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Roger Cicala gets inTouit with a new Zeiss lens

By dpreview staff on Jun 13, 2013 at 21:02 GMT

Now that he has his own copies of the new Zeiss Touit lenses, Roger Cicala of Lensrentals decided to crack into the Planar 32mm F1.8 lens. His mission was to see if the renowned build quality of Zeiss optics was compromised to make the lenses more affordable. His teardown detailed the Touit's polymer construction and its use of a DC motor. Click on the link below to go to his blog post.

 Removing the filter ring barrel reveals the focusing ring.

Comments

Total comments: 46
peevee1
By peevee1 (10 months ago)

No gold and diamonds inside. Just plastic and a little bit of glass. Strange, the price suggested otherwise.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Section10
By Section10 (10 months ago)

So you expect gold and diamonds in every single Zeiss lens which start at around $900? Or just this particular one..

1 upvote
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (10 months ago)

[insert obligatory Nikon/Canon/Sigma/Sony/Leica/Tokina fanboy comment here]
(and note that if you snark me I will call you, or imply that you are, a fanboy)

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (10 months ago)

Stupid, the only concern is that the elements maintain alignment, no attempt to disassemble them. I don't suppose there's a chance someone could actually take a picture with the lens.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (10 months ago)

Whats the exact name of the Yashica-company which announced to revive its lens-production for April 2012. Announced they have two german options for cooperation? To my mind its the same company who produced the Contax/Yashica Zeiss lenses Made in Japan. Very good decisions made.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

a company acquired by Kyocera after which the name Touit was made (that I guess), Tomi'oka or Tomi.

though they did have good reputation in making old lenses, they have a learning curve to climb on IF optics and AF mechanics & electronics, so does the whatever German brand. it took Oly several years before they got it right (around 2007).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Section10
By Section10 (10 months ago)

No, that would be Touit as in the South American parrot which Zeiss says stands for “good visibility, agility, mobility and diversity, qualities.”

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

exactly Zeiss' part of the job is marketing hype.
nothing else they can do.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

I wasn't impressed with that "review" or "tear down".
All he did was remove a few screws and the outer shell... something 8-year-olds do with stuff.

2 upvotes
dstate1
By dstate1 (10 months ago)

Want your money back?

18 upvotes
peterwr
By peterwr (10 months ago)

So you'd be OK with an 8-year-old taking your lenses apart and putting them back together, right?

7 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

there are many things that people are divided on whether they are impressive or not, like underware.

0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (10 months ago)

Dear Mr. Cicala,
I am 7-years-old and I want to know what is in my new Leica X Vario. Does it do what it says on the tin?
Would you recommend I should wait 'til my 8th birthday or would you do the job for me now? Yours sincerely

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (10 months ago)

You sound like an 8 year old...Mommy I dropped my Loly.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

It is hard to believe that you guys are actually impressed with someone removing a front and back plate and a few screws.
...and acting all indignified at my remark, commenting about dropping a loly, or having an 8yo take a lens apart. If anything is childish, it is your remarks. I remember what I was capable at a young age, and this is nothing hard. At age 11 I build an enlarger, because my dad wouldn't buy me one, and it produced some very nice prints.
My comment was very serious: it's a link to a teardown that isn't one.

2 upvotes
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (10 months ago)

Well Timmbits I was taking apart my hot wheels at 8 but could never put it back together again I must just be stupit

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

if it makes you feel any better, let's say 12, instead of 8. I'm sure that by then you had the intelligence to make model airplanes and such, and by then had acquired the manual dexterity to use a screwdriver. Nevertheless, my comment still stands. As far as teardowns are concerned, this one was aborted.

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (10 months ago)

So your going to show us how it's done, right Timmbits?

0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (10 months ago)

Come on, we guys all understand that boys have a curious interest in taking apart things from teddy bears to sophisticated technical stuff to see what's in.

There is some age whe should add some serious understanding of how things and persons really work and how to deal with it properly.

This is why I find Mr. Cicala's ideas absurd.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Thanks for investigating. We hope your test report will come out soon.

Please do not do it a year later like what DPR did with the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM?

