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Carl Zeiss announces Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon

Carl Zeiss has announced the 21mm f/2.8 Distagon in Nikon, Canon and Pentax mounts. It’s unclear how its pedigree relates to the Contax 21mm, but the Contax version has been highly sought after for outstanding performance (this might explain the usage of the word “legendary” in the Zeiss press release, though what “modernized” means is unclear).

The general construction is similar to the 18/3.5 Distagon, with the flaring business-end and its 82mm filter threads. The list price of $1750 is the highest yet in the ZF line, which one can hope is indicative of superlative performance.

Of particular interest to me is the close-focusing ability, down to a 1:5.3 reproduction ratio. This is not as close as the 25/2.8 Distagon at around 1:2.36, but much closer than the 1:12 offered by the 18/3.5 Distagon. The 1:5.3 ratio is also about the same as the 28/2 Distagon at 1:5.0 and the 35/2 Distagon at 1:5.4. Being able to focus very closely is a big plus for weird stuff, and I like weird stuff.

The 21mm f/2.8 Distagon will of course be incorporated into my voluminous Zeiss ZF Lenses review, see my comments on this above.

Zeiss ZF 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

Carl Zeiss Launches New 21mm Super Wide Angle Lens for SLR Cameras
Distagon T* 2,8/21: A legend returns

Thornwood, NY, September 2008: The legendary Distagon T* 2,8/21 is now being introduced for SLR cameras with EF, F and K bayonets. Thanks to its excellent performance, this modernized version from the former Contax system sets new standards in this focal length class.

“The outstanding correction of chromatic aberration enables photos without color fringes even in high-contrast light conditions”, says Martin Klottig, Marketing Manager, Carl Zeiss Camera Lens Division. “Even at full aperture, the floating element design ensures optimum edge-to-edge image quality over the entire focusing range. And even in difficult light conditions, the new Distagon provides excellent results thanks to its T* coating, optimum reflection reduction and exceptional chromatic correction.”

The shortest possible distance setting of only 0.72’ / 0.22 m makes the lens ideal for impressive perspectives. Typical applications include architectural, journalistic and landscape photography.

The Distagon 2,8/21 is available with an EF bayonet (ZE), F bayonet (ZF) and a K bayonet (ZK). It is suitable for both digital and analog full-format SLR cameras. Delivery of the Distagon T* 2,8/21 is scheduled to begin by the end of this year with the ZF and ZK version. Availability for the EF mount version will be announced shortly.

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