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Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens
  
 
alundeb
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p.3 #1 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


It is apparently much easier to design a "perfect" 135 mm f/2 lens than a ~50 mm f/1.4 lens. The Otus needs to be elevated to another class because of that, not necessarily because it would perform better than the 135 APO-Sonnar.

Lenstip gets a new record for center resolution with the Otus, 50 lp/mm at f/4. The previous record was the 135 APO-Sonnar at 49 lp/mm.

Interestingly, Lenstip also get markedly higher center performance with the Otos at f/4, and f/2.8 about equal to f/5.6, while Roger gets f/4 and f/5.6 about equal. Focus and DoF definitely is super critical with these tests.



Nov 19, 2013 at 08:48 AM
David Baldwin
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p.3 #2 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Incredible lens. I am on my knees though thanking my maker that I don't need one! I am trying to imagine my wife's face if I asked for for a $4000 standard lens!

I am sure the billionaires will be queuing up to buy one, goes nicely with the Veyron, Non? More seriously I wonder how long it will take for mass production techniques to evolve to the state that mere mortals can afford this kind of optical quality?

But in the meantime, well done Zeiss, its always interesting to know what the state of the art is.



Nov 19, 2013 at 08:52 AM
Rodluvan
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p.3 #3 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


David Baldwin wrote:
More seriously I wonder how long it will take for mass production techniques to evolve to the state that mere mortals can afford this kind of optical quality?


I'm pretty sure sensors resolution evolve even quicker so on a pixel peeping level there will always be the next hugely expensive lens at the forefront trying to keep up with the resolution. Otoh, if you spend some time composing and don't crop wildly or print house sized billboards chances are you'll do great with a used Otus by then.



Nov 19, 2013 at 09:22 AM
sflxn
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p.3 #4 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


$4k for a normal lens. Dare we ask what the wide angle and portrait Otus will cost?

Seeing the performance of this lens, I can't wait to see how the more interesting Otus lenses will perform. Zeiss, please announce the focal lengths soon!



Nov 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Snopchenko
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p.3 #5 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


alundeb wrote:
It is apparently much easier to design a "perfect" 135 mm f/2 lens than a ~50 mm f/1.4 lens. The Otus needs to be elevated to another class because of that, not necessarily because it would perform better than the 135 APO-Sonnar.

Oh, sure. That's why I added "discounting the spec difference". Most 135s are great, but this one is even better than most. On the other hand, a 5*/1.4 lens that good wide open is pretty remarkable, maybe even $4000 remarkable. Might be interesting how it compares with the recently released ZA 50/1.4 (even though this interest is purely academic for me, as I need neither).



Nov 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Rodluvan
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p.3 #6 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


sflxn wrote:
$4k for a normal lens. Dare we ask what the wide angle and portrait Otus will cost?

Seeing the performance of this lens, I can't wait to see how the more interesting Otus lenses will perform. Zeiss, please announce the focal lengths soon!



There's really not that many to chose from if you think about it. It won't be ultra wide as the superlative 15mm and 21mm cover that, it won't be near 135 or even 100 as the APO135 and MP100 got that covered. And they won't do MF lenses longer than 135mm, so what you're left with is

85mm
25-35mm


You can take that to the bank and plan accordingly. I can't really think of a less exciting FL than 55mm (well, that would perhaps be 58mm).


Edited on Nov 19, 2013 at 02:07 PM · View previous versions



Nov 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Stavsf
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p.3 #7 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


It's great that they're making this as far as upping the ante on lenses, but seriously, who isn't going to buy an old Leica or Hass lens + t/s adapter instead?


Nov 19, 2013 at 01:26 PM
alundeb
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p.3 #8 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Stavsf wrote:
It's great that they're making this as far as upping the ante on lenses, but seriously, who isn't going to buy an old Leica or Hass lens + t/s adapter instead?


Not sure what you actually suggest as an alternative here:

- To buy a less performing lens at a lower price?

- To make stitched images to increase resolution?

