Zeiss unveils new 35mm ZM lens.

press release Mar 20, 2008

The legendary Carl Zeiss company has unveiled a new ZM lens (Leica M-mount), the 
Carl Zeiss C Biogon T* 2,8/35 ZM. The new lens is only f/2.8 which does not make it the fastest prime on the market. However, it competes directly with offerings from Leica in terms of lens speed and outperforms them on price. The new lens’ estimated price is € 590 ($910 USD) compared to Leica’s Summarit 35mm f/2.5 at $1,495 USD.

Oddly enough, Zeiss’ parent company, Cosina of Japan, unveiled at PMA a 35mm f/1.4 M lens under its Voigtlander brand. The lens is 2 stops faster and retails for $519. How well all three render will be the determining factor.

Zeiss’ other C lenses have reflected older lens designs and often have a rendition that has been called “painterly”. In this digital age, sharpness is all the rage, but the informed still know that bokeh, or how a lens renders the out-of-focus areas just as important as the in-focus parts.

Here is the press release for those like this sort of thing:

Carl Zeiss: C Biogon T* 2,8/35 ZM

The New Carl Zeiss C Biogon T* 2,8/35 ZM Completes Any Compact Photography Equipment

OBERKOCHEN/Germany – March 19, 2008.

As the latest member of the ZM lens family, the C Biogon T* 2,8/35 ZM lens is the perfect addition to your light, mobile photo equipment. The C Biogon T* 2,8/35 ZM will inspire you with perfect images, even at full aperture. Together with the compact C Biogon T* 4,5/21 ZM, it creates the ideal equipment for a wide range of applications such as documentation and architecture photography.

The “C” in the title indicates another outstanding feature: rather unusual for a lens of this performance class, its moderate speed of 1:2.8 permits an exceptionally compact construction. The symmetrical Biogon construction with 7 lens elements in 5 groups allows for practically distortion-free images.

The ZM lens series from Carl Zeiss is suitable for cameras with M-bayonet. As with the other lenses in this line, the C Biogon T* 2,8/35 ZM features an intuitive operating concept, a robust all-metal frame and a precise, noticeable click in 1/3 aperture stops.

Delivery of this lens is scheduled to begin in mid 2008:

C Biogon T* 2,8/35 ZM: Approx. € 590.00 (excluding VAT)