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Author Topic: Zeiss Otus 55  (Read 10427 times)

Rob C

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2013, 03:56:20 AM »

John,

Did you focus with live view?

I am not sure to understand how the focus dots impact if you shoot using live view.

Cheers,
Bernard




Bernard,

As I was originally reading the piece you quoted, I had a build up of the giggles: I think John was having some fun at the expense of those of us who expect at least a modicum of stability behind any 'testing' of a camera's systems, to which, to make myself understood properly, I'd better add lenses as being a part of said systems... I think pixie-peepers and sundry extremists were also included in that lighter moment.

At least, I hope so, failing which, I'd better lay off the cornflakes at breakfast.

Rob C

PhotoEcosse

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2013, 09:28:08 AM »

John,

Did you focus with live view?

I am not sure to understand how the focus dots impact if you shoot using live view.

Cheers,
Bernard


Now I am lost. How does the AF system (or any fault therein) have any impact when using a manual focus lens?

But I bet that those who have a need for this lens must really regret that Nikon (and other makers) ditched all those sophisticated focussing aids that we used to have in the viewfinders of our old manual film SLRs.

:(
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Fine_Art

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2013, 12:59:09 PM »

Now I am lost. How does the AF system (or any fault therein) have any impact when using a manual focus lens?

But I bet that those who have a need for this lens must really regret that Nikon (and other makers) ditched all those sophisticated focussing aids that we used to have in the viewfinders of our old manual film SLRs.

:(

Like what? You still have the green dot with arrows  on each side.
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Rob C

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2013, 02:00:45 PM »

Now I am lost. How does the AF system (or any fault therein) have any impact when using a manual focus lens?

But I bet that those who have a need for this lens must really regret that Nikon (and other makers) ditched all those sophisticated focussing aids that we used to have in the viewfinders of our old manual film SLRs.
:(


We really should send a petition to them; but they wouldn't ever pass it on to the right guys anyway.

I'd settle for interchangeable screens or, if only one allowed, give me a split-image with grid and no bundle of tiny micro-prisms around the split!

Rob C

PhotoEcosse

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2013, 03:06:31 PM »


We really should send a petition to them; but they wouldn't ever pass it on to the right guys anyway.



Rob C

I did petition them (well, Nikon at least) a couple of years ago and got a very polite reply to the effect that, as everyone now used autofocus lenses, there was no need for such refinements. I think their current crop of gurus are too young to remember that we could line up a split image more quickly than any AF system they have yet invented. (or so it seemed)
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Fine_Art

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2013, 05:03:06 PM »

Ah, the old rangefinder split. I wonder if that could be done in Live View.
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Rob C

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2013, 05:18:33 PM »

I did petition them (well, Nikon at least) a couple of years ago and got a very polite reply to the effect that, as everyone now used autofocus lenses, there was no need for such refinements. I think their current crop of gurus are too young to remember that we could line up a split image more quickly than any AF system they have yet invented. (or so it seemed)


I got through to them once too, in Japan, when I was trying to find a combined grid/split-image screen that was suitable for fast lenses. The only one they made was for slower than f5.6, I think. Anyway, the reply wasn't very helpful all, as I remember, though I can't remember what it was exactly; I just do remember it pissed me off. The same happened once when I wrote to Leitz about making their lenses available in Nikon bayonet too... they side-stepped, didn't even try to talk about copyrighted design or anything, just told me about the R6, which I already knew enough about not to buy it, the main problem being well less than 100% coverage in the viewfinder, and if you major in 135 format, then every mm counts a lot, a huge lot, a lot big enough for Safeway to use as a car park!

So really, you often get dumped out in the snow on your ass by these companies.

