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Author Topic: Nikon-Zeiss  (Read 11383 times)
John Camp
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« on: December 28, 2005, 02:47:20 PM »
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Zeiss's apparent plans to market their lenses with an F-mount are a little odd, if that's all that's going on; I've been puzzling over it since the news first started leaking out. With the current 1.5 sensors, Nikon's lenses seem fine, all the way down to the DX wides. Any improvement from Zeiss would be marginal, especially if the lenses are offered at the usual Zeiss premium price. Canon, on the other hand, could really use some help in the wide end, and you'd think Canon-mount Zeiss lenses (if Zeiss could legally do that) would make more marketing sense.

If that's all that's going on. I wonder if Nikon and Zeiss are cooperating on a very high resolution FF Nikon, with Zeiss providing the wides? I read somewhere else that there are rumors of a 24mp FF Nikon for Fall 2006, but haven't been able to find anything that suggests it's more than hot air; and would Zeiss announce and begin trying to sell its lenses eight or nine months before a Nikon announcement?

Hmm. 2006 could be a pretty interesting year on the photo front. For the past few years, we were always looking for big improvements. I wonder if in 2006 we'll finally get to the place where the revolution beings to slow, and we get cameras close to their end forms, and things become more evolutionary,  like film cameras in the 90s...

JC
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2005, 04:04:06 PM »
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If that's all that's going on. I wonder if Nikon and Zeiss are cooperating on a very high resolution FF Nikon, with Zeiss providing the wides? I read somewhere else that there are rumors of a 24mp FF Nikon for Fall 2006, but haven't been able to find anything that suggests it's more than hot air; and would Zeiss announce and begin trying to sell its lenses eight or nine months before a Nikon announcement?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54527\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I wonder where these rumours come from?  Is this just a bunch of Nikon fan-boys mouthing off on the web with baseless speculation and conjecture?

With all the resolution trouble FF sensors have at 16mp (lenses just aren't good enough), it's not clear to me how much sense a 24mp FF sensor makes (other than to convey bragging rights to the maker and the owner).

Chances are that Zeiss and Nikon are collaborating are slim to none.  If anything, Zeiss making lenses in the F-mount is more an annoyance than anything else.  And without a FF camera, it is not clear that these lenses (especially at their prices) will find muich use on Nikon DSLR's (the vast majority of Nikon sales,  This is just a little niche market for Zeiss that they could do without complaint or retailiation from hthe camera maker,  This is much in the line of the ZM lenses in the Leica M mount -- new Zeiss lenses in a classic film camera lens mount.  It will remain to be seen if these new ZF lenses will eventually be made available in other lens mounts (say, for example Contax/Yashica) and if the designs are appropriate for an autofocuslens implementation. (I don't think we'll see an autofocus Canon EOS EF mount version of these lenses)
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2005, 04:28:05 PM »
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(I don't think we'll see an autofocus Canon EOS EF mount version of these lenses)

What wide angle lenses are considered acceptable for FF Canon's?
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BJL
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2005, 04:30:11 PM »
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I think it is fairly clear what is going on. Zeiss wants an outlet for expensive, high quality, manual focus, all mechanically coupled lenses, to sell to lens traditionalists/German lens snobs. With the loss of the Contax line, the Nikon 35mm film SLR system is perhaps the best remaining manual focus 35mm SLR system, with manual focus bodies and lenses still in production, and all AF F series bodies including the new F6 fully usable with purely mechanical MF lenses.

Sadly, this move along with the revived Zeiss Ikon rangefinder and new ZM lenses suggest that the the Zeiss camera and lens division is trying to cash in on past glories rather than tacking the transition to digital.

