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The end of the line for Zeiss ZM?


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10 hours ago, james.liam said:

It's a very capable lens, but as noted by Tom B The Texan, blocks the finder a bit and is larger than available options. It's optimized for ƒ/2,8, resulting in focus shift @ ƒ/2 so it merely appears soft (it isn't if used with an EVF). The 35 Biogon C has no appreciable focus shift and only marginally improves by stopping down. The 35 C is one of the best 35s out there in terms of resolution, distortion and absence of field curvature, improved upon only by the ZM 1,4/35  (the 35 Summilux FLE included).

On distortion, the 35/2 beats the 35/1.4, the 35 C and probably any Leica 35.

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No, but what I found interesting is how many design cues they took from the Contarex line of lenses for the ZM barrel/exterior design.  There's that silly little focusing nub!     Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest!

I guess my response to this thread is - what has Leica done for us recently? Outside of exotica (28 Summaron, 90 Thambar, and 75/90 costing in 5 figures). Once Zeiss (or Leica) has filled all the niches to the best of their ability, there is not a lot of room for more, unless/until their ability changes.

I have used the 35/1.4. It is larger than the Summilux 35, but not that much larger. If it is ridiculous in size, the 21, 24,75 Summiluxes, 90 Summicron and Noctiluxes are hilarious...😂. To name the most obvious candidates... The weight is 381 gram vs Summilux 327 gram, The size is 63 x 65mm vs Summilux 56 x 46mm. I liked the image quality better than the Summilux. Th`e only reason I do not have one is because I already have three 35 mm M lenses plus Summiluxes 24 and 50. My per

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5 minutes ago, james.liam said:

Yup.

So before jumping in and dismissing what you present as fact, I went and checked the Zeiss website. Sure enough, the f2 Biogon has less distortion than both the f1.4 or the f2.8 lenses. I have not checked through the back catalogue of Leica 35 mm lenses and there may very well be some in the same class as the f2 Biogon. However, it's getting to the very thin end of the wedge and I could easily believe that the f2 Biogon has the least distortion at infinity. Although people get very excited by aspherical lenses, one area where spherical lenses tend to outperform them is distortion. Of course it is possible that you have owned all these lenses and tested them in a controlled manner at specific focal distances to back up your claim. But probably not?

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17 hours ago, luigi bertolotti said:

Cosina (I think) makes also the Zeiss lenses for other mounts (the various Otus Batis...)  and maybe this is proving to be a better market / better business... 

Correct, Cosina currently makes Zeiss Branded lenses for Canon EOS and Nikon F mount, includes latest Milvus iteration with various maximum F stop covering 15-18-21-25-(discontinued 28)-35-50-100-135mm focal lengths and Otus f1.4 range covering 28-55-85-100mm FLs.  In addition to SLR also Zeiss branded lenses for Sony E (mirrorless) mount, i think Loxia are manual focus and Batis are AF lenses, again covering popular several focal lengths between 21 and 135mm.  At the beginning they also made Pentax K and M42 mount but these were discontinued due to limited demand.

I believe SLR and Mirrorless lens volumes far exceed RF lenses.  Zeiss M RF lenses are still in production, out of the original range from the early 2000s the 18mm, 4.5/21mm and 2/85 were discontinued and 1.4/35mm was introduced.

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5 hours ago, Mark T said:

So before jumping in and dismissing what you present as fact, I went and checked the Zeiss website. Sure enough, the f2 Biogon has less distortion than both the f1.4 or the f2.8 lenses. I have not checked through the back catalogue of Leica 35 mm lenses and there may very well be some in the same class as the f2 Biogon. However, it's getting to the very thin end of the wedge and I could easily believe that the f2 Biogon has the least distortion at infinity. Although people get very excited by aspherical lenses, one area where spherical lenses tend to outperform them is distortion. Of course it is possible that you have owned all these lenses and tested them in a controlled manner at specific focal distances to back up your claim. But probably not?

 

Quite impressive, if consistent on all items : just gave a look to Summicron+ Summilux 35 asph (Leica tech data) - not at this level , and not slightly.... 

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20 hours ago, james.liam said:

Then I stand corrected. I went from memory reading Lloyd Chambers' review I used to subscribe to

Not the most reliable of sites, alas.

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On 6/1/2020 at 2:12 PM, mmradman said:

Correct, Cosina currently makes Zeiss Branded lenses for Canon EOS and Nikon F mount, includes latest Milvus iteration with various maximum F stop covering 15-18-21-25-(discontinued 28)-35-50-100-135mm focal lengths and Otus f1.4 range covering 28-55-85-100mm FLs.  In addition to SLR also Zeiss branded lenses for Sony E (mirrorless) mount, i think Loxia are manual focus and Batis are AF lenses, again covering popular several focal lengths between 21 and 135mm.  At the beginning they also made Pentax K and M42 mount but these were discontinued due to limited demand.

I believe SLR and Mirrorless lens volumes far exceed RF lenses.  Zeiss M RF lenses are still in production, out of the original range from the early 2000s the 18mm, 4.5/21mm and 2/85 were discontinued and 1.4/35mm was introduced.

