From the photokina Floor: Hands on the New Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon


It’s no secret that many owners of mirrorless cameras use a wide variety of third-party adapters to mount Leica M lenses on their cameras, and that some Leica M owners have a penchant for using non-Leica M-mount lenses to add a bit of variety to their rangefinder kits. Well, now both groups of these camera owners have an exciting new choice.


The new 10-element, 7-group 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss Distagon T* ZM uses an aspheric optical surface, special anomalous dispersion glass, and a floating-element design to achieve a level of perfection claimed to be equal to or even a tad better than the legendary Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. And judging by the MTF charts we saw, performance at f/1.4 seems to be a dead heat, and at f/4 the new Zeiss lens is spectacular.


At any rate, the new 35mm f/1.4 Distagon is the fastest lens in the ZM family and that facilitates creating pictorial effects with limited depth of field. It looks like the old Zeiss versus Leica optical battle is heating up again—shades of the 1950s!