Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZF.2 lens (Nikon mount) announced

The previously rumored Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 ZF.2 lens is now officially announced. Here are the detailed specs:

  • Focal length 15 mm
  • Aperture range f/2.8 -22
  • Number of lens elements/groups 15/12
  • Focusing range: 0.25m – infinity
  • Angular field (diag./horiz./vert.) 110°/ 100°/ 76°
  • Coverage at close range** 340 x 221 mm (close-up)
  • Image ratio at close range 1:9 (close-up)
  • Filter thread M95 x 1.0
  • Length with caps 132 mm
  • Diameter 103 mm
  • Weight 730 g
  • 820 g (ZE)
  • Price: $2,950.00

You can see some Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZF.2 sample images and a review over at ZeissImages.

Press release:

OBERKOCHEN, 16.03.2012. Carl Zeiss brings out a new super wide angle lens in May 2012. The super wide angle Distagon T* 2,8/15 will be available with an EF (ZE) or F bayonet (ZF.2). With an extra-large angle of view of 110 degrees in combination with a fast f/2.8 aperture, the lens enables the features for dramatic perspectives and performance demanded by the most ambitious landscape and architectural photographers. With a unique ability to capture events in a natural and extraordinary manner, it is also an ideal companion for advertising, journalism and commercial photography.

Thanks to the extreme angle of view of the lens, the fore- and background can be creatively emphasized in landscape and architecture photography. These applications will also benefit from the large depth-of-field, which provides a wide range of image sharpness from close-up up to infinity. With a close focus of 0.25m (10”) – combined with a wide angle view – photographers can work in tight spaces, while also allowing focus on close-up details. Distortion is extremely well controlled, producing naturally proportioned photographs which are not typical of many other super wide angle lenses. "With the Distagon T* 2,8/15, Carl Zeiss sets the standard in super wide angle photography," says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Consumer Lenses Program Manager in the Camera Lens Division of Carl Zeiss AG. "Even at full aperture it achieves outstanding detail rendition and opens up room for extremely imaginative design."

The Distagon T* 2,8/15 incorporates two aspheric lenses and special types of glass material with abnormal partial dispersion to provide an extraordinary correction of chromatic aberration. A floating elements design guarantees high image quality from close-focus through infinity. Like the other SLR lenses in the ZE and ZF.2 series, stray light and reflections are well controlled by the Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating and the sophisticated treatment of the lens element edges with special light absorbing paint.

The robust all-metal barrel of the Distagon T* 2,8/15 is designed for decades of reliable service. A long focus rotation and buttery-smooth action is perfect for photographers who want to take control of their picture making, as well as for filmmakers looking for superior focus control. A nine blade aperture provides a nearly circular opening, producing natural looking out of focus details.

The lens shade is integrated into the design and helps to protect the lens surface from uninten- tional damage. The 95mm filter thread accepts all standard filters, including the recently released Carl Zeiss T* UV and POL filters.

The lens will begin shipping in May 2012 at a recommended retail price of €2,148 or US$2,948 (excluding VAT)*.

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  • Ren Kockwell

    Wicked wide. This is the kind of stuff the modern photographer can use Voigtlander for. Who needs AF at 15mm?!

    • Ren Kockwell

      Duh, Zeiss.

    • The lens is made in Japan. All Zeiss ZF lenses are. They are made by Cosina. In the same factory as the Voigtlander lenses that is.

  • lolly

    nice lens … but is it worth the price tag ?

    • matt

      to someone it is.

      ok, that comes off snyde, but i dont mean it that way. i mean if you are doing landscapes, then, sure it is. but if you dont, then it isnt. i probably wouldnt pick it up. But someone will.

      • if you are doing landscapes, then probably you will pickup something better for less moneys.
        but i am sure there will be few guys picking it up just that they can say
        “yea you know, i got this zeiss prime lens on my cinema cam. it is, you know the best you know, like i am a regisseur and stuff, and for some real sh1t, you gotta get zeiss”

        • Harold,

          How do you know what is better when there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of reviews yet? You already know this lens is not as good as others out there?

