Monday, December 15, 2008

Ryan Pyle Blog: Zeiss Lenses for Canon SLR's


I'm not an equipment junkie, in fact I'm far from it. I am pretty unresponsive when friends in the industry email me links to blogs with new gear, new lenses, new software and the like. But a good friend of mine recently forwarded me a link that I got really excited about. It seems that Carl Zeiss is now making EF Mount lenses for Canon SLR's, wow!

I've been a Canon SLR user for my entire (relatively short) career and they carry the weight of much of my color editorial work. I've got 3 Canon EOS 1 film bodies and 1 Canon EOS 5D Digital body; along with a host of Canon lenses. But a few years ago I started dabbling with a Leica M6 and I use it for all of my Black and White work, and I've begun using it more and more in for my editorial assignments. It didn't take long, using the Leica Zeiss lenses, to notice that the image quality was superior in many many ways; but still I leaned towards my Canons because of their versatility and convenience.

Now, well it was announced a few months ago, Zeiss is making lenses for Canon Film and Digital SLR bodies and I'm on board in a big way. I've always been a big believer that the camera lens is far more important than the camera body and that quality lenses are an important element to strong image making. Zeiss has come out with a 50mm f/1.4 and an 85mm f/1.4. I'm keen on the 50mm and waiting for the 28mm to follow in early 2009.

The real kicker is that the Zeiss lenses are only marginally more expensive than their Canon counterparts. It seems like a no brainer to make the switch.

For years I've been reluctant to work in digital fearing image quality, but the induction of Zeiss lenses and the new Canon 5D Mark II may very well change my dinosaur-like old school perceptions of quality image making using digital SLR's.

So to all the folks at Zeiss, I'm excited, and let me tell you - it's a rare thing. So how about a free trial?



Ryan Pyle


  1. Derrick08:10

    This is great news man. If and when you do get the Zeiss lenses, please let us know what you think on your blog..I'd welcome a 24mm or even a 20mm..will those be coming out? Also will these Zeiss/Canon lenses be manual focus only? thanks...

  2. Derrick,

    It's good to hear from you. The Zeiss lenses haven't hit asia yet. I talked with Mr. Poon at Photo Scentific on Stanley Street in HK and he thought they would start arriving in early 2009.

    I'll keep a keen eye out for the lenses and I'll be sure to blog about the results. I think they are manual focus but the light metering and pre-set modes all work with the new Zeiss lenses. Best to read the full story on that link I attached to my note, more details there.

    Take care in HK.


  3. hey ryan, ill look out for them in HK then. i'm not a big fan of manual focus though, that may prevent me from buying them..i'm a lazy autofocus kinda guy.

    i'm actually in chengdu now, heading up to yingxiu soon to observe some HK social workers at work and hopefully shoot some nice images.

    if you're in HK give me a shout!



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Ryan Pyle