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Carl Zeiss announces Distagon T* 2/25 for Canon and Nikon

By dpreview staff on Oct 27, 2011 at 18:24 GMT

Carl Zeiss has announces the Distagon T* 2/25 fast wide-angle lens in ZE (Canon) and ZF.2 (Nikon) versions. The manual focus lens will cost around €1217 excluding VAT and is the first Zeiss 25mm for the Canon EF format. The ZF.2 version for Nikon includes a CPU to provide aperture information to the camera, allowing the use of automatic exposure modes and the recording of EXIF data. The company says the existing Distagon 2.8/25 ZF.2 for Nikon will continue to be available. The lens design, featuring 11 elements in 10 groups is more complex than the 9 element, 7 group design of the Sony/Zeiss 24mm F2 announced in July 2010.

Press Release:

Exciting Perspectives in Low Light

Carl Zeiss presents the Distagon T* 2/25 ZE and ZF.2

OBERKOCHEN, GERMANY – 27 October 2011

Carl Zeiss presents the Distagon T* 2/25 ZE and ZF.2 moderate wide-angle lenses. The large image angle allows photographers to capture exciting perspectives. With its excellent imaging quality at all aperture settings, the lens flexes its muscles particularly for photo documentaries in interior rooms where space is at a premium, as well as for pictures of objects, architecture and landscapes. In many situations, a flash is an unwelcome feature — at family gatherings, in a museum or in a church for example. To capture the mood in such places, photographers gladly do without aggressive lighting and instead work with particularly high-speed lenses that enable short exposure times even under difficult lighting conditions.

The optical experts have now virtually eliminated the chromatic aberrations on these lenses through a special design and selection of materials. Selected types of glass and two aspheric surfaces prevent color fringes from appearing on high-contrast edges. "The Distagon T* 2/25 elegantly combines a compact design with a large initial aperture," explains Christian Bannert, Senior Director of Product Development in the Camera Lens Division at Carl Zeiss AG.

Lens elements meticulously crafted to minimize stray light and reflections in the lens, and the Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating to increase light transmission enable high-contrast image rendition and color saturation.

The previously available Distagon T* 2,8/25 ZF.2 will continue to be on stock and supplements the new Distagon T* 2/25. Therefore, this new lens is also the first 25-mm lens of Carl Zeiss for the EF-bayonet.

The Distagon T* 2/25 will be available end of 2011 at a recommended retail price of €1217 (excluding VAT)*.

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 specifications

Focal length • 25 mm
Aperture range   • f/2- f/22
Number of lens elements/groups • 11/10
Focusing range: • 0.25 m – infinity
Angular field** (diag./horiz./vert.) • 81°/ 71°/ 51°
Coverage at close range** • 219 x 144 mm (close-up)
Image ratio at close range  • 1 : 5.9 (close-up)
Filter thread  • M67 x 0.75
Length with caps  • 95 mm (ZF.2)
• 98 mm (ZE)
Diameter • 71 mm (ZF.2)
• 73 mm (ZE)
Weight • 570 g (ZF.2)
• 600 g (ZE)
Mounts  • ZF.2 (F bayonet)
• ZE (EF bayonet)
11
I own it
8
I want it
2
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 73
gugs2
By gugs2 (Nov 2, 2011)

Not sure this lens will really be interesting. A few Zeiss lenses are not so good performers and way overpriced. At the announced price point, it needs to be very impressive. And a 2.0 lenses is not really fast, Samyang has announced a 24mm 1.4. The price will be ridiculously low and if the performance is close to their 35mm 1.4, the Zeiss will not make any sense at all.

1 upvote
simon65
By simon65 (Nov 1, 2011)

Wishing I had a Contax to fit it too..

Nikon and Canon are all very well but it's such a shame there's no longer a quality, alternative, Contax style camera to fit Carl Zeiss lenses too! For me a Carl Zeiss without Contax is like a Ferrari without the V12 engine.

Surely the biggest loss to photographers in the last 20 years was when Sony decided to take on the old Minolta design team to launch its new line of DSLRs rather than the Contax team. Contax designs were sublime, Minolta ones like hippos, and Sony's camera style - as a result - looks a lot like a reheated hippo.