Rob C

JohnBrew

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2013, 08:37:17 PM »

I see there have been a lot of responses to my observations. Well, I now have even more to add after shooting all day today comparing three different lenses with my D800. First of all, you can move the focus point around the LCD whether you are AF or manual. I was using manual and checking focus with the LV. I have no explanation for why I got OOF with the Otus and didn't with my other lenses. I can't rule out user error! So today I re-shot my test scenes using a central focus point. Incidentally, I have never noticed a problem with any of the focus points on my camera before and I swear I did not have my customary glass of red wine before I went out. Anyway, the central focus point worked fine and I got my shots. They are all posted on Nikongear as that is where all this stuff was first mentioned.
While I don't mind doing a double post (and will if someone requests this) I will report that the copy of the Otus I have appears to lack contrast most of all especially compared to my 85 1.4G. And it remains flat even after pp. One of my fellow photographers swears he prefers a flat image because when he prints it comes out enhanced. I don't buy that. Regardless, I don't see enough difference between my 50 Makro and 85 1.4G (the two of which I use for stitching landscapes) and the Otus to buy into the hype.
In continuing to compare this lens and give it every chance to earn a place in my bag, I've decided to shoot some studio comparisons closer up than what I've done up to now in hopes that some magic will happen. (I will have wine then!) And I will post the results.
Thanks for the interest.

allegretto

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2013, 03:14:11 AM »

As the owner of the 15mm, 21mm and 100mm Macro would say that a certain "flatness" is evident in the ones currently owned as well. But the more i compare it to other Canon lenses and looking back at my Nikon images from a couple years ago I don't think it so much "flatness" as very "clean" and lacking any real flavor or color preference. Sort of like fresh, clean water in that it seems pretty pure and devoid of bias or offset.

It's all interpretive though. You may or may not like it. In the focal lengths above it seems to have a great deal of detail in the shadows due to the "sterility".



I see there have been a lot of responses to my observations. Well, I now have even more to add after shooting all day today comparing three different lenses with my D800. First of all, you can move the focus point around the LCD whether you are AF or manual. I was using manual and checking focus with the LV. I have no explanation for why I got OOF with the Otus and didn't with my other lenses. I can't rule out user error! So today I re-shot my test scenes using a central focus point. Incidentally, I have never noticed a problem with any of the focus points on my camera before and I swear I did not have my customary glass of red wine before I went out. Anyway, the central focus point worked fine and I got my shots. They are all posted on Nikongear as that is where all this stuff was first mentioned.
While I don't mind doing a double post (and will if someone requests this) I will report that the copy of the Otus I have appears to lack contrast most of all especially compared to my 85 1.4G. And it remains flat even after pp. One of my fellow photographers swears he prefers a flat image because when he prints it comes out enhanced. I don't buy that. Regardless, I don't see enough difference between my 50 Makro and 85 1.4G (the two of which I use for stitching landscapes) and the Otus to buy into the hype.
In continuing to compare this lens and give it every chance to earn a place in my bag, I've decided to shoot some studio comparisons closer up than what I've done up to now in hopes that some magic will happen. (I will have wine then!) And I will post the results.
Thanks for the interest.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2013, 03:42:11 AM »

It may be telling as much about how good the nikon 85mm f1.4g is.

It may not be as amazingly sharp at f1.4 as the Otus, which explains the lower DxO sharpness score, but it is nonetheless one of the best lenses available today, with remarkable contrast and colors.

I am more and more hesitant about the Otus and each day that passes without B&H shipping my lens is increasing the odds I simply cancel my order.

Cheers,
Bernard
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henrikfoto

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2013, 06:17:03 AM »



I am more and more hesitant about the Otus and each day that passes without B&H shipping my lens is increasing the odds I simply cancel my order.

Cheers,
Bernard

[/quote]


I have the same thoughts. I am waiting too, but at that price we need to see a real differense.

Henrik
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Manoli

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2013, 06:57:24 AM »

I am more and more hesitant about the Otus and each day that passes

I'm not hesitant, I cancelled.
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Rob B.

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2013, 08:10:52 AM »

John,

Quote
...I would say the lens is extra sensitive to correct focus.

This makes no sense to me. The Otus has the longest focus throw of any lens in its class (possibly any lens in the 35mm format?). Consequently, it provides the user with finer control compared to alternative lenses because a greater rotation of the focus ring is required in order to achieve focus. Alternative lenses with reduced focus throw will provide coarser control. Therefore, the latter is by definition more sensitive to focus than the former.

Quote
...I don't mind doing a double post (and will if someone requests this)

I for one would be very interested to see your results.

Quote
I will report that the copy of the Otus I have appears to lack contrast most of all especially compared to my 85 1.4G.

