Carl Zeiss has quietly introduced a new lens into the lineup on its website, a 28mm ƒ/2 for ZF (Nikon F) and ZK (Pentax K) mounts. The lens has 10 elements in 8 groups, is 94mm long including caps, weighs 530g, and takes 58mm filters.
This lens will be of particular interest to people who shoot reduced-sensor DSLRs who want a normal prime lens of the highest quality. But it's an interesting introduction for film shooters as well. Historically, lenses of this focal length and speed have not sold well enough to offer manufacturers much encouragement, but they are useful enough to photographers that the low-level demand for them is steady and usually outstrips supply. Accordingly, apart from the AIS Nikkor which has been pretty consistently available, 28/2's in other mounts have been elusive. The various Pentax versions have been only intermittently available and seem legitimately rare on the used market, and the Zeiss version for the old Contax/Yashica SLRs, also prized, has always been expensive for a used lens. I've recently been hunting for a bargain Minolta AF version for my K-M 7D, with little success.
Among my large backlog of things to do is a review of the Zeiss 35mm ƒ/2 ZF lens, but suffice to say it's the best 35mm lens I've yet used, which is saying something, since I've used a lot of them. I'm impressed to see this 28mm stablemate appear.
The sample below is from the Zeiss website.
Mike (Thanks to Oren)
ADDENDUM: To answer a reader's question, I contacted Zeiss to ask why these lenses are not available in Canon EF mount. The answer is that the EF lensmount is patent protected and Canon "has not been interested" in licensing the mount interface. The patents on both the Nikon F bayonet and Pentax K bayonet mounts have expired, so they're in the public domain.
Zeiss points out that these lenses can be used on Canon cameras with adaptors made by companies such as Novoflex and Fotodiox, although you'll lose automated functions like auto-aperture-stopdown. —MJ