According to a report by Reuters, a stake in Leica is up for sale. Buyout group Blackstone is in talks with potential buyers, and Zeiss is one of the potential buyers. 45% percent stake in Leica is up for sale, and judging from the report, there are already several acquirers interested.
This little saga started a couple of months ago, but now the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has opened an official patent infringement investigation. Reuters reports that the ITC launched the probe on Friday into Nikon digital cameras, software and components. This comes in response to complains filed against Nikon by Carl Zeiss and ASML.
Of course, Nikon started this fight, filing lawsuits against Zeiss and ASML back in April. They accused the two companies of using Nikon’s patended lithography technology without permission or licenses. Several days later, both Zeiss and ASML filed their own countersuits claiming Nikon had their technogy inside Nikon’s digital cameras.
These days it seems that 135mm lenses are everywhere. After Sigma’s release of 135mm F/1.8 DG HSM Art lens, now Zeiss has their Batis 135mm f/2.8 ready for preorders. I was surprised (to say the least) by the price of Sigma’s lens, no matter the gorgeous photos it takes. However, now it becomes clear where they got the inspiration from. The new Zeiss 135mm lens has many god sides for sure, but it comes with a really high price tag!
Usually, lenses of a similar focal length and aperture cost a similar price. Except, perhaps, when they have Zeiss written on them. The Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 costs $1,199, while the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 costs a mere $598. Even at $598, the soon to be released Sony lens is a little more expensive than the Nikon and Canon equivalents. But is the Zeiss really worth the extra?
That’s what Chris Niccolls and the other folks at The Camera Store wanted to find out. So, they tested them both side-by-side during a recent trip to Sony’s factory in Thailand. Chris tests with both the Sony A7R II and the Sony A6500.
Zeiss have announced a new telephoto lens in their Loxia lineup for Sony full frame cameras. The new lens is the Zeiss Loxia 2.4/85. Adding to the Loxia family that includes the 21mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/2, the new 85mm f/2.4 rounds off the selection quite nicely. For now, anyway. I still think they need to add a 105mm.
The new lens has been designed specifically with digital sensors in mind. It’s based on the Zeiss Sonnar design, and has seven elements in seven groups. It also features the aperture “De-Click” function, making it ideal for video use. Zeiss lens gears also allow it to be easily used with a follow focus system on a rail rig. The manual focus ring also turns a full 220°.
Zeiss have announced that the two new lenses for the ExoLens system are finally here. The two new lenses developed by Zeiss and Exolens are a telephoto and a macro-zoom for the iPhone 6 family. This expands the range from… well, it turns it from a single lens system into a range of three.
Until recently, the Exolens Zeiss system came only with a 0.6x wide angle lens. Now, the two new lenses are added to the list of options. At $199 for the 0.6x lens and frame bundle, and $199 for each of the two new lenses, it’s certainly not a cheap option. But, this is Zeiss.
Long known throughout the world for quality, Zeiss are the first name many think of when it comes to luxury lenses. Today, Zeiss have announced three new lenses; 15mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/2 for both Nikon and Canon. These lenses are part of Zeiss’s Milvus line, designed to “fulfill the requirements of today’s powerful digital cameras and those of the future thanks to their high imaging performance”.
As with the other members of the Milvus family, the three new lenses contain what Zeiss calls “harmonious bokeh”. This is essentially a floating element design which compensates for errors at different distance settings. They also claim excellent flare and ghosting control thanks to the T* anti-reflective coatings.
It’s been a long time coming for Sony shooters, but they now have an official fast standard lens available with the newly announced Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA. No longer do you need to mess around with metabones adapters and put up with limited autofocus capabilities, at least, not if you want a 50mm f/1.4.
Similar in construction to the FE 35mm f/1.4, the 50mm is weather sealed, and uses Sony’s Super Sonic Wave Motor for fast and near-silent autofocus. The aperture ring can also be “declicked”, if desired for video shooters.
When it comes to buying lenses, you often get what you pay for, but is there a certain point where throwing more money at them doesn’t bring you any real benefit?
In this video, Freddie Wong of RocketJump Film School compares some inexpensive Canon EF Primes ranging up to about $500 with equivalent focal length $5,000 RED Cine Lenses and Zeiss Compact Primes and some $15,000 Zeiss Ultra Primes in an attempt to answer this question.
If you think that 400mm f/2.8 is looking expensive in your B&H cart, you might want to think again. Earlier this week, a 50mm f/8 lens used by NASA in its Apollo moon missions sold for just under half a million dollars. [Read more…]