Zeiss has released some interesting tidbits about future plans.
Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 “no compromise” lens for Nikon and Canon. Of course it will get special attention in my Guide to Zeiss ZF.2 / ZE Lenses.
A must-see attraction is a high-performance, full-format SLR camera lens with manual focus. With a focal length of 55 mm and aperture of f/1.4, this lens is the first model of a new product family designed for demanding users.
Thanks to a newly developed optical design, this lens is superior to conventional full-frame lenses, and it achieves with powerful full-frame, full-format cameras an image performance that until now has only been seen with medium-format systems. The first prototype of this new range will celebrate its world debut at Photokina. The family of lenses is expected to be on the market in the second half of 2013 for EF bayonet (ZE) and F bayonet (ZF.2).
Worth noting is that this new lens is a Distagon design, not a Planar or Makro-Planar. There must be optical reasons for this— my guess would be for the well developed Distagon optical corrections employed in lenses like the 35mm f/1.4 Distagon are somehow appropriate for a 55mm high-speed lens. Or that the design is a derivation of a medium format lens scaled down to 35mm format size. Or simply that keeping vignetting low argued for a Distagon design.
It would make no sense to introduce one lens only and leave it that way, so very exciting is the start of a new series of ultra high performance lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs, beginning with this 55mm f/1.4.
MANUAL APERTURE RING RETAINED FOR ZF.2: According to Zeiss USA, the ZF.2 F-mount version will retain a manual iris, like other Zeiss ZF.2 lenses. This a BIG DEAL because it allows using the lens not just on Nikon, but on Canon, Sony NEX, Olympus, Fuji— any camera that has an adapter for F-mount. It means that you can buy ONE LENS for all these brands. Which is why I have a lot fewer Canon EF mount Zeiss lenses— it sucks that they fit only on Canon.
Naturally, the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Distagon will appear at the earliest opportunity in my Guide to Zeiss ZF / ZE Lenses.