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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
Langusta
By Langusta (6 months ago)

I just hope that this lens with 10x higher price tag than Sigma counterpart, can offer at least 10% increase in overall image quality
There are samples available and results look indeed great...just as one would expect from a quality, standard lens. I'm just curious, how much improvement will actually show up (real world / lab environment).
Latest, small sensor Zeiss line - Touit wasn't really stellar.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

For about 750usd, you can get a 50mm F1.4 manual focus Zeiss, and for colour, not sharpness, that old design will easily beat a new Sigma.

Have you looked at the pricing of the new German made Leica M lenses?

At least these lenses mount on a Nikon or Canon. And using Zeiss glass on say the Nikon D4 expands it’s high ISO capacity a good bit. (I assume the same is true for Canons.)

Finally: Touits, different creatures, and you have links to raws shot with them? Not real interested in lab reports, given that DXO can’t distinguish a very good lens from an extraordinary lens, those lab reports can be very misleading.

3 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (6 months ago)

Thing is that Otus here is also a "manual focus Zeiss", just not "750$".
If that suits you better - just compare the Otus against Zeiss you have mentioned.

Comparison to Leica M - totally different game, different company. Why not compare it with Zeiss 50 f0.7? At least the company is the same and that's a thing for some really " 'uncompromising professional' photographers" ;)

Touits are different creatures, true. I was not making comparison here, only pointing out a new kid in Zeiss portfolio; a direction in which is the Company going / what offers at the moment.
Test - DXO is just a synthetic rating...I suggest you check Touit results at lenstip.com. They were quite thorough.

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

Lang:

I'm perfectly happy to look at Toutit testing other than DXO, but also want to see raws. As best I can tell: LensTip did not post raws for me to download, so I'm not going to take their conclusions really seriously.

Why bring up a made up Zeiss 50mm F0.7, Leica makes a 50mm F1.4?

The point about the old Zeiss 50mm F1.4 was that it already has better colour than anything from Canikon or Sigma--though it's not as sharp as the best lenses from those companies.

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

Well, according to the evidence provided by Roger over at LensRentals, the Zeiss Touits are certainly better built than most lenses.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

plevyad:

Read what LensTips has to say about the Touits, there appear to be serious optical weaknesses with them.

However no raws to try myself.

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW

I won't read them for now, as I am not interested in those lenses at present. But I will do in due course as i think LensTips is a very good site.

Regards,
plevyadophy

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (6 months ago)

Same price as a Leica 50 f/1.4 Summilux, but without the beautiful knurled metal barrel.

But a $4000 normal lens?

This new Zeiss lens will probably do well as a rental. But most modern pro-grade lenses provide more than enough resolution and performance for even the most demanding applications so it's not clear to me why such a lens is even necessary.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Modern Nikon and Canon lenses can't touch good Leica and Zeiss lenses for colour subtlety.

A good Zeiss mounted on say a Nikon D4 or D800 significantly improves the high ISO performance of those bodies in comparison to Nikon "ED" glass.

6 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

True.
It's even more true once you realize that this lens is in fact able to cover medium format image circle, as this way they could maximize performance. So... yea... you don't really pay for average small Full Frame lens.

1 upvote
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (6 months ago)

The important aspect of this lens is that it is future-proof. When 50mp DSLR bodies start to show up, a lot of Canikon glass is going to limit the sensor. This won't, even wide open.

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

what's all this "future-proof" BS ? Zeiss lenses do not resolve any more detail than common pro 1.4 lenses from Canon/Nikon.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/405/%28lens2%29/391/%28brand1%29/Nikkor/%28camera1%29/792/%28brand2%29/Zeiss/%28camera2%29/792

1 upvote
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (6 months ago)

Which is because that is perhaps the most mediocre Zeiss offering in the entire ZE/ZF lineup.

Try the 135 f2 or this and be amazed

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (6 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW
Color Subtlety? Is that why there isn't a single Leica camera that beats the Nikon DSLRs for Color Depth on DxOMark?

