Thursday, March 17, 2011


I am now on Wordpress! There will be no blog posts from blogger from now on, but the existing posts will remain :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen mein lieber Bruder, bis wir uns wiedersehen

If you were wondering what the heck did I write for my title, it's German for "goodbye my dear brother, until we meet again" - I hope it is.... Thank heavens for Google Translate!

On my previous blog post, I mentioned that my brother left for Germany to pursue his dream of becoming an automotive engineer. I didn't see tears around his eyes, but I know he was sad! 18 years of knowing him has taught me to know how and when his expressions fool just about anyone, but not me. He is my first bestfriend in the world, my only brother in the world. I hope he enjoys his time there, and achieves his lifelong dream of working for Mercedes-Benz. Maybe he could personally make my own car someday, hopefully!

My parents and I sent him to the airport and see him depart this recent Saturday. His friends were there, there were a lot of hugs - I live around hug-craze people! Anyway, here are some pictures I took on the day.

A lot of people called to wish him luck! That's my dad behind him!

I took a shot of him with the background of
the neighbourhood before we left for the airport

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII - review!

serious business - Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII 


Firstly, I should remind you that I'm not going to focus on the technical sides. These are only my personal impressions and views. Things like chromatic aberrations won't be featured here, as I'm no fan of pixel-peeping (though I do sometimes to check the focusing) to search for a flaw my lenses have. Again I remind you that these are all my opinions and may differ from other reviews or your own thoughts.

This particular lens belongs to my brother. Since he's leaving for Germany to further his studies, I had to scramble and make this review possible! Another lens of his, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D will also be reviewed soon!

The Story Behind the Purchase + First Impressions

It was back in 2009, when my brother got this lens. It was a present from my parents for his achievements in his SPM (O-level equivalent). Although they bought him this a few months before his results were out, he did magnificently for that exam (10A's out of 10 subjects - damn how am I going to beat that?!). At the time, my parents did the same for me, they bought me the 85mm f/1.4 which I have sold after 6 months of use. But we're not talking about the cream machine, we're talking about the versatile baby-crier! - read on to understand what I mean by that.

Our first impression of the lens were incredible. We were blown away by the size, I can tell you that! My brother had the Nikon 18-200mm at the time, and it is 2 times smaller than the 70-200mm, possibly 3 times smaller. We didn't find the weight appealing too! It is heavy.  If you suffer from tennis elbow like I do, I suggest staying away from this lens as much as possible! The other significant thing was the image quality wide-open. When you buy a lens of this caliber, you expect unrivaled performance without any compromises and I can safely say that you wouldn't be disappointed here. 

On another note where it isn't photography-related, this lens is scary to look at! My brother and I have pointed this lens to several kiddies and most of them ended up crying and running over to their parents after staring at this big boy! So if you were planning on scaring some neighbourhood troublemakers, this would fit the bill nicely - that is if you wouldn't mind spending so much on a lens and not use it for your photography!

focusing switches ; zoom ring ; distance scale ; focusing ring ;
all placed exactly where you expect them to be

You expect the best when you buy a premium lens like this one. This gigantic beast delivers on that front. It is very solid. You're going to have to slam the lens VERY hard to even dent it a bit. The lens is easy to hold ; the zoom ring is quite a distance away from the camera mount for easy access. And the lens' distance scale separates the zoom and focus rings. The zooming ring is perfectly smooth and you won't get stuck at any focal lengths (the new 55-300mm has this problem when you're going from 200mm to 300mm). Although being a lens capable of fast, and I mean REALLY fast autofocusing, you can manual-focus it with acceptable precision. It is not as enjoyable as say, my CZ 2/35, mainly because of the short focus-throw compared to the 35mm, so fine-tuning is harder to do on the 70-200mm. 


As I mentioned above, autofocus is very very fast! It is faster than other lenses me and my brother have owned. I can't stress how fast it is, but according to my simple judgement, the lens take 1-1.5 seconds to focus from the minimum focusing distance of 1.4m all the way to infinity. I could be wrong on the timing, but believe me, it is very quick. The only lens I can think of that can rival this lens on focusing speed is Nikon's own 24-70mm f/2.8, by the slightest of margins I'd say.  

