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Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4 Apo Planar T* Canon ZE and Nikon ZF.2 mount lens reviews: World’s best performing 85mm portrait lens?

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday September 09 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Carl Zeiss Apo Planar T Otus 85mm F1.4 ZF.2 Nikon mounted on body Nikon D800E: Outstanding performance | Carl Zeiss Apo Planar T Otus 85mm F14 ZE Canon mounted on body Canon EOS 5D Mark III: Sharpness limited by sensor | Zeiss Apo Planar T* Otus 85mm F14 ZF.2 Nikon versus competition | Zeiss Apo Planar T* Otus 85mm F1.4 ZE Canon versus competition | Conclusion
Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4 Apo Planar T* Canon ZE and Nikon ZF.2 mount lens reviews: World’s best performing 85mm portrait lens?

Launched a little over 2-years ago, the first Zeiss Otus model was a triumph in optical and mechanical perfection, and now Zeiss has added a second model to the range, and high speed 85mm with a heady mix of six anomalous dispersion glass elements, one asphere and a floating system to reduce aberrations at close range.  Read on to see how well this new exotic model performs.

The original high-speed 55mm Zeiss Otus model garnered worldwide acclaim for its outstanding optical performance and impressive mechanical construction, but at a buck short of $4,000, perfection came at a price. Today, Zeiss has announced the second model in the range, a high-speed 85mm lens with similarly hefty price tag ($4,490) and equally promising performance. It has an unusually complex optical construction for a moderate telephoto comprising of 11 elements in total with no less than six of those made from anomalous dispersion glass (with characteristics similar to fluorite) for chromatic aberration suppression, one asphere to reduce distortion and a floating optical system to lessen spherical aberration at close range. Like the earlier model the new manual focus 85mm Otus adopts an equally uncompromising mechanical construction using an all-metal outer and a large rubberized focus ring with a long throw for precise focus and large high-visibility distance markings. Both Canon ZE and Nikon ZF.2 mount versions feature an electronic interface for full-aperture metering and exposure control.

Minimum focus is an inch shorter than most rivals at 2.62’ (0.8m) but with a 86mm filter thread and measuring 3.98 x 4.88" (101 x 124 mm) and weighing 2.65 lb (1.2 kg) it’s as big and heavy lens.

The Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4 Apo Planar T* is available for pre-order now now at $4,490.

Carl Zeiss Apo Planar T Otus 85mm F1.4 ZF.2 Nikon mountedon body Nikon D800E: Outstanding performance

Carl Zeiss Apo Planar T Otus 85mm F1.4 ZE Canon mountedon body Canon EOS 5D Mark III: Sharpness limited by sensor

Zeiss Apo Planar T* Otus 85mm F1.4 ZF.2 Nikon versus competition

Zeiss Apo Planar T* Otus 85mm F1.4 ZE Canon versus competition

Conclusion