- To use a medium format system?



Nov 19, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Lotusm50
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p.3 #9 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


...now where did I put that spare $4000?




Nov 19, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.3 #10 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Lotusm50 wrote:
...now where did I put that spare $4000?



Don't forget to add the gym membership to that price! I know I would need one to haul this thing around.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:05 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



naturephoto1
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p.3 #11 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Don't forget to add the gym membership to that price! I know I would need one to haul this thing around.


Imagine carrying around 4 or 5 lenses based upon the Otus weight and size. You would need a fork lift to lift them and a Llama to carry them out in the field.

Rich



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.3 #12 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


naturephoto1 wrote:
Imagine carrying around 4 or 5 lenses based upon the Otus weight and size. You would need a fork lift to lift them and a Llama to carry them out in the field.

Rich


Even just a simple three lens kit with body would be a nightmare. Hopefully, if you can afford such a kit, you can also afford the assistant to carry it around for you.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:15 PM
snow14
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p.3 #13 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Otus my budget


Nov 19, 2013 at 02:23 PM
darbo
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p.3 #14 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Don't forget to add the gym membership to that price! I know I would need one to haul this thing around.


That's part of the genius of the Otus. You don't need a separate gym membership; it's all built right into the lens. It is part awesome lens and part portable free-weight fitness machine. Just imagine the shape you'll be in lugging it around. For your health's sake, you can't afford not to buy an Otus.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:24 PM
sflxn
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p.3 #15 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Even just a simple three lens kit with body would be a nightmare. Hopefully, if you can afford such a kit, you can also afford the assistant to carry it around for you.


I can see some people buying one of these for that occasional special shot. I'm actually interested. I sold my heavier medium format system, anticipating higher resolution FF cameras and lenses like the Otus. I'm going to wait and see what the portrait lens is like before buying one. I don't use tele photos very often, but when you want to take a portrait, you really want that extra something.

I bet the wide angle Otus will be hugely popular... If the price is not too outrageous.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:30 PM
jcolwell
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p.3 #16 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


darbo wrote:
That's part of the genius of the Otus. You don't need a separate gym membership; it's all built right into the lens. It is part awesome lens and part portable free-weight fitness machine. Just imagine the shape you'll be in lugging it around. For your health's sake, you can't afford not to buy an ...


That was my justification for buying an EF 500/4L IS. You get a good workout from two or three hours of handheld shooting.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Vancouver47
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p.3 #17 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


I'm not sure what all the MF concern is all about. If you have difficulty manual focussing in low light etc, just hold the shutter to confirm focus. It Blinks as focus is achieved and micro adjustment of that focus works as well. It works exceptionally well with the Zeiss 50 f/2 MP at MA of +2. Live view MF works even better.

I'm really looking forward to the Otus.

Edited on Nov 19, 2013 at 02:36 PM · View previous versions



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Rodluvan
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p.3 #18 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Never mind all that, to take full advantage of the resolving power you'll need a tripod anyway.


Nov 19, 2013 at 02:35 PM
sflxn
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p.3 #19 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


The Otus and 135 APO are heavy, but they are the same weight as the Nikkor 24-70 and 14-24. Yes, it's heavy, but it's manageable handheld. Now, the future wide-angle Otus might be much more monstrous.


Nov 19, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Rodluvan
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p.3 #20 · Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: The absolute best SLR lens


Vancouver47 wrote:
and micro adjustment of that focus works as well.


Are you sure about this? I have not been able to confirm or achieve confirmation dot adjustments for ZF.2 lenses.

Regardless of that, I'm highly skeptical that any AF system could keep up with the pace set optically by these lenses anyway. The CoC by only a slight miss-focus will thwart any advantage they had @ 1.4.

So what we have is yet another limitation, add that to the diffraction coming into play with extremely high resolution bodies already at larger apertures, requirements for very high shutterspeed and/or tripod and the size, weight and cost and you end up with a more restricted set of circumstances where you will benefit from having one.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:46 PM
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