Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 ZF (ZE) (on Canon EOS) - Lab Test / Review
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (Full Format)
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Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Markus Stamm!
The Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 is a moderate wide-angle lens available for Nikon (ZF.2), Pentax (ZK) and Canon EF (ZE).
The ZE variants were fairly recently introduced - probably due to licensing issues. Typical for all Z-series lenses the
35mm f/2 is a manual focus lens. The focus indicator in the viewfinder remains active (ZE) so there's a little guidance here
at least. The ZE versions use an electronically controlled aperture so it can be operated via the camera (the ZF.2/ZK variants
feature also a classic aperture ring).
Unfortunately we weren't able to get our hands on the ZE version so we had to use the ZF variant via adapter. However, there
aren't any differences apart from the mount specific aspects so our conclusions regarding the optical performance will be
fully valid for ZE lenses as well.
According to the Zeiss naming convention "Distagon" refers to a "retro-focus" lens based on an asymmetrical design. The
asymmetry in necessary to provide the required space for a SLR mirror. The first Distagon lens was introduced in 1953 - a
60mm f/5.6 for the Hasselblad 1000F. The design evolved over time, of course, and it's no longer just used by Zeiss but
across the whole industry.
The build quality of the full-metal Zeiss (brass with chromium-plated brass front bayonet) is superb. The fluted focus ring
feels exceptionally well damped. The front element does not rotate. However, the physical length changes (extends) when focusing towards close distances. If anything the front
cap leaves something to be desired - it doesn't provide much confidence that it'll stick to the lens if nudged a little.
|Optical construction||9 elements in 7 groups|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||0.3m (max. magnification ratio 1:5.3)|
|Filter size||58mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Included, barrel shaped (snap-on)|