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Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Distagon

vs ZF.2 / ZE 21mm f/2.8 Distagon

The Loxia 21/2.8 appears to match the performance of the Zeiss ZF.2 21mm f/2.8 Distagon in a much smaller and lighter package. Thus the potential for high image quality in a very compact size with a mirrorless camera is realized in the most persuasive form yet delivered to the market (as of Oct 2015). It is about 1/3 lighter than its DSLR sibling and its considerably narrower front-end makes it feel even smaller than it is.

Compared to its 21/2.8 Distagon DSLR sibling, the Loxia 21/2.8 Distagon is about 1/3 lighter (377g vs 583g). This can be felt on the camera and in the field carrying the camera around the neck; the Loxia 21/2.8 is eminently friendly for carrying.

The Loxia 21/2.8 is much more compact than its SLR sibling. Moreover its uniform diameter makes it feel even smaller than measurements might suggest. Roughly speaking, the Loxia 21/2.8 is the size and weight of the ZF.2 21/1.28 with its front end lopped off. In the field on a camera, the difference in bulk feels like night and day in terms of handling—very welcome, along with the much smaller filter size (52mm vs 82mm). As a total package, the Loxia 21/2.8 on a Sony A7R II stows in a much smaller space than a Nikon D810 + ZF.2 21/2.8 Distagon—eminently practical for hiking and similar.

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Diglloyd Guide to Mirrorless offers comprehensive integrated coverage of most APS-C and full frame mirrorless cameras and lenses.

Special emphasis is placed on Sony full-frame, including Sony lenses and the high performance Zeiss Batis and Zeiss Loxia lenses plus Rokinon/Samyang and others. Fujifilm X, Olympus and Panasonic M4/3, Sigma dp Merrill and dp/sd Quattro are also covered in depth. Years in the making, it offers a wealth of material for choosing and using a mirrorless camera.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away. For example, the best way to set up your Sony camera.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly with the numerous lenses available for Sony.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning—best practices and how-to and processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to 28 megapixels filling up to 5K display, plus large crops.
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

Want a preview? Click on any page below to see an excerpt as well as extensive blog coverage, for example on Sony.

Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Distagon (right) vs Zeiss ZF.2 21mm f/2.8 Distagon DSLR lens
Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Distagon

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