Thornwood, NY—The Zeiss Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50 are the first members of a new family of manual focus lenses for E-mount full-frame cameras. The lenses are optimized for digital sensors and electronic viewfinders. They also feature a mechanical aperture setting and the mechanical deactivation of the click stop (de-click) for serious videography. The lenses will debut at Zeiss’s booth at photokina 2014 in Cologne, Germany.
“Ever since the Sony Alpha 7/7r/7s helped compact system cameras break through to the full frame, there has been a growing desire for a ‘digital manual focus’ experience that combines the best of both worlds. The Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50 are the first members of a new family of manual focus lenses for the E-mount full frame. By entering this field, Zeiss not only wants to meet this desire, but exceed it,” said Christophe Casenave, product manager at Zeiss Camera Lenses.
Freedom of composition was the guiding principle in developing the Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50. An electronic interface transmits lens data (EXIF), but it also recognizes focus movements and, if desired, activates the camera’s magnifier function. This supports the possibility of compact camera systems with an electronic viewfinder.
Loxia lenses are targeted at photographers who enjoy shooting spontaneous scenes, without giving away the work of composing the image to the camera. The lenses are designed for precise manual focusing and a mechanical setting of the aperture (aperture priority), to open up creative possibilities when composing images.
Also notable is the mechanical deactivation of aperture click stops (de-click), creating progressive and noiseless aperture settings. This feature was added to provide creative potential, not only for photographers but also for videographers. Due to the Loxias’ manual focusing, physical aperture ring and a noiseless aperture position, they are suitable for professional video productions, and photojournalists also will be able to use the lenses for semiprofessional video shoots.
The optical design of the Loxia 2/35 is based on a biogon and consists of nine lens elements in six groups. With a full-frame focal length of a moderate wide angle, this lens is suited for nature, landscape and architectural photography. It also has a low minimum object distance of 11.8 inches for close-up photography.
The design of the Loxia 2/50 is based on a planar, with six lens elements in four groups. As a “classic” standard lens with a full-frame focal length of 50mm, it offers photographers a field of view that corresponds to natural eyesight. The Loxia 2/50 is geared for a range of situations, from travel photography, family photography and photojournalism to portraiture. It has a minimum working distance of 17.7 inches.
Both Loxia lenses have a high speed of f/2, and they are engineered to provide high resolution across the entire image field and a harmonious bokeh in the background, especially at the maximum f/2 aperture opening. In addition, the discreetly styled Loxia lens range intentionally eschews autofocus, making them compact (2.33 inches in length without lens cap) and ideal for travel and unobtrusive street photography.
Other key features include: smooth focus operation with a large focus rotation angle of 180º for fine variations in focusing; a consistent M52 filter diameter across the entire lens family; metal barrel construction built to withstand rough everyday situations that pro photographers face; and special weather sealing at the lens mount to prevent spray water from getting between the camera and the lens.
The Zeiss Loxia 2/50 will be available October 2014; the Loxia 2/35 will reach retail the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. The recommended retail price of the Loxia 2/35 will be $1,299; the Loxia 2/50 will have an SRP of $949. zeiss.com