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10-04-2014, 10:43 PM   #1
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The Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Versus … a Two-Year-Old Pocket Camera

Laaaadieeesss and Gentlemennnn! I have for you the lens test to end all lens tests! Not a mere test, mind you, but an epic showdown, a clash of the titans, the ultimate cage match! Pixel peepers rejoice!

In one corner, wearing all-metal trunks in black with yellow piping, we have the Zeiss Otus 85mm, a lens so sharp the TSA banned it from carry-on luggage. A lens so sharp the state of California passed legislation requiring it ships with a warning label. Diamond cutters in Amsterdam are currently investigating ways to harness its fearsome powers.
Yeah, I get that. Why would anybody buy such a heavy, expensive ‘normal’ focal length lens that offers only a slight improvement over light and cheap 50mm lenses–a difference seen only when studying the images up close on a computer screen? Not even Zeiss thought many people would buy the Otus. It wasn’t even their intention. “This started as a strategic lens family just to show what Zeiss was able to do,” said my Zeiss contact. “We didn’t want to lose any money but we didn’t even have to earn money from this.” What they wanted was for you to look at a real test of the Otus, go “Wow!” and then buy a more sensible Zeiss offering, such as the Planar 85mm 1.4–a quarter of the price, much smaller and lighter, sharp as hell, and with a metal focussing ring instead of a silly rubber one. But clearly they underestimated the fervor of the pixel peepers.

Now, let’s be clear here. I’m not trying to dissuade anybody from buying the Otus lenses. (And for the record, Zeiss is one of my favorite lens manufacturers.) Buy whatever makes you happy. Heck, buy two of each. But don’t think you have to in order to get great images. We’ve all gone a little crazy about the technical quality of digital images. It’s really the least important and most mundane aspect of a photograph. And this is where we get to the real point of this post: The quality of today’s digital cameras and lenses is not a limiting factor in your photography. Period. End of story.

10-05-2014, 07:06 AM   #2
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No surprise to us over here.....

Toy Cameras are taking over, and for most of us they fill almost every particular the need to have a camera with you at all times. The new Panny LX100 is sure to make even bigger waves when it comes out next month....Toy Cameras are on a roll!

You guys without....get yourself a Toy Camera, any brand, and join us....we will welcome your company!
10-05-2014, 09:25 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
No surprise to us over here
The author should have upped the ante one more step and thrown his phone camera into the mix.

10-05-2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The author should have upped the ante one more step and thrown his phone camera into the mix.

Phone cameras are Toy Cameras too.....the only difference is, they have learned to talk.


10-06-2014, 11:54 AM   #5

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Heck, why stop at a phone camera. How about a Holga and show how people are really wasting money on lenses.
10-06-2014, 12:09 PM   #6
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I'm not sure what to make of the author. He's got grey tinges in his hair and he talks like a 20-year-old, and not a particularly clever one at that. All in all, what he's saying is that the camera doesn't matter as much as the photographer, which has been repeated here (and probably everywhere else, for at least as long as I've been interested in photography) ad nauseum. Is anything more trite in this corner of human endeavour, as true as it is?

I think I'll write this one off as click-bait, a bit like the vapid output of the horde of Apple-bashing web-sites whose sole purpose is to create controversy and get attention for their advertisers.

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