A Quick Comparison Review – Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 vs Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Last time, we took the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 out to the Newport Beach boardwalk and did a on-location photo shoot with two of our lovely models. To get some perspective on just how good the Batis 85mm really was, we compared it to one of the best AF lenses on market today, the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar (aka the mini-Otus). We drove up to Lake Hollywood Park, busted out our tripod, and did some comparison shots using the famous Hollywood sign as the backdrop.

In a real-world but less-the-scientific comparison between the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 and the venerable Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar, we found very little difference in terms of sharpness throughout the aperture range.

F1.8-Batis-85mm-vs-Zeiss-55mm-Sharpness
Click on the image for full resolution.

With the Zeiss 55mm being one of the sharpest and highly rated AF lenses, this is saying a lot for the new Zeiss Batis 85mm. In fact, pretty much most real world reviews on the Batis has found it to be very sharp right from thef/1.8. I’m sure once Photozone.de gets around to reviewing more Sony lenses, they will verify our current findings. In the meantime, here are some of our quick & dirty impressions.

Continue reading A Quick Comparison Review – Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 vs Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar

The Soulful Photographs of Majestic Casual

We first struggled with a mysterious black contraption. Buttons, knobs, and rings plagued us with their abstractness yet intrigued us with their potential. We experimented. We practiced. And eventually, we grasped enough of the basics to take decent photographs.

Then came a point when those buttons, knobs, and rings became intuitive. It became an extension of our own body. We wielded it blindly. We taught others. It was no longer a creative limitation.

Luis Rojas Contreras
Photo by Luis Rojas Contreras

Though we could manipulate this black box, we lacked style. We could create enough beautiful images to keep our passion alive, but half the time, our pictures were by accident or we were just at the right place at the right time.

Tammy C.
Photo by Tammy C.

We were determined to get to the next level. We looked outwards. We looked towards the old masters. The Ansel’s and the Annie’s. The Henri’s and the Terry’s. We took what we liked, and transformed them into our own. And we would be praised for what others came up with.

Viktor Vauthier
Photo by Viktor Vauthier

Yes, our photos were being published. Yes, the paid gigs were being lined up. We were being recognized. But our absolute narcissism continued to fight with our crippling self-doubt. Deep down, we still felt like frauds.

Continue reading The Soulful Photographs of Majestic Casual

We Ask Zeiss Your Questions at the PhotoPlus Expo

iLHP will be attending the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City where we will explore 225 of the world’s top camera & optics companies, discover their latest products, and bring back the latest in industry news.

Importantly, we have a private meeting with Zeiss USA to learn about their latest range of products, from the modern classic Loxia primes to their latest Batis range of mirrorless AF lenses. Because you are an integral part of this community, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to pass along your questions to the head honchos at Zeiss! And they have already graciously agreed!

So from now until Saturday October 24, simply leave us a comment, email us your questions, post on our Facebook wall, or our tweet at our twitter account, and we will try to get your questions answered! We will even include your name and link to your website when we publish the answers. Is there an AF 50mm f/1.4 in the works? Will Zeiss put out a f/2.8 zoom in the 24-70mm or 70-200mm range? We will do our best to get your questions answered.

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For a sneak peak at what the expo is going to be like, check out the intro video above. If you are in the NY area and will be attending the expo, drop us a line, we’d love to meet fellow readers and photographers as well!


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Is It Worth Using a 2X Teleconverter? Bower A-mount With Sony A7II (With LA-EA4 Adapter)

I’ve been wondering for a very long time if using a teleconverter, moreover a 2x one, was worth it or not. I’ve heard a lot on forums that I would lose light, the aperture is reduced 2x (f/2.8 becomes f/5.6) that it is not sharp at all and that I would even lose autofocus. That made me doubt a lot even if it is not that expensive, but still, from $120 to $180 on average, that is always money coming out of you wallet that would be lost in the end if this is really bad!

The Situation

I use this Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO macro lens for all my macro work that is very good but also big and heavy. I wanted to have this extra reach to do some wildlife photography without adding the bulk and weight to my backpack and without paying $1500-$2000 for a 300mm lens. A teleconverter then seemed like a good idea so I gave it shot. I bought this Bower Teleconverter on Amazon for $126.

Bower SX4DGS 2x Teleconverter for Sony
Bower SX4DGS 2x Teleconverter for Sony
I am extremely pleased with my purchase. This adapter is pretty small, 1 inch (2.5cm) wide, about 7oz (200g) so this is not much of a big deal to always have it with me in my backpack. As a reminder, I shoot with an Sony A7 mark II and use the Sony LA-EA4 adapter specifically for this Sigma lens. I thus add the teleconverter (A-mount) in between the lens and the LA-EA4 adapter. Continue reading Is It Worth Using a 2X Teleconverter? Bower A-mount With Sony A7II (With LA-EA4 Adapter)

Making the Switch from a Canon 5D Mark III to a Sony A7RII

This isn’t a typical camera review of the A7R2 though, it’s more like a journey on how I got here. You see, I’ve been watching the Sony mirrorless system for a while now but I couldn’t bring myself to take the jump, I use the Canon 5D Mk III and L Series lenses for my pro line of work and use the Fuji X-Pro 1 for my street and travel photography.

Some serious Gear Acquisition Syndrome!
My G.A.S was getting out of control with my existing cameras such as the Canon 5D Mk III, Fuji X-Pro 1, X-A1 and now the Sony A7RII.

Honestly speaking, I was quite happy with this set up until a couple of months ago when Sony introduced the A7RII with its 42 megapixel BSI sensor, a claimed 14 stops of dynamic range and super high ISO sensitivity and 5 Axis IS, they even packed in 4K recording natively!

Whenever people asked me if I was to start again, which system would I jump in to, I’d always tell them the Sony FE System but because of my current Gear Acquisition Syndrome, I was tethered to Canon and Fuji but what if there was this mythical camera that allowed me to merge these two styles of photography?

Continue reading Making the Switch from a Canon 5D Mark III to a Sony A7RII