Leica Zeiss 15mm Distagon ZM

VINCETAN

Top Veteran
Acquired this little gem a few weeks ago. It is the replacement to the Tri-Elmar WATE which I recently sold (2nd time around). I've been intrigue with this lens since I first saw it quite a few years ago. It is one of the two Zeiss ZM lens that is made in Germany. Yep, not the Cosina made ZM but hand built in Germany. The lens is not RF-coupled so might be a turnoff for a few people. But it is a 15mm so the DOF is tremendous. In fact, the focusing scale go only up to 7 ft, then infinity. Here are a couple of pics of the little beauty on the M 240

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by VINCE, on Flickr
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by VINCE, on Flickr

Not a little lens for sure. Pretty heavy too.

Here is how Zeiss described this lens:

The Distagon T* 2,8/15 ZM is a fast lens for its focal length, allowing for hand-held photography under difficult lighting conditions. The lens is made in Germany and incorporates a very complex optical design using exotic optical materials such as barium dense flint with a high refractive index and fluor crown with anomalous partial dispersion. It uses aspheric lens elements and an internal focus mechanism for distortion-free images and consistent performance over the whole frame and across the entire focusing range. The standard center filter compensates for the natural vignetting effect and provides even tonal reproduction across the image field.

It is 11 Elements in 9 groups and weigh 550g.

Some pictures taken with this and the M 240

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by VINCE, on Flickr

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by VINCE, on Flickr

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by VINCE, on Flickr

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by VINCE, on Flickr
 
Nice piece of equipment and nice examples Vince.
Magenta corners but only in the last one? Some correction in the others?

BTW, any specific comment on why have you sold the WATE? I thought you were perfectly mastering it, for what we have seen... ;) :)
 

VINCETAN

Top Veteran
Nice piece of equipment and nice examples Vince.
Magenta corners but only in the last one? Some correction in the others?

BTW, any specific comment on why have you sold the WATE? I thought you were perfectly mastering it, for what we have seen... ;) :)

Hi Albert, I did have the check mark on CA correction. The last one was the worst. Most of the others were not bad.

I get bored with a lens after a while and since money does not grow on trees, I ended having to sell some lens to buy some others. I really like the Tri-Elmar WATE but that is also one lens that will sell faster than some of the others that I have (CZ 8.5cm Sonnar, Nikkor RF lens, etc). I sold the WATE because I was thinking of getting the SL and maybe go with the announced 16-35 SL lens. Then this Zeiss came along at a price that was too enticing. I've always been curious about this lens so I took the plunge. It is a bit on the heavy side as compare to the WATE. I also miss the flexibility. The WATE seems to be a little better corrected and possibly sharper. Even though the lens is a 2.8, with the added center ND filter, it is effectively a f4. I will have to use this more to get a better feel of this lens. I plan to use it exclusively one day to see how I like it.

Regards
Vince
 
Thanks Vince.

Brian, this is a Distagon not a Biogon obviously, so we should assume that is in the retro focus field... it seems that the rear element protrudes, but it is a 15mm, so having in account that the FFD is 27.8mm, it can reach around 10mm or slightly more out and still remaining in the retro focus genes family... but seeing that magenta cast, I agree it seems short of retrofocus genes... ;) :)

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My 1952 J-12 with Zeiss serial numbers on the glass sits much closer to the image plane- I'm a bit surprised to see the magenta in the corners on this one.
 

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