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Start Gear & Galleries 2D Cameras & Lenses Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 mm - Ultrawide and Fast!

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 mm - Ultrawide and Fast!

Looking for an ultra wide angle lens covering fullformat image circle? Than you should take a closer look to the new Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15 mm. With an angle of view of 110°, a fast F2.8 aperture and a minimum distance of 25 cm it allows dramatic perspectives for close ups and is suitable for architecture and landscape photography as well.

The manufacturer claims that with 15 elements in 12 groups (including two aspheric lenses and floating elemements design) this lens preserves very natural proportions with minimal distortion, high contrast and exceptional sharpness. So it should harmonize perfectly well even with the latest 36 MP "pixel monsters" like the Nikon D800/D800E. Due to the selection of special glass also chromatic aberrations are nearly invisible and the T* coating is designed to reduce stray light and reflections to a minimum. You can read an in depth review and comparison to two other ultra wide angle lenses here. It is available in two versions, one with Nikon F-mount (ZF.2) and one with Canon EF-mount (ZE). Both versions contain a chip that allows the camera to determine the focal length and control the aperture, the ZF.2 version has an additional option to operate the aperture manually. Focus is operated manually with a butter smooth focus ring with clearly defined start and end point, which is interesting for filmmakers as well.

Due to it's complex construction it is quite big but less bulky than e.g. the Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 wide angle zoom lens. Although it is completely made of glass and metal, it is surprisingly light - it weighs about 730 to 820g depending on the version and fits quite nice e.g. on the Nikon D800E:

The lens is protected by a metal lens cap and comes with an integrated lens shade and a 95mm filter thread. Currently the dealers forecast an availabilty from September for a price of about 2600 EUR.
So far the facts. Now let us take a look at some example shots!

Landscapes & Architecture

This lens is perfect for wide landscape and architecture shots. You may click on the images in order to see other sizes:

(remember to select 1080p and switch to fullscreen view)

Close Ups

If you thought so far that playing with depth of field is nearly impossible with a super wide angle, this lens may tell you a different story (click images for other sizes):



(F2.8, ISO 3200, some cropping and descewing; model: Ilka Groenewold)


Due to its short focal distance and lack of autofocus, this is not a typical sports lens but with some luck or enough tries it may allow you to capture some dramatic shots like that on the title of this article or like this:

Conclusion so far:

The lens has an exceptional haptics and build quality. If you compare the RAW images without any software lens correction to those with a lens correction profile applied correction in postprocessing (Adobe Ligtroom 4.1 and Camera Raw 7.1 already have profiles for that lens), you can see that this lens needs only very little distortion correction. It providies exceptional center sharpness already at F2.8 and vignettes at open aperture in a significant degree but correction is just one click away in many raw processors and not always favored.

Please click this link to follow this article for a more detailed review and comparison of the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 to the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 G ED zoom lens and the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Aspherical.

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