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ZEISS Otus 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F

BH #ZE5514ZF2N • MFR #2010-055
ZEISS Otus 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F
Key Features
  • F-Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • One Aspherical Element
  • Six Low Dispersion Elements
Employing a no-holds-barred design, the Nikon F-mount ZEISS Otus 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 is an optically refined normal-length prime characterized by its bright maximum aperture and advanced optics for high sharpness and color accuracy. The fast f/1.4 design excels in difficult lighting conditions and is also suitable for adjusting depth of field to isolate subject matter using selective focus. A Distagon optical concept is used to promote edge-to-edge sharpness and low field curvature, and, through the use of low dispersion and aspherical elements, this lens also achieves a well-corrected image quality void of aberrations, color fringing, and distortion. A floating elements system is also used, for consistent performance throughout the focusing and aperture ranges, in order to achieve even sharpness and clarity. An enhanced ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating has also been applied to significantly reduce ghosting and lens flare for improved contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions.
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$3,990.00
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ZEISS Otus 55mm f/1.4 Overview

Employing a no-holds-barred design, the Nikon F-mount ZEISS Otus 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 is an optically refined normal-length prime characterized by its bright maximum aperture and advanced optics for high sharpness and color accuracy. The fast f/1.4 design excels in difficult lighting conditions and is also suitable for adjusting depth of field to isolate subject matter using selective focus. A Distagon optical concept is used to promote edge-to-edge sharpness and low field curvature, and, through the use of low dispersion and aspherical elements, this lens also achieves a well-corrected image quality void of aberrations, color fringing, and distortion. A floating elements system is also used, for consistent performance throughout the focusing and aperture ranges, in order to achieve even sharpness and clarity. An enhanced ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating has also been applied to significantly reduce ghosting and lens flare for improved contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions.

Its manual focus design is complemented by a rubberized focus ring for fine-tuned, precise control over your focus position. Additionally, Otus-series lenses also feature an equally aesthetic and durable anodized metal lens barrel surface along with engraved focusing scales and distinctive high-visibility yellow paint.

Normal-length prime lens is designed for FX-format Nikon F-mount cameras, however can also be used with DX models where it provides an 82.5mm equivalent focal length.
Impressively bright f/1.4 maximum aperture is well-suited for working in low-light conditions and also provides greater control over the focus position when using shallow depth of field techniques.
Distagon optical concept affords high sharpness, well-corrected image quality from edge-to-edge, and very low field curvature.
Apochromatic optical design utilizes six anomalous partial dispersion elements to significantly reduce color fringing and chromatic aberrations for increased clarity and color fidelity.
One aspherical element controls distortion and spherical aberrations in order to produce greater sharpness and more accurate rendering.
ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating has been applied to each lens surface to help minimize reflections and provide greater contrast and color fidelity.
Floating elements system helps to maintain consistent image quality throughout the entire focusing range, from 1.6' to infinity.
Manual focus design is benefitted by focusing and depth of field scales, which are filled with a high-visibility yellow paint, along with hard stops at both infinity and minimum focusing positions.
All-metal lens barrel has a frosted, anodized surface along with a rubberized focusing ring for both durability and improved tactile control.

ZEISS Otus 55mm f/1.4 Specs

Focal Length55mm
Maximum Aperturef/1.4
Minimum Aperturef/16
Lens MountNikon F
Lens Format CoverageFull-Frame
Angle of View44°
Minimum Focus Distance1.64' / 50 cm
Maximum Magnification0.15x
Optical Design12 Elements in 10 Groups
Focus TypeManual Focus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size77 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.64 x 4.93" / 92.4 x 125.3 mm
Weight2.13 lb / 970 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight4.335 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)11.4 x 6.95 x 5.75"

ZEISS Otus 55mm f/1.4 Reviews

Works very well for video

By jorge
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-08-19

This 55mm is still one of the best 50s I’ve ever used. The Zeiss 55mm otus and Leica 50mm APO are in a league of their own.

Must Have

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-02-26

Sold my Leica M9 and three Lux lenses due to low hit rate. When it was on though, Wow, hard to beat the Leica glass. So, decided to try the Zeiss 55. Got it used from B&H. Saved a few hundred and the lens was essentially brand new. Have to say, this lens and a D810 is the ultimate. Much easier to focus than the range finder and this lens does not take a back seat to Leica glass. Very pleased.

Awesome !!!!

By richard
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2016-08-17

I should have known better - the photography magazines are filled with articles telling you to buy the lens you really want, and telling you it's costly to buy something now and change it later. Sigh ! Anyway, without telling the world whose standard prime is no longer fronting my D810, I am now using the Otus 55m instead. And it is SOOOOOOOOO much better - it's simply the best! Wouldn't suit for sports photography, I imagine, because it's manual focus. But the clarity of the images it produces and the subtlety of the colors it captures are amazing. I'm giving it 15 out of 10 !!!!

