If you want quality you've got to pay for it. Today, the "world's best still lens," the short telephoto Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens, considered to be one, if not the, best lens in its category hit the market today and is now available for pre-orders.
When Zeiss set out to achieve "perfection in optical performance" in 2012, their Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens definitely delivered, even for filmmakers, who might've wondered how it would fare for film work -- and now that the Otus 85mm is out, it makes sense to assume that the same level of image quality will be found in it as well. We've shared this video before, but it's worth another look. This short piece by August Bradley, Zoetrope Optika, shows you just how beautiful an image the 55mm Otus provides, which probably means the 85mm Otus will follow suit.
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/85513805
Here's a bit from Zeiss' blog post about the lens:
Optically, the Otus 1.4/85 stands out for its high image quality, even with an open aperture — as is true for the entire Otus range. Specifically, that means a neutral bokeh in the background, highly detailed images without any bothersome optical artifacts, consistently high resolution power across the entire image field, no color fringing or distortion, and an extremely high image contrast all the way into the edges. The imaging performance remains entirely consistent for all shooting distances. High apertures can be used even for close-ups right down to a working distance of 0.65 meters. This freedom offers the photographer new opportunities to compose his or her subjects, without having to waste time thinking about a possible loss of quality.
It's been said all throughout the blogosphere; the amount of detail the Otus collection can provide to photographers and filmmakers alike is absolutely incredible, however Zeiss has made it a point to say that the lens was designed to also be versatile enough to fit in anywhere. Naturally, things that perform this well are usually pricey -- too pricey for your everyday indie filmmaker to go snatch up on her way home from work. So, I think it's safe to assume that this will be a hot item at renal houses. However, if you're looking to invest and own your own, you can always jump on the pre-order train. Zeiss is offering Canon EF and Nikon F mountings, both of which will set you back $4,490. Expected availability is set for September 16th.