Zeiss makes full-frame mirrorless dreams come true with the Loxia lens line
posted Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 2:32 PM EST
To be honest, it's only been a matter of time. Since Zeiss had already taken a first step into the mirrorless camera game with its Touit lens line back in 2013, it was clear when Sony debuted its full-frame mirrorless cameras that Zeiss would eventually come along with dedicated lenses for the system.
After rumors of a new series of lenses for the A7, A7R and A7S cameras had been circulating the web for the past couple of days, the company has now made its new Loxia line official. Consisting initially of a 35mm and 50mm f/2 lens, the Loxia lens line is made specifically for Sony's full-frame mirrorless offerings.
The wider of the two lenses, the 35mm f/2, is a classic Biogon lens design similar to the 35mm f/2 Biogon ZM lens for Leica M-mount cameras. This means that it's overall very compact for a fast wide-angle lens, measuring 2.6" x 2.44" at a weight of 12 oz. Its optical formula consists of 9 lens elements in 6 groups, with the frontmost element made of glass with anomalous partial dispersion.
The second lens of the duo is a 50mm f/2 Planar, again similar to its ZM counterpart. Its optical formula consists of only 6 lens elements in 4 groups – a construction that has proven through time and that is known to provide excellent results. The Loxia 50mm f/2 has the same outer dimensions as its 35mm sibling and weighs in at 11.3 oz.
In typical Zeiss fashion, both lenses come without any aspherical lens elements, which means that their optical signature will be more "classic" and less "clinical" than most modern designs. What this means is that while their optical constructions are designed to generate as little aberrations and distortions as possible, they won't be quite as well-handled as with designs using aspherical lenses.
In non-typical fashion, Zeiss is taking a step towards videographers and has included a de-clicking option for the aperture ring on both lenses. Via a simple screw in the lens mount, the aperture rings can be switched to seamless operation where the aperture can be set fluidly without generating any noises or vibrations, which is a requirement for many video and cine productions.
Other specs of the lenses include close focusing distances of 1.47 ft for the 50mm f/2 and 0.98 ft for the 35mm f/2, aperture ranges of f/2 to f/22 in both cases, as well as a 52mm filter thread on each lens. The new Loxia line will be on exhibition at this year's Photokina in Cologne, Germany, and we'll try our best to get our hands on them while we're there.
The Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 will start shipping in October 2014, and it will be available at an MSRP of US$949. The Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 will be available a little later this year and comes in at an MSRP of US$1,299. For more sample images taken with the two lenses, check out Zeiss' Flickr page.
Ready to pre-order your new full-frame Zeiss lens? Place an order for one at one of Imaging Resource's trusted affiliates:
- Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* Lens for Sony FE Mount, $1,299 - B&H
- Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens for Sony FE Mount, $949 - B&H
(via The Phoblographer)