          • Marco polo

            I m sure it is a superb lens and very enjoyable to use.
            But it looks like you can’t use square filters.

          • Mark

            Harold knows everything that’s why he lives under the Rumors sites to pop out and give us his opinions…like a troll.

          • because if your photos are influenced with what type of lens you have, you are not photographer but gearhead.
            besides, what is to top 14-24?
            this will be just another zeiss fanatics pray toy and rest of the world will rotate further.

            besides… there is enough reviews already

            • So you think that the 14-24 is the best lens that we can ever produce? I own one, and like it a lot, but I’m not a shortsighted fanboy like you.

              Zeiss lenses are high quality, I’m certainly not willing to dismiss it without some testing.

            • p4life

              I do believe you are contradicting yourself Harold with your comment of being a “gearhead” to follow up with “what is to top the 14-24”

              Well I say a lens to top the 14-24mm is one that does not have a HUGE front element w/ litte protection, can use filters without some crazy contraption, has less distortion, less lens flare, better contrast/ color rendition/ sharpness and is smaller/ lighter. So far from the reviews I have read, the Zeiss is all of those things over the Nikon. I am not voting for one over the other and we will have to see it in practice to see if the early reviews are accurate.

              Dont be so close minded. A good lens is a good lens regardless of brand or cost. It also depends a lot on what you are looking for out of your gear. Keep your 14-24 and your negative opinions to yourself and let the rest of us enjoy the possibilities of this lens.

              I have never used a Zeiss lens…I own all Nikon but I think I will get this for my UWA lens if what I have read is accurate about this lens.

          • P4life


        • P4Life

          Speculating much.

    • It depends

      Having rented the Zeiss 21mm a couple of times I bought it since it’s absolutely phenomenal, and the price dropped. I will be looking to rent this 15mm. If it turns out as good as the 21mm, it’ll be worth $3k and I might buy it if the wife consents. My main contentious issue is the fact that the filter thread is 95mm. A lot of my money-making work is with long-exposure stuff that involves ND filters, and I don’t even know if they exist, let alone whether I should spend yet more money on a new lot in a new size.

      I’d rather Nikon update their 14mm. The Zeiss 21mm is better than the 14-24 is at 21mm (unless you want AF), but the 14-24 at 14mm is better than the Nikon 14mm.

      • Josh

        Rubbish. The Zeiss 21mm is not better than the 14-24mm at 21mm. Check out the various neutral review sites. They are both around the same, with some reviewers giving the Nikon the edge. Now if you only read that Zeiss Shill’s reviews (a.k.a Diglloyd), then you can be misled!

        • Anonymous

          I agree with you. From most of the reviews that I read, Nikon 14-24 seems to come ahead of the Zeiss. It is amazing considering a zoom going head to head with a prime.

          • Lio

            The Zeiss contrast (MTF 50) is far better than the Nikon, which is why most people talk about Zeiss 3D rendering. Moreover resolution and contrast is more even across the frame compare to Nikon glass.

            • El Aura

              The contrast ‘MTF50’ is the same for all lenses: 50%

            • Michael

              “Zeiss 3D rendering” – i’m sorry but those people should check their eyes…

        • It depends (again)

          My full-size images from Zeiss’s 21mm and from the 14-24 (I don’t own the zoom – I’ve only rented it a few times, but I have made hundreds of images with it, and they were different samples of the lens) all show the Zeiss to be better on the whole. The 14-24 does slightly better in the corners, but the true resolution of the Zeiss is slightly higher, and that’s why I bought it instead of the 14-24 having rented both on many occasions. I tried both lenses on a D3S and a D7000. If I’m wrong, I’ve had multiple bad samples of the 14-24; my eyes are in superb condition.

          I know some of you come to this site for measurebation sessions, so what you may call “rubbish”, I call taking photos. Renting lenses is how I make make my judgements on them. I don’t risk my livelihood on the writings of paid reviewers. (I believe one must pay to read Diglloyd’s reviews.) Why would I do that when I can put the money towards buying or renting equipment instead?

