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Lens review

Carl Zeiss Otus 55 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2

18 November 2013
Szymon Starczewski

8. Vignetting

The following thumbnails show the Otus vignetting results on the smaller sensor of the Nikon D7000.

Carl Zeiss Otus 55 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2 - Vignetting


It is clear there are no serious problems here – even at the maximum relative aperture the relative brightness loss in the frame corners is just moderate, amounting to 24% (-0.79 EV). That aberration becomes slight already on stopping down to f/2.0, where it reaches 14% (-0.42 EV). The problem disappears completely by f/2.8, where the vignetting is just 4% (-0.11 EV).

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The chart below compares the results of the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 and those of its rivals.


Zeiss
Otus 1.4/55
Voigtlander
1.4/58
Nikkor
AF-S 1.4/50G
Zeiss Makro
Planar 2.0/50
f/1.4
24%
28%
29%
-
f/2.0
14%
9%
12%
33%
f/2.8
4%
3%
3%
15%


Let’s check now what results we got on full frame of the Nikon D3x. The appropriate thumbnails are presented below.

Carl Zeiss Otus 55 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2 - Vignetting


Here the situation is much worse. At the maximum relative aperture you must take into account the light fall-off of as much as 51% in the frame corners (-2.05 EV). By f/2.0 the vignetting level still remains significant, reaching 39% (-1.41 EV). A moderate level of that aberration can be noticed by f/2.8 where we got 21% (-0.69 EV). The vignetting disappears almost completely by f/4.0, where it is just 9% (-0.28 EV).

The chart below shows that, despite its huge physical dimensions, the Zeiss Otus doesn’t compare favourably with its rivals in this category. The Voigtlander 1.4/58, much smaller than the tested lens, is just slightly worse by f/1.4 but fares better on stopping down. It is quite a surprise.


Zeiss
Otus 1.4/55
Voigtlander
1.4/58
Nikkor
AF-S 1.4/50G
Zeiss Makro
Planar 2.0/50
f/1.4
51%
52%
56%
-
f/2.0
39%
36%
41%
49%
f/2.8
21%
18%
24%
31%
f/4.0
9%
8%
13%
16%


Carl Zeiss Otus 55 mm f/1.4 ZE/ZF.2 - Vignetting