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News: Zeiss to finally make a zoom lens for Canon & Nikon?

By Matthew Saville on March 19th 2012

Here’s something interesting!Zeiss, a maker of legendary lenses throughout the decades, may finally be making their first zoom lens for the Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.It looks like it’ll be a 70-200 f/2.8, and it’s quite a beauty!Check out the Canon Rumors post and the forum post for more discussion…

 

My big question is, …will it get autofocus on the Canon / Nikon mounts?Or at least, will it be available with AF for the Sony mount?Currently, Sony gets the most love from Zeiss, with Zeiss making (among others) a 16-35 f/2.8, a 24-70 f/2.8, a 135 f/1.8, and 24 f/2 lenses, and here’s the kicker,WITH AUTOFOCUS…That may not be surprising to thoses who don’t know much about Zeiss, so let me explain:Historically, Zeiss has ONLY made manual focus lenses for most mounts.The Canon / Nikon mount Zeiss lenses, from the legendary 21mm prime to the 50mm and 85mm f/1.4’s, …are all manual focus.

I’m sure Zeiss can sell plenty of 70-200 f/2.8 lenses to cinematographers, in which case they simply won’t need to worry about autofocus.So there is a pretty good chance that this lens will indeed be manual focus.HOWEVER, it would still be awesome to see it as an autofous lens for both Canon and Nikon mounts, and my point in mentioning Sony’s AF Zeiss lenses was just to prove that it is indeed possible for Zeiss to make an AF lens.

Would I ever buy one?Certainly not.For what I shoot, wedding photojournalism and portraiture, the current 70-200 2.8’s are amazing, both the mk1 and mk2 versions from both Canon and Nikon.However there are many things that videographers concern themselves with, technical aspects of focusing and zooming, that could make the lens very attractive.For one, if you’ve never felt how gorgeously buttery-smooth a manual focus lens is, well, you’re missing out in life.If you think your $1800 AF “L” lens has a smooth manual focus ring, well, you’re in for a surprise-it gets WAY better!Just try any oldschool manual focus lens from Nikon, Zeiss, or Canon, and you’ll see what I mean.

It will be interesting to see how our currently tack-sharp lenses handle the next generation of megapixels.30-40 megapixels is WAY beyond the level of detail we are used to seeing in any image; and we could be seeing some sort of “law of diminishing returns” quite soon, especially with older lenses.Which is probably why Nikon and Canon are coming out with so many mk2 lenses these days, for example the incredibly expensive Canon 24-70 f/2.8 mk2, which is $2300 and doesn’t even include stabilization.You better bet that lens is built (and priced) to deliver sharp results, even if we’re shooting on 50 megapixel cameras in ~5 years or so!

So, as Forrest Gump would say, “…and that’s all I have to say about that…”

Take care,
=Matt=

 

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice looking lens??

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  2. Ed Rhodes

    hmm

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  3. Jeffreyhowarth

    If you do research you will find that the Sony/Zeiss lenses are mostly made by Sony themselves.   I own the 135mm F1.8

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