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Zeiss announces 'no compromise' Otus 55mm F1.4

By dpreview staff on Oct 7, 2013 at 10:04 GMT

Zeiss has announced the Otus 1.4/55, a premium manual focus 'normal' lens for full frame SLRs. It's the first in a new line of lenses aimed at 'uncompromising professional' photographers, with a price tag to match - €2,940 or US$3,999 (excl. VAT). According to Zeiss it's named Otus after 'a type of owl known for its excellent vision in darkness'. On the technical side, it employs a Distagon design that's unusually complex for this class of lens, with 12 elements in 10 groups to minimise aberrations even when shooting at maximum aperture.

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Press Release:

No-compromises image quality with the new ZEISS camera lens

The ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 stands out with technical features ideal for all-around professional photography with 35mm DSLR cameras
 
OBERKOCHEN/Germany, October 7, 2013: With an imaging performance that has hitherto only been seen with medium format systems, the new ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 offers ambitious photographers who do not accept any compromises in image quality the possibility for a more compact gear. DSLR cameras with high resolution 35mm sensors put enormous demands on lenses. The Otus1.4/55 can deal with these demands thanks to its outstanding sharpness, high image contrast and no visible chromatic aberrations. It creates the highest-possible image quality, even with an open aperture. The new ZEISS lens is especially suited for advertising, fashion and studio photography, and professional photographers working in these fields will not need to make any compromises in terms of performance and quality. The Otus 1.4/55 is the first lens in a family of uncompromising professional lenses from ZEISS. Additional focal lengths will follow. Otus is the Latin name for a type of owl known for its excellent vision in darkness — just like this new high-speed lens from ZEISS.

“Our goal was to bring the best standard lens for SLR cameras onto the market. The Otus 1.4/55 delivers outstanding sharpness and contrast rendition all the way into the corners of the image. The only way we could achieve this was through the complex Distagon optical design, which until now has only been found on wide-angle lenses,” explains Christophe Casenave, product manager for ZEISS Camera Lenses. “Thanks to the low level of longitudinal chromatic aberration, there are no visible aberrations. So an illuminated harbor scene by night with many light sources in front of and behind the actual focal plane appears close to reality, without displaying complementary, color contrast edges. The excellent performance delivered by Otus is constant for all shooting distances. Its high performance with an open aperture also makes this lens a good choice for close-ups or portraits. For architectural and landscape photography, the Otus 1.4/55 takes full advantage of modern high-resolution camera sensors, resulting in impressive resolution in the images, even for the smallest detail.”

Other unique features of the Otus 1.4/55 are its high image contrast all the way to the edges (even for low f-numbers) and the consistent high-resolution performance across the entire image field. The lens has a completely new optical and mechanical design, which was developed taking into account the special and increasing requirements of high-resolution DSLR cameras. The Otus 1.4/55 is equipped with a floating elements design with 12 lens elements in 10 groups, including a double-sided aspheric lens and six lenses made of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. These sophisticated features create image results without color fringing or distortion. Cameras with a lower number of pixels will also benefit from the lens’s unique features.

The performance delivered by the Otus 1.4/55 is especially obvious with night shots. When taking pictures with many image-dominant, open light sources, it is common for correction defects to show up. Because the Otus 1.4/55 is an apochromatic lens, longitudinal chromatic aberrations are corrected by its lens elements of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. The color defects are therefore significantly lower than the defined limits. Bright/dark transitions in the image, and especially highlights, are rendered with no colorful artifacts. Although it is not a traditional focal length for architectural and landscape photography, here, too, the lens can deliver very good results. The edges of the image can be used for all apertures, giving full rein to the photographer’s creativity. For portraiture, the Otus 1.4/55 render the finest details precisely, and thanks to the maximum aperture of f/1.4, the photographer can consciously play with the depth of field and create a smooth bokeh. The Otus 1.4/55 stands out not only for its highly detailed pictures with no bothersome artifacts, but also for its mechanical quality. The smooth focus operation with the large angle of rotation allows for the finest variations when focusing — qualities that are only possible in a metal barrel. Its design as a manual focus lens allowed the engineers to work with much smaller tolerances during the construction. The lens’s robust metal barrel with the easy to grip focus ring makes it perfect for the demanding everyday situations of professional photographers, and guarantees a long product life. The yellow labels on the scales, which are borrowed from the professional ZEISS cinema lenses, contribute to better visibility. For its innovative product design, the Otus 1.4/55 already won the iF product design award 2013.

The Otus 1.4/55 will be available with F bayonet (ZF.2) and EF bayonet (ZE) starting at the end of October in all global markets. The recommended retail price will be €2,940 or US$3,999 (excl. VAT)*.

More information can be found on www.zeiss.com/photo.

*Status 7 October 2013

Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length55 mm
Image stabilisationNo
Lens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX)
Aperture
Maximum apertureF1.4
Minimum apertureF16.0
Aperture ringYes
Aperture notesNikon mount (ZF) version has aperture ring, Canon (ZE) version does not.
Optics
Elements12
Groups10
Special elements / coatings1 double-sided aspheric element, 6 anomalous partial dispersion glass elements
Focus
Minimum focus0.50 m (19.69)
Maximum magnification0.15×
AutofocusNo
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleYes
Physical
Weight970 g (2.14 lb)
Diameter92 mm (3.64)
Length141 mm (5.55)
MaterialsMetal barrel, metal mout
ColourBlack
Filter thread77 mm
Hood suppliedYes

Additional images

Nikon mount version, with lens hood
The ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 uses a complex Distagon lens design with 12 elements on 10 groups
18
I own it
144
I want it
4
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 507
123
Scottelly
By Scottelly (3 weeks ago)

I wonder if this thing is lighter or heavier than the new Sigma 50mm f1.4 A. Even it it's lighter I don't think many people will choose this over the $900 Sigma. (That price is just my prediction for the Sigma lens, because I can't imagine them charging more for a 50mm than they do for a similar 35mm.)

0 upvotes
Clint009
By Clint009 (4 months ago)

"Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon First Impressions Review on Nikon Df" also on Leica M240

http://kristiandowling.com/blog/2013/12/8/nikon-df-and-zeiss-otus-55mm-f14-apo-distagon-first-impressions-and-image-samples-part-2-the-lens

http://kristiandowling.com/blog/2013/12/13/zeiss-otus-55mm-f14-apo-distagon-on-the-leica-m-type-240

1 upvote
DuxX
By DuxX (6 months ago)

Why to buy this after Nikon releases 58mm 1.4G almost 3x less money and WITH AF!?

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

If you are a photographer, you should really try a Zeiss lens to find out what's all the difference is all about. The Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 ZE /ZF is a good starting point as it is probably the most affordable at about $1,000.

I do not know how good is the new Nikon 58mm f/1.4 G but I have full confident in the Zeiss. However, if one is not willing or can't afford the price, then it is a different matter. Their more than 100 years of experience in lens making need to be appreciated for very good reasons. Even Leica learned lens making from them in 1914.

Both their recent 15mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/2.0 are excellent and far beyond the quality of Nikon or Canon.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Dux--

And because everytime someone says: "this Nikon has the same optical quality as a good Zeiss", it never works out that way. NO MATTER WHAT TESTS report.

I'm sure the Nikon is the best Nikon can do and plenty good.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Dux:

I shot some sample shots with this lens today, the photos have the right look and it appears very sharp. But I’m not sure it’s the best full framed 50ishmm lens, you see I also tried out the new $7000 Leica F2.0 M mount lens on the M 240, and that may be a better lens. I was using a Samsung NX body to test the Zeiss 55mm, so a better test would be say a D800E body shooting raw below ISO1600, but that Samsung sensor is excellent.

So perhaps if you need a better lens than this new, heavy+big, Zeiss you can consider the much lighter Leica. Irony at nearly twice the price.

Don’t forget you’ll need an M body or a mirrorless body and an adapter; one can’t use this Leica on a Canikon DSLR. And the Leica is still manual focus.

0 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (5 months ago)

Because the Zeiss makes the Nikon appear like a toy:
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/11/otus-is-scharf

0 upvotes
lowbrow
By lowbrow (4 months ago)

I recently compared the Zeiss 21 & 50mm lenses to my Nikon 24 & 50mm. The Zeiss 21mm was so much sharper with unbelievable contrast but found my Nikon 50mm was better than the Zeiss.
I use a D800E so lens quality is paramount. I would buy the Otus 55mm if the quality is there but definitely trying before I buy!

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 APO-Distagon By Lloyd Chambers - BH inDepth

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/photography/hands-reviews/zeiss-otus-55mm-f14-apo-distagon?BI=2466&KBID=3296

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (6 months ago)

If it says "ZEISS" on it, you know right off that it is going to be ridiculously overpriced, right?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

The manual focus $725 (US) 55mm F1.4 is "ridiculously overpriced"? The colour sure be better than anything from Canikon.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

Zeiss lenses are not overpriced, maybe slightly more expensive but for good reasons. Perhaps one can say about real Leica M lenses.

I do not expect anyone who have not used Zeiss lenses to understand why they are so different. I was in this situation years ago. Zeiss lens quality is really something very different from the average Canon or Nikon lenses. The colour rendition, clarity, micro-contrast, minimum or lack of flare and very high built quality are some of the quality aspect that make using a Zeiss lens very worthwhile. It is like an excellent wine compared to a so-so table wine. It is even more difficult to explain to someone if he doesn't even drink wine, like a Muslim.

3 upvotes
doady
By doady (6 months ago)

Apparently size, weight, price and lack of autofocus are not compromises.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

And when you drive your Ferrari F50 you’ll need to compromise.

No dirt roads, no parking lots with speed bumps, the paddle gear box doesn’t work real well in traffic–but it’s a better sports car than anything that Honda or Toyota have ever sold–including the Acura NSX.

Here the Zeiss is the Ferrari, and Nikon is Honda.

So for colour subtlety and sharpness this Zeiss doesn't compromise in the fashion say a good Nikon lens does, however the Nikon sure does AF, while the Zeiss not.

4 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (6 months ago)

Ferraris are useless on anything but race tracks. And if you already have to PAY for your lens -- might as well go with the Nikon instead of the Zeiss. Just sayin'....

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Francis--

The Zeiss is not useless in many conditions. People drive Ferraris on rural highways all the time.

If you care about colour, you'll go with the Zeiss in a second. If you care about driving on dirt roads, go with the Honda.

0 upvotes
acidic
By acidic (6 months ago)

The price differential hardly makes the improvement in color worth it for most. Especially when factoring in weight and size. I could, for example, create custom calibration settings in my raw converter for each of my Canikon lenses to deal with colors that are "not-as-good-as-Zeiss" and have them automatically applied to my images as appropriate.

The target market for this Zeiss are not working pros, but are lens fetishists and people with money to burn. In fact, I suspect that a significant chunk of these lenses that are sold will be purchased by rich folks who wouldn't know good color if it bit them in the groin.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

acidic:

Spoken like someone who has never used a good Leica or Zeiss lens.

Now you have a point if you don't particularly care about light and colour in your photos, a good Nikon lens is just fine.

Both Olympus and Fuji, in their own ways, begin to approach Zeiss and Leica in optical quality.

Then of course their's Schneider.

And last there's the Samsung NX 85mm F1.4 lens that is the equal of good Leica and Zeiss lenses, though probably not the most recent L+Zs.

So it's kind of a failure on the part of Canikon.

0 upvotes
Ron A 19
By Ron A 19 (5 months ago)

HowaboutRAW - what are you talking about?! The Lexus (Toyota) LFA and Nissan GT-R smoked ALL Ferraris ever run on the Nurburgring track, including the Ferrari Enzo:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_N%C3%BCrburgring_Nordschleife_lap_times

It is an incorrect analogy.

The zeiss is a ferrari and the nikon is a nissan gt-r. Identical or better performance with less flashy finish for 1/3 the price.

0 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (6 months ago)

I'm waiting for the "unboxing" review...

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

Is watching an "unboxing" review much better than a real strip tease show?

2 upvotes
Silat Shooter
By Silat Shooter (6 months ago)

First Review is out and WOW,!! This lens is the new benchmark.

http://diglloyd.com/articles/ZeissZ/ZeissZ-Otus-55f1_4.html

"Conclusions

Photographers looking for the very best in imaging quality need look no further. When everything is considered, the Zeiss Otus 55m f/1.4 APO-Distagon is without a doubt the finest lens ever produced for a 35mm SLR or DSLR (or rangefinder). It sets a new benchmark.

The Otus 55/1.4 APO-Distagon on a high resolution DSLR makes a strong challenge to medium format on total imaging quality (not just resolution). Moreover, in resolution terms, the 55/1.4 has ample reserves for a future 60/70/80 megapixel DSLR."

1 upvote
3dreal
By 3dreal (6 months ago)

Araxfoto has nikon-nikon-tilt-macro adapter. It is easy to find out why Zeiss was not allowed to produce the best for the public. because secret services wanted to have the best.

0 upvotes
PatMann
By PatMann (6 months ago)

Kudos to Zeiss for bringing this to market.

It's enough to tempt a person to switch to full frame, beef up that support system and work on the shot discipline, and to look for opportunities to shoot with a normal focal length lens, of all things.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (6 months ago)

They brought it to the marketplace because they want to make MORE MONEY, so they can pay their German workers for their well deserved 8-weeks vacation every year.

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

And here's something possibly far superior
=========================

http://diglloyd.com/articles/CoastalOptics60f4/

0 upvotes
Zdman
By Zdman (6 months ago)

Most likely especially if used for UV and IR as intended but... even more expensive and 3 stops slower.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

There are modern Zeiss T* lenses for the M system. Sold under that Zeiss Ikon name.

