Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 C Biogon T* ZM Review

Whether it’s for work or leisure, the 35 mm focal length feels perfect (to me). It’s tight enough for portraits and photojournalism, while also being wide enough to show the environment around a subject, or to capture an impromptu landscape.

The Zeiss 35 f/2.8 C Biogon T* ZM is a compact, lightweight, and highly reliable 35 mm lens for the Leica platform. Despite originally releasing in March, 2008, images captured with this lens appear to be much more modern in colour rendition and contrast. I prefer the visuals of this lens over my old Canon 35 f/1.4L, which I worked with for two years.

The Zeiss 35’s manual focus is fast and efficient, with just the right amount of glide, and a small tab on the focus ring makes it easy to quickly focus in on a position or subject. When equipped on a camera body this lens has a small form factor, and can conveniently be stowed in a jacket pocket, satchel bag, etc.

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Shooting Kodak Double-X (Eastman 5222) in Ukraine

Kodak Double-X (otherwise known as Eastman Double-X 5222) is a reliable black-and-white cinema film adapted to suit the 35 mm camera frame size. This film is considerably ‘rare’, and not commonly stocked.

I used this roll of Kodak Double-X during my last trip to Ukraine. Combined with my Leica M3 and Planar 50 f/2.0 I was able to shoot high-contrast scenes and portraits. I developed this roll of Kodak Double-X following my instructions in this blog.

Note that I pushed my film one stop (from 200 to 400), and the development time below reflects 400 speed, not 200. For 200 speed I recommend developing Kodak Double-X for 6:45.

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Shooting CineStill 800 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I spent the beginning of 2017 travelling throughout Malaysia, equipped with only my Hasselblad and Olympus AF-1 Super. My Hasselblad was loaded with Portra 400, while the Olympus was shooting CineStill 800 and Portra 160.

CineStill is a motion picture cinema film, available for both standard 35mm cameras and the 120 format (Medium Format). CineStill is arguably one of the most unique analog consumer films available, offering incredible low light performance and Blade Runner-esque visuals at night.

My Olympus AF-1 allowed me to take fast photos whether inside or outside, at day or night, capturing moments and landscapes that caught my eye. CineStilll’s 800 ISO allowed plenty of range in shadowed areas without overexposing the majority of the frame.

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The last 12 months – 2016 in review (photos and writing)

Reflection is a powerful way to promote self-development. It gives us the opportunity to understand what we have done well, as well as the hindsight to understand opportunities we have missed, or times when we may have acted negatively. Ultimately, in the name of efficiency, we would hope to learn and adapt quickly, which can often be a difficult task.

Life is scattered with difficult and challenging moments, which are opportunities for patience and growth. It is easy to lose the grasp we have on our emotions and become frustrated in our professional and personal lives, but these situations are also great tests to practice self-restraint and control.

How fast do you give up on a challenging task or period in your life? Would you rather relieve yourself of frustration, or persevere in a moment of adversity, and deal with whatever may be hidden on the other side? Unknowns can be frightening, but those grey areas are where we can find new challenges and chances to test ourselves.

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