Dramatic, restrictive, and humbling are 3 phrases I’d use to explain the Carl Zeiss 16mm f/8 Hologon Extremely-wide lens that I shoot tailored to Leica M movie cameras.
Whilst the aforementioned 3 phrases would possibly not right away conjure the GAS gods in maximum cases, the ones descriptors have driven me by some means the place I will draw an instantaneous line between the usage of this lens and my expansion as a photographer. This has ended in me achieving for the Hologon greater than every other lens in my solid. It in no way leaves my bag.
My preliminary outings with the Hologon had been full of screw ups. Arms within the body, strap within the body, and essentially pictures that simply didn’t actually in reality really feel like I’d gotten shut sufficient to the topic. As I had picked up the lens in early 2020, it was once as soon as once quickly impractical in a socially distanced world to have a look at using the lens such a lot in the easiest way all through which that I had was once as soon as hoping. In reality, I almost about offered it.
Regardless of suffering with the Hologon, I simply couldn’t appear to position it down. There’s simply one thing about the easiest way all through which that an M digital camera handles with this ultra-wide pancake mounted. It’s no secret that a large number of photographers be interested in this digital camera device because of its compact size and flexible mount. The Hologon actually brings into concentration what’s imaginable with the M mount. No longer wanting to take the lens off of the digital camera had me taking photos it additional and spending a large number of time occupied with techniques to make pictures that I’d be proud of. In brief, I’d want to get nearer, any such lot nearer.
Running at a Distance; the Minimal Focusing Distance
I contend that ultra-wide lenses are at their highest conceivable when foreground portions are shot at or originate from in entrance of the lenses’ minimal focusing distances. For the Hologon 16mm f/8 lens this implies taking photos with the digital camera about 1 foot from a subject. There’s no different way to say it; that is an uncomfortable factor to do.
I’d have a pep-talk interior monologue on my way to shoot and however in finding myself taking photos at 2 to a few meters. I’d have a look at the negatives and actually in reality really feel actually disillusioned that topics weren’t distinguished within the body. In the end, I simply began atmosphere the lens to what I in reality like to name hypo-focal distance.
Simply given that determine implies, it’s the other or hyper-focal distance and works at the an identical thought. Using the very well-appointed concentration scale at the lens, I’d set concentration at 0.6m. This allowed for the whole thing from 0.4m to one.5m to be in concentration. Consumers of this lens would most likely apply that the actual minimal focusing distance in this lens is 0.3m alternatively I found out that if photographing folks, I wasn’t at risk of be simply 0.3m (1 foot) from the individual’s eyes so 0.4m to one.5m labored completely to force me nearer to topics for additonal horny compositions.
My Favourite Lens?
Pay attention, I am getting it, 16mm f/8 is ready as impractical because of it’s going to get for a day-to-day raise lens. That discussed, I simply have this type of lot a laugh taking photos with this factor mounted to my digital camera. One thing I would like out of my pictures is to always be difficult myself to make pictures I in reality like whilst no longer strolling the very best trail. I would possibly love it to be a bit difficult. It makes me recognize the pictures I do like reasonably bit additional and once we push ourselves we develop. Reasonably masochistic, positive, however it’s the trail I’ve made up our minds on with my symbol making and the shoe turns out to suit correctly sufficient.
In regards to the Tools
The 16mm f/8 Carl Zeiss Hologon has existed as a couple of permutations of the similar mounted aperture theme. First of all, the lens was once as soon as once set into a set mount of a loyal digital camera, The Zeiss Ikon Hologon Ultrawide. That lens was once as soon as once 15mm and the optics had been reasonably bit additional difficult to fabricate. Leica was once as soon as once it appears prepared at the lens in that digital camera and commissioned a restricted run of local M-mount 15mm f/8 Hologons to be made.
It’s a quite temporary checklist of lenses that Leica has farmed out to 3rd events through the years. I consider it’s a testomony to the technical prowess it required to make the lens.
Later, for the Contax G collection cameras, Carl Zeiss offered the remainder of the Hologons; a 16mm f/8 iteration that used further lens portions that successfully made the producing procedure rather so much a lot much less daunting. This was once as soon as once the one Contax G-mount lens to be made totally in Germany. It’s those later lenses which will also be maximum regularly transformed over to Leica M-mount by way of a in large part non-destructive procedure that may be reversed.
Execs and Cons
Ever pay attention this one sooner than? The lens has “ZERO DISTORTION”. I do know, I do know alternatively pay attention me out. We’re going to want to play the ‘if” recreation alternatively I’m telling you that “if” you compose your shot completely sq. on all axis’ you are able to no longer have the ability to hit upon any distortion in the slightest degree. It’s simply no longer there. That discussed, within the have compatibility that you’re not taking photos the digital camera on a flawlessly leveled floor or using the Leica Not unusual Huge-angle viewfinder, with its on-board bubble stage (recognized hereafter given that “Frankenfinder”), you’ll be able to switch forward and be expecting copious quantities of perspective distortion. Despite the fact that the digital camera is most effective slightly tweaked you are able to be painfully aware of that misstep when reviewing your pictures.
Talking of viewfinders, it must switch with out pronouncing that are supposed to you hope to border significantly with the Hologon you will want an exterior finder of a few type. Usually you’ll in finding the lens offered with the finder that got proper right here with the set when new. It’s huge with respectable eye reduction and it has a bubble stage constructed into it. It’s a champagne end that moderately suits the silver, or most likely they name it Titanium, Contax G cameras.
