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Dr. Hubert Nasse, Staff Scientist at Carl Zeiss has already seen a lot in his long career. But he is particularly impressed by the Distagon T* 1,4/55, the development of which he has shaped significantly. He shows examples of image results of this new ZEISS lens that has been designed without compromise for imaging performance and will come out at the end of the year.

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32 Comments

    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear zmfan,
      We promise: This year at least one fast lens with M bayonet will go on sale. But you’ll have to be patient, we are still not yet revealing anything more.
      Best regards,
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
      1. Eric

        Will this ZM lens have a flange distance calibrated for film (ie the Ikon), or for Leica digital cameras?

        Reply
        1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

          Hi Eric,

          Unfortunately, right now we cannot give any further information on that. We'll keep you posted.

          Best regards
          Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

          Reply
  1. Mike Devlin

    I have been patiently waiting for more information about this lens... And I would like to say that this was a nice little advertising snippet... But... Fairly little real value when you do not quantify the results... Which lens was the "standard" lens that you compared it with in the examples shown ?? I personally would like to see the same results with the two 50mm lenses that are already part of the Zeiss lineup... I really love my Makro-Planar 50/2 ZF2... ( as well as the 100mm)... What am I going to gain with the new lens... I know it is a f1.4 but for me, it is a question of quality verses price... More than ever photographers have to compete on every level, including price... Many freelancers will be asking this same question... The film industry is constructed very differently to stills... I purchase lenses for the long-term... Which is why I choose Zeiss, but, at the end of the day, I have to balance the books... So, please, show us what we NEED to see... A comparative test that is quantifiable....

    Regards & thanks for all the great lenses I have been lucky enough to use over the past thirty years...
    Mike

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Mike Devlin,
      thank you for your interest in our upcoming lens on Facebook and here on our blog. As said on Facebook we understand your wish to get to know which specific lenses by which company we used in our comparisons. However, our fairness towards our competitors precludes us from giving such details.
      We can ensure you that the Distagon T* 1,4/55 was compared with almost all current 50 mm lenses for full-format SLR cameras – our own and those of successful competitors.
      Certainly there will be lots of comparisons in independent magazines and blogs after the launch confirming our statements. We are looking forward to that.
      A first impression can be found on the Phoblographer today: http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/02/18/zeisss-new-55mm-f1-4-receives-some-serious-hype/.
      Best regards
      Carl Zeiss Lenses

      Reply
  2. peterv

    I think Mike brings up some very interesting questions. I'd appreciate answers from the Zeiss team very much.

    My questions:
    Why is the first of this upcoming lenses not wheather sealed?
    I noticed above it is mentioned the lens will come out by the end of this year. I was under the impression that around Photokina it was said to hit the market this summer. Is production somehow delayed/postponed?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Peterv!
      Due to the feedback we received from experienced photographers in the forefront of the devlopment of our upcoming Distagon T* 1,4/55 we decided not to seal the lens in a specific way. The benefits are a less complex construction and therefore a lower price.
      Needless to say, the new high-end lens will answer our high quality standards concerning robustness and impassivity in everyday life. In intensive tests we control all our lenses on vibrations, shocks and temperature resistance which simulates a long durability. More information about our testing procedures can be found on our blog via http://blogs.zeiss.com/photo/en/?p=1402.
      The launch or the lens is planned for autumn this year.
      Best regards
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  3. I do not demand anything, contrary to current fashion. From what I see, I am already beginning to save up my pennies, and look forward to seeing the new 55/1.4. I do hope that the focusing ring will have some texture for focusing when conditions are not optimal.

