How sharp is the new Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens? (comparison)

During the Photokina show this year Zeiss released a new Distagon 55mm f/1.4 lens designed specifically for high resolution, full frame DSLR cameras (with resolution over 30MP). Michael van Kraalingen, who visited the show, was able to take some comparison snapshots between the Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 (expected price around $4000), Zeiss Planar 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 ($725) and Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lenses ($329). All images were taken with a Nikon D600 camera:

f/1.4

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/1.4

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/1.4

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/1.4

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/1.4

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.4

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.4

f/2.8

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/2.8

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/2.8

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/2.8

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/2.8

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/2.8

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/2.8

f/5.6

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/5.6

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/5.6

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/5.6

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/5.6

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/5.6

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/5.6

f/11

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/11

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/11

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/11

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/11

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/11

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/11

f/16

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/16

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/16

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/16

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/16

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/16

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/16

100% crop

So, how sharp really is new Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens in order to justify the nearly $4000 price tag? Take a look at those 100% crops:

Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/1.4, 100% crop

Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 lens at f/1.4, 100% crop

Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.4, 100% crop

Please note that those samples were not taken in a controlled environment. The new Distagon lens is probably also not the final version, the official release is expected in the second half od 2013. All of the above images in full resolution are available on flickr. Few more samples taken with the Zeiss Distagon 55mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens can be found here.

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