0 upvotes
drinkonlyscotch
By drinkonlyscotch (Nov 3, 2011)

Here, here. The only thing that still has me lamenting over the transition to digital is the fact that my trusty RTS II and Zeiss primes sit in their bag more than anything else. The Contax bodies were truly fantastic, with Leica-level build quality (if not even better) and better ergonomics than the Canons or Nikons of the day. Nothing could make me whip out the wallet faster than a digital RTS IV with C/Y mount.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Oct 30, 2011)

Probably Zeiss doesn't make these lenses for Sony for the same reason they discontinued making lenses for the Pentax mount - too few potential sales.

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 30, 2011)

Zeiss has an agreement with Sony to provide and supervise designs (and also the Brand name/logo) while Sony makes them AF-ready . Contrary to what they do with Nikon and Canon (MF only). The reason? Don't know. I just know, they do those Zeiss-Sony lenses only in Japan under supervision of Zeiss. Check Zeiss website for more information.

1 upvote
peterwr
By peterwr (Oct 28, 2011)

A quick question I've never managed to get an answer to: does anyone here know, officially how come Zeiss don't make these manual lenses for Sony cameras? It would seem logical, given their tie-up.

2 upvotes
barreto_co
By barreto_co (Oct 28, 2011)

Apparently, from what I gather (although I was not told explicitly) Zeiss manual lenses are built by Cosina and due to contract agreements between Sony and Zeiss those lenses are not available on an A-Mount. I believe that it is technically possible to have those manual lenses on an A-Mount, but camera politics wont permit it. I am guessing that Sony does not want third-party lenses or accessories on its Sony cameras. Sony wants its user to buy everything from Sony, which is typical of Sony.

2 upvotes
magic_carpet
By magic_carpet (Oct 28, 2011)

Typically Sony??

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1102/11020830makersbackemount.asp

0 upvotes
peterwr
By peterwr (Oct 28, 2011)

Cheers, barreto_co. How disappointing - the combination of Zeiss glass and the new A77 would be pretty spectacular...

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Oct 28, 2011)

@peterwr I would think a manual only lens like this would defeat the point of an SLT camera as the translucent mirror would do nothing, it would be a better fit for a DSLR or the NEX7.

0 upvotes
Fletch50mm
By Fletch50mm (Oct 28, 2011)

Sony clearly don't mind third party lenses on the A-Mount. There are loads.

Carl Zeiss have a fantastic relationship with Sony, they exclusivley provide AF lens to Sony only. The CZ 24 f/2 (only on A-Mount) whilst being less complex than this lens is absoloutley stellar, the best lens I've ever used.

I also think a manual lens on the a77 would be great due to the focus peaking function. The a900 is also a great camera for manual lenses with one of the best OVF's on the market.

2 upvotes
barreto_co
By barreto_co (Oct 28, 2011)

@magic_carpet, yes that is for the E-mount and that is because Sony will be trying to make the E-mount an industry standard in broadcasting as you can put a Super 35mm sensor on an E-mount. I am guessing.

@Fletch50mm, OK, there might be loads, but I only have looked at Zeiss. Yes, the Sony Zeiss lenses are fantastic. Sold all my Nikon gear and got the A77 with a 24-70mm Zeiss. I would like the Zeiss manual lenses to use with video. The 24-70mm as quiet as it may be, it still makes some noise when focusing.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 28, 2011)

@Fletch50mm It's really too bad that Sony has discontinued the A900. Such a nice body. Either they are out of the FF game, or some new FF model in the works.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Oct 28, 2011)

I'd say it is because they are already have the Zeiss 24mm f1.8 for E mount and the Zeiss 24mm f2 for A mount.

0 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Oct 28, 2011)

to marike6
Sony has 3 FF bodies in the making for 2012.

0 upvotes
Jiayue4art
By Jiayue4art (Oct 30, 2011)

I think , sony just wants make the "only" auto-focus Zeiss lenses for sony itself. so , you could get the answer what about the Zeiss auto-focus lenses 24~70 f2.8, 85 f1.4 , 135 f1.8......why didn't Zeiss make them for Canon and Nikon??

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HarrieD7000
By HarrieD7000 (Oct 28, 2011)

This could be a mighty sharp lens. But since I'm used to auto focus I hartely ever use my manual focus ones. Does not mean my camera is never On mf. But for this lens it is thanks, but no thanks.