exceeds expectations

By Russell
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2015-12-28

I took a lot of images with this lens over the family Christmas gathering and was greatly impressed with the quality. When reviewing the images on the back of my D810, they appear more colorful and contrasty than my other lenses. They almost appear as if they've already been processed in lightroom. After processing the images are superb. It's a different look from my other lenses, not just the sharpness, but also the contrast and dynamic range displayed appears greater. The other lenses I'm comparing the Otus to I would consider very good lenses: nikon 85 1.4, 58mm 1.4, 24-70mm 2.8, but the Otus had me saying look at this! repeatedly to my wife. In the Otus there is a smoother transition between color shades and a deeper saturation. It isn't one thing, but a collection of differences that make this lens stand out. Manual focusing at 1.4 is hard. I experimented with this and found that using the electronic focusing aid in my nikon camera can help. At close focus to about 6-8 ft I found that beginning to focus in front of the target and turning slowly until just beyond where the focus dot appears in the camera gave much more reliable focus. If I started focusing beyond the subject and turned until focus was indicated in the camera, the image was always out of focus. At longer distances, the mid portion of the focus range indicated by the focusing dot seems more reliable. I confirmed this observation with three other Zeiss lenses and manually focusing my 58mm 1.4 nikon. My other camera body, D700, behaved similarly. I was surprised the focus distance indicated on the lens could vary greatly depending on whether I acquired apparent focus coming from the front or coming from the rear toward my focus target. The Otus made this easier to detect because of it's long focus throw. I plan to take two images when using the lens at 1.4, one just beyond where the camera changes from out of focus to in focus indication when I begin the focusing action in front of the target ,and the other image in the middle of the play in the camera between where the dot appears when focusing from the rear and when focusing from the front. I also plan to purchase a DK17 magnifying eyepiece that others have recommended, but have not yet tried it. In fairness, my other 1.4 auto focus lenses also will frequently miss the focus in auto mode when wide open. Live view does reliably focus the lens if there is sufficient light. I'm including two images. Both are shot at 1/500 sec, F1.4. I focused on Bogey's left eye (your right side). The image which is clearly sharper I achieved by starting to focus ahead of the eye, so the arrow in the camera pointed to the right when I began the focusing action. With the less sharp image I began behind Bogey and approached from the rear until the camera indicated an apparent focus (arrow in camera initially pointed to the left).

Perfection is Expensive

By Joe
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2015-12-14

I purchased the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus lens to use on my Nikon D810. I have found that many lenses are not up to the performance of this camera's 36 megapixel sensor. Test images with a lens resolution target show that this lens is capable of outperforming the sensor. It is even close to the sensor's performance at f1.4 (wide open). Nice job, Zeiss. In order to achieve consistent maximum performance, focus has to be done through the rear LCD screen in Live-View mode with the aid of a magnifying loop. This may be more effort than some photographers are willing to use, but I think it's worth it when reviewing the startling images. If manual focus isn't your thing, then you might consider the Sigma Art lenses. In my opinion, they are the next best choice, have auto-focus but are not quite as sharp as the Zeiss Otus series.

It's real

By geecheeboy
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2015-10-18

As a two-system user for many years (currently Leica M9 and Nikon D810), I was used to using each system for what it did best. Nikon excelled when I needed AF, telephoto, zoom, or macro, Leica when those did not apply and I just wanted the best possible (i.e., most realistic) image quality. Except for a few special lenses (200 Micro, 200/2, etc), The Nikon lenses were clearly send-tier, in my opinion, to Leica M lenses. The Zeiss for Nikon lenses were sometimes great (21/2.8, 100/2), but there was nothing outstanding near 50 mm. This lens has changed that, and how! The D810 images shot with this lens now bear a close resemblance to M9 images shot with a 50 Summilux ASPH (except it's 36 MPX!). Clearly this lens is not for everybody, most don't need it, some even like to ridicule it (and it's purchasers) because of the price, but believe me, it's a stunning leap forward for what's available in F mount.

$4,000 ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 / misaligned aperture blades

By UFUK
Rated 1 out of 5
Date: 2019-02-18

I bought an $4,000 ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 in last month. Yesterday I just aware I my copy have an alignment problem in aperture blades in f16 and immediately contact to Zeiss customer services for a replacement in Germany. After see a lot of perfect or near perfect aligned lenses on the net, mine $4,000 Otus annoyed a lot and it increased after the reply from ZEISS. Zeiss promotion these Otus lenses as Uncompromising image quality and I just started to understand not uncompromising in mechanical quality.

Superb Lens

By Greg
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-04-26

This is my third Zeiss, second Otus, for my Nikon D810A. The 85/1.4 arrives tomorrow. I recently took this lens, the 28/1.4, the Milvus 15, and several Nikon and Sigma lenses, p.us an additional D810 body and tripods to the Maldives. Schlepping that much weight was not trivial, but easily worth it. I ended up using the 55 more than any of the other lenses. I had forgotten how challenging and liberating it is to see the world through a normal focal length. But other than that, there is nothing normal about this lens. As other reviewers have noted, the images OOTC look like they have already been processed. Color, clarity, and contrast produce a natural 3D effect. I have included two images I shot handheld of a small about -inch long crag next to a pool. Sun was overhead around midday, so light was flat and not flattering. My focus here is not very good, but it's good enough to illustrate the point. Zero processing other than the crop, and the JPEG quality compression. The crop is approximately 3:1, and the amount of detail is just amazing. And this is with significant image compression to get the pics small enough to upload here. Shot was 1/1250 at 4.5. In RAW, on a 4K iMac, these are something else. The cons about these lenses are well-known: size, weight, expense. Makes it a pretty easy decision for most. For me, although difficult to transport, I cannot imagine leaving any of these lenses home.

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