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Author Topic: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm  (Read 9108 times)

FelixBelloin

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2016, 06:17:04 am »

It appears your question is really 55 vs 85. You plan to get an Otus regardless, lucky you. I am reminded of a question I had when I was a view camera photographer. I asked a friend, more accomplished than I whether to get a 47 or 55 super wide for the 4x5. His reply was to go for the wider lens, his comment, "sometimes you just can't back up." Realizing you're looking at the best of the best, you can crop (horror of horrors :-)) the 55, you can't "widen" the 85.

I am yes, changing my approach to gear as I found Canon glass does not hold value over the years. I am tempted to think a solid piece of high quality glass will! I know what you mean, and I thought about this. A non practical solution would be to stitch whenever I can't back up. As I am going for a lens capable of resolving my sensor, I would be horrified to have to crop my shots (even though it will happen one day or the other).
I have put aside an 85 and a 55 and will make my final decision at the end of the week after further testing.

Thank you for the feedback

FelixBelloin

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2016, 09:28:41 am »

What about Canon TS-E 90? How does this lens qualifies against the Otus 85 in terms of sharpness and lack of abberations?

It's a nice lens but does not come close to the resolution capabilities of the Otus. In fact, it seems that only the Canon 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II out-resolves the Otus (but it also out-resolves my wallet...). You are right about the MFD, but I have a couple of extension tubes which will come in handy for macro work.
The one question I have an maybe a reader might pick it up:

Manual focusing an f/1.4 is not easy with an OVF, I still have good eyes but I am not sure it will last. I am more of a tripod/live view guy, but I do enjoy a good handheld session once in a while. Considering the Otus has electric connections, would the focus confirmation work in the view finder? i.ee, would the selected AF point still blink when focus is achieved?

Thanks,

Felix

shadowblade

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2016, 11:14:36 am »

Shooting landscapes, you often have little say in what angle of view you need to use. You can't fly 20m into the air to suit the lens, nor can you walk off a cliff, excavate a hill or knock over a building to put your camera where your lens needs to be. Often, the spot you have is the best one you're going to get (because you scouted out all the vantage points on Google Earth before you got there). You need to make your lens fit the angle of view, not the other way round.

There are three ways to achieve this - crop, stitch or zoom. Cropping is out for anything less than an 80- or 100-megapixel MFDB. That leaves stitching and zooming. Stitching with primes works well for wider angles (where the ability to use the sharp, central part of the frame helps make up for weaker corners in almost all UWAs) but not so well at longer focal lengths, due to the number of large, heavy lenses you'd have to carry to cover all bases. This is where a zoom really comes into its own.

Landscape photography is uniquely suited to zooms - you need the flexibility of a zoom, but also don't often need the wide aperture of a prime, and most decent lenses, whether prime or zoom, will have similar performance at your typical apertures.
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shadowblade

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2016, 11:22:52 am »

Otus lenses are very nice... when you can use them. In other words, for stitching, as well as the odd occasion where the needed focal length matches exactly with the focal length of the lens. A wider (55mm, since there's no 35mm option) one works well for stitching, but longer primes just aren't very flexible for landscape use.

I wish Zeiss would make super-sharp, no-compromises 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and 200-500 Otus lenses, sacrificing the primes' aperture for zoom capabilities. They'd be the ultimate set of landscape lenses. I guess that's basically what the Sony GM series is, though...
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FelixBelloin

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2016, 01:16:28 pm »

Landscape photography is uniquely suited to zooms - you need the flexibility of a zoom, but also don't often need the wide aperture of a prime, and most decent lenses, whether prime or zoom, will have similar performance at your typical apertures.

You are right, and that's why I have the 16-35 f/4 L to suit my needs, however I found many applications for my old Leica 90mm for landscape images, so I think I will not find the 85 that different. Furthermore, I found a refurbished copy online today for 2,000 which is really good value, so I am definitely going for it.

FelixBelloin

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2016, 01:18:39 pm »

I wish Zeiss would make super-sharp, no-compromises 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and 200-500 Otus lenses, sacrificing the primes' aperture for zoom capabilities. They'd be the ultimate set of landscape lenses. I guess that's basically what the Sony GM series is, though...

The day they will accept to pay the AF license to canon and open to more versatile optics will be a great days for photographers indeed.
Even without AF, I am still keen on a 16-35 70-200 combination. One can dream!

Manoli

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2016, 01:28:19 pm »

Furthermore, I found a refurbished copy online today for 2,000 which is really good value, so I am definitely going for it.

A refurbished copy of which one , the 55 or 85 ?
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FelixBelloin

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2016, 01:50:18 pm »

A refurbished copy of which one , the 55 or 85 ?

85!

shadowblade

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2016, 12:00:33 am »

The day they will accept to pay the AF license to canon and open to more versatile optics will be a great days for photographers indeed.
Even without AF, I am still keen on a 16-35 70-200 combination. One can dream!

Even if Zeiss doesn't make the lenses AF, Sony could easily add AF (as well as tilt/shift) to any lens by moving the sensor.

They already have five-axis IBIS. Adding a Z-axis wouldn't require a huge jump.
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FelixBelloin

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Re: Zeiss Otus 85mm or 55mm
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2016, 10:11:07 am »

And here it is! I literally received it 10 minutes ago and had a play around in the office. It is as good as new and feels incredible.
I would like to thank you all for your feedback and input on the topic, it really helped me make up my mind.
I know some of you made it clear that I will face limitations with it in my regular shooting style, but I hope they will only be occasional, as I went telephoto for a reason.
I will certainly upload a few shots after christmas on my 500px, feel free to have a look around!
Many thanks to all of you and merry christmas.

Felix
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