Last updated (03 July’11):
- Review by Photozone
The Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 features 18mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/3.5. The lens construction has 13 elements in 11 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 99 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 11.81″ (30 cm) and has a filter size of 82mm. The Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 lens weighs 1.04 lb (472 g) and it measures 3.31 inches in diameter and 3.43 inches long.
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Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 Reviews
Photozone reviews the Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 and writes;
“The resolution figures are slightly worse compared to its cousin but it is obviously also wider and as such more difficult to design. The lens is already pretty good at max. aperture and capable of very good results across the image frame at medium aperture settings. There’s some field curvature but regarding the immense field of view its basically only somewhat relevant at f/3.5. The amount of barrel distortion is only moderate but a bit complex (mustache style). Lateral CAs are comparatively well controlled albeit visible at times.”
The-digital-picture reviews the Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 and writes;
“The Zeiss 18mm f/3.5 Distagon T* ZE Lens is an impressively well-built ultra-wide angle lens that performs very well optically. It looks great and is a dream to use. I trusted it for an important-to-me photo trip and have no regrets from relying on it. If you want sharp results from your wide angle photography (and do not need autofocus), the Zeiss 18 is a very good choice. “
Kenrockwell reviews the Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 and writes;
“Of course it’s sharp. It’s a $1,300 Zeiss prime lens. What were you expecting, Sigma? I love to slam expensive gear that doesn’t measure up, but in this case, this lens is the real deal. It’s sharp all over. If it’s not sharp, its because you’re not doing something right. The sides and corners might be a little less sharp at larger apertures, but it gets darker there, too, so it’s harder to notice.”
SLRLensreview reviews the Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 and writes;
“Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5 ZF is a lens with a couple of caveats and gotchas. The lens delivers exceptionally good center image resolution but suffers somewhat around borders at wider apertures, where performance is rather average. The good news is that the image quality does improve quite nicely with stopped down apertures and by f/8-f/11 border quality becomes excellent.”
Luminous-landscape reviews the Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 and writes;
“There’s no doubt that the 18mm Distagon in Nikon F mount is a truely excellent lens. It suffers from a lack of data communication capability with the camera body, and of course, no autofocus. More to the point, it finds itself on the market at the same time as the exceptional new Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G, which at almost the same price provides a wider aperture, a range of even wider and useful focal lengths, autofocus and full automation.”
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 User Reviews
Like A Tank
“Superb lens from Zeiss. Built like a tank, excellent finish, smooth manual focusing. I use this with a Nikon D3X and D3S. The high resolution of the D3X coupled with this lens has been excellent. The ZF.2 model works with Nikon’s electronics and the cameras recognize the lens. No need to manually input the lens into the camera like the previous versions. No auto focusing, but apreature is read by the camera. Images are sharp from corner to corner. No distortion in the image. Excellent for use in architecture and landscapes. Interior shots work well with my SB-900. I have the Zeiss ZF.2 35mm f/2 lens, and both lens are quality glass for your Nikon cameras. Highly recommend.” – by JV
Well Built Retro
“Use of this lens is primarily for architectural and landscape. Solidly built and love the feel of finely machined parts. Very sharp corner to corner and has sharper contrast and colors than my other 12-24mm lens.” – by fredphoto
Zeiss doesn’t let you down
“I have used the 18mm Zeiss Distagon ZF.2 for travel and landscapes. One needs to say nothing more than this lens stands alone in terms of image quality. My first experiences with Zeiss optics was in the late sixties when I owned and consistently used my Rollie E2 2.8 Zeiss Planar TLR. My thoughts today are the same as they were back then- these optics are simply in a different league. Color saturation and accuracy along with a solid build is nothing short of amazing.” – by Harvey
Carl Zeiss optics has no equal
“This is lens is what I expected when investing in a wide angle ! Sharp from every corner this is a very precise and quality kind of tool. it is made for Pro-Photography. It is not cheap but is worth every cent. Carl Zeiss ia a brand apart when you decide going for quality optics.” – by John Xavier
(nama-lensa) Sample Photos
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 User Manual
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 Specifications
The ultra-wide Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-mount Cameras is a precision manual focus prime lens that provides excellent image performance over its entire image range from 0.98′ (0.3 m) to infinity. Combined with the legendary Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating, the Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5 delivers brilliant pictures even under difficult lighting conditions. This professional lens, when mounted to a digital SLR using a DX-type sensor, has an effective focal length of 27mm (35mm equivalent).
ZF.2 lenses support all key modes (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, program AE or manual exposure settings) on camera models equipped with an electronic interface (e.g. current Nikon DSLR cameras). To do so, simply lock the aperture ring in the largest f-stop shown in orange.
On camera models without an electronic interface, the aperture is manually set on the lens aperture ring. With some camera models, it is possible to set in the menu whether the lens should be selected using the setting dial on the camera or the aperture ring on the lens. Please note that, for technical reasons, there is no halfway notch between the largest and second largest f-stop. The focused distance is not transmitted to the camera body.
* ZF.2 Support all-important operations such as the automatic exposure for shutter priority, aperture priority and program modes
* The CPU also supports manual exposure settings, including those for camera casings that are not AI-compatible.
* The lens now transmits the EXIF data such as manufacturer, date, metering system and exposure settings
* Control of flare and ghosting are outstanding, so that even extreme highlights in the image field do not affect the quality of the image
* Precise mechanism enables exact manual focusing
See also: Carl Zeiss/Sony | Lens Reviews