Two new lenses with Nikon F mount: Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 and Samyang T-S 24mm 1:3.5 ED AS UMC

Two new lenses with Nikon F mount got announced today:

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  • lorenzo

    From what I hear and see Zeiss makes great lenses and they are not plastic like Nikon, but why are they all Manual Focus? I could deal with it, just seems a step backward in time.

    • jsb

      Because Zeiss have to be licensed by Nikon to use the AF tech in their lenses, which means additional cost. Sigma and Tokina reverse-engineer Nikon AF.

    • Dave

      The plastic elements are only being used on the low end lenses.

      • St.

        Do you think 24mm 1.4G is a low-end lens????

        • It’s a misconception that the high-end lenses are “plastic.” The entire structural build is metal and glass. They have a composite shell which is, yes, a form of plastic. I’m not sure why they get a bad rap. Plastic is used in many high-end applications. It is less sensitive to temperature and humidity itself, as well as offering a form of insulation for the internals. It also absorbs impact whereas metal does not.

          The “plastic” on high-end Nikkors is a benefit and is definitely professional in nature.

          • Couldn’t agree more.
            But still plastic. Not a form of. Valid technical terms in this case are composite or re-inforced polymere…
            In dayly life refered to as plastic, as the oposite of metal.

            • Oh, I agree they have a plastic casing. I can see how the way I worded it made it sound like I was insisting they didn’t have plastic.

              I was really saying it’s not fair to call them plastic lenses as they are metal/glass architecture with a plastic casing, and also not fair to criticize plastic as being a bad choice.

        • lorenzo

          That is in my to-buy list, $2,000 and is that plastic too? Is it Made in Japan or China?

          Perhaps Dave by low-end thinks of those that are not G and have the fstop scale?

        • FX DX

          Dont forget the weight. I want a lens, not a dumbbell. It’s ridiculous how heavy some of these lenses and cameras are. I will take a light eight plastic lens over heavy metal lens any day.

      • lorenzo

        Beside Sigma and Tokina, don’t forget there are lot of Tamron for Nikon – once I bought one and returned it almost immediately ๐Ÿ™

        I have only one Sigma 50-500 (metal and very heavy!), at least 6 or 7 Nikon Pro/Prime lenses (the ones with with the gold ring) and they still look plastic to me, not mentioning the cheap ones that are definitvely pure plastic (i.e. 50mm f/1.8 or 1.4). Nikon said they make them so because they are lighter and more resistant to scratches.

        Maybe, but I liked better the Nikon old ones, heavier and in metal ๐Ÿ™‚

        One day I might try a Zeiss, I like them, to see if the glass worths the difference in price.

    • Almost certainly has little to do with AF electronics. Zeiss’s philosophy is to preserve the optics at all costs, even if that means nixing AF. On their website they go into more detail about ‘why MF’

      That being said, I’ve mostly been shooting with Nikon’s 24-70 2.8 (N) and I can’t imagine wanting anything sharper. And it autofocuses like a mofo.

      • Chris

        How about the Zeiss lenses for te Sony Alpha mount? They have AF

        • noenken

          That’s not Zeiss, that is Zeiss-labeled.

          • Mistral75

            And those for Contax N?

          • Sahaja

            These are just as much “Zeiss-labeled” as the ZA lenses since they are made by Cosina.

            If this lens is anywhere near as good as the auto focus f/1.8 135mm ZA lens it will be a stunning lens.

      • Don’t forget that Zeiss lens are builded for lanscape photografy, where you have time to focus and you need the most sharper and clean image possible.

        • Sahaja

          A 135mm f./2 is not exactly a “landscape” lens.

          With a decent screen. and some practice, manual focus can be fast and accurate – though it is not good for tracking. Unfortunately the standard screens in most modern DSLR’s are terrible for manual focus.

    • I was told that Sony owns a large share in Zeiss so they only make AF glass for Sony SLRs.

      I have no idea actually true though.

      • Adam Maas

        Sony owns a portion of Tamron (11% IIRC), but they only have a licensing deal with Sony.

        There’s two factors here. First is the Sony deal and the second is the fact that Cosina, which produces all ZF and ZE lenses under Zeiss supervision, is not setup to manufacture high-end AF lenses.

        The real wildcard is the upcoming AF Mirrorless lens lineup which is coming next year, who knows who will be manufacturing them (Note Zeiss does not have the capacity to manufacture large amounts of lenses themselves, so they contract manufacture and do QC onsite with their own employees. All ZA lenses made by Sony or ZF/ZE/ZM lenses made by Cosina are QC’d by Zeiss employees using Zeiss equipment).

    • Plastic is great! It’s much lighter than metal. Now if they replace glass optics with plastic, hmm, then you might hear me complain ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Sahaja

        Some lenses already have some “plastic” optical elements.

    • ninpou_kobanashi

      Think Glock.

      • lovenotwar

        Dildos too

        • dpnsan

          Brings new meaning to the name ‘Lensbaby’

  • Never the First :(

    I can never be the first

    • lovenotwar

      In my books.. You are always first ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dung Le

    Not gonna be better than my beloved Nikkor 135 f2 DC!