          • Daniel

            Get your eyes checked then. The 14-24 and the Zeiss 21mm have more or less the same resolution. In no way does the Zeiss beat the 14-24mm. It’s just a manual lens made by Cosina with a Zeiss label slapped on – and then bought by rabid fanbois, that don’t know the ABC of photography, but love to collect gear and show it off to their friends and family, hoping that the label will make them seem like photographers. It’s too funny seeing all these Zeiss Fanbois trying to justify their purchase by making up facts. If you found the 14-24 to be worse than the Zeiss 21mm, then you seriously need to get your head examined.

            • Lio

              Zeiss lens beat all lens for contrast. When you look at the maximum resolution (line per mm at MTF10) the 14-24 can win but this lens contrast (line per mmm at MTF50) is very low. You pay for a Zeiss to have a good MTF10 and MTF50.
              Like “It Depend again” I own the Zeiss 25mm 2.8 and the it beat my Nikkor 28mm 2.8 AI-S, and the 14-24mm for contrast. If you shoot black and white the difference is so amazing on film, that you can tel on the negative with which lens you shoot.

            • yea sure. but of course, no examples available, right?
              i will answer you: there is no direct comparison on the web which would favor zeiss or show any visible difference.
              and even if there would be, anything you think you see, is just one click away from raw processor.

      • MuttonPuncher

        B&H sells plenty of 95mm ND filters B+W, Formatt, Heliopan and Tiffen. B+W start out at $99. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Circular+Sizes_95mm&ci=114&N=4256189595+4294955261

        • Carl

          Please post the link to a square Grad ND filter for this lens. This is supposed to be landscape lens and hence the only filter that is worth its weight, is the Grad ND. Where is it for this lens? And don’t tell me to use a screw on Grad ND filter else you will lose all your credibility.

          • El Aura

            You make it sound as if 50% of all landscape photos are taken with graduated ND filter. Please point me to any gallery of landscape images where this ratio can be observed.

            The effect of a graduated ND filter can often be simulated with a two-exposure HDR image. The effect of a strong plain ND filter can require easily 100 images (ie, doable but a real pain the ass). I thus consider plain ND filters as much more important.

    • Sly Larive

      Two things. One better make money selling photographs full time and two, this better be flawless for it to hold any value to the Samyang / Rokinon. I tried the Samyang and vowed it would be my next lens. Complex distortion, yeah, but 300$ my wallet will distort much less though.

      Not saying people who buy this are stupid. This is certainly, clearly superior and has video appeal. On Nikon, if I had 3k to spend, I’d buy a 14-24 and a photo safari! 😛

    • Luis garcia

      Dears nikon fans

      I am very desapointed about Nikon these days
      I am a nikon fan since 1980, when I started to have
      My first nikon camera FE , I had one before a nikkormat.
      Than I had a FA and a F3, all because of the fantastic quality
      Of the nikkor lens.
      For me Nikon is all about Lens quality, much more than the cameras.

      Now I have a D700 and a D100, and I never get out of the nikon cameras, because
      I had a few very good nikor lens AIS.

      With the AF nikon digital cameras we need Auto Focus lens.

      And that is here that we are having a big problem!
      Two days ago I was trying to buy a AFS 50 1.1.4 G what is suposed to be a professional
      Nikon lens , and I was surprised that it is Made in China !!!
      I will never buy a nikon lens made in china!
      This is a chaime to nikon brand
      The quality of the lens is lost. Lens quality is linked to germany ( zeiss an leica), to france (angenieux) and japan ( nikon, fujinon, olympus and canon)

      So if nikon is doing their lens in china or thailand, is no more a professional option.

      Then why buing nikon cameras?

      Should we try to buy the old nikkor AF lens ” made in japan” ?

      I was thinking to by a D4 or D 800 but with all nikkor lens made in china or thailand
      Is no long a professional option.

      Please tell me what lens nikon have to sell still :Made in Japan

      What other lens you recomend o nikon cameras?

