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Monday, 13 September 2010


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And the strap looks to have a quick-release that takes the majority of the strap off the camera -- which my Nikon strap doesn't. I'm currently using a third-party strap with that feature because of complexities with a non-removable strap mounted to the tripod mount of my 120-400mm lens (which is perfect; which is why I don't destructively remove it).

I shot Saturday evening with my 35mm and 50mm AIS lenses (and the 85mm/1.8 AF), and was getting better manual (using focus indicator) focus than I did back with my D200. Many people think the D200 has a far less good viewfinder than the D700, but even switching from one to the other I never particularly noticed. Kept meaning to try to find some way to compare more systematically, but sold the D200 before I got around to it.

Such pornography!! I won't be able to sleep for a week now. Your bad, very bad man.

You can't beat upstrap for not showing any brand at all.

Regards from a disgruntled Zeiss ZE 35mm 2.0 owner (bought only 3 months before this announcement. <- the cause for the "disgruntled". I'm happy with the lens but of course would now like the new one)

Nice looking lens: I'm sure it'll be wonderful, although I suspect beyond my personal budget for luxuries.

I'm not sure about the strap, though. I can't imagine wanting to advertise (well, "show off" could be a more accurate description) like that. It seems so naff, unless you are being paid to wear the thing.

I will pre-order this lens the moment that I can.

For a two-lens setup, you can't beat it.

I have the f2 without the chip, and I'm quite happy with it.

Seems like the ideal pair of lenses for my D3.
Good work Zeiss! Now where is the Zeiss DRF to go
along with their stellar M mount lenses?

Geez, a redundant pixel-peepers lens and a strap with bold advertising. I'm completely underwhelmed.

Based on your recommendation (extrapolated from an old article I recall), I purchased the f/2 version of this lens. Best thing I ever did, it is my favorite. I have been wanting to upgrade to the ZF.2 edition, but like a lot of folks, can't justify the expense. Maybe I will pop for one of those straps though!

Ah shucks. I can't fit the strap to my Box Tengor.

If Zeiss made autofocus versions of these lenses, they might sell quite a few more... including to people like me.

Ah! But can I focus it? I'd really like to try. Good news though.

What I'd really like is for Nikon to come out with a trio or quattro of superb F2.0 primes. 28/35/50/85ish? Something to get close to Summicron performance with AFS.
With ISO 6400 looking absurdly good, no make that great, F1.4 could be bypassed for a killer sharp and corrected F2.0. They could/should cost less and be smaller and lighter.
Pity it will never happen. Ought to though.


"Based on your recommendation (extrapolated from an old article I recall), I purchased the f/2 version of this lens. Best thing I ever did, it is my favorite."

Yes, where pure performance is concerned, I think the Z[x] 35/2 is the best 35mm lens I've ever used. An outstandingly balanced design that just won't let you down.


I'll second Neil. Nikon, are u reading this? Make them metal too!

B&h currently lists Nikon 35mm f1.4 AIS for $1159.95. It seems the new Zeiss counterpart is reasonably priced.
What I don't understand is Nikon lens has 52mm filter size, while Zeiss goes to 72mm (like that of 85mm f1.4). Anyone can educate me here?

$1,843??? Yikes you know what Zeiss (COSINA!!) can do with that lens?

Sorry for putting it in such polite terms but that's just obscene. I can get a highly rated Nikkor AIS 35mm 1.4 in excellent condition for just over $600. Why does Cosina think I would pay nearly 2 grand for theirs? They go through all that R&D then get dumb (greedy?) and ask a price few will pay. I don't get it.

>>Sorry, forgot to put that in: "recommended retail price" $1,843<<

That must be one hell of a strap.


Rant warning.

The strap is pathetic and somewhat depressing.

Who decided that aperture rings are unnecessary? If I paid that much for a lens, I want to be able to set the aperture on the lens, not in the viewfinder, that's where I'm looking at the composition. Pentax FA 31mm F1.8 anyone?

