The 55 I couldn't care less about.
But this 85 is very (very) interesting...
The 55 I couldn't care less about.
But this 85 is very (very) interesting...
I have no complaint about it, but I know I'll like the Summicron-R 90mm f/2 more. I've always preferred the Leica look to the Zeiss look... ;-)
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Well DxO says its the best they ever tested…… so that's all that's to be said….. or not?
Last edited by Swissblad; 10th September 2014 at 08:44.
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The lack of autofocus is a deal breaker for me.
The whole af thing is interesting, I think people are put off by mf but in reality it isn't quite as hard as most think. I shoot exclusively mf for my personal work and 50/50 af/mf on commercial work, it depends on time constraints and the subject.
For personal stuff, landscapes specifically then I don't see the need for af, there's nothing moving around and most of the time you're stopped down so I honestly don't see the need for it. I do a lot of portraits with the Zeiss 135 f2, mf with this lens on a D800 is definitely useable, I wouldn't say it was easy but not everything in life can be easy! The rewards when it's right are superb images that give you a real sense of pride because you have done it! For me, the Zeiss lenses shine over the Nikkor lenses I own in contrast, I can spot a Zeiss shot every time in my catalogue, the light and dark transitions are just so much smoother. It's entirely possible that it's a figment of my imagination but that doesn't matter to me, i feel they are different and that's all that matters to me!
Whether mf is an issue is a very personal thing but I feel it would be a shame not to experience the beauty in these lenses just for the sake of not wanting to work a bit harder, it doesn't really matter though, we buy what we want and enjoy it!
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I'm also a believe in user experiences rather than quoting specs or charts, they just bore me! So here's a very quick shot I grabbed a couple of days ago, i am in no way suggesting that it is a good representation of the Zeiss brand, it's just a shot I like processed in a way I like for me, but it is handheld, Zeiss 135 f2 at 2.8, I shot it at f2 as well but preferred the slightly added dof with this shot. Shooting in to fairly bright sun, I took 4 shots, 3 are just how I wanted them and the 4th just slightly off but as it was windy I was being blown around a bit.
This may not be a brilliant shot but the self satisfaction at getting it right means a lot more to me than the technical aspects. If I could afford it I'd have both Otus lenses, for me they feel like a challenge with huge rewards.
Obviously these are just my views.
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This is an interesting discussion regarding MF verse AF . My POV is that you use the gear(lens) that provides you with the best opportunity to create something special . If you believe that a manual focus lens can provide a rendering that is special and you can achieve a decent level of success …..then you go for it .
Zeiss lenses create a signature aesthetic …..a combination of all the elements that effect perceived image quality ..that can make your photographs have a special look . I much prefer the Zeiss “look” to that provided by even the very best Nikon lenses(for example ).
But at the same time …I appreciate the importance of capturing images that are in focus ..so I will use the Nikon lenses in situations where I really need AF to achieve a decent hit ratio or where the effort to use manual focus is just too high .
Each photographer should strive to know their work (and finances ) well enough to decide the right balance between the desired aesthetic and the ability to achieve in focus images . I can appreciate both manual focus and auto focus lenses. But in the end ….its about the photograph rather than the technique or equipment used .
Well, I toy with it. Matches my style of shooting which is very slow and deliberate and will be a better match for the next generation of sensors.
One thing I saw on Sony rumors was it looks like Sony will have a new gen sensor in the 44mpx range or something like that early next year. Now not sure if that will make it to a A or FE mount but point is it maybe sold to Nikon as well so depending on what brand it comes in we do need to think ahead. I have much more interest myself in the 85 than the 50mm range for sure. I'm not a big fan of 50mm lenses but 85 has a place in my kit. I'm not so turned off by no AF but I do need it for certain jobs. More the point though we do need to think ahead as to what our lenses will be capable of handling in the future . I do think a lot of current lenses will hold up but the one issue with that is we may not get the gaps we need to do that. We know Sony is going to announce a bunch of lenses in the next days and that's great. Not sure Nikon/Canon are or not but they certainly need to think ahead if they jump on these newer sensors next year. Obviously Zeiss is thinking ahead for them but I do see a downfall on Zeisses part they are not making these in either Sonys mounts and that's a huge mistake IMHO. Especially since Sony is making most of the sensors these days and very aggressive on building new bodies. This could be a down fall for Zeiss if they do not build these Otus mounts for Sony. Honestly I would consider it more if it was in my native mounts. As I would like to have this 85 but if its not native and have to use a adapter than I'm not as motivated. I probably speak for a lot of Sony users here on that. I know damn well a A99II is coming next year with a big bad boy sensor. It's going to need glass for it too.