Yes, the Zeiss Loxia's are MF.   I have the 25mm f2.4 for my A7III and the results are superb.  

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On 6/1/2020 at 9:12 AM, mmradman said:

Correct, Cosina currently makes Zeiss Branded lenses for Canon EOS and Nikon F mount, includes latest Milvus iteration with various maximum F stop covering 15-18-21-25-(discontinued 28)-35-50-100-135mm focal lengths and Otus f1.4 range covering 28-55-85-100mm FLs.  In addition to SLR also Zeiss branded lenses for Sony E (mirrorless) mount, i think Loxia are manual focus and Batis are AF lenses, again covering popular several focal lengths between 21 and 135mm.  At the beginning they also made Pentax K and M42 mount but these were discontinued due to limited demand.

I believe SLR and Mirrorless lens volumes far exceed RF lenses.  Zeiss M RF lenses are still in production, out of the original range from the early 2000s the 18mm, 4.5/21mm and 2/85 were discontinued and 1.4/35mm was introduced.

Zeiss is available for Fuji X mounts as well. 

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Zeiss seems to be extremely slow during the last couple of years.

Their last lens was the Otus 100mm, and that was one year ago. No announcements since then.

Then there's the ZX1, announced almost 2 years ago and still pure vaporware.

Sadly at this pace I don't think we will ever see new ZM lenses, their best bet at the moment would be to focus on Canon and Nikon mirrorless mounts by converting their Loxia line rather than creating new lenses for a niche product like the M mount.

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The M mount is indeed a niche product. My feeling is, on 100 Leica rangefinders (already niche products)  you find 90 Leica lenses, 5 Voigtlaenders, 2 ZM, 2 7artisans and 1 other. For ZM, Zeiss does not have the economy of scale, sooner or later the ZM range will be gone.

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Zeiss gave up on Pentax K-mount years ago. You would think that Pentax had a much bigger marketshare and more potential buyers for lenses?

 

I think Zeiss ZM offers better lenses than Leica in 2,8/35, 1,4/35 and 2,0/50. Or at least better value for money.

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3 hours ago, J.Nordvik said:

Zeiss gave up on Pentax K-mount years ago. You would think that Pentax had a much bigger marketshare and more potential buyers for lenses?

 

I think Zeiss ZM offers better lenses than Leica in 2,8/35, 1,4/35 and 2,0/50. Or at least better value for money.

They do have some unique offerings, that I'm afraid people will appreciate more after they're discontinued, and the prices will rise just like with their cameras.

For instance, the 21mm f/4.5 Biogon is the most rectilinear lens you'll find compared to any wideangle. It has virtually zero distortion across the frame, which for a lens this wide is impressive. (One can hope they'll re-release the 16mm Hologon in m-mount). The 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar has really good bokeh and "pop" (i.e. high contrast and smooth transition to out of focus areas), and is very compact for its speed. It's like having 2 lenses at one: Wide open or slightly stopped down, a great people lens with its nice bokeh and field curvature that helps isolate a central subject even more, stopped down very sharp and contrasty for general use. Lastly the 15mm f/2.8 Distagon is the fastest ultrawide in this focal length, as far as I know, and does a good job at handling distortion (or a damn great job, by retrofocal standards). 

Lastly you have a "statement" lens like the 35mm f/1.4 Distagon, which by objective performance standards is possibly the best 35mm lens in the m-system, even if it has to pay the price in size (huge).

And all that is just about the unique things they offer, I'm not even touching on value for money (which is obviously a great point).

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1 hour ago, giannis said:

They do have some unique offerings, that I'm afraid people will appreciate more after they're discontinued, and the prices will rise just like with their cameras.

For instance, the 21mm f/4.5 Biogon is the most rectilinear lens you'll find compared to any wideangle. It has virtually zero distortion across the frame, which for a lens this wide is impressive. (One can hope they'll re-release the 16mm Hologon in m-mount). The 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar has really good bokeh and "pop" (i.e. high contrast and smooth transition to out of focus areas), and is very compact for its speed. It's like having 2 lenses at one: Wide open or slightly stopped down, a great people lens with its nice bokeh and field curvature that helps isolate a central subject even more, stopped down very sharp and contrasty for general use. Lastly the 15mm f/2.8 Distagon is the fastest ultrawide in this focal length, as far as I know, and does a good job at handling distortion (or a damn great job, by retrofocal standards). 

Lastly you have a "statement" lens like the 35mm f/1.4 Distagon, which by objective performance standards is possibly the best 35mm lens in the m-system, even if it has to pay the price in size (huge).

And all that is just about the unique things they offer, I'm not even touching on value for money (which is obviously a great point).

The 4,5/21 you mention is a tiny tour-de-force on film. That would have been one of the first I'd have imagined Zeiss would have calculated for digital. The 15 has always been this mystery to me, non-RF coupled. Has anyone ever used one to comment?

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I have recently bought the zeiss 25mm f2.8 zm and it produces wonderful sun star effects on city harbour night shots,,,quite smitten with this lens.

Voigtlander seem to make lenses for sony now and as an afterthought make a leica m version of whichever lens they introduce.

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