Today I'm sharing a second set of Finnish summer scenes, this time taken with Batis-lenses (see the Loxia set here). If have followed the news you certainly know that Zeiss introduced a new ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 to Loxia lensfamily today, and it would have been fitting timing to share summer scenes taken with Loxia-lenses today, but I didn't have any clue of this release so I have to go with a set of Batis pictures. However, it is certain that the new Loxia 2.4/85 is going to be compared to Batis 1.8/85 and I thought it might be good idea to share some of my own thoughts regarding the Loxia and Batis families. So read on...
To me, the main difference between Batis and Loxia lineup comes from the concept and I have to say that I find the concept of the Loxia lens family intellectually more pleasing. While Batis lenses are all about high performance on all accounts (image quality, autofocus performance, etc.), the Loxia lens family is built on other and often more interesting values. Take a look at what is available at today's lens market, and it doesn't take too long to notice that what the great majority of lens manufacturers are offering is precisely 'high performance'. Basically all prime lenses available today have to fast and already very sharp from wide open, which usually comes with a cost of larger physical size. And while they all deliver more than satisfactory sharpness, the only thing that sets them apart is the fierce competition conducted by DXO, Lenscore.org and other such review sites. I believe that this sort of technology and performance oriented camera culture manifests itself through pictures as well and that's one reason why we are bombarded with super vibrant, polished, sharp and high dynamic range pictures of landscapes, starfields, seashores to a point where they have become dull and meaningless noise in between meaningful and personal photography – it's too much about demanding higher performance with often a cost of finding personally meaningful way into photography.
But with the Loxia-concept the Zeiss thinks differently. The Loxia-concept, with its DNA rooted to traditional rangefinder systems, offers a different kind of photography experience. By stripping off some of the technological aids (autofocus) it takes you to a different kind of photography where you actually need to think a bit before you start bungle with the autofocus. At least to me, manual focus provides a better photographic experience, where I tend to plan a bit more before I approach my target, and I don't take fifty similar pictures from one single event like I might do with autofocus lens, just because it's so easy. I seem to appreciate better those pictures that I've managed with manual focus – it, of course, doesn't translate to viewer, but I believe that being better connected to my inner feelings can potentially also guide me better in my own photographic path. In short, less is more and Loxia is about other values than just 'high performance'. People who fail to see this are probably disappointed to the maximum aperture of the new Loxia 2.4/85, but there are also those who know that making great pictures is not about the maximum aperture or sharpness, nor it is about the performance oriented camera culture either – and I congratulate the Zeiss being brave enough to swim against the current. Having used the Loxia 2/35 and 2/50 I believe I would love to the new ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 as well.
For more in-depth view of the Loxia concept I urge you to visit Zeiss Lenspire-blog and see the interview I did with the Christophe Casenave who is a product manager for the Loxia lens family: Sony Alpha, Loxia and Tradition – Interviewing Christophe Casenave from ZEISS.
Ps. And please do enjoy the Finnish summer scenes taken with Batis lenses as well.