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Thread: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

  1. #1
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    Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    If so, can you post some pics from this lens and thoughts how you like it?
    Thanks a lot, Tom

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    I think Ashwin has a few with that lens

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Yeah, I think he might be the only one, heh.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    I would like to be one.
    Scott

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Sooo-Ashwin-call for images please.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    I have a love / hate relationship with it, love the sharpness, colors, flare control and bokeh in certain circumstances, hate the size, the LoCA and the lack of correct framelines for it, all in all is a great zeiss, but i frequently reach for my 90mm voigtländer (blasphemy! ) only for its size...

    Anyway are some with the 85...







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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    I have one, it's wonderful :-) I'm mostly a 35mm guy though, so not much sample pictures.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    OK, I just took a few pictures. One of these is from the 75/1.4 Lux and one is from 80/2 Sonnar. See if you can guess which is which :-)

    What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been » Richard Man Photography

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    My Mini-Zeiss ZM 85 mm f/2 Sonnar Review (on the Leica M9)

    Got one recently, and it's FANTASTIC!!! It's a versatile lens. IMHO, it's one of the best portrait lenses ever made. In outdoor, high contrast settings, purple fringing can be an issue and is something to be aware of, at least on the M9. It isn't as sharp as the APO-Cron 90 or 75, but it has more forgiving skin rendering insofar as to say that it's focus to OOF gradient is very smooth and well controlled. It's an ideal lens for portraiture, and worthy of its legendary status.

    I have only had the lens for 2 months or so, purchased from another forum member here. IT's one of only 2 Zeiss lenses that is manufactured by Zeiss in Germany (the other is the 15 mm f/2.8). The remaining Zeiss lenses are manufactured in Japan by Cosina, who is under contract and uses Zeiss optical formulas to manufacture lenses under the Zeiss brand name. To be honest, I could care less, as I really love the 35 C-Biogon and 50 C-sonnar. It has a Sonnar design, in this case 6 elements in 2 groups:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-n...senschnitt.jpg

    The tapered barrel design is unique for RF photography and works well in practice. Frame lines are not obscured. Focussing action, at least on my copy, are smooth, and f/stops are in 1/3 increments, with a nice play. Overall, fit and finish are fantastic for this lens. I am happy that I purchased it, primarily for moments where portraiture of individuals (or closely placed couples) is of importance.

    The lens was not made in large quantities, to my understanding, as Zeiss only had them in production from 2008 through 2010 (my understanding is that the lens production was discontinued around 2010), so I can't imagine that there are a ton of this lens floating around. Per report, less than 2000 of these lenses were made, but my suspicion is that it wasn't a big seller, and far less that 2000 actually are available. On Zeiss' own site, it's not listed on their present ZM lens line-up, sadly:

    http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/...ont2815zm.html

    Prices, on the used market, seem to hover around the new price of $3300. I purchased a used copy from a seller here for around that price, though another seller wanted to sell me his copy, with hood, for $4600! I turned away from that "deal"....the hood, while rare, is available through PopFlash, by special order, and I haven't purchased it. Flare doesn't seem to be a huge issue, though it comes up now and again. Eventually, as RF cameras broaden in appeal with further iterations of the digital M, and with increasing numbers of people throwing M-mount lenses on their M4/3, NEX, and other bodies, this lens may increase in price.

    There's something about the OOF focus fall off (the transition from sharp to unsharp) that is very nice. Coatings and the like make this a medium to slightly higher contrast lens, with that nice Zeiss Pop. I am suprised that it was a slow seller, but a price tag easily up there with Leica's equivalent probably drove people away. It's a shame, because this lens stands up quite well on its own.

    At some point, I'll review it on Steve Huff's site, once I have enough "test" images, which come to think of it, I do...Steve gets enough hits, that such a review could drive up demand LOL...it certainly did when he reviewed the 90 f/2.8 elmarit...

