Zeiss Milvus 85/1.4 vs Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 vs Zeiss Planar 85/1.4 – Comparative Lens Review
Field Test – Portrait
All three lenses reviewed here are considered to be mainly portrait lenses. In this chapter, we tried to bring you few environmental portraits and one “budoir” session, captured with all three or at least two lenses. In order to keep things at least partially comparable, I asked another experienced photographer – Pavel Sinagl (www.pavelsinagl.com), who is shooting with Nikon D810 to help me. We worked in parallel by first setting the scene and then shooting with each of three lenses in continuity. Because we simultaneously tested also three 50-55mm lenses (Otus 55 vs Milvus 50 vs Planar 50), we split the scenes by focal lengths. So i.e., when I was shooting with 85mm lens, Pavel re-shoot same scene with 50mm lenses and vice versa.
Weather was cloudy and colors are dull, but for the outdoor portrait it was actually blessing.
Because of the size of original files, that will make loading of this page difficult or even impossible if posted as originals, we had to reduce image size to only 1200px wide. However, in the following Flickr album, you should find all images in the original size (look at the chapter 1 for instructions how to view original size images on Flickr) – Portrait with Zeiss 85mm lenses
Please note, that it is impossible to compare sharpness on 1 or 2 images from this series. There are too many variables to ensure proper sharpness comparison, and it wasn’t intention to do so with this test. What you might follow is very simple – do I like images taken with one lens, more than with other or I can’t hardly see any differences? Technical and optical qualities are one side of the story, but as soon as lenses are used for taking images they were invented for, it’s only result that matters.
Session 1 – Model Viktoria, photo by Viktor
Scene 01 – Portrait
Scene 02 – Portrait
Scene 03 – Portrait
Scene 04 – Portrait
Session 2 – Model Petra, photo by Pavel (www.pavelsinagl.com)
Scene 05 – Portrait
Scene 06 – Portrait
Scene 07 – Portrait
Session 3 – Budoir, Model Anne-Nicole, photo by me (Only Otus and Milvus were compared in this session. Otus was used with Nikon D800E, whuile Milvus was used on Sony A7r)
Scene 08 – Budoir
Scene 09 – Budoir
Scene 10 – Budoir
Scene 11 – Budoir
All images presented here are shot in RAW, developed in LR CC and exported as JPEG without excessive post processing. White balance was adjusted and when needed exposure was slightly corrected. No additional sharpening or blurring was applied. Please, be generous to our models. We had little time and resources to work on make-up and for the purpose of this review we didn’t retouch skin to remove blemishes or smooth the skin. I would never let any of those images as a final output, without making proper lighting, styling and post processing if not for the review.
From all those portrait application comparisons, we are not afraid to draw one conclusion. All three Zeiss lenses are outstanding optical instruments, and differences in the real life usage (at least in the type of scene captured above) are rather minor.
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