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Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar: General Comments

See my review of the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar in Guide to Zeiss.

Let’s get one thing over and done: the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar is the best performing lens so far in the entire Zeiss ZF.2 / ZE lineup. Its performance bears little criticism. Actually, I might be stymied in that regard. Oh well.

Well, OK, here goes: it could have been ƒ/1.4 and it could have had MTF of 85% at 40 lp/mm at ƒ/2 in a flat line to the extreme corners and focused to 1:1 (and thus have cost $12K and weighed 5 pounds). I’m 'good' now.

At about $2122, it’s more dear than a nice case of aged Cabernet Sauvignon (which I cannot afford regrettably), but if you want a lens that makes the Nikon D800/D800E sing, well then, your fantasy has arrived.

Of course, Canon users with their lower-res camera bodies won’t be disappointed by a lens that makes the D800E feel inadequate, and when I get the Canon ZE version I will of course test it against the Canon 135/2L.

I want to see more lenses like this. Because a focal length of 135mm has its limitations for subject matter (not as versatile as say, a 28mm f/1.4 super duper somethin'). I look forward to that nifty new Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Distagon and rumored 85mm high-spec lens and its wide-angle sibling.

And it’s not bad for tulips either.

Nikon D800E + Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar @ f/2
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