Not sure they’re still available, but they were made until recently.

It would be very hard to get this 55mm lens to work on an M mount body.

Here the link to the B+H Zeiss M mount lenses:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Zeiss&ci=8423&N=4288584243+4291107378

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

There are modern Zeiss T* lenses for the M system. Sold under that Zeiss Ikon name.

Not sure they’re still available, but they were made until recently.

It would be very hard to get this 55mm lens to work on an M mount body.

Here the link to the B+H Zeiss M mount lenses:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Zeiss&ci=8423&N=4288584243+4291107378

0 upvotes
Loreno Heer
By Loreno Heer (6 months ago)

wish they made them for M mount

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

There are modern Zeiss T* lenses for the M system. Sold under that Zeiss Ikon name.

Not sure they’re still available, but they were made until recently.

It would be very hard to get this 55mm lens to work on an M mount body.

Here the link to the B+H Zeiss M mount lenses:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Zeiss&ci=8423&N=4288584243+4291107378

0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (6 months ago)

Only certain parts of the lens assembly actually move to perform auto-focus - in auto-focus specifically designed lenses It usually takes an engineer to ground the discussion. As a professional, I'm not sure if this type of lens would be a "fit" for auto-focus. When using fast glass such as an 85 1.2 I find myself constantly turning it (the auto-focus switch) off so I can choose the exact area of selective focus. Great glass will be for now: large, heavy and expensive. This is the way things are until either the laws of physics change or there is a major breakthrough in materials/optical engineering.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
dstate1
By dstate1 (6 months ago)

These new lens names are hilarious. Will the cheaper lenses be named after less cool birds? When does the Woodpecker and the Fighting Cock come out? I might be able to afford those.

9 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

I'm waiting for the Turkey lens series, and the Chicken lens series.

2 upvotes
bronxbombers4
By bronxbombers4 (6 months ago)

I await the Goatsucker line.

1 upvote
hhcs
By hhcs (6 months ago)

A good way to bring the Dodo bird back.

1 upvote
Clint009
By Clint009 (4 months ago)

Apple did the same without affecting the quality and the sale of the product. :)

1 upvote
Neil Cleere
By Neil Cleere (6 months ago)

It is true that some well off hobbyists will purchase this lens just because of its specifications and the feel-good factor in using it....nothing wrong with that. I could even fit into that category myself but I actually have a need for it in the studio for product shots to replace my medium format setup. All professional product photography is done using manual focus and that is why this would not be an issue for me in buying this product. My main gripe is that Nikon's software for tethered shooting, Cameral Control 2 is very poor compared to Hasselblad and one or two others and that is enough to put me off buying this seemingly excellent optic. I congratulate Zeiss for their technical excellence and raising the bar. This may prompt Nikon to bring out an auto focus model of similar quality... after all the current Nikon glass cannot exploit the full potential of the D800E sensor and that needs to be addressed.

3 upvotes
moizes 2
By moizes 2 (6 months ago)

I am second to this. It is really rest to soul to read so responsible words of real professional. Neil, I am supporting EVERY word of yours! Nikon is too proud of itself to listening to anyone else, so they are 2 or 3 steps back now. Canon is even more, with its life-less optics. Zeiss is giving them a lesson!

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (6 months ago)

Do you plan to use f/1.4 on D800 (or other 35mm camera) for product photography?
If not, maybe Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 will work even better.
Hell, even dirt-cheap 50/1.8D works well when stopped down to f/8 which you probably need for DoF.

1 upvote
Andy0x1
By Andy0x1 (6 months ago)

No tilt, no shift, f/1.4, software for tethered shooting turns you off this lens? Are you joking? Is your whole post a joke?

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

Wouldnt one of the pce nikkors make like 100 percent more sense for less than half the money?

1 upvote
Neil Cleere
By Neil Cleere (6 months ago)

I would never need a shift lens for product photography but the tilt functionality can be very useful but not as often as you may think. I use the Hasselblad universal tilt/shift device and it is very good. However, there is a magnification factor to consider which is annoying. I shoot products for very large displays such as exhibition stands and airport hoardings at least 8ft high and at that size you can see an enormous difference between medium format quality and the best that the D800E can offer. A 55mm Zeiss on its own of course could not replace the range of Hasselblad lenses I use but it is a very encouraging step to the beginning of a new range of lenses and it is something to look forward to. With regard to the comment about software not being an issue, it really is when speed is important. When you are in a studio with 50-100 unique high quality images to produce in a day ease of use is vital.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

the range of pc-e nikkors is very good some of the sharpest nikon lenses and they still make sense to buy even if you only tilt. i rather suspect most people only tilt. have you actually tried them on a d800. I know folks using them for this sort of thing. seems to be working pretty darn well. 1 55mm lens does not a profuct studio make. is this even a macro?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Kodachrome200:

The new Schneider tilt-shift lenses for 35mm DLSR bodies are likely a good bit optically better than the Nikon tilt-shift lenses.

Still not exactly clear why you bring up tilt-shift lenses, it’s not like there’s no use for a 1.4 55mm lens with excellent optics. To the best of my knowledge, there aren’t 1.4 tilt-shift lenses for DSLRs.

Colour matters to some, and good Zeiss lenses provide it, whereas Nikon doesn’t–no matter how “sharp”.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (6 months ago)

@ Neil Cleere...

A few years ago I tested teathering software for Nikon cameras and NKRemote was the one I found to be the fastest. It even teathered my old D200, something that Nikon's own software struggled with.

0 upvotes
swede76
By swede76 (6 months ago)

Lens porn.

3 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (6 months ago)

As i have written multiple times, two Zeiss managers(among them Dr. Hubert Nasse) told in an interview in a new german photo-magazine(not fotomagazin) that they were not allowed until recently to produce the best optics-for the public market. That alone is proving that we can expect something unique. One must have enlarged b+w negatives made with zeiss-optics to understand their performance.

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

What's the reason behind that restriction?

0 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (6 months ago)

Our little minds would explode ;)

1 upvote
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

Wow, that's mind blowing!

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

I wonder if Sigma are reworking their 50/1.4? ;-)

3 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (6 months ago)

In time, this will become the 'Zotus' range of lenses.

Dreamed of by many.

Some of you may get to fondle one through rentals or at the shop but alas a dream only for many like me.

I still think they should make an AF one. Then, like my dream of buying a Porshe, they will give me reason to buy one when I'm old and a bit blind. [it takes time to save for one!]

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

Better late than never.

Like Sex, if you have not tried it you don't know what you are missing. Its like telling a virgin to do it for the first time.

Unless one has not come of age yet.

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

white shadow, so I presume you have tried all drugs as well

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

@ wlad

Ha... Ha.!! Have a few pints of beer and a bottle of whisky instead.

Cheers!!

