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Thread: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Almost everything about this lens is wrong:

    - Price
    - Size
    - Weight

    The only positive I can think about is the optical quality and the ability to take outstanding photos

    Otus 1.4/85: the new world-class lens | Camera Lens Blog

    Luckily, I'm not the owner of a sufficiently tall stack of banknotes, so I need not worry
    Things I sell: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/epixx?language=en
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Does seem a bit unnecessary. There are already many superlative lenses available – 85/F1.4G or D, ZF 100/F2, 85/1.2L for Canon, etc. In truth, there are fine lenses already available now that should be able to satisfy any conceivable requirement that a "35mm system" user might have.

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Great lens, waste of money. What you gain in optical excellence, you will probably loose in focus accuracy, given it is manual focus only. My Sigma 85mm is sharp,wide open. Sorry, but this looks to be a lens for the 1970's.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    My 85mm f1.8 af-s g cost approx. 1/10th of the price and it's not too shabby in the I.Q. department. Oh yeah, and it autofocuses!
    I'm not knocking the Otus, I'm sure it'll be superlative. I don't really see how it could be all THAT much better.

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    Sorry, but this looks to be a lens for the 1970's.
    Or the perfect lens for our current time – ideal for pixel peeping to the nth degree and internet forum chatter.
    Ian Watts | Tumblr | Instagram |www.ianwatts.co.uk
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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I don't know. I can't afford it of course, but 85mm is most used focal length on FX (some would say the only focal length I use on FX), so maybe it would even be worth the investment. If I can find the money. If the D750 will feature exchangeable focusing screens. Both are highly unlikely, so I shouldn't worry, should I?

    But my real hope is that Nikon will launch a 20mm and a 135mm in their f/1.8 series. The five Nikkors combined will probably cost less than the Otus 85mm alone, and they do feature AF

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Not so fussed about the Otus but a D750 with interchangeable focusing screens?...Now you're talking!

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I've got no interest in the new Otus either: what we have already is good enough even for the obsessive amongst us. Oddly, I am on the verge of finding myself responding to the onslaught of extreme quality by getting less interested in it....
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Why do they make it? Because they can, and can do it very well if not the best, and therefore some people will have to own it!

    End of day it appears that what Zeiss has figured out, is that the newest gen of high res DSLRs basically need lenses designed around a Medium Format platform to perform maximally.
    Jack
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Is for sure a great lens - anyway no interest - as original poster said

    too heavy
    too expensive
    too big

    and I do not like the yellow numbers - but that might be just me

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve P. View Post
    Not so fussed about the Otus but a D750 with interchangeable focusing screens?...Now you're talking!
    That would have been a topic for the Df, and a feature many of us were expecting
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Not interested either - but - there must be a market, else they would not have made it.

    Personally, I would like to see their range for the Fuji X expanded…..

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Why do they make it? Because they can, and can do it very well if not the best, and therefore some people will have to own it!

    End of day it appears that what Zeiss has figured out, is that the newest gen of high res DSLRs basically need lenses designed around a Medium Format platform to perform maximally.
    In reality, this is probably making life even harder for the medium format makers, and since Zeiss isn't anylonger invested in that part of the business, they have nothing to lose if one of those should accidentally fall off the cliff

