Last week was far busier than I had anticipated when I scheduled the rental of a Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZE lens. I feel that I wasn’t really able to put the lens through its paces, mostly staying close to home due to a couple of developments that I’ll be announcing here shortly. Since I was working at home I worked with subjects at hand: loaves of bread, the cat, and our garden.
While soft wide-open at f/1.4 (to the point of being almost unusable), by f/2 this lens is razor sharp, and features the oft-fabled Zeiss micro-contrast: in-focus part of the image does seem to defy its two-dimensional nature. However, working in close quarters is where this lens struggles: the minimum focusing distance is three feet.
For this photograph of the daffodils that were in bloom in our front yard until yesterday, I had to resort to a 25mm extension tube, which presented me with the opposite of my problem: suddenly I had no choice but to be closer to my subject than I would have wished! That said, I think it works in this example. I’ll have a couple more to share after I get a spare moment to work them up.