Carl Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO Sonnar T* Announced

Today, Zeiss announced the new Apo Sonnar 135/2 T* lens and as you well know I love the simplicity of those expensive tools. For the past two years I have used the outstanding Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar lens for landscapes and macro stuff and that lens is really a joy to use. The new 135/2 high-speed lens offers exceptionally selective focusing with beautiful out-of-focus zones with beautiful colours. The special thing about this lens is the use of exotic lens elements that make better bright to dark transitions and especially highlights, are reproduced almost completely free of colour artifacts. No doubt that this lens will be perfect for a wide range of motifs, including portraits, close-up and video, will I buy this lens? I might, but for my kind of work my 100/2 Makro-Planar is a better choice and it is lighter and more compact too, but the use of apochromatic lens elements will surely make the 135/2 much better for shooting motifs against bright highlights with large apertures.

Zeiss Official press release - OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 07.09.2012.

The Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 is the ideal lens for capturing detailed images from long distances, such as the skyline at sunset, a leopard in the zoo, or a pop star on a faraway stage. The new lens offers outstanding clarity of detail, high contrast and high resolution at any aperture. This mix of attributes makes it the perfect choice for portraits in advertising, fashion and lifestyle, as well as for landscape and reportage photography.

After putting the lens through its paces in New York, Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson was clearly impressed: “I am delighted with the performance of this new lens. It is rela- tively compact for a telephoto lens. Its image resolution and quality are outstanding, and there is a touch of magic in the way the light is refracted by the lens elements. I took some amazing photos, including some in poor light conditions.”

The Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 can capture subjects up to a scale of 1:4. It has been built based on Carl Zeiss's proven “floating elements” design. A special variable arrangement of the lens elements delivers excellent images over the entire focusing range, from 0.8 meters to infinity. The compact telephoto lens features eleven elements in eight groups. Because this lens is an apochromat, chromatic abberations (axial chromatic abbera- tions) are corrected with elements of special glass materials with anomalous partial disper- sion. The chromatic aberrations are therefore significantly below the defined limits. Bright-dark transitions in the image, and especially highlights, are reproduced almost completely free of color artifacts.

I love that German accent...   
As with all other SLR lenses in the ZE and ZF.2 series, the Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating as well as the sophisticated treatment of the elements edges with a deep-black special lacquer make the Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 resistant to reflections and stray light. Another advantage for the user is the large rotation angle of 268°, which enables ultra-precise focusing. The Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 is equipped with an all-metal barrel, which enables long-lasting use with high-quality results. It will be available with Nikon F bayonet (ZF.2) and with Canon EOS EF bayonet (ZE).. 

The lens will begin shipping in December 2012    

Technical data
  • Focal length 135mm
  • Aperture range f/2 -22
  • Number of lens elements/groups 11/8
  • Focusing range 0.80m (2.62ft) – infinity
  • Image ratio at close range 1 : 4 (close-up)
  • Filter thread 77mm
  • Length with caps 128mm (ZF.2)
  • Diameter 84mm
  • Weight 920g (ZF.2)

1 comment:

  1. After reading the spec. I wonder why Zeiss have made a design with yet another filter size, the new 135/2 uses 77mm filters a common size with pro Nikon gear, but now the range of Zeiss ZF.2/ZE lenses has 58mm, 67mm, 72, 82mm, 95mm and now 77mm - that´s crazy!!!.

    In future I hope they will stay with 67 and 77mm lens designs for their wide, standard and telephoto lenses, that will make life easier for the hard working pro.

    Personally I only use Zeiss and Nikon lenses with 67 and 77mm filter treads and I want to keep it that way!!!

    - SO I WELCOME THE NEW 135/2 APO with the "pro" standard 77mm tread.