Through the Fog Again / by Bjorn Utpott

Disappearing Act │ NEX-5N + Carl Zeiss Biogon 35mm F2.0 │ 35mm F4.0 1/500s ISO100

I had actually set out with the intention of doing a few test shots with the Zeiss Biogon, to get a feel for how the lens draws at various apertures. It wasn't long after leaving the house when the fog rolled in again. I went with it and took a set of photos anyway.

Here's a link to a NEX-5N RAW file taken with the Zeiss 35/2.0 at F2.0. Bokeh or fog, you be the judge.

The Zeiss is a joy to use: it's size and weight is a perfect match for a compact camera body. The precision machined, solid metal lens barrel feels luxurious compared to the hollow plastic or aluminum  “cans” I normally use. The focus ring is smooth with just enough resistance and the apertures click into place precisely and firmly. I found the aperture ring's placement at the front of the barrel odd at first, but have come to like it. It's easier to see and set the aperture and I also like the clear separation of aperture and focus control. There's no groping around in search of the desired ring.

Obscured │ NEX-5N + Carl Zeiss Biogon 35mm F2.0 │ 35mm F4.0 1/320s ISO100

Focusing the Zeiss manually is also turning out to be easier than I thought. In the past, I've had trouble focusing lenses wide open. Now I realize that was due in part to the fact that these lenses had low contrast and/or sharpness wide open. That made it very difficult to see when I'd achieved critical focus. The Biogon, however, is sharp enough wide open that in-focus areas pop out in the viewfinder. Also the camera's focus peaking function has high contrast detail that it can grab on to.

Combined with a good screen and viewfinder, a lens that that's sharp and has good contrast can be focused quite efficiently.

Mobile │ NEX-5N + Carl Zeiss Biogon 35mm F2.0 │ 35mm F2.8 1/100s ISO100