Zeiss released a FAQ (Source: ePhotozine) that contains plenty of useful information! Here are some interesting key info:
- There will be a new NEX camera firmware update in August to fully support the Zeiss Touit (All 5-6-7 NEX camera series will be updated!).
- Zoom lenses are an option
- The Touit lenses were developed by Zeiss while the 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss has been developed by Sony with the specified ZEISS standards of quality.
- I guess you have noticed that the X-mount version has an aperture ring while the E-mount version has not. Zeiss says that “The X mount lenses for Fujifilm X cameras feature a manual aperture setting option on the lens because the design of this system does not accommodate an aperture setting feature on the camera”
- The lenses are not weatherproof
Here you can read the full FAQ from Zeiss:
Will there be a zoom lens?
We are starting the family with fixed focal lengths. Zoom lenses are an option that is currently being evaluated.
Are additional focal lengths planned? If yes, which?
As already announced at Photokina in 2012, the next lens will be the Touit 2.8/50 Macro. Additional focal lengths will follow, but right now, we do not want to divulge any further details.
Are the lenses also planned for MFT (Micro 4/3)?
We would also like to offer lenses for demanding users in the mirrorless system cameras segment. The largest and most powerful sensors (APS-C format) in compact system cameras at the moment are currently found in the Fujifilm X and Sony NEX system cameras. Therefore, we are focusing on these systems with our Touit lenses. In order to reach the best compromise between lens size, weight and imaging performance for smaller sensors, e.g. the Micro 4/3, other optical and mechanical designs are sometimes more suitable than for APS-C. Lenses for the Micro 4/3 mount are technically possible, but nothing is planned yet.
What are the differences when compared with ZEISS lenses sold by Sony?
High-performance ZEISS lenses have been available for the Sony Alpha since 2005 and for the NEX system developed jointly by ZEISS and Sony since 2011. The lenses are manufactured under the leadership of Sony. Sony ensures compliance with the specified ZEISS standards of quality. Sales and service are provided by Sony only. The ZEISS Touit lenses for the Sony NEX system and Fujifilm X system were developed exclusively by ZEISS. The lenses are manufactured under the direct control of ZEISS. Sales and service are provided by ZEISS.
Why does this lens family feature an autofocus (AF), while the SLR lenses only have a manual focus (MF)?
The development of autofocus lenses requires close collaboration with the camera manufacturer in order to ensure full compatibility with the pertinent camera system. In its collaboration with Canon and Nikon, ZEISS currently is not even licensed to use the autofocus interface on the camera. Therefore, we are concentrating on offering the best manual focus lenses for these systems. In its collaboration with Sony, ZEISS is developing autofocus lenses for the Alpha and NEX systems. The new Touit lenses are also available for the Fujifilm X system. ZEISS and camera manufacturer Fujifilm worked together closely on this project.
Is the manual focus on the AF lenses a “true” manual focus like that on the SLR lenses?
As with all lenses for the Fujifilm X and Sony NEX systems, the ZEISS Touit AF lenses feature an electronically coupled focus ring. Nonetheless, we have done our utmost to make manual focusing as precise as possible.
Will we be able to manually focus the lenses?
The Touit E mount lenses for Sony NEX cameras and Touit X mount lenses for Fujifilm X cameras can be precisely focused manually thanks to their large focus rotation angle. This requires the user to switch to manual focus on the camera housing.
On the Touit lenses, why is only the X mount model equipped with an aperture ring?
The X mount lenses for Fujifilm X cameras feature a manual aperture setting option on the lens because the design of this system does not accommodate an aperture setting feature on the camera. The aperture setting for the E mount lenses for Sony NEX cameras can only be configured on the camera due to the design.
Why don’t the lenses feature image stabilization?
The Touit 2.8/12 and Touit 1.8/32 lenses do not feature image stabilization. With shorter focal lengths, stabilization is not necessarily required and can even impair the imaging performance of the lens. For quality reasons, we have therefore decided to offer these lenses without image stabilization.
What lens design is used for Touit? How many lens elements have been used?
The lenses have an entirely new optical and mechanical design that takes into account the special requirements of mirrorless CSC cameras. The Touit 2.8/12 has 11 lens elements in eight groups. The Touit 1.8/32 has eight lens elements in five groups.
Which bayonet mounts are currently available?
Sony’s E mount (for Sony NEX cameras)
Fujifilm’s X mount (for Fujifilm X cameras)
What about compatibility with common filters? What size filter do I need for these lenses?
ZEISS Touit lenses feature a standard filter thread. The Touit 2.8/12 has an M67 and the Touit 1.8/32 an M52. All standard camera filters with the corresponding diameter can be used on these lenses. When the lens shade is removed, the adapter ring of a slot-in filter system with the corresponding filter diameter can be attached. For optimal results, we recommend the ZEISS T* UV or POL filter optimized for our lenses.
What firmware has to be installed on the camera to achieve ideal image results? Why doesn’t the autofocus work in the video mode of my Sony NEX camera?
For optimal compatibility, we recommend using ZEISS Touit lenses on Sony NEX cameras with firmware version 1.02 or later, or Fujifilm X cameras with firmware version 2.03 or later. On Sony NEX cameras with firmware version 1.02 or older, errors may occur when using the autofocus in the video mode. In order to also use Touit lenses on Sony NEX cameras with autofocus in the video mode, a firmware newer as 1.02 must be installed on the NEX camera.
From August 2013, all NEX camera models in the 5, 6 and 7 series will be delivered with the required firmware version. A firmware update will be available for users of earlier NEX cameras in these series. Information of the firmware version of your camera can be found in the camera menu. Please see the user manual for instructions. You can obtain more information on firmware updates from your dealer or directly from the camera manufacturer.
