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Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 Gordon Laing, May 2013
 
 

Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 Quality

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To evaluate the real-life performance of the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 lens, I shot this landscape scene at every aperture setting using a Fujifilm X-Pro1 mounted on a tripod. 

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 was set to 200 ISO and the lens focused on the center of the composition. I shot in RAW mode and processed the files in Adobe Camera RAW using sharpness settings of 70 / 0.5 / 30 / 10 and with all lens corrections disabled.

I've taken two crops from each image, indicated by the red rectangles on the image opposite and presented the results at 100% below. You can access the original in-camera JPEGs captured at the same time by clicking each crop below.


For this test I fitted the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 to a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and mounted the combination on a tripod. I focused on the center of the composition and took photos at every aperture setting in the RAW+JPEG mode. The original out-of-camera JPEGs are available to view and download via my Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 sample images gallery, while the RAW files were processed and cropped for presentation below at 100%.

I processed the files in Adobe Camera RAW using identical settings: Sharpening at 70 / 0.5 / 36 / 10, Luminance and Colour Noise Reduction both set to zero, all lens corrections disabled and the Process to 2012 with the Adobe Standard profile. The high degree of sharpening with a small radius enhances the finest details without causing undesirable artefacts.

I should note that this composition was not ideal for evaluating the corner performance in the frame, as the trees in the corner were closer than those focused-on in the center. I intend to shoot a more appropriate composition in the future and will update this page. That said, the closest trees were still sufficiently far away to fall within the depth-of-field of an ultra-wide lens and as you'll see from the crops below, there's plenty that's in sharp focus in the corners even at f2.8.

The first set of crops are taken from the top right corner. At f2.8 and f4, there's a slight lack of definition in the extreme corner and a hint of what might be chromatic aberration, but it's fairly subtle. If you open the original files and check each corner, you'll only notice this effect where the contrast is very high, such as dark branches against a white overcast sky. Examine lower contrast areas and there's virtually no issue to report in the corners at wide apertures. It's also important to note that the softness stops before you even reach the left side of my 745 pixel wide crops, so we really are only talking about it affecting the absolute extremes, and the effect is essentially gone by f5.6 and f8, the corner sweet-spots for this lens when mounted on the X-Pro1. At f11, the image starts to become softer due to diffraction, and effect which becomes more apparent at f11 and painfully obvious at f22.

Moving onto the second table for the crops taken from the middle of the image and it's looking pretty good from the start at f2.8. I'd say the sweet-spot in the middle comes between f4 and f5.6, with a minor reduction in contrast at f8. Once again the softness through diffraction kicks-in at f11 with this lens on the X-Pro1, and especially at f16 and f22 which should be avoided.

Overall considering this is a high contrast torture-test without any lens corrections applied, the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 delivers excellent performance, certainly at least as good as any ultra-wide lens I've tested. I'm very impressed by this first test and look forward to expanding my report with additional tests in the near future. In the meantime, check out my selection of Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 sample images!

 

Carl Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 corner sharpness (taken from Fujifilm X-Pro 1 RAW files)
Corner Crop at f2.8 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Corner Crop at f4 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Corner Crop at f5.6 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Corner Crop at f8 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Corner Crop at f11 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Corner Crop at f16 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Corner Crop at f22 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)



Carl Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 center sharpness (taken from Fujifilm X-Pro 1 RAW files)
Center Crop at f2.8 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Center Crop at f4 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Center Crop at f5.6 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Center Crop at f8 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Center Crop at f11 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Center Crop at f16 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)
 
Center Crop at f22 (click image for full-size out-of-camera JPEG at Flickr)


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