Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 ZF - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2007

Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Peter-Cornelius Spaeth!


The Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 ZF is another representative of the recently introduced ZF line-up. Zeiss ZF are a manual focus lenses compatible to the Nikon F(Ai-S)-mount (therefore ZF). On the APS-C DSLRs the Distagon has a field-of-view equivalent to 52mm so it behaves like a normal lens within this scope.

Typical for all ZF lenses the 35mm f/2 doesn´t feature AF nor an electronically controlled aperture. Reads: the lens has an automatic aperture but you have to stop down via the aperture ring on the lens (1/2 stop steps). Consequently the lens is not compatible to the consumer-grade Nikon DSLRs a la D40 or D70. However, it works just fine e.g. in aperture-priority mode on the D200.

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. The physical length changes when focusing towards close distances though.

Equiv. focal length52.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements in 7 groups
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.3 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5.3)
Dimensions65 mm x 97 mm
Weight530 g
Filter size58 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel shaped, metal, bayonet mount (supplied)
Other features-