Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 full frame lens with Sony E-mount announced

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Sony-a7-Zeiss-Loxia-21mm-f2.8-full-frame-lens
Zeiss announced a new Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 full frame lens with Sony E-mount. The price is $1,499 (pre-order link). Shipping starts in December 2015. The first review of the new lens can be found here. Technical data for the Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 lens:

Focal length 21 mm
Aperture range f/2.8 - f/22
Lens elements/groups 11 / 9
Focusing range 0.25 m (9.84”) - infinity
Working distance 0.16 m (6.30”) - infinity
Image field** (diag. / horiz. / vert.) 91° / 81° / 59°
Object field at minimum working distance** 281 mm x 187 mm (11.06 x 7.36“)
Image ratio at MOD 1 : 7.81
Rotation angle of focus ring (inf – MOD) 90°
Filter thread M52 x 0.75
Diameter (max.) 62.1 mm (2.44“)
Diameter of the focusing ring 62.1 mm (2.44“)
Length (without lens caps) 72.0 mm (2.83“)
Length (with lens caps) 85 mm (3.35“)
Weight 394 g (13.54 oz)
Camera mounts E-mount

Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens design and MTF charts:

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Zeiss-Loxia-21mm-f2.8-full-frame-lens-MTF-chart
Sample photos:

Loxia 2.8/21
Press release:

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ZEISS broadens lens horizon for E-mount full-frame cameras

With the new ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 the company is expanding its family of compact lenses for compact Sony full-frame cameras with E-mount with a super wide angle.

The latest member of the ZEISS Loxia family is called ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21. It is a super wide angle, developed for compact full-frame cameras with E-mount and with a new optical design based on the ZEISS Distagon. The ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 supplements the ZEISS Loxia 2/35 and ZEISS Loxia 2/50 lenses, which were presented last year at photokina. Especially practical for cinematographers, the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 has the mechanical aperture setting and the de-activation of the aperture click stop, both found on all ZEISS Loxia lenses.

“Since the Sony α7 series came out, the market has been waiting for a powerful super wide-angle lens for compact full-frame cameras. For many photographers such a lens was the missing tool in their gear. ZEISS is now meeting that demand with the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21,” said Christophe Casenave, Product Manager at ZEISS Camera Lenses.

As the latest member in the compact, light-weight family of ZEISS Loxia lenses, the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 offers trusted features that combine traditional photography and modern technology. The electronic interface transmits lens data (EXIF) as well as the focus movements and – if desired by the photographer – activates the magnifying function of the camera. For the sophisticated photographer who does not want to leave all the work to the camera, there are many opportunities to compose thanks to the lens’s precise manual focusing with end stop and the mechanical setting of the aperture (aperture priority mode for the working aperture). As a result, photographers can take advantage of all the possibilities offered by modern compact system cameras with an electronic viewfinder.

Optimal for different types of use

With an angular field exceeding 91 degrees (diagonal) on a full-frame camera, the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 is well suited for nature, landscape and architectural photography. In landscape photography in particular, an exact infinity setting is a critical factor. Here, the precise manual focusing of the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 supports the user enormously. Furthermore, the lens enables creative, naturally proportioned images with a low minimum object distance of just 0.25 meters (9.84”). The ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 is extremely compact and light, making it the perfect choice for travel and street photography.

ZEISS Loxia lenses for video

Ambitious videographers will also discover once again that the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 is a tool that offers optimum creative potential. The mechanical deactivation of the aperture click stop for infinite aperture settings (de-click), which already came with the ZEISS Loxia 2/35 and ZEISS Loxia 2/50, is also found in the new ZEISS Loxia super wide angle. The smooth focus operation with a rotation angle of 90 degrees of the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 allows for the finest variations when focusing video cameras with E-mount, such as the Sony PXW-FS7 or PXW-FS5. “In addition, the identical external diameter of the ZEISS Loxia lenses across all focal lengths simplifies the changing of lenses during shoots, so accessories like a follow focus don’t need to be readjusted,” added Casenave.

Newest optical design with robust construction

The ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 has been specially developed for digital sensors. The newly calculated lenses consist of 11 lens elements in nine groups. The underlying optical design is a ZEISS Distagon. High resolution along the entire image field, low distortion and color fringing, and an appealing bokeh – especially at the maximum aperture of f/2.8 – round out the exceptional features of this lens. “It’s a small jewel offering outstanding optical performance,” said Casenave, summarizing the optical qualities of the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21. Other qualities include its impressive mechanical quality and robust barrel. Made entirely of metal, the barrel protects the lens and can withstand the rugged everyday situations that professional photographers face, thereby ensuring a long product life. Like the other ZEISS Loxia lenses, the filter diameter is 52 mm. Finally, a special weather protection on the lens mount protects the lens from spray getting between the camera and lens.

