July 28, 2014, 05:38:34 PM

Author Topic: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions  (Read 39961 times)

thepancakeman

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 446
  • If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #165 on: March 14, 2014, 11:54:51 AM »
.Wow!

Your lens takes really good pictures!
*He takes really good pictures!  :)

I suspect this is a tongue-in-cheek reference back to earlier threads talking about skill vs. equipment and photographic pet peeves.

It does beg the question though, for those who say it's not the equipment but the skill of the photographer ("I can take great pictures with my iPhone"), what is the point of a $4000 50mm manual focus lens?   ???

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #165 on: March 14, 2014, 11:54:51 AM »

Eldar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1357
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #166 on: March 14, 2014, 12:52:15 PM »
.Wow!

Your lens takes really good pictures!
*He takes really good pictures!  :)

I suspect this is a tongue-in-cheek reference back to earlier threads talking about skill vs. equipment and photographic pet peeves.

It does beg the question though, for those who say it's not the equipment but the skill of the photographer ("I can take great pictures with my iPhone"), what is the point of a $4000 50mm manual focus lens?   ???
Well, in my book that is quite simple. If you´re happy with your iPhone, stay with your iPhone and save the money for something else.

I think most of the images posted here was meant to show what the lens can deliver, not the skills (or lack of skills) of the photographer. At least that was my intention. So, from that perspective, the quote from distant.star is quite relevant.

Every time I get one of the images from this lens up in LR, I´m trying to figure out whether I could have the same IQ with one of the other (and much cheaper) lenses. And, after a fair number of shots, I am confident that this lens outperforms every other lens I have seen. The 4MB limitation for these posts reduce the IQ a bit, so for you who would like to see the full performance, it is well worth getting access to some images in full size raw format.
2x5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L II, 70-300/4-5.6L, 200-400/4L 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L II

thepancakeman

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 446
  • If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #167 on: March 14, 2014, 02:54:03 PM »
I think most of the images posted here was meant to show what the lens can deliver, not the skills (or lack of skills) of the photographer. At least that was my intention. So, from that perspective, the quote from distant.star is quite relevant.

Every time I get one of the images from this lens up in LR, I´m trying to figure out whether I could have the same IQ with one of the other (and much cheaper) lenses. And, after a fair number of shots, I am confident that this lens outperforms every other lens I have seen. The 4MB limitation for these posts reduce the IQ a bit, so for you who would like to see the full performance, it is well worth getting access to some images in full size raw format.

For the record, I am in the camp that believes you cannot substitute for great equipment.  Great equipment will not make a crappy photographer a good one, but it can certainly make a good one better and a great one truly remarkable.

But I'm still not buy this lens.   ;)

That being said, do you have any photos that you've taken the same shot with the Zeiss and with the next best option that you can share.  No doubt these images look good, but like you I'm curious if/what the lens delivers that can't be gotten elsewhere.

Eldar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1357
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #168 on: March 14, 2014, 03:50:33 PM »
That being said, do you have any photos that you've taken the same shot with the Zeiss and with the next best option that you can share.  No doubt these images look good, but like you I'm curious if/what the lens delivers that can't be gotten elsewhere.

I have not done any real head to head comparisons. The only lens I have with overlapping FL is the 24-70 f2.8L II. To make a comparison of interest, I should have had a couple of alternative 50ish f1.4/1.2 lenses. I may buy the Sigma Art, when it is released. If I do, I will make direct comparisons.

But if you take the time to read some of the more thorough reviews, like http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Zeiss-Otus-55mm-f-1.4-Distagon-Lens.aspx you will get a fair understanding of what it delivers.
2x5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L II, 70-300/4-5.6L, 200-400/4L 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L II

Sporgon

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1696
  • 5% of gear used 95% of the time
    • View Profile
    • www.buildingpanoramics.com
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #169 on: March 14, 2014, 05:26:46 PM »
I think it is the image quality at 1.4 that sets this lens apart. Beautiful bokeh is ruined by lack of quality in the in-focus part of the image; there's non of that with this lens.

The 85 1.2 has been described as 'astoundingly good' in the centre at 1.2 but compare it even at 1.4 to the Otus and it's like night and day.

As you stop down the superiority will fade; and all lenses start to gravitate together at f11 in terms of resolution.

Eldar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1357
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #170 on: March 15, 2014, 10:17:37 AM »
I think it is the image quality at 1.4 that sets this lens apart. Beautiful bokeh is ruined by lack of quality in the in-focus part of the image; there's non of that with this lens.

The 85 1.2 has been described as 'astoundingly good' in the centre at 1.2 but compare it even at 1.4 to the Otus and it's like night and day.

