Carl Zeiss has begun selling its first two Touit lenses for Sony and Fujifilm compact cameras, high-end prime lenses whose existence reflects the steadying maturity of the market for smaller "mirrorless" cameras.
The $1,250 Touit 2.8/12 and $900 Touit 1.8/32 autofocusing lenses are geared for the Sony NEX and Fujifilm X series of cameras, both of which employ an APS-C-sized sensor common in lower-end digital SLRs. That means the 12mm lens has a field of view equivalent to an ultrawide 18mm lens on a full-frame SLR, while the 32mm is equivalent to about a 50mm lens.
The German company also plans to sell a 50mm f2.8 macro lens in the same family later this year, it said.
A few years ago, the market for interchangeable lenses was a lot simpler: Canon and Nikon dominated the SLR market. Now lensmakers must grapple with a profusion of mirrorless camera systems, most of them incompatible. They're called mirrorless cameras because they drop the reflex mirror of single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras that bounce light through an optical viewfinder, instead using the image sensor so the camera can autofocus and the photographer can compose the shot.
Olympus and Panasonic share the Micro Four Thirds approach, but they're mutually incompatible with mirrorless cameras from Samsung, Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, and Nikon.
Zeiss also makes lenses for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras.
The Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 has 11 lens elements, including two aspheric ones. It's got a close-focus distance of 18cm and weighs about 260g. The Touit 1.8/32 has eight lens elements, weighs about 200g, and has a close-focus distance of 30cm.