0 upvotes
The Customer
By The Customer (Nov 1, 2011)

You might want to pop down to the camera store and try one out, just to see. I'm normally not big on manual-focus lenses (or manually focusing AF lenses) on my AF bodies, either, but I tried out a couple of the ZE lenses last month (EF mount, with focus confirm chip), and was surprised at how much easier they are to focus than any other MF lenses I've tried. The 100mm f/2 was especially nice... and SO sharp. Tested it along with the Canon 100/2 and the difference was quite dramatic... both in sharpness AND price! O_O

0 upvotes
dave_bass5
By dave_bass5 (Oct 28, 2011)

Yawn. I guess this puts all the other fantastic primes out of business. How did anyone ever take a good picture without it i wonder.

1 upvote
The Customer
By The Customer (Nov 1, 2011)

I wonder that, too. Sometimes I wish they'd slow down the pace of improvement in some of these lenses, because I hate the way the new ones make the pictures from the old ones kind of obsolete. The worst part is not being able to afford one and knowing there's people taking newer style pictures out there while I'm still stuck with the old stuff. :(

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Oct 28, 2011)

its little too expensive for me. I will stick with my Nikon 14-24 for now.

1 upvote
magnumgf
By magnumgf (Oct 28, 2011)

Awesome. Hope they make one for micro four thirds.

1 upvote
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Oct 28, 2011)

If this lens is half as good as the Zeiss 35mm f2.0 I want it right now.

4 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Oct 28, 2011)

Or the 21/2.8 :), which sadly the price will be closer to.

0 upvotes
jon404
By jon404 (Oct 27, 2011)

Gee, I'm glad I got my Olympus XZ-1 for less than $500, with its f/1.8 (28mm wideangle) to f/2.5 (112mm tele) Zuiko lens. Small-sensor cameras sure save you a LOT of money compared to those DSLRs!

0 upvotes
Lng0004
By Lng0004 (Oct 28, 2011)

Also saves you a lot of image quality too.

18 upvotes
_sem_
By _sem_ (Oct 28, 2011)

Unfortunately you have to consider the crop factor when comparing apertures across cameras with different sensor sizes in terms of DoF.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Oct 27, 2011)

Why do they call it a lens 'cpu'? Its not computing anything. Its just a rom. Maybe on some models it reports back a focal for a zoom but thats hardly worth calling it a 'cpu'.

1 upvote
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Oct 27, 2011)

i microprocessor is a still a cpu. The ROM and the Controller make up a microprocessor.

4 upvotes
Ben Tomohiku
By Ben Tomohiku (Oct 27, 2011)

Here is my question, does the "cpu" calculate whether if the points are well in focus or not and tell the camera?

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Oct 28, 2011)

the cpu tells the camera what aperture its at, so, you can shoot in aperture priority.. otherwise, it has no idea

0 upvotes
blue_cheese
By blue_cheese (Oct 28, 2011)

Dont be a fool to marketing jibber jabber

Thats not the function of a CPU, a value feedback can be a simplistic as a rheostat that feeds a variable resistance back to the camera. Unless it is a general purpose compute unit that is running some sort of code it is not a CPU, it is at the most complex level an ASIC (a microchip that performs a fixed function without code)

0 upvotes
Denis of Whidbey Island
By Denis of Whidbey Island (Oct 28, 2011)

I agree that the "cpu" label has always been bogus. After all, it is an acronym for "central processor unit." At best, these are peripheral processors, but even that would be generous.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Oct 28, 2011)

These chips only provide data about the lens to the camera's CPU.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Oct 28, 2011)

The camera tells/sets the lens aperture. Not the other way around. The lens is a passive device, it shouldn't be making any decisions.

1 upvote
RBFresno
By RBFresno (Oct 29, 2011)

"CPU"?
I thought that the Zeiss definition was, "Computer Part Unspecified"...

2 upvotes
The Customer
By The Customer (Nov 1, 2011)

Something is still being processed; plus Zeiss-style photography is a process.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Oct 27, 2011)

Carl Zeiss has picked up on what Nikon and Canon had left open and unkempt: The Manual Focus Territory.

There is a market for real cut MF glass not affected by lightweight lens design required by AF configuration.

7 upvotes
Ivanaker
By Ivanaker (Oct 28, 2011)

Nikon still makes brand new Ai-s lens. 50mm 1.2 for 700$.
Will work with all Nikon F cameras ever made.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Oct 28, 2011)

Yes, Canon and Nikon still make a few MF stables like the TSE and shift lenses, but they are highly specialized and costly.

1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Oct 28, 2011)

This one ain't cheap.

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 28, 2011)

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/1416/NIKKOR-24mm-f%252F2.8.html

Nikkor Ai 24mm F2.8S.