Vibration Reduction

Nikon specified that the second generation of their Vibration Reduction system allows you to shoot 4 stops slower than normal as oppose to 3 stops in the first generation. I always have the VR on (except when I have the lens on a tripod) and I have shot at 1/15 seconds at 200mm without any obvious signs of camera shake. I only saw a slight blur when I viewed the images on the computer, and even then, the shots were very much usable. Trust Nikon on this, their VR is quite unbelievable.

dancers from Assunta's Prom Night 2010
The Event Planner

I have been lucky enough to have used this lens for a number of events in the last 2 years. And in my mind, it is the best lens to cover events. Deep down, I know the lens will serve fantastically well along with the 24-70mm f/2.8, giving you 24-200mm in two amazing zoom lenses. Sadly enough I don't have the financial backing to purchase the 24-70 nor would I need to get that lens. 

Moving on, as I was saying, this lens is perfect for shooting events. In sheer versatility alone, this lens could blow you away. You could shoot full body portraits at 70mm, and head-shots at 200mm with nothing to worry about. 

Portraits? Yes sir.

some ladies during Assunta's Prom Night, which I shot in December 2010

Many people buy this lens because of its sheer image quality and versatility, especially when they shoot portraits. Portrait-snappers often set their camera at apertures close to the maximum available, sometimes even wide-open to isolate their subjects and make them stand out from the background. Shooting at large apertures is definitely not a problem for this lens, and it shouldn't be.

a view of Kuala Lumpur!
Look far away

Another good use of this lens is landscapes. That is if you are shooting far far away from the subject. The clarity and detail is phenomenal if you are thinking of  shooting landscapes. Shooting at medium apertures (f/8.0 - f/11.0) allows you to maximize detail and sharpness in your shots. It's quite weird to shoot landscapes with a telezoom, but have a go at it and judge for yourself!

Smooth, circular bokeh

One of my favourite topics in photography, the bokeh a lens produces. This lens is up there with the best in this category (and every other category for that matter). Thanks to the 9 diaphragm blades, the bokeh is very smooth and make your subjects pop!

Other Alternatives

This is one of the best 70-200's out there, for sure. 

However, if you have invested in the Nikon system, there are a bunch of options for you to consider. A lot of folks are selling their used 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, the predecessor of the current lens. You can find some good prices on those. 

Another option is to go after third-party brands. Sigma just released their 70-200mm f/2.8, they have added an image stabilization system (Sigma calls it OS - Optical Stabilizer). I'm not sure on the price for that one, but at the time of release, I thought the list price was a bit too close to the equivalents from Nikon and Canon. 

Tamron also have something similar in their arsenal, but without any form of image stabilization. That might be a turn-off for some people, but for myself, I would consider it because of the smaller size and it is after all lighter than the other 70-200's in the market (as far as I know). The Tamron also focuses as close as 0.95 meters, which is good for close-ups, something I'm into. 

Is this for you?

If you shoot a lot of events, portraits, this lens is definitely for you. It is very versatile for events, I have shot events with only this lens alone! For portraits, it allows you to step back and give some space to your subjects. Sports and wedding photographers adore this lens because it is wonderful to use and compact (sort of). It is lighter than most telephotos, and light enough to be used handheld, in part due to the excellent VR technology. If you're planning on getting this lens, be sure to use it on bodies that will balance well with the lens. I have used this with my D60 and it was too front-heavy. I'd get neck-pains every time I put the camera strap on my neck, it was killing me. On the D700, it is really balanced, especially with the battery grip attached. The lowest you could go is probably a D90 (with the battery grip), or you could suffer from all sort of pains from carrying this lens.

Mystical powers - Nano Crystal Coating. use it to believe it.
If you think getting the shot is more important than preserving your upper limbs (for those like me who suffer from tennis elbow or similar injuries), I couldn't recommend this lens more highly! It is not as heavy as some other telephotos but it gets to you once you go past an hour or two of carrying this monster around. Having said that, I think it is the best lens ever in the range. Let's hope Nikon update this lens in 5 years time and include VRIII and make it lighter (dear God, please let it be lighter!) and I will be starving everyday to purchase it. I can dream can't I?!

Friday, March 11, 2011

wait for it....

A couple of lens reviews coming up in a few days, come back soon! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A recipe for tasty satisfaction

As mentioned earlier, I took some photos of the food I have been eating a lot of since the turn of the year (February, actually!).

Cereal with bananas
Also on my flickr!

My dad suggested to me to put some bananas to go with my cereal, and it definitely made a better breakfast for me!

Salmon with veggies!
Also on my flickr!

