Optics manufacturer shows new and traditional products in hall 2.1, stand B011

During photokina 2012 in Cologne (September 18-23), Carl Zeiss will present attractive new products as well as its well-known classics, all of the highest technical quality. Among them will be a new moderate telephoto lens for SLR cameras which will celebrate its world premiere at photokina and be available in stores from the end of 2012. Carl Zeiss will also unveil two new product families to the public. Carl Zeiss’s new stand concept integrates product presentations, possibilities to apply and test Carl Zeiss products, and the company’s global social media community with the hashtag #zeissphk12.

Carl Zeiss stand at photokina 2012
Carl Zeiss stand at photokina 2012.

Carl Zeiss will present its entire range of camera and cine lenses, binoculars and spotting scopes during photokina. The latest Nokia smartphone models with built-in ZEISS optics will again be shown at Carl Zeiss’s stand. Visitors will be able to try out all the exhibits right on the spot, from high-quality SLR lenses, Sony cameras with ZEISS optics, ZEISS lenses for Sony system cameras to the new Nokia 808 PureView smartphone with 41-megapixel camera sensor. The VICTORY HT binoculars can also be tested. An innovative optics concept from Carl Zeiss in connection with HT glasses from SCHOTT makes VICTORY binoculars with transmission values of more than 95 percent very fast.

A must-see attraction is a high-performance, full-format SLR camera lens with manual focus. With a focal length of 55 mm and aperture of f/1.4, this lens is the first model of a new product family designed for demanding users. Thanks to a newly developed optical design, this lens is superior to conventional full-frame lenses, and it achieves with powerful full-frame, full-format cameras an image performance that until now has only been seen with medium-format systems. The first prototype of this new range will celebrate its world debut at photokina. The family of lenses is expected to be on the market in the second half of 2013 for EF bayonet (ZE) and F bayonet (ZF.2).

Prototype of the new high-end lens with focal length 55 mm and f/1.4.using the hashtag #zeissphk12.
Prototype of the new high-end lens with focal length 55 mm and f/1.4.

Another highlight will be the presentation of a design study, with which Carl Zeiss will offer a sneak preview of a new family of autofocus lenses for mirrorless system cameras (CSC) that will most likely be available in mid-2013. Due to their performance and high speed, these new lenses will be ideal for deliberate photo composition, making them perfect for more sophisticated photographers as well. Carl Zeiss plans to initially offer fixed focal lengths in the wide angle and standard range as well as a macro. „The trend toward mirrorless system cameras has accelerated since 2010 and we notice growing interest for them among ambitious photographers. We are convinced that as a result of the new and very high-quality cameras and lenses that are coming onto the scene, this market will become even more important. We see lots of potential, which is why we will offer more products for this target group in the future,” said Dr. Winfried Scherle, Senior Vice President of the Camera Lens Division of Carl Zeiss AG.

Carl Zeiss stand at photokina 2012
Carl Zeiss stand at photokina 2012.

For fans of the Carl Zeiss family of ZM systems for rangefinder cameras, Carl Zeiss has a special surprise in store. In 2013, at least one fast lens with M bayonet will go on sale. Using lenses from the ZM series with adapters is also very popular on mirrorless system cameras.

“The market is extremely dynamic at the moment with numerous innovations across all areas. Our broad range of high-quality products and our successful partnerships with Sony, Nokia, Logitech and ARRI make us very well positioned in the market,” says Scherle. “As the world’s leading trade fair for photography approaches, we are full of optimism, especially considering the many new features and products we will present. We hope that both the public and visitors to our stand will be excited about them too.”

The “walk-in lens”, which first appeared at photokina in 2008, makes a comeback this year and promises to be the main optical eye-catcher at Carl Zeiss’s stand. Visitors are welcome to take a stroll through the oversized lens and experience the fascinating development of a ZEISS lens. Moreover, there will be an extensive applications ‘island’ at the Carl Zeiss stand where visitors can take as much time as they like to test and experiment with Carl Zeiss’s entire portfolio of lenses on different cameras and to talk to experts.

A popular stop for visitors at the photokina – the “walk-in lens” at the Carl Zeiss stand.
A popular stop for visitors at the photokina – the “walk-in lens” at the Carl Zeiss stand.

Carl Zeiss has created a special section on its website about photokina ( Photography enthusiasts from around the world can use the site to get the latest news each day about the trade fair and to ask Carl Zeiss any question they want about all topics related to photokina. The website is available in various languages. Carl Zeiss will also report live from photokina on its social media channels and invites its social media community to likewise share their thoughts, ideas and suggestions about products from Carl Zeiss.

