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New Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15mm ZF.2 super wide angle lens for Nikon mount coming soon

For those of you who don't read PhotoRumors (you should): Zeiss is expected to announce a new Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 ZF.2 super wide angle lens for Nikon mount:

  • Announcement on March 16th, 2012
  • Shipping should start in May, 2012
  • Angle of view: 110 degrees
  • 95mm filter thread
  • This lens will be very expensive

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  • Lee

    Putting in my bet now that this will perform no better than the Nikon 14-24@15mm, will cost at least $1500 more than the Nikon, and will be no more German-manufactured than the Nikon (or other ZFs, by the way).

    It’s amazing how expensive it is to print “Carl Zeiss” on the side of something, isn’t it?

    • Roger

      You’re not wrong, my friend. Still I hope it will be a great lens.. If it’s not, we’ll all just stick with our proven 14-24′s…

      • Joe

        I think this is primarily for the Canon market. If it has 14-24ish performance, Canon users will love it, as they don’t have such great ultrawides. ;-)

    • scurvyhesh

      Been saying that for months but no one was trying to hear it. Zeiss is just a name these days and the 14-24 about as perfect as a wide lens gets.

      • simpleguy

        zeiss makes different optics than nikon , it as different bokeh and different contrast ,accuracy and feel to it , sharpness is not everything to be compared by , the nikkor 14-24 is a gr8 lens zeiss has consistently put a full lineup of lenses which is of the highest quality and yes their prices are very high , but there is no comparison , its a simple matter of taste

        • MiniMe

          Before the video DSLR days, I had a 35mm attachment for my video camera. The Zeiss 85mm f1.4 and 100mm macro I had rendered way better for video than the Nikon lenses I had. They were the lens of choice for me. And their 100mm macro is sharp across all apertures according to the test at slrgear.com. You’d have to be a real Nikon fanboy to disregard that lens.

          • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

            +1

            Zeiss lenses are among the best ever. I can’t understand such an ignoracy from all those fanboys, which have no clue what they’re talking about.

            • Jadewatcher

              +1

              I bet all my small zf.2 lineup that these people ranting about “made by cosina, inferior quality” have never, never ever had even the chance to try one of these lensen on either a Nikon or Canon camera.

  • Wilson

    If this turns out to have equal performance to the nikon im buying it for sure, no one needs autofocus at 15mm and it gives a reasonable solution to filters. SOOOO JACKED!!

    • Global

      You’d pay that much for a filter — holder?

      Forget this lens. Nikon has great lenses that replace all Zeisses. I have no idea why people buy these.

      • Wilson

        Im looking to get an ultra wide lens when I upgrade to the d800 and I have been planning on the 14-24mm but the biggest disadvantage to that lens is the lacking filter thread (I also don’t want to carry around a bulky $700 filter holder) but the sharpness can’t be beat so I wouldn’t go with a 16-35 or any other. If the zeiss lens equals the image quality of the Nikon 14-24 then I would have no problem spending an extra 500-700 but I’m hoping it won’t be priced astronomically like the version for the M system which is $4600. It can’t be too unreasonable to hope that a prime lens equals or outperforms a zoom lens but that is why the 14-24 is a legend

      • El Aura

        > I have no idea why people buy these.
        Size. The Nikon 14-24 mm, 24 mm f/1.4, and 35 mm f/1.4 are superb lenses. But if you can live without a zoom and without f/1.4, Zeiss lenses get you there with noticeably less bulk.

        • Worminator

          They are smaller, better made, and have precision manual focus. And they are better. Maybe not in the ways Nikon fanboys care about – resolution uber alles – but they are better lenses for anyone who cares about rendering quality.

    • Jan

      Soo you know where to buy 95mm filters??

  • Alice

    This is a pro lens. Pin-heads need not apply!

    • Dave

      So Alice, you troll Nikon Rumors for the sole purpose of calling people ‘pinheads’ over and over again. We get it. This isn’t Youtube. Submit something of substance and quit showing what a pinhead you are.

      • Wilson

        Thank you Dave!

  • http://ben-sketchbook.blogspot.com ben

    The first photo… it looks bit odd to me… may be the hood position and distance marking position…. huuummmm…

    • Sahaja

      This is especially for the new Nikon vertical camera – or the person who made the product shot wanted to show the front element, lens hood and distance marking – so rotated the hood by 90°

      BTW where is the aperture ring?

      • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

        This is ZE version. Canon verisons do not offer an aperture ring.

  • Collins

    I don’t know if a 95mm filter thread is really any better than the 14-24 and it’s filter deficiencies….

    And the 14-24 being Amazing, with zoom, autofocus, and most likely a cheaper price tag….

    Still… would love to see what can be done with the Zeiss…

    • MuttonPuncher

      The B+W 95mm Kaeseman Circular Polarizing (Extra Wide) Filter that B&H carries would the perfect polarizing filter for this lens. They are an extremely well made and are a pro. grade filter. The extra wide Kaesmans are well known for preventing vignetting but they are of course very expensive at $300.
      http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/95095-REG/B_W_65_016529_95mm_Kaeseman_Circular_Polarizing.html

      • Brad

        Why would you want/need a CPL for a 15mm lens? Any image involving the sky result in uneven blues across the frame.

        • MuttonPuncher

          That depends upon the relationship to the sun. Besides I love very low perspectives with ultra wide angle lenses with lakes, streams and waterfalls that don’t include much sky.

  • Neutronman

    I dunno. I have been pretty darned impressed with the Nikon 14-24. This lens will have to be ultra super amazing… but I’ll keep an open mind.

  • http://www.MartinWongPhotography.com Martin

    “This lens will be very expensive” – 100% True Rumor

  • peteee363

    will it be any better then a nikkor 14mm 2.8? there isn’t any front filter on it, but i like this lens. it is expensive, but i got a deal on ebay.

  • Roger

    I’m looking forward to this one. Hopefully it’s more like 21mm and not like 18mm.

    Price will be probably be over $2000.

  • Sly Larive

    Will this be 5-6 times better than a Samyang / Rokinon 14mm 2.8? Hard to justify the price of these wide primes but then again, depends if it helps you make a living or not…

    • scurvyhesh

      Agreed SLY ONER! (got flamed for bringing it up before)… Are they really 5-6 times better?? And will 99% of people be able to tell the difference in a print? No and I doubt it.

      • Sly Larive

        TBH, the Samyang is far from a flawless lens and its most important shortcoming is the complex distortion but unless you’re really demanding, or get paid to do architecture photography, you owe yourself to have a look at the Samyang / Rokinon before spending 1.5k and upwards (even more for this Zeiss) on a FF UWA.

  • http://www.chalupaphotography.com seb

    I have got Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 which is brilliant but I wish Nikon to make 10 mm non-fisheye I am just hopping it’s going to happen very soon.

  • D700guy

    Nah I already have a Sigma 15mm 2.8.
    It works just fine.

    • neekone

      On a D800?

    • Luke

      the sigma is a fisheye not an UWA … he said non-fisheye

  • John

    You have to assume this is better than the 14-24 otherwise why would they bother? However the 14-24 is so good there is very little space to improve. I have a 14-24 but also a D800E coming so I’ll keep and open mind and consider if it is truly spectacular like the ZF100.

    • Jan

      I know guys that bought into Sony DSLR just for the CZ. Go figure.

  • Jeremy

    From the few shooters I’ve read who have used the 15mm f2.8 ZM and the Nikkor 14-24, they claim that the Zeiss wins esp in distortion. Take that as you will. BTW, the ZM is made in Germany and costs about $5K. No idea abt this lens, but will be interested in seeing the test results.

    • FM2Fan

      Distortion is not that important as long as you don’t go for architecture – in MANY situations the 14-24 is absolutely fablulous. The two key problems are: weight and filter (now there is 3rd party hood and filter at a high price, but it is worth …)

      • matt

        the 14-24mm:
        cant shoot 2+people, or even 1 people by a building.
        and all the ladies will look FAT FAT FATTER!!!
        at the widest 14mm is heavily distorted
        If you have to jam this lens for perspective to hide the heavy distortion, might as well get a fisheye

        • Calibrator

          Fisheyes aren’t rectilinear.
          Do you really understand for what ultra-wides are meant & good for?

    • Sahaja

      Their 15mm ZM lens likely uses a completely different design than the one uses for this 15mm ZF Distagon. There may be more distortion.

      • Pat Mann

        You’re right. All the retrofocus Distagons currently produced have substantial barrel distortion from the retrofocus design. This one is likely to be similar, in the 2% range or more because of the extreme wide angle.

        Likely not quite as severe as the Nikon zooms at their widest, but still significant and requiring corrections for architectural photography. Fortunately, those corrections are possible.

