Zeiss ZF will not be Upgradeable to ZF.2

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by don_copeland, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    When the news broke this week that Cosina-Zeiss will be introducing a line of 'chipped' AIS lenses, I sent a note to the Product Manager at Zeiss asking if my ZF's will be upgradeable to ZF.2. Here is their response:
    Dear Mr. C.......,

    Thank you very much for your email.
    Carl Zeiss is not currently offering an upgrade of the ZF lenses to ZF.2 lenses as limitations in use must be generally expected.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen/ Kind regards
    Nicole Balle

    HINWEIS: Ich bin vom 24. Dez bis 10. Jan nicht erreichbar.
    PLEASE NOTE: Our offices are closed from Dec 24th to Jan 10th.
    ________

    Carl Zeiss AG
    Geschäftsbereich Photoobjektive / Camera Lens Division
    Marketing/PR
     
  2. Wow, sure makes me want to rethink my Zeiss lens purchase. I was planning on getting the ZF.2 100/2 when it became available in the spring. Now, I'm not so sure. Makes companies like Leica and Nikon stand out for their loyalty to thier customers over time.
     
  3. Does this mean some affordable older models will become available when people upgrade to the latest and greatest?
     
  4. Sad but it makes sense. Besides a chip, the mount needs to have contacts and the aperture ring needs to be encoded and there may not even be room inside the current ZF lenses to put that stuff in there. The newer lenses may have been tweaked optically as well.
     
  5. Why is the chip important? All it does is you don't have to remember to select the lens from the menu when switching lenses in order to get exposure data recorded. I don't think it's of any practical importance and would certainly not upgrade my lenses to optically identical chipped ones. Of course, if you have more than 9 chipless lenses then it can become an annoyance but it just never came across to me that somehow the chip would make or break a lens.
     
  6. Ilkka, you are right, it is of no difference than the Nikkor AIS lenses, and generally no big deal. Unless, as you mention several lenses in the bag. But I do have 3 Ziess and 2 Nikkors in the bag that I need to set the data for the lens when I change the lens. I have a few Autofocus, but I generally reach for the manual primes. Interestingly, I have a Cosina Voigtlander 20mm Color Skopar and it has the chip.
    I do not think EXIF depends on the chip, but I'm not positive. Also, I thought that most of today's modern MF Nikkors have the chip, but again I'm not certain. I do know the 45 is a P, chipped, lens.
    Ilkka, you have a point in that it does not matter, really. Cause if we are using manual focus primes, we are slowing down for thought, quality, ritual and precision anyhow.
     
  7. Ted, don't let that stop you from getting the Zeiss Makro. Buy either model you want, the chipped or the non-chipped. Not many Nikkors are retro-upgradeable either. I think it's a bigger crime to manufacture "G" or gelded lenses without the aperture ring that I cannot shoot on my perfect F3.
    Perhaps the reason to chip the ZF lenses is so that they can be used on lesser models.
     
  8. Ted, you will love, love love your 100mm Makro Planar when you get it. The only thing you need to know is it is 1:2 and it has a very long focus throw. I takes a few turns to go from Makro to distance.
     
  9. Why is the chip important?​
    1. Setting focal length and aperture is important for a lot more than just getting the EXIF right. It's necessary for compensating for angular sensitivity errors in the metering, and for compensating the outer focus sensors for exit pupil location.
    2. For studio shooting, you meter your lights, set aperture once on the camera, and forget it, instead of screwing with the aperture ring on the lens every time.
    3. Some people like shutter preferred metering.
    4. My backup camera is a Nikon D90.
    5. The monochrome D90 will be launching soon.
    6. The camera's aperture control is radically superior to the lens's ring from an ergonomic standpoint.
     
  10. The camera's aperture control is radically superior to the lens's ring from an ergonomic standpoint.​
    That does depend a lot on what you're used to, I think. The D700 offers a custom setting to let you use the ring on the lens for aperture control on chipped lenses (AF, AF-D, Ai-P), so that they behave just like AI and AIS lenses. So some people must prefer to work that way.
     
  11. Joseph, regarding item 1, question. When I program my lenses into my D700, does it also consider the angle for metering? I had always assumed that it was just a max aperture index. I'm not challenging you, I simply don't know.
    2. Monochrome D90? That's a new one one me. Do tell. It is common opinion that digital is not good for B&W, so Is it a sensor change?
    6. Opinion, and mine is different, out of 25 years ritual turning the ring. Truthfully, I was excited about aperture control on the body when the N80 came out. But I quickly realized I'm an old-school aperture ring guy. I understand why they are gelding lenses, however on a $1500 lens they should be able to add the cost of the aperture ring. just my whining opinion.
     
  12. John Morris and any others that use D700. It is important to select aperture control on the body if you want to use Live View. If you select aperture on the lens-ring, Live View does not work (on many lenses).
     
  13. Ahh F3 love. Best SLR I ever owned. I have a bunch of the AIS lenses (several were updated by Nikon for a nominal charge), so info input is an issue.
    I probably will buy the lens next spring, but I'm disappointed they wouldn't be more accomodating. Even a very high price would be better than "Be Happy With Limitations!"
     