      That is why we need someting like carl zeiss lens, if nikon persist to have their own
      Made in china or thailand

      Luis garcia / portugal

      • Kotozafy

        I always wonder why people think that chineese workers assembling nikon lenses would produce lower quality lenses than japanese workers using the same machines… Would the Ipad have been better is they were made in US ?

        • Luis garcia

          Dear kotozafy

          The culture of the people at japan is completly different of those in china. People in japan workes for perfection, they will kill them selfes if they do something wrong. They are proud of their work and principles and quality of their job and products.
          At china they don t care of these things. They work for money and for quantity. They work hard to have thousands of units donne by day.

          That is the difference.

          I have one nikkor 50 1: 1.4 D made in china ( bought by mistake) and after a month of use the lens is not the same, it shakes for all the screws
          Is a piece of xxxxxxx.
          You know what i mean ?

          • Mock Kenwell

            Wow. I am astounded at the ignorance and racism of this message. Did you know that 50 years ago, MADE IN JAPAN was a sign that a product stunk? Culture means nothing without technology and training. The Germans were always the best lens makers. But the Japanese kept at it and, voila. Very few lenses made in Germany anymore because they are too expensive. Can’t afford the Germans anymore. Now, the same has begun to happen with the Japanese. You need to get over your Chinaphobia. It’s not going to go back.

            • Amen! My 50/1.4G is great! Much better than my D version. And I wouldn’t trade my made in China 50G and D700 for a Canon 50/1.2 and 5dmkanything, regardless of where they’re made.

              Besides racist, it’s ignorant of that fact that it’s good gear. And many components still come from China, even if final assembly happens in Japan so they can put they “right” sticker on it.

              I still find it hilarious that this Vietnamese gentleman refused to by my old N80 because it was made in Thailand. He figured he would hold out for one made in Japan. HAHA! No such thing!

              Labeling stuff made in Japan now has market cred, so it’s used in marketing. Got nothing to do with where it’s made.

              Like when my ex got mad at me for not buying American. I bought a Honda (made in the USA, maybe even assembled by a close friend!) and she bought a Dodge, which happened to be completely made overseas by Mitsubishi. Brand and “made in” have not had anything to do with country of origin for a long, long time.

            • Gustav

              So one is suddenly called a racist because you don’t like stuff made in China?, well then I’m a racist then and I will never get over what you call Chinaphobia. Nikons new made in China lens lineup feels so cheap, very cheap. no support from here, sorry.

        • george bash

          no, worse!

      • Jonas

        Lenses that Nikon still procuces in Japan:
        16/2.8 Fisheye
        Ai-S and AF-D 20/2.8
        Ai-S and AF-D 24/2.8
        AF-S 24/1.4
        Ai-S and AF-D 28/2.8
        AF-D 35/2
        Ai-S and AF-S 35/1.4
        Ai-S 50/1.4
        Ai-S 50/1.2
        AF-S 85/1.4
        AF-D 105/2
        AF-D 135/2
        AF-D 180/2.8
        AF-S 200/2 VR II
        AF-S 300/4
        AF-S 300/2.8 VR II
        AF-S 400/2.8 VR and II
        AF-S 500/4 VR
        AF-S 600/4 VR and II
        AF-G 10.5 Fisheye DX
        AF-S 12-24/4 DX
        AF-S 17-55/2.8 DX
        AF-S 14-24/2.8
        AF-S 16-35/4 VR
        AF-S 17-35/2.8
        AF-D 18-35/3.5-4.5
        AF-D 24-85/2.8-4
        AF-S 24-70/2.8
        Ai-S 35-70/3.5-4.8
        AF-D 80-200/2.8
        AF-S 70-200/2.8 VR II
        AF-D 80-400/4.5-5.6 VR
        AF-S 200-400/4 VR II
        PC-E 24/3.5
        PC-E 45/2.8
        PC-E und PC 85/2.8
        Ai-S 55/2.8
        Ai-S 105/4.5
        Ai-S 105/2.8
        AF-D 200/4

        As you can see most of the latest professional lenses and many AI-S lenses are still built in Japan.

