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Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon
  
 
trajan
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p.11 #1 · p.11 #1 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


It's 2 lbs, not 5 kgs. And btw, the 50/1.0 is also 2 lbs. The weight is fine.


Oct 10, 2013 at 10:06 PM
michael49
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p.11 #2 · p.11 #2 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Makten wrote:
Don't forget older lenses. I was simply amazed by the humble Nikkor 50/1.8 AI-S "longnose". Small, light, sharp and with nice bokeh. Of course it doesn't give as nice colors as modern lenses, but the rendering and sharpness is still there.


Agreed, one of my favorite 50's - Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI-S on a 6D.....








Oct 11, 2013 at 12:16 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.11 #3 · p.11 #3 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


^^ yuck! Oversharpened?


Oct 11, 2013 at 02:39 AM
freaklikeme
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p.11 #4 · p.11 #4 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Toothwalker wrote:
It is the usual 2 stops, not more.

I had hoped for a bit less, but hey, you cannot have it all.



It can't be flawless. Perfectionism, like no-hitters, is fascist.



Oct 11, 2013 at 04:01 AM
azenis
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p.11 #5 · p.11 #5 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


^

At such a price with that spec, it should be. I mean, it should outperform all 5*mm in every aspect.

At 4k for a standard 1.4 lens, that is Leica territory. And Leica... well... it's Leica. Zeiss, although superior in many ways, the target market is still Canon/Nikon users. We expect nothing short of excellence at a price that's more than double the price from 1st party offering.



Oct 11, 2013 at 04:39 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.11 #6 · p.11 #6 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


azenis wrote:
^

At such a price with that spec, it should be. I mean, it should outperform all 5*mm in every aspect.

At 4k for a standard 1.4 lens, that is Leica territory. And Leica... well... it's Leica. Zeiss, although superior in many ways, the target market is still Canon/Nikon users. We expect nothing short of excellence at a price that's more than double the price from 1st party offering.


Leica M summilux 50 costs 4K. Do you think it has a better MTF and vignetting performance than the Otus? The 50AA costs 7K. Same question.



Oct 11, 2013 at 04:46 AM
azenis
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p.11 #7 · p.11 #7 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


edwardkaraa wrote:
Leica M summilux 50 costs 4K. Do you think it has a better MTF and vignetting performance than the Otus? The 50AA costs 7K. Same question.


That's why I said Leica is Leica... their product has always carried a premium. Look it this way, 1st party lenses are usually the most expensive. Leica on Leica M being the most, while the rest follows (including Zeiss ZM)

The Otus target market is Canon/Nikon users, and since Zeiss decided to go beyond the 1st party price, as a Nikon shooter, I expect nothing less than the absolute best. Thus, Otus should outperform all 5*mm lenses available to Nikon/Canon mounts in every single aspect.

I'm not saying it doesn't, but that's the expectation. Anything less than that, it's a bit of letdown as it should be a lens with little to none compromise.

Take the Zeiss 55mm F1.2 Planar for example, that's a lens that pushed Planar design to the limit. I was expecting the Otus to be the Distagon version of it.



Oct 11, 2013 at 05:08 AM
freaklikeme
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p.11 #8 · p.11 #8 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


azenis wrote:
^

At such a price with that spec, it should be. I mean, it should outperform all 5*mm in every aspect.

At 4k for a standard 1.4 lens, that is Leica territory. And Leica... well... it's Leica. Zeiss, although superior in many ways, the target market is still Canon/Nikon users. We expect nothing short of excellence at a price that's more than double the price from 1st party offering.


Is that the royal "we" or were you appointed to speak for all Canon/Nikon shooters? It's fine if you don't see value in the lens because of the vignetting, but it's ego-centric at best to believe all users of those brands feel the same.



Oct 11, 2013 at 05:19 AM
carstenw
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p.11 #9 · p.11 #9 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


azenis wrote:
The Otus target market is Canon/Nikon users, and since Zeiss decided to go beyond the 1st party price, as a Nikon shooter, I expect nothing less than the absolute best. Thus, Otus should outperform all 5*mm lenses available to Nikon/Canon mounts in every single aspect.


You make that sound like a logical deduction, but it isn't. It is an opinion. I don't share it, and I am a Nikon user as well.


