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Zeiss ZM 85mm f/2 Sonnar T*

The Zeiss ZM 85mm f/2 Sonnar (about $3350) is an ultra high performance 85mm lens hand-built in Germany, and thus is one of the premium optics of the Zeiss ZM line.

Its low distortion and ultra-high imaging quality make it eminently suitable for true-to-life imagery.

Focusing

Like all lenses over 50mm, your primary challenge on a rangefinder like the Leica M9 will be accurate focus and framing, just as with the Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M. In essence, perfect 20/20 vision is needed, along with perfect rangefinder focus adjustment.

Leica M9/M7/M8 users should consider the Viewfinder Magnifier 1.4X for use with 75/85/90mm lenses.

Image quality

This lens offers very high performance, but please see the Guide to Leica for commentary.

Specifications

Per Zeiss. See the datasheet.

Zeiss ZM 85mm f/2 Sonnar T*
Focal length: 85mm
Aperture scale: f/2 - f/16 in 1/3 steps
Focusing range: 1m - infinity
Angular field, diag./horiz./vert 29/24/16 °
Coverage at close range: 23 cm x 35 cm
Image ratio at close range:            1:10
Number of elements/groups: 6 elements in 6 groups
Filter thread: M 58 x 0.75
Weight: 500g
Dimensions (with caps): ø 70 mm, length 100 mm

Distortion

A faint trace of pincushion distortion is all there is.

This is effectively zero distortion for any practical purpose, and much less distortion than the Leica offerings in the 75mm - 90mm range.

Distortion of the Zeiss ZM 85mm f/2 Sonnar

Conclusions

Please see discussion in Guide to Leica.


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