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

This is almost half the price of Leica's apo-Summicron-M 2/50 mm ASPH ($7,350/-) - is a whole stop faster, has less flare, and it fits on a Nikon or Canon body.

About 3x as heavy though.

Leica don't seem to have any problem selling that lens for nearly twice the money - so I expect Zeiss will do well with this.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

All this stuff about how you dont need AF is sort of misguided. modern cameras are not designed to be manually focused. without using live view or the focus confirmation light your not going to get tac sharp focus. certainly you wont be able to manually focus on the fly the way you were able to with old school SLRs

5 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (6 months ago)

"modern cameras are not designed to be manually focused."

Maybe they should. There's a lot of fine manual offerings to choose from.

This item looks very high up on the shelf due to the price.

1 upvote
Preternatural Stuff
By Preternatural Stuff (6 months ago)

Maybe that's cos you all are stuck on the old paradigm of optical view finders.

Heard of focus peaking? Electronic viewfinders ...

5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

sorry but focus peaking isnt exact enough for there to be any resolution benefit to this lens

1 upvote
Powerdoc
By Powerdoc (6 months ago)

I own to zeiss distagon (the zeiss 35 and the zeiss 21) : each one allow focus confirmation.
without focus confirmation, it will be very difficult to have a prefect focus without a stigometer.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

witch to me if you are gonna use af points and digital confirmation it sucks that it doesn't just focus it for you. also there is to much play in that af confirm light to possible se any resolution advantage to using this lens. you'd have to use magnified live view

0 upvotes
Zdman
By Zdman (6 months ago)

For a lens like this you can buy a ground glass focus screen that will allow you to see 1.4. Some of the newer ones even allow split screen that low.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

first i dont want to screw up my camera by pulling out the screen with the af points that the camera can show me where i am focusing for just one lenses benefit. second i dont believe you can for most FF cameras including the d800

1 upvote
Eleson
By Eleson (6 months ago)

I'd say this works fine with modern cameras :)
Elderly, OVF based however ...

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (6 months ago)

The nikon focus confirmation works with ZF.2 lenses. Its pretty cool how it shows direction arrows either side of the confirmation light telling you which way to rotate the lens. Then if you shoot past the focus confirmation light, the other arrow lights up telling you to rotate the focus ring the other direction.

I love the zeiss lenses and use them alot, but yeah to make them perfect, they need to incorporate AF

0 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (6 months ago)

The real question is, will it come with a special lens cap beautifully machined out of a solid billet of aluminum (which, judging by its cost, will have a couple of groups of aspherical optics in it too)?

Such a lens cap would be an essential accessory (it won't come with the lens) to deliver adequate protection and a reassuring tactile user experience with the optic. Last but not least should be an upgraded version of the cardboard box accessory - there should be multiple versions made with photos of iconic photographers and their work. Collect them all!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

The lens caps for the "regular" Zeiss (ZF, ZE) lenses are terrible.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Boring, go buy yourself a new Noctilux. The Nocti likely has better colour and of course is faster.

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (6 months ago)

Look at the lens diagram above. The rear element is aspherical. Therefore a rear lens cap will protect the aspherical element. Looks like the aspherical surface is located at the front of the element. The low dispersion glass (6 of them!) are all located inside (none on the outside), so they are well protected.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

Alec: No one got the joke.

People have fallen for Onion stories.

4 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (6 months ago)

Misha: LOL yeah. Funny and sad.

2 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

I like onions by not necessarily in my images. They sure taste good though. ;)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

misha:

Sorry you missed it when I wrote: "Boring"; that's boring joke, we've all seen before. Stop distracting from what is very likely an extraordinary lens.

0 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

"Stop distracting from what is very likely an extraordinary lens."

Perhaps you've heard of free speech? I'm sure it's extraordinary, and it has a place in cinematography, where screens are the size of a wall. However, most togs here never print larger than 11x14, and the majority never larger than 8.5x11. In a double blind print test at those two sizes, I'm willing to wager the best a panel could do is 50/50, which is random.

The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera is under $1,000, and produces 4K images with 13 stops of dynamic range. On the largest flat panel screen, no one can tell the difference between that and this $4000 lens.

I have compared cat portraits taken with this $4000 lens and my Fuji E550. I challenge anyone to say that Zeiss is worth 3,900% more.

http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2013/10/zeiss-4000-55mm-otus-lens.html

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

misha:

So you saw some jpegs from this lens, who cares?

Not telling you that you can't think your thoughts, just that your ideas about optical quality are wrong--see that's how free speech works.

And still better Zeiss lenses help with high ISO work, a point you've yet again ignored.

Then since you're going by what some blog posted about a lens that has not shipped, you haven't really seen images from this lens.

By your own admission, you had stroke, I'm willing to bet that may have affected your vision.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

misha:

So I looked at that link to the cat photos. Um you do your case no good by linking tiny jpegs. (Which for tiny jpegs look excellent.)

Raws or nothing. Not some excuse.

0 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

@HowAbout:

"By your own admission, you had stroke, I'm willing to bet that may have affected your vision."

I had an EEG 3 months after, and 2 years after. Both were normal, without qualification. I go to workshops at a studio. The owner calls me when she has a client that requires 2 togs.

"Raws or nothing. Not some excuse." On that, I agree.

I repeat my challenge, with a modification: A double blind print test, 1600 ISO, 16x20 prints made from raw, Zeiss Otus vs Sigma 50mm, four apertures: 1.4, 5.6, 8, 16. FF dSLR, DPR's choice. The panel would be everyone who works at DPR's Seattle office.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

misha–

I don’t think the health testing you mention would tell you if your stroke limited your colour vision.

That’s a good photo test you propose, provided the picture is not something in brilliant daylight and the raw extraction software is set the same and of course it’s the same camera body.

However, I can be pretty certain that the Sigma would fail, not because Sigma makes horrid lenses just because they don’t have a lot of colour subtlety.

(Ironically in the case of Sigma, a way around this problem is to use a Sigma body with a Foveon sensor, but then you can’t shoot at ISO 1600–and still something is different about that kind of colour subtlety than that from a good Zeiss on say a Nikon D800.)

0 upvotes
Apewithacamera
By Apewithacamera (6 months ago)

If I get this lense I'll need a good uv protector filter wood a tiffen or Hoya be ok?

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

Don't put a filter on it. Just keep the lens hood on it. That's plenty enough protection. It'd be a shame to put a cheap Hoya or Tiffen filter on this lens. At least use higher quality B+W Filters.

1 upvote
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (6 months ago)

You should put a German B+W filter on it, even though the lens is probably not made in Germany but in Japan.

2 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

Use Zeiss UV filter. They make excellent filter too. You can't go wrong with the original filter. It might be cheaper than B&W.

Since they are selling filters now, I have stop buying all other brands.

Even my spectacle lenses are Zeiss. They have a certain clarity in them that is hard to explain. The good thing is it is just slightly more expensive than Hoya.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (6 months ago)

B+W filters are made by Schneider and they use Schott (Zeiss) glass.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Anastigmat:

Didn't know Zeiss and Schott are the same. Does Zeiss also supply the nano MRC coating for newer B+W filters?

2 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (6 months ago)

C'mon, guys...

2 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (6 months ago)

this lens will kick serious glutus maximus on my LUNAR Mark III

6 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

$4000 for a nifty fifty that fails to be nifty? Can't wait for independent test results.

1 upvote
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

"$4000 for a nifty fifty that fails to be nifty?"

Nor is it thrifty.

3 upvotes
Chris_in_Osaka
By Chris_in_Osaka (6 months ago)

"$4000 for a nifty fifty that fails to be nifty?"

"Nor is it thrifty."

I don't know, the whole thing sounds kind of shifty.

4 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

Shifty is better than shitty.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

And the fact I can't afford it is making me kind of mift-y.

1 upvote
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

How many aperture blades? circular? Don't have the money to buy this thing, just interested in knowing it.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

It has to be circular. that like asking ifa lexus has antilock brakes

1 upvote
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

Yeah, that my assumption as well. Just wanna be sure.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (6 months ago)

One main reason why this lens could not be made as an AUTOFOCUS lens, as some have asked why, is the glass.

Just look at the cross section image showing the 12 elements.

No AUTOFOCUS motor ever built could move those ton of bricks fast enough.

2.14 Pounds (.970 Kilograms)

With great glass comes potentially great images.

.

4 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

more importantly there is no PD autofocus out there that actually is accurate enough to see any benefit from using a lens like this i would suspect

0 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

Don't be silly, Canon and Nikon make AF lenses that make this thing look like mini league. It would be EASY to AF the glass.

3 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (6 months ago)

The Sigma 200-500 F/2.8 weighs 15700g and is autofocus and IS. Certainly the weight of a lens is not an impediment to be autofocus.

2 upvotes
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

You're naive if you think that: A) an AF motor would have to move all 12 elements ("those ton of bricks") in order to focus, and B) that an in-lens AF motor couldn't be engineered to focus this lens.

A) not all elements in a lens are moved in order to focus the lens. The lens motor wouldn't be moving all 12 elements, nor would it be moving the entire 2.14lbs of the lens's weight. Plus, when you manually focus this lens, I doubt you'll feel that it is strenuous to turn the manual focus ring. Why? Because you're not moving all 12 elements when turning the manual focus ring!

B) far larger lenses with far larger lens elements do have AF motors that focus these heavy lenses just fine. In-lens motor technology has come a long way since the early days of AF.

7 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (6 months ago)

Zeiss is for a different kind of user, folks whom don't need autofocus, and would rather go all manual. Studios, landscape and well, control freaks (sure). Adding the wiring, boards and motors (including the clearance to fit) would make the lens unnecessarily larger and heavy, and most likely be the first 55mm to require a tripod mount. Crazy.

Just because I might be inclined to buy one, doesn't mean I have good reasons for and do use EF lenses for sports, action, and things this lens would not be a good fit.

Think about it this way. I shoot product in the studio, will spend hours loading in, setting up and building a shoot. I want that shot to be perfect edge to edge. Otherwise, I'm gonna get a scolding from a pixel peeping graphic designer to come back and shoot it again. The last decade has seen a steady climb in DSLR resolution, and it's high time for the lenses to catch up, and Zeiss is gonna be there for me when I upgrade.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

@ Ferling.

You are absolutely right. I am really looking forward to see a full test report on this lens. Knowing Zeiss, they know what they are doing. All the recent Zeiss lenses, namely, the 15mm f2.8 and the 135mm f/2.0, are super excellent. If one think they are expensive or lack auto-focus, then it is not for you.

Currently, I am using the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Macro for the 50mm focal length. It is absolutely a gem. This new lens should out do it by a margin and the result should be incredible.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (6 months ago)

Thanks T3 for being the voice of reason here; it usually takes an engineer to ground the discussion. I'm not sure if this lens would be a "fit" for autofocus. When using fast glass such as the 85 1.2 I find myself constantly turning it off so I can choose the exact area of selective focus. Great glass will be for now: large, heavy and expensive. This is the way things are until either the laws of physics change or there is a major breakthrough in materials/optical engineering.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Andy0x1
By Andy0x1 (6 months ago)

Zeiss leaves AF to the big boys. This is more of a gritty, you're good enough, you're smart enough, feel good lens.

It's better to not say anything and be thought of as an idiot, than to AF, I mean 'open your mouth' and remove all possible doubt.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zdman
By Zdman (6 months ago)

Didn't Zeiss say something about the PDAF technology only being available to Japanese manufactures some time back?

1 upvote
bronxbombers4
By bronxbombers4 (6 months ago)

Ever look inside the 85 1.2L? That has AF. This lens looks to be awesome optically, fully APO, freaking sharp corners on FF at f/1.4! But price....ooo. And lack of AF man that is a bit rough, especially with the horrendous VF in cameras these days.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

I know its good but there is a question of diminishing returns. The Nikkor 50 F1.8 G is actually a superlative lens the will out perform most lens being used for by pro photographers today. This is 20x the price. Even if it was 20x better is there a need for a 20x better lens here. I dont doubt its great. but personally Id rather have my light autofocusing nifty fifty on most shoots. We have 50mm lens now because photographers prefer the framing of 50mm lens to 55mm and 58mm lenses. However 55mm lenses have always been better than 50mm so one has to ask how much less would the difference be if nikon made a 55mm 1.4 with autofocus for like $500. Again even if it was 8x better could the human eye tell it was 8x better. I mean at a certain point something has to become sufficent. We also found years ago in photography that photographers preffered 50s even with the diminished image quality. there is no reason to suspect this isnt still true

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

"I know its good but there is a question of diminishing returns."

That is exactly my point.

http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2013/10/zeiss-4000-55mm-otus-lens.html

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

The key for this question is - "is it good enough?" If 50mm F1.8(I have one, it's superb) is good enough for you, then why not. If cellphone is good enough, why not.

But for those who want the best, even by a small margin, will get the best. With the assumption that he has the money, of course.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

but there is a point where i seriously doubt anyone can tell the difference

0 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

To most Zeiss owners, the logo on the lens and info in the Exif is all that matters.

2 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (6 months ago)

@wlad,

I was also quite sceptical of Zeiss' reputation. Until I actually tried their lense. They really render very nuanced & beautiful images. There are people who will pay for that look and as with anything, it's always a question of diminishing returns.

If you're happy with the quality you have then stick with that. Some people want more, even by a little bit, they will pay signifigantly more.

Price has never been an impediment for people who want even an extra 1% more quality.

0 upvotes
Powerdoc
By Powerdoc (6 months ago)

the difference is at F1;4. The nikon 1,8 does not work at 1;4.
This zeiss, is the best lens at F1;4. the lack of purple fringing will give fantastic night bokey.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

there is a nikon 1.4 g of course i just dont think it is as good

0 upvotes
Zdman
By Zdman (6 months ago)

I'm pretty sure the latest Ferrari is 20x more expensive than the latest Honda Civic. The Honda is probably more car than anyone ever really needs. Ferrari is still sellin cars though.

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

well, except that Zeiss just adds after-market spoilers and bumper stickers to the Civic, and sells it for a fortune.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

While I like Zeiss to introduce this new range of lenses, I prefer the design of the ZE version.

Will look forward to test reports on this lens.

1 upvote
jackpro
By jackpro (6 months ago)

come on make it an autofocus & I will buy it

0 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

"make it an autofocus & I will buy it"

That would cut into Zeiss' margins. It's the commercial version of sour grapes.

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

You probably have to pay another USD3000 for the AF.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (6 months ago)

Otus, whooooooooooooo............hooooooooooooooo?

1 upvote
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (6 months ago)

Whooooooooo Whoooooooo has the dollars or lack of sense for a 5% image improvement for 500% more money? For that money you could buy your wife some new hooters and get a lot more bang for your buck ;)

4 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (6 months ago)

I seen the comparisons, this lens has as much sharpness and contrast at f1.4 than the nikon 50mm f1.4G has at f5.6.

2 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (6 months ago)

sharpness and contrast is better, for sure. But the other things are questionable. Check official Flickr samples.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

plasnu--

Flickr is posting raws now?

2 upvotes
Ron A 19
By Ron A 19 (6 months ago)

It's official - new dream lens.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

there is no official data on the quality of the lens yet.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

MTF and other data:
http://lenses.zeiss.com/content/dam/Photography/new/pdf/en/downloadcenter/datasheets_otus/otus_1455.pdf

2 upvotes
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (6 months ago)

I can buy a heck of a lot of canon L lenses for that. It might be really great, but out of my price range. Also, how come no autofocus? Zeiss has AF on sony.

1 upvote
Don Kiyoti
By Don Kiyoti (6 months ago)

Didn't you read the article?

"The smooth focus operation with the large angle of rotation allows for the finest variations when focusing — qualities that are only possible in a metal barrel. Its design as a manual focus lens allowed the engineers to work with much smaller tolerances during the construction."

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

The Zeiss lenses for Sony are made by Sony, some made in Thailand.

I think Zeiss do not believe in auto-focus as in most of their lenses. I am using Zeiss ZE lenses for a while and I find their manual focus to pose no problems on DSLRs, even with APS-C sensors.

Using manual focus means one do not have front or back focus problems as some experience in Sigma lenses. One just have to get used to it.

If one is doing professional video, manual focus is the order of the day. Only amateurs always complaint there is no auto-focus.

3 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

"Only amateurs always complaint there is no auto-focus."

I had a stroke at 49 - a hereditary aneurysm, which caused the worst stroke survivable. It took 2 years for the diplopia to subside.

Don't be intolerant.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

misha,

No one is saying that AF can't help sometimes. Nor is anyone saying that you personally shouldn't use it.

There was a whole world of photograph before AF. If you need it, by all means use it.

You're also the one in these comments who seems to think that good Sigma lenses are optically the equal of good Zeisses. (I'm sorry but I think you've given a clear answer as to why you'd think that way.)

1 upvote
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (6 months ago)

I unapologetically use autofocus for ALL my shots and when I shoot video on my camcorder. It's way more professional to get the shot and use all the tools at your disposal than to suffer with no AF. It's not like we have split prisms in our cameras. Besides, that's really beside the point. For $4,000 you can buy a Canon 50mm 1.2 and something else. If the lens was $1,000 I'd probably buy it and play with it, then sell it at a loss and stick with my Canon 50mm 1.2.

Regarding Sigma, the USB dock leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If they start giving it away for free with the lens or integrating a USB port into the lens then I would feel differently.

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

You can buy even more Tamron lenses for that.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Ninja:

There sure can be a lot hunting using AF with video, not always but a real issue.

And the 50mm F1.2 Canon simply won't have this Zeiss' colour subtlety.

I thought ninjas were about the power of the subtle use of subtlety--guess not at least in this case.

0 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (6 months ago)

white shadow, Zeiss SONY optics are made by Zeiss and assembled/QAd by Zeiss. SONY provides certain non-optical parts.

The "we need it to be non-AF to maintain tolerances" argument is circa 1980s.

1 upvote
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (6 months ago)

I study Japanese hard style Shotokan karate, it's pretty in your face. I tried Ninjutsu, but it's for younger people than me, it was too hard on my body. Still, photo ninja sounded better than photo shotokan.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Photo Ninja--

How about PictureCode? They sell various raw extraction programs with Ninja in the name: NoiseNinja, and recently PhotoNinja.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

@ Alec

You are right. Zeiss make the optics. They are an optical company. Sony make the auto-focus mechanism, barrel and other electronic parts. The overall lens design is Zeiss assembled by Sony with Zeiss QC.

As for the other non-Zeiss Sony lenses, most likely Sony get their optics from other optic suppliers like Hoya. Sony is a electronic company. They are good in what they are doing like sensors, LED / LCD panels and circuit boards etc.

Glass and optics is a very specialised ball game. Zeiss has been at it for more than a hundred years. If one is a manufacturer, get the best from the best and not try to re-invent the wheel.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

right, the mysterious fancied "Zeiss color subtlety", that no test can ever measure ...giving the edge to Zeiss lenses ever since marketing was invented.

1 upvote
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (6 months ago)

I just saw a video on BH via youtube about this lens...sounds pretty neat!

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

wlad:

Actually this colour subtlety is pretty easy to measure with your eyes. It's not really in dispute. And no not every lens with the name Zeiss on it is always extraordinary.

And these extraordinary Zeiss lenses make high ISO work a lot better than say using a Nikon ED lens.

Either you've not used one of these lenses, I have on many occasions, or for whatever reason your vision is limited.

It's not like anybody is saying Honda makes bad cars, but no one claims driving a Honda Accord is akin to driving a BMW M3, and then no one says that the M3 can match a Ferrari F50. Good Canikon optics here would be a lower level BMW, not the M3.

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (6 months ago)

Checked the samples at Flickr. The contrast and sharpness are super, but the color and micro contrast is not so good.

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (6 months ago)

Without a comparison picture from other lens, it's hard to tell.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (6 months ago)

Ture. But honestly I'm a bit skeptical. Let's see,

0 upvotes
moizes 2
By moizes 2 (6 months ago)

Do not understand some of posts here. People are paying well above $3000, even close to $4000, for mint Noct 58/1.2, which lost its "bite" on sensors, soft wide open with CA, needs to be closed 2-3 steps, but steel low-contrast, colorless lens today. I've both of them, old bitten-to-death 7-bladed, and brand new 9-bladed version, so trust me, I know, what I am talking about. New Zeiss will be universes better of every respect, for the same price, with electronic confirmations of almost everything, so what is so wrong with price? Who wants the best lens today, or who really needs it, will pay!

12 upvotes
Great Bustard
By Great Bustard (6 months ago)

And then Sigma comes out with a 50 / 1.4 "Art" a little later that is nearly as good, or perhaps even better, with AF and at 1/5 the price. : )

7 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Not likely.

Actual Japanese made lenses by a Japanese camera maker which come pretty close to Leica and Zeiss cost a lot more than $800 a piece. (Aint Fuji.)

3 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (6 months ago)

Another interesting comparison would be with the recently launched Sony/Zeiss Planar T* 50 F1.4 ZA SSM.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

I think this Zeiss should worth a grand, for 1 gram = 1 US.
maybe more if people say "wow" like see a new Sigma,
probably they will.

the distance/dof meter looks really cheap.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PVMcKay
By PVMcKay (6 months ago)

While it's very likely that Sigma will introduce a 50mm "Art" with excellent quality vs price, one doubts that this lens will be able to hold up, as FX DSLR's move up into the 50mp, 65mp, and 80mp ranges. This is where the Zeiss will continue to deliver.
What's amusing, with all of the whining, and doubting Thomas's, is that they have obviously never worked in the (motion picture) film industry. Complex, top performing cinema glass has always cost tens of thousands of $$$. There is a real cost for obtaining optical superiority, and there is a real use for those who can, and do make use of every last ounce, that a masterpiece of glass can deliver.

0 upvotes
PVMcKay
By PVMcKay (6 months ago)

Truth be told, most people will never have a need for a lens of this rarified quality. Decent modern glass, and state of the art software, means that one can get very good results for most purposes. Don't be threatened, though, with the arrival of a peak performer like this Zeiss. It's very talented, and skilled artists, at the top of their game, who will appreciate, and understand how to extract every last ounce of excellence that this lens offers.

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

@ PVMcKay

Well said.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

@ PVMcKay:

All true, except this Zeiss will make getting colour subtlety much easier, and good Zeiss lenses already make high ISO work better and easier than the offerings from Canikon.

So one doesn't need some extra special skill to get more out of this lens--it's not like driving some exotic car or sailing some exotic sail boat.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (6 months ago)

I'm wondering if this misses the mark really.

While superior performance is required with today's sensors (and tomorrows) it's rarely required for a full frame corner to corner wide open approach at this focal and also this aperture. most treasured lenses in this focal length were anything but treasured for their sharpness - but more for their rendering and bokah.

to placate the masses that are measurabators this certainly will do well. it will probably also be the "new standard" for sensor resolution testing,etc.

that all being said, i'll certainly look forward to the APO 35/21/24 that Zeiss may create for this line - because if the performance is matched, then the ultimate landscape lenses are certainly with this line.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
nelsonal
By nelsonal (6 months ago)

I suspect the mark is closer to 80mm f/2.8 lenses.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

80mm f/2.8 lenses for 645 cameras are merely 50mm f/1.7 equivalents, so a different category. this is the reason why 135 format SLRs are favored over 120 ones, except stopped down, long exposure landscapes and macros.

0 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (6 months ago)

Love the name "Otus". In my mother tongue, Finnish, "otus" means a weird-looking creature. :-)

6 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

I repeat:

I challenge DPR to a double-blind print test; this Zeiss vs. the Sigma 50/1.4.

Four aperatures: 1.4, 5.6, 8, 16. Print size 16x20.

2 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (6 months ago)

This would actually be interesting to see.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

I think Sigma may bring up a new prime soon.

1 upvote
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

"I think Sigma may bring up a new prime soon."

I am willing to predict a Sigma Art 50/1.4, <$1K US.

Also, in my print challenge, any FF dSLR. DPR's choice.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

mis-

These are boring challenges. I challenge you not to notice the difference and the significant lack in a good Sigma lens–assuming the print quality is the same. At base ISO in bright daylight you may not see as much difference, but that’s not the real world of photography

It’s not that Sigma lenses are bad, it’s just that they’re not this good, nor are Canikons.

And a point you keep ignoring: on say a Nikon D4, good Zeiss lenses make the camera vastly better to shoot with at higher ISOs than even the best Nikon lenses.

The real challenge would be one of the super high quality telephotos from Olympus, for the 4/3s system, but then it’s the wrong focal length and one can’t mount them on the same bodies.

3 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

please provide high ISO RAW examples supporting this Zeiss mantra that you keep repeating.

A 1.4 lens is a 1.4 lens, and since Zeiss lenses have the same Transmission as every other lenses, they provide absolutely no benefit for high ISO shooting over any other lenses with the same max aperture.

Stop comparing f1.4 Zeiss primes to slow $200 kit zooms.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

wlad:

I don't share my raw files. (Clearly you don't realize one can't simply email most raws either.)

You have no idea of what your write, by your argument there's been no improvement in optics in the last 50 years.

And don't make up lies, that's lies, about me using "kit zooms" as a comparison. No that would be the 85mm F1.4 Nikon that just can't keep up at higher ISOs. The $2000 Nikon 70mm-200mm also fails. While the Zeiss excels on the same body.

If you don't want to do the test, then don't make claims.

You clearly are going by scoring, it's a really unstable position for you to be in.
Blah, blah blah, "light transmission" this that the other.

Good lenses, not just from Zeiss, also help with higher ISO work; that's Fuji, Olympus, Leica, Samsung and irony Samsung ships an optically excellent "kit zoom", the cheap one, Fuji's is excellent too.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

It is YOU, who claims that Zeiss lenses perform better at high ISO than every other lenses - so it's YOUR resposibility to prove it.

Prove that f1.4 Zeiss lenses beat the current generation of f1.4 lenses from Nikon/Canon. Or just STFU.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

wlad:

I don't have to "prove" it to you. I've already proven the point to myself.

As for your claims about good F1.4 lenses from say Nikon, again I don't have to "prove" it to you. I've already tried some of those lenses and they don't match the colour subtlety of Zeiss or Leica lenses.

You can do the test yourself, but until you choose to do so you're not in a really strong position. Unlike my assertions, which others back, you're not standing on real solid ground.

Stop quoting scores and use gear.

I'm not going to just "shut the fxxk up" to satisfy your need to think yourself "correct". You aint.

0 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

but of course, since you can't prove your imaginary better high ISO performance (which btw does have nothing to do with a lens, and everything to do with the sensor), you return to your "Zeiss color subtlety" mantra.

Well guess what, if you can't measure the difference, then those are your own subjective preferences so stop claiming nonsense like "Zeiss performs better at high ISO". It does not, because it has the same Transmission number.

Your logic is in the sense of "I like blue cars, so cars having every other color are worse".

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

wlad:

Stop quoting “transmission number” scores.

It’s quite clear to anybody with decent eyesight that good Zeiss+Leica lenses transmit light better than ostensibly good Canikon lens–no matter what some stupid test says. If you can’t find a camera and lens to test with your eye, try binoculars–though Canikon is kind of joke, a better test would be Zeiss/Leica/Meopta against good Pentax binoculars.

You clearly haven’t used good Zeiss lenses and therefore are in no position to back up your claims. I understand that’s why you keep quoting scores, you have nothing else. Scores are next meaningless; at this level of performance they don’t distinguish a good lens from an extraordinary lens.

And the claim that high ISO performance is only about the sensor is laughable. Clearly you’ve never used a Leica M9 with a good M lens. Better lenses improve sensor/film performance.

For sports car performance, not say endurance off road, a Ferrari F50 will out perform all Hondas.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (6 months ago)

Why this Zeiss is so heavy?

Most probably because its design uses just ONE aspherical* surface! As a consequence of this meager approach, the Zeiss designers couldn’t employ the simpler Planar structure. They had no choice but to use the much more complex structure of a 12-element Distagon in order to achieve a superior correction of the aberrations.

(*) Today, mass-production lenses can have as many NINE aspherical surfaces.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Karaya
By Karaya (6 months ago)

Well, there are aspherical lens elements and then there are aspherical lens elements. This Zeiss may be sporting a ground glass aspherical rear element. Less expensive lenses with many such elements may only be using inferior molded plastic elements.

1 upvote
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (6 months ago)

Today, all major Japanese optical and camera manufacturers (e.g. Nikon, Canon, Sigma, etc.) produce their high-quality aspherical by Precision Glass Molding (PGM) :
http://www.nikon.com/about/technology/rd/core/optics/aspherical_lenses_e/index.htm

Even Panasonic, which is not a primary optical company, has a modern PGM facility at the Yamagata factory.

Since the molds for PGM are very expensive, PGM is economically feasible only for high-volume production. It is unfortunate for Zeiss that produces relatively few lenses per year. No surprise, therefore, that the number of aspherical surfaces in each Zeiss lens design has to be limited to one or two.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (6 months ago)

Zeiss, just put an apple logo on it and people will say ""shut up and take my money.""

2 upvotes
misha marinsky4
By misha marinsky4 (6 months ago)

"Take my money for something that will be obsolete in 6 months."

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

that's exactly what they are doing, except the Zeiss logo is worth much more than the Apple logo

0 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov
By Yanko Kitanov (6 months ago)

This is ridiculous the CoS of this item is TIMES less and when it gets compared to good HQ glass from Sigma, Nikkor and Canon it will even lag behind in terms of IQ....take my word and check DxO in a month...not to mention the ultra fast and accurate AF of the others... Well the farce goes on. ;)
The most lovely Tomioka/Cosina 55mm f/1.2 goes for the price of the focusing ring of this 1kg heavy GUN

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
String
By String (6 months ago)

A Corolla and a 911 are both cars. You sit in them both, can get groceries with both of them and drive both of them to work. Hell the Toyota is probably more reliable. So Porsche (and Zeiss) should stop making high end products because you say "its ridiculous"? That makes a whole lotta sense...

7 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

The difference is not that huge. It's more like one is a Corolla, and the other is a Corolla with aftermarket spoilers.

0 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov
By Yanko Kitanov (6 months ago)

Again photo-cars comparison, it is pathetic. Look the 911 is the Canon L and Pro Nikkor FX not the Zeiss, the Zeiss is a tuned Rover 75 for the price of a Veyron.

1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (6 months ago)

While $4000 is a bunch of money, Leica has all sorts of lenses that cost more and won't go on your Canon or Nikon.

I am sure they will still sell quite a few as the people who buy them do not mix with the rest of us.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

Leica 50mm f/2 Apo Summicron $7,350.00

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dimit
By Dimit (6 months ago)

Aesthetically,the most beautifull baby (sorry,big baby) I've ever seen,beauty!
If it gets what it says,it's a good motive to push all Asian made stuff push up design and quality.
Let's face it: A Ferrari is always better than a Nissan,no matter if somebody can afford it or not!
Looking forward for other focal lengths to come,as I'am not highly interested in 50ish..too easy!
I've got 2 zisses,what I can say for sure is that the colour rendering is over and above all the rest.
Once upon a time we thought that lens investment was about to last for ever.Now,with all this high resolution thing it seems that we hace to reconsider.
As a footnote; Let someone say-after thoroughfull tests-that this will be a mediocre IQ lens..I have the feeling that there won't be any..quality costs!

1 upvote
Siddharth
By Siddharth (6 months ago)

Assuming I do win a lottery or a bag of $4000 falls on my head..and I buy this lens..
But how do I manual focus with my 5Dm3? Its too painful...
Hope Canon takes out 50 1.2L II

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Get a split screen. And enjoy the better colour than the F1.2 Canon.

2 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (6 months ago)

Split screen for the 5D 3, not from Canon you won't. It's not supposed to be replaceable.

0 upvotes
jackpro
By jackpro (6 months ago)

6D takes manual focus screens not 5DIII

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

Use the Canon 5D Mk2 like I do. If one is using manual focus, the Mk2 is actually better. One can also change screen on the Mk2.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

thx1138:

Too bad about the 5D III, another reason not to buy it. Have you tried asking Canon if they can do the swap for you? I know some Nikons work that way--you have to send them to Nikon.

0 upvotes
CalBoy87
By CalBoy87 (6 months ago)

You can replace FS in 5M3 as well, just not as easy and you have to use 1D series screens

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

CalBoy87:

I thought thx1138 was probably wrong.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (6 months ago)

I do not think that this item wants to be a luxury item. Sure it is pricey as the design is complicated and the tolerances are most probably tighter than for other Zeiss lenses to meet the image performance.

I think this lens is supposed to say - "we at Zeiss can do the best lenses out there when it comes to optical performance"

Whether you need or even want this lens is entirely different question. And I agree that very few photographers need this lens. Similarly as very few photographers need Leica Noctilux ;)

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

Unlike Leica, Zeiss lenses are definitely not luxury for those who want and appreciate quality.

Those who have used Zeiss lenses will be convinced by its "look", quality finishing, bokeh and colour rendition.

So far, nothing can beat it. Unfortunately, they do not make telephoto longer than 135mm f2.0 yet.

0 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (6 months ago)

Agree, the Zeiss Ultra Primes are workhorses in the TV commercial industry. Well loved by cinematographers for it's sharpness & signature colour.

They're really good & robust. I don't think they intend it to be a luxury more than something people will use in that instance.

However, being so expensive, it really isn't going to sell a lot IMO and is going to get the luxury tag nevertheless.
Like buying a hummer and driving it in a city.

0 upvotes
RobertSigmund
By RobertSigmund (6 months ago)

I am so glad I never spent money on digilloyd! :-D

3 upvotes
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