    • Well, unlike the 135DC, it’s available.

      The 135 DC is also a 1990-era lens, with the electronics refreshed in 1995. It’s due for a refresh. I’d imagine the toolset is starting to get creaky.

      • Dung Le

        Nope, mine is non D version (dated before 1994) and it works like a charm in every aspect. And yet, it costs me only $800.

  • Barrosinc

    Anything about prices??

    • Roger

      $2000 for Zeiss.

  • Shawn

    Will be interested to see how Zeiss runs against the Nikkor 135 f/2 DC, which is my favourite lens.

    Anybody actually seen the Zeiss 15mm yet?

    • Everything comes next to my canon 135 f 2 L lens.

      • David

        Except the Sony-Zeiss 135/1.8 which is faster and better than the L ๐Ÿ˜›

  • El_Jake

    I’m very interested on the tilt samyang, anyway nikons are manual as well and samyang has shown good results

    Why that’s not a 135 1.8 like that for sony… Whyyy?!!! ๐Ÿ™

    I find it difficult to be interested on buying the 135/2 when nikon has a prety awesome autofocus version, this has to be the real deal because it’s not going to be cheap, but I guess this is not for me, 135 1.8 would worth manual focus but F/2… not so

  • Ajit Menon

    The Samyang t-s lens mentions that the lens can be rotated at the mount as well as the tilt-shift section. Does that mean that both tilt and shift can be rotated independently?

    • Common Axis

      Looks like it from the pictures, either that or there are 2 configs available.


  • Anand

    Actually, who in the world is buying these specialty lenses? I am not sure I follow their business model….cater to a very very small and tiny niche??

    • Ever Dumber

      I see; if you are not interested the manufacturers should not bother.

      Well they do.


      Are you sure they have your contact details?

    • I am not sure at all who would be buying these expensive manual-focus Zeiss lenses, but I can tell you the tilt-shift is going to make a HUGE splash… especially if priced under $750 as I suspect.

      • umesh

        Afraid not . Ukoptics has put samyang ts nikon and canon mounts price as ยฃ999.00. Still good price I would say.

    • George W Bush.

      You are right when i go to grocery stores I’ve never felt like buying a TS lens.

      …Do you even have an idea what a TS objective is used for? If you don’t, I agree that no one should make it.

  • Maji

    The Zeiss appears to be around $2000, while the Samyang is available for preorder at B&H for $749.

    • MB

      Not the same lens, the bogus link at B&H is for Samyang 24mm T3.1 CINE that is actually nonresistant lens but 24mm T1.5 CINE was announced a month or so ago.
      Though if the price is the same and if the optics is OK this Samyang T-S 24mm F/3.5 would be very interesting new lens.

      • Maji

        Thank you for pointing out the problem. At least it gives an idea about the price range of the Samyang.

    • That’s not the same Samyang lens.

      • umesh

        Admin , Ukoptics has put samyang ts nikon and canon mounts price as ยฃ999.00.

        • This is expensive IMHO. I am still trying to get the US price.

  • Landscape Photo

    I’ve got a Nikkor Ai-s 135mm f/3.5 for $100 which gives fantastic results even wide open. It’s a breeze to focus with the help of indicator led. And its build quailty is hard to be replicated today.

    Why bother paying 20x more…

    • Cyclop

      Bcos its branded.. Lol. By the way do u know are the zeiss also work with the camera in-focus indicator?

    • lorenzo

      “Why bother paying 20x moreโ€ฆ”

      I don’t say this for Zeiss but in particular for the Samyang:

      One that spends $6,000 for a D4 and puts in front of it a $700 lens, looks to me like one that buys a $80M Ferrari TestaRossa and then puts in it the cheapest Chevron Regular ๐Ÿ™‚

      No offense.

      • Photonut

        I’d put my 100$ 50mm f1.8 in front of a D4 any time!

        • MB


        • lorenzo

          Yes, +10000

          But you still use a Nikon, not a Samyang, and Nikon doesn’t make a $2,000 50 mm lens, yet.

          • Juanito banana

            Tryng to figure out that kind of logic about products not knowns directly:

            Because it’s not nikon it’s not good… mmmh, then, Leica must suck because it’s not nikon, at least they kave 11k 50mm lenses.

            Wait. Leica is expensive, and I’ve heard leica does not suck, then it’s the price that makes it good…. wait again: war is very expensive…

            Conslusion: people may die, but expensive it is…then sure War must be good ๐Ÿ˜›

            • lorenzo

              O.K. Banana, let’s go to war ๐Ÿ™‚

              I’ll let you try it, “just because”, then please tell us.

              My logic is: there must be a reason why the [apparently] same thing costs more …

              You can buy what you wish, I buy Nikon, that’s it.

            • Maji

              War sometimes is a necessary evil and maybe the end results in something good. It is definitely not true always and I do not espouse going to war. However, without a war, I doubt if we could have gotten rid of Hitler.

