After a mini-teaser campaign and numerous leaks it's now official. Zeiss has announced that is to introduce a range of new 'ZF' lenses which will have a Nikon F Mount (although it's not clear at this stage how much communication will go on between the lens and body). These new lenses appear to be the result of Kyocera's decision to ditch Contax. The first lenses to be introduced will be the Planar T* 50 mm F1.4 ZF and the Planar T* 85 mm F1.4 ZF. These lenses are slated to become available in 'Spring 2006' with 'several more.. ..during 2006' (at Photokina in September).

More information: Camera Lens news @ Zeiss (ZF discussion)

Press Release:

ZEISS Lenses for Nikon F Mount

Carl Zeiss AG of Oberkochen, Germany is about to introduce ZF, a new range of interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras, both analog and digital. ZF lenses bring the highly acclaimed Carl Zeiss image quality to the Nikon SLR camera system, which has been the preferred equipment of millions of professional and ambitious amateur photographers for decades. ZF lenses can also be used on the Sinar m professional digital camera and a multitude of industrial video cameras.

ZF lenses provide Nikon F-mount cameras with the creative potential and phototechnical performance available so far only in the Contax system. In addition, ZF lenses incorporate new technical advances from the ZEISS Ultra Prime®, Master Prime® and DigiPrime® lenses for motion picture cameras. Results have been seen in feature films like "Lord of the Rings", "Alexander", "King Arthur", "Air Force One", "Collateral", "King Kong" and many commercials and music clips.

Like the ZEISS lenses for motion picture, ZF lenses feature unusually high mechanical quality, fixed focal length, very precise manual focussing, reliability, and exceptional durability. Special attention is paid to guarantee absolute color matching throughout the whole range of lenses resulting in state-of-the-art image quality.

The first ZF lens will be the Planar T* 1,4/50 ZF, which, in its Contax RTS version, was rated the world's best fast standard lens by "Popular Photography" in 1999. It will be followed by the Planar T* 1,4/85 ZF, which in its Contax RTS version became known as a great portrait lens and story-teller.

Both lenses will become available in spring 2006. The Pricing will be suitable competitive with similar items in the Nikon F-system. Several more ZF lenses will be introduced during 2006.

With the introduction of ZF lenses, Carl Zeiss will set up a new international distribution network and will announce information on availability of the ZF lenses at www.zeiss.com/photo