Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 lens ZF.2 lens now available for pre-order


The Zeiss 135mm f/2.0 Apo-Sonnar ZF.2 lens (F-mount) that was announced during Photokina is now available for pre-order. The expected availability is February 28, 2013. Detailed specifications of the lens can be found here.

The Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZF.2 lens is currently in stock.

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  • Shawn

    I’ll be sticking with my Nikkor 135 f/2 DC thanks. DC is an absolutely wonderful tool at that focal length.

    • It is until you stick it on a D800, and then it is pretty ordinary.

  • Neopulse

    Not as expensive as I thought it’d be. Although I think the 135mm f/2.0 DC already is pretty damn sharp with nice blur (also the Canon L is nice), plus lacking of a focus motor seems not as useful. This “might be” great for video.

  • Alan

    Anybody swap out the focus screen in a D800 yet? Manual focus is hell with that camera…

    • gsum

      I don’t find it difficult. What’s the problem?

    • gsum

      I don’t find it difficult. What’s the problem?

      • Greg

        I’ve also been looking for a good focus screen… For me, the problem is that my eye simply can’t resolve 36MP through the viewfinder without help, especially if anything is moving– me or subject.

        Shooting static objects from a tripod with good light, I can use LiveView to focus reasonably well, but even that feels sub-optimal. Once the light dims the LiveView gets too noisy, and if I’m handheld or the subject is free to move, there’s no way I can get full resolution out of that camera at fast apertures with manual focus.

        I miss my old split prism viewfinders sometimes…

        • Ajit

          An f/2 lens is quite easy to focus. I had the Zeiss 100 f/2 for a recent trip and most of my quick hand-held shots were super crisp with that lens. An f/1.4 lesn though would be quite tricky to focus since the focus will be shallow).

          And yes, the Zeiss lenses do resolve more detail than the same Nikon lenses. They have pleasing color too (but that can be subjective).

          • Ajit

            I forgot to mention that this was on the D800. Not sure if my AF calibration is off or not but pics with my other Nikon lenses including the 45 mm PC-E (manual) which I considered my sharpest lens previously were all much softer. You can see the difference in live view too (the zeiss image is much crisper).

  • are these better than nikkor lenses? better, means, sharper, clearer, etc .. auto focus is not an issue

  • jake

    only fools pay this much money for just a name of European brand.

    I had many many ZF2 line Zeiss primes until recently but I sold them all because I found they are not optically any better than similar Nikkors , Canons or Sigmas. In fact in case of 35mm f1.4 , the Sigma beats all others and Samyong is sharper than the Zeiss and Canon L.

    Oly branwashed cult pay this insane amount of money for a Zeiss.

    • Lcky

      maybe your eyes are going? maybe you stopped caring.
      either way an Apo build will succeed in doing what Nikon/Canon can’t.

    • ant

      we see a lot of lousy togs that make any lens look the same, you are just another. That you had many and sold them just goes to show how bad you are at buying lenses. Who would take advice from a guy that can’t even buy a lens. I like that “only fools” then you tell us you had many. Sounds like porkies little boy.

  • RussellInCincinnati

    “Typical for many ultra-large aperture lenses the DC-Nikkor suffers a bit from Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations (LoCA) resulting in greenish and reddish out-of-focus edge transitions.”

    As Lcky mentioned, one could say that “the point” of this “Apo” lens is that, like the 125mm/2.5 Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar, it might not have any kind of bokeh fringing (hard to correct in post-processing, purple or green false-color outlining of out-of-focus areas) at its widest aperture. Assuming that it is truly apochromatic, and assuming the rendering of out-of-focus areas is pretty smooth, and assuming there’s no focus shift while stopping down, and assuming ideally that like the Apo-Lanthar it isn’t prone to purple fringing around highlight areas, and assuming it’s reasonably flare-resistant to backlighting, all of which is plausible in a $2000 dollar lens, it would become one of the finest lenses ever made for shallow-depth-of-field work on 35mm or smaller sensor cameras.

    If you don’t care about purple fringing and/or bokeh fringing, then yes this lens would appear “overpriced”. If you do care about those kinds of annoying false colors, and you can afford it because you have a $2000 dollar camera, then with all the above assumptions a “perfect” lens costing that much would be of reasonable value and price to many.

    The question in my mind is not why Zeiss made and priced this lens, it’s why Voigtlander stopped selling the 125/2.5 Apo-Lanthar and/or why Nikon/Canon/Sony don’t sell some completely color-fringing free, fast short telephoto lens themselves.

    All put more simply, it’s inane to criticize or applaud the lens and its value, until its wide-open performance and focus shift qualities are known.

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