Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1,4/55 ZF.2 (Nikon) lens review: Outstanding Optical Performance

By Kevin Carter - Thursday November 21 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | New Zeiss takes first place in rankings | Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon lens performance | Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon D7100 vs Nikon D5200: How might it perform on the D800E? | Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon vs Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G: New Nikkor Outclassed? | Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon versus competition: Zeiss eclipses rivals | Conclusion
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1,4/55 ZF.2 (Nikon) lens review: Outstanding Optical Performance

High-end lens maker Carl Zeiss has just released the first model in a series of high-grade DSLRs lenses in Nikon mount and we were more than curious to see if the performance of the new Otus 1,4/55 could match the hype. Read on to find out.

Zeiss already make a range of manual focus lenses for Canon and Nikon, but this new model is the first in a new range of high-end Otus lenses from the maker optimized for the next generation of full-frame high-resolution DSLRs.  As with the Touits, the new naming of the series follows the maker’s liking for adopting scientific names of birds for their lenses.

Unlike those earlier lenses designed for mirrorless cameras, this fast standard is a retrofocus full-frame (35mm format) model, but the 55mm focal length also works well on APS-C cameras, where it has a field of view equivalent to that of a 85mm.

The Otus 1,4/55 adopts the firm’s Distagon-type optical design usually reserved for wide-angle models but it’s used here in elongated form to reduce aberrations, especially field curvature, across the frame at the maximum aperture. In addition it’s a manual focus design with automatic aperture coupling and CPU contacts.

The Nikon mount (ZF.2) version also retains a manual aperture collar and provides backwards compatibility with older Nikon SLRs as well as being a useful option for filmmakers.

At $3,999 and weighing 970g for the Nikon mount version, this large lens has a 77mm filter thread and measures 83mm at its widest and 141mm in length. The new Otus is available for pre-order in Nikon and Canon mount only.

New Zeiss takes first place in rankings

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon lens performance

Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon D7100 vs Nikon D5200: How might it perform on the D800E?

Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon vs Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G: New Nikkor Outclassed?

Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon versus competition: Zeiss eclipses rivals

Conclusion