Edited on Oct 11, 2013 at 07:32 AM · View previous versions



Oct 11, 2013 at 07:31 AM
melcat
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p.11 #10 · p.11 #10 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Toothwalker wrote:
I am a bit disappointed by the vignetting though. ...

It is the usual 2 stops, not more.

I had hoped for a bit less, but hey, you cannot have it all.


Somehow I missed that, and it changes everything for me. If I want to correct it I usually won't be able to using my Canon bodies. I know from experience the results just aren't acceptable bringing exposure up 2 stops. I read that it *is* possible with the Nikon D800, but I don't have one of those and am not planning on getting one.

Of course some people don't mind the vignetting, but to me it's in the same category as fringing, lousy bokeh, veiling flare, monstrous grain and all the other evils which over the years photographers have tried to make virtues of. Some succeed, I may even praise their work, but it's not what I would ever consider doing myself. If I wanted to embrace that attitude, I *already have* Canon's 50L in the cupboard.

I might reconsider if Zeiss provided a set of matching centre filters.



Oct 11, 2013 at 07:31 AM
 

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carstenw
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p.11 #11 · p.11 #11 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


So, you have an alternative lens in mind which doesn't have vignetting, but is sharp wide open? Or are you just never going to buy a high-performance 50? Note that vignetting goes rapidly away as you stop down, so we are only talking about near-wide-open performance.


Oct 11, 2013 at 07:36 AM
melcat
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p.11 #12 · p.11 #12 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
So, you have an alternative lens in mind which doesn't have vignetting, but is sharp wide open?


No, AFAIK there's only the Leica 50 f/2 ASPH that comes close, and I don't get on with rangefinder focussing. I'm looking up and down for the stone tablet on which it is written that such a lens exists or could be built at any sane price, and don't see it.

Or are you just never going to buy a high-performance 50?

This. I won't worry about what's not possible. If I *really* cared, I could buy a D800 to go with it. And, as I said before, I'm also not claiming there is anything wrong with redefining it as "character".

Note that vignetting goes rapidly away as you stop down, so we are only talking about near-wide-open performance.

I know, but the Canon 50L meets my standards by f/2.2 too. Very nice lens, and it has weathersealing and AF.



Oct 11, 2013 at 07:47 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.11 #13 · p.11 #13 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
So, you have an alternative lens in mind which doesn't have vignetting, but is sharp wide open? Or are you just never going to buy a high-performance 50? Note that vignetting goes rapidly away as you stop down, so we are only talking about near-wide-open performance.


Doesn't that sort of negate the main purpose for the standard Otus existing though? For those where this matters, if the Otus requires stopping down to reach perfection than there is likely no advantage to buying it over a less expensive 1.4 lens that also requires stopping down for perfection, whether that's to improve sharpness, CA, contrast, vignetting or whatever.



Oct 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM
carstenw
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p.11 #14 · p.11 #14 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


melcat, if you find the vignetting so awful that you wouldn't shoot the 55/1.4 wide open, then there really is no point. In this case I guess you also don't shoot the 50L wide open, given that it also has vignetting, and is much less sharp wide open.

Tariq, I don't mind vignetting, I even like it, and in any case, my D800 has enough shadow reserves to allow correction in most cases, without ill effect. To make a lens which is razorsharp wide open, into the corners, requires a sacrifice *somewhere* (other than the obvious wallet pain).



Oct 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.11 #15 · p.11 #15 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
To make a lens which is razorsharp wide open, into the corners, requires a sacrifice *somewhere* (other than the obvious wallet pain).


I guess there might have been some expectation of the Otus being a no compromise lens which sacrificed nothing given it's size and price.



Oct 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.11 #16 · p.11 #16 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


melcat wrote:
No, AFAIK there's only the Leica 50 f/2 ASPH that comes close, and I don't get on with rangefinder focussing. I'm looking up and down for the stone tablet on which it is written that such a lens exists or could be built at any sane price, and don't see it.



If you look at the technical data from the Leica website on the Leica M 50 f/2 APO ASPH, you will see it has a slightly worse vignetting profile than the Zeiss Otus. Specifically, it is slightly worse at f/2 than the Zeiss is at f/1.4 and the Leica doesn't clean up the vignetting in the corners as you stop down as much as the Zeiss.



