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One year with Sony Alpha cameras and ZEISS E-mount lenses. Developing my own photographic eye in a in a scratch book manner. Hunting the stream of inspiration and sharing it through a popular blog platform.
This is what 'Days of Zeiss' is all about.




A setup within a setup

Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/50 – f/2.0, 1/60sec, ISO125, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/50 – f/2.0, 1/60sec, ISO125, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

As you probably remember in previous I mentioned being a bit overwhelmed with the current Sony/Zeiss setup I'm using for this project (original post here). The reason of being overwhelmed with all the stuff I suddenly have in my use is that, while everything is pretty new, I haven't yet contacted very deeply with any of it. During the recent days I've been trying them out with great interest, but to find a contact in deeper level I need to learn their characteristics and to put it in use in the context of my own photography. That is surely something that takes longer time and requires some successful experiences – something I plan to do during the year 2016.

However, to organize my thinking regarding my overflowing setup, I've realized that I don't have just two Sony cameras bodies and a bunch of Zeiss lenses – instead I have multiple potential setups within this setup depending how I approach them. And while I've been trying out different lenses for about three weeks now, I believe I've fallen love with the idea of 'the Loxia rangefinder setup' – that is the Sony Alpha 7 with the Loxia 2/35 & Loxia 2/50.

A rangefinder setup, you may ask? Isn't it kind of old school? Well, I think that while Loxias are manual focusing lenses and therefore bring certain limitations to one's photography, these limitations can also be used to reshape how one approaches things. For example, I have this certain kind of way of poking around with autofocus when doing family photography and as a result I often come up with these kind of standard looking snapshots that are not really pushing me as a photographer. So what I'm really hoping when settling in for the 'slower rangefinder style' is a different kind of shooting experience that will hopefully reshape the way I do my family photography. I hope it will force me to see different kind of things and actually to stop me and make think before I shoot anything. And besides that, based on my experience with these lenses, I really think the Loxia lenses have a certain kind of organic rendering that fits best for the documentary type of stuff with a human interest (will have to write more about this later).

So it's a lovely idea, but there are some risks involved too. Mixing manual focusing with kids isn't easy and while I don't know how it's going to turn out, I still think that these kind of experiments and steps out of my comfort zone are exactly what I should do in 2016 if I want to live it as a photographically active year. I really hope the limits of manual focusing will teach me to see different kind of moments and feelings.

As an example, today's image is about Aura while she is resting on a couch. Tired and feeling a bit cold after winter outdoor plays she just rests there fallen in her thoughts. This is the kind of rare image in my inner catalogue of family photography. Instead of always photographing what she does and other active moments I concentrated on this small fleeting moment in that particular day. It tells a different story and I'm pretty sure I stumbled on this because of the creative limitations that manual focusing brings to one's photography. It's different that I normally do and I feel I should definitely keep on experimenting with this idea.