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TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*
  
 
dolina
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


Pixel Perfect wrote:
I had a chuckle at this quote from Bryan "Putting the price into perspective, wildlife photographers often spend two or three times this much for their primary lens. I love wildlife, but will argue that the human subjects this lens will often be used to capture are even more valuable". Yeah, well humans are hardly elusive, shy or fast moving and exist in vast numbers and I don't have to drive for hours to find them. Let's see him use his Otus for wildlife.

Not dissing wildlife photogs but more people can feed & house a family and possibly send their kids to Uni with a short lens than with a long lens.

Given that the Otus is targeting people who are transitioning to full frame from medium format then it makes sense to them.

If I shot more people than wildlife I would not mind picking one up even if manual focus is a hassle in 2014.



Feb 26, 2014 at 03:33 AM
jcolwell
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


Manual focus has always been a hassle. I still use it.


Feb 26, 2014 at 03:40 AM
mogud
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


Manual focus is not an issue for me at all. I don't think about it when I'm phographing something.

I knew a college professor who taught photography before AF lenses. He would photograph motorcycle racing with manual focus lenses and his images were astounding.

Edited on Apr 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM · View previous versions



Feb 26, 2014 at 05:02 AM
AnthonyRay
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


mogud wrote:
Manual focus is not an issue for me at all. I don't think about it when I'm phographing something.

I knew a college professor who taught photography befor AF lenses. He would photograph motorcycle racing with manual focus lenses and his images were astounding.


I used to shoot races all the time without AF. I didn't know any better! Neither did anybody else - and I got some pretty decent results with my old Nikons. I've got some fantastic shots of Kenny Roberts sitting around somewhere.

Actually, races aren't as hard as other things since they're on the same spot on the track all the time. At least they hope they are! If they're not, that's a bad thing! Birds are less predictable.

I remember my first AF camera (Elan II) thinking neat, but it's got a long ways to go. I could still focus faster (and more accurately) manually.

Now all I am is lazy. When I put a manual lens on (use my old Nikkors actually) - it's the same as getting in a car with a manual transmission. Double clutching comes right back. Then I take them off and get all lazy again. Actually, a lot of it is I need that old split prism! My eyes aren't that good to see when it's in focus - my old Rebel viewfinders were awful for that.

This Zeiss though, oh man. (no "slobber" emoticon?) These new lenses are making my L's look like stone-age stuff. I think Canon is about due for a face lift along with dusting off some of those patents.

Me? I'm excited about the rumored Sigma 50 f1.4 Art. If they're using the Zeiss as their target - well I'm in. Even if it's not a bulls-eye I can probably live with it's shortcomings, including being 1/8 the cost and having AF!



Feb 26, 2014 at 06:01 AM
Mikael Risedal
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


snapsy wrote:
Near distances are far easier to achieve consistent focus than mid-to-far distances for large aperture lenses. I can take a body+lens that requires AF tuning but leave it untuned and still get consistent near-field results. Using that same combination at mid-to-far distances will produce mush until tuned properly.


to archive optimum with a AF tuning you should do that and have 2,5m to the target with a 50mm, 5m with a 100mm and so on.I spend one day in the Canon service department and did a reportage about AF and camera+ lens tuning


Edited on Feb 26, 2014 at 08:21 AM · View previous versions



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:09 AM
Mikael Risedal
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


RobDickinson wrote:
Mikael you are confused about af point sensativity and accuracy


I am?
please explain then, what is the accuracy of the AF point? and what is minor variations
The reference lens Canon use to tune AF in the camera body is a locked special 50mm 2,8 lens



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:11 AM
Mikael Risedal
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


The big problem with the Otus is , where to know exactly where to put the plane of sharpness at F 1,4 and with out using live view.
The focus assistance is too blunt and the matte screen to poor

Edited on Feb 26, 2014 at 08:46 AM · View previous versions



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:40 AM
RobDickinson
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


Mikael Risedal wrote:
I am?
please explain then, what is the accuracy of the AF point? and what is minor variations
The reference lens Canon use to tune AF in the camera body is a locked special 50mm 2,8 lens



Sensitivity relates to the required aperture needed for the baseline phase detect.

Accuracy/Precision is a totally different property and is usually the depth of field of the lens's max aperture unless you are using a high precision af point then it is 1/3rd the depth.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Photography-Tips/Canon-EOS-DSLR-Autofocus-Explained.aspx

"An f/2.8 sensor line is more accurate than an f/5.6 sensor line - the wider the aperture threshold, the wider the rangefinder baseline for triangulation and thus, the more accurate the measurement of focus. However, the wider the aperture, the fewer lenses that work with that aperture (and the more expensive those lenses are), and also, the detection range of f/2.8 sensors is narrower, meaning it may take longer for an f/2.8 line to achieve a focus lock when a subject is well out of focus. As a result, AF systems will usually focus in two steps when possible - 'coarse' focus with an f/5.6 line, then 'fine' focus with an f/2.8 line. "


