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Author Topic: Zeiss 55mm 1.4 Distagon  (Read 19410 times)
FredBGG
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« on: September 07, 2012, 06:29:04 PM »
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Ziess announced it's new Zeiss 55mm 1.4 Distagon  



The design of the lens and it's name has me thinking.... speculating...

Could this be an early sign of larger than 24x36mm DSLR cameras from Nikon (or Canon) soon.

The sheer size of the lens for a 55mm 1.4 leads me to believe that it has more coverage that 24x36mm

I think there is a chance that we might see an electronic viewfinder DSLR from Nikon that will fit into the bayonet to film plane space of current bodies.

A larger than 24x36 sensor with a 55mm 1.4 Carl Zeiss lens infront of it with the dynamic range of a Sony sensor would be quite a camera.

The distagon label hints to wide angle. 55mm would be a slight wide angle on a 33x44mm sensor.

Keep in mind that The Pentax 645D's standard lens is a 55mm...

It will be interesting if the lens tech Zeiss has been using in it's electronics manufacturing equipment is spilling over into these lenses....

To give a better idea of the size here it is compared to the 50mm 1.4



Also what's interesting is that Zeiss also just announced the 135mm f2 that has a totally different barrel look to the 55mm



Leads me to "speculate" that the 55mm is a different family of lenses. Design looks similar to Sony Zeiss lenses.... could accomodate autofocus maybe..

OK that's enough speculation for now.....  Wink
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 07:07:34 PM by FredBGG » Logged
uaiomex
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 08:51:01 PM »
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The looks kind of reminds lenses from the H series by Hassy. It looks massive indeed an bayonet mount is very MF'ish
Eduardo
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 08:54:37 PM by uaiomex » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 11:27:47 PM »
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The lens also has no aperture ring.... or at least it looks like that.
Camera controlled aperture with more camera integration.

It also looks like it may have AF.

I wonder what the price tag will be...
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yaya
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 01:20:44 AM »
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Or

It's the same lens as the 55mm/f3.5 Distagon they made for the 645AF...

But with a larger aperture since 35mm sensors only use the centre of the lens so won't bring up issues of CA, vignetting and softness towards the edges at full aperture

The aperture ring is probably at the base of the barrell close to the body
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georgl
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 01:48:24 AM »
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It's a new design, "opening up" an existing design by 2.5 stops is not possible...

I hope that they finally got some common sense and produce this lens themselves - compromising another design by mediocre mechanical quality or sample variation for a so-called reference line-up makes little sense, since the target audience already accepts bigger, heavier and expensive lenses - no need for compromises...
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yaya
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 03:05:31 AM »
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It's a new design, "opening up" an existing design by 2.5 stops is not possible...

Unless the original design was already capable (mechanically & optically) of going to f1.2 but was physically limited to f3.5 due to vignetting/ CA/ soft edges...which won't be so much of a problem with the 35mm chips...

The 45mm, for example, was an f2.8 lens and it used the same basic barrel as the 55mm/f3.5...
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georgl
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 05:09:01 AM »
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That is very unlikely, the aperture wouldn't open up fully on a 1998 (?) design for Kyocera to make a fast high-performance lens for an entirely different system 14 years later...
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yaya
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 05:40:20 AM »
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So maybe they took the barrel and the front part from the 55mm/3.5 and the rear part from the Planar 55mm/1.2 ??

I just think that it is unlikely for Zeiss (as well as other lens makers) to develop a new lens for 35mm that is so big without using an MF design from the drawers...2 examples are the Schneider PC 90mm/4.5 and PC 50mm/2.8...
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georgl
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 06:26:01 AM »
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High-quality lenses are made with various grinding and machining processes not even capable of large quantities, usual aspects of "economy of scale" (like making .02 plastic parts with a 50000-mold, or semiconductor-lithography) don't matter as much, so rather low volume production is economically feasible.

With very few exceptions (e.g. Leica SX21 & 24) these high-end/low-volume designs are proprietary for each lens element - so this Distagon most likely doesn't share optical component from any previous design, sometimes the design is inspirated by other designs - but that doesn't make it identical.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 11:10:10 AM »
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Or

It's the same lens as the 55mm/f3.5 Distagon they made for the 645AF...

But with a larger aperture since 35mm sensors only use the centre of the lens so won't bring up issues of CA, vignetting and softness towards the edges at full aperture

The aperture ring is probably at the base of the barrell close to the body

No.

Totally different lens. I have the 55mm Contax lens. It's smaller. Total barrel diameter is 81mm at the focusing ring. Filter is 72mm
Front element of the 55mm 1.4 is significantly larger.

I find it rather ironic (if not inappropriate) that someone from Mamiya would say that Carl Zeiss with it's stellar reputation would be recycling very old designs and selling them
for a smaller format while peddeling them as new family of advanced lenses. Wink

Zeiss is a company with $5.36 billion in annual revenue that has more than doubled in two years. I really don't think that they are rehashing old designs to survive.....
While many companies are contracting they are having quite amazing growth.

I think that Zeiss has recognized the strength of the new Sony sensors and probably knows of the next ones coming out that improve even on the current 36 MP sensor.
It looks interesting that Zeiss is making a series of lenses that do not limit themselves in order to be compact. These will be interesting lenses for a photographer looking for
the best look from 36 MP plus 35mm DSLR sensors and who knows maybe even a 24x36 plus sensor in a Nikon mount.

If they came out with a lens that has the same look as the Contax 120mm, but 85mm/90mm it would be on my shopping list.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 11:25:30 AM by FredBGG » Logged
uaiomex
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 11:24:45 AM »
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On the other hand... An aperture of f1.4 is beyond MF. That would be the equivalent of a Noctilux I think, and certainly the filter thread would be much bigger than 82mm. My bet is that it is a 35mm lens with Leica IQ and (less) possibly AF.
Eduardo
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 11:28:36 AM by uaiomex » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 11:29:52 AM »
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On the other hand... An aperture of f1.4 is beyond MF. That would be the equivalent of a Noctilux, I think. My bet is that it is a 35mm lens with Leica IQ and (less) possibly AF.
Eduardo

Image Quality could be exceptional as it looks like they did not let size limit the design.

Often the very special look of large format lenses is in part due to little limitations in the size of the design due to the ergonomics of the front of the cameras
and that they are not really hand held designs.

The new Zeiss lenses while big and most likely heavy would still be quite nimble if you only have to add the small d800 body to it.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2012, 01:18:20 PM »
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Press release stated the new lens was manual focus. I suspect some of the usual giveaways were airbrushed out.
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yaya
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 01:37:04 PM »
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I find it rather ironic (if not inappropriate) that someone from Mamiya would say that Carl Zeiss with it's stellar reputation would be recycling very old designs and selling them
for a smaller format while peddeling them as new family of advanced lenses. Wink

Oh please...we're all speculating here (and you're the one who started this thread with a speculation about a new family of lenses...). I can promise you that I shot more with the Contax 645AF than many here and my kit lens was the Zeiss 55mm/f3.5 and it was a fantastic lens, just like the other 3 I had on that camera at the time.
There's nothing wrong with recycling old and good designs, quite the opposite...If it's a proven formula which can be tweaked and improved and can bring certain performance/ characteristics to cameras that are often crippled by mediocre lenses than why not???

But as you said, we're speculating...
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2012, 06:00:14 AM »
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From the press release itself from Zeiss

A must-see attraction is a high-performance, full-format SLR camera lens with manual focus. With a focal length of 55 mm and aperture of f/1.4, this lens is the first model of a new product family designed for demanding users. Thanks to a newly developed optical design, this lens is superior to conventional full-frame lenses, and it achieves with powerful full-frame, full-format cameras an image performance that until now has only been seen with medium-format systems. The first pro- totype of this new range will celebrate its world debut at photokina. The family of lenses is ex- pected to be on the market in the second half of 2013 for EF bayonet (ZE) and F bayonet (ZF.2).

Clearly stated full frame DSLR. Now speculation is it could be a bigger sensor than 24x36. As long as the 3:2 format is retained in a 35 mm world does not mean it could be a bigger sensor used by Canon , Nikon. Pure speculation here but did Zeiss let the cat out of the bag. Very big lens for 35mm if you ask me and they already have a 50 1.4. Makes you wonder a little but very much the same size as ala S2 glass.
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jsch
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2012, 10:06:29 AM »
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Hi,

even Zeiss engineers did admit that the Planar 50/1.4 is the weakest of their line up. So for me it is no wonder they show a new 50 mm lens. If you look at the angle of view. the S2 70 mm normal lens is a bit longer than the 50 mm equivalent on 35 mm. So it seems to be easier to built a better lens in this focal length if you have a slightly narrower angle of view. Compare Canons 50L and 85L or the Zeiss Planars 50 and 85. If you look at the last lenses Zeiss introduced you see they came out with quite a view "big" Distagons (35/1.4) with very good optical performance.

