Rumor: Zeiss will announce a new 70-200mm lens at NAB

Zeiss is rumored to announced a new compact lightweight 70-200mm f/2.? tele zoom lens at the NAB show in Las Vegas next month. The lens will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts. The expected price will be around $10k. I think this will be a cinema zoom lens, similar to the Zeiss LWZ.2 Lightweight 15.5-45mm T2.6 ($29,000).

A new 70-200mm lens was already mentioned in the 2012 Zeiss roadmap few months ago:

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  • Joaquim Prado

    This is pretty sick!

    • Harold Ellis

      70-200 makes no sense. it is too long, why they are always doing what was done already?

      what about 50-150 fullframe? it would be nice croppable on cinema format (about 60-180), nice and rare lens on FX and standard 75-225 on DX. for this they can ask their 10000€.
      or 35-120

      stick your 70-200s somewhere. we have enough of them.

      • Why would a company which makes cine lenses which are more and more being put on DSLR’s make a 70-200? why does every camera company make a 70-200mm lens if not more then one?

        If you like the Zeiss prime lenses, you might want a zoom lens which is of a higher quality then your Nikon or Canon 70-200..

        • GrumpyDiver

          Have any of the people commenting here ever considered that a proper cinematic lens has different operating parameters than a camera zoom? While one can (and does) use still lenses for video work, they are hardly ideal. The needs for video is a bit different than for stills:

          1. Cinema lens does not have click stops; rather aperture is infinitely variable;
          2. Distance markings are far more precise so focus can be pulled;
          3. No focus breathing. When changing focus, image size does not change;
          4. Parfocal design. When you zoom in or out across the range, the object that is in focus, stays in focus. This is not important for still photography and is certainly not the case on the current f/2..8 70-200mm Nikon,;
          5. Constant aperture throughout the zoom range. You don’t want your image changing exposure as you zoom in or out.
          6. Set up for follow focus system. See those things that look like gear teeth on the pictured lens; well that’s exactly what they are and the gears of the follow focus system mesh with them.

          If you shoot serious video on a full-frame camera, getting a lens with those operating parameters would be great, especially if it only costs $10K.

          • photo-Jack

            Hi GrumpyDiver
            Since you seem to be very familiar with videography (on DSLRs) 2 Questions to you:
            Do lenses for video have a different optical concept in a manner, that would make them less suitable for stills?
            How comes that even lenses made especially for videography come without AF and motor zoom?
            (As you can tell I come from the still side and am about to do first steps in video. For me it is pretty difficult to zoom and focus smooth enough to make it look professional.)

          • GrumpyDiver

            I will try for a short anwer here (one could go into pages of explanations). Think of it this way, both still and video camera requirements have evolved over decades, and while they do capture images on a sensor, most of the similarities stop there. A video lens (and we are looking at a pro lens with the Zeiss here) is designed to capture a moving object, while a traditional camera captures a still image, and the technologies evolved in that direction.

            The main reason you would not use a video lens for stills is cost. Using the example of this Zeiss lens. it costs 4 or 5 times more than the equivalent lens from Nikon or Canon for you still camera. These lenses are fully integrated into the camera systems for autofocus, etc. The video lens is totally manual; has no image stabilization and some other features you are looking at for still photography. Your provideo lens will also likely be a parfocal design (focus does not change when you zoom in or out) and will have minimal focus breathing (image size change when you focus). Still lenses tend not to be designed this way.

            If you are looking for power zoom, you will have to spend a lot of money to put it on your DSLR. So far as I know, Panasonic is the only company that has announced power zoom lenses to date for consumer level work, and I have not tried any yet (for video I shoot the Panasonic AF100P, so I could use these). If you want power zoom, you will need to invest in a rail system and an external motor drive that engages the zoom gear that you see on the lens pictured here – very expensive. The pro Fuji and Canon lenses sometimes have this technology built in, but I have no experience with these very expensive lenses.

            The other main problem with shooting video on a DLSR is focus. You pretty well have to invest in a system like the Zucuto to focus consistently, and this is really critical in HD work.

            The reason that video shooters love using DSLRs is that the sensors are so large that they can (finally) get photographic style shots with very narrow depth of field. You should hear the excitement on the video sites surrounding some of the super-fast Voigtlaender lens (f/1 or better) because of this narrow depth of field. In my view, this continues to be the main attraction of these cameras to the serious video shooter. The old video cameras with their tiny sensors are no match to the newer DSLR / mirrorless designs for that feature; although with the newer Panasonic and Sony video cameras, these camera shoot with modified 4/3 or Super 35 mm size sensors .

            If you are shooting video on a DSLR, it’s a great intro, but much like working with a point and shoot camera, you start realizing the limiations of the technology. You can get your feet wet without investing any money. If you want to become a serious shooter, whether you add the equipment to your DSLR or go to a dedicated video camera, it is going to cost you plenty.

