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Carl Zeiss launches lenses for Canon EF mount
by David Rasnake -  9/15/2008

After teasing the launch of a new mount a few weeks ago, Carl Zeiss has provided details on the lucky new system. As we predicted, the winner is Canon's EF mount: in addition to providing details on the new EF-compatible Zeiss ZE mount, the German firm also announced two forthcoming ZE lenses.

With Zeiss's first ZE release, the Planar T* 50mm f/1.4, Canon shooters will have a premium, manual focus option in fast 50mm primes.

Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZE

Built from seven elements in six groups, the 50mm f/1.4 should be available in Q4 2008, with a suggested retail price of $660.

Zeiss also announced the addition of another f/1.4 lens for the ZE mount, the Planar T* 85mm f/1.4.

Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZE

Five-group construction and a 72mm front element form the core specs for the 85mm f/1.4, which should retail around $1200 when it hits dealers before the end of the year.

Although it doesn't support auto focus, the ZE mount is fully compatible, via its electronic contacts, with the automatic exposure modes of EF-mount cameras. The camera's AF system can also be employed to provide focus confirmation.

In addition to the two lenses announced today, Zeiss announced plans to add additional options to the ZE line in the near term. We'll keep our eyes and ears open at Photokina for hints of what may be to come.