One of the most respected names in optics is slowly but surely making a comeback as the higher resolution D-SLRs place greater demands on lens performance.

When Kyocera pulled the plug on Contax, Zeiss was left with an orphaned 35mm SLR lens system, but it was too good to simply let it disappear. Among the gems were the Distagon 35mm f1.4, Planar 85mm f1.4 and PC-Distagon 35mm f2.8 shift lens. Yet with the SLR world obsessed by autofocusing and ever more exotic zooms, was there still a place for manual-focus primes regardless of how beautifully made they might be?

For a while the answer appeared to be no. But then things began to change. D-SLRs with 35mm-sized sensors appeared, followed by a renewed interest in fast primes and the inherent image quality advantages of simpler optical designs. Most recently, the next generation of 35mm format D-SLRs with ultra-high resolutions – led by Nikon’s D800/D800E – has arrived, focusing attention on optical resolution and performance like never before. In the meantime, Zeiss had actually been quietly resurrecting some of its iconic T* lenses – adapting them to the specific demands of digital capture, revising the ergonomics and re-issuing them with Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. Subsequently, the stars have aligned and Zeiss’s high-end SLR optics are suddenly in high demand as less well made glassware is found wanting in front of 36.8 million pixels.

Thank-you for looking up our review of the Zeiss ZE/ZF.2 SLR Lense. This equipment review is currently available only as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages originally printed in the March 2013 issue of Prophoto magazine.

You can download it here: Zeiss ZE/ZF.2 SLR Lense Review.pdf

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