I'm still buying time until after Photokinia but guys like me will flip in any direction if the wind is blowing in the right direction. Bottom line here is lens, mount, sensor diversity the more we have the better our chances of getting a system without compromises .
Yes its a lot of money for a lens but I have paid more for lenses and by the dozen as well. I'm not alone here. I shot Leica and I shot Medium Format tech cam and non tech cam lenses so expensive lenses is not new to me and many others in my boat. But if its not native to me and other sluts like me we are far less motivated to go the adapter route. I m doing it now with a Canon 17mm TSE but there is nothing else like it either, so I'm forced into adapters .
Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
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Now going back to everything is wrong comment , I believe its more about the diversity of mounts more than anything. I don't like canon bodies and Nikons are nice but I prefer Sony. I would like to see these 3rd party lens makers jump on all 3 systems as it sucks being behind Nikon/canon releases and Sony folks are sitting here holding there you know what in there hands. Times have changed
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The next iteration of the A7r will have all of its present shortcomings fixed and will be a perfect match for the Otus lenses..... at least for me. That body will mitigate some of the weight of the 55 and 85 lenses.
Yeah I think the Otus line is aimed more at the professional and advanced amateur studio shooter that wants maximum quality on advanced sensors that don't have the money or means to go all the way to MF. A Nikon D810, 55 Otus, 85 Otus, and 135/2 ZF.2 lens kit would an outstanding portrait studio kit right now and you can always upgrade the body for the next 5-10 years and still be good with Zeiss designing the Otus line to be able to theoretically work well with future 100 megapixel sensors.
As for the price, many of us (including myself) have paid this much or more for "normal" focal lengths (35/50) so I don't get the huge deal with price backlash from a "premium" lens designer. I get the cost to return analysis but you always seem to have to pay exponentially more for that last 5-10% of improvement. Unfortunately sometimes you find out that extra improvement was just in software programming versus actual optical excellence...
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I'm VERY interested in this lens.
(but have no money for it)
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Btw the first samples from Otus to be really impressive is from 3Dkraft. Those images are stunning.
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Zeiss posted comparison images taken with Otus 85/1.4 and 2 medium format systems:
A lens class of its own | Camera Lens Blog
I wonder what is their "medium-format system 1"?
I think that Zeiss blog raises a valid point though: It's certainly possibly to capture the same image quality in a (slightly) smaller format, if technology and optics are up to it. It won't necessarily lead to smaller investments in equipment, but it's possible.
With Zeiss redefining what's possible in terms of small format optics, others will be challenged and follow. This is all good everyone except for perhaps the MF equipment makers, whose niche market is shrinking.
Assuming both shots were wide open, the Otus seems to have a narrower DOF (85/1.4 = 60.7 mm aperture vs 120/2.5 = 48 mm aperture). focal plane seems to be at the inner corner of the eye in both photos.
If you look at the reflection of the umbrella in the model's eye, and look at the reflection of the eyelashes, you will notice that the Otus actually renders with higher microcontrast.
That doesn't necessarily mean one lens is better than the other, but it does mean that the Otus does compete well WRT resolving power.
Another interpretation is that the MF lens is designed to be a better portrait lens by transitioning from focal plane to front defocus by initial softness (sharp mixed with defocused) whereas the Otus transitions to defocus immediately without exhibiting any hint of softness.
I'm waiting for a 25mm wide, or far better still...for me anyway....a 24-70 zoom as good as the Hasselblad 35-90.
