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Learning to Loxia???

  
 
mczuman
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Learning to Loxia???


Hi, All. I'm an experienced wildlife photographer with decades of experience. But I switched to Sony (A9 II and A1) last fall and since then I've been transfixed by many of the Zeiss Loxia photos posted here.
So I just bought a Loxia 21mm f/2.8 from FM member Steve Spencer (great transaction, btw).
Obviously, shooting a leopard in a tree at 600mm or a Martial eagle with eye lock-on is significantly different than shooting a 21mm manual lens...
So, can any of you provide any coaching or tips? I'm expecting a learning curve, but I'd be interested in any "standard operating procedures," hints, or wisdom you can provide.
Thanks!



Mar 19, 2022 at 12:21 PM
tsdevine
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Learning to Loxia???



There is some field curvature with the Loxia 21, as you get closer to the corners, the plane of focus slides back towards your camera. This can be helpful with foreground sharpness, but if you want sharp corners at distance, you need to account for this when focusing. Basically focus slightly past where you normally would when the center appears sharp. You can sacrifice slight center sharpness if you have things in the corner you want sharp.

I'm sure there are those here who can explain this far better than I though.

mczuman wrote:
Hi, All. I'm an experienced wildlife photographer with decades of experience. But I switched to Sony (A9 II and A1) last fall and since then I've been transfixed by many of the Zeiss Loxia photos posted here.
So I just bought a Loxia 21mm f/2.8 from FM member Steve Spencer (great transaction, btw).
Obviously, shooting a leopard in a tree at 600mm or a Martial eagle with eye lock-on is significantly different than shooting a 21mm manual lens...
So, can any of you provide any coaching or tips? I'm expecting a learning curve, but I'd be interested in any "standard operating procedures," hints,
...Show more




Mar 19, 2022 at 12:24 PM
Oogappeltje
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Learning to Loxia???


Welcome in World of Loxia 😆

Obvious, 21mm; keep your angle of shooting towards closers subjects nice & straight.

Get a nice ND1000 filter for long exposures during daytime.

3 horizontal handheld images can make for pretty nice stitched wide images




Mar 19, 2022 at 12:26 PM
guyharrison
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Learning to Loxia???


Welcome to Zeiss.

A major reason for me moving to Sony was that Zeiss native lenses were available.

I have acquired (in fact, just completed today) a complete set of the Batis lenses because I like AF and it will be handy if Sony ever implements focus stacking. They are Zeiss all the way, sharpness, vibrant colors, incredible contrast, tonal range and detail. I could not be happier!

I am sure you will feel the same about the Loxia (and one day I will add the Loxia 21 just for the sunstar).



Mar 19, 2022 at 01:07 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Learning to Loxia???


I'm a Loxia superfan, using the set more than all my other lenses combined. I'm no scientist but have used them often enough in outdoor situations to know they are excellent, even among quality Zeiss products.

I don't do anything special regarding field curvature, which is minimal, and as tsdevine said, generally works in one's favor for scenery to pull the viewer's attention in toward the center of the image. Basically, I use center focus point (enlarged for focusing) of the scene I wish to shoot, and that's it. Typical apertures for best DOF are between f/5.6 to f/11.0 and I typically just set f/8.0 and fire. Same goes for the Loxia 25, my favorite of the line.

The Loxia 21 has gorgeous color and sharpness, even wide open.

Looking forward to seeing examples from your exploration into the Loxia line.



Mar 19, 2022 at 02:08 PM
maestrofilms
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Learning to Loxia???


From what I've heard, you might as well just buy the rest of them now. Most Loxia fans do.

That's why I've resisted so far, because I know I'd have to.



Mar 19, 2022 at 02:13 PM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Learning to Loxia???


This really isn't specific to Loxia but more manual focusing in general. I find it helpful to assign "Focus magnifier" to a custom button and "MF assist" off. I personally do not like having the view automatically magnify every time I touch the focus ring. I prefer using a button to zoom in quickly when I want it.


Mar 19, 2022 at 06:45 PM
justincrabtree
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Learning to Loxia???


Slow down and enjoy the process. That's why I love MF lenses. As mentioned above, turn on focus magnifier to aid in getting things sharp. Have fun and beware of all of the Voigtlanders after you play with the Loxia.


Mar 19, 2022 at 09:39 PM
akashyap
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Learning to Loxia???


Agreed on all the tips about Loxias and manual focus.

One tip with wide angles is figuring out how to occupy so much space / field of view. Maybe you’re already familiar with the rule of thirds, negative space, and leading lines, but that has helped me with wide angles.