    I have provided a few images below. I have intentionally provided a spectrum of images, taken both indoor and out, of people, landscape, and portraits. Images were taken at a variety of f stops from wide open, at f/2, to f/8 or so:

































    FYI, most of the model shots are f/4-f/5.6. The landscape/water shots are closer to f/8. Most everything else is wide open or close to it....


    Here's a slideshow from the model that I shot the 85 sonnar with:

    Search results for jade

    And here's a slideshow from the lens in general:

    Search results for 85

    I hope that helps, Tom....
    Last edited by ashwinrao1; 14th February 2012 at 19:24.
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    There is a quick review of this lens on Stevehuffphoto.com

    The Leica M9 with Zeiss ZM 85mm Sonnar Lens Review by Michael Letchford | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

    One thing that bothers me is the CA.
    Scott

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    It certainly has its share of axial chromatic aberration when shooting in contrastive light, wide open. But it's not made so much for that, I feel it's made for more subdued lighting.

    Naturally, achieving proper focus at f/2 is rather difficult. The bokeh is a lot more relaxed and languid than the Leica APOs in my opinion, and the color seems slightly cool but always pleasing.

    If you're married to rangefinders, then it's one of the best true portrait lenses I know of. When you add the hood, it's a large setup on any M body, and one should seriously think of the suitability of the task, for an optical rangefinding system versus an SLR.

    Price-wise it's a different league entirely, but the Voigtlander APO Lanthar 90mm stomps all over it for image crispness and refractory characteristics, and is tiny and easier to focus. With the Sonnar, what's in focus isn't as clinical as any of the APOs, but the slightly-softer subject is gracefully emphasized by its bokeh quality and that's something that the Leica or Cosina offerings don't (cannot) match.

    Note the focus is a bit off in this shot. It's mostly placed around (M) logo next to the leaf doors.
    Last edited by sirimiri; 14th February 2012 at 23:36.
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Thank you Ashwin, Sirimiri and Richard.
    Richard-I didnt find the 2 comparison images?
    Sirimiri, I like this image very powerfull, a nice smooth but clear bokeh and powerfull colors.
    Special Thanks to Ashwin! Great Images. And also thanks for all the info.
    The lens seems really to render very nice.
    And here I admit that I have won an auction on ebay for this lens and I am waiting to get it soon. You made me confident that I will like it, I am only a bit unsure regarding its size.
    So I am glad to get my sample before you post your review and prices go up I didnt know that there were so few samples produced.
    I really appreciate all the feedback. Seeing all those great images (and I know images are made by the photographer not the lens) makes me looking forward to put the lens to use. As soon as I have something to present I will post it.
    Tom

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    One thing to keep in mind, and it may not be important, is that the 85/2 is not being manufactured by Zeiss at the present moment.

    From a Flickr thread 7 months ago.

    Flickr: Discussing 85/2 Sonnar ZM discontinued? in OFFICIAL Carl Zeiss Lenses Group

    Dear Keith,

    The Sonnar T* 2/85 ZM is no longer available until further notice. The Sonnar T* 2/85 ZM is based on a very complex construction model. Thus the production of this lens requires batches with a certain number of units. Unfortunately there is no sufficient market potential to realize an adequate production size of this exceptional lens. Therefore we have stopped the production until further notice. However, Tele-Tessar T* 4 / 85 ZM is still available.

    Kind regards,
    Carl Zeiss Lenses Team

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Here you go directly, although most people seem to pinpoint the correct one with no problems :-)



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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Carl Ziess Sonnar 2/85 T* @ 2.8±... gXr


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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Y.B.Hudson III View Post
    Carl Ziess Sonnar 2/85 T* @ 2.8±... gXr


    Very nice B&W. Do you use it often on the gxr?

