Carl Zeiss presents the Distagon T* 2,8/25 ZF.2 for F bayonet mount

Update: B&H now has the lens in stock.

This new lens has electronic contact and "you no longer have to manually set the data for focal length and speed in the cameras menu because the lens passes on these parameters to the camera. In addition to standard data such as lens manufacturer, date and metering mode, lens data such as the correct aperture value is also automatically saved."

Full press release after the break:

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 08.06.2010.
Wide-angle lenses capture a large depth of field:
A dragonfly that lands on a water lily while you can clearly make out the numerous blossoms behind its shimmering body; rocks, moss and cracks which create designs and formations extending to the horizon.

The Distagon T* 2,8/25 lens from Carl Zeiss can create such unusual perspectives—in more than just nature photography. Now this popular and time-tested wide-angle lens is also available in a ZF.2 version for single-lens digital reflex cameras with F bayonet. With its very small focal distance, this newcomer to the ZF.2 lens series offers all the creative possibilities of manual focusing in photography. The ZF.2 has an electronic interface (CPU) that supports all exposure modes of the camera like shutter priority, aperture priority and program mode, as well as manual mode (even with camera bodies without AI-coupling lever).

The Distagon T* 2,8/25 ZF.2 is therefore ideal for photo enthusiasts who value creative, high-quality images alongside the comfort of automatic exposure control. You no longer have to manually set the data for focal length and speed in the cameras menu because the lens passes on these parameters to the camera. In addition to standard data such as lens manufacturer, date and metering mode, lens data such as the correct aperture value is also automatically saved. Thus, the ZF.2 lens is easy to use, even under tough situations. Martin Klottig, Marketing Manager for the Camera Lens Division of Carl Zeiss AG explains: “Often, you’ll find that you’re pressed for time to capture that perfect shot, for example when photographing animals. The Distagon T* 2,8/25 ZF.2 enables the photographer to hold on to just the right moment and take unique shots with confidence each time.”

The new Distagon T* 2,8/25 ZF.2 is available at a retail price of 755,46 € (excluding VAT). The ZF.2 lenses come in eight additional focal lengths, 3,5/18, 2,8/21, 2/28, 2/35, 1,4/50, 1,4/85, and the two macros 2/50 and 2/100. For more information, visit


This entry was posted in Nikon Lenses and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Anonymous

    I tought they where redesigning that lens instead of just adding contacts

    • CZ and their overpriced, often “not really there” dragged kicking and screaming into 21st century 🙂

      • Anonymous

        20th, actually, plus, who shoots animals at 25mm???

        • PHB

          True, in such close quarters – 25mm is an inch – a knife is probably going to be more useful, certainly you couldn’t use a shotgun.

  • Anonymous

    Nikon must be more generous than in the past to let CZ to do that.
    I hope Nikon would let CZ to have an AF lens with AF drive contact after Nikon replacing all their AFD to AFS :D, in the next 15 years, maybe.

    • It seems like Nikon is more concerned about camera bodies lately, than lenses. Afterall, it is the body that will get replaced every few years.

      • JP

        Agreed, lenses you hold on to for a long time and really how much improvement can be made on their optics. They just need to get a few more fast primes out their in the wild.

    • Huh? What’s chipping this got to do with Nikon? Look at Sigma, Tamron. Tokina…do they license Nikon chips? Obviously not, that’s why some have historically had issues. They’re backwards engineered. They licensed a knockoff chip or backward engineered their own. NBD. Nothing to do with the kindness of Nikon.

  • ed

    No mention about the purported redesign on this one. The original had dramatic field curvature, vignetting and color fringing. Worse even than the ZF28…

    • PHB

      So its manual focus, expensive and poor optics. Why buy this at all?

  • Paul

    That Zeiss lens got a nasty review over at photozone when tested on a 5D mkII. Terrible vignetting and lousy resolution. For that much money Nikon’s offering seem far better.

    • Tony

      That pz review got a thrashing in the forums…their lab results reflected nothing of its field use. The field curvature of the 28 is regarded as desirable, even more surprising pz rated the zf28 as a better lens than the zf35 …????

      Lousy resolution, is someone kidding..

      • Paul

        Yeah, pretty lousy actually. Hope you don’t need the outer third of your frame (FX) to resolve detail because it stinks.

