The Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 – A Lens Made For Portraits With Strong Wallet-Impact

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Looks like Zeiss engineers are finally allowed out of their basements after completing (and launching)  the Loxia lens line last week and releasing a new Otus today.  Just a few minutes ago, Zeiss announced the release of a new Otus family lens – the Otus 85mm f/1.4. This is the second high end Otus lens after the ZEISS Otus 1.4/55.

The lens, classified as a short telephoto, should be an optical marvel. According to the press release:

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Zeiss Starts New Manual Focus, Manual Exposure Loxia Line

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Zeiss believes that the digital market has not lost its passion for manual glass and are announcing a new family of lenses – the Loxia. Those are manual-focus, manual-aperture lenses.

Te lens will come in two flavors, both with max aperture of f/2 – a 50mm version and a 35mm version. Both lenses are compatible only with Sony e-mount. The list of features (which we’ll address shortly) suggests that Zeiss is targeting video shooters as well as high-end stills photographers in the same lens.

Aside from the optical qualities, both lenses are winking at the video market with an interesting set of features:

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Sigma’s 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens Comes in Second Only to Zeiss in DxOMark Tests

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Back in February, we posted about Xitek’s testing of the highly anticipated Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens. Against the $4000 55mm Zeiss Otus, Sigma came out on top in comparisons and shocked almost every photography blog out there. Today, however, DxO mark put both lenses up against each other and it seems from their end that the Zeiss Otus hasn’t been ousted just yet.

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New Sigma 50mm F/1.4 Compared – Comes Out On Top

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Earlier this year, Sigma generated a good amount of noise throughout the photography community when the company stated the intended target competition of their upcoming 50mm F/1.4 lens: Zeiss’s $4,000 55mm Otus. That can either result in us getting one a big leap in quality for lenses on the market at a (hopefully) more consumer-friendly price, or it can end with us having some serious trust issues.

Just recently, Xitek has posted the first few pictures of the Sigma lens engaged in tests with three other lenses: the Sony Planar T 50mm F/1.4 ZA SSM, the Nikon Nikkor AF-S 58mm F/1.4G, and the targeted Zeiss 55mm F/1.4 Otus. (cheapest of which is ~$1500). [Read more...]