Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Down

Author Topic: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review  (Read 26078 times)

Ligament

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 207
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2014, 02:02:47 am »

I am afraid I have to report a potentially serious problem with the Otus for cold weather landscape shooting.

I was out shooting 2 hours this morning in cold weather (-5C, snow falling).

I came back to the lodge, leaving my camera in the bag as I always do. When I took it out there was some condesnsation on the camera/lens but also... inside the lens. This raises concerns about the kind of weather proofing of the lens. Had I noticed this I would have gone back out in freezing weather which would have caused the condensation to freeze on the lens elements which must not be good.

20 mins with an air dryer removed all visible traces of condensation inside the lens.

I don't remember seeing such issues with any other nikon/zeiss/leica lens I used in similar conditions.

I know that there are ways to reduce these issues by keeping the camera and lens inside an air tight zip bag, but I don't like having to do this kind of babysitting.

Cheers,
Bernard


I will second this statement! I took the Otus and D800e to the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, over 13,000 feet. Lo and behold, condensation on the INSIDE of the lens ruined my sunset photos! I understand the Otus is not weather sealed and not sold as such, therefore I can accept this. However, for landscape photographers, this may be an issue.
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 22556
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2014, 05:53:28 am »

The fact still remains that in the pre-af manufacturing era you could take your stuff anywhere and not ever wonder if the temperature or humidity was about to give you unexpected visual special effects.

I see all of this as simply a continuation along the path of less factory inspection and marketing down to a price, however high that price may appear to some; the price really worth understanding (and forever hidden to us) is the price of manufacture.

But I don't expect anything to improve: a new generation has grown up absolutely programmed to the idea of trying several examples of almost anything before finding one that's right. I have no idea how this change in expectation levels happened; in the past, it would have spelt ruin for any company to do what's normal today. But then, you had to be there to understand the concept now.

On which gloomy note, have a great 2014, and don't buy what you don't really, really need: if you do, you'll surely live to regret it.

Rob C

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 22556
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2014, 12:22:36 pm »

Careful - you'll have us both branded Jack-greeters.

;.)

Rob C

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 22556
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2014, 02:32:19 pm »

Jack - A very intellectual, insightful man with the most honest heart. His intentions and words are always well intended and he has the sexiest eye.

Jack - another term for the clap or gonorrhea 2. from the popular AC/DC ditty "The Jack".

Jack - To instruct a fellow jackoff(n) to continue jacking off(v), despite himmerself's better logic.

Jack - To steal something from someone without their consent. An action which someone does to another person for their personal belongings

Jack - Nothing, zero, zilch, nada, shit all. Possibly a short, fat man

Jack - It roughly means "in a state of disarray" and is commonly used in the phrase "to jack someone/something up".

Jack - To masturbate to the extreme or with extreme force after you have been said 'no' to.

Which did you have in mind, Rob?

;-)



Hi-

But I'm sure you knew it all the time!

;-)

Rob C

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12842
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2014, 05:36:41 pm »

Having selected the Otus over the Nikon 85mm f1.4 AF-S for a family weekend with a 2 years old as main character... here are the findings:

- I love the bokeh. It a bit nicer than that of the Nikon 85mm f1.4 AF-S behind the subject, but where it really shines is in front of the subject, it is probably the best performer I have seen here and strongly contributes to the 3D look of images,
- I manage to get some reasonnably focused images of a moving baby about 50% of the time , which is not bad in absolute terms. Now, they are never quite tack sharp... probably softer than what I could achieve with the "awful" Nikon 58mm f1.4,
- Live view is usable hand held on static subjects are results in optimally focused images reliably at f1.4,
- Contrast is extremely well preserved in strong back lit situations, like a subject in front of a window, which is very important obviously,
- Veiling flare is well present as soon as the sun hits the front element, as I expected from its size. The effect can be leveraged for portrait use although it is obviously a clear departure from technical perfection.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 10:07:51 pm by BernardLanguillier »
Logged

AreBee

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 638
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2014, 06:26:37 pm »

All,

I did a bit of digging on condensation, as it applies to lenses, as I struggle to imagine how a state of the art lens that, in Zeiss's own words is operable down to -20C apparently shows condensation where other lenses do not.

