Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4: Nice, but Niche

An earlier draft of this article ran to almost 1800 words. It’s always like that with gear that’s actually good but that doesn’t suit me. I go through draft after draft, trying to write away the ambivalence that has little to do with the gear and – almost – everything with me.

But it’s not about me, it’s about the gear. And Zeiss didn’t make this Otus for me, or for people like me.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in this lens. So, here’s the gist:

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Zeiss Introduces Milvus Manual Focus DSLR Lens Line

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Shortly after the launch of its Batis lenses for the Sony full-frame E-mount, Carl Zeiss is rolling out yet another lens line, this time a series of manual focus lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras, called Milvus.

The Milvus series will initially consist of the following focal lengths:

  • 21mm f/2.8
  • 35mm f/2
  • 50mm f/1.4
  • 85mm f/1.4
  • 50mm f/2 Macro
  • 100mm f/2 Macro

Prices range from a little over $1,100 for the 35mm to $1,843 for the 21mm and the 100mm. They’re expected to ship mid-October.

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Rubbing it in at PhotoPlus Expo

While Nikon and Canon as always steal the show at this year’s PPE, with their enormous booths and prominent speakers, the ‘little’ guys poked some fun at the big boys.

Samsung’s reps wore t-shirts promoting the new NX1 with ‘Ditch the DSLR’ emblazoned on the back:

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And Olympus went through the trouble of buying a Canon DSLR and some L zooms so it could show us how much smaller and lighter its solution is:

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Nikon D750 vs Canon 5D Mark III: Part 2


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Canon 5D Mark III 

In the end it all comes down to one question: is the Canon 5D Mark III worth $1,000 more than the new Nikon D750?

In my last post on this topic, I compared the specifications and concluded that on paper these cameras are basically the same. In handling, they’re basically the same. So, without actually shooting with them – say when you’re browsing an online camera store or standing at the counter of your local camera shop – you’d have a hard time giving Canon your money when these cameras are so similar.

Does that change when you start shooting with them?

With that question in mind, I set out to shoot these two machines side by side and see whether the Canon can realistically continue to command the premium price.

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Nikon D750 vs Canon 5D Mark III: Part 1

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The new Nikon D750 wasn’t the camera many Nikon fans had hoped for, a true successor to the vaunted Nikon D700. Whereas the D700 was basically a pro camera in a prosumer body, the D750 is a prosumer camera, period. As such, Nikon still hasn’t launched a camera that can follow in the path of the D700. For Nikon fans, the D750 wasn’t really needed.

But for Canon fans jealous of the dynamic range that Sony’s sensors deliver in the Nikon (and Sony A7 series) cameras, the D750 might well be the answer to their dreams. Because if the D750 is close to any other camera in specs, it’s to Canon’s 5D Mark III. The only major difference seems to be the price, with the Canon being about $1,000 more expensive than the Nikon.

That’s why I wrote when the D750 was launched that it wasn’t aimed at Nikon consumers, but at Canon buyers.

Let’s back up a bit.

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