The Zeiss brand has been associated with high quality optics for something on the order of 160 years, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The company has just announced the Zeiss Otus 28 mm f/1.4 lens, with ZE or ZF.2 mount for DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon. The company says the lens offers “unrivalled” image quality, “unseen until now” in wide-angle photography, even with a wide-open aperture.
Zeiss notes the lens shows off its strengths in landscape photography, with “stellar” performance in night photography especially when lots of open light sources dominate an image.
Developed to meet the high demands of professional photographers, the new lens has – like the two other focal lengths in the Otus family – inner focusing, a dial window and the well-known yellow labeling of the dials for easy legibility.
The lens is also said to stand out for its mechanical quality; the soft focus operation with the large rotation angle allows for the finest variations when focusing – only possible with metal construction – all-metal barrel with easy-to-grip focus ring.
The optical performance of the 28 mm lens is claimed to be outstanding thanks to its high image contrast all the way into the edges of the image – even at open aperture.
The lens consists of 16 elements in 13 groups. One of the lens elements has an aspheric optical surface and one element is aspheric on both sides. Eight other lens elements are made of special glass. The basis of the optical design is a Distagon. The special glass has anomalous partial dispersion, as is typical for an apochromatic lens. This corrects the longitudinal chromatic aberrations “superbly.” Bright-dark transitions in the image, in particular highlights, are depicted almost completely free of colour artifacts, says Zeiss. The floating elements design (the change of distances between certain lens elements when focusing) allows for “unrivalled” imaging performance along the entire focusing range.
You’ve got a bit of a wait for this lens. Zeiss says the Otus 28 mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and ZE lenses will be available in the second quarter of 2016.
Zeiss also has expanded its E-mount offerings for Sony full-frame cameras with the Loxia 21 mm f/2.8 featuring a new optical design based on the Distagon.
The new lens joins the Loxia 35 mm f/2 and Loxia 50 mm f/2 lenses.
The company notes the new lens will be of interest to cinematographers, as it has mechanical aperture setting and de-activation of the aperture click stop.
Sony alpha 7 series camera users, the electronic interface transmits lens data (EXIF) as well as the focus movements and – if desired by the photographer – activates the magnifying function of the camera.
Zeiss says the new lens has been specially developed for digital sensors. The newly calculated lenses consist of 11 lens elements in nine groups. The underlying optical design is a Distagon.
The lens is said to offer high resolution along the entire image field, low distortion and colour fringing, and an appealing bokeh.
The lens is made entirely of metal and takes a 52 mm filter.
The Zeiss Loxia 21 mm f/2.8 lens will be available starting in December.