After nearly two years of legal battle, Nikon, ASML and Carl Zeiss are about to settle all litigations. The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will settle of all legal proceedings over patents for lithography equipment and digital cameras. By this agreement, Carl Zeiss and ASML are due to pay Nikon a total of €150 million, or approximately $170 million.
When Zeiss announced the Android-powered ZX1 back in September, It was met with a bit of a mixed reaction, and a lot of questions. No card slots? Why put Lightroom in a camera? Can the screen even be calibrated? How does the CC subscription factor into this? And, is it actually any good?
Well, Zeiss have put out the first video covering the use of the new camera. To do so, they enlisted the help of German freelance photographer Sabrina Weniger, in the streets of Düsseldorf’s Little Tokyo.
A new camera with zero card slots isn’t all that Zeiss has announced at Photokina this year. They’ve also announced the Zeiss Batis 2/40 CF lens, too. It sits in between the Zeiss Batis 2/25 and Batis 1.8/85 lenses in the Zeiss E mount lineup.
The Zeiss Batis lenses were developed specifically for the Sony E mount range of mirrorless cameras. There are five in total now, including this one, covering 18 to 135mm in focal length. As with the rest of the Batis lenses, the 2/40 CF has Zeiss T* coatings and is fully weather sealed.
What is going on? It’s like everybody is jumping into the full frame mirrorless market the last month or so. Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Sigma, Zenit, and now Zeiss. And while it’s all very exciting, Zeiss’ new ZX1 has one very unique feature. It actually runs Lightroom CC. Oh yes, integrated right into the camera!
Earlier this year, Sigma announced nine Art lenses with native Sony E mount. Jason Vong tested three of them and compared them to native Sony counterparts in terms of sharpness, AF performance for photo and video, and form factor.
Jason visited Anime Expo and shot some videos and stills in this lens shootout, testing the pairs of 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4, and 85mm f/1.4. Let’s see his impressions and whether or not Sigma Art lenses can outperform their Sony counterparts.
Just over a year ago, we reported on a lawsuit filed by Nikon against Zeiss and ASML. They accused the two companies of using Nikon’s patented lithography tech without permission or licenses. Now, a court has ruled that Zeiss and ASML did not infringe upon Nikon’s patent, and has ordered Nikon to pay €475,000 in court fees.
The Zeiss Batis range of lenses for Sony have proven to be extremely popular, especially as Sony has been slacking on producing their own until recently. With the new native Sony FE mount Sigma lenses on the way, though, that may change. Sigma will have quite a few more lenses, and Zeiss still has a couple of holes in its lineup. But it’s planning to fill one of those with a new 40mm f/2.0 lens, according to Nokishita.
It’s being reported by Sony Alpha Rumors that Zeiss are planning to launch the world’s first lens with ALON lens elements. Perhaps a 35mm f/1.8 Sony FE mount pancake lens. ALON is Aluminium Oxynitride, which is essentially “transparent aluminum“. Yes, that’s right Star Trek technology is coming to lenses. Maybe.
It’s not often that you see a small company challenge the likes of Zeiss. It’s even less common to see one actually beat them in comparative tests. But that’s exactly what Veydra have done in some new tests from the folks at LensRentals. For those unfamiliar with Veydra, it was only just over three years ago that they were seeking funding on Kickstarter for their new line of compact Micro Four Thirds cinema lenses.
The prices for Kickstarter backers were very low considering the quality people hoped for. Even now that they’re on general sale, they’re still substantially cheaper than Zeiss CP.2 series lenses. Now also available in Sony APS-C E Mount, these small, less expensive lenses seem to be the way for many video shooters to go.