Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 – specs and images leak for superfast $5,000 lens

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 – specs and images leak for superfast $5,000 lens
Image: Nokishita

It's been a packed week for superfast lens releases, with Samyang's Spring Collection (opens in new tab) promising some of the best Nikon lenses (opens in new tab) and Canon's Sumiere Prime (opens in new tab) line offering the best Canon lenses (opens in new tab) for cinematographers. 

Now we have specs and images for the Zeiss' latest Otus cinema lens, courtesy of a leak by ever-reliable Japanese site Nokishita (opens in new tab) (by way of Canon Watch (opens in new tab)).  

Update: Zeiss has now announced the Otus 1.4/100 officially (opens in new tab), with full specifications and price information. It's a little cheaper than we expected – but not much! 

The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 lens will be available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs in two models, ZE (for Canon EF-mount mount cameras) and ZF.2 (for Nikon F mounts).  As you might expect for a lens with "Zeiss" and "Otus" in its name, it will carry a substantial price tag: a cool $4,990. 

Zeiss originally conceived its manual-focus Otus optics for high performance stills photography, to provide the best performance even when shooting at wide-open apertures. Increasingly in the world of 4K and now 8K video (opens in new tab), however, Otus lenses have been adopted by cinematographers thanks to their high contrast and minimal color fringing or distortion.

The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 cinema lens (image: Nokishita)

The Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 cinema lens (image: Nokishita)

This new 100mm f/1.4 iteration joins its 28mm, 55mm and 85mm siblings (all with matching f/1.4 apertures), giving filmmakers a nice set of primes if they have the thick end of $20,000 in their pocket. And for that you don't get autofocus or image stablization.

The Canon version of the lens measures 128.8mm and weighs 1,405g, while the Nikon model is slightly shorter at 126.5mm and weighs in at a leaner 1,336g.

Both models feature the same construction, with 14 elements and 11 groups, with a maximum diameter of 100.7mm, focus ring diameter of 90mm and a filter diameter of 86mm. The minimum shooting distance is 1m, with a maximum shooting magnification of 1:8.6.

Cinema lenses are becoming an increasingly relevant part of the general photographic conversation, as more and more photographers start shooting video. While Otus price tags may have one too many zeroes for many vloggers and up-and-coming filmmakers, for those looking for premium performance the Zeiss range is definitely hard to beat. 

Read more:

Canon announces seven superfast Sumire Prime cinema lenses (opens in new tab)
The best 4K camera for filmmaking in 2019 (opens in new tab)
The 12 best cameras for vlogging in 2019 (opens in new tab)
What is 8K? And what does it mean to photographers and videomakers? (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.