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Tame the infinite horizon

Distagon T* 2,8/21

When the sky seems like it simply goes on forever, you can make the most of the moment with the Distagon T* 2,8/21. An expert at capturing spectacular landscapes and incredible scenes, it will make your compositions infinitely more dramatic.

Distagon T* 2,8/21

Tame the infinite horizon

Distagon T* 2,8/21

Tame the infinite horizon

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Distagon T* 2,8/21

Tamer of the infinite horizon

The Distagon T* 2,8/21 is a super wide-angle lens and is the leader in its range. Thanks to its aperture of 2.8 and its non-reflecting and virtually distortion-free characteristics, it will help you create spectacular compositions full of variety, dramatic contrast and deep, vivid colors.

Technical specifications:

Focal length 21 mm
Aperture range f/2.8 – f/22
Focusing range 0.22 m – ∞
Number of elements/groups 16/13
Angular field, diag./horiz./vert. 90°/81°/59°
Coverage at close range 18 x 12 cm
Filter thread M 82 x 0.75
Dimensions (with caps) ø 87 mm, length 110-112 mm
Weight 600g - 720g
Camera mounts F Mount (ZF.2)
EF Mount (ZE)

Distagon T* 2,8/21


When wide angle views go to extremes and beg the control via an SLR viewfinder, which means that the back focal distance has to be much larger than the focal length, a retrofous design called Distagon is the right choice.

Distagon with 16 lens elements in 13 groups
Lens made of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion
"Floating Elements" design

Distagon T* 2,8/21


Virtually distortion-free optics

Dramatic perspectives and a view from extraordinary image angles – ZEISS lenses open up new composition possibilities. Distortion would disrupt the composition because straight lines, whose image does not go through the image center, would be reproduced with a curved shape.  This annoying effect is accordingly and largely compensated through elaborate optical designs at all focal lengths.

Elaborate stray light reduction

Rich, vibrant colors are vital to creating a lasting impression. Stray light in the lens, however, would lead to a brightening of the image, which is particularly visible in shadow areas. Image contrast is lowered; the image appears dull and bleached. We combine various, elaborate techniques to reduce unwanted stray light. For example, all lens elements are coated with the famous ZEISS T*® anti-reflective coating. Additionally, a jet black special paint is applied by hand to all lens element edges to ensure that reflections are prevented from the start.

Floating Elements Design

Today’s camera technologies and high-resolution sensors demand continuous improvement of lens performance. Thanks to the use of the latest floating element design principles, optical aberration effects in ZEISS lenses are reduced to a minimum throughout their entire focusing range. This is achieved by variation of the axial distance between individual lens elements or groups. This adjustment of the lens-to-lens distance is coupled to the distance setting to ensure correct compensation at all times. The mechanical construction of these lenses is extremely complex and they must be assembled with utmost precision – both of which are key competencies of ZEISS.

Excellent image quality

The ZEISS range of T*® lenses offers the highest possible standards in terms of performance, reliability and, of course, image quality. Quite simply, they are superior in every way. You can count on highly advanced flare control for crisp and brilliant images, for example. And virtually zero geometric distortion, ensuring precise accuracy when reproducing shapes – especially useful when photographing products and architecture. 

Precise manual focus

Manually focusing a lens means controlling the image result from your fingertips. A good ergonomic design makes all the difference. ZEISS lenses stand out with their large rotation angle which enables precise focusing. Changes are immediately visible in the viewfinder. The high-quality focusing mechanism moves smoothly without play, thus also supporting the intuitive interaction with the focal plane. The precise engraving in meter and feet, and the depth of focus scale provide additional support for manually focusing.

Distagon T* 2,8/21

Pictures on Flickr

Distagon T* 2,8/21

Blog Articles

Underwater landscapes
Into the Deep Blue | 2014-10-16 15:08:42 |

Underwater landscapes

Boris Buschardt is a passionate landscape photographer who has discovered a fascinating underwater world. With a snorkel or from the water’s edge, he captures the strange vastness that lies under the water’s surface with his securely encased ZEISS ...


Mountain night and mountain light
Lights in the Night | 2014-03-31 09:09:40 |

Mountain night and mountain light

David Bumann reveals mountains in the darkness of night and in the bright glow of pyrotechnics and light effects. His images, taken with long exposure times and often a great deal of effort, are both unusual and impressive. And he captures them with ZEISS lenses.Look at David Bumann‘s picture ...


Lights in the Night | 2014-03-07 15:42:16 |

Lights in fog

Like many photographers, the Golden Gate Bridge is one Matt Walker’s most popular motifs. When the fog lies low in the bay of San Francisco he’s off, searching for the best spot from which to capture the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge in the far distance – especially at dusk and at night. And w ...


Lights in the night sky – lost in another world
Lights in the Night | 2014-02-06 16:00:36 |

Lights in the night sky – lost in another world

A clear night sky has always appealed to Loscar Numael. No smog and no light pollution — conditions you will only find outside in nature. When Numael points his ZEISS lenses at the sky — toward the Milky Way above California, for example, or the Northern Lights — he loses himself in ...


Architectural Wanderings | 2014-01-23 17:51:21 |

Late Gothic, Gaudí and contemporary architecture: David Aguado’s photography

Spain is teeming with architectural masterpieces from the Middle Ages, the early and later Gothic periods, as well as works of well-known 19th and early 20th century architects.  There is also plenty of modern 21st century architecture to make a photographer’s hea ...


Distagon T* 2,8/21

Reviews & Awards


"The Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon offers very high imaging performance. Undoubtedly it’s the best performing 21mm prime lens..."

"This lens has lineage that can be traced to the legend that existed during the reign of the Contax/Yashica days. It was a lens..."

"In this era of plastic-barreled mass-produced lenses, the Zeiss ZF lenses stand out in sleekly-elegant fashion..."

"I will start out by cutting to the chase: This is a brilliant piece of optical equipment. It is capable of producing excellent images..."

"Some of you may of heard that I've become a bit of a Zeiss fanatic and have sold all my Canon and Sigma lenses bar..."

"The Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 is a beastly all-metal, high-performance manual-focus super-wide lens available for most SLRs..."


Hot One Award 2009
Zeiss captured a second award with the Distagon T* 2.8/21