Author Topic: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4  (Read 2359 times)

Michael Erlewine

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have a lot of fine lenses that are well corrected. Of late, I am checking out the new Nikkor NOCT f/95 in itself and how it compares to lenses like the Zeiss Otus series, in particular the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens.
I am not much of a “lens tester,” aside from how a lens affects my own work. Here is what I find comparing these two lenses.

The bokeh of the NOCT95 is worlds better than the OTUS55, plain and simple.

The OTUS55 is slightly better corrected compared to the NOCT95. I do find a little CA in the NOCT95 (easily removed) compared to the OTUS55, which is better corrected.

The NOCT95, of course, is very much heavier compared to the OTUS55, which I used to think was heavy. LOL.

The lens barrel on the OTUS55 is velvety-smooth, while the lens barrel on the NOCT95 is stiff and difficult to turn, although it might be loosening up a little. I have put a focus-puller cogged band around the barrel of the NOCT95 and that helps.

You can be sure that I checked out the NOCT95 thoroughly, because if it is flawed (for my work) I could have returned it and had a lot of money to spend on other gear. That being said, the NOCT95 (for my work) is a keeper, especially thanks to the speed of the lens and the resulting bokeh. I can’t get that effect with any of the Otus lenses. The closest I can come is the Nikkor “O” CRT lens, which is fast, but has a somewhat restricted focus range and other quirks.

And so, I very much like the Nikon NOCT 58mm f/.095 lens. Here is a shot from each of the lenses, the first shot, one flower, is with the NOCT95 and the second shot, with three flowers, is the Otus55.
 
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Birna Rørslett

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2019, 08:22:50 »
Obviously, both lenses are good performers :)

I wonder about the clear difference in colour rendition. The Nikkor renders warm and the Zeiss cold. Is that a repeatable performance or simply due to different light setup?

Frank Fremerey

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 08:40:19 »
yes, the color is the striking difference herr
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Airy

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2019, 11:25:05 »
Indeed, color and a little bokeh outlining in the OTUS case.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2019, 11:44:37 »
Indeed, color and a little bokeh outlining in the OTUS case.

Color can vary and that is mostly my fault, trying to find the right mix. They both were taken in the same light, daylight.  You can blame that on me, although I am sure folks who have a rigid test for color will have something to say. The bokeh is the big difference, IMO.
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Fons Baerken

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2019, 13:09:13 »
Like the first one better, colour, bokeh and transparancy, it is almost unreal looking.

Akira

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2019, 08:48:12 »
The iris flower looks amazing, and I cannot tell which is "better" on my monitor.

The transition between the flower and the stem looks a bit abrupt and unnatural in #1 to me.

Assuming that the bokeh area is not stacked and rendered in a single frame, Noct renders the bokeh more smoothly for sure.  The Otus shows more "character" here.
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Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2019, 09:03:51 »
Looks like it's stacked,,,
Erik Lund

Akira

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 09:27:39 »
Looks like it's stacked,,,

You mean, the general bokeh area?
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Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2019, 09:32:33 »

The transition between the flower and the stem looks a bit abrupt and unnatural in #1 to me.

This transition makes the image look unnatural  ;)
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2019, 14:19:52 »
This transition makes the image look unnatural  ;)

Yes, that's if my goal was to make it look natural. LOL.  To my mind, I stopped doing "nature" photos years ago and, instead (if I am allowed) have been producing impressions of flowers that are more like paintings than real life. I believe different photographers have different views or takes on what is beautiful. It would have been simple to add more detail to the stem, yet to me (if it is OK with you folks) I paint focus where I choose to by focus stacking. What I like is to capture my impression of what is natural in my vision, just as I stopped doing gotcha photos of living things years ago. 
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Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2019, 14:32:24 »
Yes, that's if my goal was to make it look natural. LOL.  To my mind, I stopped doing "nature" photos years ago and, instead (if I am allowed) have been producing impressions of flowers that are more like paintings than real life. I believe different photographers have different views or takes on what is beautiful. It would have been simple to add more detail to the stem, yet to me (if it is OK with you folks) I paint focus where I choose to by focus stacking. What I like is to capture my impression of what is natural in my vision, just as I stopped doing gotcha photos of living things years ago.
You are allowed to post stacked images here. LOL.
Erik Lund

Akira

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2019, 20:51:17 »
Yes, that's if my goal was to make it look natural. LOL.  To my mind, I stopped doing "nature" photos years ago and, instead (if I am allowed) have been producing impressions of flowers that are more like paintings than real life. I believe different photographers have different views or takes on what is beautiful. It would have been simple to add more detail to the stem, yet to me (if it is OK with you folks) I paint focus where I choose to by focus stacking. What I like is to capture my impression of what is natural in my vision, just as I stopped doing gotcha photos of living things years ago.

I understand your concept.  The images keep marveling me anyway.
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Airy

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2019, 21:26:19 »
good concept + good technique + good gear = viewer's delight, and interesting information about those pretty lenses. Thanks for that.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon NOCT f/0.95 lens compared to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2019, 01:39:41 »
Here is one from today made especially for Erik Lund, with a stem that is pretty much all in focus. Just trying to be agreeable. ;)

Nikkor NOCT .095
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