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Thread: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

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    Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    I have long felt and have been wanting to start a thread about 50mm lenses and how poor they actually are in design, perhaps with the exception of Leica, where focus shifts are quite the norm and whether one actually acknowledges this or not, and to the varying degree of acceptance.

    While no one would argue that 50mm lenses are difficult to design and make, we are always in search for improvements and take it where we can!

    I had come from full frame Nikon, and perhaps awful is too harsh a word, and an exaggeration for their 50mm f/1.4. However, with newer cameras especially in full frame, we are seeing increased pixel count and new photosite arrangements in the sensor which now brings lens design to show their limitations or exposure their short comings.


    Carl Zeiss at Photokina 2012: new Distagon 55mm f/1.4, ZM surprise, mirrorless lenses | Photo Rumors

    More recently, I have found the Canon 1DX showing more prominence in the 50mm f/1.2 lens characteristics I have, which I have always felt is second to none used on the 5D bodies while still offering AF capabilities. While I'm still investigating this for personal reasons and nothing is conclusive yet, I know the lens design is subject to scrutiny.

    The new Zeiss lens is a 55mm, although not exactly a 50mm lens, I hope this will be a catalyst for newer design by the major manufactures of cameras and lenses. The latest Leica summicron with the floating element is supposed to be it's highest performing 50mm lens made. Having used the one before this, I have no reason to argue against this, and felt this lens was amazing despite its maximum aperture of f/2.

    Now Zeiss will offer this new lens over their previous older designs of the f/1.4, and very good performing f/2 with macro capabilities. I really hope this is the lens that will make a far cry towards influencing those who care about shooting 50mm focal length primes on a full frame camera, and help see newer 50mm lenses on the market.

    Anyways, if for nothing else, I'm just happy about a new manual focusing Zeiss lens!
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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    The question can also be asked why the old "50's" that were 55 and 58mm were designed initially and then phased out to be replaced by 50's?

    I have an old Cosina 55 1.4 which is very sharp on a Nex 7??

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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by camping View Post
    The question can also be asked why the old "50's" that were 55 and 58mm were designed initially and then phased out to be replaced by 50's?

    I have an old Cosina 55 1.4 which is very sharp on a Nex 7??
    Remember a Full frame lens performing well on a APS-C sensor is expected. Its true that certain older lenses had odd focal lengths by today's standards.


    Even the Voigtländer 40mm f/2 SL-II performed very well on the D700 I had! However, I am excited to see with more improvements to the 50mm range what AF focusing lenses will come out. All this will naturally improve the line up for most mirror-less cameras too, since most are in the crop factor range of sensors.
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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Seeing how most "50mm" lenses are somewhere between 47 and 53.5mm in reality, a 55mm shouldn't be all that different or weird for most of us. Hoping it's a great one and makes me slightly happy I held out on a 50 Summilux ASPH for now.

    As for the ZM surprise... a more affordable Noctilux competitor maybe?
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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    It is interesting to see a Distagon design on the new Zeiss 55mm, instead of the expected Planar. Perhaps due to the lens covering a larger image circle than the old Planar, which could be one way to achieve better sharpness over the entire 36x24mm sensor area.

    On a side note, the new Sony RX1 just announce/leaked has a "full frame" sensor and 35mm SONNAR lens, instead of Biogon or perhaps Distagon design. Surprising indeed.
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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by pgmj View Post
    On a side note, the new Sony RX1 just announce/leaked has a "full frame" sensor and 35mm SONNAR lens, instead of Biogon or perhaps Distagon design. Surprising indeed.
    Well - marketing :-) The 24mm Sony-Zeiss for E-Mount is also named Sonnar, though it's a Distagon-design. But it's f1,8, though marketing wanted Sonnar I would expect the same here.

    Surprising indeed is the 55mm Distagon - you have such designs in medium format, but here it's something new. But let's wait for a lens-cut

    Andreas

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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmiddi View Post
    Well - marketing :-) The 24mm Sony-Zeiss for E-Mount is also named Sonnar, though it's a Distagon-design. But it's f1,8, though marketing wanted Sonnar I would expect the same here.

    Surprising indeed is the 55mm Distagon - you have such designs in medium format, but here it's something new. But let's wait for a lens-cut

    Andreas
    I believe Sonnar design on the 24mm Zeiss e-mount is correct and not a distagon design like you suggest.
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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    I believe Sonnar design on the 24mm Zeiss e-mount is correct and not a distagon design like you suggest.
    Well, I got this info from a Zeiss-guy last year (for information: the German Sony-user forums arrange a 2 day meeting in Berlin at Sony European headquarter - first weekend of October we'll meet up again there, Sony shows some (all? we'll see :-) ) new things there, Zeiss is also there to meet, some workshops and some beers - for those interested: Alpha Festival Berlin ).
    Taken from size of lens, Distagon makes sense - they wanted to make sure that light comes parallel to sensor, so retrofocus was needed, and is called Distagon by Zeiss.

    On the other hand: I don't care so much for names, designs - quality must be right And this 1,4/55mm sounds promising...

    Andreas

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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmiddi View Post
    Well, I got this info from a Zeiss-guy last year (for information: the German Sony-user forums arrange a 2 day meeting in Berlin at Sony European headquarter - first weekend of October we'll meet up again there, Sony shows some (all? we'll see :-) ) new things there, Zeiss is also there to meet, some workshops and some beers - for those interested: Alpha Festival Berlin ).
    Taken from size of lens, Distagon makes sense - they wanted to make sure that light comes parallel to sensor, so retrofocus was needed, and is called Distagon by Zeiss.

    On the other hand: I don't care so much for names, designs - quality must be right And this 1,4/55mm sounds promising...

    Andreas
    True, looking forward to the 1,4/55mm myself
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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Sonnar, eh?

    SEL-24F18Z | Fixed focal length lenses | Overview | SEL24F18Z.AE | SEL24F18Z | Sony

    Crafted by Carl Zeiss

    Optimised for wide-angle lenses, the classic Distagon optical design by Carl Zeiss assures excellent light-gathering power, contrast and sharpness.
    FWIW, very fast Distagons (designs) with a flat field curvature come from their very expensive lenses made for scientific research. Zeiss have made a lot of investment in their R&D.

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    Re: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Soon!

    Guys, that new 55mm is a TANK of a lens!
    No question in my mind it will be an incredible lens, sharp as a tack even wide open. Clearly what was formerly considered a medium format design, with MF coverage so even a full frame 35mm sensor will just be using the center "sweet spot." GREAT concept, should produce amazing images on a D800 or other high pixel count bodies.

    But man, what a cost in size and weight. Anyone considering purchase of one of these had best either hit the gym now (you've got a year to muscle up till it ships) or find yourself a good sherpa to carry this thing around for you.

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