"That must be one hell of a strap."

You're paying for the name. [g]


I'm hoping the $1,843 retail price is for the lens - not the strap.

How I would love to try this lens or its rumored Nikon competition but my bank account will have none of it. Seems like overnight all the great lenses are hovering at the $2000 mark.

Guess I'll make do with my Zeiss ZF 35mm f/2 which is quite wonderful.

The new lens is huge and heavy, even compared to the existing ZE/ZF 35/2. That fact alone explains the requirement for a huge, wide carrying strap. And a porter. And a wheelbarrow. ;-).

"I'm hoping the $1,843 retail price is for the lens - not the strap."

That's right. The lens is $39.95.



(P.S. Actually, no price was given for the strap. The press release does say, "Because good optics can be somewhat heavy at times, Carl Zeiss now offers a special camera strap with air cell padding for SLR cameras.")

Nice light on that lens (the "lead" photograph).

Cheers! Jay

I'm actually quite keen for the filters- honest! On wide lenses I find my B+W MRC filters add to the image I get. These, with the Zeiss T* coating, could possibly enhance my Canon EOS or FD lenses???? Worth a try!

When I bought my D700, I realized that it could focus faster and more accurately than me, especially without a split prism screen (not so with earlier AF cameras). I promptly sold off all my remaining manual focus glass. It may be a great glass, but I don't want to manual focus all the time, not with people and moving subjects. I'll wait for the rumored Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AFS instead, at around the same price, purportedly.

And the strap? Either a Domke or Nikon's AN-4B, both of which are functional, simple, black, and sans logo or silly embellishments or adornments. If Nikon or Zeiss will pay me to paste their names around my neck, then I may reconsider....

For FF fans only, I assume, otherwise CZ would have released it in a Pentax fit also (as with the rest of their line-up). Shame. Now I don't have a good excuse to sell a kidney, or spend a pleasant three months at the Sperm Bank.

I have the Canon 35 f/1.4 and it's a great lens. It sometimes makes the impossible possible. The Zeiss looks phenomenal......but.....losing auto focus kills it for me.....Big time.

I have an older Zeiss 21mm 2.8 Distagon T* which I paid a bundle for. It is, by far, the sharpest best landscape lens I own.
I may buy the 35 but not for a while.

I wanted so much to put a Zeiss on my 5D, but found that(the 35 f2) was as big and chunky as Canon lenses, which to me is Canon lenses' drawback. This one is even bigger than the f2, I assume?

If I am going to put a manual focus, prime lens on my 5D, I would really want it to be small and discreet. Thank you Voightlander for the 40mm pancake! (and thank you TOP for letting me know about it).

I just don't get it. Canon's 35mm f1.4L is a superb lens, truly superb, it auto focuses accurately wide open too. Why pay $500 more for less functionality and a name? Oh, that's right, because they can, and enthusiasts will pay for it.

As a graphic designer, I think it's incredibly lame (and amateurish) to have a different type face on the camera strap than what is on the lens. Just sayin'...

Strap is at B&H for...wait for it....$39.99.

That's a deal.


This lens could also be available in the Sony Alpha mount next year, its rumoured Zeiss will announce at Photokina they will be making the manual focus ZE/ZF range of lenses for Sony cameras.

Dunno if it 'perfectly complements' the 85:1.4.
But I'm finding myself carrying only three lenses nowadays: the ZF85:1.4, a Nikkor 35:1.4 and my "baby", the Voitglander Nokton 50:1.1.
Between these three, with a FM3A and a ZI as the backends, 99% of my photography is done.

Still, given a reasonable amount of GAS I'd love to get my mitts on this one! Maybe one day...

I determined that a Nikon N90 could auto-focus faster and more accurately than I could focus manually -- in 1994. I promptly bought one (I'd rented for the weekend to test).

