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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.





Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Batis 2/25 – f/11, 1/200sec, ISO100, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Batis 2/25 – f/11, 1/200sec, ISO100, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

While Europe and Britain were shaking politically we were having a small summer vacation at Finnish archipelago and enjoying places that have no substantial significance for the rest of the world (Åland Islands). Having a couple of days break and to able to just be there somewhere where time seems to stop is definitely a healthy experience for anyone's mind. With upcoming posts I will most likely share other images from this small trip, but for today I wanted to post this beautiful scenery where we stopped for a swim in our bicycle trip. I could just stay there forever.

Now that I've used my Sony & Zeiss setup for over six months, I can definitely say that I'm starting to learn the character of the individual lenses and how they work with the Sony A7 body. It's a enjoyable experience to take look at the scene or subject and be able to say which focal length will work best with it. And to be able to pre-visualize, for example, how the Loxia 2/35's beautiful bokeh will work with near field subjects at f/2.8, how the Batis 2/25 will render details with pixel level accuracy when stopped down a bit, how the Touit 2.8/12 will cover even small spaces with its angular field of 99 degrees, and so on. In my mind this kind of tacit knowledge works as a resource for one's photography as one can put it to use and use it to express himself better, craft better images, work around the problems etc. You don't find this from the brochures or forums as it is something that only you can find by using the lenses in your own work and exploring them through your own photographic eye. In short, the tacit knowledge of lens characteristics is build on individual experience, and while some of it can be communicated by individual to other, these kind of things really need to experienced before they can be put to use in one's own photography.

All this have led me to conception that it is far more satisfying to chase this kind of knowledge fitted to one's own photographic eye than it is, for example, worry about 'the next best thing' that is coming to market. Before this hindsight I too was interested to follow, for example, which lenses offered best performance for the buck – and I do understand this point of view when we all have limited amount of chips to use for this game. But using this Zeiss setup has made me realized that I really don't need to worry about the gear anymore – and even if there might be some weak corners in this setup (admittedly very few), it's all there and nothing is really missing for my needs. This is somewhat an overwhelming experience: can I really decide not to care about the 'the next best thing', 'better corner performance' or 'higher micro contrast' and let my photography be guided by my interests that exist in real world. This kind of realization, no matter how naive it sounds, definitely changes the way how one approaches photography – and this is something I've been thinking a lot now that I've reached a some sort of symbolic landmark of six months of 'Days of Zeiss'.