        I’ve never understood why zooms can be designed with a range in which they have virtually zero distortion, but no one takes advantage of this to produce a zero distortion prime with the same formula. Perhaps because only a few of us really care about distortion?

        • Sahaja

          Actually it seems the 15mm ZM lens is a Distagon too – but it weighs only 370 g . It’s probably much easier to to design for the m-mount though as they can bring the rear element much nearer to the focal plane.

          The 40mm retrofocus Distagons for the Hasselblad CM were certainly not as good the famous 38mm Biogon on the SWC. The Distagon lenses weighed a ton too.

  • WestCoastJim

    Having had both Nikkor 15mm primes and the 14-24 Zoom I can safely say that regardless of which Japanese factory is making the ‘Zeiss” lenses I don’t care. These same lenses in PL mounts go for a minimum of $6K and they’ve got actual aperture rings and are not ever manufactured out of Japan. Very unlike many G lenses. They are also always metal and have a silky focus quality that harkens back to Nikon’s heyday. Which this sadly ain’t.
    That said the mothers are very heavy! This will certainly be no exception.
    I personally am looking forward to testing this honker when they are delivered.

  • Mike

    I have the 14-24 and would be impressed if anything, for any cost could top it.

    I have heard lots of people saying, “Why buy Zeiss? Nikon lenses are just as good, and cheeper.” I feel this way about every lens but the nikon 50mm 1.4. Does anyone know if the zeiss focuses the same direction as nikon? or will it be backwards to all my other nikon lenses (shooting manual focus for video)? I am thinking about getting the Zeiss 50mm 1.4.

  • Markus

    LOL! :-) “This lens will be very expensive”…is that an understatement! :-)

    I had once the privilege to use the Zeiss 35/2 for one day. What a piece of overhyped build quality. Build quality is excellent, and image wise it is very good too. But just as with Leica, it’s totally overhyped, that includes the price as well.

    • El Aura

      Nikon 35 mm f/1.4: $1600
      Zeiss 35 mm f/1.4: $1840

      Not too dissimilar in price.

      • Sahaja

        I’ll bet the Zeiss ZF lenses hold their value far longer than current Nikon lenses do too.

        The Zeiss lenses are certainly not cheap – but priced nowhere near what comparable Leica lenses are either.

  • Calibrator

    What is the general opinion here on the new Sigma 12-24?

    • jorg

      good price, fun lens. terrible corners! being absolutely no pixel-peeper i sold it nevertheless, was too much for me. whoever does not care about corners will be a happy camper, esp. with an FF-body.

      • Calibrator

        Thanks jorg,
        do you mean “terrible corners” as in “unsharp when not stopped down”?

  • Eyeball

    This lens is aimed at the movie market, hence the filter availability, the aperture ring, and the awesome price. Movie makers don’t buy equipment, they rent so part of the price is presumably for a heavy duty build quality to stand up to rental use.
    As still and video converge expect more lenses like this.

  • Anonymous

    Zeiss’ rendering of images is very different from that by Nikkor glass. Some people love that and some people hate it. I am mostly in the later category except the Zeiss 100 Makro Planar.

  • MuttonPuncher

    I know I’m dreaming but I wish Nikon would manufacture a set of primes from 15mm – 35mm. I wish them all to be manual focus and have aperture rings with 1/3 steps between f/stops, have distance scales and be all metal construction with silky smooth precise focusing. All would have Nano Coatings and hopefully decent bokeh.
    1. 15mm f/2.8 with filter threads
    2. 20mm f/2
    3. 28mm f/1.8
    3. 35mm f/1.8

    • Same

      I’ve been hoping for a fast 18mm prime for ages. I suspect f/1.4 would be either too much to hope for, but I’d certainly pay $2800-ish for such a lens. I would even forgo autofocus too. I rent the Zeiss 21mm regularly and that’s a phenomenal lens. I trust Nikon produces equally good optics nowadays though and I’d buy a Nikon 15 or 18mm before a Zeiss one, especially given the inevitable price difference.

  • Isnogud

    Another one here that thinks that the AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G will not be supplanted by this Zeiss design…

  • Anonymous

    “This lens will be very expensive”

    How much? Above $1000? I call any lens above this threshold expensive.

    • Josh

      I believe it will be around $4,600 like the other 15mm lens from Zeiss.

      • Anonymous

        OMG !

