Earlier this month, Zeiss expanded its range of Loxia lenses with the announcement of the Loxia 2.8/21 – an optic that joins the 2/35 and 2/50 in the manufacturer’s lineup for Sony Alpha 7-series cameras. Just like its stablemates, the Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 is a manual focus lens that’s designed to be compact as possible and incorporates an optical design based on the Zeiss Distagon.
During a recent visit to the Zeiss UK headquarters in Cambridge, AP had the opportunity to use one of the first samples of the Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 and coupled it to the Sony Alpha 7R II to take a few sample images. These can be viewed in our slideshow above.
Available for pre-order, the Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 has a £1099 price tag and is expected to be available worldwide from early December 2015.
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).*