              As for lens and price, if you are looking for value then Leica and Zeiss are definitely not the right candidates. With samyang etc, you can get 95% (just a number which is close to 100% but not there) performance, while with Nikon/Canon you get 97% and with Zeiss etc. you get 99%. There is a point of diminishing returns here and as the user you decided (or your clients make you decide) where to draw the line.

            • lorenzo

              I can’t afford Leica, but comparing Nikon to lower price brands, I woud like to add this about saving:

              As I said above once I saved 50% buying a Tamron zoom lens instead of the “equivalent” Nikon.
              1. The glass might even have been sort-of-comparable but I didn’t test it
              2. The body was made of the cheapest plastic.
              3, Without any filter the lens had a strong vignetting.
              4. The front focusing gear rotated in my hand while holding the lens.
              5. The motor was everything but a silent motor
              6. Forgot what else…

              Thanks to B&H I returned that Tamron, added the same cost and bought the Nikon: big difference!

              Not to mention the MB-D12 “equivalent” story: sure, if it breaks, one can buy 4 of them for the cost of the Nikon, I don’t – and after the 4th?

              If an item costs too much for my pockets I rather don’t buy anything than having something that breaks so easily.

              So, I might be wrong in my expensive decisions but at least I don’t have to regret or blame myself.

            • lovenotwar

              No No wars! just love and peace ๐Ÿ™‚

          • you are dumb!

            so samyang for $750+ made in korea is not ok for D4 but nikon 50mm for $100 made in china is okay? you are dumb!

      • iamlucky13

        “One that spends $6,000 for a D4 and puts in front of it a $700 lens, looks to me like one that buys a $80M Ferrari TestaRossa and then puts in it the cheapest Chevron Regular”

        Not Chevron regular is you want to emphasize cheap, but Arco.

        And whether you put in regular or premium has nothing to do with how much the car costs, but on the compression ratio of the engine. If you have a high compression ratio, and especially if the engine in super or turbocharged, you need high octane to prevent damage from knocking.

        In contrast, sticking a Samyang on a D4 won’t hurt it in the least.

        And if the photographer bought the D4 primarily for work he/she does with conventional lenses, but does need a tilt-shift occasionally, they might choose to own the cheaper Samyang and save the $1400 price difference versus the Nikon PC-E for a lens they use more frequently.

        I look forward to seeing full-size samples from this Samyang.

      • John

        Hey – offense taken.
        I put my $125 105/2.5 AIS in front of my $3K D800 all the time with fantastic results. Smart folks don’t spend $$ on things that are not necessary.

    • Juanito Banana

      Because is brand new, because is way more light sensitive, because it has new technology… and why not: just because.

    • Michel

      Hey are you the guy who broke his leg and lives in Brisbane? I think you might have bought that lens from me! You are right, its a great lens and they dont build them like that anymore

  • lorenzo

    It’s a nice day in California, wish I could spend more time here, going to Santa Cruz and shoot some photos.

    Have all a great weekend!

  • i am not a big fan of MF, but a TS lens is usually manually focused, so if the IQ on the Samyang is good, it could be a real winner.

    • MB

      I am not aware of any PC or TS lens that has AF …

    • KnightPhoto

      Yup the Samyang has the advantage that it is competing against a MF Nikon. Could be Samyang’s greatest hit ever depending on:
      – if it has both directions tilt and shift unlike the Nikon which requires taking the lens apart and a DIY change; and
      – even the Nikon has corner IQ problems if shifted to the max.

      The Samyang might be proportionally much more popular for Nikon than Canon. I would consider it since I’ll pay an ~$750 entry fee to learn PC and have it in my bag for very occasional use, whereas $2K for the Nikon is hard to justify unless you are using it a lot.

  • Roger

    Zeiss claims 135/2 is apochromatic. YES, PLEASE!

    • MB

      All lenses these days are …

      • Roger

        They really are not.

  • Dr Motmot

    The Zeiss looks beautiful, but what would I do with it? Already have Nikon 105mm VR and 180mm f2.8. For that kind of money I could buy a 70-200mm f2.8… OK, not quite, $2000 is about ยฃ1250 but it would go some way towards it, or the 300mm f4 VR when/if it is ever released.

  • John

    I look forward to the Nikon 135/1.8 AFS. I love my 135/2 AIS – even better than the 135/2D DC that I owned for a short while (which was not any better than the AIS version).

    If it can focus accurately wide open and be sharp corner-to-corner stopped down with limited CA then I’ll save up my pennies to put one on my D800. Hopefully it won’t weigh nearly 1kg like the Zeiss – which I assume will be spectacular wide open (at least it better be).

    • Pablo Ricasso

      Yup I like mine too. The colors are deep and saturated without being overly bright. And it clobbers the zoom.

  • Frank

    When will we see a side-by-side comparison of the new Zeiss f/2.0 135mm and the Nikon f/2.0 135mm DC? I don’t have either, but have shot with the Nikon. It is a beautiful lens. Just long in the tooth and can be hard to find. The question is whether this new Zeiss can top it optically.

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