Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Street Photography with the Zeiss Ikon and 35mm f2

I was meeting a friend downtown Toronto this morning for a coffee and decided to spend a couple hours on Bloor Street shooting whatever I saw. I'm tired, or maybe bored of carrying an SLR style camera, they're heavy and the zoom lens is so big, so I grabbed the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder and put a roll of Delta 400 black and white film in it.

I don't shoot much on the street, in fact, I would say I never shoot on the street, so I learned a few things today. 

First, I wasn't ready in time. I took the train into Toronto and put a couple boxes of film into a Billingham Hadley bag, along with the camera and some extras. I planned to set the camera up on the train, load the film, put on the filter, and attach the wrist strap. Well the first picture I missed was while waiting for the train, well before I was ready.

I loaded Delta 400 film and set the ISO at 125. Over exposed, but I find the meter in the camera a bit red sensitive and was planning to use the B+W040 orange filter to darken the sky... and expected the meter to under expose.... so I use the ISO 125 setting. 

I also attached a wrist strap instead of a neck strap. It worked better today than in the past and I think the reason was I attached it to the side of the camera away from the shutter release. This way I don't have to grip the camera with the strap in my hand. It worked better this way.

The lens was the Zeiss Biogon 35mm f2. I only brought along one lens. The 35mm is a classic choice and many photographers have created successful images with it. The Zeiss has a more realist price point than the Leica version, and the quality is outstanding. 

Overall I was pleased with how the shooting went and will add a few images as I get them printed. 

There were a couple images that might have been better with a 28mm, so maybe I'll drag that along next time instead of the 35mm.

Rob Skeoch 
My retail store for large format photo supplies is 
My retail store for rangefinder gear and Zeiss lenses is


  1. Hi Rob

    I like your review. I did street photography in the past summer and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I shoot with NEX-7 in B&W mode (RAW+JPG). I wish Sony had more options for B&W effects build into the camera... colour filters like orange, red, green and yellow... and blue too. I only have 3 lenses with NEX-7, 18-55mm, 16mm f2.8 and ultra wide adapter lens for the 16mm. Right now I am trying to get affordable prime E-mount lenses. Looking to get the 50mm f1.8 and then the 35mm f1.8, I wish Sony made the 24mm f1.8 in non Zeiss lens for cheap people like me:-) I have a feeling Sony will introduce ~85mm f1.8 in the near future to complete the fast prime lens line up. I also believe Sony will release FF NEX camera in 2013..(NEX-9???)

    I have a plan to do Toronto street photography next summer with some of my photo friends, you are welcome to come if you want and can. What is a good place to do street photo shooting in Toronto?


  2. I was just on Bloor St. in the Annex area. There are a lot of great areas though; Chinatown, Annex, Young and Dundas.

    The NEX7 is a great choice as well. I'm sure you're getting great photos.

  3. Chinatown it is, are you coming?:-)