Again, this makes no sense to me. Setting aside the difference in focal length, the Otus measurably returns greater contrast, coarse and fine, than the computed MTF of the 85mm f/1.4.

The only way I can imagine an image from the Otus 55mm f/1.4 will look "flat", i.e. clearly lacking in contrast, is if it was shot in low contrast conditions such as on an overcast day, in which case every other lens would perform similarly. That, or the sample you have is poor, but while that may be possible, the probability surely is so vanishingly small as to be all but impossible.

Quote
...I've decided to shoot some studio comparisons closer up than what I've done up to now in hopes that some magic will happen. (I will have wine then!) And I will post the results.

Please do.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 08:13:21 AM by AreBee »
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JohnBrew

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2013, 08:33:48 AM »

As the owner of the 15mm, 21mm and 100mm Macro would say that a certain "flatness" is evident in the ones currently owned as well. But the more i compare it to other Canon lenses and looking back at my Nikon images from a couple years ago I don't think it so much "flatness" as very "clean" and lacking any real flavor or color preference. Sort of like fresh, clean water in that it seems pretty pure and devoid of bias or offset.

It's all interpretive though. You may or may not like it. In the focal lengths above it seems to have a great deal of detail in the shadows due to the "sterility".

Allegretto, I think you've hit the nail on the head. I shot in bright sunlight so tonight I'm going out and shoot some Christmas lights at night to check for shadow detail and bokeh.



JohnBrew

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2013, 08:42:04 AM »

John,

This makes no sense to me. The Otus has the longest focus throw of any lens in its class (possibly any lens in the 35mm format?). Consequently, it provides the user with finer control compared to alternative lenses because a greater rotation of the focus ring is required in order to achieve focus. Alternative lenses with reduced focus throw will provide coarser control. Therefore, the latter is by definition more sensitive to focus than the former.

Frankly I could care less what people say about the long throw - using the focus square on the D800, in and out of focus take place in a 2mm (I'm guessing here) twist. It is incredibly sensitive. But don't take my word for it, try it yourself. In spite of this, it can be hand-held and focused on the fly for street shooting or just zone focused. But I think those who use this lens will be happier shooting on a tripod.

Rob B.

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2013, 10:11:19 AM »

John,

Quote
Frankly I could care less what people say about the long throw - using the focus square on the D800, in and out of focus take place in a 2mm (I'm guessing here) twist. It is incredibly sensitive.

I didn't question whether focus was sensitive, but that it was, in your words, "extra sensitive". Perhaps I inferred incorrectly, but in the context of your comment, "extra" to me suggests focus more problematic to acquire with the Otus 55mm f/1.4 than other lenses. Given the facts about the lens construction I fail to see how that is possible.

Reading your post to Allegretto above I note that you tested in bright sunlight conditions. Clearly, therefore, the lack of contrast you found was not due to shooting on an overcast day. I look forward to seeing your test images.

Cheers,
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2013, 05:34:27 PM »

Reading your post to Allegretto above I note that you tested in bright sunlight conditions. Clearly, therefore, the lack of contrast you found was not due to shooting on an overcast day. I look forward to seeing your test images.

Flare comes to mind as one possible reason.

Cheers,
Bernard
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JohnBrew

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2013, 05:39:12 PM »

AreBee, I have posted a new series of shots of our Christmas parade over on NikonGear. I can re-post them here if you wish. They are all shot at 1.4 in overcast conditions. They demonstrate very well the separation of subject from bg that Zeiss is famous for. I'm not a street shooter per se, but am happy with the results. I also have written that I think my comparison was ill-advised and I should just have shot the lens as I normally would and treat the results as I would any other image. It is nice that it is so highly corrected but there is a bit of vignetting wide open.

rethmeier

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2013, 05:59:42 PM »

From what I've heard about this lens,it's main reason of the design,that is is optimised to be used at F1.4
No real benefit to other lenses at F8
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JohnBrew

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Re: Zeiss Otus 55
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2013, 06:49:03 PM »

Roger at LensRentals has listed an MTF chart for the Zeiss 55 1.4. It's highest resolution occurs at 5.6, just as many other lenses. Due to the Zeiss design the lens may be shot wide open without many of the usual problems such as field curvature, heavy vignetting, chromatic aberration, color casts etc.
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