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| p.18 #5 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon |
Zeiss Otus 55/1.4:
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.
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.
Edited to correct link