We’ve known for years that Zeiss lenses are pretty pricey, but a rare Carl Zeiss Jena BIOTAR 75mm F1.5 Red T lens is taking the cake in so many different ways–going for $15,200 on eBay. The lens is an offering from Zeiss that of course is hard to get your hands on and for many reasons is really coveted. But by today’s standards it’s probably really a foreign idea to lots of photographers. The lens is an M42 mount–which was popular back in the day. The M42 mount is a screw mount system that includes a number of really fantastic lenses. Zeiss, Schneider, Pentax and the likes of Vivitar amongst others made some really good lenses in that mount that even today really astound me. Lenses back then also had a particular character about them–with the Zeiss Jena offerings being made in East Germany.
Today, we’ve got a really quick portrait tip for everyone and it involves creating the look of the Golden Hour when the sun isn’t setting. Granted, sometimes the best time to do this is during the blue hour or at a time when you’ve got everything nearly perfectly lined up in the frame.
So how do you do it?
There are whole swarms of photographers who absolutely swear by and to the 50mm focal length, yet when it comes to portraiture, it’s easy for a lot of photographers to find the focal length a bit lacking. That’s where all of these slightly longer focal lengths have been coming from for a while now–something just a bit longer than a 50mm lens is often a fantastic option for portraits because while it isn’t as constrained as an 85mm lens, you tend to get a slightly longer field of view and therefore just enough more compression when shooting.
Here are some of our favorites.
Recently, we teamed up with photographer Jonathan Higbee for a free, one hour Facebook Live Street Photography Tutorial on how he works a scene when it comes to street photography. During the session, we answered questions live and Jon also talked about the way he specifically works vs what many other photographers do most of the time.
If you take a look at all the 85mm lenses available for the Sony full frame E mount, you’ll notice that there surely are a whole lot. Both Zeiss and Sony make some of the most popular offerings, and sorting through the lot of them can be exhausting. Thankfully though, we’ve reviewed all of them and sorted through our information to figure out which one may be best for you.
If you were to ask me about what my favorite lenses are for the Sony full frame E mount camera system, the Sony 85mm f1.8 FE would surely be up there in the top 5. It’s compact, sharp, can focus quickly (emphasis on can), touts moisture and dust resistance, and overall delivers some of the most pleasing images I’ve gotten in a while. You see, I really LOVE 85mm lenses. They let me work closer to a subject while also being fairly intimate with them in a portrait setting. But then you consider just how great the image quality is with this lens, the fast aperture, and the small size and you’ve got yourself something really quite magical.
Upon purchasing a Leica CL, I figured it was time to dive into reviewing more M Mount glass; and what better place to start than with the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM. For years now, I’ve been smitten with Zeiss lenses and most manual focus glass in general. Their lenses are fantastic, and are often highly regarded even amongst the M mount community of users. Offering a 35mm field of view in addition to being rangefinder coupled, the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM ( $2,290.00 ) works well with both mirrorless digital cameras and M mount camera bodies.
Oddly enough, though I’ve always loved Zeiss lenses, they’ve never made a 35mm lens I’ve seriously been smitten by. Upon handling and using this lens though, that has changed.
One of the cooler things about owning a camera with a legacy lens system is that you can use their lenses with old school film cameras loaded with fresh film. That typically goes for lots of new lens options on the market. To be clear, this means that Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Leica M, and Sony/Minolta A mount lenses can all work seamlessly on your film cameras and your digital cameras without the need for an adapter. In fact, for a really long time I’ve used the Canon EOS Elan 7 as a backup camera body of sorts.
So what happens when you use new lenses with film? Those of you who grew up with film may say nothing special. But for those of us who started in digital, we say differently.