Review: Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon

Introduction

zeiss distagon 35mm 1.5 zm t* adapter leica m a7rII a7r a7s a7 sony review
Sony A7rII with Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter and Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon

The Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon is  is often referred to as being one of the best 35mm lenses available, combining high sharpness as well as microcontrast and smooth bokeh in a small yet very pricey package. But is it really worth the asking price when used on the A7 series cameras? Let us find out!
Update 03/06/17: sharpness section updated (performance with 5m PCX filter included), sample images added, bokeh section updated, alternatives section updated, conclusion updated

Sample Images

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Sony A7rII | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 Distagon | f/11 | higher resolution
zeiss distagon 35mm 1.5 zm t* adapter leica m a7rII a7r a7s a7 sony review
Sony A7s | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon | f/1.4 | full resolution
zeiss distagon 35mm 1.5 zm t* adapter leica m a7rII a7r a7s a7 sony review
Sony A7rII | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon | f/1.4 | full resolution

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The manual photographers series part 2: Martijn Kort

In this series we interview amateur photographers just like us, who inspire us and who share our passion for photographing with manual lenses.

martijn kort photography aerial amsterdam netherlands holland
Samyang 12mm 2.8 Fisheye

Hi Martijn,
can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?

I’m Martijn Kort (33), photographer and airline captain from the Netherlands. About 6 years ago I got my first DSLR and this started my journey to search for the perfect picture. I studied the technical side of photography for a long time. Learning the different techniques, understanding why something happens and how to achieve a certain look. I was looking closely at other photographers work, trying to understand how and why they got the photo they displayed. This gave me a strong base to professionalize my photography and to find my style and Since 2016 I’m an ambassador for ZEISS, which I’m very proud off.

martijn kort photography aerial amsterdam netherlands holland
Zeiss Milvus 21mm 2.8

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Limitations of the electronic shutter function

Introduction

All full frame E-mount cameras (except for the A7r) feature an electronic shutter in addition to the mechanical shutter. While most of them only offer an “electronic first curtain shutter” the A7s(II) and and A7rII even offer a completely silent, purely electronic shutter. But there are unfortunately some limitations you should be aware of.

electronic shutter efcs efc problems comparison sony a7 cameras
Nikon D40 | AF-S 55-200mm 4.0-5.6 | f/5.6

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Making of series part 1: “The Path” with Olympus OM 3.5/28

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When I took this picture in late August I was working all day on some papers for university, so after many hours behind the desk some sport and photography was well earned.

In the Bag

I packed my small camera bag* with the lightest lenses I could find in my cabinet: a Olympus OM 3.5/28*, Zeiss C/Y 1.7/50* and Olympus OM 2.8/100.* Since I had some strenuous cycling before me I didn’t want to carry any unnecessary weight and I knew that I could capture about anything with this little setup. Of course one is always a bit limited by just three lenses. But I think it is a good exercise to be limited and to be out there is much more important than to have the absolutely best gear anyway.

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