        • Luis garcia

          Dear Jonas

          Thank you by your information
          But I must say that most of the lens you mentioned
          Are not in the actual catalog of nikon lens
          And they are making the substitution of all the D lens for G lens
          What is terrible

          • Jonas

            The AI-S lenses are not in the catalogs of every country. But Nikon Japan lists most of them. (Except 35-70/3.5-4.8)

        • I always wanted to publish a list of Nikon lenses and where they are produced. Where did you get this info?

      • Rockabill

        If you don’t explain yourself I would say that this statement or what it is, is as close to racism as it gets. Rediculous things to stay. Please change to Canon or something else …

        • Ralph

          Ironically, this is what everyone was saying about Japanese manufacturing when they industrialised.

        • Mock Kenwell

          Pot, meet kettle.

          • Daniel

            You do realize that he said it because of what Luis said about the Chinese, right? I guess he wanted to show him how it feels to be put down.

      • Sahaja

        I try to avoid buying anything made in China because of their atrocious human rights record and their repression of Tibet.

        • MadeInChina


          So, you don’t have any cell phone, no TV, no Computer, no power tools, no Cars, no clothes …. Look around you: everything is made in China, or they have parts made in China.

          You are in a global economy. Your ignorance, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy would only hurt yourself, so please stop driving yourself mad.

      • Nelson

        Shouldn’t blame the Chinese, blame Nikon instead!

        Yes, the Chinese built them, but Nikon had the final say with the QC. It’s not that the Chinese are not capable of building quality precision devices (think Apple products, or their recent aerospace achievements), it’s just whether they are required to do so.

    • at least he actually got a “real” lens for review this time

  • Anonymous

    Gosh, they must have used the D800E to make those images of the lens. Look at all the moire’ in the image of the front element… or is it an optical illusion?

    • Jabs

      Zoom in at 100% to see it disappear.

      Jpeg problem, apparently when resized???

  • Anonymous

    Would be nice to see how it goes head to head with the Nikon 14-24/2.8 at 15mm.

    • Recent Convert

      I don’t think I will trade my 14-24mm for this one. The Zeiss can’t be much better in the “resolution department”, and I can control the distortion at 14mm in post processing. For 2/3 of the price of the Zeiss, I get my 15mm (14mm), and an undistorting 24mm as a bonus. And make no mistake: wide open, there is still a benefit to autofocus.

      • FM2Fan

        me too – the 14-24 is very versatile – the zoom range allows much more than a wide-angle prime. Unless someone brings a f:2.0 to the market …

      • Mock Kenwell

        If you have the 14-24, you don’t need this lens.

  • Now, that looks interesting. It is also the sort of lens where lack of AF does not mean much.

  • mikils

    to have a price tag as much as twice the 14-24 2.8 it must have some magic built into it; no faster, no zoom, the filter thread comes a little bit too expensive…

  • Ben

    The 14-24 2.8 is great, so this better do something to be worth 1000$ more and still lack AF and not be any faster.

    • Even if it is optically better, it wouldn’t be by much. And sure not enough to justify losing autofocus, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24mm, *AND* paying an extra grand for that “privilege.”

  • Craig

    Will be a superb video lens on DX format. MSRP is way too much. Ideas about what the street price will be?

  • I’m not sure what it would take to make *any* f/2.8 wide-angle prime a better choice than the 14-24. I always describe the 14-24 as a collection of the finest 14, 15, 16, 18, and 21mm primes available… all in one package.

    Even if Zeiss creates a lens (like this one) that is marginally higher in resolution… It’s still going to lack AF (which is still useful), won’t have distortion profiles, AND be $1000 more than the 14-24! You’d be crazy to buy the Zeiss.

  • Dormant

    I know who’ll buy it – people who bought the set of five Zeiss lenses in a case with cutouts for six: B&H (Canon version, sorry)

  • Dweeb

    Put it on my bucket list. I’ll get by with my 14-24 until then.

    And geeze, you’d think that metal lense cap was the new-found fountain of youth or something.

