Zeiss today announced the much rumored foray into Nikon SLR cameras with the ZF lens series for the Nikon F-mount. (Previously Zeiss only made interchangeable photo lenses for Contax.)
These lenses are manual-focus prime lenses. In particular a 50mm (Planar T* 1.4/50 ZF) and 85mm (Planar T* 1.4/85 ZF) lenses. Probably much better constructed than the 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor that is my most used lens. Of course, the $100 price point is hard to beat, even if I give up 2/3 of a stop.
It will be interesting to see if Zeiss will be able to carve out a niche in the prime lens market without the corporate advantages they had in the Contax line.
I hope so.
(Note, one of the linked article claims that Nikon is discontinuing their manual focus lenses. This is not exactly the case. For instance, at these focal lengths, Nikon is going to continue to manufacture the 50mm f/1.2 and 50mm f/1.8. However, the only manual 85mm Nikon will continue to make is a shift lens. Also there are some implications here for digital photographers, the manual focus lenses will not meter on your D50 or D70 (they will on a D200 or D2X) and 50mm is a portrait lens and 85mm is a telephoto if you account for the 1.5x crop factor.)