Carl Zeiss stand at photokina 2012
Carl Zeiss stand at photokina 2012.

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  1. Martin Schamel

    Nice to hear! A 24mm F/1.4 (35mm equiv.) and a 35mm F/1.4 (50mm equiv.) for Sony E-Mount would be great!

  2. Jan Safranek

    I love my 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss + Nex-7. I am going to buy new autofocus Zeiss lenses the same day you will start to sell these for Sony E-mount. However, I would love to have fullframe CSC with some AF Zeiss glass, I hope they will come one day :-)

  3. Simon Dai

    I currently own and use all the systems in Zeiss' planned roadmap mentioned above so this is totally awesome news - so far the best one I have heard prior to the opening of Kina 2012.

    My wish is a Leica-Noctilux equivalent for the ZE or ZF.2 mount. Anything equal to or faster than f/1.4 with Sony's E mount and Fuji's X mount will make my day.


  4. Emmanuel Amarger

    A distagon 55mm... a distagon is usually a design for wide angle lenses. 55mm is wide only in medium format, but the text says full-format...
    in full format, 55mm is not wide. 50-55mm are usually planar or sonar...

  5. Markus Worsdorfer

    Wow, Zeiss lenses for CSC, maybe m4/3?
    Wouldn't that be nice. Recently Schneider announced a 14mm lens for m4/3. Now maybe Zeiss with a range of fast prime lenses.
    A dream come true!!!

  6. Josef

    I hope that the distagon 55/1.4 will be available sooner then after end of wedding season 2013!
    Great news around 50mm there are not realy good lenses to choose from at least for EF mount. if this will blow the others away than it is realy great news for me cause im searching for something amazing around 50mm! Sounds like it is going to have floating elements which with 1,4 aperture going to be superb. Leica style

  7. Peter

    I own the 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss and use it quite often on the Nex-7. This is a really nice combination and I'd buy any new Zeiss E mount lens the moment it becomes available. Will visit your booth at Photokina.

  8. Thomas Ludwig

    I recently saw old 105 macro second-hand lenses for Four Thirds lenses on offer - they sold like fresh bread. This is a gap in the current MFT offerings- a 100 mm macro lens.

    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      These lenses will be designed for full frame cameras with 36x24mm sensor size, not for medium format cameras. We will provide these lenses with F- and EF-mount.

  9. How about releasing this Distagon 55/1.4 in an A-mount version too? Swapping F with A mount is quite simple, people do this at homes, so I have no idea why Zeiss resists so much from releasing manual primes on A-mount. :(

  10. I currently own the ZM 25/2.8, 35/2 and 50/2 lenses all in silver...Luv them!!!
    I personally am not that interested in the slow 85/4...I really would like to see another 85mm lens that was faster with a minimum of f2.8 (the discontinued 85/2 ZM Sonnar is or was just to expensive for the masses as it was a German made lens like the 15mm...I am quite happy with the majority to go with yet another Zeiss Cosina style lens).
    Anyway please remember some of us love the Silver lens finish as they are better finished IMHO than the black versions (Japanese- Zeiss Cosina).

      1. Phil2

        Please consider making plans for a full-frame ZI or comparable camera, partnering with Sony or Pentax/Ricoh (e.g. FF GXR A12 derivative...). I use ZI, CV 15mm SWH, Biogon 21/2.8, Biogon 35/2, Planar 50/2, 1960 Elmarit-M 90/2.8 and 1976 M42 135mm f/2.8 Cosina via adapter. Hope the 2013 surprise lens will be a 28mm f/2 ! Thanks, Phil.

  11. Laura Gonzalez

    Good to see new photographic products come from such a high quality optics team. I have always been a fan of Carl Zeiss lenses/cameras. Now we need a full frame digital mirrorless camera like the Zeiss range finder with hybrid viewfinder...I would be the first in line to get it. Let' s blow Leica away! :-)

  12. A new fast ZM lens.
    Please let it be a ZM version of a 25mm f2.
    This would integrate really nicely with the 35mm and 50mm f2 lenses, making a nice system of fast ZM lenses.
    Zeiss have already produced 25mm f2 for the ZE and ZF market and the 24mm f1.8 for the NEX, so it's more than possible to produce an f2 25mm with the superior ergonomics of the ZM line.
    Fingers crossed.
    Either that or I'm guessing it could be an 85mm f2 but produced in Japan rather than Germany (thus bringing the price down to a reasonable level).
    Either way I'll be interested to hear the official announcement.

