Zeiss to announce a new Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens for Photokina

Zeiss is rumored to announce a new Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens for the 2014 Photokina show in September. Two new Otus lenses (including a fast f/1.4 wide angle model) were already mentioned last year in interview with Zeiss reps.

Zeiss currently has only one Otus lens - the Distagon T* 55mm f/1.4.

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  • Kynikos

    To anyone who has shot both the Otus and the 135/2:

    I understand you can’t rank lenses across focal lengths, and much about lenses is subjective (Bokeh…), but is the 135/2 Otus-like in terms of overall quality standard?

    • El Aura
      • Kynikos

        Thank you very much!

    • If you want absolute IQ for reproduction or something, there are very good macro lenses out there that can do it.

      It makes very little sense in comparing the absolute iq of these two lenses against each other but if anyone’s asking, the 135/2 APO is better simply because it has less CA. Yes, a completely unfair comparison for obvious reasons but IQ-wise that’s the bottom line.

      • Kynikos

        I never wrote anything about ‘absolute IQ’ but thanks.

        • Since you wanted to leave aside the subjective stuff, you’re left with objective stuff… but it doesnt make much sense to do typical objective comparisons like landscapes, portraits, etc. with lenses this far apart. So what you’re left with are comparisons of absolute IQ in completely controlled and artificial cases. In the real world, one is not an alternative for the other…

          • Kynikos

            Build quality:
            Tolerances (as referenced by El Aura)
            Effectiveness/Precision of focusing ring
            Not weather sealed, but weather-good (?)

          • Yes i decided to reply since you had nothing to read but Lloyd Chambers’s… ugh.

            You do realise that a 50mm lens needs stricter tolerances than a 135mm lens? And a f/1.4 over a f/2 lens? Have you heard of anyone having issues with sample variation with a ZF/ZE 135? How about a ZF/ZE 100 MP? 🙂

            As for focus rings… if anyone can’t focus a manual focus-only lens because of how the focus ring turns then they need more practice… not a better focus ring. Even good AF lenses with MF are not prohibitively difficult. Exception may be focus by wire since some are very sensitive… other than that and anything other than some kit lens or a starter lens shouldn’t give anyone any issues when focusing.

            Weather seals are good to have but shouldn’t be relied upon because at the end of the day they’re just rubber gaskets and will give away sooner or later. It makes sense to run after seals on big teles because they’re difficult to setup, keep covered and take off for every drizzle. Even then dudes back in the day like Ansel Adams didn’t have any issues with outdoor photography with big cameras and they used very weather-susceptible large formats with wooden frames, water collecting bellows, fully mechanical shutters with openings on sides, etc.

  • Mustha

    I’m hoping for a 25mm f/1.4 or a 21mm f/1.4

    • Neopulse

      The latest Distagon 25mm is damn nice.

      • Mustha

        Yes it is, in fact much better than the 2.8 version, yet still not up to the Otus standard.

      • Cos

        I thought 21mm is the best in this range.

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    Hmmmkay…. Safe to assume it will be more expensive than the 1.4/55 Otus.. Hubby just blew a sizeable chunk of cash on a (converted) Nikon Ai-s-mount Contax 85/1.2 ’60 year’ with chip. Would love to see how it holds up against this new Otus.
    There’s only one way to find out…. Fiiiiiiggghhhhtttttt!!!!

    • Mike

      You need to show us the results Ruth!

  • Arn

    I’ll wait for the Sigma 84 f1.4 Art, it will cost 1/4 of the zeiss, and will surely be better in some aspect.

    • madmax

      No doubt it will have similar IQ… and much better AF ;-). Zeiss myth is dead. And if I were in a budget and don´t mind AF, I´d go for the very decent manual focus Samyang 85 mm f/1.4 for less than a tenth of the Zeiss price.

      • Mike

        Cool. You guys can play with your toys while people who actually make a living from this will still be using Zeiss instead of Sigma 😉 Major respect to Sigma though for the effort.

