All posts by BastianK

My name is Bastian and for many years I have been mostly shooting Nikon DSLRs. As of today I have made my transition from Nikon to Sony and I am mainly using small but capable manual lenses. My passion is landscape photography but I also like to delve into other subjects from time to time.

Review: Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 RF

Introduction

nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII + Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter + Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 RF

Many people today might not even know Nikon (and also Canon) produced rangefinder cameras and lenses in their early days. Thanks to a reader I got the chance to review not one but three of these rather exotic Nikkor rangefinder lenses from the 50’s. The first one is the Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 portrait tele.

Sample Images

nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 | f/4.0
nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 | f/2.0
nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh comparison jupiter-9 jupiter 9 85mm 2.0
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 | f/2.0

Continue reading Review: Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 RF

Review: Lenovo Yoga Book

Introduction

lenovo yoga book review
Lenovo Yoga Book

I was looking for the smallest and lightest notebook possible to accompany me on my trips. It needed to have a great screen, allow me to move files from one external device to another and to do some minor photo editing from time to time. I was looking at the Ultrabooks at first, but they were still to big and heavy for my taste, so I decided to give this unusual device a try…

Continue reading Review: Lenovo Yoga Book

Review: Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE

Introduction

rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII with Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter and Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE

The Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE is to my knowledge the most expensive 35mm lens for fullframe money can buy and it is also very highly regarded among the few that can afford it. But does it make any sense to use this lens on an A7 series camera? Read the review to find out.

Sample Images

rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII | Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | f/2.0 | shot handheld | full resolution
rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII | Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | f/1.4 | full resolution
rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack leica summilux summilux-m 35mm 1.4 asph fle 35 mm 1,4 1/1.4 sony a7 series a7rii a7rmk2 a7rm2
Sony A7rII | Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | f/4.0 | full resolution

This lens was also featured in my fast 35mm manual focus lenses comparison you might want to have a look at.

Continue reading Review: Leica Summilux 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE

35mm Comparison: Voigtlander VM 1.7, Zeiss Loxia 2.0 and ZM 1.4, Leica FLE 1.4

Introduction

Leica Summilux-M 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | Zeiss Distagon ZM 35mm 1.4 T* | Voigtlander Ultron 35mm 1.7 Asph | Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0
Leica Summilux-M 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE | Zeiss Distagon ZM 35mm 1.4 T* | Voigtlander Ultron 35mm 1.7 Asph | Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0

We managed to gather the three most recent fast rangefinder 35mm wide angle lenses from Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander, threw in the Zeiss Loxia and put them up against each other on the 42mp A7rII.  So in case you are looking for a small modern high quality 35mm manual focus lens: read on!

Continue reading 35mm Comparison: Voigtlander VM 1.7, Zeiss Loxia 2.0 and ZM 1.4, Leica FLE 1.4

Best lenses for Sunstars

sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/11 | 10 straight blades

The shape and appearance of sunstars is very important for landscape and architecture photographers. For some of them, they are even a defining element in their photos. Sunstars can appear around strong point light sources under certain circumstances, in this article I will talk about how to get them and how certain lenses (being more specific: number and shape of aperture blades) can influence their rendering.

Sample Images

sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/5.6 | 10 straight blades
sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0 | f/11 | 10 straight blades
sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 Distagon | f/11 | 10 straight blades

Continue reading Best lenses for Sunstars

Making of series part 2: “Vernazza” with Zeiss Loxia 2.0/35

final_image_vernazza

On the Easter weekend 2016 I was rather spontaneously visiting famous Cinque Terre in Italy. The weather forecast was quite alright, but as I was only on a two night stay, I had very limited time (and blue hours) so I had to make the best of it…

In the Bag

As usual when on a trip I was using my Mindshiftgear rotation 180 panorama* backpack. In the belt comparment I was carrying my A7s, Nikon AF-S 20mm 1.8G, review sample of the Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0, Voigtlander Nokton 50mm 1.5 and the Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0. In the upper compartmend I also carried a Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED which I didn’t use once on the trip (therefore sold now).  I also carried a small Gitzo traveler tripod, a mini tripod and a few filters. With the small lenses the backpack still has some space left for water and food. Now even more, as I won’t carry a longer tele anymore…

A german version of this article can be found here.

