Lens reviews update: test data for the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55
DxOMark has just reviewed the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55, a $4000 standard prime for full frame SLRs, and as part of our ongoing collaboration we've added the test data to our lens widget. We've also added test data for the Nikon mount version of Sigma's exceptional 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM.
Also this week, DxOMark has published a review of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm F2.8 PRO for Micro Four Thirds, and its lens recommendations for the Nikon D610. Click here for a full round-up of DxOMark's recent reviews.
Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 lens test data
Here we're showing DxOmark's lens test data for the Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 on both the full frame D800 and the DX format D7100, along with a quick summary of the main findings. We're also showing a quick comparison to the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G, which isn't quite as expensive, but still costs more than most camera bodies.
Click on any of the images or links below to open our interactive lens widget, and explore the data further
1) Tested on Nikon D800
On the D800, the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 gives a simply breathtaking performance. It's super-sharp even wide open, and impressively even across the frame too. It's so good that stopping it down doesn't make a huge difference on measured sharpness here - the centre peaks at F4, but it's not obvious that you'd see the difference in real-world shots.
In all other aspects the Otus does equally well. Lateral chromatic aberration is negligible, and while there's a little measurable barrel distortion, it's unlikely ever to be visible in real-world use. Vignetting reaches 1.6 stops wide open, but with a very gradual falloff profile which means it won't look objectionable. At F2 it drops to just 1 stop, and at F2.8 it drops to a photographically-irrelevent 0.5 stops.
Zeiss claims that "the Otus 1.4/55 is the absolute best lens in the world today", and can we see why the company is so confident about it (although we're pretty sure that Leica's latest APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH will give it a run for its money). We were hugely impressed by the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, but the Zeiss manages to surpass it in every measurement here. Then again it is more than four times the price, and doesn't have autofocus.
2) Tested on Nikon D7100
It's very much the same story on the DX format D7100 as on full frame. Sharpness is exceptional, chromatic aberration is very low, and vignetting and distortion are minimal. It's difficult to imagine any lens doing much better, in terms of optical test results.
3) Compared to the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G
The difference in test results here is startling, and really accentuates the optical quality of the Zeiss. It's simply much, much sharper wide open, and while the Nikon has slightly lower vignetting, the Zeiss has less distortion. It's important to understand that the Nikon isn't a bad lens - the designers have clearly been thinking about more than just sharpness, and the images it produces on the D800 actually look really nice - but Zeiss's 'no compromises' approach shows what can be done when size and price are taken out of consideration in the overall design.
Sigma 18-35mm F1.4 DC HSM for Nikon test data
The test results for the Sigma 18-35mm on the Nikon D7100 merely reinforce the excellence of this lens that we highlighted in our in-depth review. Few zooms come close - in fact the Sigma is a match for a bag full of primes. Crucially, though, we've found the lens to focus more reliably on Nikon bodies compared to Canons, which allows you to make the most if the lens's wide open sharpness.
A comparison between test data on the Nikon D7100 and the Canon EOS 7D shows remarkable consistency of results. Measured sharpness is higher on the D7100 in the centre of the frame, due to its higher resolution 24MP sensor which doesn't have an image-blurring optical low-pass filter (compared to the Canon's 18MP). Other differences are very small, and can generally be attributed to the slightly larger size of the 1.5x Nikon DX sensor compared to Canon's 1.6x APS-C.
Overall, this data reinforces our opinion that the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM is probably the standout lens of the year so far, for its combination of speed, image quality, and reasonably-accessible price.
Our lens test data is produced in collaboration with DxOMark. Click the links below to read DxOMark's own review of the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55, or see other recent reviews on the DxOMark website.
May 22, 2014
Dec 18, 2013
Oct 7, 2013
Nov 21, 2016
|Christine by JP Zanotti|
from Car wreck
|Fangorn Forest by cand1d|
|Yosemite Falls with Moonbow by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Best Landscape of the Week 4
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.