Now let’s see how these lenses fare further away from the frame. This is from the right edge of the frame:
When both lenses are wide open, the Zeiss has a very clear upper hand in edge resolution. The Touit 32mm maintains decent sharpness on the edge right from wide open. While not blisteringly sharp here, it’s far better than the Fuji 35mm, which displays notable softness on the edge wide open.
With both lenses at f/1.8, the Fuji still lags behind by quite a bit. This continues even at f/2.8, as seen below:
The Fuji has definitely closed the gap here, though the Zeiss is still slightly sharper. Interestingly enough, the Zeiss is showing little improvement as things get stopped down, and as you’ll see below, the Fuji comes back strong by f/4:
By f/4, the Fuji has not only caught up to the Zeiss, but has leapfrogged it. The Touit 32mm shows essentially zero improvement on stopping down, while the Fuji continues to get sharper and sharper. At f/4, the Fuji is very sharp on the edge, and handily surpasses the Zeiss.
With both lenses at f/5.6, the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 is again the clear winner. The Zeiss has finally showed some improvement, but the Fuji shows even more improvement, with tack sharp edges by f/5.6.
The winner here? Again, the lenses somewhat tie. The Zeiss is significantly sharper on the edge at wider apertures, while the Fuji is notably sharper on the edge stopped down. Which one is more important to you will depend a lot on how you shoot, though for me, I’d rather have the Fuji’s characteristics here if I had to choose…the soft edges wide open aren’t much of a concern, as most of my wide open shooting with a lens like this wouldn’t require edge sharpness, while stopped down, I do want the images to remain sharp all the way to the corners. However, your needs may be different.
Speaking of those corners, let’s look at how each lens fares in the extreme corners.
As you’d expect after seeing the edge comparisons, the Zeiss handily kicks the Fuji’s rear end in corner sharpness wide open. The Zeiss certainly isn’t tack sharp here, but there’s good definition and some detail, though also a fair bit of lateral chromatic aberration. The Fuji shows no visible CA, but it also shows no visible detail with the corners at f/1.4 turning essentially to mush.
At f/1.8, the situation doesn’t improve much for the Fuji. The Zeiss is still massively sharper, though that CA shows no signs of abating.
By f/2.8, the Fuji 35mm is showing signs of improvement, with some detail able to be discerned, though the Touit 32mm is still handily outresolving its less expensive competition. CA is still an issue, though.
As with the edge crops, the Fuji makes major strides by f/4, showing what appears to be similar levels of detail to the Zeiss. However, neither lens is tack sharp at this point, with the CA from the Zeiss having a detrimental effect and the Fuji still showing what almost appears to be a nervous jitter to the detail. All things considered, though, I prefer the Fuji corner at f/4.
And by f/5.6 again the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 has surpassed the Zeiss 32mm f/1.8. While not razor sharp, the corners here show a lot of detail in the Fuji shot, and absolutely zero chromatic aberration. The Zeiss on the other hand still shows a little softness and a lot of CA.
As could be expected, the corners are similar to the edges: The Zeiss is clearly superior at wide apertures while the Fuji is superior at the smaller apertures. While not shown here, I did, for my own interest, correct the CA of the Zeiss lens for the f/4 and f/5.6 shots. To my eye, when corrected for CA, the corners are essentially identical between the two at f/4, while the Fuji still has a clear resolution advantage at f/5.6.
Finally, let’s look at bokeh.
12 thoughts on “Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Planar vs. Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R”
Nice write up! I’m really debating on getting this lense since I’ve read its sharper wide open and lusting to try a Zeiss lense on my xe1. Are you seing better color, contrast then the Fuji with that signature Zeiss look everyone seems to say. I love the 35 also witch I used for almost a year exclusively, i like also its slightly wider view then the fuji.
IMO, it doesn’t have what I consider to be the ‘typical Zeiss look.’ Not that it’s bad. It’s a very good lens, and it’s quite sharp at f/1.8 for an f/1.8 lens. As you can see, though, it doesn’t sharpen up a whole lot beyond that though, which is rather unusual. I associate the ‘Zeiss look’ with extremely high contrast and microcontrast with high color saturation. This doesn’t have that. It is also downright bizarre that it never sharpens up across the frame completely.
Having tried and owned a bazillion different lenses over the years, I just have to say…don’t buy a lens because of the name on it. There are Zeiss lenses that are downright incredible (and some are among my favorite lenses of all time, such as the 85/2.8 Sonnar). And there are Zeiss lenses that are a little disappointing. IMO, unless you like busy bokeh or really need that extra corner sharpness at maximum aperture, the Fuji 35mm is the better lens. For wide aperture work, I care much more how it performs in the middle 75% of the frame, and the Fuji does very well there…plus it has nicer bokeh and is 2/3 stop faster. Then, you put on top that it’s tack sharp across the frame when stopped down and has little to no CA, where the Zeiss falters a bit, and for Fuji buyers, I don’t think the Touit 32mm makes a lot of sense. You’re paying $400 more for better corners at wide apertures but worse performance stopped down, 2/3 slower aperture and worse bokeh.
Thanks for doing this evaluation. Very interesting. To me, in the pictures here in your review, and in other reviews, the Zeiss has a richer color to it, and is more contrasty. Given the current sale on the Touits, I went for them!
Obviously old Fred above has more money than sense Mr Livingstone.
OK, I a digital Neanderthal who has decided to cross over to the darkside due to the pending birth of our first grandchild. I use Summicron optics on my Leica M6’s so I am tempted to buy the C Zeiss Touit 32mm 1.8 with my new Fujifilm camera as I favour German optics, having used both Japanese and German ones. I read Ken Rockwell’s comments on the Fuji 35mm 1.4, he reckons it to be as good as Summilux lenses which is an amasing recommendation to going for the Fuji version, but, I am not sure?
Great comparison! With the new Fuji 35mm WR f2 lens and the price adjustments of the Zeiss 32mm f1.8 and Fuji 35mm f1.4, what are your thoughts on the best all around lens at this focal length for the x-mount? I have an XT-1 and basically see them all as a wash with balance of different features and performances unique to each. Any thoughts or will there be upcoming head to head comparisons?
I had a similar situation. I select the first lens on the XT-1. And it was WR f2.0. I think the lens of the Fuji completely without character. Because before that I had a Canon with Planar 1.4 ZE and it was fantastic lens. Tests is good, but the main thing is the result. And if a good result, you will be comfortable working with Zeiss, why not buy it? 🙂
In the Conclusion where you say “… the comparison I did between the Touit 12mm and the Fuji 14mm…” it would be helpful to put a link there, pointing at that review.
The link is in the opening paragraph.
Very helpful review, that Fuji 35mm 1.4 is a beautiful lens! In the end I went with the Zeiss (though I got it used for like $450) because of the way it renders color & contrast. In future reviews I would recommend talking g about this because through your images the Zeiss is a lot more contrasty with richer colors and you never addressed it.
At any rate I enjoyed the read and you helped me out, thank you!
I have never seen a sharp Plannar. Looking at blue lines on paper it proves. Every photo Fuji is better. Autofocus Zeiss probably better.