Real world photos made on the Zeiss 1.4/85 ZE

That’s right, we don’t shoot test charts or Macbeth colour palettes. Those are rather boring subjects, and conversations tend to be a little…one-sided. It is difficult to establish any rapport with them. So we prefer to get our kit out there and make photos of subjects that aren’t so stoic. I mentioned a little field test with the new toy in a previous post, and here are some of the results.

My son Ayrton fascinated by the rather large lens.

Here's Nicole, made at f/2. Not sharp my shiny metal arse.

I can hear the noises now. “Those are rather controlled situations. Bet you can’t use it on the streets!” Oh, but I can.

Plenty of edge sharpness and isolation.

Yes, it isn’t exactly ideal; the lens is rather large. It isn’t a hulk like the Canon 85LII or the “Big White” 70-200/2.8L, but it’s not a nimble and small package like the Zeiss 1.4/50. But I’m not what anyone would call petite, so it doesn’t bother me as much as it might bother some others.

Warm and accurate colours. Great bokeh. And that 3D Zeiss look.

It’s better than so far so good — I’m in love with this lens. It delivers everything I want in a lens, at the cost of autofocus. And I’m not bothered by that at all. It’s a joy to use, and I can’t wait to do more with it, and certainly interested to see how it fares on video. If you’re looking for a portrait lens, and 85mm is your preferred focal length, and you can’t be arsed by the lack of autofocus, then this could be the ticket to optical heaven.

The only question that remains, for me at least, is “Should I sell my Canon 85/1.8?”. Which, given its price (reasonably low) and performance (close enough to “outstanding”) is a difficult decision to make. But that’s another decision for another day :)


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