Color Depth score
-----------------------

D800E 25.6 bits
D600 25 .1 bits
D7100 24.2 bits
Leica M 24 bits
Leica M-E 22.7 bits

As far as high ISO, aspherical elements, ED glass don't play any role in S/NR. Sensor and size of max aperture are only relevant here. But color and contrast of pro grade Nikkors and Canon glass is every bit as good as the competition.

@wlad
Glad to see someone isn't buying the myth of ALL Cosina Zeiss lenses being superior to Nikon or Canon glass.

The Zeiss ZF and ZE primes are frequently outperformed by the equivalent Nikkors and Canon lenses, i.e. 50 f/1.4, 85 f.1.4 Some are great, others not so much. Almost all are overpriced MF lenses that Zeiss has priced in the stratosphere using the "Zeiss" name and reputation of real German made Zeiss glass.

0 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

ZhanMInG12, oh please, so I need to check ONE specific Zeiss lens and compare this to the pro level Nikon/Canon lenses ?
Because a 35mm Zeiss is mediocre, somebody mentioned the current 50mm Zeiss lenses are mediocre as well, and based on DXO, the 25mm Zeiss lenses are no better than the 24mm 1.4G Nikon.
It seems that only those Zeiss lenses that have not been tested perform the best..

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

That is what I fully agree with HowaboutRaw. While leica in some cases shows a little bit more sharpness - a hair, maybe, Zeiss optics delivered higher color and contrast, what I, personally, prefer.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

marik:

DXO scores for lenses are next to useless, not quite as useless as the sensor scoring.

It's well understood that DXO lens scores can't distinguish between a good (Canikon/Sigma) and an extraordinary Zeiss, Leica, hell even Samsung.

Instead of quoting scores try using extraordinary lenses.

It has nothing to do with "German made", there were excellent Leica M lenses made in Canada. It has everything to do with certain lens makers clearly understand something more about light than Canikon.

Your claims about no improvement in high ISO performance when using Zeiss lenses are just ignorant, clearly you've not tried the test. Nor too note, did I say a thing about aspherical elements. So try not putting text into what I've written.

1 upvote
Infared
By Infared (6 months ago)

Whoooooooo?

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

don´t know you but i rather buy this..

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/748876-REG/Hasselblad_3023052_Wide_Angle_HC_50mm_II_F_3_5.html

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Well that's a medium format lens and it's only a Fuji lens.

I'm sure it's good, but you'll have a hard time getting it to work with you Nikon DSLR body.

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

you are still not clairvoyant kid.

i have no nikon DSLR (im a canon DSLR user) and i have medium format cameras too.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Henry:

Boring. And it's still just a Fuji lens you'd be trying to mount on your Canon.

Too bad about the sensors in Canon DSLRs.

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (6 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW.. "Well that's a medium format lens and it's only a Fuji lens." HC lenses are designed by Per Nordlund from Hasselblad,and Fuji make some of the best optics on the planet,movie lenses and military grade lenses.. besides Zeiss is mader by cosina in japan..I have used Zeiss lenses,and also HC lenses and HC glass is excellent

As for the HC 50mm mk2.. it has leaf shuuters and A.F,and stunning I.Q,I would take it over the Zeiss any day..

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

Scorpius1:

I have yet to see an ostensibly good Fuji lens that can match a good Leica or Zeiss.

Now, I won't claim to have used all Fujis, and nor do I make the claim that Fuji is a bad lens maker, but every time some one claims it equals a good Zeiss, I see something missing, well don't see.

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (6 months ago)

@ HowaboutRAW.. I have a lot of experience with HC glass.. the HCD28,the HC120 mk2,the 35-90mm and hc210 and hc300 are nothing short of excellent (I'm still waiting to try the HC150N),I know people that have purchased the new 50mm mk11 and its a very high performer.. there are tests that compare the HC glass to the old gassy/Zeiss glass and the HC is better in tests..

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Scorpius1:

A week late, but I'm not interested in testing results of the Fuji. Testing says that good Canikon lenses are the optical equal of good Leica and Zeiss lenses, when the Canikon lenses aren't even close.
Not bad lenses, but lacking.

