Zeiss has always been known for their quality, precision, and craftsmanship since before their rangefinder days. And while going through our Reviews index, we found that we skipped over this one. Sure, it’s been out for a while, but the Zeiss 35mm f2 delivers a look that many will fall in love with. In today’s world of lens technology progressing super fast, does Zeiss really need to update this lens? Or can it still find a home with a niche crowd?
Lomography hasn’t always been known as a company that caters to the higher end crowd or market, but they’ve been taking steps to attract more of that market share without giving up their identity. And perhaps the best known attempt so far has been the company’s Petzval lens. This is an 85mm lens designed with a special interchangeable Waterhouse Aperture system along with some very swirly bokeh. There surely are lenses that still have this effect that are made in both China and Russia–in fact, Lomo teamed up with Zenit to create this lens.
Featuring a maximum aperture of f2.2, a 58mm filter thread for video shooters, and a minimum focusing distance of one meter, the Lomography Petzval lens is something that you probably won’t bring out with you often–just like any other specialized lens. But when you do, you’ll have loads and loads of fun.
Smartphone photography has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years, and it’s no wonder why. According to studies, some 58 percent of American adults and 79 percent of teenagers own a smartphone. And that means they’ve got a camera in their pockets, pretty much everywhere they go.
Sharing platforms like Flickr and Instagram and photo editing apps like VSCO Cam are essential downloads for any photographer on the go. These apps let you adjust exposure, sharpness, and color, or even add creative filters, but they’re basically neutered versions of what you can do with a “real” camera and a copy of Adobe Photoshop. Thus far, the only advantage to smartphone photography is its go-everywhere nature.
One project from a team out of MIT’s Media Lab could change all that.
For many of those photographers who only got into the hobby a few years ago with the advent of digital SLRs and the like, large format photography seems like a strange ancient rite whose ins and outs are totally divorced from the camera they use everyday. I certainly felt that way before I bought my 4×5 on eBay about 7 years ago.
The thing is, the physics of the two are the same and the elements of the camera are the same. It’s just a matter of mechanics, and that I can explain.
A friend of mine once said that there are around seven great street photographers in the modern time with everyone else just being a troll. To help you get better, we’re listing a couple of tips for you.
And one of them is to stop being such a troll.
“Do whatever you need to,” was the response given to me by the other editors of the Phoblographer when asking about budget for the review of the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus lens. When we were calling it for review, it was also decided that I’d handle it–afterall, this is probably the single most important lens that anyone has created this year (with Sigma’s 18-35mm f1.8 being a close contender.) Then you add in the fact that we only had this lens for 10 days (we usually test a lens for an entire month before publishing a review) and you’ve got one of the most challenging reviews that we’ve ever done.
When Zeiss created this lens, they decided that it shouldn’t have a single compromise on the image quality. It was also designed for high megapixel DSLRs. The image quality is reflected in the price tag–which is just under $4,000. Indeed, it isn’t a lens that we believe everyone will go out and buy.
And while our thoughts on the lens are overwhelmingly positive, we encountered a couple of situational problems that made the lens’s functionality somewhat tough at times.