Are Touit lenses weatherproof?
Touit lenses are designed for common situations. Protection against environmental influences exceeding common dimensions is not provided. Touit lenses can be used in a temperature range of -10°C to +55°C.
What makes these lenses better than comparable focal lengths from Sony or Fujifilm?
ZEISS does not want to enter into a competition here. We believe that every single lens has its own optimal field of application. With ZEISS lenses, we pay special attention to delivering products featuring high-quality workmanship for decades of use. We also do our utmost to ensure particularly impressive imaging performance that enables you to capture extraordinary moments with the quality they deserve. Focusing on these strengths is what generally separates ZEISS lenses from most other lenses on the market.
How does the performance of the Touit 2.8/12 compare to the Distagon T* 3,5/18 and Distagon T* 2.8/21 SLR lenses? Is the Touit 2.8/12 on a Fujifilm X or Sony NEX camera an adequate replacement for the Distagon T* 2,8/21 on a DSLR camera?
The Touit 2.8/12 on a Fujifilm X or Sony NEX camera provides the same viewing angle as the Distagon T* 3,5/18 ZE/ZF on a full format DSLR camera. With comparable camera sensors, comparable image quality can be achieved.
Where does the name Touit come from?
In the future, ZEISS lenses in a series will have a family name that will convey a common identity. For this reason, we have decided to derive these family names from the Latin names for birds, which we find appropriate because birds generally have excellent eyesight, take in extraordinary perspectives, are flexible and enjoy life. Furthermore, the names sound nice and are generally compatible in many different languages and cultures. The name Touit – like the new ZEISS lenses for mirrorless system cameras – stands for good vision, agility, mobility and versatility. The name is derived from a small species of Brazilian parrot.
How do you pronounce Touit?
Touit is pronounced like the English words “do it.”
Why don’t these lenses have the typical ZEISS names (Distagon, Planar)? Will the proven names (Distagon, Planar, Sonnar) be discontinued in the future?
The names of the optical concepts (Distagon, Planar, etc.) used until now in the product names, as well as the T* designation for the antireflective coating stand for properties of the lenses, but are not actually the name. Furthermore, they are engraved on the front ring of the lenses. The names of the optical concepts (Distagon, Planar, etc.) used until now in the product names, as well as the T* designation for the antireflective coating stand for properties of the lenses, but not the product name. Furthermore, they are engraved on the front ring of the lenses.
What are the lenses made of?
The mirrorless system cameras are lighter and more compact than SLR cameras. With our new lenses for this camera system we are continue the development of our high quality lens concept while simultaneously aiming at a relatively light-weight design. For the mechanical components we looked for the best compromise between the quality of the material and the product’s total weight. For this reason, we decided to use a combination of materials. For parts that do not require metal for accuracy, solidity or durability, we have incorporated lighter materials such as plastic.
Why is the lens shade on the Touit lenses made of plastic and not metal?
In addition to a more economical manufacturing process, a plastic lens shade is also lighter than a metal lens shade. In the market of lenses for mirrorless system cameras, every gram that a photographer does not have to carry counts. Therefore, the lens shades on ZEISS Touit lenses are made of a high-quality, light and robust plastic.
Where are the lenses made?
For the manufacture of ZEISS lenses, we use a global production network of trusted partners in the optical industry that has been built up over many years. Touit lenses are made in Japan.
What exactly does ZEISS mean with “a global production network of trusted partners in
the optical industry that has been built up over many years.”?
In times of globalization, it is common to outsource production to partners who in terms of production quality, reliability and capacities are best suited to manufacture a certain product. From the beginning, one of our areas of expertise has been to shape production processes to ensure ZEISS quality – regardless of the site. We work with a network of partners: certain products can therefore be manufactured in different locations. Regardless of where a product is made, our know-how and technology for production and quality inspection always ensure that a ZEISS lens is created that meets our stringent demands on quality and performance.
Will the lenses be manufactured at Cosina in Japan?
We manufacture our lenses with the help of a global network of trusted partners that has been built up over the years. Please understand that we cannot provide any details on the network or the structure of our production process.
When will the new lenses be available?
The Touit 2.8/12 and the Touit 1.8/32 will be in stores from June 2013. The Touit 2.8/50 Macro is expected in stores by the end of 2013.
What can I do to get a Touit lens as soon as possible? Can I sign up to buy one in advance?
You can register on the ZEISS website from May 2013. As soon as the lenses are available, all registered customers will be notified via email.
When will the Touit 2.8/50 Macro be available?
The Touit 2.8/50 Macro will be in stores at the end of 2013.
What are the terms of the warranty?
The product is subject to the warranty stipulations of the EU for a period of 24 months; 6 months in the USA. This may vary from country to country. Damage or malfunctions caused by improper use or by opening the product are not covered by the warranty. For additional details on the manufacturer’s warranty, please go to the Service and Support area of our website. In some countries, we offer an extended warranty of 3 years when you register the product.
Who do I contact if the lens is damaged? Who provides service?
If a ZEISS Touit lens requires servicing, it should be sent either to an authorized ZEISS dealer in the respective country, or directly to ZEISS. For the information required to send the lens to ZEISS, please go to the service and repairs section on the website.
Zeiss preorder links:
12mm f/2.8 at BHphoto (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and Uniquephoto (Click here). In Europe at FotoMundus.
32mm f/1.8 at BHphoto (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and Uniquephoto (Click here). In Europe at FotoMundus.