix
                    • Vignetting With Zeiss Pol

                    Best Uses

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

                    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                    (4.5 Stars)...I use this lens for travel and landscape photography. I shoot with Canon 1 and 5 series bodies. I also own and use several other "premium" ultra-wide angle lenses, including Canon's own 14/2.8L-II; 15/2.8; 8-15/4L; 16-35/2.8L-II; 17/4L-TSE; and Zeiss 18/3.5. Predictably, each of these lenses have their own strengths and weaknesses. My impressions after considerable in-field use follow.

                    The Zeiss 15/2.8 is very enjoyable to use, and for me, produces excellent, exciting results. I find the manual focus to be considerably more smooth than ANY of the autofocus lenses afore-mentioned, and focusing accuracy is not difficult, using OEM standard Canon focusing screens. I'm able to focus accurately and consistently (although after years of relying perhaps too heavily on autofocus, I'm reminded that manual focusing is a skill, and one which deteriorates with neglect). Nonetheless, for landcape and travel photography, I find the Zeiss 15/2.8 to be VERY SMOOTH AND PRECISE in its manual focusing ability. I don't rely on the accuracy of the focusing distance hash marks on the lens barrel when focusing (I judge focus through the viewfinder and/or with LIVE VIEW, without reference to the distance marks on the lens, so the previous post regarding inaccurate distance markers on the lens is not relevant in my use. If I DO use the fixed distance markers on the lens (as when setting hyperfocal distance, for example), I just note indicated distances WHILE CROSS-REFERENCING ACTUAL IN-FOCUS SETTINGS THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER AND/OR LIVE VIEW, without worrying that the "0.8 meters" indication on the lens barrel might more accurately represent "0.6 meters" in reality. Yes, 0.2 meters can make a huge difference if you're very close to your subject, but again, if you use the viewfinder and/or LIVE VIEW to judge focus, the accuracy of the lens barrel markings become a moot point). By the way, I only use the "green dot" (Canon's "in-focus" indicator in the viewfinder) as a rough guide for finding focus; for greater accuracy, I pay close attention to the details in the viewfinder which I consider to be most important within a given scene, and I gently roll the focusing collar back and forth, with decreasing throw, until subject details are rendered with maximum sharpness. For best precision, of course, use of a tripod and LIVE VIEW - or even just live view mode by itself - with appropriate live view magnification, will result in a very, very sharply focused subject.

                    In my use, I find the Zeiss 15/2.8 to be visibly sharper in the center, and DRAMATICALLY SHARPER IN THE CORNERS, than both my Canon 14/2.8L-II and my Canon 16-35/2.8L-II. Vignetting with the Zeiss 15/2.8 is similar (f/2.8~f/4) to the Canon 14/2.8L-II, and about 1-2 stops greater (darker) than the Canon 16-35/2.8L-II wide open. Most noticeable with the Zeiss 15/2.8 is the extremely pleasing color rendition. It's difficult to describe adequately, but it's noticeable and it's quite lovely. Bokeh rendition is also pleasant, though (like most wide/ultra-wide lenses), not "Wow." Flare control is very good - better than any of my Canon ultra-wides, with the exception of the 17/4L-TSE, which is also very good.

                    I agree with previous posters who have observed that the Zeiss 15/2.8 is optically superior (in virtually every measure) to any (all) of the Canon ultra-wide lenses, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE EXCELLENT AND EXTREMELY VERSATILE 17/4L-TSE. Obviously, the Canon 17/4L-TSE has the advantage of perspective control, the value of which cannot be underestimated, however, I do find focusing, holding and general handling of the Canon 17/4L-TSE to be less comfortable - and therefore, less enjoyable - than the Zeiss 15/2.8. Mounted on a tripod, and used patiently and with great premeditation, the Canon 17/4L-TSE is superlative; about equal in optical quality to the Zeiss 15/2.8. Of course, the Zeis has a few degrees extra width in its perspective, and again, the color and detail rendering on the Zeiss is uniquely satisfying.

