What's In A Name? Here's Your Guide To The New Zeiss Lens Names For Sony Cameras

on September 21, 2015

This column has remarked in the past upon the way that manufacturers name things - and decried the tendency to give similar pieces of equipment long model number and letter combinations that are easily confused. You have no idea what a mess a phone conversation can be when someone messes up the the model number - and frequently it is me that messes it up...

All praise to the Zeiss people for the naming of the lenses that they make. We don't mean the technical numbers that describe them - the f:stops and focal lengths and such; these are pretty standard with most optic makers. Even if some other people fudge them and put on strange markings, you can generally get the truth eventually.

No, we mean the names that actually separate the lenses in our mind - and Zeiss have always been good with this. They used the names Planar, Sonnar, Distagon, Flektagon, etc, and we knew pretty well what we were looking at as far as where the lens fit into the optical spectrum. The name also told us something of the design of the lens and the number of glass elements that were inside.

Well, here's some new names that apply to lenses that Zeiss makes for people who are going to use the Sony cameras:

1. Zeiss/ Sony Vario Tessar 24-70mm f;4

2. Zeiss Touit lenses for APS-C sized sensors

a. Touit 12mm f:2.8
b. Touit 32mm f:1.8
c. Touit 50mm f:2.8

These lenses autofocus and also focus manually by wire.

3. Zeiss Loxia

a. Loxia 35mm Biogon f:2
b. Loxia 50mm Planar f:2

These lenses focus manually.

4. Zeiss Batis lenses for full-frame sensors.

a. Batis 25mm f:2
b. Batis 85mm f:1.8

These lenses autofocus and also manually by wire.

A good site to visit for a complete listing of these options - and a consideration of the implications of the various apertures and and focusing methods - is found here: