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Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon
  
 
carstenw
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p.18 #1 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Zeiss Otus 55/1.4:







Nikkor AF-S 58/1.4:







Look at how much those Zeiss lines diverge in the corners. The boke could get really nasty there.

For a change, I feel more tempted by the Nikon lens, although I am a huge Zeiss fan.



Oct 19, 2013 at 07:30 PM
carstenw
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p.18 #2 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Btw, here is the original AI/AI-S Noct-Nikkor MTF:







This lens has very nervous boke, almost electric on occasion. Look at the divergence between those lines.



Oct 19, 2013 at 07:48 PM
hiepphotog
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p.18 #3 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


I agree that the bokeh of this Nikon is good (probably a bit smoother than the Zeiss), but I wouldn't trust the calculated MTF chart from Nikon. I have not seen such a good convergence from a more realistic Leica or Zeiss chart. None of the sample I have seen from the Otus so far would show nasty bokeh around the corners (no nissen, no visible double edge).


Oct 19, 2013 at 07:53 PM
redisburning
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p.18 #4 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Carsten, those are all fine points and all and certainly I would want to shoot with the lens before I make any real judgment but Im with Hiep here; I don't trust the Nikon MTFs.

And I did say "just short" of the mark on Nikon's part. I will admit to not being a huge Nikon fan per se but I would not discredit what they do well. Certainly their flash system is amazing, I also think the 85/1.4G is incredible and until the A7r is actually released the D800 is still the camera whose output impresses me the most. But since my point was hardly absolute, I do not think these things detract from its validity.

We all have different things we care about in a lens and the Nikon ticks very few of those boxes for me although I will give anything in this focal length a chance as I would the Nikon. When it comes down to it, I looked at the samples and while astigmatism AND flatness of field may have been taken care of in the new Nikkor, for what I personally like the Zeiss looks legitimately like twice the lens.



Oct 19, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Samuli Vahonen
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p.18 #5 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
Zeiss Otus 55/1.4:



http://nikonrumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-58mm-f1.4G-lens-MTF-chart.png">




Look at how much those Zeiss lines diverge in the corners. The boke could get really nasty there.

For a change, I feel more tempted by the Nikon lens, although I am a huge Zeiss fan.


Carsten,

Based on the samples available at far/mid distance (e.g. Lloyd review - page "Bristlecone Beauty") it seems that corners are not skrewed up badly (the way 2/28, 2/35, 2/100 are for example) what comes to bokeh quality.

However mid/close range (e.g. Lloyd review - page "Table and Chair, Open Door" and Lloyd review - page "Bleached Tree in River" - Lloyd has shoot like I do with too narrow lens barrel-lenses with fugly corner bokeh; avoid putting hard contrast to corners, there really wasn't any hard test scenarios in whole review what comes to corner bokeh) indicate there may be some challenges, if photographer chooses harder "bokeh corner fugly"-test subject than the Lloyd ones in his review. But hard to say from these samples.

That new Nikon seems to have really nice bokeh on scenarios where subject vs. background distance is large (e.g. big bokeh highlight circles), but Nikon samples didn't have any samples where background is quite close to subject. Thou based on MTF it should be good, at least on distance in which the MTF is measured at.




BTW. Original press releases told that 1.4/55 will come with 82mm filter thread. Even in March 2013 they showed video and photos of lens with 82mm filter thread (source). Production version came out and it has only 77mm filter thread!!! Maybe Zeiss sacrificed corner performance (specially bokeh quality) again by making too small lens barrel like most ZE/ZF-lenses. I'm not sure how too small lens barrell shows in MTF, but in the field actually shooting photos at mid/far distances it can make corners fugly.

Has anybody seen explanation anywhere why Zeiss decide to chicken out and go to smaller 77mm filter thread?



I guess we'll have to wait and see more samples. Based on samples available I'm not convinced either about "Zeissyness" of this new lens; samples seem "mathematically good", but lacking character of presence&"being there feeling".

As usual it will most likely take half year before 1.4/55 really become available in Europe - sadly I don't have any New York (=B&H) trips scheduled, so have to wait until next spring when they really make the lens available in Europe. Also I'm not sure do I want this lens - I'm pretty happy with 1.4/50, so maybe it's good thing, that it will take some time that they start actually selling it.
--
Samuli

Edited to correct link



Oct 19, 2013 at 08:45 PM
hiepphotog
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p.18 #6 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Samuli, those samples might not be challenging enough, but I don't see any fugly corner bokeh either. The Bleached Tree shot, with branches all over at the right top corner, I think Zeiss is doing pretty well there. Most would give double edge (couple with strong bokeh fringe). The best way to know for sure would be shooting with both under the same condition.

As for the filter, I highly doubt that they would sacrifice anything to go down to 77mm, not very logical since people paying $4k for this lens would not mind the price difference between 77mm and 82mm filters. And 82mm size is just as flexible as 77mm in term of filter selection nowadays. Toothwalker (and also theSuede I think) said that they could have gone with a smaller barrel considering the size of the front element when they first saw the 82mm filter size.



Oct 19, 2013 at 09:06 PM
carstenw
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p.18 #7 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Red and Samuli: for sure the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes. Neither of these lenses solve problems I have, so I am in no hurry to order anything.


Oct 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Toothwalker
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p.18 #8 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
Look at how much those Zeiss lines diverge in the corners. The boke could get really nasty there.


From where comes this notion?

The aberrations that are most frequently associated with displeasing bokeh are overcorrected spherical aberration and longitudinal chromatic aberration. Neither of those separates the sagittal from the tangential curves.








Oct 20, 2013 at 01:19 PM
hiepphotog
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p.18 #9 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Toothwalker wrote:
From where comes this notion?

The aberrations that are most frequently associated with displeasing bokeh are overcorrected spherical aberration and longitudinal chromatic aberration. Neither of those separates the sagittal from the tangential curves.


I re-read the Bokeh write-up by Dr. Nasse, and he definitely didn't mention anything about it. However, it seems like every web site talking about how to interpret the MTF does mention about the convergence (good bokeh) and divergence (bad bokeh) effect on bokeh. Quoting directly from Nikon:

"Using an MTF chart to determine the Bokeh effect of the lens
Another factor that can be read from the MTF graph is the 'bokeh'. Bokeh is a term used to describe the quality of the out of focus areas a lens produces. The bokeh effect varies between lenses and the effect is influenced by the quality of the lens elements used and also the number of aperture blades in the lens design (more blades produce a better circle and therefore a better 'bokeh' effect). The closer the solid line and the dotted line are together, the better the 'out of focus' effect will be on a particular lens."

Divergence of the sagittal and tangential lines is mainly caused by TCA (especially in this case for the corners). Would a transverse spherical aberration cause a more busy/fuzzy bokeh?



Oct 20, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Makten
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p.18 #10 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
Btw, here is the original AI/AI-S Noct-Nikkor MTF:

http://www.photodo.com/pix/lens/mtf/NIFNOCT5812.gif

This lens has very nervous boke, almost electric on occasion. Look at the divergence between those lines.


Heh, does it? Certainly A LOT better than most other ~50 mm Nikkors.














Edit: By the way, look at how the sharpness rapidly declines to the right in the second image. This lens is worthless for planar objects.



Oct 20, 2013 at 05:23 PM
 

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hiepphotog
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p.18 #11 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Makten wrote:
Edit: By the way, look at how the sharpness rapidly declines to the right in the second image. This lens is worthless for planar objects.


I don't think there is any other 50ish 1.2 can do better. And even though the corner's bokeh might be better than most Nikkor 50, it's still quite edgy/nervous. But I am not sure since the divergence is not that great on the measured MTF either. I have seen much worse on Leica MTF, and those have quite nice bokeh.



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Jonas B
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p.18 #12 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Why is it you are talking about different contrast (resolution at same contrast) ratios for radial and tangential measurements as something telling us anything about bokeh? What would the technical reason be?


Oct 20, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Makten
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p.18 #13 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


hiepphotog wrote:
I don't think there is any other 50ish 1.2 can do better. And even though the corner's bokeh might be better than most Nikkor 50, it's still quite edgy/nervous. But I am not sure since the divergence is not that great on the measured MTF either. I have seen much worse on Leica MTF, and those have quite nice bokeh.


The "simple" 55/1.2 is much sharper in the corners than the Noct, but it's also hazy with lots of SA. In my opinion, it's a more useful lens and costs a fraction.



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:20 PM
sebboh
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p.18 #14 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Toothwalker wrote:
From where comes this notion?

The aberrations that are most frequently associated with displeasing bokeh are overcorrected spherical aberration and longitudinal chromatic aberration. Neither of those separates the sagittal from the tangential curves.


astigmatism can cause an easily visible funky "stretched look" in bokeh (particularly when the ratio of background to subject distance is small) as well as swirls of course.

Makten wrote:
Heh, does it? Certainly A LOT better than most other ~50 mm Nikkors.


a very low bar.



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Jonas B
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p.18 #15 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


sebboh wrote:
astigmatism can cause an easily visible funky "stretched look" in bokeh (particularly when the ratio of background to subject distance is small) as well as swirls of course.



Ah, OK, I understand that - which of course is one aspect of the quality of the OOF parts of an image.

I have associated swirly bokeh with mechanical vignetting. Now it is astigmatism? A lot of astigmatism and some stretch, rather than swirl, would be possible I guess. Maybe this discussion is one of those where it turns out we are using the words differently.



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:39 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.18 #16 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Slightly undercorrected and slightly overcorrected for SA lenses like the noct nikkor and rokkor 58/1.2 render either busy foreground bokeh and optimized background bokeh or the opposite. Noct nikkor I think is like Rokkor 58 and is undercorrected so it has busy foreground bokeh and optimized background bokeh. This new 55 should be much sharper and better bokeh imo.


Oct 20, 2013 at 06:42 PM
sebboh
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p.18 #17 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Jonas B wrote:
Ah, OK, I understand that - which of course is one aspect of the quality of the OOF parts of an image.

I have associated swirly bokeh with mechanical vignetting. Now it is astigmatism? A lot of astigmatism and some stretch, rather than swirl, would be possible I guess. Maybe this discussion is one of those where it turns out we are using the words differently.


both can contribute to a swirly look and given the right shot either can create a swirly look by itself (as can field curvature).




Oct 20, 2013 at 06:45 PM
hiepphotog
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p.18 #18 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


sebboh wrote:
both can contribute to a swirly look and given the right shot either can create a swirly look by itself (as can field curvature).



Well, in this case, Carsten specifically wanted to look at the corner's bokeh. Such separation is mainly caused by TCA than astigmatism. That's why I wonder if the transverse spherical aberration would be the culprit here. The funny part is that most people would write about this (more divergence bad bokeh), but none would give an adequate answer. Even in the bokeh write-up by Dr. Nasse, I don't think he even mentioned once about astigmatism and its effect on bokeh.



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:53 PM
carstenw
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p.18 #19 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Makten wrote:
Heh, does it? Certainly A LOT better than most other ~50 mm Nikkors.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v621/Makten/DSC_3410_1500_zpsd0d71340.jpg


I rest my case



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:59 PM
carstenw
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p.18 #20 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Toothwalker wrote:
From where comes this notion?

The aberrations that are most frequently associated with displeasing bokeh are overcorrected spherical aberration and longitudinal chromatic aberration. Neither of those separates the sagittal from the tangential curves.


Well, boke is a question of taste, not science, but there are certainly correlations with various things, and this is one. Feel free to disprove it, if you like



Oct 20, 2013 at 07:01 PM
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