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    If it had red lettering I would be all over it. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Seriously Sigma will come out with a Art 85 and even today Nikon, Canon, Sony Zeiss and the ZE and ZF.2 lenses are all very good lenses. I would personally be very hard pressed to buy it considering my bet the Sigma 85 Art coming in the future at maybe 1200 will be outstanding given there 35 and 50 today. I'll wait it out
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member JohnBrew's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I bought the Otus 55 and I'm very happy with the results. I won't buy the 85 because I feel the 85 1.4G which I already own is good enough, although it is a bitch to use manually as the throw is too short.
    Zeiss may have a difficult time selling this one.
    Frankly, I've grown weary of all the new offerings which offer no genuine in-the-field improvement over what I already have.
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    why are people complaining about the price of Zeiss glass when it's still cheaper than Leica's, while offering equal if not better IQ?
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I believe the "complaint" is a price v performance equation. There are already outstanding fast 85's that also AF, so it's a bit of a puzzle as to why Z would bring a gargantuan size and weight manual focus 85 of essentially similar performance to market against them at 3x the cost. Most of use would prefer they came out with something we cannot get, like a killer 17mm PC-Shift lens
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Many excellent 85mm already exist so it will be even more astonishing to see one that will stand out from the crowd.
    According to the early reviews IQ is at Leica S lens level. I've personaly never seen better IQ (the 120mm S is extraordinary). Resolution, lack of weakness, transparency and, above all, lens drawing is simply addictive (if you're sensitive to it) and I just hope those 'sensitive' Nikon users will now also benefit from this kind of lens Graal.

    Personally I think it needs a body with EVF to be used correctly (or a S like OVF) and should be water resistant.
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I believe the "complaint" is a price v performance equation. There are already outstanding fast 85's that also AF, so it's a bit of a puzzle as to why Z would bring a gargantuan size and weight manual focus 85 of essentially similar performance to market against them at 3x the cost. Most of use would prefer they came out with something we cannot get, like a killer 17mm PC-Shift lens
    Jack kind of hit the mark here. Im using a Canon 17MM TSE on my Sony. Really this is where a company like Zeiss can make a serious dent in the market and thats speciality lenses that some just can't make well or make at all. My 17MM TSE is outstanding but what about folks shooting Nikons thats a big freaking market that Zeiss can tap. Not to mention macros and such that some OEMs are just not making. Another 85 to the mix in a area that we do have really well made 85s already. How about the straight up 18, 21, 24, 28 market that is so lackluster in just about every brand. Sure there are some good ones but this wide area can use all the help it can get.

    Im sure it will get the reputation as the best lens on the planet . Really in all seriousness most people would not even be able to tap its potential. Certainly won't make you any better, just a gear slut whore. Oh wait thats me , never mind. LOL
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Now Im the first to admit I look at price as a pretty secondary concern to what lenses or gear I want to bolt onto my body but at some point in the buying process one may say Hmmm 4300 dollars , I could buy insert 2,3 or 4 lenses here and that would be money better spent. Hell that would get you two fabulous Canon TSE lenses the 17 and 24 or a 3 Nikon lenses and good ones at that.

    I don't like to get into the money aspect, I like to think of it more as for the money spent what can I gain from it. Thats not really a budget issue but a price/value equation.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Zeiss views their competition for the OTUS lenses as the Leica S,Hasselblad and Phase . Last year they showed comparisons to medium format using a Nikon D800E body at PhotoPlus in NYC .

    I own the OTUS 55 and can compare it first hand to the Nikkors,Leica M,R and S alternatives . Its not hard to pick out the OTUS files and they are as good as any up to the S where the MF CCD sensor and the Leica S lenses are better .

    Its unfortunate that the Zeiss design called for a no constraints on size and weight . Leica did a pretty fantastic job on the 50 APO which is a world class lens yet small and light weight .

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Evening

    I must admit I'm another who doesn't understand the issue with it, I celebrate the conviction of a company who want to make the best at any cost, there will always be a market for it as with products developed with the same mindset from many other industries, musical, automotive, etc. etc.

    As for close alternatives, it's proven again and again that there are diminishing returns at higher levels, it's just the way it is. I bought and sold the nikkor 85 1.4 because in my view it didn't justify the cost over the 1.8 because at 1.4 it wasn't much good, if it had been excellent I'd have kept it, if the Zeiss is superb wide open then it will be worth it to people who want a lens that is excellent wide open, there's no shame in that. As for weight, I just don't get the issue, it's just over a kg isn't it? The Nikkor 200 f2 is huge, weighs a ton and has incredible image quality, what's the big deal? It's not a 4 door saloon it's a lens!

