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Zeiss about making m43 lenses: “we have not made a decision on that yet”.


Today Zeiss announced three new Sony NEX and Fuji X autofocus lenses. The bad news is that these will yet not be available in native Micro Four Thirds mount. Regarding this Zeiss said that: “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

Source: Zeiss.

  • To be honest, I’m not depressed at all. How expensive could be the native M43 Zeiss lenses, when even the Scheider-Kreuznach ones are barely affordable. No, thanks.

    • Jorginho

      I don’t care either. I am not missing any thing on the short end actually. It is the long end where I’d like to see some development. The 150mm f2.8. 35-100 f2.8 (not really long, but okey). I would like to see some faster zooms in the 100-300 mm range. And Zeiss is not going to provide those I think.

  • Bronica

    Well – the focal length of this lenses for APS C is more interesting than the Schneider lenses for MFT. Especially the 12mmm.

    They will cost around 1.000 Euro/$ – made in Japan?

    • If any of the Zeiss lenses in question costed 1000 EUR/$ the Panasonic 43/1.2 wouldn’t cost more than 6–800 EUR. :D

      • Bronica

        No – the Panny is 1,2 and will probably marked “Leica”. That means EUR 1.500.


  • I don’t think a lot of people care if Zeiss makes glass for M43 or not. It’s no surprise that they made the lenses for the X Pro and Sony first.

    Sony and Zeiss go way back so this makes sense.

    Fuji is low hanging fruit. The sensor size is the same as Sony, there are not too many lenses for the X mount and Zeiss already knows that X Pro users are happy to spend money on hardware already.

  • Miroslav

    Do we need 16mm F2.8, 48mm F1.8 and 75mm F2.8 macro equivalents?

    The 16mm, yes, but the other two focal lengths are covered by two Leicas and Scneider 60mm.

    I guess the wide will come, Pana and Oly are running out of focal lengths :).

    • Mr. Reeee

      A 75mm macro could be extremely interesting, especially if it could triple-up for portraits and streetshooting. I have a Voigtländer 75mm f2.5 that I love to use for the street and as a general walkabout lens.

  • Bronica

    B.I.G Shift 4,5/ 15mm costs 999,- Euro

    Shift mechanism is made in Germany. The Lens – I think – comes from Cosina.

  • Well, I think that they could be working whit his partner Sony in a digital version of the Zeiss Ikon… Then, Why to waste time in develops mft lenses? The Sony’s RX1 and the VG900 has showed to us that is possible to make a full frame with a short flange distance and a M-mount camera form factor !

  • animal_264

    Zeiss makes an MFT mount for the cine Compact Primes. The mount is interchangeable but not on-the-fly. I don’t know how well these MFT Primes sell since the AF100 seems like a bust. But perhaps the GH3 will boost interest. So if you can spare US$4k or higher, Zeiss Primes are waiting for you.

  • eM

    OT: Google bought Nik Software. Do you think it will be the end of their great plugins? Especially Silver Efex is very popular among µ43 users…

    • Che

      “OT: Google bought Nik Software. Do you think it will be the end of their great plugins? Especially Silver Efex is very popular among µ43 users”

      I doubt Google will continue to make the pro grade Nik software available and will instead do something more akin to instagram with the technology. A real shame, hopefully another company can pick up the slack, maybe DXO can beef up their film simulation software?

  • Heat Legend

    Not fussed, I’m already happy with what’s available I wouldn’t of bought any overpriced Zeiss glass anyway.

  • Apparently Zeiss does not know that APS-C is going the way of the dodo (and will be eaten by hungry Dutch settlers and their even hungrier dogs). :-P

    Those adopted Schneider cine lenses should suffice!

  • an0n

    Schneider can take my money until Zeiss wake up to themselves :)

  • You may not be bothered because you can’t afford Zeiss glass, but the more manufacturers on board the more longevity the format has. Every one committing to m4/3 is another convincer for someone to buy a m4/3 camera which gives Oly/Pana incentive to keep investing and innovating.

    It’s quite narrow minded to dismiss a company with the heritage of Zeiss (they put lenses on the moon!) because they make their products out of unobtainium. I think the Panasonic-Leica 25mm is expensive, but I have one rather than 3-4 cheaper lenses as I think the investment in quality is worth it, and expensive glass tends to keep its value well too.

    Fuji have done well here as they have been lacking a bit up to now. Sony doesn’t have the same level of support as m4/3 so we are still in the best camp when it comes to lens selection, and the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned, even if lenses made are not what I want or need.

    • totally agree with you Rob. Its very tough for me being able to get a lens beyond the 1000 euro barrier(only managed that once), but I welcome every manufacturer to join the m43 clan.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Well said! It’s all about the SYSTEM!
      Every new piece of gear from third-party manufacturers validates the system.
      Every piece of gear designed and sold for M4/3, whether or not you care about it, would’d ever use it or could even afford it, is reason to rejoice.

      I’d NEVER have a use for those giant Schneider-Kreuznach Cine lenses (that new 60mm macro just announced is another story) or those video rigs for the GH series or PENs or all those slow zooms from both P&O, but I’m glad they’re there and available.
      The more users we can attract to M4/3 the better.

      More Users = More Profit = More R&D = More New Equipment
      It’s ALL good!