  14. Ted, for future technology sake, hold out on the ZF.2.
     
  15. "Besides a chip, the mount needs to have contacts and the aperture ring needs to be encoded..."
    The aperture ring is not encoded, even on autofocus lenses. Any "data transfer" from the aperture ring is by purely mechanical means via the AI tab on the body mount. The "encoding" for aperture ring position is in the body, not the lens. However the need for a contact block and CPU chip would almost certainly require changes to the internal construction of the lens, and an "upgrade" might not be a simple matter.
    --
    "Also, I thought that most of today's modern MF Nikkors have the chip, but again I'm not certain."
    There have only ever been two common MF Nikkors with a CPU chip, and those are the 45mm f/2.8P and 500mm f/4P, both discontinued. The others (two IIRC) were exotic super-telephoto zooms, also discontinued. All other modern MF Nikkors are sans chip.
    A CPU chip basically gives four capabilities over an unchipped lens:
    1. P and S exposure modes on any autofocus body
    2. The ability to control the aperture via the body command dials
    3. Full compatibility with consumer bodies that do not have an AI ring
    4. Autozoom function on Nikon Speedlights
    As the chip in these is very unlikely to be a "D" chip with a distance encoding strip, there would be no functional difference in metering or EXIF data from an unchipped lens that is used with the non-CPU data (focal length, max. aperture) entered into the camera. You get all three metering modes with or without a chip. Unless one has a strong preference for 1, 2, 3 or 4 above, as Ilkka noted it's probably not all that important.
     
  16. The aperture ring is not encoded, even on autofocus lenses. Any "data transfer" from the aperture ring is by purely mechanical means via the AI tab on the body mount. The "encoding" for aperture ring position is in the body, not the lens.​
    Michael, I think you are right. I was thinking that the aperture needs to be encoded if you want to set the aperture on the lens and use it on a camera like the D90 that doesn't have the AI tab. But you wouldn't set the aperture on the lens but on the body instead with the lens set to minimum aperture. Just like a regular AF lens.
    I thought the cpu had information about exit pupil distance and stuff like that. Maybe Bjorn Rorslett can elaborate on this?
     
  17. Ilkka said:
    I don't think it's of any practical importance and would certainly not upgrade my lenses to optically identical chipped ones.​
    I agree with that and I don't see much difference for me. If AF is added, then there's a bigger difference.
    Here's a couple from my 100/2
    CLICK on image to see a larger version
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. The camera's aperture control is radically superior to the lens's ring from an ergonomic standpoint.​
    I disagree with this completely (and also the studio comment, but I'm not going there). Taking the camera out of the bag it just requires one quick turn with my left hand to get the desired aperture, tactile feel only, whereas the finger wheel gives no indication of what the current aperture is nor is it as easy to quickly get to the right aperture.
    I'm actually running out of program slots on my camera for MF lenses, so I welcome the chips.
     
  19. As Joseph mentioned the camera needs the exit pupil position in order to correct for fall-off in illumination. It's able to get this from the CPU. It makes the matrix meter work properly and enables the TTL multi-sensor to work properly in the newer film cameras. My guess is that when you set the camera for focal length with a non-CPU lens, the exit pupil location is estimated from the focal length, since the combination of focal length and max. aperture is not sufficient to identify even a Nikon lens uniquely.
    The matrix meter also needs to know the maximum aperture since it has to be able to determine the absolute brightness of the scene, when doing scene classification etc. Again it gets this from the CPU or from the user supplied data for non-CPU lenses.
     
  20. Even a very high price would be better than "Be Happy With Limitations!"​
    But there is a "very high price" solution. Sell the old one, get a new one... :(
    The matrix meter also needs to know the maximum aperture since it has to be able to determine the absolute brightness of the scene, when doing scene classification etc.​
    That brings back memories. I used to have a Nikon FA. It had the first matrix metering system, and could get the max aperture by reading little projections on the back of the AI-s lenses (that was one of the differences between AI-s and AI, another being the calibrated aperture mechanism used for S and P mode). I think only the FA and F4 could read those tabs, all other matrix metering cameras required chipped lenses.
    Taking the camera out of the bag it just requires one quick turn with my left hand to get the desired aperture, tactile feel only, whereas the finger wheel gives no indication of what the current aperture is nor is it as easy to quickly get to the right aperture.​
    As a strawman, that one is, well, straw. I don't recall ever being in a situation where I needed to draw a camera stealthily from the bag and reset the aperture to something new before bringing it up to my eye. That one "trick" maneuver certainly doesn't offset the hours out of the bag in actual use where the ergonomic advantage of the on-camera control shines. That "good old" lens based aperture control gives you two things...
    • When you adjust aperture from the lens, you have both hands behind the center of gravity, and the camera pitches forward. The countering force comes mainly from the third and fourth fingers of the right hand, not exactly built for strength. Especially on a lens like a 70-200mm f2.8, where the distance you're shifting that left hand is about 150mm and the mass of lens and camera exceeds 2kg.
    • You bend the left wrist outward more (extension) at the same time increasing the load on the palm pad, all in all, not good for either the carpel tunnel or the median volar nerve.
    One could probably make a good case (and yes, I mean in the sense of a court of law) that launching new lenses MF without chips was an act of criminal negligance.
     