After discovering how easy it is to make a sublime salmon, I don't think I'll ever need to ask someone to make my favourite fish for me ever again! It's just so easy. I love seasoning the salmon! It's just delightful to eat and it's healthier than chicken - double treat!

I know what you're thinking, why healthy food all of a sudden?! Haha well, I want to lose weight. I want to lose 5 kilograms by February 2012. To achieve that, I jog every alternative days, play football every evening (when the weather allows!) and I eat healthy, non-fattening food - well I try to! The portions may seem a lot, but at least its not junk-food, which I have survived on for a good few years before I start thinking of living this healthy lifestyle! And really, I feel great everyday! You're always sleepy after eating junk-food, aren't I right? Maybe it's time you follow me and develop a healthier lifestyle, it wouldn't kill you - not faster anyway! :)

Some food to drool over, soon!

A special cereal I have for breakfast (might not be special to you though...) and my awesome, awesome Salmon dish in photos, coming up as soon as after lunchtime! :D

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm always thinking ahead!

A few weeks ago I posted about my plans for my next purchases. Forget all that (not completely). I have my eye on a new, more exciting lens in the form of the Carl Zeiss 2/100! Raymond has made his review of this particular lens after Carl Zeiss loaned the lens to him (such a lucky guy!). Again, he amazed me with his photos!

As much as I want the Makro-Planar 2/100, do I need it? Most people buy this lens for portraits and macro work. I have the Nikon 85mm for portraits, and I don't really do macro (but I would like to explore this part of photography in the near future). What does the Makro-Planar can do that my 85 can't? Focus closer. My CZ 2/35 focuses close too, down to 0.3 meters. And I really enjoy going up close to subjects. The 2/100 focuses as near as 0.44 meters. The 85mm has a minimum focusing distance of 0.85 meters. So, not only is the 2/100 longer than the 85mm, it could also focus closer, therefore able to make subjects look bigger in photos. The 2/100 is not really a macro lens because it has a maximum magnification of 'only' 1:2, but that's close enough for me. And if I'm going to be shooting macros, what better lens is there besides the 2/100? Anyway, I shall not get too ahead of myself. The next purchase probably won't happen until at least the middle of the year, hopefully I'll have more money by then!

When you think you know it all....

....think again!

I have recently concluded that I don't know my 85mm well enough. So I made a bold decision to explore my neighbourhood with that particular lens....when the sun was up high and blinding me with its explosive light, in the middle of the day! My mom was surprised too, but nobody was as surprised as I was!

When the Carl Zeiss 2/35 arrived in November last year, it was easy to fall in love with it. Because it was so precise, down to every last detail. The colours are surreal, the build is magnificent, the contrast is right on the money. The 85 on the other hand, is a shy little newcomer. While the colours are terrific, the focal length is so different than what I'm used to. Therefore, I realized that I don't know this lens well enough to create the results that I wanted. It was time to get to know this baby, and nourish it till it blossoms. I went out yesterday and snap as much as I could. I was happy with what I was getting!

Enjoy the photos :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The new addition to the camera bag

The new kid on the block
Originally uploaded by Ahmad Ihsan
Do first impressions matter that much? In most cases, without a doubt! My first impression of my new lens, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D was positive, mostly. It didn't have the superb build quality of my CZ 2/35, not its manual-focusing feel, nor does it have a world-renown lens element inside it like the T* coatings in the CZ 2/35. But, it does have a metal lens hood, which to me is better than the one that came with the Zeiss. At first I thought it was silly to have a plastic lens with a metal lens hood. It is, but what if the lens is made of metal too? No thank you! $$$$

Another thing I quickly noticed (while I was at the shop trying the lens itself in fact) was that there is no damping whatsoever when it comes to focusing! I know this even before I went to the store, but of course, after comparing it to my CZ 2/35, I wasn't pleased. But that's something I have to live with. After all, I am thinking of shooting portraits with this lens, and fast auto-focus is the way to go for me when it comes to portraits, and boy does this lens deliver on that front! Really fast focusing indeed. Might not be as fast as the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, but think about the price difference between the two.

The thing I found most depressing was that this lens is really really boring to photograph!! When I was working on my review of the CZ 2/35, I had fun taking photos of it. The markings on the lens is beautifully engraved and had that 'wow' factor. It also forced me to be more creative and to work more with natural light. In the end, I captured a lot of photos of it in a matter of minutes. But that wasn't the case with the 85 f/1.8. It was just too boring and I didn't enjoy taking pictures of it. It was like I had to pay someone to take pictures of the lens, and I wasn't excited about it one bit. The end product? I captured a lowly 5 photos of it.

