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Author Topic: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses  (Read 11391 times)

alexluuphoto

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Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« on: March 04, 2015, 07:55:02 pm »

Hey guys what are your thoughts on zeiss 55,85 otus lenses? Do you think it's reasonable to shell out 4k for these lenses. here are the options you can get a zeiss otus lens or a h3d-ii 31 with a 80mm ls or a Pentax 645d and some old lenses. Which one would you guys opt for?
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2015, 09:14:52 pm »

Hi,

That depends. Which camera would you put it on? Do you need AF? Are you shooting a lot at full aperture?

The Otuses have excellent optical correction, they will outshine almost any lens at f/1.4. But stopping down to f/8 they will be limited by diffraction as any other high quality lens.

The Sigma Art 50/1.4 would not match the Otus at f/1.4, nothing does, but it would put ut a good fight at most other apertures.

Depends a lot what camera you put the lens on.

Let's put it this way. At f/1.4 I am pretty sure no other lens can match the Otus on a high res DSLR. You can put the Otus on Nikon D810 or Canon's forthcoming 5Ds. On the Canon it will beat the Nikon and both will beat the MFD lenses at full aperture. Stopped down to f/8 it will be much more even. On Nikon and Canon you would be able to focus using live view, you would not have that option on the Pentax 645D or the old Hasselblad.

Technically, you could put the Otus on a Sony A7r, but vibrations may rob a lot of sharpness in the 1/5 - 1/250 s shutter speed range.

This is based on tests I have seen. I don't have the Otus.

Just to mention, if you don't need the f/1.4 aperture and can live with the focal length the Zeiss 135/2.0 APO is an excellent lens. Would Zeiss make an 85/2.0 APO of the same quality it would be on my buying list. In my case I am speculating on Sony and Nikon coming around with 50 MP pretty soon, even if it seems they are not in any great hurry.

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 09:22:01 pm by ErikKaffehr »
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alexluuphoto

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2015, 10:43:00 pm »

I shoot mainly fashion and portrait work so usually outdoor I'll use about 2.8-5.6 and indoor studio depending 4.0-8.0. So I'm thinking this lens wouldn't be needed since I don't shoot at 1.4 that much only small occasions. When I had my canon 85mm 1.2 I rarely shot at 1.2. I like the idea that you get good depth of field even at 5.6 because of the size of the medium format sensor.
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dwswager

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 03:04:45 pm »

Hey guys what are your thoughts on zeiss 55,85 otus lenses? Do you think it's reasonable to shell out 4k for these lenses. here are the options you can get a zeiss otus lens or a h3d-ii 31 with a 80mm ls or a Pentax 645d and some old lenses. Which one would you guys opt for?

Certainly not IF it causes you to forgo other equipment/opportunities.  They are spectacular, but really the advantages are wide open.  And the real world differences you would see will depend a lot on what and how you use your equipment.  If you need to tweak every last bit out of image then it can be the key to making the image work, but the difference is so minimal from some other options that it is hard to justify the cost unless you have already figured out that it is 'required'.
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DaveCurtis

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 03:33:39 pm »

Technical brilliance aside, I think the Otus 55mm has a wonderful look. The way it renders is superb. 

Many well corrected lens can look slightly harsh however the Otus certainly doesn't. It's kinda best of both worlds.
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2015, 04:03:20 pm »

Hey guys what are your thoughts on zeiss 55,85 otus lenses? Do you think it's reasonable to shell out 4k for these lenses.


Depends on (as Erik said) if you're going to shoot at wide f-stops.

Also depends on how large you're gonna print:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=8876

And also what you're comparing it to. Compared to the 90mm 'cron, the Otus 85 is about the same price and a better (if larger) performer.

As in hi-fi, the last few increments in quality often come at great price. Compare the Otus 55 with the Sigma ART 50, for example.

Jim


BernardLanguillier

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2015, 04:09:02 pm »

I have been trying to answer this very same question for months myself. ;)

My Nikkor 85mm f1.4 AF-S is excellent, but it doesn't have the same magic qualities I find in my Otus 55mm f1.4, still it's a lot of money and weight might just be a bit too heavy as well...

This one was shot with the Otus 55mm, the look, rendition of challenging background, lack of CA gives the image a very pleasant look in my book.



Cheers,
Bernard

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 04:00:02 am »

Another option would be to get a Sony A7 series camera with the ZEISS FE 55 f1.8 lens, which is referred to often as a "mini-Otus"...

Or a Zeiss C Sonnar 50 in ZM mount, for a truly classical look. I take the liberty of posting a couple of  portraits from my daughter, as examples of what this lens can do.

Kind regards.

JV

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 07:47:31 am »

Compared to the 90mm 'cron, the Otus 85 is about the same price and a better (if larger) performer.

The Leica is about $650 cheaper now (with the promotion), and especially much lighter, 498g versus 1.14kg...

Would you happen to have any side by side Cron versus Otus comparisons on your blog?

Thanks, Joris.
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synn

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 07:59:30 am »

I shoot mainly fashion and portrait work so usually outdoor I'll use about 2.8-5.6 and indoor studio depending 4.0-8.0. So I'm thinking this lens wouldn't be needed since I don't shoot at 1.4 that much only small occasions. When I had my canon 85mm 1.2 I rarely shot at 1.2. I like the idea that you get good depth of field even at 5.6 because of the size of the medium format sensor.