Zeiss 25mm F2.8 is a better lens, but you can't accuse Nikon of leaving it "unkempt"

0 upvotes
donut
By donut (Oct 28, 2011)

Do not forget the Nikon and Canon shift /tilt lenses: these are stellar too- and can do more

1 upvote
Jogger
By Jogger (Oct 27, 2011)

id like to see how this stacks up against the nikkor 24/1.4g

0 upvotes
RBFresno
By RBFresno (Oct 29, 2011)

Yep,
That's the obvious benchmark on the Nikon side.
The Nikon (640g) and the Zeiss (570) are close in weight (for those who care).
The Zeiss IQ is not likely to be significantly better than the high bar set by the Nikon. If it's street price is significantly less than the Nikon, then it might find a nice niche.
One thing for sure: it won't have any of the purported dim light auto-focus issues reported by some with the 24 1.4!

0 upvotes
ScottieC
By ScottieC (Oct 27, 2011)

I wonder how well it will perform.

to Jmmgarza... You have a point, I need to capture a image of myself. I guess I'm one of those people that don't really exist...

1 upvote
makofoto
By makofoto (Oct 27, 2011)

... so where are the full rez sample shots? Probably stunning

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Oct 27, 2011)

Talk about a niche market lens.

By the way, why don't many of you nerdy posters show your mug. I guess... you only like to be on one side of the camera. Too bad. Show your face!

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 27, 2011)

Niche? Yes, because only a select few light fast wide angle lenses (Note sarcasm). It's not a niche market if they are extremely popular lenses, which the Zeiss are. Not everybody want a lousy zoom.

It's hard to have an avatar when you don't have a cool goatee. :)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Oct 28, 2011)

I's a niche lens because it has no AF not because isn't a zoom. Most people want the option to AF. It's only a very small number of diehards that cling to the MF only lenses. MF only is the film of the lens world. As for the popularity of Zeiss lenses, there is no way any Zeiss lens sells more than a Canon or Nikon equivalent.

Heck the price alone makes it a niche lens.

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Oct 28, 2011)

This ain't a niche market!!
It's a "rich" market!!!

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Oct 28, 2011)

> Talk about a niche market lens.

Not so niche. Zeiss seems to be doing quite nicely with their manual focus lenses.

> Show your face!

I have my avatar on every forum I attend. I will have one here as soon as DPR stops forcing us to use this Gravatar nonsense.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 28, 2011)

The avatars are too small to pixel peep and, because of the scale, require a "poster effect" or "cartoon effect" to be good. Somehow, though, I don't want to look like a manga, anime, or Garfield. Pepe le Pew might be nice, but copyrights need protection.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 28, 2011)

@Josh152 HDSLR video shooters prefer MF lenses. No serious videographer uses AF when shooting. It's not photographers "clinging" to their MF lenses, it's professional indie videographers using cameras like 5D Mk II or 7D who will buy such a lens. The Zeiss ZE and ZF lenses are 1/3 the price of Ziess CP Cine lenses and are dedicated EF and F mount so they don't require adapters. No. Zeiss sells these lenses by the boatload and it's not just still photographers who are their market.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Oct 28, 2011)

Whihc still makes it a niche lens compared the much more used af lenses. DSLR video is very much a niche market by it self. Most serious videographers use a real video camera not a DSLR with video as an after thought.

0 upvotes
Ikeepem
By Ikeepem (Oct 27, 2011)

I'm happy with my Zeiss 25mm f2.8 for a heck of a lot cheaper, heck you can get the ZE 21mmf2.8 for this price..I have them both....once you go with Zeiss, it's hard to go back, even with MF...

1 upvote
barreto_co
By barreto_co (Oct 28, 2011)

There is no lens better than Zeiss. I base my whole camera systems across different formats on Zeiss.

0 upvotes
The Customer
By The Customer (Nov 1, 2011)

Barreto -- I agree and wish I had the wherewithal to do the same. I made the 'mistake' of testing a bunch of Zeiss primes against a bunch of Canon L glass a few weeks ago and was shocked at the differences. The L glass was all wonderful, to be sure, but the Zeiss units, almost to a one, made them look as cheap and murky as the L glass tends to make Canon's non-L optics look (with some exceptions among the primes, of course). I really couldn't believe it. The only Canon lens that came close was the 100mm f/2.8L Macro, which I now consider something of a performance bargain...

0 upvotes
JohnMatrix
By JohnMatrix (Oct 27, 2011)

OK, I'll say it: How much??

For that price it would have to be significantly better than the 24/L II.

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Oct 27, 2011)

1217 euro ...last sentence above
...about 1720 USD

...other sites are listing 1449euro, including VAT

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 27, 2011)

Don't know about this one, but many of the Zeiss ZE and ZF lenses are better (sharper, bokeh, well-dampened MF ring) than the Canon and Nikon equivalents. Video shooters love them as the have really smooth MF rings, and nice bokeh, and are bitingly sharp. And they are much cheaper than the great Zeiss CP Cine lenses.

0 upvotes
JohnMatrix
By JohnMatrix (Oct 27, 2011)

@happypoppeye

Yeah I know how much it is! Was just trying to point out, very badly it seems, that with no AF and a stop slower than the 24L, this Zeiss seems a tad pricey, even for a Zeiss. I'm sure it will be stunning, but the 24L is no slouch.

0 upvotes
schorscho
By schorscho (Oct 27, 2011)

It's probably better as the 24/L II, unfortunately wideangle is an extremely weak point in Canons lens line.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 27, 2011)

Actually Zeiss lens are not much sharper than Nikon/Canon counteparts, sometimes quite opposite. But they usually dont have much CA and they have thing called-microcontrast that makes photos simply "pop". Or to to put it very simple, photos from Zeiss lens look better, even when they dont have more resolution.

1 upvote
Infared
By Infared (Oct 28, 2011)

Depends on the lens. The Zeiss 21mm ZE is one of the sharpest lenses on the planet...nothing Nikon or Canon has is going to beat it. It depends on specific lenses ...each manufacturer has their great ones.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
AlanG
By AlanG (Oct 31, 2011)

The Canon made 24mm TSE and 17mm TSE lenses are pretty incredible in my book so Canon certainly is capable of making top quality wide angle lenses. And Zeiss does not make anything like those lenses.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 27, 2011)

Looks neat. Will cameras require special firmware to read the information from the lens CPU? Would this work only with Canon or Nikon?

Any alternative 2/25 type lens at popular (pauper) prices?

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 27, 2011)

Canon/Nikon only. No special FW needed.

They discontinued ZK mount for Pentax in 2010.

You can convert ZF lens via Leitax mount to pretty much anything you want.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Oct 28, 2011)

Cy..I have a Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 ZE....The lens is incredible (not all Zeiss lenses are this incredible, though Zeiss has their hot lenses just like any manufacturer)...The lens has electronic hook up to a Canon body it is aperture coupled to the camera shows aperture in Aperture Priority mode and I get a visual and audio confirmation when I hit focus manually (no auto focus). Very beautifully built and heavy! I would check the reviews on this 25mm lens when they are available to see how good it is.
Hope that helps.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
f_stops
By f_stops (Oct 27, 2011)

love to see a shoot out between this and the Nex/1.8.

A fully compatible EOS>Nex adapter (come on conurus) will make life interesting (and lens choice incredible) for a Canon + Nex kit. I have an Nex 7 on order and not sure which gear I will slim down (5dII or M9).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 35 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
msusic
By msusic (Oct 27, 2011)

Why, so you can have large mirrorless system with all the drawbacks of mirrorless and none of the advantages? :)

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Oct 27, 2011)

If I had NEX 5 or 7 camera, I would only have a small lens attached (not bulbous) most of the time. It would be a great travel companion. No, I am not Ansel cruising the desert in my SUV, taking pix with my trusty 8x10 Deardorff.

Actually and not surprisingly I rarely use a zoom and never a telephoto. Maybe, just maybe a basic pancake lens would be okay. Since I am an ol' skool kinda guy, I convert most of my color to B-dub anyway. Wouldn't that be a fun and surreptitious way to go?

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Oct 31, 2011)

I think the EVF on the Nex 7 will make it very appealing for low light work. And the focus peaking should make it a better choice for manual focusing lenses than optical viewfinder DSLRs. Of course you are carrying a bigger than necessary lens when using a FF lens on APS sensors. I saw that there is an EOS to Nex adapter that has a diaphragm in it behind the lens. (I'm not sure how well it works to stop down some lenses this way but it is an interesting way to add some compatiblity.)

If I get a Nex 7 I typically would want to use small lenses on it. But having the ability to use my EOS and other lenses on it certainly adds value.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 73