As expected ahead of Photokina, Carl Zeiss today added the Otus 1.4/85 telelens to its offerings of no-holds-barred manual focus lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. The 85mm f/1.4 lens will be available mid-September for the recommended retail price of $4,490 (€3,360). It will also be shown at Photokina, starting September 16.
Zeiss calls it more than a traditional portrait lens. "This is a fast all-rounder for photographers who do not accept any limitations when it comes to detail – whether it is for general studio work, or fashion, advertising, product or architectural photography," the company's press release says.
The company says the 85mm Otus allows for top notch images, even under the most demanding lighting conditions, with sharp performance across the frame, "neutral boheh" and a lack of abberations or distortion.
The apochromatic lens counts eleven elements in nine groups. One of the lens elements has an aspheric optical surface. "Chromatic diagonal aberrations (longitudinal chromatic aberrations) are corrected with the help of lens elements made of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. As a result, practically no perceptible color fringing appears on contrast-rich edges in front of and behind the focal plane. Bright-dark transitions in the image, and in particular highlights, are rendered free of color artifacts. In addition, the variable air spaces between certain lens groups (“floating elements design”) enable a consistently high imaging performance across the entire focusing range from 0.8 m to infinity," Zeiss says in its release.
The barrel is all-metal and allows for fine-tuning your focus. Filter diameter is a large 86 millimeters. The lens weighs 1200 grams for the Canon ZE version and 1140 grams for the Nikon ZF.2 version. Its diameter is 101 mm and length is about 140 mm. It's not water resistant.
The 85mm lens is the second lens in the Otus line. The first one was the 1.4/55, which got raving reviews on this site and others.
I received the 85mm Otus for review a few days ago and I'm using it on the Canon 5D Mark III and the Sony A7r. My impressions - swoon - and images taken with it will follow Thursday morning early are now live.
By John van Rosendaal