Zeiss have just announced the 85mm big brother to the amazing 55mm Otus. Much of what I wrote about the 55mm, in terms of build, practicality, the reality of working with manual focus etc all holds true here. So you can check out that review HERE.
Let me get straight to the point, the 55mm Otus was the best lens I have ever tested in terms of overall image quality - and the 85mm Otus is even better. If you can afford it, and can manage manual focus - there is no better lens for portraiture IMO - the sharpness, contrast, fine details and bokeh are all peerless. I don't say that lightly.
As a portrait photographer, 85mm is a staple focal length, and there are some very good lenses out there. But putting them side by side, in the same conditions - there is no contest.
HERE you can download a DNG raw file from my D800e taken with this lens wide open at f1.4.
Amazing lens, at an ultra premium price of $4,500 (check it out at Adorama)
Check out my review video below, sample images below, and stay tuned as a 4 way comparison video coming soon!
In terms of design, the 85mm has a similar design to the 55mm, the body is wider but shorter with 11 elements in 9 groups, three of which are made from "special glass with anomalous partial dispersion" - I.E. super expensive glass that costs more by weight than gold!
The images below are jpegs, but at lower compression, sized to 1920 on long edge. You can click or save them for full size.
Above and below, the full shot and 100% crop of this shot in hazy Hong Kong at f4.
Check out my new book on Kickstater here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matt-granger/public-bodies-nude-in-public-art-nude-photography
Below, this is the JPEG you can download as a DNG raw file, shot wide open at f1.4
Below, shown in the video, is a simple test to show the clarity and contrast a lens can achieve. Of course you won't be shooting paper like this - but not the black to white contrast ratio. The Otus smashes the already excellent Nikkor 1.4G.
Stay tuned - 4 way comparison video coming soon.
All images here (other than lens diagram) are copyright Matt Granger. No reproduction or re use without written permission.