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| p.12 #4 · 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...Show more →
Well, I will just have to disagree with you about the "should." It clearly doesn't on one of the most important aspects max aperture, so if that is your standard then as soon as the lens was announced it was no doubt a disappointment. For me it is enough that the lens would be a major upgrade in several important characteristics and for me I care about CA in the focus plane and out, close up performance, and sharpness wide open. It seems clear that this lens is a major step forward in all of those aspects. Perhaps these aspects don't matter to you. That's fine. Different people care about different things, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't be impressed by the aspects that matter to me.
It is off topic to talk about the Planar 55 f/1.2, and depending on when we actually define its era there are some other lenses that had some better characteristics. For example the Canon FD 55 f/1.2 Asph., was probably sharper (this was the first lens to have an aspherical element and that did improve its performance notably). In contrast to the Otus 55 f/1.4 which has way more special glass than any previous DSLR 50 (7 special glass elements - 6 with anomalous partial dispersion glass and one aspherical) and is the first lens (not just first 50mm lens) to be both f/1.4 and APO, the Zeiss Planar 55 f/1.2 introduced no new technology. In my view, it was a much smaller advance. A great rendition of a classic design. The Otus, however, is a brand new type of 50 and notably better than anything previous in a number of aspects that are important to me.