        • madmax

          Really? Making a living with photography? Using a lens without AF for wedding, social, news, modeling, sports…? Most people who makes a living of photography uses AF lenses. Oh! I see… probably you are a Zeiss representative?

          • Neopulse

            No offense man, but people have and even now still use manual focusing. It’s not impossible to work without it sorry to burst your bubble.

          • madmax

            No offense, but you should read carefully my post: I said “Most people who makes a living of photography uses AF lenses”. Not a bubble at all.

          • Neopulse

            Yeah, but soon after you said, “You must be a Zeiss representative” meaning that there was a form of sarcasm involved towards people who use manual focus Zeiss lenses for work. The bubble comment yes was wrong, but still there are people who use manual focus plenty.

          • madmax

            Sorry, but it seems you misunderstood again… My comment about the Zeiss representative was made because somebody ridiculously said other lenses were toys while Otus was for pros, hence my sarcasm.

          • Nothing wrong with MF, but most cameras are designed with AF in mind, and have those stupid screens without any focus aids like a split prism.

          • Neopulse


        • CHD

          What a retarded statement.

    • DxOMark will publish their test results for the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens today. Stay tuned.

      • david

        yes they did and zeiss is king of the hill! the sigma lens does beat anything from nikon in that focal length but also at a premium price over nikon. so if you want the very best you have to pay for it.

      • Cos

        You cannot rely on DXO tests in judging quality of lenses. They have inconsistent results such as CA measurments, for example, and they do not take into account microcontrast.

    • E-Nonymouse A

      My lense lineup is lacking a 85mm, so i’m hoping a proper contender with AF option and Nikon compatibility happens to come along. I would not rule out a future Zeiss acquisition but thats way down the road due to the retardedly high price.

  • john doe

    Nope! The Nikon 1.4G is already so damn good, well priced, relatively lightweight…definitely DON’T NEED an otus for 3x more money with manual focus only and weighs twice as much!

    • bossa

      That sounds like famous last words 😉

      • Mike

        Nope. I’ve used the 85 1.4G for 3 years now and it is the last lens I would part with. And it has AF. The Otus (plural is Otae?) line is nothing but an appendage size comparing boutique line.

  • Dave

    One year after the 55 Otus, Zeiss finally announces the 85 Otus and one year later possibly the 28 Otus. One year later Zeiss knows but does still not communicate that they will sell the 50 f2.0 Practiculus, a more compact but even better line of practical lenses especially created for digital sensors, one year later the 85 f2.0 etc. etc.

    This might be quite common and called marketing but does not contribute to the prestige of a brand. A clear and open concept would contribute more to the confidence since an announced concept that makes sense would convince for an investment and be appreciated by customers outside the GAS community.

    I like Zeiss glass but lately Zeiss changed it’s strategy and – for whatever reason – feels the need for main stream marketing tricks. I would have bought the 55 Otus if this was the lens of choice out of a stringent lens line. And since Zeiss hinted at an update of the ZE, ZF line, I definitely see no way to meander from one to another lens. I just do not have enough money for games in that price range.

  • saywhatuwill

    I’m sure that autofocusing mechanism will be out of this world….meaning it’ll be out of sight.

    • Jake

      Do you mean you are blind or are Dad jokes your only disability.

  • TinusVerdino

    Samyang’s 85mm 1.4 will cost 1/20th of this

    • madmax

      And a very reasonable option if you don´t need AF.

  • Neopulse

    Can’t wait… although I still love the Zeiss 85mm from Cosina.

  • E-Nonymouse A

    love Zeiss but do not love the 4k dollar price tag.. If it were AF capable i’d rethink that statement a little. My 21mm Zeiss may be the last Zeiss I own. Manual lense is just not practical for fast accurate work when your subject is moving or your short on time.
    If you specialize in landscapes Zeiss makes amazing lenses and manual works great for that.

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