Carl Zeiss ZF are the sharpest SLR lenses they have ever produced

Carl Zeiss proudly the proclaim that their new ZF lenses designed for Nikon SLR cameras are the sharpest SLR lenses they've ever tested.

Details from the newsletter include:
The new ZEISS ZF lenses went to test for resolving power recently. Attached to a Nikon F6, which was mounted on a Sachtler heavy duty tripod, we exposed our Eastman resolution test chart onto Kodak Imagelink HQ film. The best we had ever achieved before with any SLR lenses was 250 lp/mm.

The new Planar T* 1.4/85 ZF achieved that same resolution at f/5.6, and even down to f/2.

The new Planar T* 1,4/50 ZF went even further: It reached 320 lp/mm in the aperture range from f/5.6 to f/2.8, and 250 lp/mm at f/2.

What we are saying is this: Carl Zeiss lenses are capable of capturing enormous amounts of information, if required, and will not be the limiting factor in the imaging process. Knowing that the lens you are using is the strongest link in the chain always inspires confidence, and may be critically important in some cases.

Pricing and availability:
The prices quoted in the Carl Zeiss newsletter are in Euros, we have converted the values to sterling to give a rough approximation of the price in the UK.

Planar T* 1.4/50 ZF: 400 approx
Planar T* 1.4/85 ZF: 800 approx

The lenses can be ordered from April 1st, 2006.
By: VanBoxtel 6339 days ago
Has anybody already any experience with these lenses. And is willing to share it's findings?
By: StefDevos 6335 days ago
I'm using the 50 mm for a couple of days now. It is solidly built in general. Aperture ring works with half stops (but the half stop indication in the D2X viewfinder is rounded up to the next full stop). Too fine-ribbed focusing ring has excellent progression, but lacks the comfortable rubber Nikkor touch. Metal sun hat is felt-finished (mount-type). Lens protection cap is very cheap and difficult to fix without removing the sun hat.
Color rendition: perfect; distorsion (as perceived by DX sensor): perfect. Image clarity is phenomenal; contrast & sharpness seems to be ok although not tested yet rigorously. I can see major quality improvement as of f2.8; at f4 and especially f5.6 the results are stunning. flair not tested yet accurately, but in the field it seemed more than ok.
By: inventory 6332 days ago
These lens have just been added to Photodo.

StefDevos - If you'd like to post a user review, I'm sure others would find it valuable.
By: IanA 6327 days ago
My initial impression is that the performance in pure optical terms is stunning....

Watch this space!

By: icefire 6321 days ago
All I here is about a lens I can not get in the a
good price. they want 600 dollars us in the UK+VAT
By: JGM 6316 days ago
interesting and valuable alternative test here.
By: johnriley 6315 days ago
This sort of resolution matches the performance of Kodak Technical Pan film, although, sadly, that is not now available. However, unless we use a really solid tripod and a very slow film or CCD speed and have a totally still subject bald resolution is not going to be achieved, nor is it the only factor in the quality of a lens.

Incidentally, resolution and sharpness are not the same thing....

By: larryro2 6159 days ago

By: larryro2 6159 days ago
By: royzone 6089 days ago
I would agree with the last statements about Zeiss. Today there are totally crap lenes and very good to excellent. Of course I buy only name brand lenes that are made by Nikon. Time tested by almost evey Pro Photographer and Photojournalists everywhere on the planet.
Zeiss was no doubt one of the best since the Second world war untill about the late 50's when the Japanese got the act together and have out performed the German made lenes since. Salesmen are salesmen and I know that Nikon lenes don't need to be sold at all.!!
By: mjohn 5910 days ago
I have both the 25 mm and 50 mm Zeiss ZF lenses and use them on my Nikon D200. Having used both Hasselblads and Leicas in the past I know a good lens when I see one and the results from these new Zeiss lenses are superb. Royzone may be right that Japanese lenses( incidentally, these Zeiss lenses are made in Japan from a German design ) are now very good but there is a certain rightness about the Zeiss lenses that other makes just do not have, both image wise and buld wise. I use my Planar 50mm all the time and at f1.4 the images I get are absolutely beautiful. It can make even the most mundane subject look incredible.
By: jtorral 4951 days ago
I love these lenses so much that I have a dedicated zeiss gallery at

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