CaKe was recently invited by Wei Li, brand manager for Zeiss lenses of Shriro House, to the Zeiss SG bloggers event to share about our experience in using Zeiss lenses. This is mainly because majority of the photos in our portfolio were shot using Zeiss lenses so it was appropriate for us to share with the audience what it was like to use the various Zeiss lenses.
Aside from all the endless debates over whether Zeiss glass is sharper than Canon/Nikon glass, the reasons that we prefer the Zeiss lenses is the way they render the image, their unique drawing style. It can be a bit hard to put into words what the exact difference is but in general the out of focus areas, or bokeh as we commonly call it, are more pleasing to the eye and there is more detail to them rather than just flat-out blurring.
The Zeiss lenses also have higher micro-contrast, meaning that they can differentiate minute differences between shades of similar colors, hence adding more colors to the image and sometimes making it look sharper. This micro-contrast is also what gives photos shot with the Zeiss lenses their famous “3D” look, together with a rapid fall-off from the plane of focus into bokeh.
Another major consideration that most amateur photographers forget about is their subject; at CaKe we photograph both people and products, and the Zeiss lenses gives us great highlight transition, saturated, pleasing yet not exaggerated colour, great detail, and pleasing character in their rendering of both in-focus and out-of-focus areas. Of course, the way they are built makes them a pleasure to use — the only plastic components on the lenses are the front and rear lens caps. Does it really matter? Maybe not. But it does give a reassuring heft without too much weight.
You will notice a significant amount of photos in our portfolio are taken with Zeiss lenses, for good reason Here are a sample of our work done with Zeiss lenses.
These were made with the Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/50 lens.
These were made with the Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/85 lens.
These were made with the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 lens. The 100mm is perfect for close-up photos for food, products and nature. It has 10 times less distortion than even the Canon’s 100L macro lens, making it virtually distortion free! The ability to open up one stop extra as compared to the Canon and Nikon 100mm macro lenses allows it to blur away the background into soft creaminess but still with some definition.
We also took some photos at the event, here is one taken with the latest offering from Zeiss, the Distagon T* 1,4/35. Shot wide open, the highlights still retain detail even in the bokeh of Kevin’s face and there is a crisp rendering in Esther’s face.
And there was also a lovely model, Pearlyn, who was there for us to snap some portraits of her with the Zeiss lenses. Here are some shots done with the Makro-Planar T* 2/100, all done wide open hence the extremely shallow depth of field
You can see more photos here at our gallery on our Facebook page!