PhotoKina 2012: Zeiss offers 3 New Mirrorless Lenses, Fast SLR 55mm

Posted in Equipment by annakfischer on September 19, 2012

Carl Zeiss has been firing on all cylinders the past few years, bolstered by growing demand for its cinema-oriented lenses, and at Photokina it addressed the photographic community, pushing into new product categories and recommitting to older ones.

First there is big news for mirrorless fans. Zeiss debuted three new lenses as some of its first steps into the mirrorless market, following its introduction of the 24mm f/1.8 prime introduced last year. These new lenses will fit Sony’s E-mount and Fujifilm’s X-mount. Zeiss has licensed the auto-focus protocols so these lenses will be auto focus, as well!

So far the new family is all primes: a 12mm f/2.8 wide, 32mm f/1.8 normal and 50 f/2.8 Macro.

But the Zeiss blog hints that zooms may be forthcoming: “We’ll start the family with prime lenses. Zoom lenses are an option that is still being considered.”

The X System only has a limited range of first party lenses, so the entrance of such a such a respected lens maker should have a bolstering effect for the standard among the Fujifilm faithful and those on the fence.

I think everybody was surprised by the lack of Micro Four Thirds lenses among its mirrorless offerings. While Sigma, Voigtlander, and Tokina have all invested in the successful system, Zeiss is still withholding development.

In addition to its Mirrorless offerings, Zeiss was showing off it’s new Apo Sonnar 135mm f/2.0, its longest offering in the medium telefocus range. It will feature the Zeiss “floating elements” and metal barrel that we’ve seen on the previous ZE and ZF.2 lenses.

Zeiss also announced a new family of SLR lenses designed for high resolution SLRs like the D800. The manual focus 55mm f/1.4 T* is first model to roll out and should be available to the public in autumn 2013.

So there is plenty of buzz-worthy news coming out of the Zeiss “tube” at Photokina, and more to look forward too as Zeiss expands its numerous new  lines.

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