As if I needed another reason to want the Sony A7S. Today, Zeiss shared two new E-mount lenses that will without a doubt finally give A7 series users fast prime options. Zeiss is well known around the photography world as one of the top lens manufacturers in the business. The build and image quality from their lenses receive constant praise on the photo forums. These two new full-frame FR lenses fall under the name Loxia and are manual focus only. There is a 35mm and 50mm, both coming with a maximum f/2 aperture.
Both lenses are compatible with E-mount cameras, which means you can also use them on your APS-C sensor bodies like older NEX models, A6000, A5000, or A5100 cameras. Considering these are MF lenses, they aren’t for everyone. However, if you want to up your photography game and really learn how to take a photo, a manual focus lens is a must have in your kit.
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With the new Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50 lenses, ZEISS combines maximum image quality with classic ease of use for E-mount full-frame cameras. During photokina, which will take place in Cologne from September 16 to 21, photography enthusiasts can see and try out this new family of lenses for the first time.
“Ever since the Sony Alpha 7/7R/7S helped compact system cameras break through to the full frame, there has been a growing desire for a ‘digital manual focus‘ experience that combines the best of both worlds. With the Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50, which are the first members of a new family of manual focus lenses for the E-mount full frame, ZEISS is ready to exceed those expectations,” said Christophe Casenave, Product Manager with ZEISS Camera Lenses.
The Loxia lenses offer several key highlights, including optimization for digital sensors and electronic viewfinders, the mechanical aperture setting and – for ambitious videography – the mechanical deactivation of the aperture click stops (de-click).
The Loxia family has been specially optimized for digital sensors and the functions of mirrorless E-mount full-format cameras. An electronic interface transmits lens data (EXIF), but also recognizes focus movements and, if desired, activates the camera’s magnifier function. Moreover, the Loxia lenses enable precise manual focusing and a mechanical setting of the aperture (working-aperture aperture priority). This traditional way of working can express one’s personal photo lifestyle, and open up surprising new creative possibilities to compose the image that go beyond all automation.
“If I had to describe Loxia lenses in just one sentence,” according to Christophe Casenave, “I would say, ‘tradition meets modernity’. These lenses have been designed for photographers who enjoy shooting spontaneous scenes, but without giving away the work of composing the image to the camera.”
Yet photographers are not the only ones who will enjoy the Loxia. Ambitious videographers will have at their disposal the possibility of progressive aperture settings (de-click). This will put a tool with enormous creative potential into their hands thanks to the mechanical deactivation of aperture click stops. The lenses’ precise manual focusing also makes the Loxia suitable for professional video productions. The Loxia lenses are optimized for digital full-frame sensors, and incorporate the approx. 2.5 mm thick low-pass and infrared filters in front of the sensor in the corresponding Sony cameras.
The Loxia lenses were intentionally designed to be manual-focus lenses; this makes them extremely compact and therefore a perfect companion for travel and street photography. An important advantage in this respect, especially for photographers who work in these disciplines, is that they cannot be recognized right away as professionals. Using the Loxia lenses, they can capture completely true-to-life situations, without attracting attention.
The lenses offer a high resolution across the entire image field and — especially at the maximal aperture opening of f/2 — a harmonious bokeh in the background. The superb mechanical quality that ZEISS lenses are known for can also be found in the Loxia family. The smooth focus operation, with a large focus rotation angle of approximately 180 degrees, allows for the finest variations in focusing. The filter diameter is a consistent M52 across the entire lens family. The robust barrel, made entirely of metal, can withstand the rough everyday situations that professional photographers work in and ensures a long product life. In addition, the lenses have a special weather sealing at the lens mount to prevent spray water from getting between the camera and the lens.
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