As you stop down the superiority will fade; and all lenses start to gravitate together at f11 in terms of resolution.
I agree that it is when shot wide open it really shine. But compared to other lenses I have used (and have) I would say that it is in a class of its own from 1.4 to 4.0.
2x5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L II, 70-300/4-5.6L, 200-400/4L 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L II

leGreve

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 172
  • Full time photographer and film maker omnifilm.dk
    • View Profile
    • leGreve Photography
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #171 on: March 15, 2014, 04:04:43 PM »
I think it is the image quality at 1.4 that sets this lens apart. Beautiful bokeh is ruined by lack of quality in the in-focus part of the image; there's non of that with this lens.

The 85 1.2 has been described as 'astoundingly good' in the centre at 1.2 but compare it even at 1.4 to the Otus and it's like night and day.

As you stop down the superiority will fade; and all lenses start to gravitate together at f11 in terms of resolution.
I agree that it is when shot wide open it really shine. But compared to other lenses I have used (and have) I would say that it is in a class of its own from 1.4 to 4.0.

The thing with these kinds of debates and the "camps" that arise, also heavily depend on what your needs are….

The AF people will never find a way to justify this lens….. the people who constantly venture above F8 (for what ever reason) will find it hard…. and the people like me, who work both as a cinematographer but also a commercial photographer, are happy that we can get something that operate similarly to the other Zeiss primes, with premium image quality and handling. Seriously….. The Otus handles way better than ANY dslr lens I've ever had for video / film work. I almost find it that much better than Zeiss' own ZE /ZF series, even though those also have a nice throw.

Since I work most of my shots below F4 for narrative work, the IQ of the Otus is great to have.

I totally agree that for some things you'd probably go for some other lens…. heck, for run & gun viral stuff I mostly grab my Canon zooms since high apertures wont make it worse… atleast according to the client.

So…. just like some people will happily invest in a set of Ultra Primes from Zeiss, a set of CP.2s or Canon CN-Es then there are also people like me and Eldar who don't mind spending on the things that give us what we need.

NO dslr lens has what I want or need except the Otus. End of story. Even if the Sigma Art comes in with great IQ, it will still be a stills AF lens with, for me useless and in precise focus throw. So I wouldn't even consider that… and for stills work, if I need better than what the Canon lenses can provide, I'd jump up to Phase One instead, for both amazing resolution and detail but also way better color rendition than dslr.
5D III -  Zeiss Otus 55mm 1.4 ~ 24-70 2.8L II ~ 70-200 2.8L II IS USM ~ 100 2.8L IS USM Macro ~ 16-35 2.8L II ~ Canon Extender 2x III

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #171 on: March 15, 2014, 04:04:43 PM »

CarlTN

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2227
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #172 on: March 19, 2014, 01:55:45 AM »
I think it is the image quality at 1.4 that sets this lens apart. Beautiful bokeh is ruined by lack of quality in the in-focus part of the image; there's non of that with this lens.

The 85 1.2 has been described as 'astoundingly good' in the centre at 1.2 but compare it even at 1.4 to the Otus and it's like night and day.

As you stop down the superiority will fade; and all lenses start to gravitate together at f11 in terms of resolution.

My brief experience with the 85L bears this out.  It did become extremely sharp by f/5.6, but who would really buy it to just shoot at f/5.6? 

CarlTN

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2227
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #173 on: March 19, 2014, 01:59:12 AM »
That being said, do you have any photos that you've taken the same shot with the Zeiss and with the next best option that you can share.  No doubt these images look good, but like you I'm curious if/what the lens delivers that can't be gotten elsewhere.

I have not done any real head to head comparisons. The only lens I have with overlapping FL is the 24-70 f2.8L II. To make a comparison of interest, I should have had a couple of alternative 50ish f1.4/1.2 lenses. I may buy the Sigma Art, when it is released. If I do, I will make direct comparisons.

But if you take the time to read some of the more thorough reviews, like http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Zeiss-Otus-55mm-f-1.4-Distagon-Lens.aspx you will get a fair understanding of what it delivers.


I'd like to compare the Otus to my Voigtlander.  I can already see the bokeh is terrible by comparison (no surprise), but I suspect the resolution is not a night and day improvement (it's there, yes).  However, as stated above...bokeh is really what you are buying a fast lens for.  If you can have excellent bokeh and sharpness, that is having it all.  I suspect the bokeh is far better on the Otus even than the 50L, but I can only guess.

verysimplejason

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1327
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Account
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #174 on: March 19, 2014, 02:06:41 AM »
.Wow!

Your lens takes really good pictures!
*He takes really good pictures!  :)

I suspect this is a tongue-in-cheek reference back to earlier threads talking about skill vs. equipment and photographic pet peeves.

It does beg the question though, for those who say it's not the equipment but the skill of the photographer ("I can take great pictures with my iPhone"), what is the point of a $4000 50mm manual focus lens?   ???
Well, in my book that is quite simple. If you´re happy with your iPhone, stay with your iPhone and save the money for something else.

I think most of the images posted here was meant to show what the lens can deliver, not the skills (or lack of skills) of the photographer. At least that was my intention. So, from that perspective, the quote from distant.star is quite relevant.

