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Definitely no Zeiss primes for the Micro Four Thirds system.


My sources told me that Zeiss is going to announce three prime lenses for the X and E mount system in April. And Zeiss definitely will NOT introduce them for the Micro Four Thirds system! If you wonder why Zeiss decided to not make a MFT version is than read what they said back at Photokina in September: “We intend to concentrate initially on the biggest sensor size in this segment which is APS-C. It would be possible for us to make lenses for Micro 4/3-bajonet as well but we have not made a decision on that yet. If current APS-C lenses were also used for the Micro 4/3-bajonet, we wouldn’t be able to achieve the best tradeoff between lens size (weight), and image quality

I think there is another reason. The Sony NEX and Fuji X system have only a limited offer of lenses and it’s easier for Zeiss to sell their lenses.

  • JohnG

    MFT is dying ?.

    • Zeiss is the most overhyped photo brand of the world.

      • I’m glad you didn’t say, “of the known universe.”

      • narutogrey

        How is Zeiss overhyped? It is one of the oldest optics companies in the world and unlike other optics companies with just a name, Zeiss optics have had extremely high technical ratings. That is why they (like Leica and Olympus) also develop high end optics for medical devices and other scientific equipment like microscopes and manufacturing sensors.

        If you are talking about the Zeiss label on compact cameras (similar to Leica and Zuiko labels on compacts), then yes, those are overhyped.

        • And Zeiss Australia, ruined a good local product when they imposed their multifocal lenses on the country. They are utter rubbish and after $600 and sending back twice they will not get another cent from me.

    • digifan

      Far from.

    • mong

      Yeah it’s dying. Idiot.

      • mongHomo

        You’re such a homo.

    • true homer

      Just about everyone else seems to be making lenses for this “dying” system

    • Grey Owl

      Call an ambulance!

  • So what.
    We have Leica, Cosina, Schneider and so on. And ultimately the native, high quality AF Olympus and Panasonic lenses.

  • Bob B.

    Both reasons sound like they are valid explanations that Zeiss will not manufacture MFT lenses…”yet”.
    I do believe that if and when Zeiss does design MFT lenses, that they would truly be something special, though….at least they are not retrofitting a lens for this format that was designed for another image circle…they do take pride in the work.

    • cruiser

      Maybe they realise that whacking an adapter on the back of an apsc lens offers no value whatsoever and probably damages their brand name.

      I wish others (Cough, Sigma) would realise this too.

      • Bob B.


      • rrr_hhh

        Plus one !

      • Henrik

        plus 1 more.

      • zozio32

        actually, I couldn’t be more happy with the 30mm 2.8. the price/quality ratio is very good.
        Yes, it could be f2 for its size, but I am glad to have it at this price instead of nothing from Sigma . I really like the 60mm equivalent field of view for casual portrait.

      • Mr. Reeee

        Damn straight, cowboy!

    • Mr. Reeee

      I was looking at some of the Zeiss ZM rangefinder lenses the other day. OMFG, those are nice and small. Expensive, yes, but adaptable for M4/3 without the size and weight hit from mutant APSC lenses like the Sigma and (I would assume) the Tamrons.

      • M lenses on m43 are great I have some voigtlanders. Nice small and as good as the Zeiss.

      • Georgios

        the 21/4,5 ZM, the 50/1,5 ZM , the G-90/2,8 work great/”oh-what -great-light-quality” for me on my GF-1, but the 25/2,8 does not…so try before you buy, dear friend!!! Keep in mind, ZMs were designed for film…All the best!!!

    • pooper

      oh and did I mention that I like licking dog balls? nom nom nom

    • acahaya

      well, the image on the cover of the latest European Zeiss ZM Lens catalogue was taken with … a lowly mFT sensor (E-M5) and the cheapo mFT 45/1.8 lens.
      They may have decided not to develop native mFT lenses for now but they are less elitist than some users here ;-)

  • Camaman

    I look at it this way: at least they are finally making AF lenses for somebody.

    I wonder how their MF feeling will be?

  • Anonymous

    get an aps-c zeiss, get the speedbooster -> enjoy an even better zeiss

    • Not possible for mirrorless lenses, only for DSLR Zeisses, and those are mostly full frame.

