July 29, 2015
Posted in news

Zeiss explains “What photographers should know about the (Sony-Zeiss) partnership”

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Zeiss posted an interesting blog entry to explain what photographers should know about the Sony-Zeiss partnership. They do that because photographers regularly ask what the differences and similarities are between ZEISS and Sony/ZEISS lenses. I repost the most important part of the answer to some of the most frequent questions:

Are lenses from ZEISS or Sony/ZEISS identical?

The lenses of the two lines are different, but optimized for the corresponding system. Because ZEISS’s know-how goes into every lens, both versions are highly sophisticated from a technical standpoint. Differences can be found in the focusing mechanism: for example, whereas Sony/ZEISS lenses always have autofocus, ZEISS offers a mix of autofocus lenses (e.g. ZEISS Batis) and manual focusing lenses (e.g. ZEISS Loxia). For the lenses of camera systems from other manufacturers, ZEISS relies mainly on manual focusing (ZE, ZF.2). Lenses that have the same focal length differ in their internal construction.

Who develops the lenses?

ZEISS lenses are developed exclusively by ZEISS. ZEISS also determines the features of the lenses, such as their focal length and internal construction, in line with the company’s product strategy. Sony/ZEISS lenses are jointly developed by ZEISS and Sony. ZEISS supports Sony throughout the optical design and development process and then tests and approves the prototypes. Finally, ZEISS determines the test specifications for serial production.

Adding the ZEISS logo on a Sony/ZEISS lens at a Sony factory after months of joint development, quality checks and final production.
Adding the ZEISS logo on a Sony/ZEISS lens at a Sony factory after months of joint development, quality checks and final production.
Where are the lenses manufactured?

ZEISS still picture lenses are manufactured in Japan and ZEISS cine lenses in ZEISS’s factory in Oberkochen/Germany. It is still economical for ZEISS to produce its cine lenses in Germany due to the more sophisticated skills required to manufacture these special lenses for the film industry. In order to satisfy the much higher global demand for still picture lenses, ZEISS has established a partner network in the optics industry. During the entire development and production processes, ZEISS experts ensure that the high quality standards for which ZEISS has been famous for over 165 years are met.

Preparing a lens element for a ZEISS cine lens at a ZEISS facility in Germany.
Preparing a lens element for a ZEISS cine lens at a ZEISS facility in Germany.

 

Final inspection of ZEISS SLR lenses in a production facility in Japan.
Final inspection of ZEISS SLR lenses in a production facility in Japan.

Sony/ZEISS lenses are manufactured by Sony in factories across Asia. In these factories Sony uses lens testing equipment that has been developed and manufactured by ZEISS. An example is the MTF-tester K8, a versatile and compact instrument used to measure the modulation transfer function of photographic lenses, or similar systems, at an infinite object distance.

Quality check of Sony/ZESS ZA lens with ZEISS test equipment in Sony factory.
Quality check of Sony/ZESS ZA lens with ZEISS test equipment in Sony factory.
Who is responsible for customer service?

Owners of ZEISS lenses can rely on an established worldwide service network where they can send their ZEISS lenses for inspection and repairs. ZEISS also offers an online and telephone central support desk. ZEISS places great emphasis on providing customers with a personalized service, delivered by qualified experts in the company. The inspection and repairs of Sony/ZEISS lenses are managed by the Sony Service Centers directly.

Is the quality of both lines identical?

In all its brand partnerships, ZEISS sets the technical and quality standards to which partners, such as Sony, must adhere. ZEISS regularly audits the production process of Sony/ZEISS lenses in Sony’s factories. ZEISS experts examine the production processes, management systems and measuring installations. ZEISS certifies the suppliers and provides all the equipment that is needed to ensure product quality, including the equipment of third-party suppliers.

Inspecting a lens in a ZEISS production facility. The high quality standards are the same for all lenses that carry the ZEISS name – even if they are manufactured by its partner Sony.
Inspecting a lens in a ZEISS production facility. The high quality standards are the same for all lenses that carry the ZEISS name – even if they are manufactured by its partners.
Final inspection of a Sony/ZEISS lens.
Final inspection of a Sony/ZEISS lens.
Who sells the lenses?

Sony/ZEISS lenses are sold exclusively through Sony’s distribution channels. ZEISS lenses are sold exclusively through ZEISS’s own sales channels in all German-speaking regions and internationally. ZEISS also ensures that its local dealers have the required professional qualifications. Dealers who sell the company’s products are regularly trained by ZEISS experts.

Local ZEISS dealers can be found here: www.zeiss.com/photo/dealer

Product strategy

Sony and ZEISS each follow their own product strategies depending on market and quality needs. With their outstanding image quality, fast autofocus and innovative features, the new ZEISS Batis lenses are in a class of their own. The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 are the first full-frame autofocus lenses for Sony’s E-mount cameras. The Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lenses have an OLED display which shows the distance and depth-of-field range – a true innovation. As a result, a photographer can also compose creative images in the dark. For more information about ZEISS Batis lenses, please visit www.zeiss.com/batis

ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 and ZEISS Batis 2/25
ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 and ZEISS Batis 2/25

 

Freedom of composition in photography was the guiding principle in developing the ZEISS Loxia lenses – a family of manual focus lenses for the E-mount full frame. They are optimized for digital sensors and electronic viewfinders as they are used in Sony’s α 7 mirrorless cameras and feature a mechanical aperture setting and the mechanical deactivation of the click stop (de-click) for ambitious videography.

