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.)
5 thoughts on “ZF lenses”
Just five hours after me, Mike Johnston posts his take on things. His main beef seems to be covered at the end of my entry, but, as usual, he puts it in plain English.
From the photo, someone was wondering what the other two lenses are.
If you look at the other images on their website, the left one is the 50mm f/1.4. The center one is a macro lens (Makro-PlanarÂ® T* 2.8/60?) and the left one is a wide-angle lens (I can read the “Distagon” label just barely).
A friend and I were trying to figure out what the other lenses were. Thanks for clearing it up. Funny how they carefully positioned them so we almost couldn’t tell what they are.
Rob Galbraith interviewed Zeiss about the ZF/ZS (screw mount) lenses.
Some interesting things to note. They figured out that the macro and wide-angle in the photos are both f/2 lenses. They will be launching six lenses at Photokina so there are two not in the photograph.
Zeiss hopes to introduce more lenses that will be more useful for digital users. Patent considerations kept them from introducing Canon EOS mount lenses, but it you can use these lenses by getting an F mount adapter for your Canon.