In April i bought a Sony A7II and got the brand new ZEISS Batis 18mm 2.8 for testing. I did a video test for the Website Netucated.com, that you can find here. Moreover i did a written test for kwerfeldein.de which can be found here. Both tests are in German. I just wanted to quickly show you a few photos i took with the lens.And this is what the lens looks on a Sony A7II. Pretty big, huh?
All of those photos are shot on a Sony a7rII and ZEISS Loxia 21mm, 35mm & 50mm
As a born and bred Waikato kid, my beach of preference has always been Raglan. The laid-back atmosphere of the town and the wild, usually empty beaches provide an escape from the stresses of everyday life, and is only 35 minutes drive from Hamilton. But since we went to Raglan several times on our last trip (see here), I thought we could try a different West coast beach, and so we ended up at Kawhia. The road to Kawhia is a stunning combination of native forest and rolling hills with the coast on the horizon, and we stopped many times to admire the view.
Like Raglan, the ocean beach at Kawhia has sooty black sand, caused by molten lava from the nearby volcanoes hitting the water and shattering into billions of fragments. It’s magnetic, so be careful of your cameras and phones! The rough black sand gives the beach a natural, untamed look; it’s a whole different experience to those pristine white powder beaches that are overcrowded with tourists baking in the sun.
The beach is also thermal, meaning that if you dig a hole in certain places, hot water bubbles up through the sand. We saw plenty of people digging their own hot tubs on the beach, but in the 30 degree heat we were more interested in cooling off in the waves instead.
After a few hours exploring, we were getting hungry. For some reason, all of the places in Kawhia that sell fish and chips seemed to be closed. A friendly resident saw us wandering up and down and asked if we were looking for somewhere to eat. He pointed us to the Kawhia Hotel that does takeaway fish and chips that are “the best in town”. We ate them next to the wharf with the seagulls circling hungrily, a delicious end to a perfect day trip.
At the beginning of 2015, I wrote an article in a german photography online-magazine about how and why i use manual focus. I turned out that ZEISS read that article and they contacted me a few days later. They asked me if I would be interested in doing some photos and texts for them with some lenses they would send me. Who would say no to that? I ended up with the Distagon 25mm 2.0, Apo Sonar 135mm 2.0 and the Otus 85mm 1.4.
For about a month I took these lenses with me everywhere i went together with my Planar 50m 1.4. I tried to deliver as much variety as possible and as much bokeh as possible 'cause I guess that's what they wanted. I took trip to the Black Forest, areas in Switzerland and France and just walks in my hometown. On many of those photos you'll see my girlfriend but also Luke was with me for a few days. He studies photography in Leeds and contacted me over the internet to ask, if he could join me on a few trips. So he came over and visited me.
They must have been pretty happy with a few of those photos as they used them for their brochures and in photography magazines to advertise their lenses, which is a great reference for me now. Also i have to say that i'm more of a fanboy now. I always imagined ZEISS as a pretty old and conservative company but the contacts I made there were so nice and open for all ideas that i brought to them. It was great working with these guys.