    My opinion for what it's worth is good on Zeiss for pushing the envelope and bashing their efforts is just madness, if you don't want it don't buy it!

    Mat

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Mat,

    With all due respect, I don't think you can say people's comment about this optic are anything close to bashing. They are more along the lines of inquiring why which is very different than bashing...
    Jack
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I use the Otus 55 on my Nikon D810 and it is an unbeatable combination and gets at or near my Phase One….. With that said, the price and weight of the Otus 85 is too much…Ridiculous weight…..and I thought the 55 was heavy! I have the Zeiss 100 f2 and the Nikon 85 1.4 I can use.
    Eleanor

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Very different than bashing. I think everyone here applauds Zeiss for bringing it to market but the question is why enter a very crowded 85mm group when where most everyone would like to see there expertise in bringing to market a area that really needs help like the wide to extreme wide or specialty lenses. This is where 3rd party vendors can make a nice marketing entrance and fill gaps for end users. For instance there is not a 28mm worth salt out there except for some older glass that was made for a Leica R 28mm and Nikons 28mm 1.4 which both have been discontinued. Exceptions of course on 28mm but Sony don't even make one for instance. All of us on these forums speak from a end users point of view and what they would like to see. It's not bashing its more value, quality and what's needed in our hands. Heck love to have it but for me and my business does not make much sense since I have a very good 85 right now.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member RVB's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    It's 175grs more than Canon's 85L 1,2.. its not that bad considering the IQ,the filter size is listed as 86mm,this is pretty unusual ..at least to me..

    I'm also betting that Video guys will buy this in ZF mount,its cheap and light compared to cine glass..

    Rob

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    I'm also betting that Video guys will buy this in ZF mount,its cheap and light compared to cine glass..
    Good point Rob, specially if it has some stellar bokeh character...
    Jack
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    For instance there is not a 28mm worth salt out there except for some older glass that was made for a Leica R 28mm and Nikons 28mm 1.4 which both have been discontinued.
    Glad you qualified this by excluding my baby!
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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    While I [too] am a bit disappointed and puzzled at the Zeiss 85mm Otus specifics, I have to remind myself that when the D800 was introduced, we all were complaining that the available lenses fell short when mated with a 36MP sensor. Lenses have long lives, much longer than camera body designs. Maybe Zeiss is looking beyond the current crop of digital SLR bodies, to a time when the distinction between a 35mm DSLR and a MFD camera will be even more blurred than it is today. Think 10 years, not 2 years. Just sayin'.

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    Last edited by Joe Colson; 9th September 2014 at 04:38.
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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    The video people will be all over this lens (I believe the fastest 85mm Compact Prime from Zeiss is T2.1), and converted cine versions will be available more or less the same day as the lens hits the market. I'm also sure that I would buy it if I could afford it. I have to agree with Guy though: Anything between 20 and 28mm would have been a great supplement to the surprisingly mediocre selection of lenses that are available for SLR cameras at the moment. But it probably makes better commercial sense to make a 85mm. Nothing looks as convincing as a great portrait taken with a great lens, and that will convince many amateurs with deep pockets that this is the lens to have. Never mind that some of these lenses will end up being used for photos of DCB (Dogs, Cats and Brick walls). Zeiss run a business, and the more customers the better.

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    There has to be something said for pursuing "excellence" and forgoing cost or practicality

    I would buy both if they came in E-mount. I need the EVF to get the most out of these, manually focussing these and getting the best out of them on my 800E would be a non-starter.

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I have a few friends who will always want the very best in everything, be it Leica, digital backs, tech camera lenses from Rodenstock, etc etc. they will always be able to buy these lenses and the manufacturers know that and will also I think factor in the path finding, proof of excellence marketing that lenses like this represent.