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (10 months ago)

Well, it's reasurring that you are actually getting something superior in build quality for your money and it also contradicts the cynics who think it's all about the branding and nothing else.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

> all about the branding and nothing else.

actually there is little in the brand and tones in the real quality of the lens, like the stone age design with all the stone age issues, the primitive AF, awkward MF (thanks partly to the AF design), ...

what's in a brand? that which we call a Zeiss, by whatever the quality, would sell as expensive.

after all this is a 50/2.8 equivalent lens that can do no more job than a 50/1.8 stopped down more than one stop.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
wlachan
By wlachan (10 months ago)

Build quality wise, it's just another plastic AF lens. Whether it received much tighter QC to warrant the asking price is up to anyone's guess.

3 upvotes
Section10
By Section10 (10 months ago)

Metal outside, rubber focus ring, and impeccably smooth focusing...whats plastic about? Only the element housing uses a strong composite material to keep the weight down...I don't understand why using full steel would be any better, in fact it would require an even larger motor since the weight would be more. The elements actually shift in focus.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (10 months ago)

I think the reason for the slack focus in m4/3 lenses is the size. It's possible the focus motors don't have that much torque and need the mechanism to be slack to move it. Just a theory.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

basically Roger says that the high price might be justified by some larger than usual screws.

4 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (10 months ago)

And some thicker than usual shims.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

...and three $0.07 springs to shock-mount the lens assembly.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

@new boyz

like the idea "buy a Zeiss and get a piece of iron for free"

0 upvotes
CanonKen
By CanonKen (10 months ago)

You joke, but with the way things are designed and engineered today, this is the difference between it going in the trash or giving you another 10 years of service. Just because something looks cheap, and uses inexpensive (but quality) parts does not mean it is a ripoff.

4 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (10 months ago)

Very cool to see - thanks Roger!

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (10 months ago)

I can see why they invited Roger and loaned the lenses. These lenses could have been made more cheaply and perform the same but it's nice to see what you get for the money. It also follows that quality control is likely to be very good.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

It shows a lot about German ingenuity, to have the spring-loaded screws, so that if you bump the lens, the springs will let the lens assembly move forward a bit and not take the brunt of the energy.
It would have been nice for them to go further, and actually disassemble the whole thing... there's no telling what other nice surprises await inside.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (10 months ago)

These springs cost 3 cents extra. Plastic barrel is not magnesium alloy, hard to find anything cheaper. Use of glue is also cheap (and does not hold well with aging).

0 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (10 months ago)

The to-it double entendre has been played...its old. Let it go.

1 upvote
km25
By km25 (10 months ago)

Yes, no KFC before this project!

0 upvotes
Philly
By Philly (10 months ago)

Amazing that he doesn't wear any gloves while doing this. Isn't there a risk of getting oil from the finger tips onto the components? It doesn't seem like a very good practice.

0 upvotes
RCicala
By RCicala (10 months ago)

Some do wear gloves but I hate the loss of tactile feel that causes. I'd rather clean things if necessary during reassembly than strip a screw or tear a flex that was glued down during the disassembly of a lens for the first time. It's amazing to me how much fine sensation is lost by even a thin pair of gloves doing work like this. After we've been in a given lens a time or two and know what to look out for, it's less critical, but the first time I want everything on my side.

I keep my hands off any electrical contacts, touching those only with tools - rubber shod forceps - but generally avoid touching them at all. Same with glass elements.

If I do put on gloves its during reassembly which also includes a lot of cleaning with contact cleaner, alcohol, etc.

Roger

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (10 months ago)

He's done this "once or twice" OK ?

3 upvotes
Philly
By Philly (10 months ago)

Roger, thanks for your comments. I just thought wearing gloves would be a standard practice, as I believed it was at the factories and service centers. But maybe they don't as well.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

gloves are good for impressing neophytes when they are watching... it gives it all this clinical precision look and life-or-death feel to the whole scene.

2 upvotes
David Rossberg
By David Rossberg (10 months ago)

/\ The truth!

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (10 months ago)

He could just have watched the video that Zeiss made for us:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXFFdg73b98

And there are more:
http://www.youtube.com/user/CarlZeissLenses/search?query=touit

0 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (10 months ago)

I always like Roger's take on things...one quibble though, sony has had auto focus zeiss lenses for years, not sure about electronic aperture.

1 upvote
Section10
By Section10 (10 months ago)

ha sort of...one quibble here...Sony has SONY-BUILT Zeiss lens for years....Zeiss didn't build, Now they build Touit

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (10 months ago)

Nice.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 46