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.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 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.
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.