        Oh, and the field curvature being desirable? To each their own, I guess, but I’d like a more corrected/flatter field for that kind of money ($900.00). I’d rather use the 14-24 (more money though) at 24 and get better results all around, plus more flexibility of the zoom. The field is flatter even on the newer 16-35 f/4 at 25mm.

        The whole German glass thing is overrated nowadays.

  • Anonymous

    Very strange no mention of redesign, ZF 35 , 100 and 50 f2 are stellar performers, much much better than nikons , but the 25 needs a redesign to be value/quality competitive

  • Ken Rockwell

    I’m very pleased with my ai-s 28mm f2.8

    • Andrew

      Will that work on a D40?

      • Johan Krüger-Haglert

        It was my understanding AI-S got a builtin motor and as such will work, and that AI-lenses didn’t (or maybe -S specify the motor, but would still work.)

        • Manne

          Don’t confuse AiS and AF-S.

        • Mistral75

          Ai-S lenses have an external focus motor: your hand; there are manual focus lenses 🙂

      • Andi


  • FakeKenRockwell

    why would anyone buy a CZ manual focus lens when an Nikkor ai-s will probably do as well?

    • Andi

      Because it won’t work properly on most aktual Nikons

      • Maeka

        For the price of this lens you can buy a Nikon AI-S lens AND a real body.

        • Maeka

          Just realized the D90 can’t meter AI-S lenses.


          For the price of this lens you can buy the AI-S equivalent AND a real body, IF you sell you current body. 😉

    • SZRimaging

      Because CZ lenses have one advantage that is clear over 90% of nikkors, video.

      When focusing a lens, it “breathes”, which means that it actually, very slightly, changes the length of the lens. Most CZ lenses either don’t breath, or do it very minimally.

      After that, the build quality on them and the Voigtlanders just feel better.

  • Ghyz

    I do hope that AF-d won’t ever be replaced by AF-s. I do shoot with a dslr but I still like to have photos with fm2n/ f3HP/ FA. 2 differents styles but I would’nt like to be forced to switch to the first one just because Nikon doesn’t care about his early followers…

    Ways of practising photography are manifold, I would like Nikon to keep in mind that some of his customers are interested in both techniques and that they do not want to throw away their old cameras just because they do not have new lenses to mount on.

    • santela

      same here, thats why i wanna lay my hands on a 28/1.4, but with that price tag i’ll probably never own one…

    • Manne


      personally, I find it not nice, but acceptable, that the ‘G’ lenses won’t work with most bodies from the 80s. The F4 still works swell with them, as you can easily work around A and M modes.

      Really nasty at that point is the otherwise wonderful FM3a of 2001. At that time, the first ‘G’ lenses have been under development, and Nikon should have added an aperture dial to the camera. As much as I like this camera, today I’m glad that I didn’t buy one.

      I would love to see a digital camera body from Nikon with the build style and feature set of the FM3a, but capable of taking all the latest lenses.

      Best regards from Berlin, Germany,

  • Richard

    I feel the need to stick up for the ZF 25mm. I have more than a few ZF lenses and the 25mm is a total joy to use.

    CA is common on all of the ZFs and a good Nikon body (D300 and up) makes this a total non issue as it gets rid of it all automatically. The field curvature is there if you go looking but I would never describe it as dramatic.
    The internet is such a fantastic thing but sometimes, as is the case with this lens, something stunning gets a bad name for itself from people who’ve read too much and never used it. It’s odd but most people who actually own the lens have nothing but good things to say about it. Canon users have no auto CA removal and have had a stunning 24mm Canon lens for years so I would think it makes a ot less sense for them.

    The inevitable comparisons with the Nikon f1.4 24mm are fruitless. The products are entirely different and have entirely different price points. I consider the ZF 25mm to be a wide angle macro lens of sorts and that’s mostly how I use it. The 21mm is a far better landscape lens.
    It’s also slower than all the other ZF lenses but focusses much closer and produces images that are truly unique. As you can tell, I love mine.
    It’s not as perfect as the ZF 35mm or the ZF 100mm or even the Nikon 60mm AF-S but it’s still incredible.

    • Ted

      CA removal is only for jpgs, and you could say is the same as doing it in pp

      • Anonymous

        And NEFs in Capture.

        • Or ACR. Which is even better at it in 6.x versions.

    • Anonymous

      I actually own the ZF version of the 25mm, and yes, it is a complete joy to use. In fact, it’s one of my best lenses, with incredible sharpness even at f/2.8.

  • shivas

    i don’t get it. . .it’s MF. . .why not update with an AF-D chip to expand user base?

    Regardless, I agree with the above poster, I’ve heard nothing but WOAH reviews. . .I’ll wait to rent this sucker. . .I think on a FF, it’ll be awesome!

    But one has to question, for an additional $1k, you can get a Nikon 24 1.4 lens that AF-S on EVERYTHING, is faster, and arguably *just* as sharp?

    • It has the D info on a chip. As for the AF part, that isn’t on the chip that’s in the lens design.

      You can’t simply add a motor to an MF lens and have it AF. The lens needs to be redesigned so that the focusing part is on something that can be easily pushed with a tiny motor. That’s a reason MF Leicas almost always test better than AF Nikkors (the other reason is the lens costs 3x more).

      • PHB

        The reason Leicas perform so much better is actually because they stuck with the rangefinder design. The SLR design means the lens designer has to work round the constraints of the mirror box.

        That is why Leica has suddenly has a renaissance in the digital age and why EVIL is interesting.

        Nikon didn’t make those ultra wides and fisheyes in the 70s to make money, they made them to show that they could produce lenses as good or better than the ones Leica made. Once Leica was relegated to niche status they mostly stopped making them.

  • Jane

    What’s the probability of this Zeiss fact? 🙂

  • loser

    they alredy make f/2. why make an f/2.8?

  • ashley dudd

    carl zeiss need to realize the manual focus is not compeling any longer in digital ages. They should put a tiny electric motors inside of the lenses instead praying for selling a lens because even doggy knows autofocus is better than manual focus. Offering manual focus lenses is insulting against the doggy.

    • ashley dudd

      plus nikon roumors must not post manual focus only lens in its blog unless it’s name change to

    • ChriSin

      Wow, you sound like a professional. Ever heard of manual focus screens? I prefer MF for almost everything but fast moving objects. Sounds like someone just cant handle MF (or doesnt have the speed or skill)

      • Greenwood_Geoff

        still driving that stick shift car ?

        • Jim

          I still drive a stick and I have 2 CZ manual focus lenses and that is precisely why I bought them. They are the macros (50 and 100) – I never saw the logic of putting autofocus in macro lenses. To do real macro work you need to use a tripod and take your time an do it right. AF in that situation is for ps users. I can see the need for AF in other situations but again on a wide angle MF might have some advantages. On AF lenses the distance the focusing ring moves from infinity to the closes focusing distance is so small as to make hyperfocal focusing well nigh impossible.

          • I still drive stick, but I wouldn’t waste my money on these lenses. Really. I take pictures. Moving things need AF. Things that don’t move, you can take the time and stop down for. By the time you stop down most lenses are the same. If I want to screw around with MF, I’ve got my 28mmPC, which is worth MF, since it’s a PC lens, which is a trick AF lenses can’t do. These Zeiss lenses are the worst of all worlds: no chip, no AF, no PC, no compatibility with most modern bodies.

            If anybody in the Portland, OR area has one, I’d love to do a side by side with some of my glass.

      • ashley dudd

        hey, bro!
        I was saying autofocus is much convinient than manual focus. Why should people pay more money for low tech beside you? You can go ahead do so. I wouldn’t suprise.

        • Tony

          ….”Carl Zeiss need to realize”

          Hahahaha ha….you sound like just the guy to tell them.

          Dude, stay away from the Manual Focus Zeiss, go buy a sony if you want your precious AF.

          • PHB

            You know, when CD came out there were an impressive number of purported audiophiles who claimed that a $3000 CD player was sooo much better than the normal sort. I had a friend who worked for one of the companies who made them. All they did was to take apart a Philips, reassemble it in a different case with a different motor and that was it.

            There are also jerks who blather on about how important it is to have $300 cables and even some people who pay $350 for audio grade electrical sockets. All pure bullshit whose only purpose is to allow a bunch of rubes to think that they are cleverer than people who don’t use ’em.

