View Full Version : Zeiss lens lengths . . .
There has been some confusion about whether the Zeiss lenses are unusually large. This stems from the fact that Zeiss reports lengths that include the lens mount, while Leica & Cosina report the length of the lens that protrudes from the camera. I stumbled across the fact that the lengths that compare to Leica & Cosina (i.e. protrusion from camera) can actually be found on the Zeiss section of the Cosina website. I have listed them below with the lengths of the Leica lens of the same maximum aperture for comparison. VC lenses cannot be directly compared because they typically are not built in what are otherwise the standard maximum apertures.
21/2.8 _ Zeiss: 50.7 mm - Leica: 46 mm
24/2.8 _ ..................... - Leica: 45 mm
25/2.8 _ Zeiss: 46.6 mm - ..................
28/2.8 _ Zeiss: 37.7 mm - Leica: 41.4 mm
35/2.0 _ Zeiss: 43.3 mm - Leica: 34.5 mm
50/2.0 _ Zeiss: 43.5 mm - Leica: 43.5 mm
85/2.0 _ Zeiss: 83.0 mm - .....................
90/2.0 _ .................... - Leica: 78 mm
I have not been able to find the diameters of the Zeiss lenses reported anywhere. Has anyone else had any luck?
Thanks, Huck, for digging out the comparable figures, and comparing them! Interesting... The 35mm Biogon seems unusually large, and so does the 28 Elmarit.
Doug, I wish that Zeiss had been able to make the 35/2 in as compact a barrel as Leica did. The 35 Summicron is remarkably compact! Almost as small as the slower VC 35/2.5, which is 31 mm long (& which Popular Photography measured f/2.7 actual max aperture). The VC 35/1.7 (PP says actually f/1.8) is not that much faster & is 47.7 mm long.
I've tried to keep my kit compact. I opted for the 28/3.5 for this very reason. As good a lens as it is, the 28 Ultron as just too big for me for a rangefinder lens (61 mm long). However, I think that I can live with 43 mm for a 35 at half the price (Hong Kong) of a Summicron. At about the same size as a 50 summicron, it's still reasonably compact.
Hi, see the lens diagram of the 2/35 to understand why the Biogon is so large! Never in history Biogons were small lenses... but the most complex! And at least from MTF figures, among the very very best.. ;-) always waiting for pictures of the 2/35...
Yes, the 35mm Biogon is very large compared to the 35mm Summicron. Oh well. I'm finding that I prefer the Biogon over my 4th gen. Summicron, which is going into retirement. I've posted some photographs from the Biogon on my blog, if you're interested.
Karen: I was just on your site today digging into the portion of your blog that spoke of the Biogon... thanks so much. I look forward to any further postings there. Do you have any plans to try other of the new Zeiss lenses? I am considering investing in the new body at some point, and my first choice would be the 28mm, then a CV 40 and a Zeiss 85mm Sonnar.
This will go OT, but what are your thoughts/feelings on a potential Zeiss digital RF?
I just bought the 28mm Biogon and it seems just as good as the 35mm from what I can tell. I tend to go close and wide in my work, so I'm not interested in the 50mm or 85mm.
I think Zeiss is watching the market carefully. The ZI film camera is delayed until August. The Epson R-D1 hasn't been selling well (I don't believe anyone has a serial number > 5000) and isn't profitable for Epson despite its price point. So I think ZI & Cosina are going to wait and see what happens with the market.
The Zeiss lenses are selling like hotcakes in Japan, though. Of course, we're getting them $200 cheaper than you (about $850 a lens rather than $1050).
Hi, see the lens diagram of the 2/35 to understand why the Biogon is so large! Never in history Biogons were small lenses...
True, Frank, complex design with many elements. Strangely enough, though, the 28 Biogon is smaller than the Leica 28 Elmarit. It is also smaller than the 35 Biogon - although I suspect that the 28 probably protrudes farther into the camera & therefore isn't as long - as a true non-retrofocus would in comnparison to a 35.
It looks like the only big difference, in terms of actual measurement, is that the 35mm Biogon is about 1 cm bigger then the 35mm Summicron ASPH, which puts the Biogon at the same size as the 50mm Summicron. As we are dealing with relatively small lenses, the practical difference is nil. I mean how many folks when out shooting believe that a 50mm Summicron is too large?
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