On the other hand there are two problems I’ve with this finder. First, the bubble stage is completely ahead and another time leveling versus leveling on all axis’. I’ve no clue why they’ve finished this when complete leveling is so vital to reaching 0 distortion.
Secondly, the sphere of view is simply too narrow. I’m no longer utterly positive what’s going down right kind proper right here alternatively a minimum of on a Leica M digital camera, every the finder is tight or the lens is actually wider than 16mm. With the unique finder, if we’re calling that 16mm, be expecting to get a minimum of 15mm value of body. Previous I discussed Leica’s Frankenfinder. As an proprietor of a 16mm (or is it 15mm?) and 24mm lens and wide-curious to mention the least, I’ve invested in this kind of monstrosities.
I don’t assume you’ll be able to do higher than the Frankenfinder as a 16-18-21-24-28mm multi-finder with parallax correction and illuminated brightlines. The celebrity of the display is its glow-in-the-dark, multi-axis bubble stage. On the other hand pay attention, there’s no different way to say it, the article is big. When taking photos briefly in a crowded atmosphere I’ll often use no finder in the slightest degree. The similar laws of taking photos shut observe and necessarily the whole thing you’ll be able to see is within the body.
No, no longer girthy unhealthy knowledge, this factor actually produces a much broader adverse than every other lens you’ve ever shot on an M. The cause of that is the bulbous rear phase that sits deeply into the movie chamber. This permits the picture circle to slide underneath the side baffles as the sunshine is projected at this type of shallow perspective. Surprising cool right kind? Smartly, no longer so rapid. Whilst the uncovered body is with out query wider than the norm, the digital camera’s body spacing isn’t adjusted to make up for this parlor trick. What that suggests for you, and your lab, is that the clean space between frames mainly not exists. Scanning Hologon negatives is a ache and relying on your lab or scanning setup, it should lead to some further paintings.
The one way to describe the Carl Zeiss Hologon is small. It’s most effective slightly prouder at the digital camera than a frame cap, even with the lens cap on. It’s actually beautiful improbable alternatively with lenses as in lifestyles, there are not any free lunches. With the attitude of view being so dramatic and the lens mounted so in the case of the frame, it’s actually exhausting to stay your palms out of the body till you’ve skilled your self to grip the digital camera as it should be for the lens. You’re maximum unquestionably going to be informed the exhausting means.
Every other drawback of this shallow mount lens is that the another way very good brass concentration lever would most likely hit the frameline selector of your M digital camera. You’ll be able to disregard about this and no longer concentration moderately alternatively I believe that may be a mistake. You’ll in finding that if you’ll acquire a previously mount-modified Hologon it should have already had the bottom of the point of interest lever shaved to transparent the lever. Mine was once as soon as once un-shaved so I very carefully addressed it on a bench grinder.
Perhaps you’ll be additional wary and use a Dremel Tool. That may be a more sensible choice.
To Center Filter out or No longer
The Hologon vignettes. It’s no longer a trifling quantity, every. Because of that, the lens in the beginning shipped with a radial center filter out. A opposite ND of varieties to boost the publicity within the corners by the use of pulling down the publicity within the center. This filter out successfully turns the f/8 lens into an f16 lens. That’s simply too best a value for me and I’ve in no way used, nor do I private the middle filter out. I’ve noticed numerous effects with the middle filter out in use and I always actually in reality really feel like there are some peculiar artifacts. I would like the herbal vignette profile of the optics and as I have a tendency to overexpose my movie it kind of feels to attenuate the vignette. All that is to mention that you simply must take your emotions on lens vignetting into account when deciding if this lens is for you.
On the other hand It’s f/8?!
I am getting it, f/8 is gradual, and the truth that it’s a set aperture additional restricts the consumer’s ability to blah, blah, blah, I don’t want to pay attention it. I’d implore any individual bearing in mind this lens to actually lean into its quirks. Certain, the lens is gradual, however it’s additionally a 16mm with its weight located in large part all the way through the digital camera frame. The Hologon on an M digital camera is a remarkably solid setup. With even a minor take a look at at ultimate however one can effectively pull off very lengthy hand-held exposures. An eighth or perhaps a 4th of a 2nd is larger than possible. No use for excessive ISOs or multi-stop push processing. You’ll be able to do it.
Do you private a Monochrome digital camera? Excellent knowledge, you’re golden. Do you private the remaining slightly then a Monochrome digital camera? You’ll be changing to black and white. The red and magenta are an excessive amount of to triumph over. Don’t even check out.
For individuals who adapt the lens to a virtual digital camera like a Sony a7 collection digital camera, you would possibly not have the ability to safely shoot at infinity. That’s no a laugh anyway. I’ve actually shot a few frames with this lens tailored to an a7 by way of a close-focus adapter. With the adapter utterly prolonged and the lens set to its minimal focusing distance, no longer most effective does it concentration very, very moderately however it actually produces some shockingly great out-of-focus portions. Who knew?
After 3 years with the Hologon, I will actually say that I’ve in no way loved taking photos a lens greater than this on any device. It pushes me to assume and notice in ways all through which no different lens does. It’s impractical, tricky to make use of and when used on movie produces a adverse that may be exhausting to paintings with… and none of that issues to me because of once I shoot with it I’m having an excessive amount of a laugh to fret about any drawbacks.
In regards to the writer: Andy Shields is a side road photographer based utterly within the Detroit area who shoots candid have compatibility protection within the taste of vintage side road pictures. You’ll be able to in finding additional of his paintings on his internet web site and Instagram. This text was once as soon as once additionally published right kind proper right here.