Mar 19, 2022 at 10:03 PM
DaveFP
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Learning to Loxia???


Imaging with super-wides often works best when they are shot low rather than eye height.

This can help include and help dramatize elements in the foreground.

Without them a 21 can leave you with too much negative space both high and low.

Otherwise don't be afraid to get very close to subjects. You will get distortion but that distortion can add to an image's "interestingness".



Edited on Mar 20, 2022 at 07:17 AM · View previous versions



Mar 20, 2022 at 06:40 AM
 


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GMPhotography
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Learning to Loxia???


Ive owned and tested just about every Loxia lens. The best are 21,25 and the gorgeous 85. Look at Voightlander as well. You may want to look at a very wide like a CV 15 as well. Have fun


Mar 20, 2022 at 06:51 AM
mczuman
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Learning to Loxia???


These are great, folks...thank you! It'll be fun to figure things out (with your help!).


Mar 20, 2022 at 06:13 PM
tuomkok
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Learning to Loxia???


As discussed, the main caveat with Loxia 21 is how to get the focus where you want it. It is not only about field curvature, also the focus throw is too short and sharpness of the lens makes focusing mistakes visible.

Loxia 21 is a keeper for me. Not perfect, but it is difficult overlook the special qualities of the 21. It has nice balance of character, sharpness and color, and is the best ever wide angle when shooting against the light. Small 52mm filters a re a plus for a landscape shooter.

Regarding Loxia 35, I like it. The 35 has the same T* coating as 21, giving beautiful sunstars, and is razor sharp when stopped to f/5.6, although not with the same contrast. Loxia 35 is also the most easy manual focus lens to shoot portraits as it is very easy to focus.




Mar 21, 2022 at 12:27 AM
Matt Kerby
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Learning to Loxia???


Question. My Loxia 21's focus isn't as smooth as my Loxia 35. The 35 is buttery, the 21 is less so...maybe stiffer? How about yours?


Nov 23, 2022 at 03:02 PM
lensfan
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Learning to Loxia???


Matt Kerby wrote:
Question. My Loxia 21's focus isn't as smooth as my Loxia 35. The 35 is buttery, the 21 is less so...maybe stiffer? How about yours?


Same here



Nov 23, 2022 at 09:06 PM
Matt Kerby
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Learning to Loxia???


lensfan wrote:
Same here


Thanks, good to know!




Nov 23, 2022 at 09:08 PM
lensfan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Learning to Loxia???


Matt Kerby wrote:
Thanks, good to know!



That is expected behavior. Dustin Abbott was talking about same thing years ago in his review.



Nov 23, 2022 at 09:16 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Learning to Loxia???


I'd forget about field curvature and the rest of it, certainly for now. You have embarked on the exact opposite of what you've been doing. I suggest you find what compositions will work best for your new material. What this means is you see images that let you concentrate on the spatial relationships the image motifs have with each other. Don't second guess the compositions, 21s are notoriously hard to predict - look through the VF.

Walk around with the viewfinder to your eye in your shooting environment. Get close to subjects, avoid too much empty space in the foreground, think 'near-far'. Take advantage of the expansiveness and instant 3D 21mm lenses afford. Look for patterns, for the artistic look.

Avoid stopping down too far, 21s have very extensive DOF. Look for an anchor motif, something that gives viewers a central feature to the photo. Avoid both clutter and boring sweeps of featureless countryside. Worry less about converging lines, look for impact in images, not perfection.

Use a 21 as a point and shoot at f8 and the best general focus, for fast shots. Look for high contrast surfaces, good 21s are great for this. 21s are among the most powerful of lenses.

Look through the image threads of the better 20/21s and analyse what you see in the ones you like. Develop a personal style, we all use 21s differently due to their versatility.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1389884/24#lastmessage
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1566500/46#lastmessage

[work backwards in image threads - the tests, aberration and corners chat is always up at the front.]



Nov 23, 2022 at 09:34 PM
smpetty
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Learning to Loxia???


jeffbuzz wrote:
This really isn't specific to Loxia but more manual focusing in general. I find it helpful to assign "Focus magnifier" to a custom button and "MF assist" off. I personally do not like having the view automatically magnify every time I touch the focus ring. I prefer using a button to zoom in quickly when I want it.


100% ditto - the MF assist will drive you MF'ing nuts if left to its own devices...



Nov 24, 2022 at 07:35 AM
oberheimx
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Learning to Loxia???


When I focus my Loxia 21 to infinity it is not as sharp as my Loxia 25. Is it a bad copy or is it normal? (I'm sorry my English is so bad..)


Nov 24, 2022 at 08:16 AM
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