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Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon
  
 
j.liam
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


A $4000, 1kg über-corrected MF lens is nice and fine but as Zeiss elaborates on its own website, accurate focus for these fast lenses are seriously hampered by the utterly inadequate focusing screens in current AF cameras, as well as the absence of after-market options because new pro bodies won't allow the swap any longer. The D800 and 5DIII are deliberately disabled in this way, compared with the D700 and 5DII.

Unless these new behemoths (this is the first of several in the series) are intended for studio + live view or video use only, I can understand the desire to own one but am less juiced by its real-life utility.



Edited on Oct 07, 2013 at 07:34 PM · View previous versions



Oct 07, 2013 at 07:22 PM
wiseguy010
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
For me the 50P is far more attractive for almost all uses, other than macro, and perhaps portrait. I think this is a preference-based choice, not a fact-based one.


In the comparison pictures of Lloyd Chambers I noticed that the bokeh of the 55/1.4 is very similar of that of the 50/2 from @4 upwards. Before @4 the 55/1.4 is much smoother (the 50/1.4 is also less smooth than the 55/1.4).



Edited on Oct 07, 2013 at 07:34 PM · View previous versions



Oct 07, 2013 at 07:25 PM
hiepphotog
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


j.liam wrote:
A $4000, 1kg über-corrected MF lens is nice and fine but as Zeiss elaborates on its own website, accurate focus for these fast lenses are seriously hampered by the utterly inadequate focusing screens available, as well as the absence after-market options because new pro bodies won't allow the swap any longer. The D800 and 5DIII are deliberately disabled in this way, compared with the D700 and 5DII.

Unless these new behemoths (this is the first of several in the series) are intended for studio + live view or video use only, I can understand the desire to own one but
...Show more

With this reason, the Otus would be perfect for a full-time LV camera, like a Sony SLT or all mirrorless. This is not practical to be used in any professional capacity unless you force yourself to think of a few. Lens like this is actually more for personal enjoyment of optical perfection.



Oct 07, 2013 at 07:28 PM
j.liam
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


hiepphotog wrote:
With this reason, the Otus would be perfect for a full-time LV camera, like a Sony SLT or all mirrorless. This is not practical to be used in any professional capacity unless you force yourself to think of a few. Lens like this is actually more for personal enjoyment of optical perfection.


It would be nice to postulate that Zeiss has an insight as to what's coming next (both Canon and Nikon have not introduced follow-up pro FF bodies in a while; no D4x or a high-rez Canon). Would be something if the world of prisms and mirrors died a sudden death.



Oct 07, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Arka
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


dcjs wrote:
Why don't all the people who think that Zeiss should have ignored aesthetics and gone for a "serious business" kind of look just get a "serious business" kind of attitude and ignore the aesthetics of the lens?


Because when you are spending $4000 on a 1Kg lens, look and feel matters. It's not like the major selling points of the optic are its inconspicuousness or bang-for-buck.



Oct 07, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


carstenw wrote:
There are some promising shots in there, showing some really nice boke, but interestingly, I find the boke much more like some Leica lenses than the typical Zeiss look many of the ZFs have.


I agree. The rendering does have a more Leica look versus the traditional Zeiss bite. The portrait and night shots show this the strongest to me. Same seems to be true with a few other recent Zeiss offerings.



Oct 07, 2013 at 07:47 PM
azenis
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Wow...

Zeiss has really set the bar high. (price-wise )

I know this thing suppress many optical problems such as CA, comma... etc to a minimum. But at $4k, it is more expensive than any 5*mm lens ever sold on Nikon F and Canon EF mount... We are talking more expensive than fleebay inflated price on legendary lenses like Nikon Noct 58mm F1.2 and Canon 50mm F1.0L. And those lenses are actually faster than the Zeiss.

I spend crazy amount of $ on super fast 5*mm lenses as collection purpose... but I have to say unless there is any unmatchable characteristic to this lens, I'm not sure I'm ready to drop 4k on it.



Oct 07, 2013 at 08:02 PM
snapsy
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


hmm, there appears to be a discrepancy in how long it took Zeiss to develop this lens.

It took more than 3 years (marketing guy):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNj7B4mH4aM#t=34s

It took only 1 year (engineer):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mEj6CqZWMk#t=37s



Oct 07, 2013 at 08:13 PM
j.liam
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p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


azenis wrote:
I spend crazy amount of $ on super fast 5*mm lenses as collection purpose... but I have to say unless there is any unmatchable characteristic to this lens, I'm not sure I'm ready to drop 4k on it.


If you will own a 2014 56MP D5 or 65MP 1DMk.V and make a living off of it, a 50/1.4 G, 50/1.2 L or 50 MP likely won't do.

In fact, no existing Nikkor or Canon will "do".

That's who this 'thing' is for.


Edited on Oct 07, 2013 at 08:29 PM · View previous versions



Oct 07, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Worldinlens
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p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


The closer of the real lens to the the calculated scheme of engineers, the more expensive it is. Often they have to sacrifice the unique calculated curvatures of the lenses design, replacing it with some of the production values ​​of the standard series. It is even possible that this lens is unique in producing accurate, so it is so expensive.


Oct 07, 2013 at 08:29 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Tariq Gibran
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p.4 #11 · p.4 #11 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


The lens is really not out of line price wise in comparison to MF glass, which I guess is the intended competition when paired with a future, super-high MP FF 35. What's going to be interesting to see though is if Canon follows through with their MF plans next year. I would not be too surprised to see Nikon do something similar either at the very high end. Ultimately, there really is no replacement for displacement, at least when it comes to this market.


Oct 07, 2013 at 08:39 PM
naturephoto1
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p.4 #12 · p.4 #12 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


I would rather have my Leica 280mm f4 Apo Telyt lens which I purchased used in M/M- condition before the Leica M 240 was released for about $4700.