    • jodjac

      @ Dweeb- And yet they make the mount cap plastic? For $3k they could have gone all the way tossing out all the plastic, all of it.

  • Matt

    I would love to see Nikon update their 14mm f/2.8. I’d even take a 15mm or a 16mm if they added a filter thread. Keep the price between $1500 and $2000 and it would be a strong alternative to the huge and heavy 14-24mm f/2.8.

    • Matt,

      Have you looked at the 16-35mm VR. I just bought one last week. Great lens and can take filters! Handheld 1/4s is very nice at night if you don’t have a tripod around.


  • ukj

    Dear admin

    Any word on the 16-85mm f4?

    • Patrik

      Most likely for DX… Better than the current one, but not comparable to this lens.

    • I have no announcement date, but I believe it will come this year

  • jodjac

    Wow. I’d love to get one of those, but damn, they are expensive. But yeah, I’m one of those guys that sees something in Zeiss lenses. Too bad I can’t afford them. You could buy a D800 with that much money!
    I need some freaking real money!
    I still have my Hasselblad Zeiss lenses. maybe I’ll mount them on my Nikon. Then I’ll be back in Zeiss-land. Loved to use the 80 CFE. It’s an awesome lens. Renders beautifully. Anyone have experience putting hasslblad lenses on Nikons? Just for fun? I saw a tilt shift adapter somewhere for Nikon to Hasselblad, though it looked like it had limited functionality ( set the tilts before mounting the lens?).

    • Ralph

      80CFE is not so good on 35mm. Nor is the 150. I bought the adaptor thinking the same. All the reasonable Nikkors kill it, even the zooms.

      • jodjac

        @ Ralph, Thank you. I had a feeling that would be the case, or it would be more well known. Maybe the adapters are not well built? Or is it a matter of lens resolution? I’ve never seen a lens that renders like that 80 CFE at f5.6 (on film). It has the feel of large format.

  • Anonymous

    Some people love the color rendition of Zeiss glass, while some people do not like those colors. However, the micro contrast offered by Zeiss is top notch and perhaps that give the images the “Zeiss Look” or that almost 3-D feel. However, for this wide of a lens, I am not sure if that Zeiss look will be that noticeable.

    • FanBoy

      Micro-contrast and colors can be easily and quickly photoshopped if you use luminosity masks.

  • Bob from Ohio

    If they were to lower the price until it were the same price as the Nikon 14-24mm, I’d still buy the Nikon.

    Not only is it a FABULOUS lens, but people just don’t seem to understand (that includes a lot of pros) that outside of lighting, framing, perspective and composing is everything in photography. And I don’t care what prime guys say, zooms just allow you to compose and frame better than primes. No matter how much you walk around, a 15mm lens will never become a 17.638mm.

    • AXV


    • FanBoy

      Shhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t let the truth come out.

    • Mark

      Oh wow you really nailed it, my photography has always been limited by my inability to get to 17.5mm from 17mm. It’s a whole new word now!

  • asdf

    wish i could afford some overpriced Cosina lenses… ah well… maybe next time.

  • Regisseur

    This is another video lens….that awesome focus ring and old-style metal focus helicals let you do really smooth follow focus.

  • Jadewatcher

    I have both the 14-24 and the zeiss 21 2.8 and i have to say i am about to sell the zoom, even if reluctantly: as a landscaper, i can appreciate the cleaniness, lower distortion and versatility of the 14-24, but it’s too heavy, bulky and i find myself at odds using the lee sw 150 filter system on it: it’s like operating a tank, and filters custom made for it are the size of an handkerchief. It’s a superb wide angle lens, terrific for a repoorter, but has got too many inherent shortcomings about landscape photography. The 14-24 has advantages and disadvantages compared to it, the zeiss is not “absolutely” better or worse. But it is worth noting that it is a sharp lens indeed, capable of taking normal filters and filter systems, and it has got the “plus” of a more 3d look. In the end, it depends on the task you need it for, in my opinion 😉

  • Some guy

    So, I realize this might be an apples vs oranges question but I am curious to hear the answer just because I am Zeiss illiterate….

