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Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 DxOMarked

Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4

Zeiss´new Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens has been DxOMarked.

Conclusion:

The new Otus 85mm is without question the most desirable and best performing 85mm portrait lens available but at $4,490 it’s not for those without deep pockets. It’s also rather large and bulky […]  and it lacks the convenience of autofocus. While that may not be an issue for most enthusiasts or professionals (particularly as AF is at best difficult with f1.4 models) it’s likely to further limit its appeal, even if the real reason is obvious.

The Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 sells for $4,490 and can be pre-ordered at B&H Photo and Adorama. Sample pics can be seen on Zeiss’ Flickr album.

Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4

Specs and description after the break.

The Otus 1.4/85 ZE on camera

Product description (from B&H’s product page)

  • EF Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • One Aspherical Element
  • Six Anomalous Partial Dispersion Elements
  • Apochromatic, Planar Optical Design
  • Floating Element System
  • Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Internal Focus; Manual Focus Design
  • All-Metal Barrel, Yellow Scale Markings
  • Rounded Nine-Blade Diaphragm

A portrait-length lens with no optical compromises, the Canon EF-mount Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T* ZE Lens resembles its namesake and seeks to deliver notable performance in any situation. Based on the Planar design, this apochromat incorporates one aspherical element and six elements made from anomalous partial dispersion glass in order to effectively suppress chromatic and spherical aberrations throughout the focus and aperture ranges. Additionally, a floating element design is also employed and a Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating has been applied to individual lens elements for consistent sharpness and image clarity. As a high-precision tool, the Otus 85mm f/1.4 also features a refined physical construction to endure use in trying conditions.

The longer-than-normal focal length pairs well with the fast f/1.4 maximum aperture to enable precise control over focus position for shallow depth of field applications. Accentuating the range of control, this manual focus lens is complemented by haptic design elements, including a long rotational focus throw, rubberized focus ring, and an all-metal lens barrel with high-visibility yellow scale markings. This ZE-series lens is dedicated to Canon EF-mount cameras, and features an electronic interface to support camera-based adjustment over exposure settings.

Prime portrait-length lens is designed for Canon EF-mount full-frame-format DSLRs and 35mm film cameras. It is also compatible with APS-C format DSLRs, where it will provide a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 136mm.
Fast f/1.4 maximum aperture benefits working in difficult lighting conditions and also enables extensive control over focus placement for shallow depth of field and selective focus applications.
One aspherical element and six elements made from anomalous partial dispersion glass help to suppress chromatic aberrations for greater clarity and color accuracy around subject edges, regardless of the aperture setting in use.
Based on the Planar optical concept, this apochromatic lens virtually eliminates both chromatic and spherical aberrations in order to reduce color fringing and color artifacts in front of and behind the plane of focus.
A floating element design places variable air gaps between select lens groups to realize consistent performance throughout the focusing range, from 2.6′ to infinity.
Zeiss T* anti-reflective coatings have been applied to each lens surface to help minimize reflections in order to provide greater image clarity, contrast and color fidelity.
Manual focus design is accentuated by a rubberized focusing ring, 261° focus ring rotational angle, an inset dial window, and bright, high-visibility yellow depth of field and distance scale markings.
An internal focusing mechanism maintains the overall lens length and, benefitting the use of circular polarizers and graduated neutral density filters, the front filter thread does not rotate during use.
Rounded nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing out-of-focus quality.
The sophisticated optical system is housed within an all-metal lens barrel, which is built with the narrowest of design tolerances for refined precision and durability.
This ZE-series lens supports Canon DSLRs’ electronic interface for camera-based control over exposure settings and in-camera focus confirmation.
Otus 1.4/85 ZF.2
  • Bob B.

    Interesting.

    I take everything from DxO with a grain of salt, but I include there info in my mix and assess accordingly.

    I will not be buying an Otus 85mm because of manual focus and price.

    I own a Canon 85 f/1.2L II and absolutely love it.

    Perhaps a new Sigma Art could challenge all of this.

    Side note: DxO rates the existing Sigma 85mm at higher sharpness than the Canon 85L II.

    This
    reviewer put 4 or 5 copies of the Sigma against the Canon and totally
    disagreed with the DxO findings. Just food for thought.

    http://cannonfastreviews.com/canon-85mm-f1-2-l-ii-vs-sigma-85mm-f1-4-ex

  • Good results for the Zeiss but definitely Sigma has the real advantage over the two considering it’s very low-cost from a price pov. A new ART will be on Zeiss level but at 1/4-1/5 of the price and 1/2-1/3 of the price of the Canon. Sigma hovewer is still a gamble regarding QC and focus consistency and older generation, non-ART lenses like the one in the DxO test are more prone to those two problems…Those problems keep me from buying Sigma even today with their ART lineup. Waiting for a Canon EF 50 f1.8 IS and 85 1.8 IS that will replace the older non-L versions (those are 90’s lenses), lenses that will look like real primes (ART and Zeiss lenses are big/huge from a prime pov). If those new lenses (they are rumored for some time) will be as good as the EF 35 f2 IS then I’m going to get them. For my style of shooting I use f4L IS zooms and non-L 1.4/1.8/2/2.8 primes :-) the only exception to the rule being the 100 f2.8L Macro IS.

  • kiiKane

    I really don’t see how it beats the sigma by 3 points. Its behind in the results as many times as is ahead and all the results are very close. I’m no sigma fan but for 20-25% of the cost for virtually the same image quality (albeit lower build quality) plus AF I’d take the sigma. Those little blue badges must be seriously expensive to make!

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