Oct 11, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.11 #17 · p.11 #17 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Steve Spencer wrote:
If you look at the technical data from the Leica website on the Leica M 50 f/2 APO ASPH, you will see it has a slightly worse vignetting profile than the Zeiss Otus. Specifically, it is slightly worse at f/2 than the Zeiss is at f/1.4 and the Leica doesn't clean up the vignetting in the corners as you stop down as much as the Zeiss.


Probably not too surprising given the Leica's tiny size in comparison to the Otus.



Oct 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.11 #18 · p.11 #18 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


azenis wrote:
That's why I said Leica is Leica... their product has always carried a premium. Look it this way, 1st party lenses are usually the most expensive. Leica on Leica M being the most, while the rest follows (including Zeiss ZM)

The Otus target market is Canon/Nikon users, and since Zeiss decided to go beyond the 1st party price, as a Nikon shooter, I expect nothing less than the absolute best. Thus, Otus should outperform all 5*mm lenses available to Nikon/Canon mounts in every single aspect.

I'm not saying it doesn't, but that's the expectation. Anything less than that, it's a bit of
...Show more

So let me get this straight. If the Otus outperforms the top 50s from Nikon and Canon in sharpness, bokeh, reduced chromatic aberrations in the focus plane, reduced chromatic aberrations out of the focus plane, better close up performance, and only is as good as the Canikon lenses on vignetting then because it doesn't beat them in this last aspect, but only in effect ties them, it isn't doesn't really go far enough. It should also be obvious in one important aspect (maximum aperture) the Otus lens was not going to beat the best Canikon lenses. After looking at the specs and the samples, however, I am pretty sure if I wanted to shoot between f/1.4 and f/2.8 I think the Otus would typically produce better results, and I am pretty sure that in any situation at any aperture in which CA might be an issue the Otus would produce better results. For me that is enough to want one even though I certainly can't afford it.

By the way, the Otus 55 f/1.4 is a lot better on pretty much all dimensions including vignetting (but of course not maximum aperture) than the Zeiss 55 f/1.2. That is an interesting and even exceptional lens but I am not sure it pushed the Planar design to the limit. In my view, this Otus lens is a much farther step forward than the Zeiss 55 f/1.2 Planar.



Oct 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM
melcat
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p.11 #19 · p.11 #19 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Steve Spencer wrote:
So let me get this straight. If the Otus outperforms the top 50s from Nikon and Canon in sharpness, bokeh, reduced chromatic aberrations in the focus plane, reduced chromatic aberrations out of the focus plane, better close up performance, and only is as good as the Canikon lenses on vignetting then because it doesn't beat them in this last aspect, but only in effect ties them, it isn't doesn't really go far enough.
(abandons sarcasm) I think the Otus would typically produce better results, and I am pretty sure that in any situation at any aperture in which CA might be an issue the Otus would produce better results.

The fallacy here is to regard it as some type of competition or ranking between lenses, instead of asking whether it allows the photographer to make photos that they could not make before. It really is pointless asking which of three trains to the airport, none of which get there before check-in closes, arrives earliest.

There seems little doubt, based on the last few posts, that paired with one particular $3000 body from Nikon this lens is close to perfect in practice. But that's not the same thing as being able to put an Otus on any modern full frame from Canon or Nikon and get perfect results. It greatly affects the value proposition for those not already possessing that body.


Edited on Oct 11, 2013 at 02:04 PM · View previous versions



Oct 11, 2013 at 01:48 PM
azenis
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p.11 #20 · p.11 #20 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


What I am saying is that, the 55 f1.2 Zeiss was a Planar lens with no compromises at the time. Can Planar design go further? With the ever-so-advancing technology, I'm sure. But whether we would ever see a Planar lens built to that spec is doubtful (rumour has it that Zeiss lost money on every single lens sold. And it retailed over 5k). And from my personal observation, no other 5*mm from the same era came close to the performance of the 55mm f1.2 Zeiss when you compare wide-open performance. The Nikon Noct hold on its own in some aspect (saggittal coma) but when consider the overall performance (CA, bokeh, sharpness... etc), the Zeiss was clearly ahead. (Zeiss bokeh rendition is smoother, for example)

The Otus should, and I repeat, "should" outperform or at least matching the other lenses currently in market on every single aspect. Just like the 55mm F1.2 did when it came onto the market. The absolute best thing out there.



Oct 11, 2013 at 01:53 PM
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