We first heard about it at the recent Zeiss Event in Oberkochen and now it has been made official: the third lens in the E-mount Loxia family in addition to the already existing 35mm and 50mm f/2 is the 21mm f/2.8. The Loxias are strictly manual focus lenses, even though they have been designed for digital cameras and include electronic contacts that can communicate Exif data. Turning the focus ring can also trigger the magnification assist.
Instead of having a “re-furbished” design like the other two Loxia lenses, the new 21mm f/2.8 is a brand new lens. During the Milvus event in Germany, Product Manager Christophe Casenave explained that they started from the original Biogon design but then decided to make the lens asymmetrical, making it a Distagon instead. It features 11 lens elements in nine groups with 4 special glass and 1 aspherical glass elements. It has a minimum focus distance of 25 cm.
- Focal length: 21mm
- Maximum aperture: 2.8
- Minimum aperture: 22
- Angle of view: 91°
- Closest focusing distance: 25cm
- Lens configuration: 11 elements / 9 groups
- Special elements: 4 Special, 1 Aspherical elements
- Lens surface coating: Yes (T Coating)
- Image ratio: 1:7.81
- Optical Image Stabilizer: None
- Dimensions: φ62 Ø, 72 mm
- Filter diamater: 52mm
- Weight: 394g
The lens has the same characteristics as the other two Loxia lenses which include a pure mechanical focus ring (rotation angle of 90°), an aperture ring and the same 52mm filter thread. The idea is for all the lenses in the Loxia lens family to have the same diameter. You also have the option of a clickless aperture ring by turning a special screw on the rear of the lens with the supplied key. Zeiss states that these lenses can also be an interesting option for filmmakers because of the de-click aperture and similarity in size. The latter means you don’t have to re-arrange accessories such as a follow focus every time you switch lenses. However the lenses are small which means that it won’t be easy to place too many accessories around them like a follow focus, filter holder, etc.
The lens is made entirely of metal and has a special weather protection on the lens mount (the blue rubber ring) that prevents dust or water from penetrating. It features a metal petal-shaped hood that is supplied with the lens. The Loxia 21mm f/2.8 is an interesting wide angle prime option for Sony users and with the recent Voigtlander announcements, Sony users will start to have some choice in this department (though we are only talking about manual focus lenses).
The Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 will be available in December 2015 at a suggested retail price of €1259 / $1499 (excluding VAT) which doesn’t make it a cheap option.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Loxia lenses, check out our full review of the 35 and 50mm!
What do you think of the Loxia series? Share your thoughts below!