My trusty go-to lens for the last few years has been a Zeiss ZE 21mm f/2.8 T* Distagon and in many cases this is still true. Its a joy to work with as focusing is smooth, easy and importantly accurate – even wearing big gloves. But as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m shooting more panoramic’s with a 50mm lens. A few years ago I purchased a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM for some street photography on a Paris trip. It’s been press-ganged into landscape use, but it’s horrible to focus manually. The focus ring has lots of slop so its very, very easy to overshoot or undershoot the point of focus. Wearing gloves on a cold day its just too hard and unpleasant. So, a replacement has been on the cards for a while and this week I did a side-by-side evaluation of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART and a Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Milvus ZE. My thanks to Wex / Calumet Photo in Bristol for supporting this.
The evaluation was not of optical quality, as I was pretty happy both lenses would be fine based on published reviews, but of manual focusing. I must say, like my 21mm, the Zeiss was gorgeous and far superior to the Sigma. So which lens did I buy? Well, the Sigma as it was £571 vs £1017. The Sigma was a vastly better than the Canon but nowhere near as good as the Zeiss but, importantly, it was good enough. Had there been less difference in price I’d probably have chosen the Zeiss. Only time will now tell whether it was the right decision. Anyway, I’m really looking forward to some decent light and giving it a go 🙂
My disappointment came with Capture One V184.108.40.2062 for Mac. There is a bug when handling large TIFF files which causes it to become non-responsive and crash. The problem arises when using local adjustments (masks) and the displayed image is greater than roughly half my iMac 5k screen width. Shrink the edit window and thus image down below that and the problem goes away. It seems to be when the application generates a new preview of the image being edited. Anyway, its deeply frustrating as practically all my panoramic’s can cause the defect to trigger. Its been reported to Phase One and I understand they have passed it to their developers but I’m not sure of the priority. Certainly support didn’t seem overly concerned and I’ve not heard anything for a week or so. Its certainly an easy and repeatable defect to trigger, so it should be easy to replicate and resolve. Fingers crossed.
A recent Sunday had fine weather, an air temperature of about 1 degree Celsius and a steady 25MPH wind gusting to the mid 40’s. Everything not fixed down was moving, I was getting buffeted and the tripod had to be held so that it didn’t blow over. Anyway there were a few moments of nice golden light just before the sun settled into clouds then dropped below the horizon. It was cold and I truly, mean cold 🙂 Exposed flesh really doesn’t do well with that sort of wind chill. After sunset, it was so, so nice to walk back through the forest, shielded by the trees through which I could hear the wind roaring. The image in this post was from that trip. Exposure at ISO 400 was still 1/25th sec at F8. A few exposures and I captured this one in between gusts. 🙂