Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Careful What You Wish For

I'm just curious as to whether anyone within the sound of my voice is actually shooting with this new lens, or knows of any online info. The only real review I've seen is this one.

This lens (officially, the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 ZF) confirms that you should be careful what you wish for. For years I shot Contax, and for years I dogged Contax to make a 35mm ƒ/2, arguing (sometimes elaborately—wherever he is, Blake Ziegler is rolling his eyes) that the dual offering of the fast (ƒ/1.4) and slow (ƒ/2.8) lenses made less sense in this focal length than one lens in the middle.
So, finally, I've gotten what I always asked for. I think the people in charge of such things are little elves with wicked senses of humor, though, because, of course, now, I'm shooting with reduced-sensor-size cameras, and what I'd really like is the same lens in a 35mm equivalent (there is one, but we're back to ƒ/2.8 again), and which covers 22x16mm instead of 35mm. And, while my argument was always that ƒ/2 makes a good size and weight compromise for this focal length, wouldn't you know that the new ZF version is, er, bloody huge: it's 100g heavier than even the Leica R version (which is built like a tank and was the previous size outlier for the specification) and only 69g lighter than the old Contax 35mm ƒ/1.4, which was an enormous lens. You know what they say: oh well.


Still and all, I'm drawn to this. Fans of 35mm-on-35mm primes for SLRs hardly have a wealth of choices these days, and an all-new, all-out German design is nothing to take for granted. I'll let you know if I ever succumb.


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