The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 is a premium quality wide aperture short telephoto lens for full frame Canon and Nikon DSLRs. We first reported on the rumored specs (opens in new tab) for this lens two weeks ago, but Zeiss has now made it official.
Zeiss Otus lenses are designed for optical quality and engineering above all else – including price. The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 will cost an eye-watering $4,500, and joins the three other Otus premium DSLR lenses launched since the series began back in 2013 (the Zeiss Otus 1.5/55, 1.4/85 and 1.4/28.)
They're aimed at the best professional cameras (opens in new tab), specifically high-resolution full frame DSLRs including the Nikon D850 (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS 5DS (opens in new tab), where Zeiss says the results are on a par with some of the best medium format cameras (opens in new tab) – though you'll still get the characteristic bokeh 'pop' on lower-resolution models.
The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 is designed for studio photography, portraits and commercial product photography. It’s a focal length that’s well suited to producing flattering portrait shots and flattening perspective in product shots for more natural-looking proportions.
It’s built for high edge-to-edge resolution right across the aperture range, with ‘harmonic’ bokeh to ensure ‘3D pop effect’ that makes sharply focused objects stand out against blurred backgrounds. It uses aspheric lenses and special glass to control distortion and chromatic aberration, and its Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating is designed to minimise stray light and maximise contrast, even shooting into the light.
Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 specifications
Focal length: 100mm
Maximum aperture: f/1.4
Optical construction: 14 elements in 11 groups
Mounts: Nikon F, Canon EF
Filter size: 86mm
Dimensions: 126.5 x 90mm
Weight: 1,336g (2.95lb)
Build quality and design
The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 is a manual focus lens with what Zeiss describes as an ‘extended rotation angle’ and smooth operation for precise focusing. The lens has a full metal housing and an internal focus mechanism so that the lens does not extend during focusing and the centre of gravity doesn’t change. The lens is designed for professional use in rough conditions and for long-term durability.
It’s not designed for light weight and portability. With a weight of over 1.3kg (2.95lb) and a length of 126.5mm, this is a bit of a monster – but typical for very wide aperture telephoto primes.
Focusing is manual, but the extended focus rotation means there’s a precise distance scale, and you also get depth of field index markers for the near and far depth of field limits at different apertures – something that’s unique to premium manual focus prime lenses.
Availability and price
The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 is available now and will cost $4,500 / £3,999.99.