Continue reading Making of series part 2: “Vernazza” with Zeiss Loxia 2.0/35

Review: Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 Series E

Introduction

nikon series e z00m 75-150mm 3.5 metabones adapter a7 lowcost lens
Sony A7rII with Metabones adapter and Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5

The Series E lenses were meant as a low cost alternative to the more expensive yet reknown Nikkor lenses. This didn’t work out so well for Nikon, at that time many people were simply not interested in “cheap” lenses made mostly from plastic. Nevertheless, some of these lenses are quite good optically, therefore I take a look at the Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 zoom lens.

Sample Images

nikon series e zoom 75-150mm 3.5 metabones adapter a7 lowcost lens lens flare ghost ghosts veiling glare
Sony A7rII | Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 | 150mm | f/3.5 | full resolution
nikon series e zoom 75-150mm 3.5 metabones adapter a7 lowcost lens lens flare ghost ghosts veiling glare
Sony A7rII | Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 | 75mm | f/5.6 | full resolution
nikon series e zoom 75-150mm 3.5 metabones adapter a7 portrait lowcost lens lens flare ghost ghosts veiling glare
Sony A7s | Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 | 150mm | f/3.5 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 Series E

Review: Voigtländer VM-E close focus adapter

Introduction

vm-e close focud helicoid adapter nahadapter nah voigtländer zm leica m m-mount emount e-mount a7 a7r a7rii a7s
Voigtländer VM-E close focus adapter

Classic rangefinder lenses focus much less close than their SLR-counterparts because of how the focusing with rangefinder cameras works. With the  Voigtländer VM-E adapter you can focus these lenses much closer when using them on an E-mount camera. The adapter is not only a Leica-M to Sony E adapter but also a variable extension tube. It has its own helicoid by which you can focus your lenses much closer than with a conventional adapter. I have been using the Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter for more than a year now and it has become a valuable addition to my kit.

Sample Images

vm-e close focud helicoid adapter nahadapter nah voigtländer zm leica m m-mount emount e-mount a7 a7r a7rii a7s
Sony A7rII | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon + VM-E | f/1.4
vm-e close focud helicoid adapter nahadapter nah voigtländer zm leica m m-mount emount e-mount a7 a7r a7rii a7s
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 28mm 2.0 Ultron + VM-E | f/2.0
vm-e close focud helicoid adapter nahadapter nah voigtländer zm leica m m-mount emount e-mount a7 a7r a7rii a7s
Sony A7s | Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0 pre Asph + VM-E | f/2.0

Continue reading Review: Voigtländer VM-E close focus adapter

Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Introduction

carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review
Sony A7rII with Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 Sonnar

Before the newest entry of the Loxia line was introduced we were guessing what combination of focal length and maximum aperture it might feature: 90mm 2.0? 100mm 2.0? 85mm 2.8? 100mm 3.5? We were all wrong as none of us had an 85mm 2.4 on his list. When the first pictures and the technical data appeared many were put down by the maximum aperture and especially size and weight. The mtf-graphs on the other hand look very promising with hardly any sharpness falloff towards the borders, putting this lens in the territory of the Leica APO-Summicron 90mm 2.0 or even the Zeiss Otus 85mm 1.4 on paper, which both cost two to three times as much. So let’s find out what Zeiss’ newest lens has to offer!
Last Update: 12/28/16: review finished, conclusion updated, new sample images added

Sample Images

carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review venice italy bokeh panorama
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | panorama from 4 shots | higher resolution
carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review portrait head shot black white
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution
carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review portrait head shot concert big band
Sony A7s | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Rangefinder wide angle lenses on A7 cameras: problems and solutions

Introduction

rangefinder leica m lenses focus field curvature thick sensor stack optimal focus guide tips tricks hint contax g zeiss biogon
Close up lenses of different strength

In case you have read some of our reviews covering rangefinder wide angle lenses on this very blog you already know there are some limitations to be aware of and you might have also heard of the “Kolari”thin filter mod as a solution. But now, thanks to Fred Miranda forum member HaruhikoT, there is another way to use rangefinder wide angle lenses up to their full potential on A7 series cameras.
Update 03/03/17: Comparison for bokeh with/without 5m filter added

Continue reading Rangefinder wide angle lenses on A7 cameras: problems and solutions