    I am an APS-C shooter and use the D7000.

    Question: In what practical case(s) would this Zeiss Distagon lens be preferable to use as apposed to the Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX AF 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens For Nikon?

    • Ralph

      Spending $3K on a 15mm FF lens to mount on a DX Camera is a waste of money. The moeny spent engineering the Zeiss is much about corner sharpness and distortion control. On the DX its effectively a 22mm lens.

      For the same money you’d get a great 20 or 24mm lens plus a D700.

  • I don’t see this lens doing so well, mostly because of its pricetag. For Nikon users the 14-24 is the ultimate choice for ultra wide angle. For Canon users, I don’t see this lens beating the newer Canon 14mm in performance, not to mention its 1k cheaper and has AF. Hmmm? Who exactly does this lens appeal to? Maybe Sony users?

  • Carl Perkins

    Zeiss? What a lie. These lenses are made by COSINA, NOT Zeiss! Hah!

    • Sahaja

      I think they are at least designed by Zeiss – and Cosina seem to be as good as anyone at lens manufacturing

    • Lio

      Most of the glass is made in Germany, the assembly made in Japan, the price is 50% less than if the lens was fully made in Germany.

  • AXV

    When you are hanging off a cliff with one hand and using your camera with the other you need autofocus, period.

    • EnPassant

      NO! Ever heard about zone-focus? With a 15 mm lens it is possible to get everything from two feet to infinity sharp at f 8-11.

      And seriously, how many photographers are hanging in one hand when taking photos? I doubt even climbers do that when they use the camera.

  • trialcritic

    The reason Zeiss cannot make autofocus is due to Nikon not collaborating with them. Nikon wants to sell their own lenses and it requires some electronics to have AF. Zeiss lenses are made in Japan BTW.

  • Sahaja

    You think this is expensive – wait till you see how much they will charge for the Cine Prime version.

  • MB

    People thinking that this lens is expensive should look at this one:

    • jodjac

      It’s gotten 25 bids! Wow! $10K and counting.

  • GrumpyDiver

    I find it rather amusing as people discuss a lens that no one has seen or tested, By the way I do own the the Nikon f/2.8 14mm – 24mm lens, so I do understand it’s abilities and limitations.

    In theory, a well designed and manufactured f/2.8 15mm lens should outperform the zoom, as the lens designer only has to optimize to a single focal length, rather than a range of focal lengths. The Nikon uses 14 elements in 11 groups and the Zeiss has 15 elements in 12 groups, so both use a fairly complex design with lots of glass. The Zeiss weighs in at 820g while the Nikon weights a full kg, so both are heavy products. A lot of the weight difference can be explained away by the additional mechanical elements required in a zoom lens.

    It doesn’t matter who makes the lens; Zeiss in house or subcontracted out to Cosina, so long as it is built to spec. All the talk of the Japanese cost advantage is a bit of a red herring too. Look at the exchange rate of the Yen versus the Euro. At the time that Zeiss partnered with Cosina, that might have been true, but I’m really not sure if that can still be said today. What we do know is Zeiss is not tooled up to mass produce small lenses any more and has outsourced that work. The cost to get back into the small lens manufacturing business would require a pretty significant capital investment, and based on the relatively small number of lenses made, the present business arangement seems to make sense.

    The talk of the “cheap” Chinese made lenses is also a bit of non-starter. Yes they are designed to be cheaply made as Nikon is trying to hit a price point (and profit margin) on these consumer lenses. I expect that photographers would not be willing to pay the premimum prices on pro gear that is made in China, versus ones labelled “Made in Japan”, even though these lenses (and cameras) almost certainly contain components made at Chinese and Thai facilities. Leica ran into a similar issue in the past with it’s Canadian made lenses as the German made lenses were viewed as being of superior quality.

    And no, this is not a video lens, it’s a full frame lens, with clicks for f-stops and the rather “loose” distance markings used on a still lens. The image circle is far larger than most pro cameras use (other than some of the Red Mysterium Monstro sensors).