Various other ZEISS lenses, for example those from the ZEISS Touit family for cameras with APS-C sensor and E-mount, compete with Sony/ZEISS lenses. Both companies will continue to develop their respective product portfolios, and in doing so offer customers even more choice.

This puts photographers in a comfortable position: they can choose their desired lenses from a broad portfolio provided by both brands in order to meet their specific requirements.

Many Thanks Zeiss for writing that!

Both Batis lenses are now available for preorder in USA and Europe (UK/Germany)
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens in US at Adorama, Bhphoto. In Eu at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 lens at Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.
In Europe and Asia the Loxias can be found in Stock via eBay sellers (Click here) and Digitalrev (Click here).

P.s.: Thanks Colin!

 

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July 29, 2015
Posted in deals

Lucky Germans: With secret code you get 10% off on many Sony FE lenses!

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sonyalpha

Til Friday German readers can save 10% on the following lenses by using the coupon code “SONYALPHA7″at checkout. Please be sure to select the original Amazon sold item and not a third party reseller from the following links:
Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE lens (Click here).
Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 FE lens (Click here).
Zeiss 16-35mm f/4.0 FE lens (Click here).
Zeiss 24-70mm f/4.0 FE lens (Click here).
Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 FE lens (Click here).

found via SystemKameraForum.

And if you live in the UK you get Up to £200 cashback on a selected Sony Digital Imaging selection at Amazon UK (Click here).

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July 29, 2015
Posted in reviews

Yes, the new 90mm FE autofocus is that good you can focus on the ant eyes!

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Bildschirmfoto 2015-07-26 um 20.36.22

SAR reader Albert tested the new Sony 90mm FE macro lens autofocus performance and posted the results on SonyAlphaForum (Click here). He noticed the autofocus is fast even at full aperture and so reliable that it can focus on the ant eyes! Check all the autotofocus macro pictures on SonyAlphaForum! P.S.: And be sure to join our new forum :)

This is really a great lens and cause of sleepless nights because I don’t know if I should get that one or the new 85mm Batis :(

90mm links:
In USA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, eBay US (Click here).
In Europe at Fotomundus, Amazon Germany, Sony Germany, Sony UK, Sony FR, Sony IT, Sony ES, Sony NL, Sony BE, Sony AT, Sony CH, Sony SE, Sony FI, Sony NO, Sony PT.
In Asia at Digitalrev, Sony Australia.

Batis links:
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens in US at Adorama, Bhphoto. In Eu at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 lens at Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon DE, WexUK. In Asia at Digitalrev.

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July 28, 2015
Posted in reviews

RX100 IV tested at Dpreview. New Slow motion at 100, 250, 500 and 1000fps.

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Dpreview (Click here)
posted the full RX100m4 review. The camera gets an impressive 85% score and the Gold Award:

The RX100 IV gains some headline-grabbing features such as high frame rate and 4K video but it’s the smaller features that most impressed us. Continuous eye tracking, fast Raw burst modes with AF, and small user-interface changes have made the Mark IV the most responsive and enjoyable RX100 yet. It’s the most expensive in the series but is peerless in terms of capability.

And Mirrorlessons posted the slow motion test video at 100, 250, 500 and 1000fps with the RX100 IV:

A funny 1000 fps slow mo test by Joyce on Youtube.

A7rII and RX camera preorder list:
In USA:
A7rII at Amazon, BHphoto, AdoramaSonyStore US, FocusCamera, Uniquephoto.
RX10m2 at Amazon, BHphoto, AdoramaFocusCamera, Uniquephoto.
RX100m4 at Amazon, BHphoto, AdoramaFocusCamera, Uniquephoto.
In Europe at:
A7rII at Sony DEUK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
RX100m4 at DEUK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
RX10m2 at DEUK, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
In Asia at:
A7rII at Digitalrev, CameraPro.
RX10m2 at Digitalrev, CameraPro.
RX100m4 at Digitalrev, CameraPro.

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July 28, 2015
Posted in deals

Amazon US makes it clear what your rights are when buying Sony refurbished stuff.

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Bildschirmfoto 2015-07-26 um 14.36.32

It was often not 100% clear what your rights are when buying refurbished stuff at Amazon. Luckily they now added that special graph showing what kind of guarantee you get. You have that epxlanation on many Sony products I am going to list here (sometimes with additional link to same auction on eBay):

Sony A6000 with 18-55mm and 55-210mm lens for $619 at Amazon (Click here) and eBay (Click here).
Sony 24-70mm FE lens for $799 at Amazon (Click here) and eBay (Click here).
Sony A5100 with 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens for $469 at Amazon (Click here).
Sony A5000 with 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens for $349 at Amazon (Click here) and eBay (Click here).
Sony A6000 with 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens for $619 at eBay (Click here).
Sony A7r for $1299 at Amazon (Click here) and eBay (Click here).
Sony A7 for $829 at Amazon (Click here) and eBay (Click here).
Sony A7s for $1899 at eBay (Click here).

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