  • “Sony NEX and Fuji X system have only a limited offer of lenses and it’s easier for Zeiss to sell their lenses.”

    Mostly true. Although, there is no 16mm F2.8 equivalent for m4/3, let alone a high end Zeiss-class one.

  • too bad, it would be good if a brand like Zeiss would offer native mft lenses like Cosina Voigtlaender does.

  • jimmy

    who cares. zeiss is overrated and overpriced.

    • digifan

      True, and for movie there are manual options enough.

  • That’s fine by me.
    Zeiss bought out an eyeglass manufacturer in Australia. The Australian company had a fine product line in multi focal lenses. Sharp but having a wide latitude for side and vertical vision and very easy on the eye without having to follow everything with the head. In fact I am wearing some now.
    Zeiss replaced these nice easy use lenses with a set to their own design. Very narrow and limited in vertical movement instead. I paid a fortune for some about 3 years ago. Can’t use them. I give them a run for a couple of weeks and then revert to my old ones. They have been returned to Zeiss who insist they are correct. I also found out that 3 of my friends have had the same experience.
    So much for good lens making. I have gone off Zeiss.

    • Ross

      It’s been some years that I first tried multifocals (for a month) & couldn’t cope with them for similar reasons & I stick with bifocals instead (& music bifocals & computer glasses). I’ll have to find out who the manufacturer is next time I get my scripts updated.

    • Mal


      Thanks for the update. I have been suffering the same trouble with my lenses! I bought them about 3 years ago (in Melbourne, Australia). They were my first multi-focal lenses and I have really struggled with them, and even complained about the lack of clarify off-centre.

      I’ll make a call to OPSM to see what brand they are and get stuck into them now I know its a recognised fault.

  • Yun

    Too competitive in m4/3 lenses segment , Zeiss can’t make it impressive considering their luxury price tag .
    Maybe one day , they will start enter the market & I don’t really mind about Zeiss .
    I have Leica branded optics & Zuiko lenses to go for & also third party highend lenses (Schneider) as well .
    Take your time , Zeiss but don’t make it too late !

  • Adriaantie

    Quality glass such as zeiss/leica are a waste of money on small sensors like m43. People who wants the best picture quality combo lens/body dont buy m43. Apsc and bigger brings out the best with zeiss etc…..


      Oh Adriaantie you’re back!!!! Yayz.

      Do you wanna to be my friend?

    • Oxygen is wasted by some people. :-p

    • homo_erectus

      Adriaantie, I man love you.

    • oluv

      APS-C is equally castrated as mFT, it is only a little bit less castrated to tell the turh.
      best would be full-frame, but apart from Sony’s RX1 there is no pocketable fullframe camera yet on the market let alone one with exchangable lenses.

      • true homer

        Full frame is so castrated, medium format isbthe only true quality alternative

        • pilot

          Ha! Medium format is for little girls, I use ULF plates the size of dinner tables.

      • Sevventh

        Full frame? Pfffft, large format glass plate or go home I say! In all seriousness medium format destroys “full frame” any day.

        • NHL,

          the problem with MF digital apart from the prices lol is that the majority are not actually using sensors as large as MF film cameras giving at best a 1 stop advantage over the best FF cameras regarding DOF they also are one trick ponies high ISO sucks on them. With a narrow selection of slow lenses you have the option of landscape on tripod or studio flash move away from that and you will be far better off with FF

        • twoomy

          Castrated, destroyed? You guys are so overly dramatic. As a use of M43 AND 35mm “FX”, I appreciate the best of both systems. FX has much more resolution than M43, but M43 is much more portable. While medium/large format is even better, it is ungodly expensive and not easily transportable.

          The best camera is the camera you take with you, not the one you measurbate with (although some people really enjoy staying at home and doing that).

          • Haha! Something facinating about online brand/gear ayatollah, yet admittedly at moments I have fallen to that in the past.

            Speaking as a painter, I can think of a few times I really wish I had my MFT with me, but my cel phone snapper saved my day. The best camera is the one you have with you…

    • Anonymous

      Errr… isn’t APS-C much closer in size to four thirds than it is to full frame?