I'm sure whatever Fuji is a good medium format lens. But Fuji still appears to lack something LeicaZeiss, even good Samsung lenses have. Schneider too.

0 upvotes
Rod McD
By Rod McD (6 months ago)

A kilogram and $4,000? While I don't doubt that it will be an excellent lens, I think I can live happily enough without it. There are after all, some excellent 50mm and 55mm lenses out there. Zeiss seem to have over-looked that size, weight and price are themselves a compromise. And do we really have to have lenses named after birds? What's next? Not a dodo, one suspects. A Hoopoe, an Emu or a Puffin? Anyone?

5 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (6 months ago)

the 50mm summicron APO is 1/3 the weight of this and awesome wide open.. pity its even more expensive

0 upvotes
Skytalker
By Skytalker (6 months ago)

Who wants to have a premium quality image will pay a premium price. Now of course I would like to see a MAJOR improvement over the classic 50mm lenses.
Next thing is how much difference will this make in day to day operations ?

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

The classic Zeiss manual focus 50mm F1.4 just wasn't particularly sharp when wide open.

Bet this one is.

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

"According to Zeiss it's named Otus after a type of owl known for its excellent vision in darkness."

Then it should be f/0.95. Of course, the price would be US $10,000.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

You still live in '80s? When lens aperture was perceived as a the most important quality indicator? I think we've learnt quite a bit since than.

1 upvote
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (6 months ago)

"You still live in '80s? When lens aperture was perceived as a the most important quality indicator? I think we've learnt quite a bit since than."

I think you missed the point. If it is named after an Owl with great night vision then the poster was simply saying the lens should e faster than F1.4 which is pretty normal on premium 50mm lenses these days. The original post is not linking lens speed to quality in the way you suggest.

I also agree with the notion if you are going to name it Otus for the reasons given I'd expect it to be faster. In fact it was the first thought that crossed my mind when I read that.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Oh... it's named after owl? I didn't know that. Well... it's fairy justified than. F/1.4 is considered ultra-bright - heck: just look at Nikon's description of it's 50 f/1.4 - it clearly states "ultra-bright".
Yes, every DSLR manufacturer offers 50 f/1.4 lens these days, but I can't see how does it make such lens less bright.

0 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (6 months ago)

Autofocus would be nice....it's 2013 :-)

15 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Put a split screen in your Nikon D4.

This lens isn't for sports action.

1 upvote
Langusta
By Langusta (6 months ago)

At least looks and price tag are contemporary...

1 upvote
KL Matt
By KL Matt (6 months ago)

I wonder if there is an autofocus system out there that would focus accurately enough at f/1.4 (where this lens is meant to be used) to give you the results you would be looking for with this lens. I doubt it. Designing this lens for autofocus (short throw focusing, lighter elements) would ruin everything it is about. If you want autofocus, there are plenty of 50mm options out there. This lens is about optics, not electronic helpers.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

"Designing this lens for autofocus (short throw focusing, lighter elements) would ruin everything it is about" - wow, finally someone who does realize that. I'm impressed.

1 upvote
jhinkey
By jhinkey (6 months ago)

What limits the ability to AF accurately with fast lenses wide open are the optical aberrations - i.e., they are not sharp enough wide open - even more so off center.
If this design really is super sharp wide open across the image it will be much easier for focus confirmation dots, split screens, live view, etc. to achieve accurate focus.
And if they had made it AF capable it would have to move as an entire group which is really slow. Otherwise they would have had to go with an internal focusing design which would have compromised the optics.

2 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (6 months ago)

Ah, I see now that it IS an internal focus design, however I think they are implying that all the elements after the 4th one move together, which is still a large mass of glass to move quickly.

The focusing scale looks to be more symbolic than accurate to me . . .

1 upvote
Cameracist
By Cameracist (6 months ago)

I look forward to side to side test with some of the history's best 50's:-)

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Leica Noctilux then. Or that newish Leica M F1.4.