It took me wonder that they use this design for a normal lens. I'm still a fan of the Dagor/Plasmat type lenses in this regime (Symmar, Sironar, Fujinon W, Mamiya 7 80mm f/4). I'm looking forward how this distagon lens will render space. But time will tell.

Best,
Johannes
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georgl
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2012, 02:07:57 PM »
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Zeiss is relying on Distagon-designs for various FOV on their cinematography-lenses, which they re-designed over the past years and brought to entirely new standards.
Their "Master Primes" for example are high-speed (T1.3/~F1.2) from extreme wide (~100) to longer focal lengths with astounding image quality (~85% contrast @40lp/mm and T1.3!). But they are also quite big/ heavy and very expensive due to the complex designs and meticulous manufacturing done in-house in Germany.
So we will see what this Distagon 55mm is about - maybe just a downgraded cine-technology design to be manufactured by Cosina/Sony or a lens that is truly meant as a new reference for D800 and beyond...
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ondebanks
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2012, 05:12:27 PM »
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Or

It's the same lens as the 55mm/f3.5 Distagon they made for the 645AF...

But with a larger aperture since 35mm sensors only use the centre of the lens so won't bring up issues of CA, vignetting and softness towards the edges at full aperture


Yowza! I'm surprised to see this "35mm sensors only use the centre of the lens" myth coming from you, Yair.

This is a common misconception. The sensor uses the entire lens. It only uses the center of the image circle.

If I may reproduce something I wrote previously on another forum:

Light rays arrive at the central region of the image circle (the area captured on a smaller format sensor) from nearly all parts (zones) of the glass, especially the front elements, and especially at longer than "normal" focal lengths. So using a smaller sensor is not like cutting cylinders through the lens elements, throwing away the outer perimeter (annulus) of all the glass, and just using "the center of the lens". In fact, the full diameter of the entrance pupil of the lens is always employed, regardless of how tight a sensor crop you take, because the entrance pupil diameter D defines the focal ratio f in conjunction with the focal length F (f = F/D). Since cropping doesn't change focal length, and doesn't change the image brightness, it cannot change the entrance pupil size either.

Or look at it this way. When you stop down the aperture of a lens, you are indeed using only the central zones of the lens. This is the reason why stopping down reduces zone-dependent abberations like spherical and longitudinal chromatic. But does stopping down come with a shrinking of the image circle - do the corners go black? No; on the contrary, corner falloff tends to improve with stopping down. This proves 2 things:
(1) The "center of the lens" doesn't just send light to the center of the image (aka the cropped sensor area); it sends light to the full image circle.
(2) The outer zones of the lens send more light to the center of the image than to the edges. Stopping down is reducing the amount of light; you cannot make something brighter by taking light away; so if the corners now seem brighter with respect to the center, it's because it is the centre which has been worst hit by the loss of the light from the outer zones. A cropped sensor will therefore "see" those outer zones at wide apertures, just like the non-cropped sensor does.

These outer zones aren't there to illuminate the outer zones of the image; they are there to improve the wide-open f-ratio mainly at the center of the image circle.

Unless the original design was already capable (mechanically & optically) of going to f1.2 but was physically limited to f3.5 due to vignetting/ CA/ soft edges...which won't be so much of a problem with the 35mm chips...

Why on earth would someone make an f1.2/f1.4 medium format lens with huge expensive elements, which (aberrations or not) would be in a sensational class of its own, and then cripple it by 2.5 stops, actually making it half a stop slower than its competitors (cf. 55mm f2.8 lenses for Mamiya and Pentax)? Sorry, that doesn't get past Occam's Razor.

The 45mm, for example, was an f2.8 lens and it used the same basic barrel as the 55mm/f3.5...

Divide 55 by 3.5, and 45 by 2.8. You get essentially the same answer: the entrance pupils are 15.7 mm and 16.1 mm respectively.

Ray
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gerald.d
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2012, 11:17:04 PM »
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On the other hand... An aperture of f1.4 is beyond MF. That would be the equivalent of a Noctilux I think, and certainly the filter thread would be much bigger than 82mm. My bet is that it is a 35mm lens with Leica IQ and (less) possibly AF.
Eduardo

Why would an aperture of f/1.4 be beyond MF?

Just for reference, here's a crop of a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 on an IQ180, wide open.



The crop is to roughly 63.5 megapixels. Sensor coverage here is 48x36mm.

Heavy vignetting of course...

Regards,

Gerald.

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kers
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2012, 04:46:37 AM »
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Zeiss announcement is a bit ( 1 year) early ... a new trend?
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