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Just MTF Charts

Just the Cinema MTF Charts: Zeiss Cine Lenses

Zeiss makes a lot of cinema lenses, there are a lot of graphs in this post. Please remember for some, like the Supreme Primes and some of the CP.3 lenses we didn’t get much access to, the MTF graph is the average of just a few copies (the number of copies is identified on the graph). This will be the longest one of these posts, there are a lot of Zeiss Cinema lenses.

A Quick How to on Reading MTF Charts

If you’re new here, you’ll see we have a scientific methodology to our approach, and use MTF charts to measure lens resolution and sharpness. All of our MTF charts test ten of the same lenses, and then we average out the results. MTF (or (or Modulation Transfer Function) Charts measure the optical potential of a lens by plotting the contrast and resolution of the lens from the center to the outer corners of the frame. An MTF chart has two axis, the y-axis (vertical) and the x-axis (horizontal).

The y-axis (vertical) measures how accurately the lens reproduces the object (sharpness), where 1.0 would be the theoretical “perfect lens”. The x-axis (horizontal) measures the distance from the center of a lens to the edges (measured in millimeters where 0mm represents the center, and 20mm represents the corner point). Generally, a lens has the greatest theoretical sharpness in the center, with the sharpness being reduced in the corners.

Tangential & Sagittal Lines

The graph then plots two sets of five different ranges. These sets are broken down into Tangential lines (solid lines on our graphs) and Sagittal (dotted lines on our graphs). Sagittal lines are a pattern where the lines are oriented parallel to a line through the center of the image. Tangential (or Meridonial)  lines are tested where the lines are aligned perpendicular to a line through the center of the image.

From there, the Sagittal and Tangential tests are done in 5 sets, started at 10 lines per millimeter (lp/mm), all the way up to 50 lines per millimeter (lp/mm). To put this in layman’s terms, the higher lp/mm measure how well the lens resolves fine detail. So, higher MTF is better than lower, and less separation of the sagittal and tangential lines are better than a lot of separation. Please keep in mind this is a simple introduction to MTF charts, for a more scientific explanation, feel free to read this article.

 

CP.2 Standard Primes

CP.2 15mm T2.9

Lensrentals.com, 2019

CP.2 18mm T3.6

CP.2 21mm T2.9

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CP.2 25mm T2.1

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CP.2 28mm T2.1

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CP.2 35mm T2.1

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CP.2 50mm T2.1

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CP.2 85mm T2.1

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CP.2 100mm T2.1

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CP.2 135mm T2.1

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CP.2 Super Speed Primes

CP.2 35mm T1.5 SS

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CP.2 50mm T1.5 SS

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CP.2 85mm T1.5 SS

Lensrentals.com, 2019

 

CP.3 Primes

CP.3 XD 15mm T2.9

The original graph was incorrect. This is a corrected graph.

Lensrentals.com, 2019

CP.3 XD 18mm T2.9

The original graph was incorrect. This is a corrected graph.

Lensrentals.com, 2019

CP.3 XD 21mm T2.9

Lensrentals.com, 2019

CP.3 XD 28mm T2.1

The original graph was incorrect. This is a corrected graph.

Lensrentals.com, 2019

CP.3 XD 35mm T2.1

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CP.3 XD 50mm T2.1

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CP.3 XD 85mm T2.1

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CP.3 XD 100mm T2.1

The original graph was incorrect. This is a corrected graph.

Lensrentals.com, 2019

 

Zeiss Supreme Primes

Supreme Prime 25mm T1.5

Lensrentals.com, 2019

Supreme Prime 29mm T1.5

Lensrentals.com, 2019

Supreme Prime 35mm T1.5

Lensrentals.com, 2019

Supreme Prime 50mm T1.5

Lensrentals.com, 2019

Supreme Prime 65mm T1.5

The original graph was incorrect. This is a corrected graph.

Lensrentals.com, 2019

Supreme Prime 85mm T1.5

Lensrentals.com, 2019

Supreme Prime 100mm T1.5

The original graph was incorrect. This is a corrected graph.

Lensrentals.com, 2019

 

Roger Cicala, Aaron Closz, and Brandon Dube

Lensrentals.com

June, 2019

Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Lensrentals.com. Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in Just MTF Charts
  • I’m getting to them as fast as I can. I’ve been out of town for 2 weeks and the backlog is horrid. Give me the rest of the week, please. I’m marking them “this graph has been corrected” when I get them checked and replotted.

  • Someone

    The plot for 18 T3.6 still has axis going up to 10 mm. Is this correct?

  • When I have something like this happen, I want to run at least a copy or two and make absolutely certain the results are accurate. I’d love to tell you I remember what the MTF of this or that lens looks like off the top of my head but I don’t. I got back today, corrected the graph print outs, and was able to double-check most of them, which are uploaded now. The last couple may take another day.

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