(SR3) Zeiss rumored to launch the world’s first lens with ALON elements? It’s a 35mm f/1.8 FE pancake?

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pancakelimited

Image on top shows a lens from the famous Pentax limited Full Frame pancake series

I just got this rumor that made me jump off the chair. The source writes that Zeiss is going to launch a new pancake lens series:

They are preparing to announce a new compact lens series with astonishing image quality at smaller lens size. Think premium pancake lens.
The first lens of the new series will be an 35mm f1.8 with a total length of under 4cm…..
has developed a lens where several elements are made out of Aluminium oxynitride (ALON for short)

This Material has a diffractive index of 1.79 that is high compared to normal glass (1.4-1.5)
Also it is highly scratch resistant having a MOS hardness of 9
Because of the difficulty in manufacturing it will only be used in the front element and two highly diffractive elements.

And now you wonder…what is ALON? Surmet writes:

ALON® or Aluminum Oxynitride is an amazing and unique transparent advanced ceramic that is polycrystalline (made from powder) with a cubic spinel crystal structure. In the popular media and in the Star Trek community, it is commonly referred to as Transparent Aluminum.

These are the advantages of using ALON elements:

– far less weight and thickness than normal glass
– High optical transmission (>85%) near-UV to mid-IR wavelengths (0.25 to 4.0 μm)
– Excellent clarity and no inherent birefringence
– Outstanding hardness, scratch resistance and high strength
– Excellent Refractive index homogeneity over large areas

My opinion on this …WOW! That’s exactly what’s needed in the FE system: Fast and compact primes. The big question is if those lenses will have autofocus or not…

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