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Thread: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Had the opportunity to see both the new Zeiss OTUS 55/1.4 (world beater ) and the Nikon 58/1.4 . Two lenses that have similar focal lengths and speeds but couldn t be more different .

    First the OTUS ...the lens is huge by any standard short of cinema and very heavy . Makes my S2 lenses seem light by comparison . The build quality is the very best I have seen equal my Leica lenses . The focus (manual ) is exceptional ..highly dampened but easy to focus with two fingers . Focus throw is very very long ...you have to rotate the lens a few inches to go between 6ft and 10ft ..now thats slow . But of course it fits obtaining real precision in focusing .

    I was able to speak with one of the product specialists (that knew his stuff) ...he had comparisons to vendor H,L,M (guess?) and a D800 with the OTUS . The results were all essentially the same with maybe an edge to the OTUS (test was a fashion model close and wide open ). He stressed the absence of aberrations . The new line of lenses is aimed square at the MF market . But at the photographer moving to MF from Nikon or Canon . Zeiss is betting on the release of high MP Nikon and Canon products before photokina next year . The expect to have an 85/1.4 and maybe a wide angle by then.

    Of course you could ask about the just released TOUIT line that was for the Sony NEX line ? What were they thinking ?

    The OTUS 55/1.4 has been designed to produce the very best image quality wide open at f1.4 . Not being a landscape photographer ..I am a little lost at how you would actually use this lens and why? It is clearly too large and heavy for street,travel or most anything off a tripod ....its heavier than my S2/70/2.5 which is joy to walk around with . The focus is manual and very very slow ....how could you possibly use this for fashion ? And finally what am I shooting at f1.4 where the subject is out on the edge of the frame . I saw nothing in the book of prints that made any sense "to me " . I appreciate the use of selective DOF but I can t take forever to fine tune my focus when I use it .

    The Nikon 58/1.4 is totally different . First it is small about the size of a 50/1.4 but at a 72mm filter size . The front element is deeply recessed and would for me eliminate the need for a hood in many situations . AF is blazing on a D4 ..at the top of the class in responsiveness . No excuses for missing focus here .

    There is a nice report on the Nikon website about the design objectives ...its not about maximum resolution ..Nikon wanted a smooth roll off of the plane of focus and great bokeh . This was easy to see even on the Nikon D4 LCD ...looks very similar to my 50 summilux R lens . The other goal was to minimize coma (similar to the NOCT Nikkor ) .

    This is clearly a lens that matches my needs ...small,fast,responsive,sharp and with great bokeh .

    If zeiss had built the OTUS ..to be the very best IQ but at F2.8 the size could have been half ...but I expect that Zeiss bulids these lenses with cinema in mind ...it seems to fit . I know but wait until you see the IQ on the next generation cameras ......
    Roger Dunham
    http://rogerdunham.com/
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Thanks Roger. I actually have my eye on the Nkon 58mm myself and exactly what you described is what I'm after.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Had the opportunity to see both the new Zeiss OTUS 55/1.4 (world beater ) and the Nikon 58/1.4 . Two lenses that have similar focal lengths and speeds but couldn t be more different .

    First the OTUS ...the lens is huge by any standard short of cinema and very heavy . Makes my S2 lenses seem light by comparison . The build quality is the very best I have seen equal my Leica lenses . The focus (manual ) is exceptional ..highly dampened but easy to focus with two fingers . Focus throw is very very long ...you have to rotate the lens a few inches to go between 6ft and 10ft ..now thats slow . But of course it fits obtaining real precision in focusing .

    The OTUS 55/1.4 has been designed to produce the very best image quality wide open at f1.4 . Not being a landscape photographer ..I am a little lost at how you would actually use this lens and why? It is clearly too large and heavy for street,travel or most anything off a tripod ....its heavier than my S2/70/2.5 which is joy to walk around with .
    Roger ( I called you Glen originally! Sorry)

    Great that you've actually seen the lens, very exciting! I'm not sure I understand a little of what you have written, It's huge, and very heavy and makes your Leica lenses feel light by comparison and your S2 is a delight to walk around with, just looking at the specs, the D800 is 1000g and the Otus is 970g, 1970g total, the S is 1260g and the 70mm is 740g, total 2000g straight. I'm sure there is a difference in balance with the weight more weight at the front but too heavy??

    It's a different tool, obviously unlikely to be good for fast paced street shooting if that's what you do.

    I'm on the fence actually, I'm going to wait and see, try it when it comes out. Your report that it is equal in quality to your Leica lenses and produces the very best image quality is exactly why I'd buy it! Obviously whether my skills can translate that quality in to lovely images is another question entirely!

    Mat

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Interesting read Roger,
    even though I am not in the Nikon Camp any more I can fully understand your conclusion.

    When I read about what lenses are needed to do the ff-high resolution cameras justice and how much one has to pay for such good lenses and how big they get and that specially the Zeiss lenses are MF only - I also agree the 70/2.5S lens seems like a good deal.

    The Nikon 58/1.4 sounds like a very interesting lens. The rolloff between focus plane and background is something I have found a very important factor for iamges.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    The Nikongear forum has certainly become very unfriendly over the years - now you need a paid subscription just to read postings... WTF?

    Glad I settled down here.....

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrew View Post
    Bjorn Rorslett has been testing an early example of the 58 over on NikonGear. I won't attempt to list his findings so far but the lens seems to exhibit marked focus shift.
    You should not as it is not very useful for anyone reading it here (it could be his copy).
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    Senior Member JohnBrew's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Fine. I deleted it.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Why delete it data is data.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Guy, Sporadic, selective tidbits like that without the proper context or support is not very useful, IMO.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Maybe not but can't we read the reviewers comments. Bottom line is okay comments as well.

    I mean opinions are opinions and everyone has one. If it sucks in truth or does not we will find out as well.

    Maybe I'm babbling been a long sleepless night/ day and too much shooting in one day. Ignore me today.

    yea i know you all ignore me anyway. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    I would like to get the Nikon lens though so personally Im interested in the data. Like to sell my Nikon 28,50 and 85 and regroup a little with the 58mm and maybe the Sigma zoom.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Guy, I am generally interested in lenses (any lens), especially when Nikon specifically say this is the successor to their Noct Nikkor. There are tremendously positive qualities associated with the new 58/1.4. There are many samples available that attest to that. Cherry picking aspects from an ongoing test (which is hardly conclusive at this point) is not useful aside from quoting from a place which is not accessible to everyone.

    I hope you will be able to get your copy soon and I look forward to your take on it.

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Maybe the 58 f1.4 is the lens to partner the DF . . .

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    I doubt it, Jono. The videos show the 50/1.8 AFS G.

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I doubt it, Jono. The videos show the 50/1.8 AFS G.
    I didn't mean what was in the kit Vivek, I meant what was in my dreams . . . always dangerous combinations!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    Aha, my dream too, Jono.

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    Re: Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 & the Nikon 58/1.4

    I just bit the bullet and ordered a 58/1.4. I have had similar thoughts. The Otus is heavy and lacks AF. IMO, it would shine on tripod with careful focussing. The 58/1.4 I intend to use wide open and with low light. To me getting that made more sense than the Otus.

    The price difference was a nice bonus. I now feel like I saved some 2500USD (for me actually in euros)

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