Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T* Lens for Nikon F Mount
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- Fast f/1.4 maximum aperture for shallow depth of field and low-light performance
- Engineered for optimal image quality using a DSLR with a full-frame sensor
- Zeiss T* anti-reflective coated lens system enhances image contrast and clarity
- Floating element design with 12 elements in 10 groups
- All-metal focus mechanism with extended angle of rotation for precise focus placement
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|Item Dimensions||5.6 x 5.55 x 3.6 inches|
|Item Weight||2.27 pounds|
|Maximum Focal Length||55|
|Minimum Focal Length||55 mm|
|Real Angle Of View||36.7 Degrees|
|Shipping Weight||4.3 pounds|
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Adorama Camera||Adorama Camera||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Compatible Camera Mount||—||Nikon F (FX)||—||Canon EF-S||Nikon F (FX)||Canon EF|
|Focus Type||manual_only||Ring-type ultrasonic||manual_only||Ring-type ultrasonic||Screw drive from camera||Ring-type ultrasonic|
|Item Dimensions||5.55 x 3.6 x 5.6 in||3.35 x 3.94 x 3.35 in||3.26 x 3.3 x 3.7 in||3.07 x 4.76 x 3.07 in||2.5 x 2.5 x 1.54 in||3.07 x 4.84 x 3.07 in|
|Item Weight||2.27 lbs||1.8 lbs||1.93 lbs||1.79 lbs||5.47 ounces||1.38 lbs|
|Lens Type||—||Prime lens||—||Zoom lens||Prime lens||Prime lens|
|Maximum Focal Length||55||50 millimeters||50 millimeters||35 millimeters||50 millimeters||100|
|Minimum Focal Length||55 millimeters||50 millimeters||50 millimeters||18 millimeters||50 millimeters||100|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||—||77 millimeters||67 millimeters||72 millimeters||52 millimeters||67 millimeters|
The Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon Manual Focus Lens for Nikon F Mount is a standard focal length premium lens especially optimized for full-format DSLR camera sensors. A wide aperture with Zeiss optical glass and T* lens coating produces the 55mm f/1.4 to transmit an impressive degree of detail and color rendition even in low light situations.It is enclosed in a metal housing as evidence of a build quality that matches the lens's imaging proficiency. Additionally, an all-metal focusing mechanism with an extended rotation angle allows precise manual focusing from very close distance of 20 inches to infinity. The rubberized focusing ring improves feedback and helps to enable exact focus placement.The Otus 1.4/55 is equipped with a floating elements design with 12 lens elements in 10 groups, including a double-sided aspheric lens and six lenses made of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. These sophisticated features create image results without color fringing or distortion. Cameras with a lower number of pixels will also benefit from the lens’s unique features.Features: Fast f/1.4 maximum aperture for shallow depth of field and low-light performanceEngineered for optimal image quality using a DSLR with a full-frame sensorZeiss T* anti-reflective coated lens system enhances image contrast and clarityFloating element design with 12 elements in 10 groupsAll-metal focus mechanism with extended angle of rotation for precise focus placementCinema lens style yellow scale markings on lens barrel enhance visibilityFor Nikon F Mount DSLR CamerasManual Focus Only
Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras
Top customer reviews
That said, there is no lens like this. It's sharpness is photographic, and its smoothness is painterly. Colors are rendered so precisely it makes all other lenses seem quirky. It tames light sources and specular highlights. And it is the combination of so much excellent optical engineering that makes me want to shoot with it as much as I can, although it is completely unsuited for the street photography that is my passion. It makes me wish all my other lenses rendered like the Otus.
I cannot in good conscience recommend this lens for photographers like me. But, after just a few weeks, I would not want to live without it.
When used at wider apertures, the soft, smooth bokeh this lens produces will give your subject that sort of 3D image feel, as if you're looking through a window. Stopped down to 5.6 or 8, edge to edge the color rendering and clarity is fantastic. I have used it on the Nikon D800E, and the D810. These two cameras are a great fit for this lens because of their high resolution. The detail in properly focused images is very good, as is the ability of this lens, coupled with the D810, to handle relatively high dynamic range. Focusing is smooth as silk...a pure joy to turn the focus ring.
The lens is literally in a class of its own. It's priced to compete with nothing...I am not aware of any other lenses that exist in this focal range, which fit a Nikon, that cost what this lens costs. It's also heavy...not exactly convenient to put in your backpack for a day-long hike. I'm sure it can withstand some seriously rugged handling, but I'd prefer not to test out its fragility.
This is not a walk-around lens. Even if you're proficient at quickly and accurately focusing manually, the sheer weight of this lens precludes the ability to easily hand hold it for long periods of time. For me, it's strictly on the tripod.
It's a true work of art...but not a practical lens.
Still, there are three tradeoffs you need to be comfortable with:
First, of course, is the price...this lens is easily several times the price of the best Nikon offerings in this focal length range. If you're the type wanting Leica S medium format quality out of your D810, then you'll find the Zeiss a bargain - but in truth, the latest generation Nikon 50mm lenses offer 90% the image quality at a way lower price. If that last 10% is worth a few thousand dollars to you, then look no further.
Second is the size and bulk...a lot of people use a 50mm lens because it's a reasonable compromise between size, flexibility and quality. The Zeiss is quite a bit more substantial than most lenses in this range - think twice as big and at least twice as heavy. If you want that 50mm lens on a smallish body, then the Zeiss will surprise you with its hefty size. It's much more like carrying around a Nikon 24-70 than a nice compact normal lens.
Finally, there's the lack of conveniences such as autofocus or image stabilization. Zeiss makes some of the best manual focusing lenses, and this one is no exception. If you're the type (and your subjects allow for it!), this is a lens that encourages thoughtful, careful operation, and it will reward you best when attached to a solid tripod and carefully focused. Keep in mind that wide open (f/1.4) there's not much room for error, so you will definitely need to be adept at manual focusing if you plan to use this lens wide open.
About the only thing that raised an eyebrow to me is a bit of vignetting wide open - there's definitely a visible, maybe 1-stop darkness in the corners. Nothing that can't be corrected - and indeed, sometimes this gives you a subtle way to highlight a subject in the center of the frame. Virtually everything else about this lens, from sharpness, contrast and color saturation to flatness of focal plane (important if you're into close-ups) and quality of the out-of-focus areas is topnotch.
For me, this lens attached to a high-resolution camera like the Nikon D800/D810 is a terrific option. It's better overall than, say, a Leica with the top Leica lenses - Leica makes some terrific lenses, but in my opinion, the D810 offers a better sensor. Your D810 with the Zeiss lens is also in the ballpark of a medium format solution like a Hasselblad or Leica S while being way less expensive (and way more portable).
If you're looking to get the best possible image quality from a 55mm lens, then this is the way to do it - definitely worth a look.
Most recent customer reviews
1. Manual focus is a deal breaker and makes this lens unpractical.
Answer: a typical AF lens with MF option has a quarter turn focus rotation...Read more
before we get to the guts, my kit (and frame of reference) includes:...Read more