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Author Topic: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions  (Read 42669 times)

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2013, 05:56:01 AM »
Mass production is the main reason for a low price technical product. You need a lot of money to develop something. Let’s say it’ll cost you 1 million to  develop and the manufacturing cost per product are $10.
You aim to sell 10,000 of your product.
Development cost per product is $100, so total cost per product is $110.
If you can sell 1 million of your product, the development cost per product is only $1, so the total cost is $11 per product.

I know it’s a bit more complicated than that, but in general a big part of the high price of a low sales technical product is due to development cost.

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2013, 05:56:01 AM »

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2013, 05:59:20 AM »
Honest question.  I don't get why a well made lens with half dozen machine ground lenses of a particular shape and in one configuration can cost 10-20x what another well made lens with a half dozen machine ground lenses of a similar shape and configuration?  How can the shape of a lens element or the coating cost so much more to produce?  What is special about this lens that Canon, Nikon or Sigma could not reverse engineer (i.e. lens shape) and produce for $400?

An interesting read from Lloyd Chambers here.
Yep, a good read. Making a lens with very tight tolerances, with aspherics in the mix is very difficult (centering issues with aspheric lenses can be tricky). While Canon/Nikon do make fast optics in the 50mm range with aspherics / special glass, etc, they are soft wide open. This one isn't :)
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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2013, 06:09:19 AM »
Honest question.  I don't get why a well made lens with half dozen machine ground lenses of a particular shape and in one configuration can cost 10-20x what another well made lens with a half dozen machine ground lenses of a similar shape and configuration?  How can the shape of a lens element or the coating cost so much more to produce?  What is special about this lens that Canon, Nikon or Sigma could not reverse engineer (i.e. lens shape) and produce for $400?

An interesting read from Lloyd Chambers here.
Yep, a good read. Making a lens with very tight tolerances, with aspherics in the mix is very difficult (centering issues with aspheric lenses can be tricky). While Canon/Nikon do make fast optics in the 50mm range with aspherics / special glass, etc, they are soft wide open. This one isn't :)

Remember the canon lenses are much older designs. Canon's more recent lens designs are much sharper, like the 100mm macro L.
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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2013, 08:16:07 AM »
I think that it is fantastic that Zeiss has made this lens!  I guess it is very difficult to make a great normal (for FF) lens...no one has until now.  I cannot afford this lens...but I would love to have the opportunity to view some prints made from it by a skilled image maker.  That would be exciting.
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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2013, 10:11:32 AM »
Honest question.  I don't get why a well made lens with half dozen machine ground lenses of a particular shape and in one configuration can cost 10-20x what another well made lens with a half dozen machine ground lenses of a similar shape and configuration?  How can the shape of a lens element or the coating cost so much more to produce?  What is special about this lens that Canon, Nikon or Sigma could not reverse engineer (i.e. lens shape) and produce for $400?

Others have already brought up economies of scale and exclusivity of having a limited edition product both of which will result in high unit prices. I'm guessing that Zeiss also has patents to protect its design from being copied, and patents last for 20 years so if you wait that long you might see knockoffs being released.

Just another point on "special" lenses, these are designed to address specific deficiencies in mainstream lenses and you should expect them to be more expensive. People often argue about how much better these are (e.g. maybe 5-10% better) than a competitor lens or a predecessors. The challenge is whether you as a photographer can truly showcase that extra 5-10% of optical performance or not. If optics is the only limiting factor in your photography then these lenses will definitely set you apart from other photographers. If your creativity, composition and use of light is poor then you'll only be taking crap pictures that look 5-10% better optically.
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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2013, 10:46:53 AM »
I have this lens on order and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I have several other Zeiss lenses, all of which are incredible. I imagine this lens will be another favorite for me. The lenses really are amazing.

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2013, 11:11:18 AM »
He won't say whether it is worth $4000 to me, but I will.

..No.
Me, neither, but if they release a 24mm, as is rumored, then I might consider it.  It would have to blow away the TS-E 24mm, though.

If you shoot 55mm all day long (think fashion or advertising pros) and do huge enlargements (think fashion or advertising pros again), I think this lens would probably be worthwhile.  For the rest of us, no.

I think the target market is not pros (who would be better served by the Canon 50L as it has AF, or a medium format system if they really need the resolution), but enthusiasts with lots of money who really need the 'best lens in the world' for their holiday snaps.
Probably, but I know a few product and fashion pros who are near, or in one case at, the top of their field and they will gladly pay whatever is asked for even slight improvements in IQ.  They all shoot medium format for most things, but like the flexibility and speed of SLRs for some of their location work. 
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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2013, 11:11:18 AM »

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2013, 11:25:45 AM »
Honest question.  I don't get why a well made lens with half dozen machine ground lenses of a particular shape and in one configuration can cost 10-20x what another well made lens with a half dozen machine ground lenses of a similar shape and configuration?  How can the shape of a lens element or the coating cost so much more to produce?  What is special about this lens that Canon, Nikon or Sigma could not reverse engineer (i.e. lens shape) and produce for $400?

