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Thread: Zeiss on Sony

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    Zeiss on Sony

    So there now appears to be some options for getting all Zeiss slr lenses onto a Sony alpha mount body.
    1. Sony ZA lenses
    Pros
    - autofocus
    - fully integrated into camera (exif recorded, no need for stop down metering, etc.)
    - exclusive designs (if they are what you want/need)
    Cons
    - limited range of lenses
    2. Zeiss ZS lenses with M42 to Alpha adapter
    Pros
    - cheapest zeiss lenses
    Cons
    - liminted range
    - adapter required
    - stop down metering
    - limited exif recorded
    3. Zeiss ZF/ZF.2 lenses with leitax adapter
    Pros
    - Full range of lenses
    Cons
    - adapter required
    - stop down meetering
    - limited (if any) exif recorded
    4. Zeiss CP.2 primes
    Pros
    - Full range of lenses
    - very accurate distance markings
    - T stop indications on lens
    Cons
    - cost
    - size

    Any opinions and or corrections about more pros/cons of each option. If buying new which option would you choose and why? Personally I would probably go the ZF route and supplement with ZA lenses to cover some specific uses, this would of course change if Zeiss were to offer the full range of MF lenses in native alpha mount.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I would say that using the big adapter for ZA lenses is also a negative. Plus, the 85 and 135 ZA won't autofocus, since they're screwdrive.

    You forgot about the Zeiss ZM line, which makes the most sense to me, since NEX is about size.


    p.s. you can use chipped m42 adapters for the ZS line, and that'll give you some exif communication.

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I hadn't realized it but with both A and E mount systems in sony's line up there are options galore for using Zeiss lenses.

    I'm personally interested in Zeiss on A mount (as I don't have a nex camera...); however it seems like it is much easier to adapt lenses to mount to the E mount than the A mount due to the flange-film distance.

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    the leitax route for zf lenses is a mount replacement not an adapter. you can relatively cheaply buy a chip to put on the leitax mount that tells the camera the focal length and widest aperture as well (still won't tell what aperture you shot at though). for me this sounds like the best option other than ZA. i actually prefer stop down metering (even on a dslr) so that is a plus not a negative for me.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I went the ZA/ZS way. I recently discovered the leitax option, but I would feel apprehensive to change the lens mount, eventhough the process is reversible. There are rumors Zeiss might announce the manual focus lenses in the alpha mount during Photokina, day 1 already passed without any announcements but it may come later on. If not, I will seriously consider the leitax option.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I apologize, Simon. You clearly stated Alpha mount, not E mount, in your original post, and I skimmed right over it.

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    No problem Douglas. The E-mount options are very interesting, intentionally or not Sony created a camera that can use many unique lenses. I can't quite give up the optical viewfinder yet - but if I could I would be firmly in the Nex camp (simply for the sensor and variety of lenses).

    The leitax option is particularly intriguing as I don't think there is any other way to get a 100/2 makro (among others) in alpha mount.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I can vouch for Leitax. I used them to mount a Leica 50 Summicron to my A900, and the mount conversion took me all of 10 minutes and was easy.

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    FWIW all my lenses are Leica adapted with Leitax. I will be selling a few of them shortly, but have no qualms with the Leitax mounts.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    To be honest, Sony is not the best choice if you like Zeiss. Canon, Nikon and even Pentax have a better choice. It was understood from Zeiss press release that the 24/2 will be the last addition to the alpha mount. Even for Nex it is very revealing that from 3 lenses already available and another bunch announced yesterday only 1 is a Zeiss. This is a far cry from a couple of years ago. If the rumored mf lenses in A mount turn out to be incorrect I personally would loose any interest left in Sony.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I think the wording of the Zeiss press release for the 24/2 may have been misleading, or at the very least poorly copywritten. Since then they released the compact prime lenses in alpha mount - yes a VERY different audience, but none the less a 'new' Zeiss lens in alpha mount.

    That being said, I think Nikon may be the winner for using Zeiss lenses right now. The ZF.2 line up can be used on Nikon, Canon (F to EOS adapter), and Sony (mount replacement), this versatility almost guarantees future compatibility.

