Last week we took the afternoon to do more testing of the new Schneider 35LS.
Traditionally wide angle lenses on SLR bodies do not perform as well as lenses like macro and portrait length lenses. Such lenses require a retrofocus design which requires compromise in either size, weight, price, performance, or cost. Holding the Schneider 35LS in-hand it is quite clear which of these the designers compromised; it weighs 3 pounds, just a bit less than the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 and the construction quality is top notch, featuring the etched metal focus grip characteristic of the new “Blue Ring” Schneider Kreuznach lenses.
Big Lens, Big Expectations
When a lens is fairly hefty in size and cost the expectation for performance is understandably high. This test was done to see if performance holds up to those expectations. We have 100% crops from the center, edge, and corner of the frame below. In each case we compare wide-open (f/3.5) to stopped down (f/8) performance. This test was done with an 80mp full frame digital back, so results would be even better for lower resolution or crop-sensor digital backs. These images have been adjusted in Capture One 8.3.3. (contrast, clarity, grad filter for sky, highlight recovery, and lens corrections); you can request raw files from firstname.lastname@example.org to do your own processing.
Looking For Something More Compact?
The Phase One 35mm D lens lacks a leaf shutter (and therefore cannot sync with flash at 1/1600th of a second like the Schneider 35mm LS) but weighs in at just one pound. Alternatively, a tech camera body and tech camera lens can be quite light depending on the body and lens selected, and include movements like rise/fall/tilt/swing.