Showcase Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4



Big, heavy, expensive, no autofocus, not native m4/3 - what's not to like?
I'm using it with Metabones SpeedBooster, which has a 0.7x magnification factor, turning the 55mm Otus into a 38.5mm (79mm full frame equivalent) lens, which works nicely for portraiture.

Here are two quick shots from today, taken in a well lit and detailed environment (Bellevue Square shopping mall, observing the aftermath of yesterday's iPhone launch at the Apple Store).
It is very difficult for me to find anything that could be done better by any lens on this camera (... besides the big, heavy, no AF, ...). Full size images on Flickr:

<a href="[email protected]/15296721451" title="140920-104527 by Moritz Berger, on Flickr">View attachment 385742"320" height="240" alt="140920-104527"></a> <a href="[email protected]/15299485642" title="140920-104621 by Moritz Berger, on Flickr">View attachment 385743"320" height="240" alt="140920-104621"></a>

Olympus OM-D E-M1, hand held. No PP, raw development default settings with CaptureOne 8 Pro.


  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Real world handling: Using the Otus on OM-D E-M1 is actually easier compared to my D800e:
1. Focus peaking works great (you have to turn it on manually every time, since the lens doesn't communicate focus change through the Metabones SpeedBooster) - I just put Focus Peak on a function button (same for magnification - turning it on for MF in the settings will not work, you have to manually activate it).
2. Handling is much improved by using the battery grip for the E-M1.
3. Overall weight of Otus + D800 is >2x of Otus + E-M1; since all the "manual" work required to get the best out of this lens makes "pray and spray" shooting impossible, the weight reduction greatly helps with fighting fatigue in a longer photo session.
4. IBIS works great (!!), I put the reference length at 40mm which is close enough to the effective 38.5mm to make it work correctly.

Here's a brief sequence that I just took with 3/3 shots reasonably in focus. In my experience, with the D800 hand held without LCD magnifier, I usually get 1/3rd of shots to the same level with this thin DOF. I put the SpeedBooster on "F3", not even maxing out the more extreme possibilities due to appropriateness for the situation at hand.
As with the images before, I have put a link to full resolution below the image in the comment field - Flickr ruined the default UI to make 1:1 pixel view impossible earlier this year.
Images un-cropped to give you a realistic view of "what's in the frame", Capture Pro 8 with BW - Portrait 2 preset (all defaults):

<a href="[email protected]/15313042292" title="140921-133543 by Moritz Berger, on Flickr">View attachment 385953"180" height="240" alt="140921-133543"></a> <a href="[email protected]/15126678160" title="140921-133622 by Moritz Berger, on Flickr">View attachment 385954"180" height="240" alt="140921-133622"></a> <a href="[email protected]/15126813927" title="140921-133637 by Moritz Berger, on Flickr">View attachment 385955"180" height="240" alt="140921-133637"></a>
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji:
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom