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Zeiss ZF.2 25mm f/2.8 Distagon (updated for electronic aperture)

Zeiss today announced the ZF.2 25mm f/2.8 Distagon for Nikon F mount. This lens is optically identical to the previous ZF 25mm f/2.8 Distagon, but now has the updated mount with electronic aperture control, which I discuss in detail in my Guide to Zeiss ZF / Zeiss ZE Lenses as well as in Zeiss ZF, ZF.2, ZE lenses— ZF.2 compared to ZF. My information from Zeiss is that no ZE version for Canon EOS is planned.

Canon users shooting video might well prefer the Nikon mount for its manual aperture control when mounted on Canon EOS (with an adapter). I’ve long shot the ZF and ZF.2 line on Canon EOS just that way, even for still photography, and it has distinct advantages for both video and some more deliberate shooting (manual stop down at all times). And since a ZE model is not available for Canon (and won’t be), that’s your only choice!

The 25mm f/2.8 Distagon is a premium lens for outdoor shooting for its high image quality, light weight, compact size, and excellent manual focusing ergonomics. It’s one of my favorites when I’m out in the wild hiking, and the brilliance of its results at distance are second to none, though it does have some lateral chromatic aberration (which has never been bothersome for my images, and is easily corrected).

Excellent flare control high in Yosemite
(Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 Distagon)

It also has unusual properties at close range in terms of artistic image rendition. It focuses to with 6cm of the front lens element achieving a 1:2.36 magnification, which qualifies it as a macro lens, and which is great fun. I rate its optical design as a classic, one with a distinct and appealing personality at close range, perhaps to become a cult favorite of those liking unusual image rendition.

I expect to have a sample of the ZF.2 25mm f/2.8 Distagon soon, and I’ll be updating my Guide with some new photos at that time.

The original ZF model is about $826, the new ZF.2 model will likely be closer to $1000. Since optics are the same, the savings might be well worthwhile for some. I do prefer the electronic aperture of the ZF.2 model for convenience, but it’s a steep premium.

Close focus with Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon

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