Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T* First Impression (it’s “scharf”)

Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 OtusZeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus

Scharf is a German word that can mean “sharp” or “hot”, depending by the context. That’s the notion Roger Cicala starts his review of the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T* lens – Zeiss’ latest $4000 optical marvel:

After testing our first copies of the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus lens I felt the term scharf was just perfect to describe this lens.

It’s a pity they tested the lens on a Nikon instead of a Canon. However, I think the test is interesting anyway. About building and handling:

I can’t say what you’ll think of the appearance, but I love it. Very sleek and minimalist. The focus ring has the typical smooth Zeiss throw with a cinema-like 248-degree rotation. I found it extremely accurate.

In the conclusion Roger writes:

I won’t try to say whether the Otus is worth $4,000 to you. But I can certainly say that Zeiss did what they said they had done: gave it exceptional performance even in the corners at widest aperture. From a resolution standpoint, it is, as Zeiss said it would be, “the absolute best SLR lens in the world today.”

As written before, this is a $4000 lens – not everyone’s toy. Check the price and availability of the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay

Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus

Shot with a Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T* – Image courtesy: lensrentals.com

[via lensrentals]


Zeiss Close To Announce New High End Lenses (first lens is a 55mm f/1.4)


Zeiss (nowadays without the “Carl”) revealed plans for those lenses some time ago. The first lens they are going to release – in Autumn 2013 – is a 55mm f/1.4. The new lenses will embrace a new design philosophy that Zeiss exposed in an article titled From brand personality definition to prize-winning design. Prototypes were shown at Photokina 2012. They write:

The project had been discussed internally at ZEISS for a long time. The first concepts were already discussed in 2008, but it was not until 2010 that things became concrete. Back then it was clear to the experts at ZEISS that the image sensors in the new generations of cameras would make such a big leap forward that there would already be a need for corresponding high-performance lenses in the medium term. […]  ZEISS wanted to offer photographers a range of high-end SLR lenses that would enable them to use the full potential of such cameras. Such a combination would achieve performance values that would be comparable to those of medium-format systems.

“When the 1,4/55 comes onto the market at the end of 2013 as the first in this family of lenses, it will be one of the best lenses in the world,” summarizes [the project manager]. “There will be nothing of comparable quality, and that not only applies to this specific focal length range.  With this product ZEISS has truly opened up a new dimension of digital full-frame photography.”

More on Zeiss blog. For a selection of Zeiss lenses for Canon cameras see here.

[via ephotozine]

Zeiss 135mm f/2.0 Apo-Sonnar ZE (Canon) Available For Pre-Order


Both B&H And Adorama have the Zeiss 135mm f/2.0 Apo-Sonnar ZE for Canon mount available for pre-order, price is $2,122 (click on shop name): B&H | Adorama.

Expected to ship February 2013. From Adorama’s product description:

  • Because this lens is an apochromat, chromatic aberrations (axial chromatic aberrations) are corrected with elements of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. The chromatic aberrations are therefore significantly below the defined limits
  • Great low-light shots start with a great lens for your DSLR camera. A high-speed lens captures as much light as possible. A lens with a wide maximum aperture offers the best results in difficult lighting conditions
  • The lens design ensures consistent imaging performance throughout the entire focusing range as well as sharpness to the periphery of the image. The asphere’s more complex surface profile can reduce or eliminate spherical aberration and also reduce other optical aberrations compared to a simple lens
  • Rich, vibrant colors are vital to creating a lasting impression. Stray light in the lens, however, would lead to a brightening of the image, which is particularly visible in shadow areas. Image contrast is lowered; the image appears dull and bleached
  • Photographers want to guide the observer through the image. Minimal depth of focus is often used as a design element. This keeps the background intentionally blurred to keep the attention of the observer on the main subject
  • The nine diaphragm blades and the resulting, virtually circular aperture on Carl Zeiss SLR lenses are crucial to favorable rendition of highlights in the fore and background

[via The Digital Picture]

Zeiss Distagon T* f/2.8 21mm ZE Lens Reviewed By The Phoblographer

The Pholographer reviewed Zeiss Distagon T* f/2.8 21mm ZE, a lens with outstanding optical properties, anda great lens for street photographers. The price tag? Well it’s a hefty $1843, but then: it’s a Zeiss glass, you pay and get a glass that’s among the best. An EOS 5D Mark II[/shoplink. Was used for testing. They describe the lens as «luxurious, sharp, and clinical». There are many sample images to check. From the conclusion:

Zeiss’s 21mm f2.8 is quite an excellent lens, but with that said we’re not sure who exactly this lens would be for. Though Street Photographers would love this lens, many of them these days opt for rangefinders or mirrorless cameras due to the small size and awesome optics designed for them. Documentary photographers that like to go slow and take their time with the process may want to spring for this lens. Additionally, landscape photographers may also want to try this lens.

Despite the high price tag, the lens earned excellent marks for sharpness, image quality, color rendition, contrast, and build quality. There really is nothing to fault with this lens except the high price tag.But even then, it really is an awesome optic.

[via The Phoblographer]