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by richardman View Post
    Here you go directly, although most people seem to pinpoint the correct one with no problems :-)



    The second looks a little sharper and it looks like it has somewhat brighter midtones. So I guess the first is Summilux and the second Zeiss, but I am not sure.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    One thing to keep in mind, and it may not be important, is that the 85/2 is not being manufactured by Zeiss at the present moment.

    From a Flickr thread 7 months ago.

    Flickr: Discussing 85/2 Sonnar ZM discontinued? in OFFICIAL Carl Zeiss Lenses Group

    Dear Keith,

    The Sonnar T* 2/85 ZM is no longer available until further notice. The Sonnar T* 2/85 ZM is based on a very complex construction model. Thus the production of this lens requires batches with a certain number of units. Unfortunately there is no sufficient market potential to realize an adequate production size of this exceptional lens. Therefore we have stopped the production until further notice. However, Tele-Tessar T* 4 / 85 ZM is still available.

    Kind regards,
    Carl Zeiss Lenses Team
    Dan,
    thanks- I knew that and it might be one of the reasons why I bid on this ebay auction- I did not know when I would get another chance to buy one of those in mint condition.
    I am really looking forward to explore this lens. I didnt really need it because I also have a 90 Elmarit which is very nice lens but I was interested how different the Sonnar draws. I will then decide if I keep both (probably) or just one of them.

    I have been checking out all those m4/3 and Nex and DSLR from Nikon/Canon Pentax but allways get back that the M9 just works best for me ("besides the big Leica" and the "small" Leica).
    And the nice thing about the lenses is that you really dont loose much money in case you have/want to sell one.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    I'll say one thing, the images from this thing are sweet. I'm a sucker for Sonnars.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by richardman View Post
    Here you go directly, although most people seem to pinpoint the correct one with no problems :-)



    It's a bit difficult guessing which one is the Sonnar and which the 75mm Lux based on a single pair of images for a variety of images, especially when using fast glass. In addition, if one or both of the lenses wasn't precisely focused accurately or if either image was focused slightly off, with a fast lens wide open, this would effect the look of the image. I'm just playing devils avocate, yet it's fun to try and guess. Hmmm, the bokeh is harder to determine in one of them due to framing of subject but if I had to guess, I'd say the 1st image was the Leica. Reason being is to frame the subject similary, one would have to move in a bit closer with the 75mm and although focal length is a bit shorter, the zone of focus would appear less. In addition, although the Leica is a sharp lens (I use one), at close range it has a lovely roundness for portraits. The Zeiss as I understand it, is sharp even at close range, even when used at wider apertures but at infinity, may be a little soft unless stopped down. So OK, I'm staying with my guess that the Leica image is the 1st one posted

    Aswin, a great set of images to show what the Zeiss is capable of. Due to your being in your very capable hands, it's sometimes hard to determine how much of the "look" or positive impact a lens makes in an image (charaterristic wise) is due to the lens optical peoperties vs. your excellent post processing skills. Still a lens I would love to try and see how it compares to both a Leica 75mm Lux and 90mm f2 APO.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 16th February 2012 at 10:15.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Today I received my 85mm Sonnar and we went for a late afternoon walk.
    So here are some first images I took with it.
    My first impression is very good.




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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Congrats on the new lens, Tom. It's a dandy! Great first caps
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Congrats on the new lens, Tom. It's a dandy! Great first caps
    Thanks Ashwin,
    yesterday I shot some quick images with the 85/2.0, the 90 Elmarit and the 75 Summarit. The 85 compared very well in those and seemed to show slighty more contrast/detail and 3d rendering even at f2.8 than the other 2 lenses.
    SO far it exceeds my expectations. I am also lucky that the focus of this sample on my M9 seems spot on.
    Tom

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    4 people made guesses and all 4 nailed the first image as the 'Lux. The 85/2 is definitely sharper, and BTW, from what I understand, it's not a true Sonnar design, despite the name. They definitely have different characteristics.
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    I have one, and I have found out a little trick to this lens. If you are shooting high contrast situations, then under expose by one stop and viola no purple CA. I have found that small amounts of under exposure really affect this lens's output on digital sensors, it is almost like it is overwhelming the sensor in the blue channel. This would explain why it performs so well in subdued light.