    • bitcrusher

      Zeiss is a niche item and to hate on it because its expensive is just strange. I am bummed out that they are not going to make anything for the system. I love the zeiss look and need a 12mm from them to complete my set.

  • Eric

    I like people/companies saying that putting a m43 bajonet on an APS-C lens is not optimal. I’m not happy with lenses that in somehow are overpriced, too big or not well suited for focal length. I want specifically m43 designed lenses. Up to now, I only see the Samyang 7.5/FE from third part.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I like that Zeiss have enough respect for m43 that they won’t simply offer APS-C lenses with m43 mount. (I won’t mention Sigma)

      • Sigma sells f2.8 lenses adapted from aps, a compromise but the price is really low. Zeiss would make compromise on 1k$ lenses.

        • Brendon

          Exactly its not like Zeiss is saying F*** off to m43. Just that they don’t wish to simply slap a m43 mount on an APS-C lens and sell it to them.

          Thats the reason why they don’t offer AF on DSLR cameras. They don’t wish to go down the reverse engineering path and instead make purely MF lenses.

  • Pei

    I am surprised so many said they don’t need quality German lens then proceeds to point at Schneider and said “someone supports m4/3”.

    Don’t you realize the Schneiders are APS-C leness released in m4/3 first?

    Super-Angulon 2,0/14 -> 21mm f/2.0
    Xenon 1,4/30 -> 45mm f/1.4
    Makro-Symmar 2,4/60 -> 90mm f/2.4

    The same lenses at 28, 60 and 120 don’t make a lot of sense. (The 28 makes sense)

    • Eric

      Yes, the Super-Angulon is a typical example. It’s an hard job to build a 14/2.0 for APS-C sensor : 10 elements with 4(!) aspheric surfaces. You have to pay for this even if you don’t use the quality of the picture out of your m43 sensor.

  • paul

    “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.”

    yeah right.. tradeoff between lens size and image quality.. tests already show the 75/1.8 is sharper than zeiss star lens for sharpness, the makro planar 100/2.

    such an arrogant statement from above, it’s like saying their aps-c lenses are better and they won’t sacrifice quality for better weight. honestly, i can’t be bothered with zeiss lenses. they can stay out of m43. hear me zeiss? just stay out rather than embarrasing yourself later.

    • occam

      Paul, I think Zeiss means that the lenses would be too bulky compared to custom m43 lenses, not that the format is non-ideal (if I understand your complaint). IOW, they don’t want to “support” m43 just with warmed of APS-C glass, which shows some respect for the format and its supporters, IMO.

    • EnPassant

      You have completely misunderstood the message.

      What Zeiss are saying is that lenses made for one format, like full frame or APS-C will not have the same image quality when used on a smaller sensor format like M4/3 as they have on the format they are made for.

      It’s a matter of physics. A lens made for M4/3 will always resolve better on M4/3 than a lens of same quality made for a larger format.

      This is the reason that one of the best lenses for full frame, Zeiss 100/2 on a M4/3 camera is less good than Olympus 75/1.8.

      Besides if one should compare lenses it should be done with the same camera and sensor.
      Tests on different sensor formsts can give very different results with the same lens!

      And comparing tests made on different formats one must also consider the enlargement factor between, in this example, a photo made on a 16 MP M4/3 sensor versus a 36 MP full frame. At the same image size it is therefore not sure the 75/1.8 images looks better than Zeiss 100/2 even if the former looks better in test. And the larger images being compared the better the IQ of the full frame photo will appear compared to M4/3.

      How you can conclude Zeiss admitting their APS-C lenses would not have (for Zeiss) good enough IQ and be to big and heavy (compared to native M4/3 lenses) being arrogant is beyond my understanding. It’s just facts. Are you angry they will not offer these lenses in M4/3 or what?

  • OneQuarterSensor

    He he he what a lot of bollocks. Pay up suckers, remember you need all this crap. And don’t learn photography, that is overrated.

    • Mr. Reeee

      There’s an asshat in every dingy little corner, isn’t there… ;-)

      • OneQuarterSensor

        Yeah it’s full of funny dimwits in the micro four turds forums.

        • Bart

          For someone who goes around telling people to learn photography, you seem rather obsessed with technicalities instead of pictures.. forgot to take your own medicine?

  • Smelly Cat

    I’ll bet Sony and Zeiss made a deal to make lenses for the NEX-system (first). Their partnership and the need to improve the line-up of lenses for the NEX-system asap might trigger such deals. Maybe Zeiss will decide to offer native m43-lenses later on, only after they helped Sony. Just my guess!

  • ginsbu

    What’s annoying here is Zeiss’ dismissive attitude towards m4/3 in their statement. It’s misleading and wholly unnecessary. The IQ difference between m4/3 and APS-C based on sensor size alone is minimal.

  • Ash Crill

    Not too fussed.

    More lens choices is gneralyl a good thing, but only if an increase in price matches a similar increase in performance.

    Personally, my goal is to someday finish a collection of Olympus primes. They are likely to be the only set of lenses I will need for many, many years. No room for Zeiss unless they can proved equivalent or superior lenses at equivalent prices.

  • Williamns

    What a bright future of Fuji X series! According to Zeiss interview, m4/3 still cannot match APS-C. I hope Zeiss will change their mind in the future.

    • Smelly Cat

      Apparantly you lack some reading skills. Please read it again or ask if someone will explain it to you!

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