#362. A brutal end to the summer, and a new lens!

By pascaljappy | News

Jun 08

This week-end was hot in Provence. Hotter than is usual for spring, even in June. Everywhere around my house, echoed the sound of kids splashing in pool. That’s when we could hear them over the noise made by my daughter’s own party of 12. 12 teens in a pool, the perfect recipe for meditative silence.

But the point is, it was 40°C + hot.

Then, this happened.

StormHail, rain, wind & lightning, the 4 musketeers of thunderstorms.

Mercifully, it didn’t last and most of the fruit on trees survived, as did the roofs of our cars and the fragile cane lattice providing shadow on the terrace.

Today, 2 things happened:

  • The post office delivered a C-Sonnar 1.5/50 ZM to my door, a lovely event in a lovely day.
  • It all all started going bonkers again.

Within minutes, the still recovering pale-blue sky was covered by this huge cloud, right over my head.

Secret-fisheyeI unplugged everything precious, expecting nasty things to come our way, grabbed my Distagon 25/2, shot 12 frames in a 4×3 grid, hoping Photoshop would know what to make of them.

It did. Hey, presto, a fisheye lens for free.

Then it was time for the C-Sonnar’s maiden images on my ony A7r, which are not processed, other than a 2 frame stitch, below and a high clarity boost, just after that.

Stormy-panoEven on first inspection, there’s so much difference with what I’m used to that I need to organise my thoughts before saying anything silly …

Storm clouds photographed with a Zeiss C-Sonnar 1.5/50 ZM lens on a Sony A7r, wide openImages seem to exhibit medium contrast but do not break up when I crank clarity and contrast up several notches, as above. DSC09673This “baby mammatus” started forming rapidly and almost had me running for cover. But nothing came of it  other than this photograph. Nervous, me ?

The photograph does tell me this is not a lens for wide open distant shots. Corners are typical Sony A7r with these lenses optimised for a different filter stack. (Note that the canes are completely out of focus, not unsharp !!! But they do appear smudgy.)

Storm coulds photographed in Provence with a Sony A7r & Zeiss 50/1.5 ZM C-Sonnar lensAt f/5.6, above and below, everything tightens up and the lens appears slightly muted and delicate rather than high contrast and bold like the Distagon 2/25 ZF2 it is paired to today. This leads to a very different type of photograph than what I’m used to. Good.

DSC09651So here’s the deal. Just like lenses before it, it will go through a series of tests that I will report as thoroughly as my anti-lab patience permits. But most of all, I will try to describe the sort of photographs it shines at and how I like using it best. More from this ZM very soon !




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  • SteveG says:

    I hope you will compare this lens with the Sony Zeiss 55mm F1.8 ZA; they are similarly priced.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Stephen, I do not own the FE 55/1.8 or know somewone who does, in France. But the Loxia 50 is still here with me for a few days, so that can be used for a similar comparison instead!

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