Since then, I've been improving my AF technique. With fast lenses, I find it's worth the trouble to select a focus point and hold that point over a key location (traditionally an eye) while holding down the continuous AF button. I used to be pretty good with manual focus (not just focusing accurately, but applying offsets to put the focus plane where I really needed it), but this is better (also my eyes have NOT improved over the last 16 years, and the cameras are less-well adapted for manual focusing). The camera can track head bobs, and I don't have the half-inch or so displacement you get from changing the angle the camera is held at.

Thus, ultra-fast manual-focus lenses are no longer much on my menu. I have to remind myself periodically, though :-) .

I remember that I wanted to buy the ZF 35/2 some time ago. So I went with my F3 into a store and tried it a bit. Heavy, huge and chunky.

Then I asked the clerk if I could try a 2nd hand M6 with the ZM 35/2 and bought this combination: lighter, quieter, smaller and better.

Looks like a typically beautiful piece of Zeiss machining. I own (in Canon EF mount) the Planar 50mm f/1.4 and the Distagon 28mm f/2. Both are wonderful lenses that really shine in color contrast and saturation, not to mention optical geometry. I enjoy using them very much in the right circumstance.


I agree that lack of auto-focus limits my use of them. Despite using the trick of getting focus verification in the viewfinder, my fingers and 56-year-old eye can't come close to matching the speed of Canon's auto-focus system.

The impressive weight and bulk of these lenses also limits their appeal. These lenses are like cannon barrels.

If only Zeiss could produce the much lighter, but equally excellent, 35mm lenses that they (and Kyocera) used on the Contax G2. Not only were they much lighter and much smaller but ... wait for it... they featured auto-focus!. (I'm preparing a short piece on this as I write.) What happened?

I strongly suspect that Zeiss's new surge in manual lenses is propelled by all the new "filmmakers" who now want to make movies with their dslrs. The buttery-smooth focus mechanisms on these lenses, plus their optical quality, make them perfect for this application.

"Sorry for putting it in such polite terms but that's just obscene. I can get a highly rated Nikkor AIS 35mm 1.4 in excellent condition for just over $600. Why does Cosina think I would pay nearly 2 grand for theirs? They go through all that R&D then get dumb (greedy?) and ask a price few will pay. I don't get it."

i have not heard particularly good things about the old nikkor 35mm f/1.4 from those who use it. particularly wide open where i've heard it is fairly soft with bad veiling flare, CA, curvature of field, and terrible bokeh (obviously this last is subject to taste). the nikkor is a 40 year old design and it shows. all the images i've seen with the two lenses suggest that the old contax 35mm f/1.4 blows the nikkor away, at least wide open which is the point of an f/1.4 lens. the new zeiss is a much more complex design than the old nikkor or the old contax, as such i would expect it to be significantly more expensive. that said, i certainly won't pay that much for it. i'm hoping it'll drive the price of the old contax version down so i can pick one of those up.

I needed to work out what 29 oz means. Hmm. That does sound quite heavy; but - I suppose it's less than half of the weight of my own 35mm equiv Pentax pancake lens... if you also include the lenscap, and the camera with battery, SD card and QR plate.

Also the tripod head, and the tripod. And a Pentax strap!

If they do it for Sony, we can have full frame, f/1.4 Zeiss lenses, AND in-body stabilization...

The 35/1.4 is nearly two punds in weight! That's nearly as much as a 1Ds3...

I'll stick with my Ikon/Biogon for now. Hopefully a digital Ikon and the same Biogon soon. Bet it's nice though;)


>Why pay $500 more for less functionality and a name?

To avoid the appalling chromatic aberration in the EF lens, maybe?


I am hoping to get this as soon as it hits the streets.

You can actually see sample images taken with this lens here: http://zeissimages.com/showgallery.php?lenstype=525

From the Nikon USA announcement, it appears the US list price for the new AFS 35 1.4 is $1700.

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