A few days after having published their review about the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens, the folks at SLRGear published their review of the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens, a manual focusing, optical gem that sells for $4,000.
The Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 is the lens Sigma claims they want to compete with their 50mm f/1.4 lens. There is still no official announcement about the Sigma’s price, but Photo Rumors says they got a rumor stating that the Sigma 50mm f/1.4’s price will be $1,030. Well, that´s a fourth of the Zeiss!
About sharpness of the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4:
Given the price tag and their history of high quality lenses, we were expecting the Zeiss 55mm ƒ/1.4 Otus to display truly impressive results, and we weren’t disappointed
and compared to the Sigma 50mm f/1.4:
The Sigma 50mm ƒ/1.4 Art is just as sharp right in the center, but the Zeiss shows significantly better sharpness over the rest of the frame, particularly in the corners.
Conclusion and how the Zeiss holds up to the Sigma:
Despite the dramatic difference in price, the Sigma competes handily with the $4,000 Zeiss 55mm Otus lens. […] With extremely sharp images, even wide open, the Sigma also has fantastic vignetting and CA control, and a phenomenally low level of distortion. While the Zeiss does show better performance in the corners at ƒ/1.4 on a full-frame camera, the other optical performance characteristics are pretty evenly matched.
What do you think about the fact that “optical performance characteristics are pretty evenly matched”? So, substantially the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 matches the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 in as good as all tests SLRGear made. The Zeiss is sharper in the corners at f/1.4, and that’s all the Zeiss has to beat the Sigma. And the Sigma has auto-focus and could possibly cost a fourth of the Zeiss.
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens is an exciting pieces of glass. Can’t wait to see more reviews of this lens.
Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 specifications and description after the break.
- For Canon EF Mount DSLR Cameras
- Optimized for Full-Frame Camera Sensors
- f/1.4 – f/16 Aperture Range
- Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective Lens Coating
- Floating Elements Design
- All-Metal Lens Housing
- Manual Focus, 20″ Close Focus Distance
- 77mm Filter Thread
- Highly Visible Yellow Scale Markings
The Canon EF Mount 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T* Lensfrom Zeiss is a standard focal length premium lens optimized for full-format DSLR camera sensors. A wide maximum aperture combined with Zeiss’ renowned optical glass and T* lens coating allow the 55mm f/1.4 to transmit an impressive degree of detail and color rendition even in low light situations. A floating element design equips the lens for consistent image quality, minimal aberration and field distortion throughout the focus range.
Complementing the premium optics of the 55mm f/1.4 Otus lens is a metal lens housing as evidence of a build quality that matches the lens’s imaging prowess. Additionally, an all-metal focusing mechanism with an extended rotation angle allows precise manual focusing from 20″ to infinity. Borrowing from their cinema lenses, Zeiss labels the focus scale with highly-visible yellow markings. The rubberized focus ring improves tactile feedback and helps to enable exact focus placement.
- Fast f/1.4 maximum aperture for shallow depth of field and low-light performance
- Engineered for optimal image quality using a DSLR with a full-frame sensor
- Zeiss T* anti-reflective coated lens system enhances image contrast and clarity
- Floating element design with 12 elements in 10 groups
- All-metal focus mechanism with extended angle of rotation for precise focus placement
- Cinema lens style yellow scale markings on lens barrel enhance visibility
Features Image Stabilization None Autofocus None Tripod Collar No Environmental Operating/Storage Temperature Not Specified By Manufacturer Physical Filter Thread 77 mm Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.64 x 5.66″ (9.25 x 14.38 cm) Weight 2.27 lb (1030 g)