Rich



Oct 07, 2013 at 08:51 PM
AhamB
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p.4 #13 · p.4 #13 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Tariq Gibran wrote:
I agree. The rendering does have a more Leica look versus the traditional Zeiss bite. The portrait and night shots show this the strongest to me. Same seems to be true with a few other recent Zeiss offerings.


Definitely not for the Apo-Sonnar 135/2 though, IMO.



Oct 07, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Kell
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p.4 #14 · p.4 #14 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


j.liam wrote:
First the Touit, now Otus. Perhaps they were trying to outdo Leica's 'Elmar' and 'Hektor' in names awkward-sounding in English?

The wide-angle 'Wilbur' and telephoto 'Dolorus' series to follow...


Maybe they were thinking about 'Otis Day and the Nights'...from Animal House.. because it can handle any type of light..... ok, diggin' deep on that one



Oct 07, 2013 at 09:20 PM
dasrocket
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p.4 #15 · p.4 #15 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


dcjs wrote:
Why don't all the people who think that Zeiss should have ignored aesthetics and gone for a "serious business" kind of look just get a "serious business" kind of attitude and ignore the aesthetics of the lens?



I agree. ZEISS should have considered the aesthetics. There was no reason for this



Oct 07, 2013 at 09:35 PM
JohnJ
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p.4 #16 · p.4 #16 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


EOS20 wrote:
Some Sample Photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlzeisslenses/sets/72157635236491881/



Why is there only one sample image at F1.4, the portrait? All the others are stopped down, so prove little.

I was curious to see how longitudinal CA, purple/green bokeh CA, Spherochromatism call it what you want, was with this lens but there is no useful image to show that aspect of performance, at any aperture where it would be an issue (it's not an issue at F5.6). The Leica R 50/1.4 E60 is particularly poor in this respect (based on my own tests), so I wonder if there will soon be a glut of them on the market? It might not be fair to compare the 2 lenses (as the Zeiss is clearly the 'better' and more advanced lens) but the prices are not that far apart, and I think (not certain) the new price for the 50/1.4 E60 was higher than the Zeiss!

Also, I'm not sure about the bokeh of the Zeiss. Maybe I haven't seen enough samples but I'm not convinced yet. So far I've noticed a fair few with a slightly double line effect, but maybe I'm imagining it. It seems nice overall, but not ideal.


Edited on Oct 07, 2013 at 09:44 PM · View previous versions



Oct 07, 2013 at 09:35 PM
sebboh
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p.4 #17 · p.4 #17 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


Beni wrote:
Am I the only one who doesn't like the Zeiss look? (honest question)


i'm not terribly fond of it in general. this one doesn't quite capture everything i don't like about the look.




Oct 07, 2013 at 09:44 PM
hiepphotog
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p.4 #18 · p.4 #18 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


JohnJ wrote:
Why is there only one sample image at F1.4, the portrait? All the others are stopped down, so prove little.

I was curious to see how longitudinal CA, purple/green bokeh CA, Spherochromatism call it what you want, was with this lens but there is no useful image to show that aspect of performance, at any aperture where it would be an issue (it's not an issue at F5.6). The Leica R 50/1.4 E60 is particularly poor in this respect (based on my own tests), so I wonder if there will soon be a glut of them on the market? It might
...Show more

If you don't mind paying for the subscription, Lloyd Chambers should have all the shots you're looking for. He has been shooting with the prototype for a month. Other than that, I can say you don't have to worry about CA problem on this lens. But at $4000, your definition of satisfactory CA control might be different than mine.

A quote on his front page (free content): "No veiling haze, no purple fringes, no uneven sharpness. One gets used to this, and then most other lenses feel disappointing by comparison, though some like the 135/2 APO-Sonnar approach the same level."


Edited on Oct 07, 2013 at 10:47 PM · View previous versions



Oct 07, 2013 at 10:30 PM
hiepphotog
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p.4 #19 · p.4 #19 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


azenis wrote:
I spend crazy amount of $ on super fast 5*mm lenses as collection purpose... but I have to say unless there is any unmatchable characteristic to this lens, I'm not sure I'm ready to drop 4k on it.


I don't think you can find any fast 50 cheaper than this lens that can do as well in any optical characteristics. It's not only a jack of trade, but also a master of a lot of things. That, in and of itself, is already an unmatchable characteristic. And I don't think one should get this lens for the collection purpose. I paid more for my current inferior 55 and I shot with it extensively. People dropped 3.5K for the Lux 50, 7K for the Cron 50 AA, and 10K+ for the Noct 0.95. IMO, optically speaking, this lens makes more sense than all three of those. But some would disagree.



Oct 07, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Mescalamba
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p.4 #20 · p.4 #20 · Official: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon


sebboh wrote:
i'm not terribly fond of it in general. this one doesn't quite capture everything i don't like about the look.



I liked (and still do) Zeiss C/Y. That new, not much, only certain lens. This one seems quite different. Probably as more corrected lens is, closer to each other it is. Most likely why it looks bit like Leica. If I dont mind coatings, part of why Leica lens look like they do is that they are usually highly corrected.

And thats reason why I prefer old Leica lens too.

I think in some time Sigma, Zeiss and Leica will look all about same. Tho Sigma will most likely have still their "tint" due poor spectral transmission.

That reminds me, that it might be just my eyes, but it looks like this Zeiss has really high transmission in probably every part of spectrum. Might be even great UV/IR lens.

But, weight, size and surely look is what would prevent me from buying it. I have nothing against stylish quirky things, but this is simply ugly "creature".

Wonder why they didnt try to make Zeiss-Cron (in full-metal C/Y styling.. thank you Zeiss).



Oct 07, 2013 at 10:55 PM
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