Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZE & Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 review: A high quality wide-angle prime for Canon and Nikon

By Paul Carroll - Monday April 08 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Measurement | Comparisons | Conclusion

Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZE & Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2: The Nikon version has the edge

Both lens mounts offer well controlled Distortion and Chromatic Aberration but the Nikon is in front for sharpness. A score of 22P-Mpix tested on the D800 makes it the 2nd sharpest wide-angle prime we’ve tested.

With a DxOMark Score of 34 tested on the D800, the Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 for Nikon ties with another Carl Zeiss wide-angle prime, the 35mm f/1.4 ZF.2 for 12th place of all lenses. For wide-angle primes both play second fiddle to the first placed Sigma 35mm f/1.4, which achieves a DxOMark Score of 39. However, the Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 doesn’t quite match the same heights when attached to other Nikon DSLRs, scoring 30 on the D3X, 28 on the D4, and just 24 on the D3.

With a very impressive Sharpness score of 22P-Mpix on the D800, the Nikon version is the 2nd sharpest wide-angle prime tested, again, just behind the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 with 23 P-Mpix. The Zeiss offers homogenous edge-to-edge sharpness. Distortion and Chromatic Aberration are well controlled too, although Vignetting of -2.3Ev will require some post-production correction.

It’s a similar story with the ZE mount version for Canon that offers the same homogenous edge-to-edge sharpness and well controlled Distortion and Chromatic Aberration. Its performance isn’t quite as strong as the Nikon version, however, with its best DxOMark Overall score of 27 tested on the Canon 5D MKIII, which ranks 137th for all lens/camera combinations on the database and 23rd for wide-angle Canon EF mount lenses. Sharpness is also down 17P-Mpix compared to 22P-Mpix on the ZF.2 version, but here the Canon is limited by the lower resolution of the 5D MKIII compared to the D800, and calculating the lenses’ efficiency ratio (P-Mpix/Pixels), the Canon is actually more efficient.