I will get my Otus 85 today. There will be an portrait shooting on friday - so I can post some real life pics and impressions with the 810 combo ;-).... can´t wait ;-)
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Looking forward to your review and images Niels! And welcome to GetDPI!
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
I just sold my Zeiss 135 ZF.2.
For the same reason I would never go with the Otus. Lack of AF.
The images that are in focus are wonderful. But the rate of mishits (in my genre, due to a moving model for example) is just to high.
If you ask Zeiss why they don't do AF, they say that todays cameras do not focus exact enough to achieve the critical focus that is needed.
I just coming back from a trip to Vienna, where I did some outdoor fashion with the 70-200 2.8 VRII - almost every image is spot on with my trusty D800E.
I really don't get it why they just design their lenses with AF and let the user decide what is best for the moment.
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RE: MFD-1: It should be noted that the ISO-80 for the MFD S shot is a "pulled" ISO which is not optimal for contrast. The native base ISO of the S2 is 160, and the base ISO for the S(006) is 100.
RE: MFD-2: What we do not know is which H camera back was used with the 120/4-II. I suspect it was a crop frame 40 meg back, not a 50 or 60 with a larger sensor area and subsequent different rendering characteristic in terms of DOF.
Technically, its a wonderful achievement.
Photographically, it is unlikely to represent a forward step for the vast majority of photographers.
Huge cost, huge size, no AF and largely meaningless improvements in IQ in the context of its probable application = no interest from me.
If there is one area where technical perfection should be encouraged to fly out the window, it is portraits. Give me a tool that helps me get the shot of the person I see. The rest doesn't matter.
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I'm sure the 85 and 55mm Otus lenses have some perfect applications, but for most people they are likley to be a backward step.
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."1 Member(s) liked this post
I'm going to respectfully disagree! I think from image samples I've seen, the image improvements wide open are extremely meaningful, it's a stunning portrait lens and whilst it may not appeal to everyone, I've never read about a lens that does!
I love 85mm for all sorts of things, I shoot a large number of landscapes at 135mm with the f2 and it is literally amazing, not just the sharpness although that is a given, it's the image as a whole, the contrast, smoothness of transitions, it's all beautiful. The 85 I see as just a slightly wider view. My favourite portraits with the 135 are wide open and then portraits are beautifully soft away from the eyes which just jump at you.
Sure it will be difficult to get right 100% of the time but that's the challenge of photography for me, pulling it all together at the right moment.
I've been saving for a Leica S for a while and can afford a simple kit but have the 85mm and 55mm arriving next week and I'm going to trial both against the S2 I have access to here, I can buy both and a D810 for less than the price of the Leica body, if they work well for what I shoot then I'm ditching the S plans and sticking with the Nikons.
I appreciate that we all have different requirements but I shoot the 135 commercially and it just makes me concentrate more, it's all good!
The closest I have come is the 180mm f/3.2 for GX680. Last night, I found a strap for that camera (I already have the lens and the camera), making the package a bit more portable. It's still a heavy load to carry, but much cheaper than the alternatives (the Zeiss 110mm f/2 and possibly the new Leica 100mm f/2.... or the Otus).
So I understand those who go for the Otus. It's probably as perfect as it gets, but even then, I don't know if it's perfect for me. At this price, it's luckily not something I need to consider
I don't care what gear I have.
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You're as equally worthy as anyone else Jorgen!
I think it's good to strive for things you want, there's so much amazing choice out there. I look less and less at equipment nowadays and have sold such a lot as I learn what suits me, my style, if I can claim to have one, and my pocket. I look at lenses like these as a goal to work towards, I'm sure it's the same for Leica owners or Phase and Hasselblad owners, it's the desire to push yourself and work hard to get what you want. In the big scheme of things, these are all just tools to either enjoy or make money from, there will always be alternatives both cheaper and more expensive, you pay your money and make your choice.
Have you tried the 135 f2 for portraits? The focal length is really good and it's really superb, also not bank-robbingly expensive!
Nobody is wrong here and its all down to personal preferences.