    Andrew
    Home page: www.aphotovid.com

    Check out my gear blog!
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Gough View Post
    I have one, and I have found out a little trick to this lens. If you are shooting high contrast situations, then under expose by one stop and viola no purple CA. I have found that small amounts of under exposure really affect this lens's output on digital sensors, it is almost like it is overwhelming the sensor in the blue channel. This would explain why it performs so well in subdued light.

    Andrew
    Thanks Andrew,
    Thanks for sharing. I will check this out.
    I am not too concerned about the CA, because I think it makes a difference if you search for it in 100% views regarding how much is really showing up in the images at viewing /printing size.
    Adn then the question is also how often do you shoot scenes where it would show up.
    Tom

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    nice shots Tom, great modern look. However, I much prefer the softness of the 75 lux :-).

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Araakii View Post
    nice shots Tom, great modern look. However, I much prefer the softness of the 75 lux :-).
    Hi Araakii.
    I dont know if I would call the look "modern", but it is definatly different from the 75 Lux.
    Personally I sold my 75 Lux some years ago because I prefered the 75 Summarit and the 90 Elmarit, mainly because I found the 75 Lux difficult to focus (even though I sent it to Leica twice) plus if I hit the focus I couldnt see any magic over the other mentioned lenses besides the Lux showed less contrast at wider apartures.
    The 90 Elmarit has been my choice most of the times after that as "portrait"-focal length.

    I however fully understand that many rate the 75 Summilux as one of the best/characterfull if not the portrait lens.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Hi Tom,

    It's interesting to look at your latest series of images with the Zeiss, besides being lovely shots! Simply from the look, they appear to resemble those taken with the 90mm elmarit-M whereby they are sharp, not excessively clinical but do have a sort of modern look to my eye. In contrast (no pun intended), the 75mm Lux has a completely different look, even when slightly stopped down, where it's renders detail exceedingly well but without a lot of bite, more rounded) and slightly lower in contrast. It's gentle in its rendering and that is what makes it stand out for portraits (besides its characteristic bokeh). So each are excellent lenses and can be used in a fashion that plays to its strengths.

    In reference to what Tom mentioned about getting accurate focus with the 75mm Lux, quite a few have had similar difficulties with theirs. I was also afraid I might be in the same boat but luckily the NOS one I found was perfect, both at min, mid and infinity distances, so its been no more difficult to nail focus that the 50mm Lux asph.

    The Zeiss looks like a terrific lens and I would assume with more comparitive pics from it, the 90mm AA and 90mm elmarit-M, a distinctive characteristics of the Zeiss will be noticed compared to the other two. Thanks to all posting images with it (the Zeiss).

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 20th February 2012 at 18:27.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Something I did find out about both the 50/1.5 ZM and the 85/2.0ZM is that they seem to bringt out the midtones slightly brighter than comparable Leica lenses. It is a little bit like a built in midtone-boost.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    I quite like the Zeiss Sonnar 85mm f/2.0 lens too. Nice handling and well built. Here are some pictures shot on using the R-D1.


    Carl Zeiss Sonnar 85mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0 by benny ng, on Flickr


    Together by benny ng, on Flickr


    Fujifilm GA645Zi + GA645Wi by benny ng, on Flickr

    Cheers,
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    If so, can you post some pics from this lens and thoughts how you like it?
    Thanks a lot, Tom
    Hi Tom,

    Congratulations for your new lens. Just for the benefit of all interested, I am a bit puzzled by Zeiss attitude, as they seem to reply to inquiries negatively. However, they are still taking orders for the Sonnar from their dealers. Back in October, my Zeiss supplier told me it was still possible to order but there was a waiting list of 1 year, so I bought the tele-Tessar instead. In response to my second inquiry yesterday, my supplier said the waiting list is 9 months and it was possible to get a new piece from Oberkochen by December 2012. Needless to mention that I ordered one as I found out the f/4 max aperture of the tele-Tessar is very limiting for portraits. Just thought this piece of info might be interesting to some.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by richardman View Post
    4 people made guesses and all 4 nailed the first image as the 'Lux. The 85/2 is definitely sharper, and BTW, from what I understand, it's not a true Sonnar design, despite the name. They definitely have different characteristics.
    The design looks more like a variation on the planar.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Hi Tom,

    Congratulations for your new lens. Just for the benefit of all interested, I am a bit puzzled by Zeiss attitude, as they seem to reply to inquiries negatively. However, they are still taking orders for the Sonnar from their dealers. Back in October, my Zeiss supplier told me it was still possible to order but there was a waiting list of 1 year, so I bought the tele-Tessar instead. In response to my second inquiry yesterday, my supplier said the waiting list is 9 months and it was possible to get a new piece from Oberkochen by December 2012. Needless to mention that I ordered one as I found out the f/4 max aperture of the tele-Tessar is very limiting for portraits. Just thought this piece of info might be interesting to some.
    Hi Edward,
    I didnt know they still build them. Wow, 9 months-thats fast compared to Leica

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Hi Tom,

    Congratulations for your new lens. Just for the benefit of all interested, I am a bit puzzled by Zeiss attitude, as they seem to reply to inquiries negatively. However, they are still taking orders for the Sonnar from their dealers. Back in October, my Zeiss supplier told me it was still possible to order but there was a waiting list of 1 year, so I bought the tele-Tessar instead. In response to my second inquiry yesterday, my supplier said the waiting list is 9 months and it was possible to get a new piece from Oberkochen by December 2012. Needless to mention that I ordered one as I found out the f/4 max aperture of the tele-Tessar is very limiting for portraits. Just thought this piece of info might be interesting to some.
    Would you be able to list your supplier info, I've been wanting one for a long while now

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    What color lens do you ALL current have for the Zeiss 85/2.0 ZM? Silver or Black?

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    What color lens do you ALL current have for the Zeiss 85/2.0 ZM? Silver or Black?
    All I have seen are black, including my copy.
    I happen to have a Zeiss spec sheet of this lens. It states: "Production no. black: 30 82086".
    Last edited by SKueh; 21st March 2012 at 21:34.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by SKueh View Post
    All I have seen are black, including my copy.
    So the silver I have been imagining is for the Contax?

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Popflash Photo sell Zeiss lenses. They're great people to deal with. (See ad above.)

  40. #40
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    What color lens do you ALL current have for the Zeiss 85/2.0 ZM? Silver or Black?
    My copy is black.

  41. #41
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    My copy is black.
    Indeed I'm under the impression they only made black versions.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  42. #42
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Would you be able to list your supplier info, I've been wanting one for a long while now
    Sure.

    Willkommen bei Foto Huppert
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  43. #43
    Member Armanius's Avatar
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Beautiful photos on this thread! Well done everyone!
    Armanius
    My Flickr

  44. #44
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Thanks, Armando...you know that this is a "must have" lens in the Zeiss line up...LOL...actually, for me, the must have lens is the 50 C-Sonnar, followed by this one...but the cost is high....Leica high
    Ashwin Rao
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  45. #45
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    And the availability is low; Leica low.

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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Gents what filter size does this lens use? I bought one second hand and have read that it uses 55mm filters everywhere on the net. However I just purchased a 55mm circular polariser and it doesn't fit...

  47. #47
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    58mm
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  48. #48
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    Thanks EK.

  49. #49
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    You're welcome
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  50. #50
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    Re: Any Zeis 85/2.0 ZM users here?

    If dealers still sell them, they're NOS; Zeiss discontinued this lens some time ago. AFAIK they were only available in black.

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