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Reader Comment: Medium Format vs Nikon D810

See my Zeiss DSLR lens wish list and other wish lists.

Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

John G writes:

The combination of the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon remains extremely difficult to beat, even by medium format.

Medium format has intrinsic qualities that the D810/Zeiss combo lacks, but the reverse observation is equally true.

DIGLLOYD: the late Dr. Nasse of Zeiss had something to say on the matter; see The Medium Format 'Look' in Guide to Zeiss. The key is "equivalent aperture and lens design".

There is nothing obvious or self-evident to me that either the Hasselblad X1D or Fujifilm GFX will offer superior total image quality over a Zeiss Otus shot on a Nikon D810 or its presumable successor—even dynamic range is not a given. Noise, because of the larger sensor area, ought to be lower, but not necessarily.

Image quality is a sum total of everything, so I’m assuming nothing as yet about these two new cameras. In particular, the Fujifilm GFX lenses might not have anything remotely approaching Otus quality at the (equivalent) first few apertures. We shall see.


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