P. S. Cosina already makes something similar: expensive, old-fashioned manual focus lenses in Nikon F-mount. Cosina also makes three of the five new Carl Zeiss branded ZM lenses in Leica M-mount. Will some or all of the "Carl Zeiss" ZF lenses also be made by Cosina?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2005, 04:50:13 PM »
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Look on the bright side: Assuming the Zeiss-Nikon lenses don't bother with autofocus and other fripperies (i.e. manual focus and aperture selection on the lens), they can be easily adapted to fit Canon with commonly-available adapters with no loss of functionality. Manufacturing them in Nikon mount allows Zeiss to offer a single product version that will work equally well on Nikon or Canon bodies. Canonites will just have to pay for the extra cost of an adapter, which given the likely cost of the lenses isn't likely to be that significant.
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2005, 05:20:33 PM »
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Sadly, this move along with the revived Zeiss Ikon rangefinder and new ZM lenses suggest that the the Zeiss camera and lens division is trying to cash in on past glories rather than tacking the transition to digital.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54538\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually, Zeiss has explicitly said that the ZM lens were specifically designed with digital in mind.  That accounts for the changes in the deisgns for the wide-angle lenses.  So while it does in part relive past glories, but it does have its eyes open to the future.  They are supposedly working on a digital version of the Zeiss Ikon.

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P. S. Cosina already makes something similar: expensive, old-fashioned manual focus lenses in Nikon F-mount. Cosina also makes three of the five new Carl Zeiss branded ZM lenses in Leica M-mount. Will some or all of the "Carl Zeiss" ZF lenses also be made by Cosina?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54538\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The ZF lenses, like the ZM lenses, will probably mostly (if not all) be made be Cosina.
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Seigmund
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2005, 11:02:36 PM »
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I wonder where these rumours come from? Is this just a bunch of Nikon fan-boys mouthing off on the web with baseless speculation and conjecture?


JC,

It would appear that the rumors are coming from Carl Zeiss. Last week some images were purloined from the CZ website that showed the lenses mounted on an F6 and FM3. The lenses will carry the designation ZF. Check it out at these links:


camera-info

Zeiss

Scott
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 05:55:36 AM »
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Yes, yes.  So what?  I've seen the Zeiss site and known all about the images for some time.  It does not mean that mean that Zeiss and Nikon are collaborating. They are only trying to genrate hype for their ZF lenses -- they are not trying to imply a collaboration with Nikon.  There is absolutely no reason to infer that.  Zeiss' similarly tageted "ZM" lens line did not imply a collaboration with Leica (anything but).   The ZF lenses will work on the F6 and the FM3. These cameras are compatible with the old lens mount.   The D200 is as well, but the D70 is not.  The lenses will also work on your F2 and the Nikkormat.  Why would Nikon, who believe that they make some of the finest lenses in the world, think that they need lenses from Carl Zeiss?  These lenses are archaic in fromat (manual focus and no lens automation or electronics) and incorporate none of Nikon's lens mount technology developed over the past 25 years.  They will suit only a very tiny niche of professional and hobbyist users.  They will also be of also of limited use with with 99% of Nikon SLR cameras produced today -- all their digital cameras have APS size sensors significanlty reduicing the attractiveness of many of the lenses (the wide-angle in particular).  Sigma, Tamron and Tokina all make Nikon lenses with alot more modern Nikon lens mount technology (AF-D mount) in them.  Does that mean they are collaborating with Nikon? If Zeiss had a collaboration with Nikon don't you think they would use a lens mount that would work with all their cameras rather than the ancient and minimally compatible F-mount?    Let's not try to read too finely between the lines.


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JC,

It would appear that the rumors are coming from Carl Zeiss. Last week some images were purloined from the CZ website that showed the lenses mounted on an F6 and FM3. The lenses will carry the designation ZF. Check it out at these links:
camera-info

Zeiss

Scott
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54569\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Slough
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 10:46:50 AM »
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It is conceivable that there is a sufficiently large market among manual Nikon users to merit a new range of lenses. I'm sure Zeiss could tweak existing designs without too much trouble so the development costs would not be that high. But, Nikon have indicated that they are working on full frame, so in a few years time a Nikon FF should be on the market. In which case there is probably a market for users who want the best image quality. And of course they can be used on Canon bodies in place of the supposedly lacking Canon wides. (At least some people think that they are lacking.)