    I remember how Sony and B&O follow this principle at times with innovative, insanely expensive impractical solutions for the masses but they show off the technical excellence of the company overall. The same thing occurs in the automotive industry - just look at the VW Phaeton W12 or Maybach for example.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Ming Thein sums it up very nicely:
    "However, note that it’s not a lens for everybody: dedication to technique and vision are required to extract the most from it. Then there’s the cost and size/weight issue: I’m sure many keystrokes will be wasted to explaining why alternative X at $1000 is better. It may well be comparable if you get a good sample and stop down a bit, or don’t print and only view online; but a big part of the reason why the Otuses (Otii?) are so expensive is because of Zeiss’ QC procedures. I have used half a dozen Otus 55s and two Otus 85s for various reasons and from various batches/ owners – they are all, as far as I can tell, identical in delivering the same extremely high performance. This is not a trivial achievement: any of you who can shoot to the level of maximising everything out of your equipment and have tested more than one sample of a lens will know that consistency is almost impossible to achieve. I have never personally seen any other brand with this level of consistency. If you cannot see the difference (and no web image is going to do it justice; full resolution on a high grade monitor as a minimum, a print ideally), then don’t bother – buy a cheaper AF alternative and not have to deal with manual focus. Extremely shallow depth of field wide open plus that beautifully crisp transition between in and out of focus areas makes achieving critical focus both necessary (missed focus is obvious) and challenging; beyond that, if you don’t have a camera that can make full use of the resolving power and color rendition of the lens, or the skill to deploy all of that potential, it’s somewhat wasted. I honestly feel that the lens still has more to give – but we don’t have the sensors for it yet. I suppose that’s future-proofing. My accountant is already making unhappy noises, but personally, I can’t wait for the next Otus…MT"

    Here's his review:
    Lens review: The Zeiss ZF.2 1.4/85 Otus APO-Planar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I have to say that those images on Ming's review are some of the best I have seen from him, simply stunning to my eye. Obviously a lot of that is down to his composition but as a whole they are seriously good.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I think MT's image of the galaxy shows the strength of this lens - amazing.
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Diglloyd (a pay site) has an extensive series of examples . Like Ming he was provided an OTUS 85 weeks ago …..so unlike the typical “first look” reviews …he can support his opinions with numerous examples .

    After reviewing both tests in some detail ..its hard not to agree that the OTUS on a D810 may produce the best performance ever regardless of format ……and for sure at F1.4 where it has no competition .

    Its all so pretty clear that this is a lens for those that specialize and because of the size and weight ….not a typical walk around or travel lens . For my use its a alternative to Medium Format …..a lens for the D810 ….and not part of my Df kit .
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve P. View Post
    I don't really see how it could be all THAT much better.
    I take it all back. Having seen Ming's review, it really IS that much better.
    I'm still sticking with my 85mm f1.8 g though, but that's just 'cause I'm cheap!
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Have not read his review but looked at images. Nice shots and maybe the horse image takes advantage of the lens but honestly nothing to make me go run out and buy it. Not saying it's not great just have not seen it yet and Lloyd's review I'm not bothering to read. Just not a fan of his reviews.
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    You guys have no imagination (or maxed out credit cards). With the size and weight of this thing, let alone cost, you would also need to buy an Arca Swiss Cube to put it on. Then probably need to upgrade to a new pair of RRS carbon fiber legs. Which, in turn, would require a new bag. This is the ultimate in retail therapy. (Just make sure you can afford the divorce.)

    Shop or go home!
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  41. #41
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    This is a specialised lens that will be purchased, find limited use due to weight, focusing difficulties and passed on. I am in the market for a telephoto lens, so was waiting for the 85 Otus but sort of expected the weight/focus issues. The size and weight are disappointment, more than what I expected. I do not care about the price, since at this size and weight, I still would not buy even for half the price. It has limited usability.

    The images I see do not make me want to run to buy it either. There is absolutely nothing to suggest they are better than with medium format. There is much more than lens in MF images. I was a Diglloyd subscriber but never renewed it as I found his technique and biases do not correlate with my style of photography.

