New Zeiss Loxia 85 f/2.4 Announced!

New Zeiss Loxia 85 f/2.4 Announced!

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Zeiss has announced, ahead of Photokina next week, the new much-anticipated 85mm F/2.4 lens in the Loxia lineup. The Loxia lenses are fantastic, all manual, smaller than the AF Batis lenses and feel more like you are shooting a great Leica M lens with your Sony.

Many have been waiting for the Loxia lineup to get an 85mm, and here it is with an f/2.4 aperture to boot. WOOHOO! Now we have 21, 35, 50 and 85mm in the LOXIA lineup. I have reviews for them all so far, except this new one.

See my LOXIA 21mm review, my 35mm review and my 50mm review.  I will be reviewing the 85 as well, so stay tuned 😉

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Here’s the press release from Zeiss:

With the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85, the optics company expands its compact lens family for mirrorless Sony full-frame cameras with E mount.

The newest member of the ZEISS Loxia family is a short telephoto lens called the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85. It supplements three focal lengths that are already available for this lens family, namely the ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21, Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50, and was specially designed for mirrorless fullframe cameras with E mount. The ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 will be available in stores starting mid of December 2016.

The new ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 has been designed for digital sensors. Based on an optimized ZEISS Sonnar design, it has seven lens elements in seven groups. “With the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85, we have managed to develop a well-rounded and new interpretation of the original ZEISS Sonnar optical design that meets all the requirements of digital photography and videography,” continued Casenave.

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The lens has a minimum object distance of 0.80 meters and a manual focus ring with a rotation angle of 220 degrees, enabling the subtlest variations of focusing. The large aperture of f/2.4 combined with the high-quality optical design ensures an appealing bokeh. The electronic interface transfers both lens data (EXIF) and focus movements, and activates the magnification function of the camera if desired by the user.

With the well-known De-Click function of the ZEISS Loxia lenses, the optics company is also targeting videographers. The De-Click function allows to mechanically deactivate the click stops on the aperture ring — a condition for silent and smooth adjustments of the aperture. As a result, the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 is also an attractive lens for video cameras that have an E mount, such as the Sony PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS5.

Global delivery of the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 will begin mid of December 2016. The lens shade is included with delivery. The recommended retail sales price is $1,399 USD.

7 Comments

  1. There’s a full review of this lens at another website, and it seems like this lens gives optimal performance from its widest aperture of f/2.4, to a degree where there’s no point in stopping down unless you want bigger DOF.
    It renders pictures quite nicely like a true Sonnar lens, and it’s very different than the rendering of the Sony 85 f/1.4, with less contrast and more tonal subtlety. The Sony might be technically better, but the Loxia has a ‘character’.
    It is not very light or compact. the Batis 85mm is lighter, and it is quite long. The Aperture of f/2.4 takes away the ability to completely wash out the background when shooting portraits, and with the not-so-close minimum focusing distance you can forget about close-up shots.
    I would love to have the lens because it’s a wonderful MF lens, but if I’m going to pay such a high price on an 85mm lens I want to be able to completely wash out backgrounds, and to get completely round out of focus highlights (the loxia’s OOF highlights aren’t even close to being round).

  2. Even though I’m fine with size, speed and price the weight of this lens (almost 600 Gramm) is more than I could endure for a lens with such specifications. I don’t see me carrying this around the whole day. This is just my opinion and needs may differ.

    For my part I am currently owning the 35 and 50mm loxias. Even though the 21mm seems beautifull, I am not a friend of the 35mm (it’s natural companion) as I find it to be a little harsh in most applications. Therefore I’m waiting for an 15 or 18 mm as well as a 28/2 loxia to complement the beautifull 50mm. With those 3 lenses I would be all set. Hopefully I will be abl to complete this set within the next 12 month.

    And so fast a post can go off-topic :).
    However I’m looking forward to see sample images and reviews of the new 85mm!

