PhotoShelter founder and CEO Allen Murabayashi recently decided to pit two unlikely competitors against each other. In a short, unscientific comparison review, Murabayashi wanted to see how the $5,000 Zeiss Otus 28mm F1.4 lens stacked up against the almost-as-expensive $4,250 Leica Q, which sports a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens.
When you consider the identical focal lengths and “must have deep pockets” price tags, the shootout almost makes sense—so Allen slapped the Otus on a Nikon D850 and went out shooting with both cameras. And despite the fact that Allen admits “it’s impossible to make a straight apples to apples comparison” when it comes to image quality—given the D850’s 45MP resolution compared to the 24MP Leica Q—he was still able to draw a pithy conclusion about who the Otus is made for, and why you might choose the Leica Q instead:
You can certainly make the argument that a 45MP sensor needs great glass, and in this regard, the Otus delivers the goods. But the slow operation of the lens turns a pretty great digital camera into something more like a large format camera.
If you like “slow” photography and have deep pockets, the Otus might be for you. If you just have deep pockets (and a bad back), stick with the Leica.
For a bit more depth, or if you want to check out some side-by-side comparison shots from PhotoShelter’s testing, watch the video above or check out the full written comparison on the PhotoShelter Blog.