  21. It had the first matrix metering system, and could get the max aperture by reading little projections on the back of the AI-s lenses (that was one of the differences between AI-s and AI, another being the calibrated aperture mechanism used for S and P mode). I think only the FA and F4 could read those tabs, all other matrix metering cameras required chipped lenses.​
    Actually I believe that the AI lenses have that projection too since I read in the manual that the F4 is able to matrix meter with them (and presumably the FA is too). The F4 manual states that it can't matrix meter with AI-converted lenses presumably because only the aperture ring is modified.
    It's interesting to speculate on whether Nikon had the matrix meter (or AMP as they used to call it) in mind when the AI lenses were introduced or whether they just thought it might be handy to have the maximum aperture information available for some purpose unknown at the time. I think AI came in some time around 1977 and the FA around 1983.
     
  22. Would the chipped lens be a "D" lens? That would allow 3D matrix mode, a definite plus.
     
  23. As a strawman, that one is, well, straw. I don't recall ever being in a situation where I needed to draw a camera stealthily from the bag and reset the aperture to something new before bringing it up to my eye.​
    Strawman? If anything is a straw man, the that's your original argument. But I responded so I blame myself...
    Also, I never mentioned stealth, just convenience. I don't have a problem using the aperture control on the body, the aperture ring is just my personal preference.
    That one "trick" maneuver certainly doesn't offset the hours out of the bag in actual use where the ergonomic advantage of the on-camera control shines.​
    I'm not really convinced... I just set the aperture, then focus on composition, focusing and exposure. My hands never get tired from photography and my day job is on a computer, so there's plenty of strain on my wrists.
    Indeed on long lenses it may be inconvenient to change the aperture due to the weight and center of gravity of the lens, but I mostly use short lenses. However, as stated, I can use the control wheel just as well.
     
  24. The camera's aperture control is radically superior to the lens's ring from an ergonomic standpoint.​
    That depends entirely on how you prefer to use the camera. For me, my favorite setup is how an early aperture-priority camera works (e.g., a Minolta XD) - you use the aperture ring to control aperture, the camera handles the shutter. The left hand focuses and does the aperture, the right hand holds the camera and operates the shutter, and I find the combination of finger motions required makes more sense to me.
    Now I think I'm going to go shoot a roll of film with my XD :)
     
  25. That depends entirely on how you prefer to use the camera.​
    No, it actually doesn't. "Ergonomics", or more properly, the combination of ergonomics and biomechanics known as "human factors engineering" is about measuring what the body can do and designing equipment to mesh with that. Many people "prefer" to overeat, to abuse alcohol or cocaine, to smoke, that doesn't make any of those things "efficient" or "good for you".
    The left hand focuses and does the aperture, the right hand holds the camera and operates the shutter, and I find the combination of finger motions required makes more sense to me.​
    It makes less "sense" (I explained the biomechanical issues earlier). It's simply what you're used to. You don't like change, and you're creatively justifying that. One of the fun "side effects" of human factors engineering is that it gives you such interesting insights into...
    humans. ;)
     
  26. One human factor to be considered is consistency (provided that it's not foolish consistency, of course). So if a photographer is working with a mixture of manual and AF lenses it may be desirable to use the aperture ring to set the aperture on any of them, instead of needing to consider the currently selected lens to decide how to adjust the aperture. This may be desireable despite being mechanically more inconvenient.
     
  27. John, I agree about consistency.
    • Personally, my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 (my number 1 "go to" lens) has no aperture ring and must be operated from the camera's aperture control. The 14-24mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 that round out my "event" bag (the 14-24 also being my number 1 for landscapes and architecture) also are without aperture rings. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 that is the most used lens on my D90 is also without aperture ring. Put it all together and the majority of my shooting is done with lenses that don't even offer the option of aperture ring control. So, "consistency" says that that's how I use the rest, whenever possible.
    • Globally, the last new AF lens with an aperture collar was launched back in 2002. For the last 7 years, all the new Nikon AF lenses have been "G" lenses. The odds are that any photographer using a mix of AF and MF lenses has at least one "G", and the ratio will only increase, the aperture collar is not making a comeback.
    • You brought up the concept of "foolish consistency". That's how I would describe using the aperture ring on lenses where this was not necessary. It's physically harder on the photographer, not only fatiguing, but actually potentially damaging to structures like the median volar nerve or the tendons in the carpel tunnel.
     
  28. Seems that we agree, Joseph. When I get some lenses that have no aperture ring, then I'll probably switch to the body control, when possible. Until then, all my lenses do have aperture rings, some of them are not chipped, and all of them are pretty small, so I like that the camera gives me a choice.
     

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