  13. Emmanuel Amarger

    Lenses for 24x36mm of ~50mm are usually Tessar, Sonnar or Planar. I own then 3 kinds of them and each has its strength and weak points. For example the tessar is very little and has very good definition and micro contrast but it opens at 2.8 and it's more prone to flare than the two others. The sonnar is excellent in definition, micro contrast , bokeh, but has field curvature.
    Why did you choose a distagon formula ? What are its strenghth and weakness ?

  14. Lou

    Is there any intent by Zeiss to produce smaller manual rangefinder type lenses with Sony E-mount. A small 15 mm pancake, similar to Voigtlaender's Heliar would make sense to me. The skills in using the NEX is manual focusing and this retro way of photography start becoming popular again.
    Samyang has a 10mm manual, they have a 14 mm, all fast lenses, and here again all is produced in Nikon, Canon or Sony A mount.
    The E mount is now popular in photo and video, so why is there not more interest to produce lenses for it, specially lenses with affordable pricing.

  15. sylwester

    What is the reason you do not make lenses for Pentax ZK ? Do you have any plans for K mount ?
    Thank you

  16. David R.

    I would be thrilled by a bi-focal 35/50 f/2 lens.
    Are bi- or tri- focal optics something you may consider? Or is it covered by patents?

    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear David,
      unfortunately we cannot provide good news regarding your suggestion.
      We do not plan to offer a bi-focal M-mount lens within the next future. We think such a lens with high performance at f/2 would be too bulky and heavy for a rangefinder lens, so only a few people would accept to carry it around on a rangefinder camera.
      Anyway thank you for your interest and your suggestion,
      your Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

  17. Nathalie Swiss

    Hey.. Very interesting post there you got.. But I’m quite new in this stuff and I have a RF. I was wondering whether is it possible for the RF to use all those telephoto and zoom lenses such as nikon?.. because i have a nikon mount adapter and I am still deciding which lens to get..

    Check out my range finder reviews site!
    I invite you to review 😀

    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Nathalie,
      thanks for your comment and your question. In fact it is possible to use the telephoto and zoom lenses.
      But in practical use, it does not really makes sense to use SLR lenses with an adapter on an M-mount rangefinder camera, especially the longer focal lengths. This is because you cannot use the rangefinder with an adapted lens, so focusing is just a guessing game. Additionally, you cannot frame the correct angle of view.
      Hope this helps you!
      Best regards
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

  18. royly

    Could you please give some hints about the fast ZM lens?Such as,what is the maximum aperture of the fast ZM lens?And so on.

    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear royly, sorry we do not say more than previously announced about technical details at the moment. Please wait for further announcements. Best regards, Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

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  20. Hi Guys. Back at Photokina 2012 we were 'promised' a new fast lens for the ZM family, to be announced in 2013.
    I, like many others I am sure, have waited for more news about this lens but we're now in 2014 and still no sign of a new ZM lens, or even an announcement of intent.
    2013 has been a very exciting year in lens manufacturing and I'm pleased to see that Zeiss have been at the forefront in creating superb quality glass rather than relying on internal camera corrections, which many of the other manufacturers seem to be favouring.
    I personally have moved from a Sony NEX mirrorless system to a blackmagic design pocket camera, but have been delighted to take my beloved ZM lenses with me.
    The only thing(s) missing from the ZM lineup that I can see if a fast wide angle (the 18mm F 4 is just too slow and the 85mm F 2 was discontinued).
    Speculation was rife that the 'new' lens would be either a 25mm F 2 - or faster - or a mass Cosina produced 85mm F 2, but we've had no official word from Zeiss at all.
    Has this now simply been abandoned, with the company concentrating on 'new' designs, such as the Touit and Octus, or will you still be planning to release a new ZM lens in the foreseeable future.
    I, for one (although I'm sure I'm not alone), would welcome the introduction of a new fast, compact, manual focus lens to complement the other astounding members of the ZM range.
    Here's hoping you can shed some light on your plans and finally tell us what the future holds.

    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Gregg!
      Thank you for getting in touch with us and for your feedback.
      Indeed we concentrated on our new lens familys Touit and Otus in 2013. That is why we unfortunately could not realise the announced fast ZM lens last year. The new release date is postponed to a not yet defined date. We are sorry not to be able to provide you with more detailed information. But we will keep you all updated via the usual channels.
      Best regards
      ZEISS Lenses Team

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