            Here we have a lens for people who think that paying a lot of money for an inferior feature set must mean it is a better quality lens and a bunch of reviews who say the lens is not very good. Well its a way to feel smug I guess.

        • Mel

          This CZ lenses are designed specifically for manual focus and does an outstanding job at that. It’s damped and has a full 360 degree focus ring. I find the manual focusing both more accurate and consistent than any Nikon lens manufactured. If it had AF it would most likely be way too slow for practical use due to its construction. Manual focus has its strenghs, especially for closeup work. If you don’t need it, then stay away. Just don’t tell other people they need to stop making lenses specifically for manual focus.

          • Tony

            Audio cables …lets make it simpler for you. You can buy supermaket cake with fake cream. You’ve been eating them every birthday. They taste like crap but you never noticed.

      • Ted

        you’re right, but it also shouldn’t be too much to ask to add AF as an option. but this seems a niche product so maybe MF is appropriate here.

      • Split image and microprism collars are awesome…if your subject is in the middle of the finder.

        Also, AF sensors are more sensitive than any pair of eyes. My night vision is excellent. I tried a katz eye screen on my D2x. Besides other issues, I could not see the split image in light as low as the AF could focus. My d300 and d700 are even better in low light than my D2x was. MF really is obsolete, and has been for years. It’s fun to use old MF lenses, but there’s no advantage to a professional. Except when you want people to think you’re using antiquated gear to disarm apprehension. Even then, you can still just fake it.

  • On the old lens:—-high-performance-for-nikon-and-canon/

    Seems like a pretty good review. But in the press release that introduced ZF.2, Zeiss stated they were redesigning it, and to that extent, people are going to be disappointed.

    • I sent an e-mail to Nicole Balle at Zeiss in Germany, who has been straight with me before, and I asked her to elaborate on this lens release, if there was an internal redesign of the lens (like Zeiss said there would be) or is this lens the same design as before with contacts added.
      I will follow up once she responds.

      • I got info from Popflash Photo that Zeiss did not redesign the 25mm f2.8, they just added the contacts. Same lens design.

  • shutterdancer

    A dragonfly that lands on a water lily while you can clearly make out the numerous blossoms behind its shimmering body; rocks, moss and cracks which create designs and formations extending to the horizon.

    LOL, I believe that I will stick with my macro lens for those types of shots!

    • Richard

      That’s the exact point of this lens. It works like a wide angle macro lens.

  • zzddrr

    This is not a rumor. It is a press release. No Nikon rumors? This means no new stuff from Nikon. darn it

    • zzddrr

      NR Admin, can you please review the nice tone of Wandy Rodriguez before I send him back to …. for his polite style. I think Wandy Rodriguez just nicely showed intelligence.

  • I own a Nikkor 10-24mm DX on my D300, which covers a range from ultra wide to moderate wide, and when the D900 is launched, it will hopefully cover FX frame between 15-24mm (as Ken Rockwell tested). I have no real idea about the corner sharpness or falloff; but for DX now, this lens is more than anyone needs for wide angle solution.

    For example D300 + 10-24 @ 12mm must be roughly equivalent of D700 + 14-24 @ 18mm in terms of image quality when both are set at f/5.6 & ISO 200. For almost the same results, it’s much compact & affordable, plus it can take a 77mm filter. For landscape shooters, FX will only become worth switching when it’s +20mp.

    If the D900 comes with a 24-105mm f/4 VR, not this 25mm Zeiss, but their 18mm, or the tiny Voigtlander 21mm would be a good alternative.

    • I had the excellent 11-16mm Tokina, and even though ken says it covers FX, I found it did not cover FX even at 16mm. Try before you buy!

    • ashley dudd

      10-24 is not creating equal image that 14-24 does. people can dream about it especially 10-24 owners but that is not happening between these two lenses.

      • Anonymous

        It does almost, especially when stopped down. I’ve used both. Can you prove the opposite? 14-24 owners just want to justify their expensive purchase, while the similar can be achieved with systems cost about a quarter (D90 cw Nikon 10-24mm or , D300s cw Tokina 11-16mm, D5000 cw Sigma 10-20mm, etc.)