            I hope this answers your questions.

        • Sofus Comer

          I agree, but do understand why they do 70-200mm and not 60-190 or similar other naming. Its simply because we DSLR folks are so extremely conservative in whats traditional “hence” the right product.
          Zeiss, are clever to do this step if they want in on the market. Honestly, what of these to product names makes you feel most at home?
          70-200 f2.8 or 50-180 f2.8???
          That it costs 10K is an entirely different matter! Will never buy such an expensive lens.

        • Harold Ellis

          well higher quality then nikon is relative

          and i hope (for humanity sake) that somebody buying 10k lens does not base decissions on “what folks are used to read”


          1) Most cameras and S35 are cropped against FX or DX. So makes sense to start wider.

          2) 70-200 is good for sport, but general photography you rarely hit 200mm. There is no good DX equivalent anyway. Good 35-135 or 50-150 would do wonders for both formats

          • HaroldTossesALot

            1) Buy a camera, no matter which one coz you have a lot to learn anyway.
            2) Get away from that keyboard, so you’ll also stop writing nonsense.
            3) Go out and take photos.

          • i did 500 photos today, from what will 150 go to customer, what about you?

  • Doubt it’s a constant f/2 70-200. Doesn’t look like a 100mm diameter lens to start with.

    And is there such a thing as a lightweight 70-200 f/2? 🙂

    Most definitely a f/2.8.

    • z

      How do you measure that? That mount is not a tiny EF/F mount.

      The only obvious spec is that it will not be F/2.8 which is equivalent of T3.4 on Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. It can be T2.8 but most likely better.

      Anything lighter than 4kg is lightweight for a quality cinema zoom lenses.

      • The description does say it’ll be available in “the lens will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts” 😉

    • huh

      both nikon and canon have 200 f/2 lenses. that’s the hard part. zooming down from there is easier as the aperture diameter actually decreases with focal lenght. f/2 is trivial for zeiss.

  • Hope it have a tripod collar.

  • “Lightweight” how? To quote Mr. Scotty – A canna’ change the laws of physics. Such lens needs quite a lot of glass inside and glass like that is heavy and expensive, said glass needs to be housed in a solid, metal tube as Zeiss lenses usually are. I’m sure it’s going to be solid, sharp, expensive but almost certainly not “lightweight”.

  • Matt

    The focal length is too ’rounded’ and inprecise to be a cine lens.

  • EnPassant

    Just like the linked Zeiss LWZ.2 Lightweight 15.5-45mm T2.6 this will also propably only cover APS-C format. And Zeiss consider 2 kg to be light weight…
    The various full frame 70-200/2.8 zooms have much less weight.
    T 2.6 (f/2.5?) and 2 kg for APS-C format sounds very propable. But at $ 10.000 no need to get excited unless being very serious in making video.

  • Daryl

    Zeiss and Leica are cutting edge for lenses, this lens will show what can be done when designing for the best quality, and not a price point such as Nikon and Canon

    • Exactly

      +1 for this —^

      Indeed. When quality is the driving force anything is possible.

    • That’s a complete deutschophile statement. They both have very crappy lenses in their line-up. At least C and N has the excuse of marketability when they make their lower-end models. But their higher-end designs are just as good and a lot of the times better.

      If you take the best lenses from most manufacturers, they’re pretty much equal… even Samyang has lenses that are better than Leicas and Zeisses… go figure.

      • GenotypeIsASillyName

        Really? Which one? Make us laugh.

    • ArtTwisted

      you do realize Canon make $40,000 and up cinema lenses right? As does fuji but Nikon you are correct nothing for cinema.

      • ha

        canon cinema initiatives and lenses have little marketshare and their glass isn’t even on the same level as the zeiss, leica, and heck panavision glass. It’s like comparing a fiat to an audi. canon/nikon are mass producers of cheap consumer glass.

  • Arthur

    If you look at the Nikon or Canon 200/2.0 lenses, and than compare that to the 70-200/2.8 offerings, there’s huge difference in size/weight. If someone (Zeiss) want to make a 70-200/2.0, that thing must be huge! And that picture is far from “huge”.

    • Mark Sperry

      It probably doesn’t cover full frame, remember cine is super 35, or more like APS-C. So it doesn’t need to be as big as a full frame lens.

      This is a lens for the kind of people who spend greater than 100k on a job, so the price of this lens isn’t really going to be a factor in their decision.

      • European enthusiast

        Can’t change the physics. f/2.0 means you need 100mm opening for 200mm FL. No way around it. But there is f/2.? written, means it will be probably slower than f/2.0…

        • yo

          I think the zeiss engineers know a lot more physics than you do. and you’re basing your ideas on an image of a lens posted on a rumor site? why don’t you do something constructive and wait for NAB to see the acutal product before showing ignorance.