"Precision is repeatability - if you take several shots of the same thing, how close will the focus of any one shot be to all the other shots? For EOS AF points, there are two levels of precision - 'normal' which is within one depth of focus for the attached lens at max aperture, and 'high precision' which is within 1/3 of the depth of focus for the attached lens at max aperture. Note that depth of focus is related to, but not the same as, depth of field, although the same factors influence both. "



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:41 AM
Mikael Risedal
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


well then ,are we now saying the same thing-or?
AF accuracy is within F 2, 8 and therefore minor variations

And I have corrected the same author when he wrote erroneous distances in a different context than this one regarding AF tuning and lenses
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Photography-Tips/Canon-EOS-DSLR-Autofocus-Explained.aspx

Edited on Feb 26, 2014 at 09:07 AM · View previous versions



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:49 AM
David Baldwin
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


The Zeiss Otus looks absolutely amazing, and seems to me that its real value is pointing out what is possible optically, and hopefully predicting where mainstream glass may go in a few years. Its a bit like a Formula One car, totally impractical for doing the shopping, but its extreme performance and innovative design will trickle down to benefit ordinary cars sooner or later.

I appreciate that it will be nearly impossible for Canikon to equal the Otus just now, both in terms of IQ and cost. But one day the Otus will be equalled by mainstream AF glass at a sensible price, the real question is just how long we will have to wait for this to occur. Quite a long time I imagine! I expect that the tolerances the Otus requires will need radically improved assembly processes for bulk production, but I am no expert in manufacturing.

The release of the Otus does emphasize to me just how out of date Canon's 50mm f1.8 and f1.4 lenses are, we need updated builds for both, and improved IQ. I am not expecting Otus quality, because I can't personally pay for it, but I do expect more from the current Canon 50s.

Hats off to Zeiss for their uncompromising design genius.



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:49 AM
 

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johnctharp
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


The only ever so slightly disappointing aspect of the Otus is the signature Zeiss vignetting- something that Sigma will undoubtedly improve upon, given that their current 50/1.4 vignettes less than the new Zeiss, or any Canon 50mm lens wide open.


Feb 26, 2014 at 09:15 AM
Mikael Risedal
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


johnctharp wrote:
The only ever so slightly disappointing aspect of the Otus is the signature Zeiss vignetting- something that Sigma will undoubtedly improve upon, given that their current 50/1.4 vignettes less than the new Zeiss, or any Canon 50mm lens wide open.


not so sure about that, I have Sigma 35/1,4 and the Otus and the visual vignetting is similar at 1,4



Feb 26, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Stoffer
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


I tried one a couple of days and the sharpness and bokeh at F1.4 is absolutely stellar. Almost beyond approach.

I have very little experience in manual focus, but I would say that it wasn't too difficult even at F1.4. The focus ring works extreme well, but you'll need a big nice full-frame viewfinder to nail focus.



Feb 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM
mogud
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


I remember reading somewhere that the Otus is hand made similar to Mercedes AMG cars. The labor costs to produce as well as enormous R&D costs to amortize would account for a good chunk of the high price tag.


Feb 26, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Invertalon
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


I usually like the look of Zeiss lenses, but I think that lens is visually quite ugly. The smooth zoom ring just looks terrible, IMO.

Just visually though...

The results I sure are stunning. Too bad it is MF though, so its worthless for me



Feb 26, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


jcolwell wrote:
Manual focus has always been a hassle. I still use it.


Definitely agree!

A number of my key lenses are manual focus -- doesn't mean I like it. My background was manual focus with manual exposure -- I'd use built-in metering, but that's as far as I'd trust "automation". I'm happy to be done with MF for the most part.

There are quite a few times, even using AF, that I need to turn it off once focus is achieved. MF certainly doesn't enhance shooting "on the fly".

This looks like an amazing lens, but totally outside my budget. And I'd be nervous every time I took it out for a spin.



Feb 26, 2014 at 02:35 PM
Stoffer
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


BTW, it is surprising heavy for a 55mm, so it might balance a bit awkwardly on a lightweight EOS 6D.


Feb 26, 2014 at 03:06 PM
jcolwell
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


It's almost exactly the same size and weight as a Mamiya 645 A 200/2.8 APO. Different colour, though.

Note that the photo below of the A 200/2.8 APO 'on' a 6D doesn't include the M645 to EOS adapter, and so it takes up alamost exactly the same space as Otus would.






Edited on Feb 26, 2014 at 03:27 PM · View previous versions



Feb 26, 2014 at 03:12 PM
Mikael Risedal
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


Otus is no spray and pray lens and is wonderful together with D800 resolution and the weight provides a steadiness freehand.


Feb 26, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Mikael Risedal
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · TDP Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*


Stoffer wrote:
I tried one a couple of days and the sharpness and bokeh at F1.4 is absolutely stellar. Almost beyond approach.

I have very little experience in manual focus, but I would say that it wasn't too difficult even at F1.4. The focus ring works extreme well, but you'll need a big nice full-frame viewfinder to nail focus.


and I can tell you that the focus screen (matte screen) or the AF help focus indicator are not good enough to select the plane of sharpness 100% right at F 1,4, it must be done by using live view



Feb 26, 2014 at 03:31 PM
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