Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, review-in-progress!

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Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, review-in-progress!

Postby Thomas » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:27 pm

****************************************************
The review-in-progress can be found here.
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Zeiss is following its extraordinary 55/1.4 Otus (see my review here) now with the very popular focal length of 85mm.
Find all major information about the new lens in this brochure (german/english).
It has the same sleek design as the 55/1.4 with a 86mm filter thread and is manual focus only!
The new lens should be available mid September already, the price an eye-watering 4500 US-$ / 4000 EUR (incl. 19% VAT).
DxOmark has already tested a sample on a D800E here. It's rated between the Otus 55/1.4 (selling at around 3400 EUR) and the also excellent Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 which at 1900 EUR looks like a bargain by comparison.
One of the unfortunate things about DxO measurements is that they only measure/show lateral CA but not longitudinal CA which in my opinion are the real bane of large aperture primes: what good is a lens that produces strong magenta halos for subjects in front of the focus plane and green coloration behind the focus plane. That simply looks ugly and is hard to correct in post-processing.

You can find example images from the new lens here.

Some facts:
- length x diameter (ZF.2): 138 mm (5.43‘‘) x 101 mm (3.98‘‘) (w/o lens-hood)
- filter thread: 86mm, so you'll probably need new filters for this lens.
- weight (ZF.2): 1140g
- maximum magnification: 1:7.8
- minimum focus distance: 0,8 m (31.50’’)
- 11 lenses in 9 groups

And an image:

Image
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus - official thread - announced

Postby Thomas » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:07 pm

I've got the chance to play with the new Uber-prime from Zeiss today at the Photokina exhibition in Cologne.
If the 55/1.4 Otus intimidated you by its sheer size, weight and price, you'll be shocked that Zeiss' new 85/1.4 Otus added to all of that: it's bigger, heavier and more expensive.
Here's a shot of the lens as stand-alone and mounted on a D800:

Image
Zeiss_85f1-4Otus_70478 by Thomas, on Flickr

And there's someone trying to dream of some new gear for his photographic endeavors.

Image
Zeiss_85f1-4Otus_70489 by Thomas, on Flickr

You can see that even without the lens-shade the new Otus is quite some clunker even on the front of a large DSLR. Imagine how this would look mounted to a Sony ALpha 7r ;-)
Handling the lens is almost identical to the 55/1.4 Otus with the only difference being the increased weight and size. But that did not really distract from shooting.
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus - official thread - announced

Postby Thomas » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:31 pm

YES: Zeiss agreed to send me a loaner of the lens for a review here!
I'll benchmark it against the 55/1.4 Otus and the longer non-Otus (but equally excellent) Zeiss 135/2.0.
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus - official thread - announced

Postby Thomas » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:41 pm

Btw., Zeiss does it right: The focus ring turns exactly like the users of Canon or Nikon lenses are used too.
And the Nikon version even has an aperture ring. So with the right setting you could control the aperture from the lens. Just like Nikon's own D-lenses used to be. The G-lenses don't have an aperture ring any more, sadly...
And on a more anecdotal note: the Canon ZE version is 2mm longer (as you would expect), + 60g heavier than the Nikon ZF.2 version. I calculated: The lens is 1200g and 124mm long in the ZE/Canon version, that makes on average around 10g per mm of length. So it is not entirely clear (at least to me) why the 2mm more length of the ZE version weighs 60g more than the ZF.2 version :roll: :twisted:
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus - official thread - arrived!

Postby Thomas » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:16 am

Lens arrived. Testing is imminent...
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus - official thread - arrived!

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:47 am

I've uploaded some test-shots here.
I'll be adding to it over the next days.
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, testing!

Postby Thomas » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:42 pm

Hmm, can it be that one can shoot with the Otus with less shake than with the Nikon?
Both lenses unfortunately have no image stabilization, which at 85mm focal length and today's small photo-sites would have been really helpful.
But some of my test-shots saw me shoot the 1140g heavy Otus with less shake than the 600g Nikon. Physically that might well be the case which would be a nice bonus of the additional 540g you're schlepping around.
I'm thinking of doing my standard shake-test under controlled circumstances to see whether i can produce any statistics that validate my observation.
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, testing!

Postby Bob Andersson » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:35 pm

.
Hmm. Maybe less shake initially due to a higher moment of inertia but how about the inevitable increase in muscle tremor as the photo-shoot goes on and those arm muscles get more and more tired?

But if I owned such a beautiful lens I think I could overlook that concern! :lol:

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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, testing!

Postby Thomas » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:05 pm

Bob, shake-testing of non-stabilized lenses certainly is a new field for me. But to test the efficiency of image-stabilization I used to do a non-stabilized test to "base-line" my personal performance to hold steady with the tested lens. Normally I do at least 40 shots for base-lining which are done over a period of about 6 minutes.
Between each shot I drop the camera and let it hang from the strap for 3-5 seconds to relax my muscles a bit and control breathing. But I can tell you that at the end of the 40 shots with a heavy lens I feel the strain. So at least for my type of shooting where I normally control the results of a shot on the LCD-screen it is pretty typical.

Will be interesting to see what that test reveals.
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, review-in-progress!

Postby BillyChiu » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:39 pm

Thomas,

We just received our Otus 85mm lenses. One for Canon and the other Nikon.
Right away, the interesting part is that the Canon version is both longer and heavier.

The other interesting find is that neither a Canon 1DX, Nikon F4s, Nikon D810 or Nikon D750 can pick up EXIF lens info off the Otus 85mm. Just the fact it's a 85mm lens. In fact, the Canon 1DX thinks the Otus is a Canon 85mm lens.

Do you see this as well during your tests? Is there some firmware that can correct this?
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, review-in-progress!

Postby popo » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:28 am

Due to the mount distances the Canon one should be (from memory) about 2mm longer but I wouldn't expect the weight to be significantly different due to that.
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3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, review-in-progress!

Postby BillyChiu » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:32 pm

popo wrote:Due to the mount distances the Canon one should be (from memory) about 2mm longer but I wouldn't expect the weight to be significantly different due to that.


I looked up Zeiss specs and the Canon versions (both 85mm and 55mm) are about 6% heavier. Must be that extra 2+ mm of extra metal.
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, review-in-progress!

Postby Thomas » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:56 pm

Hello BillyChiu, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
I can only say that Lightroom 5.7 correctly offers lens corrections for both Otus lenses.
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Re: Zeiss 85/1.4 Otus: official thread, review-in-progress!

Postby popo » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:44 pm

Having looked up the Zeiss stats too, I see they list the Canon mount versions of both as 3mm longer and 60g heavier. Note the length includes body cap, so depending on the degree of protrusion beyond the flange that may account for the extra mm.

Actually, if you look at the Canon and Nikon mount versions side by side, it is quite obvious there is a difference near the mount. The Nikon version is narrower for longer near the mount where the aperture ring is located. The Canon version tapers quickly to match the rest of the body diameter, so would possibly use more more material there if it was solid in that area.
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