Tag Archives: Zeiss Otus

Why I Hold Out Against the Otus Lust – For Now

Yesterday I picked up some accessories at Euro-Photo Puig in Geneva, where they had on stock a Zeiss Otus 85 mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T*. This is a mouthful of a name, so I call it Otus 85 from now on. I had the opportunity to take a couple of sample images, however, not out the store’s door as originally planned. It had started snowing, which rendered the scene useless as test for sharpness and micro-contrast. So what else is there to photograph inside a photo store than a nice vintage camera?


Zeiss Otus 85 f/1.4 Apo Planar shootout. 100% crops, click to enlarge. From left to right: f/1.4, f/2.8, f/5.6. Top: Nikon PC-E 85 mm. Middle: Otus 85. Bottom: Nikon 85 f/1.4 G.

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Christmas Gifts for Photographers

Buying christmas gifts for photographers can be a tricky business, in particular, if you are not technically inclined and discard kitschy nonsense like lens-shaped coffee mugs. So here are some proposals for equipment that will not end up on the bottom of the gear closet.


My Christmas gift: A 16 MP, 17 MB image from the Hpo Win Daung Caves in Monywa, Myanmar. For ultimate viewing experience on the iMac 5K Retina. Click to enlarge, then zoom to full size.

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Sample Images: Zeiss Otus 55 mm f/1.4 Apo Distagon

In physics, gravitons are hypothetical elementary particles that mediate the force of gravitation in the framework of quantum field theory. For me, gravitons are real objects that mediate the drag forces into photo stores of larger cities.

During a recent trip to Zurich, Switzerland, I was dragged into the “Fotoschiff “; a fair organized by FotoPro and hosted on a boat afloat the lake. There I learned that one of the FotoPro stores had on stock a Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4 Apo Distagon for the Nikon F mount. This gave me the opportunity to take a couple of images through the store’s door at the Rennweg. Of course, I exerted the usual shot discipline, which includes tripod mounting, focusing in live view, mirror lock up, three seconds shutter delay, and raw processing in Capture One Pro.


Image samples, 100% corner crops. Top: Nikon 24-70 at f/2.8 and f/5.6. Bottom: Zeiss Otus at f/1.4, f/2.8 and f/5.6. Click to enlarge.

The full frames are devoid of any composition and are therefore omitted here. The 100% views, cropped from the upper right corner of the scene, are shown for the apertures 1.4, 2.8 and 5.6. The focal point was on the tiles of the roof, which are a good subject for testing the micro contrast and tonal rendering of lenses. The white balance was fixed to the same value and no additional sharpening was applied in the raw processor.

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