However, that is not why I bought the lens. So, I have to slowly love this lens and make full use of it. The CZ 2/35 was easy to adore, it was very inviting and carried the whole package. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8D, not so much. It plays hard to get, and carries with it a lot of surprises. We'll see how the relationship develops!

Some updates!

After some hard thinking, I decided to deactivate my Twitter account. I had enough of seeing younger blokes complain about their school, friends and family. Seriously, what a disgrace to see all that! I also thought I wouldn't be using it much anyway, knowing that I'm heading off to college in the next couple of months and things will get busier around me. Anyhow, I will make another account if there's a need for it.

Next, the new purchase, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8. I went for it and bought this lens for my portrait needs, and in that aspect, it thrives. Really nice bokeh and softness. What I have to get use to is knowing that generally all (or most) 85mm's share a common behaviour, referred to as 'spherical aberration'. Of course, this lens could be an exception of this behaviour, and may suffer from focusing issues instead. I'll test it with my tripod and see if that is true.

As for next purchases, I'm undecided between a telephoto zoom or a wide-angle prime. The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 or the Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5. Both are cheap compared to the other models in their respective categories but are very capable and surpasses most of their rivals in terms of image quality and handling. In the Tamron's case, its optically excellent, but suffers from poor autofocusing speed. The Voigtlander is made by Cosina, the same company that produces Carl Zeiss lenses, so optically and mechanically they are excellent. I'm not sure which lens will I go for first, but I'll definitely add them both to my camera bag. And I'll finish it off with the Zeiss 1.4/50, and stay quiet for a few years, promise. - that is if no other lenses attract my attention with amazing quality and low prices!

If you have any advice on how I can use my new 85mm with minimal fuss, please drop a comment down below!

and Happy Valentines day for those who are celebrating!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cameron Highlands - Photos

My parents decided to head to Cameron Highlands for the recent Chinese New Year break and I have to say it was a good short holiday. Unfortunately, I had to have a bad fever. Anyway, I had a good time there, 3 days was enough to bring back all the memories from previous visits. The last time I was there was when I was 13, or was it 14? Yeah. At the time, I was using film cameras. So this was my first visit with digital cameras!

We left on Thursday morning, the traffic was horrible. At some point, I thought snails and turtles would outrun all the cars on the highway. We were moving pathetically slow. Right there and then, I wish the car could have turned into a helicopter and fly straight to Cameron Highlands! We arrived in early evening. What would be ideal to have after a long tiring journey? Scones and tea !

Friday was when all the photo-snapping begun. We went to a place called Cactus Valley. I remember taking photos of all the cacti with my Lomography Fisheye and Canon EOS 300 the last time I was there. There was also a place with lots of flowers (forgot the name of it, really!). Oh before we left, we had more scones, strawberry sundae and a fine strawberry milkshake!

CZ 2/35 - f/4 @ 1/2000sec
Nothing was going on much on Saturday. We left at noon for my grandma's house, didn't take pictures there, oddly enough.

Here are the photos :)

CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @1/1250sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/640sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/800sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/500sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/800sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/800sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/500sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/400sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/2000sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/2000sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/1250sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec
CZ 2/35 - f/2.8 @ 1/2500sec
70-200mm @ 200mm, f/4 @ 1/4000sec
70-200mm @ 200mm, f/2.8 @ 1/2000sec
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D - f/2.5 @ 1/2500sec
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D - f/2.5 @ 1/6400sec
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D - f/2.5 @ 1/400sec
My mom! - Nikon 85mm f/1.8D - f/3.5 @ 1/500sec
Unprocessed! the 85mm produces very natural colours. - ff/2.2 @ 1/2000sec
Unprocessed! the 85mm produces very natural colours. - f/3.5 @ 1/500sec
CZ 2/35 - f/3.2 @ 1/800sec
CZ 2/35 - f/6.3 @ 1/250sec

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carl Zeiss 2/35 - review!


As the first of many (hopefully) photography reviews I'm doing, I should remind you that I'm not going to focus on the technical sides. These are only my personal impressions and views. Things like chromatic aberrations won't be featured here, as I'm no fan of pixel-peeping (though I do sometimes to check the focusing) to search for a flaw my lenses have. Again I remind you that these are all my opinions and may differ from other reviews or your own thoughts.

