Future new Zeiss lenses for Sony Alpha cameras?

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by randall cherry, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Hi All,

    I am thinking about switching from my Mamiya 7ii medium format film cameras to digital for landscape photography. In order to achieve high image quality with the digital system I'm considering the Sony A900 and the Zeiss lenses. I have some previous experience with Zeiss glass, and I think a good Zeiss lense can really add to image quality (assuming the camera/sensor is up to the task, which I think the high end Sony camera/sensors are).

    The Zeiss lense selection for the Sony Alpha cameras is a great feature of the Alpha cameras, but is very limited. My concern is that the range of Sony/Zeiss lenses won't be expanded anytime soon. Does anyone know if Sony plans to expand the Zeiss lense offerings for the Alpha mount cameras in the near future? (By "near future" I am thinking somewhere in the next year or three). I am especially interested in prime lenses and wide angle lenses.

    (Please note that I am not trying to suggest that the Sony G lenses are not good lenses. I've heard that some of the Sony G lenses are actually very good. Its just that I know Zeiss lenses tend to be outstanding lenses.)

    I am also considering the Canon 5DMKII, due to its large selection of high quality L lenses. But I am under the impression that the Canon L lenses, while generally very good, do not compare to the Zeiss equivalents.


  2. It's a good choice on Alpha system line up.
    For starter, you can purchase A900 + CZ 24-70 mm f/2.8 and SAL 70-300G f/4.5-5.6
    A great package for landscape photography and won't break your cash as well !
  3. The Sony lenses, except for the newest ones are actually Minolta designs and are very good in general. I used Minolta lenses for years, and though I never bought the G line, I did use many Minolta lenses such as the 50/2.8 and 100/2.8 macro lenses which were razor sharp. I have a Sony A350 now with the Zeiss 16-80 and though I'm not sure it's really of the quality of my old Contax SLR Zeiss lenses, it's quite good. I'm pretty sure you'd be satisfied with both the Zeiss lenses for the A900 AND the G lenses, even the older Minolta versions. Minolta was the first AF lens maker, so there are an extraordinary number of Minolta lenses out there, but the pro versions were never produced in the quantities of Nikon and Canon so availability tends to keep the price up.
    Of course with the A900 and A850 the pressure on the quality of the lens is VERY high, but you should still consider some of the older Minolta lenses such as the 50/2.8 macro and the 100/2.8 macro which are amazingly sharp.
  4. But I am under the impression that the Canon L lenses, while generally very good, do not compare to the Zeiss equivalents​
    This is debatable I have to say. The trouble is that it often difficult to compare like with like as there are very few comparisons out there. The Zeiss 24-70mm is very good (some negative comments about its bokeh). The Canon is perhaps not quite so good, but good comments about its bokeh. If we compare the ZF/ZE lenses with the L lenses the results are mixed. The 28/2 and 21/2.8 are meant to be very good and better than L equivalents (although strictly there aren't any direct equivalents) - but most users would probably stick with the now better 24mm/1.4 L mk II simply because it is AF. The 24/17mm Tilt-shift lenses are very good and on a par with the Zeiss. The 85mm ZE/ZF seems to be disappointing compared to the 85f1.2L. The Zeiss 135mm f1.8 is very good - but so is the Canon 135mm f2L. I've never seen a direct comparison. The 35mm ZE/ZF is excellent, but so is the Canon 35mm L and it's AF and 1.4. The 25mm ZE/ZF has little buzz and seems to be OK but not exciting. Don't know much about the ZE 50 f1.4. Is it better than the Canon equivalent? It may be, certainly it has better construction, but there again it is manual focus.
    Most of these ZE/ZF lenses are not really relevant to you, but they may help give you an idea that it is by no means certain that the Zeiss lenses are really so much better, and with their MF lenses some are not as good as their Canon equivalents.
    No doubt others can provide interesting input on this.
  5. Hi Randall,
    There are two announced lenses that I know of that are speculated to be be Zeiss lenses. You can see a chart of all Sony/Minolta Alpha mount lenses here: http://mhohner.de/sony-minolta/lenses.php
    No one has a crystal ball vision of Sony's/Zeiss plans for future lenses, but IMO, you can count on more Zeiss primes.
    If you do more research on the Alpha mount system, you will find some of the best resourses on net dedicated to the A mount!
    Inaddition to Michael Hohner's site, mhohner.de, you should check out www.dyxum.com, http://www.alphamountworld.com, http://kurtmunger.com, and http://www.photoclubalpha.com
    I doublt any other camera system has the quality of resources that the alpha mount does!
    If you like Zeiss lenses you, like lenses designed for absolute sharpness and high contrast. As you may know, Minolta has a past relationship with Leica, and Leica even had Minolta build some cameras and lenses for them in a Minolta/Leica collaboration The history of Minolta Glass is very interesting and you should read David Kilpatrick's article on Minolta lens design philosophy here:
    Hope this information is helpful! You can't go wrong with the A900 and Sony/Minolta/Zeiss lenses. I know you are interested in the primes, but the 24-70mm CZ has been deemed best in class by some reviewers! The CZ 85mm and 135mm are also highly regarded. The Sony STF is in a class by itself, I doubt anyone makes a lens that produces better bokeh!
  6. There are definately more on the way. The 85/1.4, 135/1.8 and 24-70/2.8 were all out before any FF body. Now there is the 16-35/2.8 too. I think any full frame ZA or G lens from now on will be top glass. Seeing as they have 'two' full frame bodies and only more to come (probably this year?) I would imagine there will only be more such glass.
    Take care.
  7. Rumor on dyxum.com (originated from one of the better informed members) has it there will be 8 to 10 new lenses coming out this year in the Sony catalog. No details though whether any/how many will be Zeiss.

Share This Page