    • Mark


      Wow somebody with a thoughtful comment.

  • Dig

    For information purposes:

    Lee Filters sells a SW150 filter kit which fits the AF-S NIKKOR
    14-24mm f/2.8G ED
    It uses rectangular 150mm x 170mm filters.

    A corresponding version for the Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 is a possibility.

  • Dig

    For information purposes:

    Subcontracted out to Cosina is part of the production proces of Nikon, also.
    The Nikon FM10 as an example.

    Nikon Rumors has an article: “Nikon moves body mount production to Notion VTEC”
    Notion VTec Berhad is located in the federal constitutional monarchy ‘Malaysia’.
    Also, Sigma and Minolta are known to have produced lenses branded als Leitz-lenses.

    Further, there is the information available that Cosina owns a glass manufacture plant which, it is presumed, produces some glass types for their own production/use.

    As there is little to no information published about the glass types that are manufactured, so outside the company, it remains a mystery as to the the characteristics and qualities of this glass and if it is used.

    Also it is neither possible, other than conjecture and bias, to determine accurately, if this using glass from their own glass manufacture is advantageous; nor is it possible to determine if this is disadvantageous, nor does this limit Cosina from acquiring glass from world glass producing companies.

    Personally enjoying my Nikon, Cosina Zeiss & Voigtländer, will do splendidly.

  • bert

    What lens did Nikon use for the test shot of the D800 (the library image). The exif just says 15mm. I want THAT lens, nothing else. Is it the old 15mm AIs or perhaps this one? You don’t put a 14-24 zoom at 15.

    • Daniel

      “You don’t put a 14-24 zoom at 15.”

      Really Mr. Berty Bert? So one buys a zoom and then does not use the intermediate ranges? The 14-24 is to be only used at 14mm or 24mm? Never mind that the photographer probably zoomed into 15mm for composition purposes. But you are of course right. And everyone else is wrong. Now turn 180 degrees and walk 50 feet to your home under that bridge!

    • Scott M

      That was the 14-24mm lens used for THE library shot, by Benjamin Mons. He took another with the Nikkor 14mm. Check the free download of D800 brochure@ http://www.nikonusa.com
      That library shot made me want to buy the camera. And I did.

      • Scott M

        Sorry, misspelled his name. Correct name is
        Benjamin Anthony Monn. (Great shot)

  • reuze doder

    Simply because it is 2,5 times more expensive..
    Zeiss has to make their lenses better en better to stay ahead of Nikon. So that costs.
    Their older lenses are already less good than the newer nikkors ( 1,4 85mm; 25mm d2,8…etc)
    Also there is a market for very good but expensive lenses since the medium format photographers will turn to a d800 and future models

    • trolololol

      An actual helpful comment from Grumpy but not so much from reuze….
      The 14-24 is obvious an amazing lens, especially for a wide angle zoom. I would suspect from the early reviews of the Zeiss it will be just as good with pros and cons for both.

      I’d prefer the Zeiss over the Nikon just because that front element on the Nikon makes me so nervous although the price range is significant difference. I really want an ultra wide angle for NikonF but the 14-24 scares me and the rest just arent up to par from what I have read. This seems to be the first to have a fighting chance against the 14-24. I just dont know if I can justify the price.

    • NRA Advocate

      The Nikkor 14-24 is the finest wide angle zoom on the planet. Period. This piece of Cosina crap can’t touch it.

  • M

    @nraadvocate:disqus I’ve tried both, and I assure you the Zeiss is superior in several aspects:

    – less distortion at 15mm
    – less CAs at any f stop
    – much higher resolution
    – weighs less
    – oh yes, you can screw in a protective filter, which the 14-24 can’t, unless you want to look like a dork running around with a square filter holder

    Before you make sweeping statements, make sure you know what you’re talking about. And don’t just take my word for it, read and compare both lenses on the net and see for yourself. The only ‘fault’ of the Zeiss is manual focus, but I don’t see much of a problem as everything is in focus at 15mm… just stop it down!

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