How on Earth did I discover this amazing piece of glass?!

In late November 2010, I was in a massive dilemma. Not only did I have an important exam coming up, but I also didn't have an 'everyday, go-to, do-everything' lens. The Tamron 17-50 which I had at the time could only be used in DX crop mode on my D700, and the 50mm f/1.8 I always had on that camera wasn't truly mine, it belongs to my brother. I then checked out flickr and found a very talented photographer from the U.S. He is Raymond Larose, easily the most wicked photographer I have on my flickr contact list. Everyday, I drop by his stream to view his newest photos. At the time, he 'only' had a 3.5/18, a 2/35 and a 1.4/85, all of which are Zeiss lenses. Day by day, he had other photographers commenting on his beautiful photos, and most of it were taken with the CZ 2/35. I had never heard of Carl Zeiss and their prestigious lens lineup before I met Raymond, so I owe him for that! I then googled 'Carl Zeiss'...followed by Carl Zeiss 2/35...followed by other lenses Carl Zeiss offers in their arsenal!

I found out that there weren't many people who owns the 35mm, so I approached Raymond and sent him a message on flickr. He responded very well, and told me to go for this lens, and I did. Exactly a week before my exams would start, the lens was shipping from the Southernmost part of Malaysia, the state of Johor. I ordered the lens through, and the lens is an import product. Although this means that the warranty is not from a local shop, I did save a few hundred Ringgit from the purchase. The lens was delivered to my doorstop on the 22nd - a day before the start of my exams! I told my parents that I wouldn't open the box....jyeahh right! But I had to open it anyway, to make sure the correct lens was in there.

Why did I pull the trigger for this?

Carl Zeiss has a long history of making lenses. A lot of photographers have owned Zeiss lenses from the mid-1900s! For my case, I like the design of their lenses and their sheer beauty and precision. It reminds me of the 3 vintage film cameras I adore and still have but no longer use, Elikon 535, Vilia and a Minox 35 AL. All of them are fully manual, and manual focus. And although the manual focusing of these 3 cameras do not surpass the CZ 2/35, its certainly better than modern AF SLR lenses. So the feel of focusing intrigued me. Also, the sharpness of Carl Zeiss lenses, even wide open truly impressed me. They are sharp, but produce pleasing softness around the edges, which I like. Some of you may argue that sharpness isn't everything, and it certainly isn't. But I like to shoot at big apertures, and that's where the Carl Zeiss lenses stole my heart again (and my dad's money!)

First Impressions

Only one word could describe the lens - Unbelievable. Right from the moment I took it out from the box, to the moment I put it back in, the lens was surreal. The build quality is just amazing. Its like I had a tank, with a focusing ring on it and a piece of glass right in front of it. Speaking of focusing ring, its very very very, utterly smooth, precise and quite amazingly, enjoyable! Right there and then, I knew, focusing with this thing is going to be my weirdest hobby! Seriously, if you don't have a hobby, focusing with a Carl Zeiss lens would be a great start. The only surprise I encountered was the lens is heavier than I thought it would be. Being small and compact, surely you would think it's going to be light. But no, don't be fooled. Having said that, the weight does assure you of the build of the lens, with an all-metal and glass construction, it gives you confidence to hold it with minimum grip and still have the lens stuck in your hands somehow.

What's in the box?

It doesn't come with much! The lens with both caps, lens hood, manual, warranty and a test certificate of the lens. This is a clever gesture by Carl Zeiss, as they assure you that every lens that leaves the factory is hand-checked by one of their workers and is able to perform flawlessly albeit if no user-error takes place.


It comes as a standard, I don't know why any lens hood should be an optional purchase, really. As with the lens, the hood is made of metal. The inner part of the hood attracts dust easily, which can be annoying. As for usage to avoid flare, do you really need it? Much has been said about Carl Zeiss lenses being flare-resistant.  I wouldn't say that this lens is resistant to flare, it just handles flare very well even without the hood in place. I just put it in there for added protection from any mishaps that could cause damage to the front element.

hood reversed

hood attached


Lens mount

Lens barrel - metal and almost always dusty!

The lens is very compact and very easy to hold. For me who have very small and oddly shaped hands, it's easy to hold it. The finish of the lens makes it easy to hold it with sufficient grip. The aperture ring rotates very smoothly, and as with all lenses with aperture rings for Nikon cameras, stop it down to the minimum aperture to enable aperture control via the camera's dial. The focusing ring is very smooth, and very precise. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is terrible for manual focusing because its 'too smooth'. The feel of focusing with the 2/35 is very smooth, and some refer to it as 'damped'. Frankly, I wouldn't blame you if you buy one of Zeiss' offerings just to get a better feel of focusing!