      • Yes, but the user brigade gives their APSC all the attributes of a 135. Forgetting or in many cases not knowing, it is closer to m43, 4/3. In fact if the sides of APSC are clipped to lose the fluffy bits they get image wise its even closer.

  • Adriaantie

    I’m off my meds again, and mums away so I can use the computer!!!!!

    • Grey Owl

      Keep them coming :-)

  • wt21

    This can be an issue for m43 in the long run. There are, what, 3 APS-C sized compact mirrorless systems: X, E and Samsung. The latter, of course, is the weakest. But if I was a 3rd party maker, I’d look at making a lens to cover an image circle of APS-C and adapt m43, because you can’t go the other way. This will mean no size advantage in 3rd party lenses, leaving Oly and Panny to shoulder the reduced size on their own.

    • zozio32

      Tamron has already annouced a 14-150… specifically for micro 4/3
      As long as micro 4/3 as enough market share, i hope that sigma and tamron will make specific lens
      Maybe not for the primes, but for zooms yes, where the size advante is most obvious

      • That is a pity I wanted Tamron in to produce some different glass. But I already have a 14-150 from Oly that I am happy with.

    • Mistral75

      You forgot Canon EOS M.

      • Sorry? did you say something funny, I can hear lots of people laughing.

        • Ross


  • d0minius

    clearly not all users are up to the MTF
    connect the brain before you speak …

  • Hendrik Mintarno 葉俊賢

    I guess the main reason is cheaper cost to design for APSC NEX and Fuji X. With simple modification, they can sell it to both camp.


    The reason is simple: neither Zeiss nor Leica would ever want to go head to head.

  • pilot

    Zeiss glass will be available for MFT…

    Schneider Kreuznach source their glass from Schott, a subsidiary of Zeiss :)

    • martin

      They did so back in RF times, which were the best times for both of them. Why shouldn’t they do so again? Perhaps because their own involvement in the market is negligible today. Both make their fortunes by licensing their brand names to Panasonic or Sony, resp., which use them especially for labeling loads of compact cameras. It seems reasonable to assume that Panasonic and Sony also define the marketing strategy.

      • martin

        Oops, what is going wrong here? My posting was a reply to “neither Zeiss nor Leica would ever want to go head to head.” Somehow it got attached to the wrong message.

  • sergey

    Go ahead Schneider-Kreuznach :)

  • matteo

    i think produce high quality lenses in MFT format is an hard work
    and the zuiko or panasonic primes lens quality is diffficult to outperform also for Zeiss.

  • Benjamin

    …Zeiss, who?! Who needs them?..

  • peevee

    “I think there is another reason. The Sony NEX and Fuji X system have only a limited offer of lenses and it’s easier for Zeiss to sell their lenses.”

    I think you are right. They would sell exactly ZERO of their 12/2.8 for $1000+ when there is Olympus 12/2.0 for $800. They would sell zero 50/2.8 macro at $1000+ when there is Oly 60/2.8 macro at $500. 32/1.8 is something more unique, yet with Pana 25/1.4 for $500 it still would be a hard sell at above $1000 again (I am not even sure it will sell on NEX, with 35/1.8 OSS not too bad at all at just $450, and you cannot argue with usefulness of OSS on NEX).

  • They better focus on NEX than MFT if they want to sell. The NEX lens selection is pretty abysmal, while MFT has one of the best lens lineup currently (especially when it comes to primes, which is Zeiss’ home turf). I wouldn’t mind some competition though- the Zuiko are outstanding, but I think they’re a bit overpriced, and sell well due to lack of competition. My 0.02.

  • DoctorBob

    Dear Micro Four Thirds Users,

    Your lenses are too nice; we can’t compete with them.
    We apologise for the inconvenience.


    • QBNY



  • Adriaantie

    Look mama boehoe the big boys wont play with me because i am small and they are big. Now i am gonna tell everybody the big boys are bad boehoehoehoe. That will teach zeiss boehoe snif snif.

    • Loser


  • Pat

    Meh, If you need Ziess, buy the CP.2 system and get some real nice lenses.

