Matthew Fitzgerald, a CNET associate editor, has been involved with digital camera technology and the photo industry for more than 15 years. His background includes work as a professional photographer, a technical representative, and a repair technician.
Zeiss, maker of a line of high-quality, single focal length manual focus lenses for SLRs, had been running a teaser ad on it's Web site alluding to a new lens mount, creating a lot of speculation as to what it might be.
Monday, it was revealed and, as I had hoped, the new mount is Canon EF. Making the lenses compatible with all Canon EOS auto-focus SLRs from the EOS film cameras to the all the EOS digital cameras. Considering Canon's market share, this was a smart choice by Zeiss. The new lenses will carry the ZE designation. They will support all automatic exposure modes such as program, aperture priority, and shutter priority. The camera's automatic focus confirmation remains available with these manual focus lenses. With digital cameras, lens information will be written to the EXIF data. E-TTL flash metering works as well.
The first lenses announced are the Planar T* 50mm f1.4, which will cost about $1,000, and the Planar T* 85mm f1.4 for about $1,500, and scheduled to be available at the end of the year. More lenses will be announced in the coming months.