There wasn't some better lens shipped by Leica or Zeiss in say 1975; the only competition would be really recent and really expensive and say "Leica M".

0 upvotes
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (6 months ago)

Just looking at the charts, the APO-summicron is 1. slightly sharper at f2 and f5.6 2. less distortion and vignetting. But it is an f2 lens.
Compared to the summilux asph, the Zeiss has less field curvature (even sharpness across the frame). At f5.6 performance looks about the same. But the Summilux also has less distortion.

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

@ ZhanMInG12

Leica's charts are based on lens design (i.e. theoretical).

Zeiss are known to produce their charts based on ACTUAL lens production.

Having said that though, Leica do get pretty close to their theoretical charts.

0 upvotes
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (6 months ago)

>75% corner light loss is ridiculous for a prime lens of this aperture. I have a summilux ASPH, and actual vignetting is about half that much wide open. I wouldn't be too optimistic with the T-value too, considering the number of elements used.

0 upvotes
Hauer
By Hauer (6 months ago)

Lens prices are really becoming absurd!

13 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Get a good Olympus 4/3s system telephoto lens for less that 3,000usd then.

Nikon and Canon should be embarrassed by the optical quality of their so called pro lenses.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

how about getting a job?

spamming again?

3 upvotes
forest23
By forest23 (6 months ago)

Will the zeiss be made in Taiwan or Cambodia ??

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (6 months ago)

And they're going to get worse ...

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

@Henry:

How about not making things up?

0 upvotes
RobertSigmund
By RobertSigmund (6 months ago)

Plus, it comes with a lens hood! :-D

5 upvotes
RobertSigmund
By RobertSigmund (6 months ago)

It has a nice DOF-scale! :-D

0 upvotes
rb59020
By rb59020 (6 months ago)

Here we go again, another Zeiss bashing session. Most of the readers here would have no problem blowing $800-$1000 on an unlocked iPhone5s that will be obsolete in six months.

What did you people do before the F3AF came out in '83? OMG! It's not autofocus! How am I supposed to take a photo without autofocus!?!

Whaaaaa!

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

"Most of the readers here would have no problem blowing $800-$1000 on an unlocked iPhone5s that will be obsolete in six months."

Excellent point. However, how much better are the images from this Zeiss, compared to the Sigma 50/1.4?

IOW, are the images 10x better? In a blind 11x14 test, would the panel do better than 50/50 - which is random?

FWIW, I have a Motorola Android.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Well, Zeiss mentioned that this is lens supportingly as sharp wide open as some of 50 f/1.4 are at f/5.6. So yes - I would call that 10 times better.

3 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (6 months ago)

Most iphone users spend 199$ at front and other expenses are ignored.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

so this Zeiss becomes instantly obsolete to match "no compromise" 1983 standard?

btw, I see "no compromise" in the 6 ED elements (less the number, higher the lens design skill).

0 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (6 months ago)

Well, I was a child, so not much. Why is everyone else in here a senior citizen?

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
scott_mcleod
By scott_mcleod (6 months ago)

Forgetting about the price for a moment...

35mm manual-focus SLRs had large bright high-mag VFs with screens that made focusing a fast lens a snap (maybe not so much with wides but still...)

More of an issue (IMO) is that the Otus 55 weighs about a kilo (just under in F-mount, just over in EOS), making it heavier than a D800/5DIII (compare the 50/1.2 AIS Nikkor at 360g or the 1.4 at 249g). How is anyone supposed to hand-hold a setup like that and *accurately* focus at f/1.4 with the dodgy focusing screens in DSLRs? Solution: use LV and a tripod. The run'n'gun spontaneity and all-round usefulness that made the fast 50mm FL popular just went right out the window.

I think this an extremely specialized lens that just happens to have a "normal" FF focal length, rather than being the ultimate incarnation of the standard lens (somewhat like the 50/0.7, just not as extreme), hence much of the confusion.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

misha--

The optical quality of Zeiss DSLR lenses is already a good bit better than anything from Canon, Sigma or Nikon.

Yes Canon, Sigma and Nikon can make sharp lens, but all of their lenses lack colour subtly.

A good reason for using a Zeiss lens on your DSLR is the significant improvement in high ISO performance afforded by the use of Zeisses over say a Nikon "ED" lens.

And to be clear today, "Motorola" is just a brand name. You have a Google phone with the Google open source operating system known as Android.

3 upvotes
Joachim Gerstl
By Joachim Gerstl (6 months ago)

odd-us

0 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (6 months ago)

Because premium primes at f/1.4 don't already exist?

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Not like this they don't, unless you're thinking of the Leica M.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (6 months ago)

Why Canon version does not have aperture ring - meaning the aperture changed electronically? But what about Nikon?

0 upvotes
Peter KT Lim
By Peter KT Lim (6 months ago)

Yes, from day 1 Canon EOS use electronic 'wire' move the aperture,however Nikon in-heritage the big family of all F lenses, so only the latest lenses aperture are move by electronically.

0 upvotes
SunnyFlorida
By SunnyFlorida (6 months ago)

If it truly was a "no compromise" lens, why not make it a F/1.2? or F/.95?

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

Because those lenses are usually compromised too. There is a reason why the Canon 50mm f/1.2 performs worse in some areas than other 50mm lenses, including the Canon 50mm f/1.4.

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

I had the 35/1.4 Contax/Yashica. At 2.0(and that the speediest also in these testimages) the corners were sharp, even at low light inside church. When i remember my 35/2.0 OM I am getting upset again. Thats why i changed to Contax in 1978.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

x

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (6 months ago)

OK, it's an impressive design, on paper, but there is, also, not much compromise in pricing it.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

impressed? Zeiss say there is no resolution or field curvature data they can provide at the moment.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 39 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

0 upvotes
fpessolano
By fpessolano (6 months ago)

Damn, I thought it was 2950€ including vat.

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (6 months ago)

Resolution and field curvature relates to performance not design..

0 upvotes
HozicEmir
By HozicEmir (6 months ago)

My ppl have word for this.
Naprdjavanje.

I can't translate it correctly but is in connection with farting.

2 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (6 months ago)

Shart perhaps?

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (6 months ago)

they have been annoucing this for years

0 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (6 months ago)

That is one sick owl, a representative of dying species...one that got extinct even before being actually formed.

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

Enough poor lenses for poor people.....

0 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (6 months ago)

This site lives from poor people. So you can move on.

4 upvotes
Light Pilgrim
By Light Pilgrim (6 months ago)

I have Distagon 35 f/1.4 ZE......compared to the new Sigma....it adds nothing on top, a lot more heavier, twice the cost and doesn't have AF.

This lens at this price..........you gotta be kidding me!

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

OCTOPUS!

1 upvote
starwolfy
By starwolfy (6 months ago)

And now people complain about Leica price.

Amazing optics and built quality = expensive.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

We'll see how the build quality is on an actual lens. Cause on images it look like one of the Tamron lenses from early '90s: http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Tamron-AF-20-40-F2.7-3.5-Aspherical-IF_lens176.html
This rubber band might be really difficult to keep in any acceptable condition after 2-3 years. I preferred old Carl Zeiss lenses that got fully metal body.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

4000$ worth optics.. that´s the question.
how much better then 700 euro glas is it.

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

That's not the case here. The optics of Zeiss lenses were never really exceptional - just on par with pro grade lenses, usually even softer wide open.
What you pay for here, is the supposedly "exlusive" brand - so it's just a status symbol like a Leica, or a Nex rebranded to Hasselblad.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

wlad - you serious? Cause it feels like a troll attempt.

4 upvotes
Robertino
By Robertino (6 months ago)

My "old" Planar 1,4/50 Contax/Yashica is a wonderful lens, can be used with an adaptor ring, does the same manual work and can be found on the market for less 150$.

0 upvotes
xiod_crlx
By xiod_crlx (6 months ago)

oh... come on!

zeiss has even links to "high res" pictures on their website (http://lenses.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/camera_lenses/otus/otus1455.html) for this lens

let's take a look!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlzeisslenses/sets/72157635236491881/

WAIT A SECOND!

NOT A SINGLE PICTURE WIDE OPEN @ 1.4 ???

so much words and still so shy to show anything? whoa...

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

The last portrait shot on the D800E is done at f/1.4.

4 upvotes
natnat
By natnat (6 months ago)

really? did you bother too look at all?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlzeisslenses/9782444273/in/set-72157635236491881

There you go full res shot at f1.4 so easy to bash...

4 upvotes
xiod_crlx
By xiod_crlx (6 months ago)

ha! not a single night shot with huge contrast showing the lens dealing with fringes!

just one (!) picture of a boy @ 1.4 at stupid distance? oh yeah!

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

@ xiod_crlx

Go check out this review: http://diglloyd.com/articles/ZeissZ/ZeissZ-Otus-55f1_4.html

You will get detailed analysis, probably more detailed than anything DPReview will offer, and at a wide range of apertures including f1.4

0 upvotes
xiod_crlx
By xiod_crlx (6 months ago)

@plevyadophy

1920px pictures with applied sharpening? no thnx,
even my 48yrs old 55\1.2 can do it wide open and my sigma 50\1.4 sometimes hits moire at 1.4 on my D600

e.g. there are no problems @ 24mpix with current reasonably priced lenses for sharpness, contrast etc

and I really want to see a night shot of dot sized lights without coma, fringing and ch. aberr. as it is advertised =)

so far only 58\1.2 nikkor was capable to deliver something outstanding at night with with a cost of significant spherical aberrations

I have a feeling that this product started with a price tag and zeiss tried to justify it somehow...

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (6 months ago)

Before commenting, have you ACTUALLY bothered to read the FULL review AND download the images he has in the review?

0 upvotes
snow14
By snow14 (6 months ago)

$4000???? sigma art looks way better with AF

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

Thank you. That's what I've been saying.

0 upvotes
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (6 months ago)

AF, yes. Way better? Not a chance. The sigma is maybe as sharp at f8, but this is a lens that, if Zeiss got the charts right, outresolves the D800E by so much that makes people wonder where are the 60mp 135 sensors.

1 upvote
christiangrunercom
By christiangrunercom (6 months ago)

Now that's a beast. Let's see a DPR lens review soon.

Really like the design of that thing. Very simple, almost "underplayed".

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (6 months ago)

No compromise, eh? Maybe just the price, size and weight of the lens.

Seriously, this should belong in any camera bag of those who shoot with the Nikon D800/E.

2 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

Well there is a compromise and it's no AF - for this kind of money you'd expect a more complete package. I expect Sigma to update their 50/1.4 next year and equal this at less than 1/4 of the price.

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

"equal this at less than 1/4 of the price."

Equal this for 1/10 of the price.

0 upvotes
Paul Petersen
By Paul Petersen (6 months ago)

But will it out resolve the much cheaper Sigma 35 F1.4? I know they are different focal lengths but just saying.

0 upvotes
Jane79
By Jane79 (6 months ago)

22 lenses currently outresolve the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM in the lenscore database, including a number of Zeiss lenses. I think it's safe to assume that this lens will outresolve not just the Sigma 35mm but most other lenses as well.

7 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

Jane79 - are we talking about some imaginary Zeiss marketing database now ? Because according to DXO, the Sigma is at #4, while the highest ranking Zeiss lens is the Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 at #7.

1 upvote
Jane79
By Jane79 (6 months ago)

No, the lenscore guys/gals test lenses on a super hirez cam (200MP iirc), and unlike dxo, they don't test lenses provided by manufacturers.

0 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

I can make a similar table in Excel with the same credibility as this "LenScore" of yours, that nobody has ever heard of.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

will you see a difference to cheaper 50mm lenses on print?
i doubt it....

i rather buy a loui vuitton bag.

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

on a 8x10" not but on 40x 60"!

