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Adorable wide angles - Zeiss FE 16-35 vs. Leica WATE and some other 21mm lenses


About 13 months after SONY's launch of the A7 series and after uncountable discussions about disappointing corner performance of many 3rd-party rangefinder lenses especially on A7R, the new Zeiss Vario Tessar FE 4/16-35 starts changing the game. Right after launch of the A7, 3D-Kraft was the first site substantiating the excellent performance when attached to the Leica WATE in the article "Ultra Wide Angle M-mount Lenses THAT WORK on Sony A7R". Consequently it is time for another analysis, how the new Zeiss compares to the WATE and while we're at it, I added three more 21mm lenses to that comparison.

The candidates this time were - from left to right (due to a shortage of Sony A7s, the Leica M body had to act as a fifth lens holder ;-)):

  • Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-W 21mm f/3.5
  • Voigtlander Ultron 21mm f/1.8 ASPH
  • Sony Zeiss Vario Tessar FE 4/16-35mm ZA OSS
  • Leica Wide Angle Tri Elmar (WATE) 16-21mm f/4 ASPH
  • Leica Super Elmar 21mm f/3.4 ASPH

The Olympus Zuiko 21/3.5 was launched together with the debut of the legendary OM-1. It is a full frame SLR lens with a body length of only 31mm and a weight of 180g. Even with an E-mount adapter, it is still quite a compact solution. The other candidates (except the Zeiss FE 16-35) are M-mount rangefinder lenses, that you find discussed in other articles on this site already.

The comparison was shot with a Sony A7R on a cloudy November day, so contrasts were not too high but for a comparison like this, it allows to seperate good lenses from average lenses even better. All shots were taken from a stable tripod, the shutter was triggered by an infrared remote control. The focus was set manually using the 14.4x magnification in EVF (also the Sony/Zeiss FE 16-35 was focused manually). You can see the "making of" here:


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3-Dimensional Light Setup Example by Dedo Weigert


Dedo Weigert, a passionate cinematographer and inventor of the Dedolight system demonstrated some examples of easy installable light setups in a light workshop in Hamburg.

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SLR Magic Apo-HyperPrime CINE 50mm T2.1 - Ready for 6K!

After the triumphal procession of new full frame mirrorless system cameras, Photokina 2014 was dedicated to the strong demand for lenses catching up with requirements of today's digital sensors. Beside Sony, Zeiss and some others, also the SLR Magic manufactory located in Hong Kong showed up with their latest cine lens, the Apo-HyperPrime CINE 50mm T2.1 (see the press release here).

Already the short video review opening this article gives you an impression about the potential of this lens. It is purely manual, solid like a tank, equipped with a PL-mount and armed for rough work in ambitous as well as professional video business. The focus ring with a rotation angle of 300° and a scale calibrated in feet as well as a clickless aperture calibrated in T-stops give you precise control. The geometrical aperture is about f/1.8, so it suggests itself to be compared to the stellar Zeiss FE 1.8/55 (the "Otus light" reviewed here).

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Otus 1.4/85 - ZEISS's new Flagship sailing from Imaginary to the Real World


About one year ago, ZEISS set a new standard for SLR lenses with its first peer of the Otus family (see my review here). Now the line-up is expanded with an even more impressive member, the Otus Apo Planar T* 1.4/85. As pictures speak louder than words,- I decided to start right into a first impression with a few samples of people taking the center stage before we come to a more in-depth analysis and a little comparison to some other portrait lenses.

The following examples were all shot at F1.4, they are available in higher (some in full) resolution, when you click on the images:




Some factual statements
The Otus line was designed with full-frame DSLRs in mind and so you can get them in two versions: ZE model for Canon EF-mount and ZF.2 model for Nikon F-mount. Thinking of all the features supporting precise and comfortable manual focusing on Sony’s mirror less A7R with its exceptional 36 MP sensor, great EVF magnification, focus peaking etc., for me this combination makes even more sense. This is, how the 1.2 kg masterpiece appears adapted to the Sony A7R (with a highly recommended vertical battery grip attached as well):



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STAMP Festival Night Parade (350 Jahre Altona)

Altona celebrating its 350th birthday with a color- and joyful parade!

In order to see a full frame slideshow please click here.

 

The 0.95 Shootout - Mitakon / Zhongyi Speedmaster 50/0.95 vs. SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95


You may have seen other comparisons of F0.95 or T0.95 lenses on my website already, e.g. the recent "Most adorable 50s, the "Adorable 35s", the "Adorable 25s" and an early "HyperPrime / Noctilux Comparison". Now, as new special lens - the Mitakon / Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 - entered the arena, it's time for another shootout.

First, what's so magic on these lenses? Is it their weight and bulkiness? Of course, not for most of us. Is it their decreasing sharpness or their increasing aberrations when used wide open? May be, a little. In my opinion, what counts are emotions, character and bokeh! It's about seperation, drawing the viewer's attraction to the important things, making them pop out the image, some kind of medium format look. As pictures can better express what I mean, let me give you some examples (you can click on the images to view them in other sizes):


(Mitakon / Zhongyi Speedmaster 50/0.95 @ f/0.95, Photographer: Merlin Ulrich)
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Blue Port / Cruise Days Hamburg 2014


What a party!

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Sony A7S - Queen of the Night - Comparison Review


The new Sony A7S created a lot of buzz with its outstanding low light / high ISO performance. Time for a more in depth analysis and a REAL WORLD comparison to the A7R, which was doing quite well at low light already.

As you might have studied already all kinds of technical specs, at this time I will not bother you with too many details anymore. Just the most relevant facts: Mirrorless E-Mount system camera with full frame sensor, 12 MP "only", ISO 100 ... 102400 (extended: 50...409600), 4K video (requires external recorder), FullHD 1080p with 50 MBit XAVC-S encoding on SDXC memory cards, up to 120 fps at 720p, 8 bit uncompressed output with 4:2:2 subsampling on HDMI, option for completely silent shooting.

Before we look at the video performance, let's start with some ISO samples (click on the images to see higher resolution versions).

ISO 100 (cropped, scaled), lens: SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 @ T0.95:



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