Price and availability

The ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21 will be available worldwide starting December 2015. The lens shade is included with delivery. The recommended retail price is USD 1,499 (excl. VAT) or EUR 1,259.66 (excl. VAT).*

More Zeiss Loxia news here.

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  • Jón Ingólfur Hermannsson

    Zeiss can pump out endless lenses while Sony can’t get out more then 3 lenses for FE mount – ( ok one G lens also ) but the point that seems like every lens for the FE mount is $1000 and above – besides the kit lens and the one Sony branded prime –
    Common Sony produce some sub $1000 lenses – with nothing but very costly lenses many will be turned off – and Sigma and Tamron why are you not making FE lenses ??

    • sperdynamite

      ???

      28/2, 35/2.8, 35/1.4, 55/1.8, 90/2.8, 16-35, 28-70, 24-70, 70-200 & all the A mount lenses w/ an adapter. Plus yes, Zeiss 50, 35, 21 manual lenses and 25 & 85mm AF lenses. Honestly for a mirrorless camera, which I don’t think really requires a vast lens collection, I’d say it’s pretty well set. As for the costs, yes, they’re pricey with a couple exceptions, but they’re also so high quality.

      • ppd

        Well at 21mm you never need at, and do not confuse Sony zeiss as real zeiss, Zony are just Zony not real Zeiss.

        • sperdynamite

          I was replying to a comment indicating that there were only 3 Sony FE lenses available. I’m not sure how your reply to me has anything to do with what I said.

  • Oompsy

    Wait, is this a $1300 lens seriously manual focus only? Like in 2015? Is anyone actually buying these things? I mean for that price AF should be no question.

    • El Aura

      Seriously? You are not aware that most of the Zeiss lens line-up, even when only looking the lenses for cameras that have autofocus (ie, Canon/Nikon/Pentax DSLR + Sony/Fuji mirrorless) is manual focus? Their line-up for these mounts consists of five AF lenses and 15 MF lenses. And they have kept adding MF lenses regularly over the last couple of years:
      2015: 3 MF + 2 AF
      2014: 1 MF + 1 AF
      2013: 1 MF
      2012: 2 MF + 2 AF
      2011: 1 MF
      2010: 2 MF
      2008: 1 MF
      2007: 1 MF

      • Oompsy

        Which is precisely my point. I’m kind of amazed that they are able to even keep a customer base whilst providing products that are suited for an era that’s long gone. Do landscape photogs really not give a damn about AF? Who else uses MF lenses? I’m not trying to be skeptical and condescending. I’m genuinely curious as to the logistics of this whole strange business of selling MF lenses in the current market.

        • El Aura

          Zeiss isn’t the only one. Samyang (Korean) has released more than a dozen MF lenses over the last six years or so (for m43, APS-C mirrorless and APS-C & FF DSLRs). Voigtländer (Japanese) has four FF DSLR lenses, four m43 lenses, and three E-mount lenses. SLRMagic (Chinese) has another four m43 lenses. Mitakon (Chinese) also another four m43 and Sony E lenses. All m43 and E-mount lenses by definition being relatively recent releases.

          For several of those manufacturers, MF lenses are just easier to design (no electronics needed, no AF motors, no licensing or reverse engineering) and represent a cheaper alternative (without necessarily being optically less good). Obviously that is not the case for Zeiss. Some of these lenses represent specialty areas like super fast (f/0.85, f/0.95, f/1.1), super wide (10 & 12 mm FF) or tilt & shift (which comes without AF from all manufacturers). A few are re-releases of (Leica) M-mount lenses (which by definition were MF lenses) in new mounts.

          For static subjects and WA lenses, manual focussing is usually not a big problem (of my four main lenses, the 18 and 28 mm are MF lenses and the 50 & 100 mm lenses are AF). Once you work from a tripod, you might actually prefer MF since MF lenses are easier to manual focus because they have a longer throw, more resistance and no play (which often gives them a hard infinity stop that AF lenses often don’t have). Thus for really high resolution demands, MF lenses combined with LiveView or an EVF allow for more precise focussing.

          • Oompsy

            Thanks for that El Aura… Made some things a lot clearer. Thanks for the effort of writing such an informative reply.

    • ppd

      Troll shut up and update your dated lens price info.

      • Oompsy

        I wasn’t trolling. A regular visitor to the site. Just wanted to engage in conversation.

  • ppd

    It’s cheap for what it can do, really. And many of us actually do not want af in wide primes. I need super precise mf without fly-by-wire mf ring. So it is a bargain no brainer for me.

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