    Build quality of the lens is also questioned by Ming Thein. At this price and weight, where is the tripod mount? Having tried other f/1.4 manual focus lenses on the Nikon D800E/810, focus is going to be hit or miss.

    The point of such a lens is also questionable. Does anyone believe that Nikon, Sony, sigma or Leica cannot produce a similar quality lens if the size, weight, price constraints and uasability factors are removed? I did not mean to bash this lens but may be it came off that way. Enough rant, now off to work
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  42. #42
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    You guys have no imagination (or maxed out credit cards). With the size and weight of this thing, let alone cost, you would also need to buy an Arca Swiss Cube to put it on. Then probably need to upgrade to a new pair of RRS carbon fiber legs. Which, in turn, would require a new bag. This is the ultimate in retail therapy. (Just make sure you can afford the divorce.)

    Shop or go home!
    Will, you forgot something important, you can't go out with this lens without buying some smart new slacks and maybe a hat, these things mount up!

  43. #43
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Will, you forgot something important, you can't go out with this lens without buying some smart new slacks and maybe a hat, these things mount up!
    Mat, no, you just want a pair of old jeans a T-shirt--you don't want to show off.

  44. #44
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    The point of such a lens is also questionable. Does anyone believe that Nikon, Sony, sigma or Leica cannot produce a similar quality lens if the size, weight, price constraints and uasability factors are removed? I did not mean to bash this lens but may be it came off that way. Enough rant, now off to work


    No question absolutely not a problem to do. These are guided by cost restraints, retail pricing, size and weight issues that many in the Camera OEM business think its far to limited in sales. That's the bottom line, the technology is there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Not even a trilby? Spoilsport.

  46. #46
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Folks this may be the best analogy yet. Many of us went and bought a Nikon 200 F2, Canon 200 1.8 or a Leica R 180 F2 as I wave my arm I bought all three several times over. But here is the crux of it absolutely gorgeous lenses but 95 percent of us sold it for mostly size/ weight and simply a freaking hassle to go even out your door . Guess what we found alternates to it and are happy. Same here. Just too many good less expensive 85 1.4 in every color out here and than Sigma is coming with a Art 85 and we all seen how good the 35 and 50 are but guess what there big too but they are stellar at a fourth the price if not more.

    No question this lens will sell and people don't care about the money and just want the best they can buy. I get that but I'm a mere mortal on a budget. LOL

    I'll wait for the Sigma but honestly my Sony 85 ZA is very good just need to correct in post for wide open shots
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    This lens is obviously not meant to be a general-purpose lens. Probably the price reflects that Zeiss will not sell many. But there are technical applications where a lens like this could excel--reproduction photography, for example. It really does not both me that Zeiss made this. Actually, I think it is great as it is a great example of the excellence in optical engineering. It is also one more choice for photographers. A win-win...

  48. #48
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    I know and like Lloyd, he is a friend. However, I also know he's never met a fast Leica or Zeiss lens he didn't like

    As for MT's images, they look nice, you can see the Zeiss design come though, but honestly I am not seeing enough extra anything over my Nikkor 85/1.4G to make me want to jump on it even if it were the same size and weight as my Nikkor. But at the size and cost of the 200/2, forgetaboutit!

    The lone exception is if I were an astro photographer, I might do some added research to see if it really does outshine competition in that department. Here weight means nothing and it's all about optical performance on infinity pinpoint light sources.
    Jack
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  49. #49
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Jack, I concur, this lens seems to shine at astrophotography…..

    I think it is a superb optical tool - just not for me - no interest - my old AF 85 f1.4 is just fine for my needs.

  50. #50
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    Re: Otus 85mm, everything is wrong

    Well, it's apochromatic, so not much competition if that is a priority.

    Then again, who shoots newspapers at an oblique angle wide open all day?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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