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

You still print?

4 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

a photo is no photo until it is printed.... :)
of course i print. i have a few epson A2+ printers.

5 upvotes
YSLaiHK
By YSLaiHK (6 months ago)

Plastek, you still meet people in person having mobile phone and facebook?

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

YSLaiHK - and what does it have to deal with printing?
Henry M. Hertz - that was true during the film age. Not so much for digital. For digital photographs a native medium is digital. It's like scanning film - sure, makes sense, but something just doesn't feel right about it.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

that´s maybe the opinion of stupid facebook users who stick their noses on 5 inch screens...... for me a print is the final medium.

1 upvote
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (6 months ago)

No a photograph is not a photograph until it is chemically processed.
we're talking image making now! :-)

Photography is image making, but not all image making is photography.

3 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

well, it might be an exceptional lens, but it looks like a cheap toy with that rubber band and the yellow Sans font

1 upvote
CallMeAlan
By CallMeAlan (6 months ago)

I don't know. I think the yellow looks really smart.

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (6 months ago)

As a professional photographer I have no need for this lens, but I know for sure it's an exceptional build lens with an exceptional image quality and with an exceptional investment value.

6 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

.... for exceptional rich dubai clients with no clue about photography. ;)

14 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (6 months ago)

Yes, this is ridiculous. If you're looking for a lens like this as a professional to make your photos sell or whatever, you're really doing something wrong.

3 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (6 months ago)

@Henry, no doubt it's an excellent lens for sure.

1 upvote
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (6 months ago)

@Northgrove
I have twice tested a Zeiss lens for a review and I can say it are top notch lenses. Excellent build and image quality.

Do they stand really out by means of image quality, so it is worth to choose above those of top lenses of other brands, no they don't.
Now it might be that these lenses will do and will make it the absolute choice for professional photographers or those of collectors/investors.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (6 months ago)

@ Henry,
Or movie stars that have no clue about photography (or anything else for that matter ...) - take your pick Hollywood or Bollywood - or internet millionaires or ....
Plenty of rich people around but, in reality, they wouldn't even know this lens exists.
Those that need such a tool know about it and will purchase it, those that don't will just ridicule it because they can't afford it anyway.
And let's not forget - no autofocus - thus the 'spray and pray' brigade are out of it too.

1 upvote
Studor13
By Studor13 (6 months ago)

"an exceptional investment value"

How about you buy this lens and I buy $4000 IBM shares?

Put both in the draw for say 10 years.

Let's see what sort of return you would get from the ZEISS.

Oh, I never realized that people buy lenses to get exceptional investment returns. I also thought lenses were to take pictures with.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

M Lammerse:

With all due respect, I have no idea what type of photography work you do, but a very big reason for using good Zeiss lenses on DSLRs is the significant improvement in high ISO image quality.

Now if you never shoot above ISO 1600, then you'd probably not notice, or if your files are being shrunk and printed in a newspaper then you'd not see a reason to use this Zeiss except in extreme lowlight.

Glad you think Zeiss lenses very good, now there are reasons for their use, though perhaps these reasons don't apply to the photo work you do/sell.

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (6 months ago)

HowaboutRAW, are you a Zeiss employee ?

Can you please explain how this specific f1.4 Zeiss lens improves your high ISO images in any way over ANY OTHER f1.4 lens costing a fraction of it's price ?

It seems you have no idea what you are talking about.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

wlad:

The high ISO improvement with better optics: My guess is that Zeiss lenses handle light differently than Canikon lenses.

No, I will not be sharing any of the science, and wouldn't know anything more than some general rules that Leica and Zeiss employ.

It's an easy enough test, provided you can rent the right lens. So do it. It's a pretty stunning difference.

Nope, I don't work for Zeiss, just tired of seeing claims about the high optical quality of Canikon lenses.

0 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (6 months ago)

Otus regrets...

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (6 months ago)

LOL!

0 upvotes
digitall
By digitall (6 months ago)

Is this like buyer's remorse?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 507
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