Zeiss will release a new Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA lens version with SSM support sometime in early 2015, following the optic’s announcement at Photokina 2014.
Towards the beginning of June the rumor mill revealed that Zeiss and Sony are working on a new A-mount lens with a 135mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f/1.4.
The new optic will replace the current Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA version, but the lens will not come with very many changes over its predecessor. It appears that the biggest improvement will consist of the SSM autofocus motor, which will provide smooth and silent focusing.
Similar words have been spoken by a different source, which usually means that there is some truth in this whole story. However, the person who leaked similar information is claiming that the lens will be released on the market at the beginning of 2015.
Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 ZA SSM lens scheduled to be released on the market in early 2015
As stated above, everything is beginning to make sense. The new Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 ZA SSM lens will be unveiled at the world’s largest digital imaging event. The Photokina 2014 opens its doors in mid-September in Cologne, Germany.
Usually, it takes a few months for Zeiss and Sony to launch a specific product on the market after its official announcement, so this time it should not be any different. As a result, the rumored release date of the new 135mm f/1.8 lens is most likely accurate.
For the time being, the price of the Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 ZA SSM lens has not been leaked. However, the current version is selling at Amazon for a price around $1,700.
What is the difference between the current version and the next-generation model?
Zeiss and Sony will add a SSM autofocus motor. The SSM designation stands for SuperSonic Motor and it consists of a built-in ultrasonic motor that provides smoother and quieter focusing.
It is better and more expensive than the SAM, which stands for Smooth Autofocus Motor, and this is why some people are expecting the new lens to be priced higher than its forerunner.
The optical construction will be identical, consisting of 11 elements split into 9 groups, while the diaphragm will be circular and its filter thread will be sized at 77mm.
The total weight of the Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA SSM lens will reach 1,050 grams, just a few more than the 1,043 grams of the older version.
But wait, more Zeiss goodies are on their way!
The same source is claiming that Zeiss is also working on a new 85mm f/1.4 lens. Sony and Zeiss are selling an 85mm f/1.4 Planar T* lens for A-mount cameras. This model also comes packed with SAM motor, while its successor will employ a SSM motor.
Although an exact timeframe has not been provided, the 85mm f/1.5 lens will be released after the 135mm f/1.8.
It is worth noting that Zeiss will bring the Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens at the Photokina 2014. This will become the second Otus model after the 55mm f/1.4 and will offer exceptional image quality. Do not confuse the two models and stay tuned for more information!