I suspect that the reason plastic lenses do not suffer the same as Zeiss all-metal lenses is related to the fact that the thermal conductivity of plastic is significantly less than that of metal. Hence, the latter will gain/lose heat more rapidly than the former. Information relevant to the thread regarding condensation can be found here. It is clear that temperature cannot be considered in isolation. The dew point is equally important, as is the temperature of the equipment when it is exposed to the environment.

Bernard,

Quote from: ErikKaffehr
I would be interested in a few issues: 1) Do you see a significant advantage with the Otus over good primes at medium apertues, say f/8?

Like Erik, I too would be very interested to see how the Otus 55mm f/1.4 at, say, f/8 compares to your Zeiss 50mm f/2, also at f/8. Will such a comparison be feasible?

Regards,
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12842
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2014, 08:02:52 pm »

I did a bit of digging on condensation, as it applies to lenses, as I struggle to imagine how a state of the art lens that, in Zeiss's own words is operable down to -20C apparently shows condensation where other lenses do not.

I suspect that the reason plastic lenses do not suffer the same as Zeiss all-metal lenses is related to the fact that the thermal conductivity of plastic is significantly less than that of metal. Hence, the latter will gain/lose heat more rapidly than the former. Information relevant to the thread regarding condensation can be found here. It is clear that temperature cannot be considered in isolation. The dew point is equally important, as is the temperature of the equipment when it is exposed to the environment.

Being able to operate at -20c is not related to weather ruggedness at all. It is only about lubricants specs.

Yes, plastic lenses are superior for cold shooting for the reasons you mention, but I have never experienced issues with the other Zeiss lenses I use, although the conditions were of course not exactly identical. This time the Otus got wet with snow before I went back inside.

This being said, my 70-200 f4 on the D800 was totally trenched with wet snow the next day for 90 minutes and didn't suffer any condensation inside the lens at all. The ruggedness of those Nikkors is truly outstanding. You can just totally forget about them and focus on shooting.

Like Erik, I too would be very interested to see how the Otus 55mm f/1.4 at, say, f/8 compares to your Zeiss 50mm f/2, also at f/8. Will such a comparison be feasible?

Karel Van Wolferen compared the Otus to a legacy Minolta 50mm f3.5 lens on the a7r and found them to be similar at f8 for the scenes he used. His results are published on the.me @ http://www.the.me/f-stops-bokeh-mania-monstrous-lenses-and-lazy-composition-plus-sony-a7r-with-zeiss-otus-comparisons/

Very interesting read by the way.

I was given the chance to review his files and did find some minor differences in some of them, but agree that they were overall very close. The Minolta seemed a bit more contrasty in one (but I suspect the light was a bit different), while the Otus exhibited less color aliasing in another with slightly better corners. The lack of aliasing may result from the better correction of the Otus, or simply from the slight difference in magnification avoiding some moire.

Measurments clearly show that the Otus is at its peak at f4 and starts to suffer from diffraction at smaller apertures, but f8 is indeed a relevant aperture to consider for those shooting landscape.

Doing such comparisons isn't part of my priorities right now, but I'll do it if I find some spare time.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 09:46:07 pm by BernardLanguillier »
Logged

AreBee

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 638
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2014, 07:00:10 am »

Bernard,

Quote
Being able to operate at -20c is not related to weather ruggedness at all. It is only about lubricants specs.

I respectfully disagree. I doubt Zeiss referred solely to the viscosity of lubricant used in the lens when it stated that The ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 is designed for use in normal conditions. Protection against environmental influences exceeding common dimensions is not provided. These lenses can be used at a temperature range of -20C to +55C. in response to the question I was wondering if this lens is weather sealed and also if the lens is useable outside when the temperature is below 0 C. In any event, the point is moot since neither of us can know for sure.

Quote
Karel Van Wolferen compared the Otus to a legacy Minolta 50mm f3.5 lens on the a7r and found them to be similar at f8 for the scenes he used. His results are published on the.me @ http://www.the.me/f-stops-bokeh-mania-monstrous-lenses-and-lazy-composition-plus-sony-a7r-with-zeiss-otus-comparisons/

Very interesting read by the way.

Yes, a very good read, and thank you very much for providing a link to it.

Quote
Doing such comparisons isn't part of my priorities right now, but I'll do it if I find some spare time.

