Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1,4/55 ZE (Canon) mount lens review: Peerless Prime

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday November 26 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Best prime on the 5D Mark III | Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZE Canon lens perfomance | Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZE Canon Vs Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM | Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZE vs Zeiss Planar T 50mm f/1.4 ZE vs Zeiss Makro-Planar T 50mm f/2 ZE | Conclusion


With a DxOMark lens rating of 38 points the Zeiss Otus 1,4/55 is highest performing lens we’ve measured on a Canon body. And, with a 21P-Mpix sharpness score it’s one of the sharpest lenses that we’ve analyzed. What really stands out is the full aperture performance.

Not only is it sharp but also it’s sharp from corner to corner and has less than 5% variation in acutance across the image field regardless of the aperture setting. Stopped down to f16 where diffraction has an effect on sharpness it has exceptionally high acutance (66%) and has less than 2% variation across the image field.

Fast standards like this usually suffer from heavy vignetting but that's not the case here. Shading or vignetting is well controlled at full aperture and has all but disappeared by f2.8. Lateral chromatic aberration is also very low in a lens like this and distortion while measurable is barely noticeable in real world use.