          • European enthusiast

            Read my post again please. Nothing ignorant there and no masters physics either. You simply cannot exceed the speed of light as you cannot simply make 70-200mm f/2 with less than 100mm diameter in the aperture either…

  • SoftonDemand

    Honestly for $10Kusd i would rather get the Nikon/cannon 200mm f2 and spend the rest on lenses or a super tele. So what if its 70-200 f2? Im pretty certain that it has no AF, because its a Zeiss, it has no VR/IS, and not to mention for that much I would rather get a M9 or the 50mm F.095. This is just ridiculous.

    • BklynPigeon

      the lens is not made for amateur photographers. its a Professional Cine Lens. you dont want AF on a Cine lens.

      • Harold Ellis

        professional cine lens with F and canon mount?

        hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha lol

        • Hendog

          Good point actually. If you’re spending $10,000+ on a lens, would you not also have the budget buy in to RED? Red Scarlet is only $13,200 (PL mount). And of course Red Epic, although that is $60,000 or so. Neither of those are bigger than an SLR, and will provide enormously higher image quality than any SLR.

        • Eric

          For the movie black swan, which had a budget into the many millions, they used mainly film stock like most high end films but for some scenes shot on a canon 5DMII . I wouldnt be surprised if they had a 10k lens on that 5DMII, maybe not a monster zoom but a hugely expenisve leica, zeiss or cooke no doubt.

          • no

            the 5DIII gets blown out of the water by the scarlet. that’s where hollywood is going. the days of the 5DII were cute but the competition is already lightyears ahead and a scarlet is cheap for film budgets that are shot with panavisions and high end sony gear.

      • Hollywood will pay

        Doesn’t matter what the price is. Hollywood will pay the price.

      • amateur professional

        Amateur or professional it’s not really for photographers at all.

        Why are you even saying “amateur” unless you mean it as an insult? Chances are there’s a lot of “amateurs” that are better than you.

        • BklynPigeon

          I doubt it.

          I have been shooting professionally in NY for 10 years now. I can show you my client list…

          • StMad

            I’ll bet you my client list is shorter than yours…

    • Have you used the Canon 200/2L IS? It’s exquisite to the level that it’s probably the best fast 35mm lens on the planet… no zoom can come close.

      And cine lenses are a pain to use for general photography. If you’ve tried, you’d know.

      • SoftonDemand

        I have tried the Canon 200mm F2.0 in the showroom and also used the nikon 200mm F2.0 and they are both phenomenal and totally worth getting it for how much it costs. But honestly 10,000 for that zeiss you might as well get Red. I mean if you are spending 10 K for cine why use a nikon or canon when you can get smth better for around the same price range. Even CP lens are more cheaper than this rumored lens! And tbh I have never used a cine lens before but im pretty sure they are a pain to focus and what not for photography.

        • Eric

          dream to focus for photography, although why you would use it for that i dont know.

          • GrumpyDiver

            I assume you mean get a Red lens for the Nikon? They don’t make an equivalent zoom. The longest zoom they put out is a T 2.9 18mm-85mm; and this is for Super 35 format.

            At this point, I don’t know how video capture is going to work on the D4 / D800, so if they work full frame and downsample to final video format, you will need a full-frame lens. I suspect this is what they do, based on some comments in the user manual regarding switching from video to stills. If that is the case, the Red zooms will be no good.

            I am assuming that Zeiss is targeting these new full-frame cameras, as I have a hard time imagining a pro buying an APS-C camera.

    • SoftonDemand

      And this lens better be made in Germany!

  • jerl

    I think you guys are misreading the original post. The admin did not say constant f/2.0, but rather constant f/2.? where the digit after the decimal point isn’t known yet. It could be f/2.0 or f/2.5 of f/2.999. Also, cine-primes are usually spec’d in t-stops, so the actual f/stop might not be advertised.

    For $10000+, I’m not really sure I care either way.

  • I have no need for such a thing. I simply don’t get why I’d buy a manual Cosina lens for $10,000.

    • Harold Ellis

      it is ok. let those few people waste their moneys on what they want if they think they need it. it makes german economy better, that is fine by me.

  • BklynPigeon

    Zeiss is going to sell a boat load of these lenses. last year they had about 5 billion dollars in sales.

    • Harold Ellis

      not really. they make mainly industrial lenses and lot of moneys come from sony AF lenses and resold glass packs (for P&Ss).
      I would be surprised if they sell double digit nikon and canon mount lenses per day.

      • Harold Ellis

        Sorry I’ve written so much nonsense, I am only a sad boy.

  • Jojo

    Did you mention Zeiss, compact, lightweight, & 70-700 all in the same sentence?

  • Ecking

    This is cool but what I really want is a 135mm f2.0 or f1.8 ZF.2!

  • David

    That is hot! I can’t imagine it will be light if they use the same material they usually do.

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