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Thanks for the positive comment, Bernie and Luka!
You are so right, Bernie. These pictures are from the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, near Paris. It was created by and for Nicolas Fouquet, France's Minister of Finance in the early days of Louis XIV's reign. He was a great sponsor of the Arts, but this Chateau was his undoing. He invited the monarch to a week-long feast, but the King was offended that anyone could have a property so obviously "better" than his own. He ordered Fouquet arrested, and mandated that he spend the rest of his life in jail, part of it alongside the Man in the Iron Mask.
Louis XIV also took over the multiple talents sponsored by Fouquet, including the three responsible for Vaux-le Vicomte, Le Nôtre, Le Vaux and Le Brun, plus La Fontaine, Corneille and many other luminaries of the "Grand Siècle". Thus, Vaux-le Vicompte, while on a much smaller scale, is very much the forebearer of and prototype for Versailles.
One more post from this "postcard" series, and one from inside the Chateau showing the 28 wide open in difficult conditions.
Regarding the ZE28, it took me more time to get good shots out of it than my previous Zeiss glass. It is very sharp from close up to infinity, and from wide open on down. It is the lens in the Zeiss range that has (my copy at least) the least saturated colours and contrast, but I know others think otherwise in this respect. It has a well-documented purple fringing problem, which is worse than I'd like, and a curvature of the focal plane that bothers some, but not me.
Whereas my 21 is always spectacular, with preternatural DOF, massive detail and great colours; and the 35 is very sharp with dramatic 3D, the 28 has less visible character (that can be good or bad, depending on one's expectations), which is why Zeiss call it a reportage lens.
That said, I like the focal length more and more, and Zeiss glass, so that is why I end up using it. Right now I am (I hope) pulling out of a drought caused by (I think) paying too much attentiont to the equipment, and trying too hard to capture something spectacular with it, so I am not going to hide behind any lens inadequacies as an excuse for failed shots or a dismal keeper rate. In this instance, I pulled the 28 from my bag because the sky was overcast and uninteresting when I got there, which would have made the 21 problematic, and I am quite pleased with the results from a lens point of view. To the point that I think it will get more action and the 21 less in coming days.
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