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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.


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.

Fast and cost effective way to backup!


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


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


Please see discussion in Guide to Leica.

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