It’s Coming! The New Zeiss 55mm f/1.4… Otus?

Otus_ZFZeiss 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.

Leica Summilux-C Primes Evaluated

Back in December of 2009 Band Pro unveiled their “Mystery Primes”. At the time Band Pro held the event at their Burbank facility, they hadn’t secured all of the legal mumbo-jumbo to use the name of a prominent, exotic German lens manufacturer. The fact that Iain Neil, a legendary optical designer, was standing next to the lenses during the unveiling, left little doubt as to who the manufacturer was. A few months later, Band Pro admitted that the lenses were in fact designed and built by none other than Leica. One of the most respected and sought after names in photographic optics, Leica stamped their badge on an impressive line-up of high-speed primes and set a delivery date for cinematographers to look forward to. That date came and went, Band Pro announced that Otto Nemenz International was already slated to receive the first 25 sets of lenses, and the rest of the industry was left to wait for a new delivery date. The lenses have finally started shipping and now I get to put them through their paces.

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