||June 2006 ZEISS announced for
the first time since CONTAX IIa/ IIIa was ceased more than 40 years
ago, a Sonnar 35mm film lens with the classical data f/1.5 50mm -
fitting the Rangefinder camera Zeiss-Ikon (Leica M mount) available
since 3/4 year on the market..
It is more like the initial Sonnar-type invented by Ludwig
Bertele than any other lens Zeiss had launched within the last 40
years under the "Sonnar" name. The third element of the Bertele design
with lower optical power was replaced by (what old lens designers call)
"air-lens". Different to those Ernostar-types mostly containing 4-5
elements, this one has one cemented triple in thge rear. In the 1950's companies like
Canon and Asahi Optical experimenting with the Sonnar type, dissolving
the last groups creating a 6 elements- 4 groups design, still keeping a
So in 2006 Zeiss did the same stuff with the front triple group and
shows to the market that the initial design still has reserves (assumed
by traditionalists all the time). Maybe it will not show
sharpness like the hyper-modern designed Leica Apo-Summicron ASPH.
1.4/50mm -- but probably will cost only 1/3 of it. Anyway direct
comparison picture-by-picture to the ZM-Planar 2.0/50mm will be
For these guys using Rangefinder the traditional way, as a journey
or reportage camera, it may be worth a thought that the Sonnar is 6mm
than the ZM-Planar and uses 46mm filter (which is a quite common size)
pictures of this lens here - available soon..!