WPPI 2018: Zeiss Expands Loxia Lineup with 25mm f/2.4 Lens


Balancing image quality, speed, and size, Zeiss's Loxia line for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras has enormous appeal for shooters who work with still photography and cinema. Today, that series is growing to a total of five lenses, with the announcement of the Loxia 25mm f/2.4 Lens. With the Loxia lineup ranging from 21mm to 85mm, the new 25mm fills a small gap in Zeiss's wide-angle offerings, providing a perspective with appeal for landscape and architectural photographers, as well as street shooters. Another way to bridge this gap is with its aperture, which sits right in between its two nearest companions and offers decent speed at f/2.4. This lens also shares many distinct characteristics with the other Loxia offerings, including an all-manual design, metal construction, and a de-clickable aperture ring, making it a great addition to an existing set.

The Loxia name of this series refers to a genus of birds referred to as crossbills, which have specialized beaks that can effectively extract seeds from pine cones. This is a fitting description, because the lenses are specialized and highly effective tools. A very distinct characteristic of this line is that they all have matching external diameters, filter threads, and aperture designs, making it very easy to swap between them during a shoot. They are designed to be quite compact, as well, as indicated by their shared 52mm filter thread, making it easy to carry multiple lenses at a time without feeling weighed down.

The 25mm is another tool for the toolbox, offering a wide-angle perspective with minimal distortion and aberrations. This is achieved using two anomalous partial dispersion elements and one aspherical element in the optical design. Another feature is the use of Zeiss' T* anti-reflective coating, which dramatically reduces flare and ghosting in your images. This anti-flare quality can be assisted further by the included Lens Shade. If you look at all this and consider Zeiss's experience and reliability in producing high-performing lenses, especially the similar Loxia 21mm, you can be sure that this will be another lens with stellar image quality.

Operation of the lenses is smooth and precise, with one of the most outstanding examples of this being the long rotation angle of the focusing ring. On the just announced 25mm and existing 21mm, this sits at a comfortable 90°, appropriate given their wider focal lengths and inherently deeper depth of field, while the remaining lenses all offer 180° for additional control. The 25mm features a minimum focus distance of 9.8", and a working distance of 6.4", for capable close-up imaging and added versatility. Alongside this focusing ring is manual aperture, which can be quickly de-clicked with the included key for smooth pulls of the 10-blade aperture diaphragm while recording.

Constructed of metal, the Loxia 25mm is made to last, and a weather-sealed gasket at the mount protects the lens and camera from dust and water. The lens can even communicate settings with the camera via electronic contacts. This feature allows metadata to be written and can automatically enables focus assists when the focusing ring is turned.

With these features and a tried-and-true design, the Loxia 25mm is going to be a great addition to Zeiss's lineup. Are you going to be adding this to your kit? Let us know in the Comments section, below!