Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Is the Zeiss 12mm a good companion for (street) photography?

A review of the Zeiss 12mm? Better late than never. Fuji did a great job with their excellent lenses. So good that other manufacturers suffer from it a bit. Because you don´t need another brand when the original will serve outstanding quality and a wide variety of focal lengths. But after a small price drop for the Zeiss Touit 12mm in the past I decided to buy it to have a good ultra wide lens in my pocket. And I don´t regret it!

The lens comes with an max. open aperture of 2.8 what gives you a lot of headroom in dimly lit conditions or for portraits with some "Bokeh" in it. The build quality is okay. I read some bad articles about the lose aperture-ring and the rubber like finish. I also wish that the lens could look more like the metal ones from Fuji, but I don´t care too much about this things.

The image quality is way more important to me. Even the speed of the focusing system is not interesting for a 12mm lens. I mostly use this lens in manual mode and set it to a hyperfocal distance where you safely can ignore any kind of focusing.

The perfect light prime for street photography

I am not an expert (just look here), when it comes to resolution or other things you can measure, but for me this lens delivers outstanding results even wide open. It is not as big and heavy and feels good on a X-Pro1 and is a joy to use in the streets because you can set the lens to hyperfocal (as mentioned above) and use the OVF like an old school rangefinder street-shooter. The two black and white images in this blogpost are made with the X-Pro1.

It is great to know that the only thing that matters is the right exposure setting and nothing else. You can compose your shot without any distraction. The extra two millimeters of focal length are great compared to the fourteen millimeter prime from Fuji. I use this lens mostly in conjunction with the eighteen millimeter prime to cover light and heavy wide angle situations.

I think there is nothing (expect the high price, I bought mine for 200 Euro less) that should hold you back from buying this great lens.

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