  3. I had hoped that Zeiss would have squeezed a 2.0 in this diameter. Apparently that was not physically possible. Well, I still find 2.4 to be worthwhile for an 85mm that I wanna take on the road every day. It’s the smallest difference to a 2.0.
    Zeiss’ present ZM85 is a 4.0 Tessar. That makes a big difference with 2.4. Maybe Zeiss will also come with a new ZM2.4/85 soon?
    I have recently shot with my Jupiter 9, which is in a way “an earlier version” of the discontinued ZM2.0/85 Sonnar, and since this lens is incredibly soft wide open and gains so much crisp as from 2.8, I did most of my shooting at this aperture. At full satisfaction.
    Loxia is not ment for those who absolutely want the shallowest possible DOF. So that’s me. And for my rare occasions of very shallow DOF, I will use my Canon FD 1.2/85 Aspherical. Big and heavy as hell, but still a marvel.
    I’m sure the Loxia Sonnar will perform a lot better at 2.4 than the old Jupiter does at 2.8 (to todays standards that is – we’ll confirm at Photokina.) So I have no doubt that this Sonnar 2.4/85 is a must to complete my Loxia set.
    I’m gonna place my order tomorrow.

    • My beloved Pentax SMC-M did squeeze f2.0 into a 49 mm filter thread. With full metal construction it’s build like a tank, but weighs just 251g. A compact travel lens! The LOXIA is nothing like this.
      I think it mostly has 3 issues: Weight, Aperture, Price Tag.
      Zeiss could have done better in terms of weight. I am not sure why this needs a whooping 600g which is the same category than the Zeiss Classic 85 / f1.4. This just doesn’t fit.
      The LOXIA is tack sharp from 2.4, so if Zeiss would have opened up to 2.0 (a 43 mm aperture sure should fit into a 52 mm filter thread!), I am sure nobody would have complained about lower corner sharpness at 2.0 but would have appreciated the DOF instead.
      The price point is above the BATIS which is unusual. For F2.0 this would have been OK, or if it was 2.4 but just 400 g and ultra compact. But the features of this lens just does not seem to match.
      Heck, where have all the Compact travel lenses gone?

  4. A year ago I would have left tongue prints on the screen for this lens. Now, with a Sony 2.8/90 Macro and a Bati 85/1.8 in my bag, and the vastly superior if bulky Sony 85/1.4 on the (distant) horizon, a new Loxia 85 seems a day late and a dollar short.

    The case is not closed, because this is truly a compact lens befitting the Leica-sized A7 cameras. The Batis 85 is somewhat bulky but lightweight. The Sony 90 is both heavy and bulky, to the extent that it is an either/or alternative to carrying a second A7 body in the limited space of my backpack.

    I also question the strategy behind a maximum aperture of f/2.4. Why not f/2.8 for a cheaper, more compact design, or f/2.0 in keeping with the Leica Summicron tradition?

    Maybe the Loxia 2.4/85 will have stunning image quality, making it tug at our purse strings. However unlike the 35, 50 and (possibly) the 21, this lens will have to sell in a highly competitive and specialized field of portrait/landscape/video lenses already tailor-made for the A7.

    • Hey Ed. This lens is for somebody like me, a real MF guy. I gave AF a shot with the Batis 1,8/85, but I really don’t like its way of focusing, nor in auto mode nor in manual. To me the feel and ergonomics of the Loxia line is the best ever. And their IQ is top notch. As is the built. Size is only bettered by M-mount, but those perform conciderably less on the Sony body IMO. So I will order the Loxia and sell the Batis. I’ll keep my other MF 85s though. I’m not easily selling lenses. But AF really has put me off. I guess I’ll perform 99% of my work with Loxia in the future.

      • Everything you say makes sense. Now that I have seen the specification sheet, the MTF equals or exceeds that of the Batis 85/1.8 in a smaller though 30% heavier package. MF for landscapes is a definite plus, but somewhat negative for portraiture. MF in the Batis is implemented very well. Neither lens comes close to the image quality of the Sony 85/1.4 G-Master. I would ask myself is size and uniformity with other Loxia lenses the best reason to change? A year ago I would have cancelled my order for the Batis. Now with the Batis in hand and the 85/1.4 an attractive alternative, I’m not so sure.

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