There have been rumours and whisperings of a new line-up of lenses from Carl Zeiss, and now, the company has confirmed two launches designed specifically for the Canon EF mount.

The ZE line-up will initially comprise two models - the Planar T* 50mm and 85mm F1.4 manual focus lenses which will be available by the end of 2008.

But there will be more to come, Carl Zeiss has promised.

Carl Zeiss explains: "As with all EF lenses, the new ZE lenses from Carl Zeiss transfer all information exclusively via electronic contacts. This means that all exposure modes such as programmed auto exposure, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual setting are supported".

"The camera’s automatic focus confirmation also remains available to an unlimited extent with these manual focus lenses."

If you use the lens with a DSLR cameras, the lens data and all exposure data can also be accessed via the camera’s EXIF file.

The lens manufacturer also adds that E-TTL flash metering is supported.

Here's the specs.

Planar T* 1.4/50 ZE (€579/ $660)
Focal length: 50 mm
Aperture range: f/1.4-f/16
Focusing range: 0.45m to infinity
Lens construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
Angle of view: diag.on 35mm 45.4°
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.45m
Filter: 58 mm
Dimensions (with caps): 66x69mm
Area covered at close focus: 16x24cm
Weight: 330g

Planar T* 1.4/85 ZE (€999/ $1170)
Focal length: 85mm
Aperture range: f/1.4-f/16
Focusing range: 1m to infinity
Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
Angle of view: diag. on 35mm 28.6 °
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.45m
Filter: 72mm
Dimensions (with caps): 77x85mm
Area covered at close focus: 24x36cm
Weight: 570g