Issue is not cost, but why would someone pay for it.  What does it deliver that than "regular" lens does not - beside the ego boast of having the best and most expensive lens (based upon focal length)
It may be the most expensive 55mm, but Leica offers a 50mm that's $8K and another that's $11K.

What the Otus delivers is amazing performance at wide apertures.  Forget the ego boost.  It delivers something that a regular lens doesn't.  The resolution numbers are even better than those of the Leica Summilux 50 (also $4K), which had previously surpassed all other fast 50's on Roger's tests (granted the Otus is a 55).

Of course resolution isn't everything, and for most of us isn't worth that much money.  But this lens is without doubt very special. Why someone would pay for it:  they want the photographs that can be made with it.  Having special tools isn't just about having them, but about using them and making something special with them.

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2013, 11:27:56 AM »
He won't say whether it is worth $4000 to me, but I will.

..No.
Me, neither, but if they release a 24mm, as is rumored, then I might consider it.  It would have to blow away the TS-E 24mm, though.

If you shoot 55mm all day long (think fashion or advertising pros) and do huge enlargements (think fashion or advertising pros again), I think this lens would probably be worthwhile.  For the rest of us, no.

I think the target market is not pros (who would be better served by the Canon 50L as it has AF, or a medium format system if they really need the resolution), but enthusiasts with lots of money who really need the 'best lens in the world' for their holiday snaps.

+1.

This also is the power of Leica IMHO.
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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2013, 12:30:55 PM »
Clearly I'm not part of the target market for this lens; I would want AF and to pay 1/10 the asking price.

But I do understand and appreciate the economics of diminishing returns (i.e., at the high end of any product market, it costs multiples more money for small incremental improvements). This product is no doubt targeted to a relatively small market; I would be curious what Zeiss' first year sales projects are for the Otus.

(I do wish they had named it "Otis" instead of "Otus," however, in honor of the town drunk on the Andy Griffith show ...)

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2013, 12:48:57 PM »
literally it is a great great lens , almost perfect , no doubt about it.
but it is just too huge , it is longer than the Nikon 24-70mmf2.8G, I think  the size makes it just an impractical lens for many.
I do not mind 4k for a lens of this great, but I do really hate the huge long ugly barrel design.
So I will use my Zeiss 50mm f2 MP for another few years.
if you guys do not mind the huge 50 kind of lens , then just get it , there is nothing comes close to it at least in a lab test. 

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2013, 01:37:37 PM »
literally it is a great great lens , almost perfect , no doubt about it.
but it is just too huge , it is longer than the Nikon 24-70mmf2.8G, I think  the size makes it just an impractical lens for many.
I do not mind 4k for a lens of this great, but I do really hate the huge long ugly barrel design.
So I will use my Zeiss 50mm f2 MP for another few years.
if you guys do not mind the huge 50 kind of lens , then just get it , there is nothing comes close to it at least in a lab test.

Ultimate IQ was the goal, not a pancake.

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2013, 02:17:12 PM »
Best?  So, it's the lightest?  And has the greatest zoom range?  Is unprecedented in it's telephoto capabilities?

People that market "the best" anything drive me nuts.  Maybe it's the sharpest in the corners wide open.  Maybe it has the truest color representation and saturation.  Great, but that doesn't make it "best" in a million different other scenarios.

huh?

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2013, 02:17:12 PM »

JohnDizzo15

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2013, 02:19:16 PM »
Honest question.  I don't get why a well made lens with half dozen machine ground lenses of a particular shape and in one configuration can cost 10-20x what another well made lens with a half dozen machine ground lenses of a similar shape and configuration?  How can the shape of a lens element or the coating cost so much more to produce?  What is special about this lens that Canon, Nikon or Sigma could not reverse engineer (i.e. lens shape) and produce for $400?

Because they all respectively currently have 50mm lenses that already cost a lot more than $400 that don't really compete with the Otus.

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2013, 05:36:43 PM »
I was going to compare a Glock .38, which will shoot a man dead, with a Desert Eagle .50, which will shoot a man very dead.

But that first shot of Roger's, of the red berries, even at the published size, seems to display bokeh that is so creamy, I suspect it would clog my arteries instantaneously and render me not just very dead but extremely dead.

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Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2013, 05:36:43 PM »