Zeiss has had a busy few weeks with the announcement of the new autofocus Batis primes as well as the Milvus line of lenses that replace the outgoing “Classic” ZF.2 and ZE primes with a more modern, ergonomic housing including two brand new optical designs in the Milvus 50mm f/1.4 and Milvus 85mm f/1.4. Then, only a few weeks later Zeiss announced their 21mm f/2.8 Loxia lens designed specifically for Sony FE mount cameras. A wide-angle Otus lens had been rumored for almost a year and we’re finally able to talk about the newest member of the venerable Otus line of primes. The Otus line started with a lone 55mm f/1.4 back in the summer of 2013 with the promise of additional focal lengths. True to their word, the 85mm f/1.4 followed about a year later. Sure enough, about a year after the 85mm, we have the official specs for the brand new 28mm f/1.4 Otus lens.
- Uncompromising image quality, especially for high resolution cameras
- No image artifacts, even at wide open aperture
- Moderate wide angle with a diagonal field of view of 75º
- Smooth manual focus action with a 120º angle of rotation
- Inner focusing, no movement of the front barrel
- Minimum focus of 11.8” / 0.3m
- Filter thread of 95mm, compatible with the ZEISS UV and POL filters
- All glass and metal construction
- An apochromatic, Distagon style optical design
- 16 lens elements, 13 groups, two aspherical elements, 8 special glass elements
- Compatible with F and EF mount cameras, including transfer of EXIF data and full functionality of exposure meter, program exposure modes and focus confirmation features
With the addition of the new 28mm, we have the beginnings of an ultra-high-end, uncompromising set of cinema prime lenses – 28, 55, 85mm. There’s no question that Zeiss is strutting their design and engineering mastery, enjoying the success of the Otus lenses. At this rate, we’re looking at about one focal length every year coming out of Oberkochen.
Zeiss released a few sample photos during their announcement. Obviously these are all stunning images… Remember the last time you read a photography magazine and saw an add for a cheap, off-brand lens? The “sample photo” was stunning there too. My point being, these are great photos and I know for a fact that the Otus lenses are sublime, but please don’t take photos or even sample footage you find on the web as serious review material. Yes, even I put up test footage or screen grabs showing resolution from time to time, but it’s almost always in an A/B comparison setting to illustrate an immediate difference. I still firmly believe the absolute ONLY way to make a lens buying decision is to get your hands on the lens and try for yourself. If you’re interested in testing out these, or any lenses, head over to DuclosLenses.com and schedule a demo for the Otus lenses. There is no official word on pricing for the new 28mm Otus just yet, but expect it to be right in line with the other two pricey Otus lenses. Delivery is slated for Q2 2016. Check back early next year for an in-depth review.
On a related note, Duclos Lenses will have some new goodies in store, designed in tandem with the Zeiss Otus lenses for those looking to maximize their use in a motion picture environment. Think – the Duclos Cine-Mod, but one step further.