Is it conceivable that the Zeiss lenses will have better resolution than the Nikon lenses, hence making them more suitable for future APS sensors?

As for the Zeiss adertising campaign, revealing a bit more information each Wednesday, it gets on my nerves. It is irritating and feels very manipulative. Arrrggghhh. Why can't they just leak specs and pictures and then announce on the day like everyone else?

Leif
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John Camp
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2005, 11:50:38 AM »
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As for the Zeiss adertising campaign, revealing a bit more information each Wednesday, it gets on my nerves. It is irritating and feels very manipulative. Arrrggghhh. Why can't they just leak specs and pictures and then announce on the day like everyone else?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54614\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is a little off-topic, but I find the campaign amusing in a stupid way, although my basic reaction was the same as yours -- it's annoying and grating. It's vaguely amusing because I think Zeiss is trying to replicate what happens when early information about big products, like new Canon or Nikon camera bodies, is slowly leaked onto the net, creating a lot of gossip and commentary and interest. But they've done it in this ham-handed way and it's not working; it's just annoying people. They would have been better off to have some (secretly hired?) third party "discover" some "hidden" information on the website and spill it onto Digital Photogaphy Review -- and then remove the info, and then have more discovered by hackers, etc. That might have worked. This extraordinarily slow striptease is like, well, an extraordinarily slow striptease.

My original post about the Zeiss lenses still hasn't been answered -- some people here suggest that it's just a feeble twitch by Zeiss to get into a small niche at little cost...well, it had to cost them something, and if that's all it is, how many lens sales are we talking about? Hundreds as opposed to thousands? My possibly naive idea was that Nikon had a very full plate, trying to keep up with Canon with the D series bodies, with Canon and Sony and everybody else on the consumer bodies, and might not have had the resources for a new lens line -- a wide angle line -- that would work to Nikon standards with FF lenses. Nikon has claimed all along that FF has problems that they deem unacceptable, especially at the wide end. You see the problems clearly with the Canon and Kodak FF bodies with corner sharpness problems and light fall-off -- sure, you can stop down, but then you're stopped down; you lose a couple of stops of light. Some Canon users have gone to Zeiss (with adapters) as a solution to their wide-angle problems. Might not Nikon have a similar arrangment, possibly more formaliized?
I guess we'll find out in three weeks.

JC
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dbell
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2005, 01:00:52 PM »
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If that's all that's going on. I wonder if Nikon and Zeiss are cooperating on a very high resolution FF Nikon, with Zeiss providing the wides? I read somewhere else that there are rumors of a 24mp FF Nikon for Fall 2006, but haven't been able to find anything that suggests it's more than hot air; and would Zeiss announce and begin trying to sell its lenses eight or nine months before a Nikon announcement?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54527\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have trouble envisioning a very expensive non-automated prime lens from Zeiss as an acceptable solution for someone willing to pay big bucks for a hypothetical full-frame Nikon DSLR. Nikon already has 14mm, 18mm and 20mm rectilinear lenses and a 16mm fisheye as well as an expensive 17-35 and a cheaper 18-35. All of these are non-DX lenses with AF that will meter on all of Nikon's AF/AE bodies.

I guess Zeiss could make a boutique product and market it to the niche that buys  high-end cameras, has money to burn and doesn't need any automation, but I'd expect that to be a pretty small group.

I hope the announcement turns out to be something of interest to a broader audience of Nikon users.


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Daniel Bell
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BJL
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2005, 03:31:21 PM »
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the Zeiss-Nikon lenses don't bother with autofocus and other fripperies (i.e. manual focus and aperture selection on the lens), they can be easily adapted to fit Canon with commonly-available adapters with no loss of functionality.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54545\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
As with current Zeiss/Kyocera/Contax lenses, this can be done, but with one loss of functionality: aperture automation. Canon users would still be stuck with stop-down metering.