      • Wilson

        It will not be that much because the M mount is much harder to design an ultra wide 2.8 because of the mount itself is much different than F mount. I dont doubt it will be 2-3000 tho…

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I would say $2000-3000. The M version of the same lens costs $4600: http://bit.ly/yp538d

      • Wilson

        Didn’t mean to copy, I just saw this after I commented, great minds think alike

  • Anonymous

    I’d rather use my 10-24mm on D800 & still get a 15mm equivalent 15mp image. Good enough on occasion.

  • Michael

    “This lens will be very expensive” :)))))
    The best part of this info:))))

  • Jack84

    This lens is good news, i don’t care how much people rave about the 14-24 i just want nikon to do a G series redesign of their 14 2.8 prime. Hopefully this new ziess will motivate them to do that.
    Also, while they are at it how about a refresh of the 300 f4, 180 f2.8 and 200 macro.

    • MuttonPuncher

      Ditto on the 200mm Macro

  • Smudger

    Extreme vignetting anyone?

  • Ojojo

    What’s with the sideways hood?

    • Jim

      sideways?? Nikon makes similar ones for their wide-angles. If the hood was the same length all over it would either vignette on the short dimension or let excess light in on the long dimension. Remember the image format is 2:3 – not square.

  • Dan

    I have both the Nikon (24mm, 35mm, 85mm) and some Zeiss primes (21mm 35mm 100mm), as well as the Nikon 14-24mm.

    When comparing the 21mm with the 14-24mm I can say that the only advantage that I can see is that the Zeiss is smaller than the Nikon and the pure tactile feeling of handling the Zeiss. The microcontrast seems to be better on the Zeiss side, but not by much. On the other hand the distorsion is better for the Nikon. When throwing in the flexibility of the 14-24mm zoom I would say that for anyone who is buying their first wide angle lens the Nikon is a no brainer.

    The Nikon 85 mm is distinctly better than the Zeiss 85mm which has a nasty focus shift issue and is not corrected well at 1.4

    On the other hand the Zeiss 100mm is amazing. My best lens hands down. And fairly small.

    I would say that in the end it comes down to each one’s taste and wallet. Trying to justify a differentiation Zeiss/Nikon on pure technical criteria does not work in this case.

    • zoran

      It is hard for me to believe that a zoom lens can be better than a prime lens, especially a prime made by Zeiss. Physics just does not allow it. The 21mm is a legendary lens, among other things also for the minimal distortion in this focal length. I expect the new 15mm to be in the same category.
      I do not understand the motivation for most of the comments here and I do not want to speculate.
      Cheers!

      • Dan

        Regarding fixed lenses versus zooms – yes, the Nikon zooms are that good.

        Let me try the lenses on the D800 and I may change my opinion. For now, I restate that the differences between the Zeiss 21mm and the Nikon 14-24mm are small enough from a technical point of view to justify buying the zoom for the extra flexibility. And these diferences are not necessarily all in Zeiss’ favor.

        Picking between them is purely a matter of taste. I like the Zeiss very much – sometimes I have to desaturate the pictures taken with the it – but the 14-24mm is what I take with me on trips due to its flexibility.

  • Sahaja

    Photos taken with Zeiss lenses “look” different than those taken with a Nikon lens. Some people prefer this look.

    These lenses are like finely made mechanical watches – an electronic Seiko may keep time just as well, maybe better, but it is not quite the same thing.

    Although I can’t really afford them, I’m happy Zeiss/Cosina/Voigtlander are still making lenses like this.

  • http://standdevelopment.com onthedot

    I agree that there’s no need to compare the Zeiss to the Nikon. They both come from different design philosophies, both look for something different in the rendering of the scene, just as different as Nikon is to Canon.

  • Gene Clark

    Anyone who thinks the distortion of the Nikkor 14-24mm is negligible should have his eyes and/or her grey matter examined. Even the good old Nikkor 3,5/15mm is way, way better in this respect. And anyone who has something to say about the mechanical quality of the present Zeiss lenses has never handled a Nikkor kit lens. I should think the qualification “pinhead” for some of the folks here is quite friendly, if anything. I’d much rather have a Cosina-built Zeiss pro-lens than any plastic Nikkor.

  • mike negri

    The zeiss primes have a more forgiving focus range for shooting hdslr video. I love my nikon zooms but shooting moving images with them is nearly impossible to do without conatantly racking the focus….leave that job to zeiss….

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