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Dierk Topp Otus 85mm review: “The Sony A7R is the best camera for the OTUS today!”

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Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

Otus 85mm Preorders:
BHphoto with Nikon mount (Click here) or Canon mount (Click here) version.
Adorama with Nikon mount (Click here) or Canon mount (Click here) version.
In Australia at CameraPro.

This is a guest post by SAR reader Dierk Topp. If you want to write an article for SAR just contact me (Andrea) at sonyalpharumors@gmail.com. Thanks!

Since last Friday I am a lucky owner of the new Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85mm with EF mount, a real production model. To make sure to get the lens asap, I called Zeiss right after announcement and asked them for dealers, who get early and more lenses than others :-)
Useless to repeat all the praise and details of the lens, we could read here on SAR, at MingThein, Lloyd Chambers and many others more during the last weeks. If you are interested in such a lens, you will already know:
– it is huge (you need a sherpa -:)
– it is perfect (sharp, contrast, no CA, no flare…)
– and it is “not cheap”

You get, what you pay for. A few weeks ago you could not get even such a lens, even if you would like to pay more!

A few thoughts to mirrorless:
I am very happy with the mirrorless cameras. I say mirrorless and not Sony Alpha, as the camera body today is more or less like the film in the analog times. The lenses are important and we may change the body, when a new (“better”, faster…..) camera is available (next year? :-). We may just have to get new adapters, when we switch to another mount system. But we are not married with a certain camera system any more! More competition – good for us, but hopefully does not leave us with two big brands at the end!!

Last year I sold all my Nikon DSLR gear (kept only one T/S lens) and therefor I was free to order the OTUS with the Canon EF mount for my A7R. The huge advantage over the adapted Nikon mount is the automatic electronic diaphragm, that is supported by the Metabones adapter. I had the Mark III but ordered the new Mark IV adapter and got it on the same day with the OTUS. With a normal adapter you always have to focus open and then stop down manually and you may move a bit after stopping down and may get out of focus.

We could read in some forums, that users of the Nikon D800 where complaining and asking for a better focusing screen. My impression is, that the A7R is the best camera for the OTUS today. The focus peaking works great with f/1.4 and the magnification even better and you see what you get!

With this lens I try to use a least 1/250 sec. or faster, or I use higher ISO. Up to now I did not notice any shutter vibration issues, but I avoid 1/100 to 1/200 sec.

You will know all this, so here are some of my first images.

Some are just test shots, others “real” images.

You will find higher resolution on my flickr OTUS album, some even in full resolution and every day I load more.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dierktopp/sets/72157648057411871/
Therefor I don’t have links on every single image.

When you open the huge box of the OTUS, Zeiss writes:
“this is the moment, we work for”
– for me they were right!

Mail-Anhang

on tripod Manfroto 055 with Arca Swiss Monoball p0
on tripod Manfroto 055 with Arca Swiss Monoball p0

my little Zeiss family

on the left Leica M Monochrom with the rare Zeiss Hologon 8/16mm,
in the middle Sony A7R with Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85
and on the right Sony NEX-7 (converted to IR) with Sony Zeiss 24mm

my little Zeiss family

first test shots on f/1.4 in my home
(I know, one apple is “antique”)

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

and in the field

directly against the sun reflection on the water

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV@f/1.4 1:1 crop of Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

landscape test

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

and 1:1 crops of the above scene
at f/1.4, LR5 default development, no extra sharpening!

1:1 crop of Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

and f/4 (not exactly from the same position)
1:1 crop of Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

f/1.4

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV

and this is, what the lens is also made for:

f/1.4, two soft boxes, for flash I use 1/125 sec

you may argue, that this is overdone with f/1.4 as the rest of the face is out of focus.
I usually use f/8 for portraits but on this one I like, that the viewer is forced to look at the eyes
you shout look at it in higher resolution on flickr (see the link in the beginning)

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV@f/1.4 Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV@f/2.8

DOF, bokeh and flare test at f/1.4

(you find these in full resolution on flickr)

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV@f/1.4 Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV@f/1.4

and an experiment with 13 stitched images at f/1.4, hand held

about 10.000×17.000 pixel or 180 MPixel,
on this small image you don’t see the impressive bokeh
(the Brenizer method)

Zeiss OTUS 1.4/85 on Sony A7R with Metabones Mark IV, @f/1.4, st

you find more on flickr including some full res resolution testshots
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dierktopp/sets/72157648057411871/

thanks for looking
dierk

Otus Preorders:
BHphoto with Nikon mount (Click here) or Canon mount (Click here) version.
Adorama with Nikon mount (Click here) or Canon mount (Click here) version.
In Australia at CameraPro.

 

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