In previous post I told you about the Zeiss Loxia 2/35 having a weak corner at wide open (soft veil at f/2) but how I still found myself coming back to it again and again because of its unique rendering. When it comes to Zeiss Loxia 2/50 I can tell you that it doesn't have similar weakness wide open and it is mighty sharp already at f/2. Being a Planar design it also has a pretty flat focus field which emphasizes good corner performance. But does it have that same unique rendering which makes the Loxia 2/35 so interesting? I have to say that it definitely has a same kind of 'classic character' in its rendition, but I feel it isn't as strong as with the Loxia 2/35 – or maybe I just haven't found the sweet spot yet. Again this character can be recognized by the three dimensional separation, certain kind of bokeh and a strong contrast. To exemplify this rendition character I decided to share a picture I took already approximately one year ago when I got to test the Loxia 2/50 for a short time. We were on lake shore with Aura on a rainy day and I snapped this picture when she was eyeing the scenery – seeing this image later on at home I knew I would love this lens, but much to my grief I had to send the lens back as it was just on loan for a quick test.
The image quality of the Loxia lenses is, of course, an interesting topic, but I feel the essence of these lenses lies in a way how they change one's approach to photography. Loxia lenses force me to slow down, connect me better with the photography and think more about the situation on hand. It's a different kind of photographic experience and I believe it also convoys to pictures themselves too. Interestingly, while I find myself preferring the Loxias I still shoot more with autofocus lenses (but often think about how my photography would change if I only had the Loxias). This is of course a question of convenience in some cases, but I also feel that I'm hunting different kind of images with Loxias. My photographic eye works differently when I'm operating with manual focus and I also believe it's one reason why I prefer using Loxias especially when shooting family photography and my two daughters. While the classic rendition of these lenses work perfectly with that kind of images, I think they will essentially work anywhere where there is a certain humanistic human interest involved. I understand that for some it's just about 'getting pictures' and they might find it hard to understand why some might still prefer manual focusing, but for discerning photographers it's a different path to another kind of sceneries in a rich world of photography.