Zeiss Otus 85mm Lens Ships

Dubbed “World’s best lens”

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Zeiss. It doesn’t get much better, really. And even in their world of cinematic glass, Zeiss has a defining mark for a lens, and it happens to be the Zeiss Otus 85mm, which is shipping this week. And Zeiss says it’s the best still lens in the world. And with a f-stop rating of 1.4, they may just be right.

Optically, the Otus 1.4/85 stands out for its high image quality, even with an open aperture — that means a neutral bokeh in the background, highly detailed images without any bothersome optical artifacts, consistently high resolution power across the entire image field, no color fringing or distortion, and an extremely high image contrast all the way into the edges. – Zeiss Blog

With the goal of perfection in optical performance, Zeiss launched the Otus line back in 2012. And the first lens, the 55mm f1.4 was very well received, especially from filmmakers who didn’t mind it was a designed for still photography, they were able to still use it and get stunning images.

Now that the Otus 85mm is out, you can bet that shooters are down right clammoring to get their hands on it. According to Zeiss the Otus 8mm has elevent lens elements laid out in nine groupings with the closest element cut with an aspheric surface, while the half of the remaining lenses are made of a special glass with “anamalous partial dispersion.”

The result is that so called chromatic diagonal aberrations are corrected and Zeiss says there are no perceptible color fringes that can occur with contrast rich images, especially on the edges. And in high dynamic range situations where you have a lot of brightness and shadows, the Otus 85 promises a smoother transition free from color artifacting.

“After we launched the Otus 1.4/55, our customers immediately understood the enormous benefits they can get from such a lens.”

The Otus 85 focal range is from .65m to infinity.  And the Otus is designed with extra-fine haptics for precision focusing, and the metal design has easy to red yellow alpha-numeric lettering that can be picked up in low light.  And it’s robust metal casing and rubber handles offer a lens that can meet the serious professional demands of a photographic or film set and take a beating. Zeiss will also be matching T* UV and POL filters with a diameter of 86 millimeters.

To see more stunning images, check out Zeiss Flickr page here.

The ZEISS Otus 1.4/85 comes with lens hood, user manual, test certificate and lens caps, and will be available worldwide with the F-mount (ZF.2) or EF-mount (ZE)  in mid-September, and an expected recommended retail price of $ 4,490 US (excl. VAT).

 

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Press Release:

Otus 1.4/85: the new world-class lens
With the Otus 1.4/85 ZEISS is expanding its high-end lens family. The Otus 1.4/55, an SLR standard lens, already set new global standards in what it means to achieve perfection. The expectations for the 85-mm focal length are just as high. This new member of the Otus family is an outstanding and fast all-around lens that accepts no compromises.  ZEISS will present this new world-class lens for the first time to the public at photokina in Cologne from September 16 to 21.

Close-up of the Otus 1.4/85The Otus 1.4/85 offers peerless image quality, even with an open aperture. As a short telephoto lens with an 85-millimeter focal length, this new member of the Otus family shows its strengths especially when people are center stage. Thanks to the longer focal length of this lens, photographers can keep a decent distance from the subject. At the same time, the lens is highly versatile: it excels in general studio work, as well as for fashion, advertising, product and architectural photography. Even photographers who are looking for a powerful companion for nature photography will find it in the Otus 1.4/85 – the edges of the picture can be used for compositional purposes at all f-stops. Photographers who had a chance to test exclusively this new flagship from Germany’s leading optics specialist were enthusiastic. Using the Otus 1.4/85 in combination with a full-frame SLR lets a photographer master all shooting situations and achieve effects that until now have only been known from the medium-format range: unusually high contrast, unusually high depth of field, impressive three-dimensional effects and sensational quality.
Otus 1.4/85 ZF.2Is there little ambient light? That is no problem for the Otus 1.4/85. When the light fades, ZEISS’s newest high-end lens ‘sees’ just as well as the owl species from which this lens family gets its name. There is no trace of correction deficits, which are typical in such situations.Just like its older ‘brother’, the Otus 1.4/55, the new Otus has been designed to meet professional photographers’ most rigorous demands. Internal focusing, the dial window, and the dials‘ clearly recognizable yellow labeling, familiar from professional cine lenses like ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime, are just a few of the characteristics of the Otus 1.4/85. The smooth manual focus operation with the large angle of rotation of 261 degrees combined with the easy-to-grip focus ring enables the finest variations in focusing. The freedom to focus — one of the most important creative elements in photography — has literally been put into the hands of the photographer as an artistic tool.  Both the extra-fine haptics and the precision of the focusing mechanism can only be achieved with the metal design of the Otus range. The robust all-metal barrel is also well equipped to deal with the rough daily work of a professional photographer, ensuring a long product life.  And for all photographers who in addition to the actual optics also rely on screw-on filters in their work, matching T* UV and POL filters with a diameter of 86 millimeters will be available from ZEISS for the Otus 1.4/85.
The Otus 1.4/85 ZE without lens hoodOptically, the Otus 1.4/85 stands out for its high image quality, even with an open aperture — as is true for the entire Otus range. Specifically, that means a neutral bokeh in the background, highly detailed images without any bothersome optical artifacts, consistently high resolution power across the entire image field, no color fringing or distortion, and an extremely high image contrast all the way into the edges. The imaging performance remains entirely consistent for all shooting distances.  High apertures can be used even for close-ups right down to a working distance of 0.65 meters. This freedom offers the photographer new opportunities to compose his or her subjects, without having to waste time thinking about a possible loss of quality This is one of the reasons why the photographers who tested the new Otus 1.4/85  lens exclusively beforehand returned it only reluctantly.
The Otus 1.4/85 ZE on camera“After we launched the Otus 1.4/55, our customers immediately understood the enormous benefits they can get from such a lens. Photographers are in the position to take full advantage of their high-end full-frame cameras and shoot pictures with a quality and look that they were previously only used to getting from expensive medium-format systems. With the Otus 1.4/85 we are now bringing out the second lens with this promise,” explains Christophe Casenave, Product Manager with ZEISS Camera Lenses.
Otus 1.4/85 ZF.2 with lens hood

A view inside reveals how such optical quality was achieved. It is an optical-technical feat as you would expect only from ZEISS: The Otus 1.4/85 consists of eleven lens elements in nine groups. One of the lens elements has an aspheric optical surface and six are made of special glass. The optical design is based on the Planar. Because the Otus 1.4/85 is an apochromatic lens, 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, there is practically no perceptible color fringing on contrast-rich edges both in front of and behind the focal plane. Bright-dark transitions in the image, and in particular highlights, are rendered free of color artifacts. Also, the variable air spaces between certain lens groups (“floating elements design”) create a consistently high imaging performance across the entire focusing range from 0.8 m to infinity.
The Otus 1.4/85 consists of eleven lens elements in nine groups

“Otus lenses show a consistently high quality across the entire focusing range. That is something that scientific test institutes do not acknowledge because the test photos are made from just one distance. But professional photographers appreciate this feature in a lens, because it gives them more flexibility in their work,” continues Casenave. And it is precisely these photographers who can now use this outstanding lens as a tool to give full rein to their creativity and make excellent images.

More application photos in high resolution can be found in our Otus 1.4/85 Flickr album.

The ZEISS Otus 1.4/85 comes with lens hood, user manual, test certificate and lens caps.

The Otus 1.4/85 will be available worldwide with the F-mount (ZF.2) or EF-mount (ZE) from mid-September. The expected recommended retail price is €3,360.50* or US$ 4,490* (excl. VAT).

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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