B: Hi Simeon, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?
S: Hi! I will start with what I do for a living: I am a graphic designer and photographer based in Bulgaria. I started editing photos long before I had my first experience with a camera (and that was as part of my job as a designer). But it was only a matter of time for me to get excited about taking the pictures myself. I started with what gear was available in the companies where I was an employee, but back in those days the Canon G5 was like space technology in my eyes. Because of the huge depth of field of these compact cameras I was mainly focused on landscapes and macro. When I got bored of landscapes and macro I started to look around for something with a larger sensor.
The Zeiss Loxia Planar 2/50 offers all the benefits of manual lens: a great focusing ring, very solid build quality and a small size but it gets rid of most disadvantages like outdated coatings, adapters and you get full exif info. 09/07/17 Update by Bastian: I have just recently been looking for a fast standard lens to use for Milkyway stitching (see this article) and compared this lens and the Sony FE 55mm 1.8 side by side. Therefore I added a few bits from these comparisons.
We are happy to see that Sony keeps expanding it’s budget lens lineup. Especially the Sony FE 2/28 reflects a great value for the price, we also liked the Sony 2.8/50 Macro. The Sony FE 1.8/85 is the latest addition to it.
On the paper, the lens seems to hit a sweet spot between cost, brightness, size and weight. Let’s check if the lens can also deliver optically.
The shot above can be found in higher resolution here.
With the increased High ISO capabilities of even entry level cameras astrophotography has become available to almost anyone. But if you want your files to show low noise and high dynamic range – or you want to print big – it might be worthwhile using some of the techniques I am going to show you in this article.
I do own a macro lens (Sigma 150mm 2.8) that I use for most of my product shots on this blog, but I rarely take it out for shooting as it is quite bulky and heavy. Nevertheless I like to take a close up shot from time to time so I decided to try out the Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes, to turn my Loxia 85mm 2.4 into a macro lens.