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Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - Printable Version

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Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - davidmanze - 11-19-2013

Hi guys,

             The review is out of the new Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 APO prime lens, they claim that "the lens is sharp fully open and that  the photographer now can concentrate on depth of field without the constraints and limitations of resolution at large apertures".

   Is it as good as Zeiss claims?  Is it near perfect?

 

http://www.lenstip.com/2069-news-Zeiss_Otus_55_mm_f_1.4_ZE_ZF.2_-_lens_review.html

 

 

     




Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - Brightcolours - 11-19-2013

I think what Zeiss mostly claims is nice bokeh and very low optical aberrations. It seems as good as Zeiss says it is.




Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - Guest - 11-19-2013

It wins in just about every category - very solid flare resistance; apo; sharp wide open and stopped down and fantastic bokeh.

-

I wonder if the astro folks will snap this lens up for night photos (low coma). Hum. Sadly it is just too heavy so it is a dud Smile




Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - joachim - 11-19-2013

Oh well - many of their samples have focussing issues.  In particular those of the woman in the black-n-white coat.  Why getting worked up on a few lppm when you loose it all due to out-of-focus ...




Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - Brightcolours - 11-19-2013

Quote:Oh well - many of their samples have focussing issues.  In particular those of the woman in the black-n-white coat.  Why getting worked up on a few lppm when you loose it all due to out-of-focus ...
You hardly can blame a lens for a photographer's mistakes!  :blink:



Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - JJ_SO - 11-19-2013

If those sample would be a base to decide, not many would buy this lens. Nice bokeh, but so far I haven't seen one picture being in focus. We're used to adjust the AF and then we're done and can set proper focus even out of center. So, what good would be a screen with a center focus help for shooting wide open and/or moving objects? This lens is challenging all AF users or readjusting them to shoot stable immobile objects with tripod and LiveView.

 

Who needs a fast lens? What to do with it in dark conditions? Concerts? Ballets? Theatre? My purse just regained breath  Rolleyes no danger to buy it.




Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - thxbb12 - 11-19-2013

Quote:Oh well - many of their samples have focussing issues.  In particular those of the woman in the black-n-white coat.  Why getting worked up on a few lppm when you loose it all due to out-of-focus ...
 

Very true. In my DSLR days I kept being frustrated with AF unreliability. What's the point of having high resolution sensors using a f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens if the image is rarely 100% in focus? You may as well throw 50% of the pixels away. This is exactly why I fully switched to MFT and I know that whathever I shoot at will be fully in focus (wide-open or not, regardless of the focal length). I enjoy photography much more since.



Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - popo - 11-19-2013

No one said this lens will be everything to everyone.

 

As a playing around exercise, I had some decent MF success (>50% focus hit rate) with 50mm f/1.2 with an ebay split prism focus screen in a 5D2, and it can only improve with practice. Then again, it isn't my need to shoot that way. I'd rather live view which is more accurate than any AF system. I'm more a still life shooter in that respect, and focus time is irrelevant compared to the rest of the shot set up time.

 

you2 mentioned astro, I was also wondering the same. It would be classified as wide field so not the most common use unless you wanted whole constellations in one go (50mm would get the body of Orion on APS-C in one shot). For me, longer focal lengths are where is gets more interesting. If they did a 135 f/2 or 200mm f/2.8 version of this, I'd be much more interested. I wouldn't say no to faster, but the price would be rather astronomical by that point.

 

Hmm... I wonder who's going to be the first to try the Zeiss in IR? On that note, similar money could get you the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV/IR/macro...




Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - JJ_SO - 11-20-2013

No one complained " this lens is not everything to everyone" Wink Especially it's not dedicated to IR or Astro or whatever purpose the coastal optics was made for - it's just "normal photographic purposes".


And putting in perspective, Zeiss makes a cinematographic parfocal zoom 70-200/2.9 for nearly 20.000 $ and is able to sell it, I'm sure some photographers will enjoy it, against that zoom it appears to be bargain.


