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Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T* ZF Manual Focus Lens for Nikon F Mount
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- Prime portrait-length lens designed for Nikon F-mount FX-format DSLRs and 35mm film cameras. It is also compatible with DX-format DSLRs, where it will provide a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 127.5mm.
- Fast f/1.4 maximum aperture benefits working in difficult lighting conditions and also enables extensive control over focus placement for shallow depth of field and selective focus applications.
- One aspherical element and six elements made from anomalous partial dispersion glass help to suppress chromatic aberrations for greater clarity and color accuracy around subject edges, regardless of the aperture setting in use.
- Based on the Planar optical concept, this apochromatic lens virtually eliminates both chromatic and spherical aberrations in order to reduce color fringing and color artifacts in front of and behind the plane of focus.
- A floating element design places variable air gaps between select lens groups to realize consistent performance throughout the focusing range, from 2.6' to infinity.
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ZEISS Otus 1.4/85 The best short tele lens in the world The Otus 1.4/85 is a superlative lens in every respect, just like every other focal length in the unique ZEISS Otus family. A lens designed and constructed with the comprehensive expertise and vast experience of ZEISS. Features in portraits and finest details in textures are not the only things reproduced in perfect quality by the Otus 1.4/85. Its extremely large initial aperture is simply ideal for isolating subjects from their backgrounds. At the same time, the Otus 1.4/85 is far more than a portrait lens. Take advantage of its high speed for available light photography, its moderate angle of view for landscapes or its close focusing distance for reproductions. The optical correction of the Otus 1.4/85 completely eliminates almost all possible forms of aberration and makes every picture you take as exciting as the first, even after thousands of exposures. Features ApochromatBecause this lens is an apochromat, chromatic aberrations (axial chromatic aberations) are corrected with elements of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. The chromatic aberrations are therefore significantly below the defined limits. Bright-dark transitions in the image are reproduced almost free of color artifacts The ultimate in image contrastAberrations caused by extreme differences between shadows and highlights are particularly obvious in images captured at night. Thanks to the outstanding correction of lateral chromatic aberratio...
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Relative to any other 85mm lens out there, the Otus is quite heavy and large. When mounted to the D810 and sitting harmlessly on the shelf, you almost want to cry before picking it up, anticipating the workout your shoulders are about to experience. Carrying it around is not a thoughtless exercise...if you plan on walking around with it, consider that it will probably require a larger than average storage space in your camera bag. I've used it strictly as a portrait lens mounted on a tripod so far, as I do not wish to experience the discomfort in carrying this lens around for street photography...although I've no doubt that if you wish to do so, this lens would shine in that capacity.
For comparison, this lens more closely resembles the Nikon 200mm f/2 in terms of carry comfort, than it does the Nikon 85mm f/1.4. But, with the f/2 200 you get lightning fast auto-focus, affording you the luxury of using both arms for camera stability. This Otus 85mm beast obviously requires you to turn the focus ring yourself, so distributing weight between focus arm and camera arm can become an interesting experience. Where's Vibration Reduction when you really need it?
This lens accepts 86mm filter sizes...not the most convenient size for filters. Zeiss offers an 86mm UV filter for protection of the front lens elements, but it's quite pricey ($340 last I checked). B&W and Heliopan offer very high quality protective filters for half that price.
The Otus, just like it's little 55mm brother, performs marvelously and without peers. Colors are rendered so accurately and are so well-distributed, it makes shooting with other lenses feel almost like an artificial experience...as if you know you won't be getting an image so well rendered as the one you're routinely getting with the 85mm Otus. If you want a comparison, look out an opened window. Sharpness, clarity, contrast...it all combines to produce images that will spoil the photographer when putting it down and shooting with other lenses. It's abilities match up perfectly with the resolution power of the Nikon D800, D800E, or D810 (I use the 810). Those are the cameras I would strongly recommend using with this lens.
When it's all said and done...it's price, size and weight (in that order) make it a rather unfortunately difficult companion on most photo excursions, and a lens I cannot recommend for just anyone...unless you're willing to put up with the impracticability in order to experience the truly fantastic experience of using this lens. Regardless...the performance of this lens is so spectacular, if you do choose to purchase it, you will no doubt find ways to work around it's otherwise physically impractical nature. If you spend considerable time doing portrait work on a tripod, this lens will thrill you.
FOLLOW UP: Nothing else can attest to the quality of this lens more than the fact that, after using the Otus 85mm for a little while now, I've become so quickly comfortable with it I decided to part with my long-time personal favorite portrait lens: The Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar. Given their relative narrow difference in focal length, I couldn't think of a situation where I'd opt for the 100mm over the new Otus 85mm. I rarely, if ever, shoot close-up Macro, so that characteristic of the 100mm Makro is irrelevant to me. The 100mm Makro is an amazing lens that I would recommend to practically anyone for any purpose which requires its focal length. And, I can't in good conscience state that I could look at a picture taken by both lenses, side by side, and clearly pick the 85 Otus as the better image every time. The Otus isn't so superior to the 100mm. Still though, there is a subtle "You know it when you see it" quality to Otus shots, when you really nail the focus...similar to the image quality of a shot taken by any number of Leica rangefinder lenses. It's a subtle, natural look which so evenly and perfectly distributes color and contrast across the scene.
I have this attached to the Sony A7Rii. Focusing is at 100% unless the subject is moving. With focus peeking I get 50% -70% successful hits with a moving subject.
*Sharpness is a 10.
*Contrast is a 10. For some people, they may want more, but for a professional who uses this for portrait and looking for natural skin tones, This is just perfect!
*Build quality is everything good you have read.
I like the strong yellow markings on the barrel, easy to read and acquaints this to Zeiss's professional cinema lenses.
Color rendition is a 10.
Color fringing is so minor, if you can find it, Lightroom will correct it fully using only 2% on the slider.
It will probably be 20, no, 30 years before any company tops the optical performance of this lens.