Some might think me mad for paying for the Leica Monochrom, but this is where I felt nuances mattered to me. I can see why the Otus 85 would fulfil that role for others.
Personally, I find my Canon 85mm f1.2 L II does all I could ask from a portrait lens and the two links I provided above take you to images shot on that lens with film. If I want very sharp, modern and perfect (albeit without the speed), I have a 75mm Summarit to go on the A7R, or a 70mm Sigma Macro f 2.8 for the Canon. At 85mm and f1.4, not much is in focus anyway, so the need for blistering performance across the frame would seem to be limited (for me and my application).
What I would say is that the Otus 85 seems more of a studio lens to me, with willing models. Its not that you cannot use a MF lens in the field - of course you can - but you will be seriously compromised when it comes to 'quick moments' versus an AF lens. I had seconds to get some of my best portraits and would have failed miserably with MF, but maybe that's shoddy technique LOL
I do have the 105mm f/1.8 AIS also, and find it very good, but I struggle with manual focus with DSLR viewfinders. I consider buying another D700 and optimising it for manual focusing with a third party focusing screen (or simply buy a Canon 6D ).
The Zeizz CY 85mm f/1.4, which I have too, is also good, and really compact. I'm tempted to buy an A7s to use that on... see where this is leading? This forum is very, very unhealthy
Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 3rd October 2014 at 18:38.
I have been using D810 lately. I find that the focus accuracy is much improved (for Otus 55 and Zeiss 135/2 APO) compared with the D800/Df. I don't if I just got lucky with my copy of the D810, or Nikon had made some real improvements. I am seriously think about getting the Otus 85.
Coming from the D800e when I was in Jerome with Bob he had his 810 with him. It is a nice improvement . I was not happy with my D800e. Maybe why I switched to Sony.
I found the in-focus indicate is pretty accurate on my D810 which made focus on large aperture lenses easier. I had a lot of problems with my D800 for MF lenses and I nearly give up the Nikon system all together. But D810 made a huge difference for me. Additionally, the AF accuracy on D810 is also improved and I felt it's now very reliable.
Last edited by Ocean; 3rd October 2014 at 19:24.
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i feel this is more a statement product to Zeiss. every now and then big firms like zeiss need to take on projects that show they are more than just a brand name with historical value. Also internally, companies like Zeiss can benefit from this kind of project. during the development, there are many trial and error involved, and sometimes the team will discover new things that may not necesscay go directly into Otus this time round, but may be ways to cut cost for their lower end products, or benefit future products.
i feel otus like the R8 to audi, or LFA to lexus, or the Statement S1 to Naim.
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My feeling is that Zeiss wanted to show what is possible with advanced design. They actually choose to use a design type (inverted telephoto) that is normally used for wide angles.
The major benefits of both designs seems to be very good performance with essentially no colour fringing at maximum aperture.
I have read somewhere that the lens was more like a technology demonstrator, but it seems it sells very well.
I agree that the competition from Sigma Art is worth waiting for.
Personally, I have some interest in the new Loxia line of lenses from Zeiss, they are based on the ZM-series (Leica mount) but modified for the Sony E-series cover glass. It will be interesting how they perform on present and future Sony sensors, not least regarding cross talk issues.
I received mine two days ago.
To summarize, yes, it is very sharp but not " dry " and with fantastic rendering of space and volumes.
Even fully opened not a hint of haze, haloes, diffused light or reflects, never seen so perfect before (i could sometimes even miss some haloes around lights giving atmosphere, will have to try filters for some night shots)
Rendering, color and out of focus parts of image are wonderful.
Fully opened the part in focus is very narrow, so clear and precise you need to adjust the distance very exactly, much more than with forgiving lenses like the summilux 80mm.
The only problem in fact is that there are no cameras on the market ready for such a lens, with adequate sensor but also ease of use.
Nikon's viewfinder does not allow precise focusing and A7R has also its inconvenients, you must set the distance at working diaphragm, in some cases vibrations but overall a better solution if you don't use a tripod.
It would be great to see some shots if you get chance Biglou, congrats on picking one up.