thanks go to Frank Fremerey who conducted this test on a Nikon D2X
using a pre-production test sample number 000009 from Zeiss in Germany.
may of course perform slightly differently. Further images may be
Despite the Cosina slurs frequently bandied about, there is every
reason to believe that this has a real chance of making a splash
in the weak 24mm sector. Perhaps Zeiss have debuted this lens in ZF
Nikon's offerings at this focal length aren't particularly attractive:
their venerable AIS workhorses are reliable but uninspiring performers
in f2 and f2.8 guises.
I don't imagine that ZF 85mm f1.4 sales have
been particularly strong: Nikon 85mm f1.4 D users have been justifiably
underwhelmed – even confused, insulted – at being offered a inferior
manual focus equivalent to a lens whose reputation is almost without
Maybe Zeiss is looking for an easier fight at 24mm.
For an f2.8 lens, the ZF 25mm is a big hunk of glass, weighing in
at 480g and measuring 66mm in length. However, it is an entirely new
10 element design that shares little with the earlier,
somewhat unloved Contax/Yashica mount Distagon of the same focal length.
A welcome development is a drastic improvement in close focusing ability:
Zeiss quotes a figure of 17cm from the film plane;
a hair-raising 6cm from the front element. The
charts make fairly impressive viewing, too
Please note that the following test was conducted with an APS-sized
sensor – leaving a question mark hanging over its true corner performance,
a full frame Canon body in a
forthcoming test. Meantime, let's see what we can learn from its
performance on a Nikon body . . . at least we won't have to worry about