The Carl Zeiss 85mm 1.4 Otus lens
I count myself very lucky to have been one of a handful of professional photographers in the world to test the new Carl Zeiss 85mm 1.4 Otus lens. It has been an amazing piece of glass to work with. The first thing you will notice is the build quality. It’s an impressive piece of glass that takes up much of the space in my highly coveted fstop Tilopa BC. The second thing you will fall in love with is the throw. It’s a full 270 degrees of smooth as silk rotation. With a lens like this you will burn to shoot portraiture. I have found myself looking for a reason to shoot more. As if I don’t already shoot a lot. I now seek out destroy portrait. Weather it’s a drop dead gorgeous sports model like Aicacia Young or a living legend like Mountain Runner Rickey Gates or one of Canada’s best all time climbers ever Sean McColl.
I have had the chance to photograph each of these people with the Zeiss 85mm Otus lens. I can say that the image quality is unsurpassed! Which brings me to the 3rd and most impressive reason to love this lens! sharpness! This lens is so sharp that I often don’t apply any sharpening in post. It should be noted that I shoot a ZF.2 version for my Nikon D4, D800 and D610.
The bokeh is superb and the lens shines at f1.4 all the way through the range. Which is more than I can say about a few fast primes. This lens is manual focus only and is a perfect fit for pros making the transition into video. I use mine for stills, video and time lapse. On a RED epic this lens is a beast. We used it on our latest short film Wild and Tough about the 2014 Hard Rock 100!
It’s not for beginner or hobby photographers. It’s really for the discerning pro. Getting a tack sharp image at f1.4 isn’t a cake walk but when you nail it you really nail it.
I’ve had my chance to shoot with with lens and can recommend it to anyone who shoots portraits for a living. Mostly I hope you get to test drive one as well through Lens Rentals or Borrow lenses! It’s the kind of lens you want to rent for those clients you really want to make an impression with.