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Zeiss ZF prices set; ordering commences April 1  
Wednesday, March 1, 2006 | by Rob Galbraith

In the latest issue of Camera Lens Newsletter, Zeiss sets out the prices for its recently-announced ZF lenses when ordering directly from the German company. The Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZF will be 499 and the Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF will be 999. These prices do not include VAT. Prices for ZS lenses are not given.

Zeiss will begin accepting orders through its web site on April 1, 2006.

The company has also published test chart-derived resolution information for Zeiss ZF lenses, where the test chart was photographed using a Nikon F6 and Kodak Imagelink HQ film. Zeiss claims a figure of 250 lp/mm for the Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF at apertures between f/2 and f/5.6. For the Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZF, the company promises 250 lp/mm at f/2, and 320 lp/mm from f/2.8 through f/5.6. These resolution numbers are impressively high, though they don't provide an indication of how much difference there may be in resolving power from the centre to the edge of the lens.

Curiously, the text of the newsletter seems to have an anti-digital thread running through it. While making reference to the films that Zeiss used for its ZF testing, marketing manager Kornelius Mueller encourages photographers to try the same tests "to see just how great the difference between film and digital photography is" and "[w]hen digital catches up with film, you may be confident that your ZEISS lenses will take you to the top of the class." Later, the newsletter explains part of the impetus for the test: "we wanted to demonstrate the advantages of film over digital media..." Resolution information from a digital camera is not provided. Also absent is insight into Zeiss' motivation to prove film is the superior medium in this regard, since presumably the company wants both film and digital SLR photographers to consider the purchase of ZF and ZS lenses.

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