For outdoor fashion, one critical element is the ability to sync flashes at higher shutter speeds. This is something the Hassleblad 80mm can do for you and 35mm format lenses won't.

Make the choice based on your personal shooting style.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 08:41:12 am »

For outdoor fashion, one critical element is the ability to sync flashes at higher shutter speeds. This is something the Hassleblad 80mm can do for you and 35mm format lenses won't.

Unless you own Profoto B1 with the latest firmware of course.

Cheers,
Bernard

synn

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 09:12:41 am »

Unless you own Profoto B1 with the latest firmware of course.

Cheers,
Bernard



I take it that you don't do too much strobe lit photography.

High speed sync and true shutterspeed sync are not the same thing. Canikon have had HSS/ Auto FP for ages now. The B1 offers it in a bigger package, but none of them are doing the same thing as a leaf shutter syncing at 1/800s or so. You will never be able to freeze motion with HSS like you do with a true shutter sync and you'll be using a lot more power per exposure as well.
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kers

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2015, 09:28:23 am »

I take it that you don't do too much strobe lit photography.

High speed sync and true shutterspeed sync are not the same thing. Canikon have had HSS/ Auto FP for ages now. The B1 offers it in a bigger package, but none of them are doing the same thing as a leaf shutter syncing at 1/800s or so. You will never be able to freeze motion with HSS like you do with a true shutter sync and you'll be using a lot more power per exposure as well.

interesting : i would like to SEE the difference. I understand that it is a different way of giving light to the subject.
I can imagine with fast motion you would be able to have a kind of rolling shutter effect with the canikon method. But that effect would be the same without flash.
I never saw this effect in photography. ( but in the early photographs of Lartique- http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?31903-Jacques-Henri-Lartigue-and-his-camera)
I have used a 1/8000 second flash on my Nikon and it worked very well- did not see any side effects other than you need a lot of flashpower.
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Jan K.

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2015, 09:56:26 am »

... This one was shot with the Otus 55mm, the look, rendition of challenging background, lack of CA gives the image a very pleasant look in my book.

Sorry, but the technicalities totally drowned here in too much cutieness!  ;D
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synn

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2015, 10:41:26 am »

interesting : i would like to SEE the difference. I understand that it is a different way of giving light to the subject.
I can imagine with fast motion you would be able to have a kind of rolling shutter effect with the canikon method. But that effect would be the same without flash.
I never saw this effect in photography. ( but in the early photographs of Lartique- http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?31903-Jacques-Henri-Lartigue-and-his-camera)
I have used a 1/8000 second flash on my Nikon and it worked very well- did not see any side effects other than you need a lot of flashpower.

Do any type of dance photography and you will see the difference between the two very quickly.
In fact, if you are happy with the results you get with HSS, you are better off with continuous light. Past x-sync, a flash with HSS and continuous light affect exposure exactly the same way.
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2015, 11:53:34 am »

The Leica is about $650 cheaper now (with the promotion), and especially much lighter, 498g versus 1.14kg...

The fact that it's a stop slower might explain some of the weight difference.

Would you happen to have any side by side Cron versus Otus comparisons on your blog?


I will be doing a Otus 85/90 'cron/Nikkor G 85 f/1.4/Zeiss 85 f/4 Tele-Tessar comparison in a few days. Natural subjects, not test charts. Maybe I'll throw in the Zeiss 100 f/2 Makro.

I'm planning on using the a7II body. I'm worried about shutter shock on the a7R, and I can't use all the lenses on the D810.

Jim

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2015, 04:53:07 pm »

Do any type of dance photography and you will see the difference between the two very quickly.
In fact, if you are happy with the results you get with HSS, you are better off with continuous light. Past x-sync, a flash with HSS and continuous light affect exposure exactly the same way.

It is indeed slightly different in that the flash duration will be shorter than 1/800 when using a regular flash with a leaf shutter lens while the flash duration is going to be essentially the same as the shutter speed when using HSS, but that's only going to have a slightly visible effect on subjects for which you want to convey some subtle motion, correct?

It seems to me that this is a pretty rare case. Until now the main problem was the lack of power with Nikon flash in HSS, the B1 significantly expands the cases where daily flash photography can be used with non leaf shutter lenses.

And I do own a pair of B1 btw.

Cheers,
Bernard

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2015, 04:56:13 pm »

Sorry, but the technicalities totally drowned here in too much cutieness!  ;D

It makes it pretty hard to concentrate when taking such photographs! ;)

Cheers,
Bernard

Telecaster

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2015, 05:04:22 pm »

I really like what I've seen so far from the Oti. Very high clarity along with a non-harsh transition from in- to out-of focus. If I were a pro specializing in environmental portraiture they'd be no-brainers. For my actual needs, though, they're too big & heavy…so I'll stick with my old 85/2 Sonnars, and maybe add a modern Loxia version for the Sony FE mount should Zeiss decide to make one.

-Dave-
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alexluuphoto

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Re: Opinion of zeiss otus lenses
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2015, 10:39:49 pm »

I have a Sony A7 with the 55mm 1.8 and love it to death. I'm just curious what choice would you guys make and why. 4k for a system or a lens lol.
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