Why Are Zeiss Loxia Lenses so Expensive?

Zeiss lenses are known for being high quality, precision optical instruments with price tags to match. But what makes them so expensive anyway? This great video dives in to find out. 

Coming to you from ZY Productions, this fun video takes a look at the Zeiss Loxia line of lenses and explains why they're relatively expensive pieces of glass. For lenses that aren't even equipped with autofocus, you might wonder why they carry such hefty price tags and if those prices are justified. I personally think they generally are if you need or want a lens of such a caliber. If you haven't shot with a Zeiss lens before, they're truly a joy to shoot with and produce beautifully sharp, clean images. While the Loxia line is not as flashy as something like a wide aperture Otus lens, I really appreciate the thought that went into the design of both each lens and of the series as a whole. I learned a few things about the lengths Zeiss went to to make these true professional instruments that can be relied upon and interchanged without a second thought. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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10 Comments

Spy Black's picture

"Why Are Zeiss Loxia Lenses so Expensive?"

Because there's a sucker born every minute...

chris bryant's picture

They want to make a lot of money?

Rob Mitchell's picture

Who are we to even question how companies set their pricing?

Personally, I don't think they offer any value over the Nikon lenses I use. How do I come to that conclusion?
No client has ever told me my work is not good because my lens isn't a Zeiss.

stir photos's picture

off topic, pls excuse my manners, but speaking of the otus... haha... i remember the first day i learned about it. while at a local event, another photographer was willing to loan me a lens for half an hour, "but not the oat" he mentioned, so it came up in conversation. he let me mount it and for the 5 or so minutes i used it, it was pretty legit, i honestly liked it. yeah, there was some sticker shock when i looked it up tho... :) but, "the oat" haha....

Michael Jin's picture

I hope Zeiss and Voigtlander release some lenses for the Z-mount.

Robert Nurse's picture

I wanted to see what Zeiss lenses could do and rented a Milvus ZE 50mm f/1.4. I liked the results. But, I really couldn't discern any superiority. At least not worth the price bump.

The Zeiss Loxia are the closest thing to actual Zeiss lenses on the E mount. The other Zeiss branded lenses are basically coatings and a name tag. Panasonic Leica and Sony Zeiss are the same thing, marketing hype + coatings.

No such thing as a free lunch. If anyone thinks you can buy true Zeiss or Leica lenses for consumer prices when both brands still sell their actual lenses for multiple thousands... your dreaming.

Batis? Not Sony Zeiss, has autofocus, and for the most part less expensive.

Kirk Darling's picture

'Way back in the early 70s, the old magazine Modern Photography disassembled Leica, Nikkor, and Canon lenses to answer that question. They discovered that Leica did, indeed, use significantly more expensive design and assembly techniques as well as material selections--but questioned whether the difference actually made a difference when the image got to paper. Roger Cicala at LensRentals is the only person doing that kind of thing now, but I don't think he's done a disassembly comparison.

Thanks for the post.
Well, before I also asked the same question, and the uncertainty of not knowing, made me doubt the need or not to spend on a lens with that price. I had practically used the Sigma Art lenses and Sony / Zeiss was satisfied with the result, both in the quality of the image and in the opening, the latter made me doubt even more in the expense: no Loxia is faster than a Sigma. In addition I will be honest, Zeiss is very cold in the presentation of their products. Well, after all, I chose the Loxia 35, and since you buy what I can see in the first quality, although the Loxia manual focus is not for everyone, the focus ring, the opening ring is extremely pleasant to use, allows you to easily choose between focusing the dough or the iris! so after using any focus ring of other lines (even Milvus) I have found them to be of inferior quality. The quality of the image is extremely good, not only in sharpness, but also in color, and distortion, it is a lens that can be trusted. They are made of metal, engraved numbers, metal umbrellas ... ok, then, I realize that this price is the quality work in every detail, and with the years that I acquired the 50, the 85 and the 25, (the 21 it is not on my list due to its proximity to 25 mm) and if it later produces a new one again, the most likely thing is that I buy it too. Now, when you have these lenses in your hands and in your camera so you get used to its quality, so much that my old Sigma and Sony-Zeiss are stored in its box for about 2 years. Are they worth the price you pay for them? Now I can say yes, sure yes.