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Nikon has long had the most Zeiss lenses. It was the autofocus that made the Sony Zeiss lenses appealing.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    If the A mount mf lenses are announced, you can be sure that no more ZA lenses are planned. Otherwise I don't think Sony would give its benediction.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Member picman's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    To be honest, Sony is not the best choice if you like Zeiss. Canon, Nikon and even Pentax have a better choice. It was understood from Zeiss press release that the 24/2 will be the last addition to the alpha mount. Even for Nex it is very revealing that from 3 lenses already available and another bunch announced yesterday only 1 is a Zeiss. This is a far cry from a couple of years ago. If the rumored mf lenses in A mount turn out to be incorrect I personally would loose any interest left in Sony.
    Which Zeiss press release was this? I saw the one from Sony which talked about "rounding out the set of ZA lenses", but nothing from Zeiss. Could you please point me to it, thanks.

    Cheers, Bob

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I think it's the same one we're talking about as this is the exact wording that makes me believe we won't be seeing any ZA lenses in the future.

    PS: You're right there was no press release from Zeiss as is usual with ZA lenses. It was quoted from Sony.
    Last edited by edwardkaraa; 21st September 2010 at 23:39.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I think it's the same one we're talking about as this is the exact wording that makes me believe we won't be seeing any ZA lenses in the future.

    PS: You're right there was no press release from Zeiss as is usual with ZA lenses. It was quoted from Sony.
    Well, that makes me a little bit happier, just a little bit

    Still hoping for the MF's but hope is dwindling fast ...

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Well, we both expressed our skepticism at the rumour, even though secretly we were hoping it would be true

    I guess it was too good to be true.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    And it was too good to be true indeed.

    http://www.zeiss.com/C1256A770030BCE...5?OpenDocument

    Speaking at photokina 2010, the Senior Vice President of the Camera Lens Division at Carl Zeiss, Dr. Winfried Scherle, announced that more models are in the pipeline: “We intend to continue systematically expanding our portfolio of SLR camera lenses to provide our customers with an even greater range of options,” Scherle said.

    Based on the market situation, the division will focus on SLR lenses from the ZE and ZF.2 series in the future. With production of ZK series lenses for cameras with a K mount set to end in the fall of 2010, some focal lengths will no longer be available. However, the remaining ZK lenses will continue to be offered at unchanged prices while stocks last.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    This means that my next DSLR will have to be either a Canon or a Nikon. Sony is out of the equation.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Like I mentioned on another thread, Sony hasn't really approached Zeiss differently this year than they have in the past. One lens a year, outside of the 2 primes at launch. Nikon has always had the more complete Zeiss lineup, but Sony had the AF. I would at least wait to make the call until we see PMA news, unless you're expecting multiple new Zeiss lenses.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    The way I see it is that Sony will try to push its own G lenses at the expense of the ZA. I don't expect to see any further ZA lenses, the 24 rounding out the ZA line as in Sony's own release. I could be wrong but my gut feeling tells me otherwise.
    Last edited by edwardkaraa; 22nd September 2010 at 09:25.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Since the A55 is showing up, I got interested then look at what was the lenses offer.
    Beside the few Sony poor IQ, it seems there is virtually nothing from Zeiss or I am wrong ?
    The Zeiss Alpha lenses are so big you loose big avantages of this small body, compactness and weight and if I read well not all Alpha lenses are fitting.

    Would it be possible to fix Leica R lenses on this A55 ?