                    Clearly, the Zeiss 15/2.8 has some very compelling "pro's"; here are a few "con's" in my opinion: (1) complaints about the front lens cap being too loose and falling off ARE VALID. My biggest hassle with this issue was that in removing the lens from my bag, the cap would invariably "auto-detach" and remain in the bag, having been pulled off as I lifted the lens out. This created an extra step - and extra time - that I had to expend in retrieving the cap from the bottom of the slot in my bag where the lens was stored. Storing the lens inverted in my bag (lens cap facing up) was not a convenient option, as the front element is quite large, which makes it less than ideal as a gripping surface (not to mention the risk of dropping the lens because you've picked it up by the lens cap, which is already too loose!). SOLUTION: I found that carefully and discretely placing a very small stip of black Gaffer's Tape to each side of the built-in metal lens shade on the Zeiss 15/2.8 lens added just enough extra diameter to the lens shade, that the otherwise nice metal lens cap fits quite snugly - easy to remove, but grippy enough to stay on the lens, even when pulling it out of its tightly padded nest in my lens bag! Cheap, easy fix!; (2) the coating on the front element of the Zeiss 15/2.8, though lovely to behold, is quite tacky (sticky), hence, not easy to clean. If you prefer using dry lens tissue to wipe your lenses, you'll find this to be a delicate, difficult task, with lots of torn tissue. Not a major setback, but something to be aware of and prepared for; (3) the lens has no rubber gasket to seal the lens-to-camera mount (unlike most Canon "L" lenses). Again, not a big deal, really, but you WILL notice some tiny ingress of dust and debris if you leave this lens attached to your camera while subjecting it to extensive travel and use; (on the other hand, Canon's thin rubber lens seals are notoriously delicate (they're easy to tear or damage, even when mounting slowly and carefully), so maybe this, too, is a small point?; (4) like all Zeiss ZE lenses, the Zeiss 15/2.8 has the lens-to-camera mounting alignment "red dot" painted ON THE INNER SURFACE (the flat, silver surface where the electronic contacts are), which makes it a bit more difficult to see and use while mounting the lens. Once again, not a huge deal, but in actual field use, noticeably less convenient than Canon's EXTERNAL (on the outer collar) red dot placement; (5) finally (this "con" may perhaps be more suitably placed on the Zeiss 95mm Circular Polarizer, rather than on the 15/2.8 lens itself?), the Zeiss 95mm Circular Polarizing filter (sold as an expensive optional accessory) is interesting (I own it), and it does "work" with this lens, HOWEVER, be prepared for some very sifnificant (almost unrepairable) VIGNETTING. I've found this problematic at all apertures and focusing distances, but particularly at the smaller apertures (e.g. f/8; f/11; etc.). I find this disappointing (though not completely unexpected) considering that this is a Zeiss designed and dedicated filter, specifically optioned on the Zeiss 15/2.8. Additionally vexing, because of the semi-circular integral lens shade, REMOVING the filter from the lens can sometimes be difficult (there's very little filter area to grip, due to hood incursion).

                    So...in summary, I'm VERY happy with my Zeiss 15/2.8, and I find that it's almost always on my short list of must-take-with-me lenses. I still use and will never sell my Canon 17/4L-TSE, and I do find some niche use for my Canon 8-15/4L. My Canon 15/2.8 Fish and 16-35/2.8L-II have seen much less action over the past 8 months (since I've purchased the Zeiss 15/2.8), and alas, I must admit, my Canon 14/2.8L-II has been virtually side-lined (forgotten). If you enjoy wide or ultra-wide shooting, or if you otherwise have a need for a lens in this focal length range, and if you're willing/able to focus manually, then I really can't imagine anyone being less than very happy with this truly excellent optic. As with all tools, if you understand and accept its limitations (see above), it will serve you faithfully and well, and offer you many, many years of satisfaction and reward...

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                    (13 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Wait for alternatives

                    By George

                    from Salt Lake City, Utah

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Pros

                    • Optically excellent

                    Cons

                    • Inaccurate Focus Scale
                    • Useless Cap

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery

                    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                    I am a Zeiss fan. I use a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 on a Leica M9 and constantly marvel at the edge to edge detail. So I really anticipated the 15mm for Canon. I also have a 5D III and enjoy shooting very wide landscapes in southern Utah. Unfortunately, I had to return this lens. Optically it is as advertised. Very clear and undistorted edge to edge. But there were two problems. One was the lens cap. Tilt the lens down and it falls off. It cannot be attached to the lens and is useless if the lens is not in a case. The other was the focus scale. Actual infinity focus was way short of the infinity mark on the lens. The only way to focus the lens I received was with the focus light in the camera viewfinder. And then I could not touch the lens without moving the large and very sensitive focus ring. So much for the signed certificate of quality control.

                    Here are the options for Canon users. I own or have owned each:

                    17mm f4 TS/E. Optically as good as the Zeiss 15. It is slower (f4) but I don't find that a drawback for shooting landscapes. Best flare control of all the wides I have used. It will not take filters and has a large exposed bulb in front that must be protected. The tilt/shift features are a real plus. I think this is the best option to the Zeiss for now.

                    Canon 14mm f2.8. In the center this is a very good lens but the corners are hit and miss and often are really bad. It will flare badly if the sun is in the frame.

                    Canon 16-35 f2.8 II. Again, the center is excellent but the edges are soft and cannot be used in an enlargement. Flare can be a problem.

                    Wides are Canon's biggest drawback at this time. There are frequent rumors of a new very wide Canon zoom similar to the Nikon 14-24 so I plan to shoot the 17 until a new lens comes along.

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                    • No

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                    (4 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Very Sharp

                    By Zoltar

                    from MN

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Heavy
                    • Manual Focus

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography

                    Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                    Pros: Great for landscapes. Love that it's a superwide that you can use circular filters. It is really sharp.
                    Cons: The lens hood is fixed so you can't use ND filters. I tried holding the filter but it did not cover side to side because I had to hold it out where the lens hood ends.

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                    • No

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                    (1 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great lens.

                    By Nena

                    from Los Angeles

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

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

                      Comments about Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                      I love this lens because it takes superior quality images and ...the lens feels just great.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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