It's also a pretty cool "transform disadvantage to advantage" thing: Being not willing or not able - and hiding it behind marketing blah about superior manual focus and photographers want to decide about focus areas - to make an AF, they avoid customer complaints about "slow AF" or "less precise AF" and can always say: Look at the resolution numbers, this lens is best - if you're pics aren't, that's all your fault. Tongue


Now, besides LiveView which is nice for immobile objects, which chances a photog has to get all that resolution numbers out of the lens?
  • A special screen?
<ul class="bbcol decimal">[*]Only centerred subjects will benefit.
[*]It's not easy to adjust this screen accurately to this lens - I have such a screen and the AF "does always know better" - and unfortunately is right, because I did the fine adjustment. And can't fine adjust the screen to each lens.
[*]Each contemporary AF module is more sensitive than your eye if it comes to operating in dark conditions. That lens would be fast enough for dark conditions - unfortunately my abilities to focus it won't be. Yours?
</ul>
  • The focus help (that's the term for Nikon, don't know about Canon), which are three tiny lights left lower side in the finder?
<ul class="bbcol decimal">[*]The AF point could be chosen out of all you see in finder. 39 or 51 focuspoints, isn't that enough?
[*]I would have to observe, if the desired object still is covered by the focus points (when not using a tripod or the subject is moving and therefore not cooperating). And my hand is no tripod.
[*]At the same time I had to watch the flickering LEDs in the lower left side. All with the same eye... It gives me a headache only thinking about :blink:. Why wasn't it possible to let the focus point itself switch from red to green, because I'm already staring at it?
[*]The focus help must be adjusted, like all the other lenses must be fine-tuned. It's comparatively easy to let the AF work and just push the button, then see what happened on a big screen while shooting tethered.
[*]The AF is fast setting the focus. I'm not. Turning the focus ring slowly will vary accuracy of the AF-module.
[*]I learnt with the Sigma dock, the fine-tuning is valid for just one distance between camera and subject. On another distance, it's possible that another finetune-setting would be better.
</ul>So, if one can't or doesn't want to use LiveView for each picture, he/she will have serial serious disappointments with a high price lens. But of course, one can get better pictures than the lenstip-guy. On flickr there are outstanding shots: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlzeisslenses/10305437304/in/photostream/ , as well portraits. Of professional models, used to hold an interesting pose until the photog finished focussing. Not much of those to be seen on the streets, though Sad


The next question is what would make any other manufacturer with the money his designers are allowed to burn for a "normal" prime lens. Some of them would even offer AF or manual focus B) how cool's that?




Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 lens test - Brightcolours - 11-20-2013

Quote:If those sample would be a base to decide, not many would buy this lens.
It is not a lens for many. It is a lens for professional artists who know the value of this lens for their work.

Quote:Nice bokeh, but so far I haven't seen one picture being in focus. We're used to adjust the AF
Adjust the AF?

Quote:and then we're done and can set proper focus even out of center. So, what good would be a screen with a center focus help for shooting wide open and/or moving objects?
Obviously this lens is not designed to be used as sports lens. Come on. If you can't figure out which kind of photographer this lens is for, then it certainly is not a lens for you. Does not mean that others don't know what it is for.

Quote:This lens is challenging all AF users or readjusting them to shoot stable immobile objects with tripod and LiveView.
This lens is NOT for the hobby-ing snap shooter. It is for serious photographers/artists who understand its value. Not a lens for the masses.

Quote:Who needs a fast lens? What to do with it in dark conditions?
Aperture is for DOF control. Exposure time and ISO are for exposure duration control.

Quote:Concerts? Ballets? Theatre? My purse just regained breath  Rolleyes no danger to buy it.
If you can't figure out what this lens is good for, it is not a lens for you. As so many lenses are not for you. Does not mean it is not a lens for others....