Okay, thanks.
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12842
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2014, 07:29:07 pm »

Bernard,

I respectfully disagree. I doubt Zeiss referred solely to the viscosity of lubricant used in the lens when it stated that The ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 is designed for use in normal conditions. Protection against environmental influences exceeding common dimensions is not provided. These lenses can be used at a temperature range of -20C to +55C.

There are several aspects that are typically designed for/validated when a manufacturer provides a working temperature range:
- meterials dilatation,
- lubricants viscosity,
- electronic behavior
- ...

They typically do not include weather factors like very high humidity, rain/snow nor changes of temperature within the supported range.


Cheers,
Bernard

JohnBrew

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 868
    • http://www.johnbrewton.zenfolio.com
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2014, 08:44:40 pm »

Measurements clearly show that the Otus is at its peak at f4 and starts to suffer from diffraction at smaller apertures, but f8 is indeed a relevant aperture to consider for those shooting landscape.
Cheers,
Bernard

This is incorrect. Refer to the MTF charts posted on LensRentals and the Otus is pretty much the same as other top lenses. Peak sharpness occurs at f5.6. You are quoting Lloyd Chambers, who has a tendency to get lost in pixel peeping. Michael Erlewine has speculated (and I agree) that due to the corrected glass used in the Otus, diffraction should be much less noticeable @f11 and f16. Based on this, landscape users should be able to use a fairly stopped down aperture for DOF. The most stopped down I shot was f9 and in hindsight it should have been stopped down quite a bit more. The Otus is a great landscape lens and it needs to be stopped down considerably if wide DOF is a concern.

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12842
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2014, 09:32:44 pm »

This is incorrect. Refer to the MTF charts posted on LensRentals and the Otus is pretty much the same as other top lenses. Peak sharpness occurs at f5.6. You are quoting Lloyd Chambers, who has a tendency to get lost in pixel peeping. Michael Erlewine has speculated (and I agree) that due to the corrected glass used in the Otus, diffraction should be much less noticeable @f11 and f16. Based on this, landscape users should be able to use a fairly stopped down aperture for DOF. The most stopped down I shot was f9 and in hindsight it should have been stopped down quite a bit more. The Otus is a great landscape lens and it needs to be stopped down considerably if wide DOF is a concern.

John,

I am in fact basing my comments on Dpreview/DxO measurments. F4 and f5.6 are close, but f4 delivers more details in the center.

I don't disagree that the Otus still performs well at smaller apertures but it is not fully tapping in the resolution potential of the lens. One can discuss whether the Otus still delivers more detail than other lesser lenses stopped down. At least in the comparison results I saw with the stellar Minolta 50mm f3.5, the advantage of the Otus was not obvious at f8.

There are of course many images where using a smaller aperture is the right thing to do, no debate here. I have used f11 a lot as well.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 12:30:11 am by BernardLanguillier »
Logged

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8229
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2014, 03:09:53 am »

Michael Erlewine has speculated (and I agree) that due to the corrected glass used in the Otus, diffraction should be much less noticeable @f11 and f16.

Hi John,

It has a different cause. Diffraction blur is always the same for a given aperture number. The Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) of lens aberrations and the MTF of diffraction, multiply. When one improves, e.g. the residual lens aberrations are less, that MTF improves. Hence, the multiplied MTFs have a higher response, and come closer to the best of the two.

In other words, when lens aberrations are reduced, we get closer to only diffraction blur. Diffraction blur is always the same for a given aperture number. Also a higher sampling density will get a more accurate encoding of that diffraction pattern.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8229
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2014, 03:37:28 am »

I am in fact basing my comments on Dpreview/DxO measurments. F4 and f5.6 are close, but f4 delivers more details in the center.

Hi Bernard,

That's as expected. At f/5.6 the diffraction pattern will start to reduce the contrast of micro-detail, because the diffraction pattern diameter exceeds 1.5x the sensel pitch of the D800/D800E. Because the diffraction pattern blur is center weighted, it will gradually increase its resolution reducing effect until at f/22 and narrower the lens will effectively limit all achievable high spatial frequency resolution, even high contrast micro detail will be totally lost, and overall contrast is significantly reduced. Some of the remaining high contrast spatial frequencies can be boosted by deconvolution, but noise will have to be controlled very well.

Quote
I don't disagree that the Otus still performs well at smaller apertures but it is not fully tapping in the resolution potential of the lens. One can discuss whether the Otus still delivers more detail than other lesser lenses stopped down. At least in the comparison results I saw with the stellar Minolta 50mm f3.5, the advantage of the Otus was not obvious at f8.

