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New ZEISS 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* Ultra Wide Angle Lens

I’ve been working with the new Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon for about a week now, and I’m really enjoying the results it delivers, as well as its ergonomics.

Carl Zeiss presents the new Distagon T* 2,8/15 super wide angle lens

Joining the range of Zeiss DSLR lenses, is the new ultra-wide angle Distagon T* 2.8/15 lens. With an extra-wide angle of view of 110° and a fast f/2.8 aperture, the lens enables dramatic -yet natural- perspectives for commercial, architectural and landscape photographers.

The new Distagon T* 2.8/15 is a high-performing lens, designed to set a new standard of excellence in the ultra-wide angle lens category. It is especially suited to the latest high-resolution DSLR’s and will yield extraordinary still and video results.

The lens is available with an EF (ZE) or F bayonet (ZF.2) mount and begins shipping in May 2012 at an MAP price of $2,950.

My Guide to Zeiss ZF / ZE Lenses has some solid coverage of the new lens, including the usual high quality examples and generous crops. See my initial review of the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon in my Guide to Zeiss ZF / ZE Lenses.

Over the next few days, I’ll be publishing more and more material, with updates noted here in this blog (I’m just a little behind, with lots of material to process and publish).

Still in preparation is the writeup of my interview on the development of the 15/2.8, with Dr. Hubert Nasse.

A hallmark of the 15/2.8 Distagon is is outstanding contrast and superb color saturation and near-freedom from chromatic errors. It handles great, focuses to 1:9, supports filters, has a lens shade that keeps rain from the front element quite well (for 3 hours today!), has essentially no focus shift (unlike the Nikon 14-24), and is not all that much heavier than the 21/2.8 Distagon.

A 15mm is an extreme wide angle lens, but with the ultra low distortion of the 15/2.8 Distagon, it becomes a practical tool for tight spaces. That distortion (2%) is also plain vanilla barrel distortion, so it is easily corrected for critical applications.

Nikon D3x + Zeiss ZF.2 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
California Buckeye
Nikon D3x + Zeiss ZF.2 15mm f/2.8 Distagon @ f/11

Details

The 15/2.8 fills out the wide end of the Zeiss lens line, and makes a perfect addition to the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon.

Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* Specifications
Focal length 15.4 mm (infinity), 15.1mm (1:9)
Aperture range f/2.8- f/22
Number of lens elements/groups 15 elements, 12 groups
Focusing range: 0.25 m / 9.84" - ∞
Free working distance 0.09 m / 3.54" - ∞
Angular field (diag./horiz./vert.) 110°/ 100°/ 76°
Diameter of image field 43 mm (1.69′′)
Flange focal offset 46.5mm for ZF.2, 44.0mm for ZE
Coverage at close range (MOD). 36 X 24mm frame 340 x 221 mm (13.39 X 8.70")
Image ratio at close range 1 : 9
Filter thread M95 x 1.0
Length with caps 132 mm (ZF.2), 135 mm (ZE)
Diameter max 103 mm
Weight (nominal) 730 g (ZF.2), 820 g (ZE)
Weight (as actually weighed) ZF.2: 807g with hood and caps, 739g without
Mounts ZF.2 (F bayonet), ZE (EF bayonet)
Carl Zeiss ZF.2 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T*
Carl Zeiss ZF.2 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

OBERKOCHEN, GERMANY – March 16, 2012

Infinitely Wide

Carl Zeiss presents the new Distagon T* 2,8/15 super wide angle lens

Carl Zeiss brings out a new super wide angle lens in May 2012. The super wide angle Distagon T* 2,8/15 will be available with an EF (ZE) or F bayonet (ZF.2).

With an extra-large angle of view of 110  degrees in combination with a fast f/2.8 aperture, the lens enables the features for dramatic perspectives and performance demanded by the most ambitious landscape and architectural photographers. With a unique ability to capture events in a natural and extraordinary manner, it is also an ideal companion for advertising, journalism and commercial photography.

Thanks to the extreme angle of view of the lens, the fore and background can be creatively emphasized in landscape and architecture photography. These applications will also benefit from the large depth-of-field, which provides a wide range of image sharpness from close-up up to infinity. With a close focus of 0.25m (10”) – combined with a wide angle view, photographers can work in tight spaces, while also allowing focus on close-up details. Distortion is extremely well controlled, producing naturally proportioned photographs which are not typical of many other super wide angle lenses. "With the Distagon T* 2,8/15, Carl Zeiss sets the standard in super wide angle photography," says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Consumer Lenses Program Manager in the Camera Lens Division of Carl Zeiss AG. "Even at full aperture it achieves outstanding detail rendition and opens up room for extremely imaginative design."

The Distagon T* 2,8/15 incorporates two aspheric lenses and special types of glass material with abnormal partial dispersion to provide an extraordinary correction of chromatic aberration. A floating elements design guarantees high image quality from close-focus through infinity. Like the other SLR lenses in the ZE and ZF.2 series, stray light and reflections are well controlled by the Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating and the sophisticated treatment of the lens element edges with special light absorbing paint.

The robust all-metal barrel of the Distagon T* 2,8/15 is designed for decades of reliable service. A long focus rotation and buttery-smooth action is perfect for photographers who want to take control of their picture making, as well as for filmmakers looking for superior focus control. A nine blade aperture provides a nearly circular opening, producing natural looking out of focus details.

The lens shade is integrated into the design and helps to protect the lens surface from unintentional damage. The 95mm filter thread accepts all standard filters, including the recently released Carl Zeiss T* UV and POL filters.

The lens will begin shipping in May 2012 at a recommended retail price of €2,148 or US$2,948 (excluding VAT)*.

The new ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 opens-up a new world of creative possibilities.

The 95mm filter thread of the Distagon T* 2,8/15 accepts all standard filters, including the Carl Zeiss T* UV and POL filters

Technical data
Focal length 15 mm
Aperture range f/2.8 -22
Number of lens elements/groups 15/12
Focusing range: 0.25m – infinity
Angular field** (diag./horiz./vert.) 110°/ 100°/ 76°
Coverage at close range** 340 x 221 mm (close-up)
Image ratio at close range 1:9 (close-up)
Filter thread M95 x 1.0
Length with caps 132 mm (ZF.2), 135 mm (ZE)
Diameter 103 mm (ZF.2), 103 mm (ZE)
Weight 730 g (ZF.2), 820 g (ZE)
Mounts ZF.2 (F bayonet), ZE (EF bayonet)

* Status: 16 March 2012
** Based on 35 mm format

Press contact
Tobias Brandstetter, Carl Zeiss, Camera and Cine Lenses,
Tel. +49 (0) 7364/ 20-3242, Email: to.brandstetter@zeiss.de
www.zeiss.de/press

MTF

If MTF is not displaying correctly, see it on this page.

Distortion

Plain old barrel distortion, which is easy to correct. A level of 2% is very low for a 15mm lens. See the examples.

Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* relative distortion

Vignetting

See my aperture series in my Guide to Zeiss ZF / ZE Lenses for field examples.

Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* relative illuminance

 


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