Zeiss is launching a whole new family of lenses designed for ultra high resolution full-frame slrs (think D800 specs) and they are starting with a Distagon 55mm f/1.4. Now, if you know anything about Zeiss, you’ll immediately find it odd that a normal lens would have the Distagon formula, however, here’s their explanation as delivered by Dr. Michael Pollmann, Consumer Lenses Product and Program Manager:
Due to the high performance required, we were looking for a fresh approach. It is true that the Distagon type is predominantly found in wide-angle lenses. This is because wide-angle lenses also require additional design effort in terms of number and arrangement of lenses. Since we were aiming for the best possible imaging performance for the new family of lenses, we decided to manufacture the 1.4/55 as a Distagon. Due to the number and arrangement of lenses, this lens unit is slightly larger in size and weight but uncompromising in its performance.
I’m sure it’s going to be every bit as good as their excellent line of ZE and ZF.2 lenses, and I’m quite anxious to see a final production model.We can expect to see this first lens available around Autumn of 2013 and it will be priced in the neighborhood of EUR 3000 (or about $3900 US). They have not yet specified which other focal lengths will be coming, other than that they have three Primes in production, and more in the planning stages. These lenses will also be in a separate category from the existing ZE / ZF.2 lenses and will not be replacing that line.
If you would like to read more about their plans for this new line, check out the Carl Zeiss Lens Blog here.