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Zeiss Announces the new Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

Get Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon B&H Photo.

Zeiss announced today the Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon, which joins its 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon and 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar siblings for a 28/55/85mm lineup.

As might be expected, the Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon sets the gold standard at its focal length, which no other lens can match. The 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon will ship in Q2 2016.

Initial review coverage of Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of shooting the Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon extensively in the field, and I am pleased to have prepared a good range of material ready to go in Guide to Zeiss. This material is now online in my review:

In-progress review of the Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon in Guide to Zeiss (by subscription)

Additional material based on extensive field shooting already done (mountains) to come over the next 1-2 weeks*.

Note that the Otus lineup and other Zeiss DSLR lenses can be shot not only on the native camera platform (Nikon or Canon), but also on Sony mirrorless using a lens adapter. The Sony A7R II makes an excellent platform for Otus, due to its built-in EVF for focusing. I tested the Otus 28/1.4 APO-Distagon on both the Nikon D810 and the Sony A7R II.

* Most of my field material (mountains) I have not yet prepared due to travel and the demands of shooting two new lenses, and so the initial material explores the Otus 28/1.4 under the demanding and revealing conditions of night-time photography—I like to know the limits of a lens prior to extensive field use.

Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon
Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon Specifications
Focal length 28mm
Aperture range f/1.4 - f/16, 9 blades
Number of lens elements/groups 16 elements in 13 groups
Focusing range: 30 cm / 11.81 in - infinity
Free working distance at MOD: 15 cm / 5.91 in
Coverage at close range (MOD). 36 X 24mm frame 225 x 150 mm / 8.89 x 5.91 in
Image ratio at close range 1:6.25
Rotation angle of focusing (focus throw): 120°
Entrance pupil position ( in front of image plane): 132.9mm
Angular field (diag./horiz./vert.) 75° / 65° / 46°
Diameter of image field 43.3mm
Filter thread 95mm
Length with caps: ZF.2: 152.0 mm 5.98 in
ZE: 154.0 mm 6.06 in
Length without caps ZF.2: 135.0 mm 5.31 in
ZE: 137.0 mm 5.39 in
Diameter max ZF.2: 108.9 mm / 4.29 in
ZE: 108.9 mm / 4.29 in
Weight (as weighed): 1310g lens alone, ZF.2
1372g lens with hood, ZF.2
1412g lens with hood and caps, ZF.2
Weight (nominal, without lens caps): ZF.2: 1350 g / 47.62 oz
ZE: 1390 g / 49.03 oz
Flange focal distance: ZF.2: 46.50 mm / 1.83 ft
ZE: 44.00 mm / 1.73 ft
Mounts ZF.2 (F bayonet)
ZE (EF bayonet)

Press release

14 October 2015.

ZEISS Otus 1.4/28

The ZEISS Otus family continues to grow

ZEISS Otus 1.4/28: the new focal length in the wide-angle range augments ZEISS’s most powerful family of SLR lenses

OBERKOCHEN, 14/10/2015.

With the new ZEISS Otus 1.4/28, users of shorter focal lengths can now also take advantage of the uncompromising quality of the ZEISS Otus family, whether for landscapes, architectural photography or any other images they take with a wide-angle lens. Where details count, the ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 with ZE or ZF.2 mount for DSLR cameras from Canon¹ and Nikon¹ is the lens of choice. When used with modern, high-resolution DSLR cameras, it offers unrivalled image quality unseen until now in wide-angle photography, even with a wide-open aperture.

The ZEISS Otus 1.4/28, a moderate wide-angle lens, particularly shows off its strengths in landscape photography. Even with a maximum aperture, the corners of the image are completely usable, so there are no limits to composition. In poor light combined with fast-moving objects, the lens also excels due to its high speed of f/1.4. While other lenses reveal their shortcomings in correction in night photography, especially when lots of open light sources dominate an image, the ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 boasts a stellar performance. Finally, the latest member of the ZEISS Otus family is excellent for taking pictures of image elements in the foreground, as they take on a greater feeling of depth to the scene due to the wide background and the open aperture; here, the lens’s harmonious bokeh ensures a 3D effect.

For professional photographers

Developed to meet the high demands of professional photographers, the ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 has – like the two other focal lengths in the ZEISS Otus family – inner focusing, a dial window and the well-known yellow labeling of the dials for easy legibility, all of which are already known from professional cine lenses (for example ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime).

The ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 also stands out for its mechanical quality: the soft focus operation with the large rotation angle allows for the finest variations when focusing – something that is only possible with a metal construction. In every focusing situation, the user is given freedom to compose – one of the most important creative factors in photography. An artistic tool is literally put in the photographer’s hands. The robust all-metal barrel with its easy-to-grip focus ring is well suited for a photographer’s demanding everyday work; this ensures a long product life. The optical performance of the ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 is outstanding thanks to its high image contrast all the way into the edges of the image – already at an open aperture. Its consistent performance at all distances (minimum working distance of 0.15 m or 5.19”), the highly detailed images it creates without any bothersome artifacts, and the neutral bokeh in the background round out the excellent image quality of the ZEISS Otus 1.4/28. “With these features the ZEISS Otus lenses set themselves apart from the other Zeiss DSLR lenses, such as the ZEISS Milvus family, which we recently presented,” said Christophe Casenave, Product Manager with ZEISS Camera Lenses.

Thanks to these characteristics, the ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 offers users who use a modern high-resolution 35-mm DSLR camera a quality that corresponds to the level of the medium format – without having to invest in large and expensive medium-format equipment.

Intricate construction for uncompromising imaging performance

The lens consists of 16 elements in 13 groups. One of the lens elements has an aspheric optical surface and one element is aspheric on both sides. Eight other lens elements are made of special glass. The basis of the optical design is a Distagon. The special glass has anomalous partial dispersion, as is typical for an apochromatic lens. This corrects the longitudinal chromatic aberrations superbly, which therefore lie considerably below the tightly defined boundaries. Bright-dark transitions in the image, in particular highlights, are depicted almost completely free of color artifacts. The floating elements design (the change of distances between certain lens elements when focusing) allows for unrivalled imaging performance along the entire focusing range, from 0.3 m (11.81”) to infinity.

The ZEISS Otus lens family

When ZEISS introduced the ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 in 2013, creating a new family of high-end SLR lenses, the trade press and users alike were enthusiastic. The ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 has exceeded its promises up to this day. The second member of the family, the ZEISS Otus 1.4/85, which was presented at photokina 2014, continued this success story in the short telephoto range. It enables photographers to express their creativity in a unique way – and that with the unsurpassed high imaging performance for which the lenses in the ZEISS Otus family are known. “The ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 continues the tradition of its lens family. It is the best wide-angle that has ever existed. Now we can offer three outstanding lenses for the widest variety of applications,” added Casenave.

Price and availability

The ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 ZF.2 and ZEISS Otus 1.4/28 ZE will be available worldwide starting in the second quarter of 2016. The lens shade is included with delivery. The retail sales price is unknown to date.

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