Tag Archives: Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm 1.8

Lens Shootout – Leica Summaron 35mm f/2.8 v. Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8

The biggest and oldest names in the photography industry has got to be Leica and Zeiss. Carl Zeiss AG was founded in 1846 in Jena, Germany as a optical systems manufacturer and Leitz Camera GmbH (now Leica) was founded in 1849  in Wetzlar, Germany. Both companies have seen their market share tumble since the Japanese combined high quality optics and manufacturing along with reliability, innovation, and affordability. But Leica and Zeiss are survivors, and within the last few years there seem to a strong resurgence with these two old storied brands.

Summaron v Sonnar

In my stable of lenses, I have the Leica Summaron 35mm f/2.8 and the Zeiss Sonnar *T 55mm f/1.8. Both 35mm and 50mm lenses are considered “normal primes,” great for street photography and general purpose photography. I’ve had the pleasure of using these over the last few months now, so I thought I’d do a brief comparison review.

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Cult Cameras – The Yashica T4 Super D (Part 2: Film vs. Digital)

In Part 1, we introduced you to the cult camera that is the Yashica T4, made famous by Terry Richardson. And as discussed before, Film is Dead. In terms of the economics, the way we consume photography has changed to the point where 35mm film is relegated to a niche for hobbyists, purists, and hipsters. Film will never see the mainstream light of day again. But, when the automobile took over for the horses, we still loved our steeds. Today, we still love film. Instagram, Facebook, and the native iPhone Camera app all have “filters” to emulate the film look. Is it just nostalgia? Or is there something missing from digital?

Digital Sterility vs. Film Texture

Do you remember the Super 8? The film movie cameras, not the motel chain. It was slightly before my time, but I certainly recognize it when I see it. If you take a look at the Lexus commercial below, it captures the feeling of “film” very well.

Film has a texture to it, or as Patrick Bateman might say, “the tasteful thickness of it“. It is a feeling that digital doesn’t have. Digital is clean, precise, and sterile. The way our Bayesian sensors interpolate color and light is just fundamentally different from photo reactive emulsions on acetate. Neither one is “better” than the other. You can make the same argument against film, that it cannot reproduce the “grainless” look of digital. The two mediums are just “different.”

Continue reading Cult Cameras – The Yashica T4 Super D (Part 2: Film vs. Digital)

What’s in my Camera Bag?

When I used to shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, I had a whole system based on the Kata 3n1-20. That thing was superbly designed. It was a backpack that could be used as a sling for lefties and righties. It had a trolley system so you can use it as a roll-on bag. It even had a tripod/monopod holder that I regularly used. It was great. It was always ready. I could pick up and travel with me anywhere in a moment’s notice. It could carry the pro body, 5 lenses, all the chargers, miscellaneous gadgets, and even an iPad. But, fully laden, it weighed up to 40lbs.

The switch to the FF mirrorless Sony A7 has been a joy. Superior image quality at half the size and weight. With the smaller camera, I was also able to significantly lighten my gear. To quote Lotus cars founder Collin Chapman:

“Simplify, then add lightness”

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The Harvard Master’s Student Elle

What do you think of when you hear the word “doctor” or “surgeon?” Somebody in a lab coat or scrubs with a stethoscope around their neck? Try a 5’11” beautiful women with endless legs. I had the pleasure of working with Elle a few weeks ago. She is a surgical resident from Ottawa, Canada, spending her summer at Harvard for her Masters degree. Below is our brief interview. For projects and shoot, you can contact her via her ModelMayhem page.

 

white blackground portrait 04

iLHP: Hi Elle, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself first? 

Elle: I’m an African-Canadian and I am currently completing my medical training in Canada. I’m a foodie, music lover and I love to travel whenever I can!

iLHP: Model, MD! What a rare breed! You mentioned you were originally from Ottawa, what drew you to Boston? 
Elle: Boston has a lot of great options for graduate school programs which is helpful since I’m pursuing a masters degree. It’s also a fantastic city for its food, music and history which is an added bonus.

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How to Shoot like Terry Richardson – (Part 2: The Setup)

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Last time in Part 1, we started to explore Terry Richardson’s iconic snapshot style that’s influenced a generation of photographers and created the modern look for fashion photography. Controversies aside, Uncle Terry breaks the traditional “rules” with his use of harsh direct lighting and a shadow that hugs the model. In this part, we will discuss his setup and the gear you can buy to achieve that look.

Terry’s Methodology

Behind the scenes video of his Harper Bazaar shoot with Candice Swanepoel
Behind the scenes video of his Harper Bazaar shoot with Candice Swanepoel (click for the video)

A good way of understanding the magic behind his camera is to check out his behind-the-scene videos and interviews. With music rocking and a team of assistants behind him, his shoots are laid back yet up tempo. It’s fast, dynamic, and interactive. From these stills, you can see he shoots with a Nikon (D3X I think) and a single speed-light.

Continue reading How to Shoot like Terry Richardson – (Part 2: The Setup)