  • bousozoku

    Zeiss have many lenses available for film making on micro Four-Thirds, such as

    They’re just not willing to compete in the consumer market. If they didn’t already have an agreement with Sony, they probably wouldn’t create lenses for that system, either, and in extension, FujiFilm wouldn’t get anything.

  • Jekyll&Hyde

    Competition is a problem for Zeiss. As Schneider-Kreuznach will build three native MFT-lenses. And in comparison the Zeiss glas will be to heavy for same price and quality.
    Also Sony might have an agreement to receive exclusively Zeiss in that segment.

  • MFTfan

    Am I missing something here? Is the Fuji X system really that popular? I can understand the interest in supplying lenses for Sony, especially since the NEX system is popular and because they already have a relationship with Sony. But the Fuji X mount? Is the Fuji system that popular? More popular than micro four thirds?

    • Es

      Its exactly the same sensor size, they only need to change the lens mount and its good to go.

  • jimbo

    who cares about Zeiss, not like any of us can afford it.

  • Nic Walmsley

    Marketing wise not good for m43.

    Main justification for m43 is that NEX has limited range of quality lenses.

  • jw48335

    In the case of Zeiss, with the gimped sensor in 43s bodies it’s just not going to be much difference in resolution between an Olympus prime and a Zeiss, so why would they invest the R&D to play there? With Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and Canon all cranking out crop sensor mirrorless bodies with big IQ advantages and comparable physical size, of course that’s where Zeiss would play.

    For that matter, with a 250g weight, only 10% greater physical size, and a $250 price difference between a GH3 w/ 20mm and a Canon 6D w/ 40mm, I fail to see anyone would gimp their IQ so badly. $250 difference for full frame, uber ISO performance.

    • Reggie

      Do you know you’re an idiot?

    • What is gimped?
      Canon and Nikon have been making crop sensors for about 11 years. I think the first was called 1D or something.

  • Zeiss is a chicken.

    Zeiss has no confidence against Leica lenses made by Panasonic.

  • Garypen

    I think it’s most likely due to Zeiss’ relationship with Sony.

    How many Leica-branded lenses have we seen for NEX e-mount?

  • David

    I can’t wait until Zeiss finally does make lenses for m4/3. Then all the people crying “who needs Zeiss?,” “Zeiss < Leica," "Zeiss is overrated" will be able to state proudly that they are +1000000000 excited for Zeiss's entry into m4/3. Once the lenses arrive, with prices commensurate with the Zeiss name, these same people will once again denounce Zeiss. It's a lovely spectacle to watch, but not as much fun as shooting.

    • Es

      Exactly, people think Oly primes are overpriced, wait until Zeiss comes out with their new lineup.

      • David

        Pricing is relative. It’s all a matter of what you can affort, and what you *think* you need. Truth be told, for probably 95% of people on this forum, myself included, it’s all overpriced in the sense that that 95% don’t need the quality a Zeiss prime affords. We should focus more on making photos that aren’t pedestrian or reliant on gimmicks like shallow DOF for an “artsy” look.

  • caver3d

    We don’t need no stinkin’ Zeiss. This is 43 country.

  • Twaddler Belafonte

    What i don’t get is, why don’t Tamron and Sigma make fast primes for m43? They both have so much to offer, and there is a large market, why not tap it?

  • Zeiss is still busy building the optical key components for the Hubble space telescope successor, which is expected to be launched 2018.

    • Why is my post awaiting moderation? Zeiss is a five-letter word!

      • But if you have tried their multifocal lenses you will know its also a bad bad word.

        • Oh, I see reply is not permitted. the above was a reply!

          • I was explaining why Zeiss was maybe busy at this time. I have no idea why my post is awaiting moderation.

        • Ross

          That’s OK, I found your reply. ;) (Mine was moderated!) I’ve been using a local optometrist & will find out the supplier, manufacturer next time I’m there. Being a small place & needing to maintain good client service, he’ll probably tell me the same about Zeiss.

          • Ross

            It seems like the reply is not working.

            Admin. If you see this, can you please see why the reply function is not functioning? Thanks.

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