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    To be honest, Sony is not the best choice if you like Zeiss. Canon, Nikon and even Pentax have a better choice. It was understood from Zeiss press release that the 24/2 will be the last addition to the alpha mount. Even for Nex it is very revealing that from 3 lenses already available and another bunch announced yesterday only 1 is a Zeiss. This is a far cry from a couple of years ago. If the rumored mf lenses in A mount turn out to be incorrect I personally would loose any interest left in Sony.
    i have to say, on paper for me, sony with leitaxed lenses looks much more attractive than using ZE or ZF lenses on canon or nikon. the big pluses for sony are a better viewfinder, image stabilization, and higher resolution. i should add that for me stop down metering is an advantage - i hate having to use dof preview to see what i'm getting at f/4 and faster (and i like having aperture control on the lens versus the camera). the only advantage for canon and nikon would be liveview for critical focus shooting landscapes. my only other issue would be my wariness of sony's commitment to FF.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    I'm not so sure, Edward. I think "rounding out" was just marketing speak attempting to illustrate how big their Zeiss line is, but who knows? I do know that, for the last two or three years, there have been questions about Sony's Zeiss commitment, and they always end up announcing one a year. I guess we'll see.

    Sinwen, I'm not exactly sure what you're asking, but, yes, the Zeiss lenses, like most expensive DSLR lenses, are rather large. There are many smaller Sony lenses that are good performers, especially on APS-C. One of my favorites is the 50mm 1.4. You can adapt Leica R lenses by going to www.leitax.com.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by sebboh View Post
    i have to say, on paper for me, sony with leitaxed lenses looks much more attractive than using ZE or ZF lenses on canon or nikon. the big pluses for sony are a better viewfinder, image stabilization, and higher resolution. i should add that for me stop down metering is an advantage - i hate having to use dof preview to see what i'm getting at f/4 and faster (and i like having aperture control on the lens versus the camera). the only advantage for canon and nikon would be liveview for critical focus shooting landscapes. my only other issue would be my wariness of sony's commitment to FF.
    Agreed. That is exactly what I'm doing with the ZS lenses. I do prefer stop down metering as well, but for some types of shooting, it is a pain in the neck. The leitaxed ZF.2 could be a viable option.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Douglas, I hope you're right. Anyways, I'm not dumping my Sony gear yet. I've just invested in 3 ZS lenses and the ZA 85 and 135 are too sweet to let go of. Let's see what 2011 brings
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Douglas, I hope you're right. Anyways, I'm not dumping my Sony gear yet. I've just invested in 3 ZS lenses and the ZA 85 and 135 are too sweet to let go of. Let's see what 2011 brings
    Edward, could you school me on the difference in Zeiss lenses? I understand the Compact Primes (they are amazing!), ZA = Sony autofocus, ZE and ZF = Canon and Nikon respectively, but I'm a little lost on the rest. Aside from the ZA lenses, are there any that allow proper metering (not stop-down) on the Sony?

    Thanks!

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Hi Bill,

    The ZA are the only ones with proper automatic aperture stop down, all the rest should be manually stopped down, including the CP.2 for the alpha mount. I use the ZS (M42 screw mount), there are also the ZK (Pentax K mount) just discontinued today, and the ZF.2 (Nikon electronic aperture control) and of course the ZM (Leica M) that can be used on Nex bodies. Chipped adapters will allow for proper SSS and accurate metering, as well as using aperture priority (only M mode is possible with non-chipped ones).
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Thanks Doug for your answer. What are all the advantages of the chip on the Leitax mount ?

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by sinwen View Post
    What are all the advantages of the chip on the Leitax mount ?
    image stabilization receives the correct focal length parameters, focus confirm works, and your exif includes focal length and max aperture of the lens.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Douglas, I hope you're right. Anyways, I'm not dumping my Sony gear yet. I've just invested in 3 ZS lenses and the ZA 85 and 135 are too sweet to let go of. Let's see what 2011 brings
    This isn't any concrete info, Edward, but I figured you might enjoy this little article, if not for anything other than the fact that Sony still has a presence at the Zeiss stand.

    http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2010/0...tails-in-full/

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Thanks Douglas. Good to see that Zeiss are still promoting Sony cams.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Zeiss on Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by sinwen View Post
    The Zeiss Alpha lenses are so big you loose big avantages of this small body, compactness and weight and if I read well not all Alpha lenses are fitting.
    The A55, when outfitted with the new 24mm f/2 ZA Distagon, should be a great combo, with the 24mm FL providing a roughly 35mm equivalent FOV on the A55. The combo should not be too large either. I hear the IQ of the lens, even on Full-frame, is just superb.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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