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Old October 7th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #1
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Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

For those with a thirst for to glass, Zeiss has released a new 55mm f/1.4 lens with a list price just under $4,000. This is a manual photo (not cinema) lens available with both Nikon and Canon mounts. Setting it apart is the many-element Distagon design, rather than the simpler Planar design typically used at medium focal lengths. Zeiss claims that this drastically reduces color fringing, which often occurs at the intersection between bright, white objects and dark backgrounds.

I have no personal experience with this lens (and no intent to spend $4k on it), but I do have access to their standard 35/2 and 21/2.8 Distagon lenses as well as their 85/1.4 Planar. This makes me curious to shoot some white picket fences with these lenses to compare the results.

Carl Zeiss Press Release: Otus 1.4/55

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Old October 8th, 2013, 03:17 AM   #2
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Re: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

A bit more info at the Zeiss site: ?Create a perfect picture with perfect optics? | Camera Lens Blog
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #3
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Re: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

Pretty nifty. Just yesterday I edited some photos from my Canon 50mm f/1.4 where the CA was RIDICULOUS. Half of a subjects head was purple and I couldn't fix it in Lightroom.

This seems like one of those good investment lenses that you keep in your kit for 20 or 30 years. Although Canon mounts will probably change significantly in the next 10 unfortunately...
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Old October 10th, 2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

Here's a review on B&H with some stunning example photos:

Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon | BH inDepth
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Old October 10th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #5
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Re: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

I have a complete set of the ZE's that is largely gathering dust (bought them in the heyday of the DSLR days, never use them for that any more and I don't shoot stills with them)--been trying to figure out if I should hold on to them in case I pick up a sub-$10K S35 camera in the next year or two, or sell them off. Obviously this new series is going to be quite a bit more expensive, but do you guys have any thoughts about whether that will affect resale on my set?
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Old October 11th, 2013, 02:24 AM   #6
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Re: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

Older glass has a popularity of it's own. With the rise of digital cameras, there has been a lot of interest classic glass from the 1970s and earlier in order to avoid the clinical look the modern glass can give.
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Old October 11th, 2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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Re: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

The new Otus lens (and any to follow) certainly won't depress the resale value of ZEs. If anything, it makes the "normal" lenses look downright affordable. Will the value of the ZE/ZF series increase? Probably not, as they don't have all the magic sauce of the Otus line or the mechanics of a cine lens.

My experience with all of my lenses is that if I buy them new, I can sell them for a small (<25%) loss. If I buy them used, I can generally sell them for around what I paid within +/-10%.

The exception would be if a company releases something much better at the same price as the old version. That will depress the value a bit. The big loss is when a new mount comes out. Just look at the price of Canon FD lenses.

Back on the Otus line, this is classic price bracketing... A retailer has three watches: one is really cheap and has a few features. There is a mid-priced watch with many features and a nice design. Then there is a much more costly watch that has fewer features than the mid-priced watch. Without that top end watch on the shelf, you'd be debating if it's worth money to step up to the mid-priced watch. Add the high-end watch to the mix, and the mid-priced watch looks like the only sensible choice. It's like bracketing Baby Bear's porridge (just right) with Mama Bear's (too cold) and Daddy Bear's (too hot). :)
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Old October 18th, 2013, 07:25 AM   #8
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Re: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55

Speaking to a Zeiss rep the other day and he said that this was the first in a series of lenses to replace meduim format cameras though the use of the increasing resolution of full frame stills cameras.
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