02 Oct Why Buy Zeiss?
We primed you with a post last Friday mentioning 15% off the price of Zeiss lenses at our Murray Street store but we cleverly did not tell you the actual prices – leaving you to search out the figures on our Camera Electronic store website or turn up at Murray Street and ask the staff. Either way will eventually show you that the 15% is a substantial saving… because the base price is a substantial figure. There is no trickery involved – all the way from the Zeiss factory to your hands, the Zeiss series of DSLR, rangefinder, and mirror-less lenses are a solid investment. And one that is made many times a year by different photographers.
There are well-heeled, spend-it-all types who buy Zeiss lenses because they can – and because they are prestigious – and because they are expensive. Bless them, if they are prepared to buy we don’t care what their real motives are – at least with the Zeiss lenses we know we are supplying them top-shelf glass and there will be no returns for footling excuses…you cannot fault the optics. It does not mean there will never be any returns…people are as funny in this trade as in any other.
There are people who buy Zeiss based upon the history of the company and the reputation of previous iterations of the lens designs. If I had the money and the camera base for it, this is one argument that would speak strongly to me. I owned Hasselblad cameras in the film era and the results from the Zeiss lenses fitted to the 500 series of Hasselblad are still as good or better than anything I produce with digital lenses. The additional years of development and tweaking for digital sensors have only rendered them better – not worse.
There are people who buy Zeiss lenses for their ab initio performance on the DSLR. I remember selling two of these brands to one customer who demanded the best macro performance that could be had. They were purchases that he will never make again – not because of the price of the lenses, but because of the level of performance that they yield. He’ll change the camera body as his chosen brand puts out new sensors and new features, but the Zeiss Makro lenses will keep chugging perfectly.
There are people who buy Zeiss based upon the fact that some of the designs are physically big. The Otus and Milvus designs with their trumpet-shaped barrels are a love-it-or-hate-it design and you either welcome the large size or detest it. If you like it, the fact that it carries more physical weight means that you are generally steadier shooting…and more tired after carrying it round all day. The smooth focusing ring is an acquired taste, but the rock-steady focusing travel of the helical means that you do not regret doing the manual focusing at all.
Note that there are also people who buy the ZM series of rangefinder lenses because they are not big – quite compact for the Leica camera mount.
As far as the aesthetics of the lenses – the yellow markings is neither here nor there – you’ll like them or not. As they are engraved, rather than stamped or painted, they will be suitably marked for ever more – and you can take the Zeiss calibration as accurate with those barrels. For those of you who do not like pure black lenses, you can take some comfort that some of the Zeiss barrels have real chrome front rings, and there are silver chrome barrel versions as well. DSLR types may be all-black.
And they’re at 15% off…