        • Uh, I’ve used the 10-20/4-5.6, 10-24 and 12-24/4 Nikon, 11-16/2.8 Tokina with a D2x, D300, and D90 and no, none of them hold a candle to the 14-24 on FX at 12 or 24mp. The 14-24 is reaaally good wide open and even better stopped down. It has the least CA of any of them and the corners are unsurpassed. It is one of the few lenses where the actual article lives up to the hype. At 5.6 it will outresolve any of the other lenses at any aperture.

          Out of the crop sensor ones, the 11-16 is the best performer, but it does suffer rather rough CA. Cleans up nice in ACR though. But you’re always losing a little something to that CA.

          Really, there’s nothing to knock on the 14-24, except that it’s unattainable by most. Well, most amateurs. It’s on my wish list, but it’s not really necessary for my paid work.

      • For full professional photographers who earn the price of that lens in a day, yes the difference between getting a handheld corner-to-corner crisp photo in a dimly lit hall at ISO 3200 or a trash one may depend on a D3s + 14-24mm f/2.8 when compared to D300 + 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 at the same condition. It may be vital for that specific business, but not a priority for landscapes. Shoot at ISO 200 & f/8 for e.g 1/2 sec. on a tripod, then the advantage between the two will be minor. While ability to take a protective filter, size & weight & price issues are more important in this branch. Landsape photographers may hike long distance in harsh enviranment earning only a tiny fraction of a true commercial photographer.

        • I haven’t seen a sample of the 10-24 Nikon that wasn’t rubbish.

  • The invisible child

    Nowadays, zeiss lenses are produced in Japan. They can’t produce the same effect that a true German lense does such as the leica and the old zeiss lenses.

    • Jade Watcher

      I could partly agree with you, but the makro planar 100 zf.2 is definitely not in the same league of its companion lenses and is made in japan anyway..its quality is nothing short than that of true german lenses, i can assure you!

    • Tony

      Dude have you ever seen a modern manufacturing cell. They dont use sewing machine to make the shutters anymore. Old Dorris dies a long time ago.

      The high precision CNC gear is made in Japan ..even the Germans buy it.

  • Anonymous

    NR Admin, can you post some rumors? I cannot believe that nothing is leaked or whispered to you. If so then come out and tell us that Nikon suck and no rumor is in the pipeline. Thanks.

    • I am trying to post meaningful rumors, at that point I do not have anything reliable that is worth posting.

      • zzddrr

        Are you serious? You do not have any rumors? I mean, this means that anything new from Nikon is about 2 months away.

  • D700 (feels like F3)

    why bother? the ZF 2 lens are for a niche market … if you are customer/prospect in that market, you’ll test and probably buy it. If not, please don’t comment on it …

    For those, who talk about lens only: ZF lenses last for a long time … probably several generations of photographers.

    • Anonymous

      That was not my point. This ZF lens announcement has nothing to do with rumors. It is an announcement. This site should have a section for News and a section for Rumors. BTW, the site name even says that “Nikon Rumors” and I cannot read this as “Zeiss Announcements”.

      About the Zeiss lens, indeed it is a fine piece of equipment and NR Admin should report about it but I think that there should be a news section for these.

      • Discontinued

        Hi Anonymous,

        here comes something for you: a chinese web-shop that has D400 and 800 already listed, including pictures and specs, no pre-orders or prices. Probably just done to draw attention to the shop, but since you want this,
        here you are:

      • I have promised that already – I will start a new blog section on NR that will cover stuff like that. What I am waiting for is the new version of WordPress that will support multiple blogs with one installation. It should be out in the next 1-2 months.

        • Anonymous

          That’s fine, but can you post rumors? Nothing new?

        • Anonymous

          NR Admin, seriously you do not have any rumors? I mean, that’s why we come here.

  • RealFakeKenRockwell

    No thanks, I’ll keep using my Leica body/glass.

  • Anonymous

    NR Admin, you should have chosen sonyrumors as your site 🙂 at least that company has new products and it seems they are trying but this goddamn Nikon is taking its sweet time for sure.

  • Iceman

    It’s like when the kids are too quiet….that’s when you start to worry but I am so impatient

    • Anonymous

      Iceman, that was a good one and it is so true. BTW, you are not alone since many of us is impatient. Actually, I am getting mad at Nikon.

  • New exciting rumors please, especially about the specs & release date of D700x / D800 / D900…

  • Nice article, i am excited to get one this month

  • I feel the price is little expensive

  • Back to top