Also, I do not know whether Canon bodies would provide focus confirmation as is the case with MF lenses used on Nikon AF bodies. Clearly, Nikon has maintained more backward compatibility with MF lenses (since it still makes MF bodies and lenses), which makes it a better platform for old-fashioned third party lenses like the ones seen in leaked Zeiss photos.


P. S. The Zeiss ZF lenses seemed aimed mainly at film cameras; all cameras shown in the leaked photos are film, not digital. So I see no connection between this Zeiss project and the endless dreams of Nikon returning to 35mm film camera format for its digital cameras.
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jani
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2005, 07:42:19 PM »
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This is a little off-topic, but I find the campaign amusing in a stupid way, although my basic reaction was the same as yours -- it's annoying and grating. It's vaguely amusing because I think Zeiss is trying to replicate what happens when early information about big products, like new Canon or Nikon camera bodies, is slowly leaked onto the net, creating a lot of gossip and commentary and interest. But they've done it in this ham-handed way and it's not working; it's just annoying people. They would have been better off to have some (secretly hired?) third party "discover" some "hidden" information on the website and spill it onto Digital Photogaphy Review -- and then remove the info, and then have more discovered by hackers, etc. That might have worked. This extraordinarily slow striptease is like, well, an extraordinarily slow striptease.
But, er, there was a "discovery" of "hidden" information, and it got "leaked", and you can see all the future ads on other web sites (though not DPReview).
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Jan
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2005, 02:20:53 AM »
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If that's all that's going on. I wonder if Nikon and Zeiss are cooperating on a very high resolution FF Nikon, with Zeiss providing the wides? I read somewhere else that there are rumors of a 24mp FF Nikon for Fall 2006, but haven't been able to find anything that suggests it's more than hot air; and would Zeiss announce and begin trying to sell its lenses eight or nine months before a Nikon announcement?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54527\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't know whether they are cooperating, but I am guessing that Zeiss would probably not have made such a move now without some degree of confidence that Nikon is going FF in the not too distant future.

Nikon film cameras have been around for 30 years, and Zeiss could have produced lenses for the F mount for a long time, just like Sigma did. But these lenses would have yielded little advantage compared to Nikon's own line up, just like nobody was buying Zeiss glass for the film pro Canon bodies.

Zeiss is probably fully aware that Canon FF users have a problem with ultra-wide that Canon hasn't been able to fix until now, and they probably believe that Nikon will not be any better.

To me, it would be foolish to think that Nikon doesn't have the capability or the intend to go full frame, it is plain obvious that they will go for larger sensors at a certain point of time, the only question is when.

Personnally, I would prefer them to keep researching into improving APS sensors because they have many advantages for my landscape applications, but the market pressure in favour of FF is unfortunately most probably just too strong to ignore...

My guess is that Nikon will also release together with their full frame body a very high end 18-40 f2.8 or 16-40 f2.8 VR that will provide image uniformity accross the frame similar to what they are getting with the 12-24 on the D2x, but I could be wrong. Zeiss seemingly believes that I am wrong, or at least that a zoom lens will never match the quality of their primes.

One more comment, why is everbody assuming that the Zeiss ZF lenses will be manual focus?

If I were a Nikon top person, I would license AF-S and D technologies to Zeiss on a per lens sold basis at 2/3 the price of a Nikon lens! The perfect win-win deal, but this is wild speculation.

Regards,
Bernard
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Frere Jacques
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2005, 02:30:58 AM »
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>One more comment, why is everbody assuming that the Zeiss ZF lenses will be >manual focus?

Bingo!! Now AF Zeiss' would be very interesting indeed...
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2005, 04:32:37 AM »
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One more comment, why is everbody assuming that the Zeiss ZF lenses will be manual focus?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54720\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Becuase from the pictures, the lens are of a size and diameter that doesn't allow room for AF mechanisms.  They look very much line manual focus lenses (almost like the Contax/Yashica lenses) .  So unless they have figured out a way to minaturize all the AF mechanics and electronics further (unlikely), they are almost certainly MF.
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2005, 04:35:33 AM »
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Well, now it looks like Zeiss is having a bit of fun about having it's ZF photos discovered. It's planted them back with new messages directed at those that go looking for them. Cute, but feeble attempt to save themselves from the fiasco. Zeiss, just get it over with and tell us already. OK?