    Reply
  4. David

    At least now we know the new Distagon 1,4/55 has 12 elements. But the number of elements alone is no guarantee to better performance, especially at wide open apertures. From recent developments of the fixed 2/35 Sonnar (on Sony RX1) and the Distagon 2,8/15 ZF2/ZE it seems that serious advance in imaging and optical science has been developed and fully materialized in the design of the upcoming 1,4/55. Thus, a new family of (advanced) aspheric elements is easily inferred. Will be grateful if you could throw some light on the new glass elements?
    All the best

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Juan,
      thank you for your interest and your question. As soon as we can provide more detailed information and technical data on the upcoming Distagon T* 1,4/55 we will let our readers know. Please have some patience...
      Best regards
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  5. Juan José Pascual Lobo

    Could we have more information about aspects like distortion, optimal f satops, and field curvature?

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Juan,
      please have some patience. As soon as we can provide more detailed information and technical data on the upcoming Distagon T* 1,4/55 we will let our readers know.
      Best regards and thank you for your interest
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  6. andy

    At last, a standard lens worthy of the d800 sensor. Nikon should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure zeiss will make a lot of money from this lens, and deservedly so

    Reply
  7. Wolfgang P

    The color of the lettering on the lens is completely wrong. Reminds me of yellow snow.
    Compare this to the beautiful white and red on top of the page that says Camera Lens Blog.

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Den,

      The 2.8/12 and 1.8/32 will be available this summer.

      Best regards
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  8. For the Distagon T* 2,8/15, the stock availability was quite limited and I had to wait quite some time to purchase the ZF.2 version. Will this 1,4/55 have the same limited availability issue after launch date? Thank you Zeiss for setting what seems like another new benchmark!

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Mark C,
      we are always trying to launch our products on the dates announced. Unfortunately it is always possible that due to unexpected shortages delivery has to be postponed. In case of the Distagon T* 2,8/15 demand overwhelmed our expectations. Though this is very positive it lead to initial delays until we could ramp up production. As we are making sure to meet our high quality standards we could not meet the initial demand and it led to the limited availability you mentioned.

      Reply
  9. Paul W

    Its such a shame your MF lenses are not available to Sony customers in A-Mount, do Sony block you for producing lenses for the mount as part of your agreement/collaboration on their Sony AF Zeiss lenses?

    Reply
  10. Ram

    Is the 55mm F1.4 an apochromat?
    My intended application of a lens of this focal length is astrophotography. Astrophotography is a VERY demanding test of lens quality. Highly rated lenses exhibit all kinds of aberrations under star testing.

    Do you have a sense of how well corrected this lens will be (both wide open and slightly stopped down) with regard to coma, lateral and longitudinal CA and astigmatism? How will the field curvature be at infinity focus?

    Regards

    Reply
    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Dear Ram,

      Our future high-end SLR lenses like the Distagon T* 1,4/55 will be extremely well controlled regarding longitudinal and lateral chromatical aberrations. When focussed correctly, they will show perfect results especially for demanding applications like astrophotography. Further details about those future lenses will be published when they will be introduced on the market (Q4/2013).
      Names like "Apochromat" or "APO" are not officially selected or defined by ISO norms or anything similar, they are mainly used for marketing purposes and do not predict a certain amount of performance of the lens that is named with them. So we decided not to name our new high-end 50mm lens as "APO".

      Best regards
      Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

      Reply
  11. Dave

    Although this 1.4 / 55 is impressive, I would prefer a smaller but equally perfect f2.5 version because large f-stopps contribute more to prestige than to usefulness.

    Reply
  12. surely, i can't afford such a quality lens,
    but i ask myself - will there be another zeiss
    lenses of this IQ range with shorter focal length - for example the "usual suspects" for fast prime lenses? well, i am just a amateur photographer.

    kind regards

    Reply
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    Reply
  14. Tony Edwin

    Is the Otus 55/1.4 part of a new series of precision lenses for FF DSLRs or is it a one of a kind lens? I would like to see a 35mm Otus which will be my only lens if launched.

    Reply
  15. Bohdan Lasak

    I like the drawing character of the lens, its design and the fact that it's a manual focus. It helps concentrate the mind and minimize snapping pictures with poor composition.

    Reply
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