Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4 Lens Announced & Review Information

The Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4 lens has been announced and it’s a very weird lens.

The Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4 lens has no plastic elements

This wasn’t a typing mistake. A lot of modern lenses do have plastic lens elements. There’s a million and one ways to make a lens element e.g. a method similar to injection mould, ground glass, etc. With Zeiss’s premium lenses, they tend to use more expensive elements and many of them contain lead which adds to the weight. Continue reading “Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4 Lens Announced & Review Information”

New Sony a7rII Firmware Update 3.30

New Sony Firmware

Today, Sony released a new firmware, version 3.30, for the Sony a7rII mirrorless camera. I have updated my camera with the firmware update and everything went smoothly. I believe the camera starts up slightly quicker than it used to–that’s good. It’s meant to fix overheating issues but I hadn’t noticed any to begin with, so I can’t make any claims regarding that. Continue reading “New Sony a7rII Firmware Update 3.30”

Worlds lightest carbon fibre travel tripod

If you are looking for some information on tabletop travel tripods, please take a look at an article I recently wrote–it is entitled “Lightweight Tripods for Travelling with Mirrorless Cameras” under the “Pacific Crest Trail” subheading.

Aperture: ƒ/3.2
Camera: ILCE-7RM2
Taken: 2016/08/10
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 100
Shutter speed: 1/60s

Geotagging photographs with any DSLR or mirrorless camera

I have written a lot about the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire watch, please check out the review page. For those interested in geotagging photographs, it’s the ideal companion. I will update the review to include more of its other features at some point, but my main priority was to demonstrate how easy it is to geotag photographs with a DSLR or mirrorless camera with Adobe Lightroom.

Zeiss Loxia Telephoto Lens

I am expecting Zeiss to announce a new Zeiss telephoto Loxia lens within the near future. I’m guessing around September time. I believe manually focusing with a mirrorless camera is much, much easier than manually focusing a lens using a DSLR. I also believe that manual focus is essential for macro lenses. As such, it would be quite nice if we could see a macro Loxia lens. In my opinion, a Sony a7rII and a Loxia macro lens could arguably be the best macro setup possible with the cameras currently on the market.

I think Zeiss would be foolish not to release some macro lenses soon. However, the focal length runs in line with a portrait lens. In my opinion, this creates a certain dilemma for design choices. For example, Zeiss already have the design for an extremely small 85mm f/4.0 lens where the back focal distance is suited to sensors closer to the lens mount than on a DSLR. They wouldn’t have to change the optical formula much to make it suitable for the Sony mirrorless e-mount system. If they could create a Loxia macro lens based around this design, it could be small–in keeping with the Loxia idealogy–and it could also be fairly lightweight.

For a lot of macro photography, I do not believe an aperture of f/2.8 is required. When photographing bugs for example, you get very little in focus with an aperture of f/2.8. There are obviously situations in macro photography where a large aperture is required (jewellery photography for example) but I think it would still satisfy a lot of people if the maximum aperture wasn’t that large. However, for portrait photography, an 85mm f/2.8 lens isn’t considered to be a large aperture lens. Many photographers like to use smaller apertures for portrait photography, but it’s still generally assumed that a portrait lens should have a large aperture.

Zeiss make a 100mm f/2.0 lens but there lies a problem with these for mirrorless cameras. They’re designed for DSLRs, so an extender would need to be added if the same design was used. It’s a heavy lens, and it’s quite large.

I think it’d make sense for Zeiss to create a 135mm f/2 Batis lens and an 85mm f/4.0 Loxia Macro lens but I certainly wouldn’t bet on them doing that. Their 100mm f/2 lens is stellar and it’d almost be a shame not to see a similar lens available for the Sony e-mount system. My main gripe with that lens is it is not a 1:1 macro lens, it has a 1:2 maximum magnification.

In some ways, I’d like to see a 100mm f/2.0 Zeiss Loxia Macro lens, an 85mm f/4.0 Zeiss Loxia Macro lens, and a 135mm f/2.0 Zeiss Batis non macro lens. It might not be a wise business choice for them to announce all three lenses with similar focal lengths at the moment though. There’s one further advantage with a smaller aperture lens and that’s that they can keep their trend of 52mm filters. It’s somewhat hard to guess as to what they’re going to release. I just really, really hope they release a macro lens for the Loxia lineup and not necessarily the Batis (a Zeiss 100mm f/2.0 Macro Batis lens sounds nice though!)

We must wait and see :).