See:
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/Graph...le/01_gross.jpg
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/Graph...le/02_gross.jpg
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/Graph...le/03_gross.jpg
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/Graph...le/04_gross.jpg
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/Graph...le/05_gross.jpg
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/Graph...le/06_gross.jpg
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Slough
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2005, 05:16:33 AM »
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I don't know whether they are cooperating, but I am guessing that Zeiss would probably not have made such a move now without some degree of confidence that Nikon is going FF in the not too distant future.

Nikon film cameras have been around for 30 years, and Zeiss could have produced lenses for the F mount for a long time, just like Sigma did. But these lenses would have yielded little advantage compared to Nikon's own line up, just like nobody was buying Zeiss glass for the film pro Canon bodies.

Zeiss is probably fully aware that Canon FF users have a problem with ultra-wide that Canon hasn't been able to fix until now, and they probably believe that Nikon will not be any better.

To me, it would be foolish to think that Nikon doesn't have the capability or the intend to go full frame, it is plain obvious that they will go for larger sensors at a certain point of time, the only question is when.

Personnally, I would prefer them to keep researching into improving APS sensors because they have many advantages for my landscape applications, but the market pressure in favour of FF is unfortunately most probably just too strong to ignore...

My guess is that Nikon will also release together with their full frame body a very high end 18-40 f2.8 or 16-40 f2.8 VR that will provide image uniformity accross the frame similar to what they are getting with the 12-24 on the D2x, but I could be wrong. Zeiss seemingly believes that I am wrong, or at least that a zoom lens will never match the quality of their primes.

One more comment, why is everbody assuming that the Zeiss ZF lenses will be manual focus?

If I were a Nikon top person, I would license AF-S and D technologies to Zeiss on a per lens sold basis at 2/3 the price of a Nikon lens! The perfect win-win deal, but this is wild speculation.

Regards,
Bernard
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bernard: I have no experience with Canon, so my opinions are second hand. My understanding is that Nikon have had a reputation for better wides than Canon. According to most reviews that I have seen the Nikon 17-35 F2.8 lens is reckoned to match or exceed the corresponding Nikon primes, though performance is said to drop as you approach the point of close focus.

Here is one review from someone who seems to be respected:

[a href=\"http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/wa-zooms.htm]http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/wa-zooms.htm[/url]

It is always possible that Zeiss have outsourced manufacturing to China, in which case the lenses will be price competitive with Nikon. But I doubt that as Zeiss tend to go for the high end of the market.

The source for Nikon pursuing FF is a Nikon one. I suspect that most Nikon users do not care too much either way.

Leif
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BryanHansel
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2005, 02:50:08 PM »
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Well, now it looks like Zeiss is having a bit of fun about having it's ZF photos discovered. It's planted them back with new messages directed at those that go looking for them. Cute, but feeble attempt to save themselves from the fiasco. Zeiss, just get it over with and tell us already. OK?

Seems to be working.  It got you to post the links online.
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BJL
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2005, 07:48:02 PM »
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I don't know whether they are cooperating, but I am guessing that Zeiss would probably not have made such a move now without some degree of confidence that Nikon is going FF in the not too distant future.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54720\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Form Zeiss's point of view, Nikon is already "FF", as in 35mm Film Format: Zeiss's camer and lens division is a 20th century style operation, about to release some 20th century style, manual focus lenses for 20th century style, manual focusing, 35mm film using photographers.

I repeat, ALL cameras appearing in the leaked photos are Nikon 35mm film cameras: an F6 and and F3m. Not even a Kodak 14/n in sight!
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