Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hitting the streets with two 21mm's

Years ago I played a sport called racquetball. I'm sure it's still played some places but it's day is over.

The thing I loved about it was the "in the trenches" action. Like hand to hand combat, we slugged it out. Up close and personal with your opponent, jostling for position, moving in tight, moving in quickly, then back out, quickly getting a shot off.

It sound similar to street photography.

When I do street photography I like to get in close with a wide angle. I've been forcing myself to use the 35mm on a rangefinder but it's just too long. I loved it last year but maybe I'm bolder than I used to be. Now I just walk right up and get in their face with a wide lens.

Testing Two of the Zeiss 21mm lenses

If you're searching for an "up-close, in your face" lens you eventually need to consider the 21mm. For years considered a super wide angle that only the daring photographer would own, they have become more popular since digital photography, with it's sensor crop, opened up the world of extreme wide angles to more people. Now the 21mm is considered the go to lens when a real wide angle is needed. It's so popular the Zeiss makes two models.

I decided to open both new lenses for this years Caribana Festival in Toronto for a bit of comparison shooting.

I don't test lenses, I take photographs with them and see how they perform. The world has enough "photographers" taking pictures of brick walls, lens charts and newspapers taped to the wall, testing for sharpness. I'm just concerned how the lens feels out there.... on the street.

I started the day with the Zeiss Biogon 2,8/21mm ZM and shot my first roll of film. For the second roll I switched to the Zeiss C Biogon 4,5/21mm ZM and shot another two rolls. I used the same camera for all three films.

The camera was the big surprise of the day, I had never used the Voigtlander Bessa R4A before but since it has framelines for 21mm I decided to open a new one and use it for the shoot-off.

Of the two lenses the F4,5 is noticeably smaller. The C in the name either stands for compact or classic depending who you ask, and the lens is a gem. Both lenses use the 46mm filter thread and I shot every photo with a B+W O40 orange filter on the lens to try and get some detail in the sky.

If you're interested in these two test lenses, I'm selling them as store demos at my store.

Rob Skeoch

No comments:

Post a Comment