Zeiss has officially released all of the details around their elite new line of lenses which they are calling Otus. Otus? That’s almost as weird as Touit. But with the kind of specs and image quality Zeiss has been touting with this new line of lenses, I don’t care what they call it. The 55mm f/1.4 is the first prime lens to be released this coming November and if Zeiss can stick to the extremely high manufacturing tolerances and quality required for such a lens, I think everyone will want one of these in their kit.
It’s going to be available in the ZF.2 (Nikon F) and ZE (Canon EF) mount just like the former ZF.2/ZE lenses. Again, the ZE version will not have a manual aperture ring but the ZF.2 version will. Duclos Lenses will be offering the full Cine-Mod and possibly the same great Leitax Canon EF mount for the ZF.2 version so that you can have the beautiful de-clicked aperture ring on your Canon EF mount camera. It makes perfect sense that Zeiss started with the 55mm focal length as it’s considered the “normal” field of view for 35mm full frame cameras (and if we’re being honest, the 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2/ZE is the weakest link in the older model line-up and deserves the refresh the most).
If you haven’t heard about why the new Otus line of lenses is so desirable, you should check out the post here. Zeiss is really talking up the superb image quality of these new lenses which are setting my expectations very high with quotes like:
…the new ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 offers ambitious photographers who do not accept any compromises in image quality…
Our goal was to bring the best standard lens for SLR cameras onto the market. The Otus 1.4/55 delivers outstanding sharpness and contrast rendition all the way into the corners of the image.
If you’re already aware of this amazing lens, Duclos Lenses is accepting Pre-Orders which should be available November 2013. As soon as these beauties begin rolling in, I assure you I’ll be taking one out for some stress testing. Exciting.
Zeiss has spent the last three years working on a new line of high-end SLR lenses that many shooters are getting very excited about. The first lens to be released will be the 55mm f/1.4 – a perfect place to start considering the lacking results of the current 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2/ZE. They aren’t meant to replace the current line of ZF.2/ZE primes, but to offer an even higher level of quality. Zeiss claims that this new line of lenses will be unrivaled.
In this phase, all the details have to be right,” explains Casenave. “The variations in optical quality should be almost zero: every customer has to get exactly the same quality level. Also, in the product design there are a number of minor details that should be optimized. They are truly minor, but they make the difference to a standard product. Here again there should be nearly no variation from production.
In terms of still photo lenses, that’s a pretty believable claim. But stacking these new high-end primes up against the likes of motion picture optics such as Leica Summilux-C and Zeiss Master Primes will be a true test once they are available. Duclos Lenses will be very anxious to apply the Cine-Mod™ process to these new beauties as soon as they are available. Be sure to check back often for delivery and pricing updates. Read the entire blog post from Zeiss here.
I’ve been on a bit of a Zeiss kick here lately, partly because I genuinely appreciate their products, but mostly because they continue to innovate and provide new glass for their customers. Earlier this week we took delivery of the Zeiss 135mm T2.1 CP.2 which marked the first time Zeiss released a lens as a CP.2 before releasing it as a ZF.2 or ZE. I’ll be sure to put some tests of the 135mm up soon, it’s an impressive tele-prime to say the least. This brings me to todays topic. The ZF.2 lenses that the CP.2 primes are based on are still being produced in quantity and Zeiss continues to add focal lengths and updates older designs on a regular basis. There’s certainly no sign of them slowing down. However, if you pay attention to the inter-webs, you’d have noticed rumors and results of their new 55mm Distagon floating around. Continue reading “The Future of Zeiss DSLR Lenses”→
Everyone is talking about the Rokinon line of lenses. Also known as Bower or Samyang depending on what country you reside in. They’re all the same lenses just different badges. Rokinon lenses are an excellent alternative to pricey cinema lenses mostly due to their cheaper, featureless construction. These lenses don’t come with any zippy auto focus motors nor do they offer camera controlled aperture functions. They still (as in non-motion) photography lenses with completely manual controls. Maybe a pain for those used to automatic lenses from Nikon or Canon, but great for those looking for an entry level cinema option. The lenses are commonly available in Nikon F or Canon EF mount. Continue reading “Rokinon’s Intro to Cinema Lenses”→
If you frequent my website, you are surely familiar with the Zeiss ZF.2 line of lenses. They are considered the high end of DSLR lenses in terms of quality and price, unrivaled german engineering. But recently, a new crop of cheap-o lenses have made their way across the ocean and are really giving Zeiss a run for it’s money. Continue reading “Showdown: Rokinon Vs. Zeiss”→