Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZE Canon mount lens review: Ultra-high performerBy Kevin Carter - Tuesday January 14 2014 Lens Review
After reviewing the Nikon mount ZF.2 version of the Zeiss Sonnar T* 2/135 we’ve now analyzed the Canon ZE mount model. Read on to find out how well it performs.
Following the withdrawal of Contax reflex cameras from the market, Zeiss, as lens developer to the system, re-established production in Japan by modifying some of the previous optical designs to fit Pentax, Nikon and Canon models. Today the line consists of 13 models with the Sonnar T* 2/135 (135mm f2.0) being the latest addition (not counting the new Otus range) though the firm now only supplies models in Canon or Nikon mount.
This newly designed high speed ‘Apo’ model has 11-elements arranged in 8-groups and features a ‘floating elements’ design for improved sharpness at close range. The Zeiss can focus down to 0.8m (2.62 ft), closer than most rivals of the same focal length. Designed specifically for the Canon EF mount, the ZE model features data contacts for electronic aperture control but, like others in the range, this lens has no autofocus capability – it’s manual focus only.
Lacking the aperture collar of the Nikon mount version, the ZE model looks very different externally and is marginally heavier at 2.05 lbs. (930g) and slightly longer overall at 5.12” (130mm). As a full frame model the $1,600 Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZE is also a good choice for APS-C format DSLRs, where it’s the equivalent of a 216mm f2.