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°.
Like the rest of the Loxia lineup, the 2.4/85 is available in Sony E-Mount only. While not ideal for those shooting other brands, it does allow Zeiss to tailor the lens to the specifications of Sony cameras. This should result in a much better result than a set of generic lenses that happen to have a Sony mount on them.
The lens boasts “Virtually distortion-free optics”, preventing straight lines from becoming curves. It also has a high-grade full-metal casing. As well as quality, Zeiss are famous for their build quality. You know if you buy a Zeiss lens, it’s going to last you a long long time. In fact, I’ve got a 50 year old Zeiss Pancolar 50mm f/1.8 Zebra here that still feels and acts like a brand new lens.
Zeiss are marketing the Loxia line as “the ideal choice for travel and street photographers”. The new 85mm also makes Loxia an excellent range for portrait shooters. Sure, the 21mm might be a little wide, even for environmental portraits, but the 35mm isn’t. 50mm and 85mm are both ideal for portraits of various types. Now they just need to add a 105mm.
The previous Loxia lenses have received a warm welcome from those who purchased one. If the 85mm lives up to the rest of the range, which I’ve no doubt it does, then it should be an excellent piece of glass.
Shipping begins in December 2016. The lens includes a hood, and available for preorder now at $1,399.