These lenses will have a similarly low residual lens aberration blur component at f/8. All that remains will be diffraction blur and that only varies with aperture number, everything else being equal.

Quote
There are of course many images where using a smaller aperture is the right thing to do, no debate here. I have used f11 a lot as well.

Most good lenses can be used up to approx. f/16 without too much consideration, which is where lots of micro detail will lose contrast beyond repair, but for optimum performance (instead of creative considerations) its usually close to 2 stops down from the wide end to f/5.6 where the best can be expected. Close-up magnification factors will also magnify the blur, so it helps to have lenses that perform well closer to the wide open end of the range, as Michael Erlewine amongst others will be able to confirm. So your findings are consistent with the expectations for a well corrected lens at longer focusing distances.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

Slobodan Blagojevic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15230
  • When everyone thinks the same, nobody thinks
    • My website
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2014, 03:42:53 pm »

Outdoor Photo Gear site recently posted an article titled: Fighting Condensation with Reasonable Methods. From the article:

Quote
So, are ziplock bags really necessary? The short answer is, no. I never put my gear in plastic bags or ziplock bags to prevent condensation forming on them when I go in from the cold. I find that just ensuring that you put your gear into your camera bag before going inside, and then leaving it there for a few hours to warm up gradually, is enough to prevent condensation forming.

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12842
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2014, 06:34:19 pm »

Outdoor Photo Gear site recently posted an article titled: Fighting Condensation with Reasonable Methods. From the article:

So, are ziplock bags really necessary? The short answer is, no. I never put my gear in plastic bags or ziplock bags to prevent condensation forming on them when I go in from the cold. I find that just ensuring that you put your gear into your camera bag before going inside, and then leaving it there for a few hours to warm up gradually, is enough to prevent condensation forming.

That is exactly what I have been doing and I have never had issues.

Now, I wonder what equipment the author shoots with. From what I hear Nikon shooters have gotten used to taking for granted that their camera and lenses are weather proofed to a very high degree and that less stringent measures are required to prevent the adverse effects of condensation.

My experience with the Otus may just be a wake up call that not every piece of gear is designed by Nikon standards.

Cheers,
Bernard

ErikKaffehr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11251
    • Echophoto
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2014, 09:40:24 pm »

Hi,

I had Minolta and Sony for 40 years and never seen a problem like that. I don't think it is a sealing problem, more related to cooling down rates on different parts of the lens.

What I usually do is just leave the camera in the bag, zipped up. But I am no extreme weather shooter.

Best regards
Erik

That is exactly what I have been doing and I have never had issues.

Now, I wonder what equipment the author shoots with. From what I hear Nikon shooters have gotten used to taking for granted that their camera and lenses are weather proofed to a very high degree and that less stringent measures are required to prevent the adverse effects of condensation.

My experience with the Otus may just be a wake up call that not every piece of gear is designed by Nikon standards.

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged
Erik Kaffehr
 

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12842
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2014, 07:39:02 am »

For what it's worth, I have uploaded several new samples shot with the Otus after the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/72157639077058796/

The new Flickr viewer doesn't provide direct links to the jpg files I could find, so here are links to 3 photographs of very different styles:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11730152636/player/dcf6fdfb07
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11750269245/player/d5ab88e59e
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11751222626/player/7a16a784c1

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 07:44:10 am by BernardLanguillier »
Logged

ndevlin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
    • Follow me on Twitter
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2014, 10:26:02 am »

Bernard,

Thanks for reminding us how wonderfully beautiful Japan is in the winter.

Happy New Year.

- N.
Logged
Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera        ww

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 22556
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2014, 01:12:48 pm »


For what it's worth, I have uploaded several new samples shot with the Otus after the link:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11730152636/player/dcf6fdfb07

Bernard



That's an amazingly crisp image; any chance it wasn't hand-knitted stitched? I never get that kind of detail out of a single frame... if it's a single shot, then the damned thing's worth every penny.

;-(

Rob C

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12842
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2014, 05:29:14 pm »


That's an amazingly crisp image; any chance it wasn't hand-knitted stitched? I never get that kind of detail out of a single frame... if it's a single shot, then the damned thing's worth every penny.

Hi Rob,

Sorry to disapoint, this one is a 150 megapixels stitch. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Up