Carl Zeiss only produce manual-focus-only lenses (with the exception of ZA lenses, which are used on Sony Alpha system, those can be autofocused). Doesn't matter if your Nikon body has a built-in focusing motor, the focusing ring won't rotate end to end when you half-press the shutter release!

Manual-focus, why?

Well you'd want manual focus for a lot of things ; macro, landscapes, occasionally for portraits as well. For events, it might be too hazardous, especially in such fast-pace (and important!) events like weddings and something similar. For such occasions, you're better off investing in those lenses capable of auto-focus, or you're going to make some couple very unhappy! I must say, getting used to manually focusing a lens was difficult at first. But practice makes perfect, and I have never looked back. In fact, out of the 3 lenses I'm looking to buy this year, only one of it is capable of auto-focusing. And what can you take from this? Manual-focus is the way to go, IF and only IF you have enough time to do so with your subjects.

For me, and you if you wear spectacles, do rely on the focusing dots in the viewfinder. The three focus indicators on my D700 is very helpful, and bright, I've had no problems using that. If that's not enough, you might want to spend some money on a focusing screen.


This particular Carl Zeiss lens has a maximum aperture of f/2. Not only is the depth of field so shallow when shooting wide-open, but the bokeh this lens produces are very pleasing. Having said that, even if you stop it down, the lens can still produce very nice bokeh.

Portrait magician
This lens handles skin tones very well, maybe a little bit better for the price. Really, I don't see a reason why you shouldn't be able to use this lens for portraits. The focal length also allows you to shoot environmental portraits, something I'm looking forward to do. Good portraits are easy with this lens, focus on the eyes and you'll be amazed at how well it fares.

Landscapes made easy

What would be better than a bright lens stopped down? A brighter lens stopped down! Seriously, this lens is ideal for landscapes. To be honest I haven't done much landscapes in a while. But when I do get a chance to, I wouldn't be "I need a proper wide-angle lens for landscapes" and stop shooting. It'd probably be because this lens is not wide enough. But, that's just it. Other than that, I have no reason not to shoot landscapes with this baby, excellent colours, contrast and sharpness, what else do you need for landscapes?

Architecture, you can't be serious.

Before the 2/35 came into my life, I thought the only way to shoot architecture is to get the highly expensive tilt and shift lenses to prevent signs of distortion. Well this lens does architecture with the slightest of distortion (don't really care about these things), and amazing colours. Then again, what do I know about photographing architectures?

Other alternatives

Over the last few months, there have been quite a few announcements for 35mm lenses. Nikon, Carl Zeiss and Samyang have all announced their 35mm's. Out of the three, the Samyang 35mm is the cheapest. The Nikon and Carl Zeiss 35mm will set you back over $1800+/RM5000+

Not to worry though, as other manufacturer offers cheaper 35mm's. Nikon and Canon both have 35mm f/2 which is about $400/RM1000+. Do note that both of those are made of plastic, but are really small and compact. So if you'd prefer to be discrete, those are the best choices.

If you need the best quality, there's no denying that the Canon, Nikon, Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 are the best in their class.

Should you get this one?

If you need a wide-angle lens but don't need anything wider, or if you need a telephoto lens for portraits but don't need anything longer, this lens will serve you incredibly well. Forget all-in-one zooms (unless you really need the flexibility they offer), this could be your one-lens solution. I find this lens very versatile, thus I shoot almost everything with it. Another area where this lens might shine is photojournalism, though you'd have to be really fast at focusing, and nail it every single time!


Wow, what a lens. Surely my dad isn't regretting my purchase now! This lens is on my D700 95% of the time. I find that it shines in portraiture, landscapes, and close-ups, and I'm shooting more of these because of this lens. Could you do street shooting with this? Why not, I have seen others using this lens for the streets. As a walk-around lens, this lens is phenomenal. It's wide enough for most situations, and forget your longer lenses! Get up close! Again I emphasized that if you want a lens that can do everything in its own way, this is it. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone. But since Nikon and Carl Zeiss itself have launched faster versions for this popular 35mm range, maybe you should consider those too. Will I get the CZ 1.4/35 or the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G? When I start earning my own money and pay my own bills, yes, without a doubt!