Every time I get one of the images from this lens up in LR, I´m trying to figure out whether I could have the same IQ with one of the other (and much cheaper) lenses. And, after a fair number of shots, I am confident that this lens outperforms every other lens I have seen. The 4MB limitation for these posts reduce the IQ a bit, so for you who would like to see the full performance, it is well worth getting access to some images in full size raw format.

Hmmm... I didn't notice that what I said got a lot of drama behind it.  All I'm saying is he's using one of the best lens available and he's using it to the fullest just as what must be expected from somebody who got access to such a beast of a lens.  Truly, such a magnificent equipment doesn't deserve somebody who can't use it properly.  It's like a sharp katana in the hands of a real Samurai.   ;)

Eldar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1357
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #175 on: April 12, 2014, 09:46:09 AM »
Granpa´s morning coffee and newspaper chair. Forever empty ...
5DIII, 1/60s, f4, ISO250 (handheld)
2x5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L II, 70-300/4-5.6L, 200-400/4L 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L II

StudentOfLight

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 212
  • I'm on a life-long journey of self-discovery
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #176 on: April 13, 2014, 12:46:46 AM »
There are only two things I don't like about the Otus 1.4/55:
1) The price... because I would have to sacrifice too much other stuff to buy it  :'(
2) The onion bokeh... but this is only really noticeable with specular highlights that are OOF. In normal shots its not really noticeable.

Overall the Otus 55 a very impressive lens but I'm happy with my auto-focusing 135L for now...  :P
Fantasy Gear:
TS-E: 45mm f/2.8 L-II,  EF: 40mm f/0.8,  100mm f/1.4,  35-85mm f/1.8, 
EF with 1.4xInt: 100-300mm f/4 ,  500mm f/5.6 L

Eldar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1357
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #177 on: April 13, 2014, 03:51:08 AM »
There are only two things I don't like about the Otus 1.4/55:
1) The price... because I would have to sacrifice too much other stuff to buy it  :'(
2) The onion bokeh... but this is only really noticeable with specular highlights that are OOF. In normal shots its not really noticeable.
Price is price and I agree that you should really want it to buy it. I also agree on the bokeh issue. But there is something I don´t really understand about boked. Because it varies, depending on light source.

I have attached two examples. The first is of five candle lights and the second is a chandelier with electric light. The bokeh from the electric light has a clear onion bokeh, whereas the candle lights are clean. If someone could explain why this happens, it would be most appreciated.
2x5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L II, 70-300/4-5.6L, 200-400/4L 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #177 on: April 13, 2014, 03:51:08 AM »

StudentOfLight

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 212
  • I'm on a life-long journey of self-discovery
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #178 on: April 13, 2014, 06:36:52 AM »
There are only two things I don't like about the Otus 1.4/55:
1) The price... because I would have to sacrifice too much other stuff to buy it  :'(
2) The onion bokeh... but this is only really noticeable with specular highlights that are OOF. In normal shots its not really noticeable.
Price is price and I agree that you should really want it to buy it. I also agree on the bokeh issue. But there is something I don´t really understand about boked. Because it varies, depending on light source.

I have attached two examples. The first is of five candle lights and the second is a chandelier with electric light. The bokeh from the electric light has a clear onion bokeh, whereas the candle lights are clean. If someone could explain why this happens, it would be most appreciated.

Thanks for the reply, a quick question... Were your candle light and artificial light images shot at the same shutter speed? The only thing I can thing is that there is motion blur with the candle shot.
Fantasy Gear:
TS-E: 45mm f/2.8 L-II,  EF: 40mm f/0.8,  100mm f/1.4,  35-85mm f/1.8, 
EF with 1.4xInt: 100-300mm f/4 ,  500mm f/5.6 L

Eldar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1357
    • View Profile
Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #179 on: April 13, 2014, 06:42:52 AM »
There are only two things I don't like about the Otus 1.4/55:
1) The price... because I would have to sacrifice too much other stuff to buy it  :'(
2) The onion bokeh... but this is only really noticeable with specular highlights that are OOF. In normal shots its not really noticeable.
Price is price and I agree that you should really want it to buy it. I also agree on the bokeh issue. But there is something I don´t really understand about boked. Because it varies, depending on light source.

I have attached two examples. The first is of five candle lights and the second is a chandelier with electric light. The bokeh from the electric light has a clear onion bokeh, whereas the candle lights are clean. If someone could explain why this happens, it would be most appreciated.

Thanks for the reply, a quick question... Were your candle light and artificial light images shot at the same shutter speed? The only thing I can thing is that there is motion blur with the candle shot.
Shooting conditions were same same, f-stop, shutter speed and ISO.
2x5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L II, 70-300/4-5.6L, 200-400/4L 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« Reply #179 on: April 13, 2014, 06:42:52 AM »