diglloyd publication
Imagery: Auto - Large Table of Contents
Carl Zeiss ZF.2 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar T*
Carl Zeiss ZF.2 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar T*

Making Close-Range Portraits

Examples and discussion of the challenges of close-range portraiture with the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar.


I was concerned that focus accuracy would be an issue, but right off the bat I was delighted with the 135/2 APO-Sonnar— while the 100/2 Makro-Planar has given me fits focusing manually on my Nikon bodies (and I am not alone in that regard), I found that the APO Sonnar presented no difficulty at all, leaving only the inherent challenges of shooting a slightly moving person handheld at close range (photographer and subject movement together where only a few millimeters of movement with either cause blur).

The 135/2 APO offers stunning contrast wide open, and this is plain to see when focusing both by eye and with Live View. Totally absent from the 135/2 APO is the veiling purplish ƒ/2 haze of the 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar, which for the 100/2 introduces an ambiguity in accuracy no matter how focus is done (by eye or with Live View). With the 135/2 APO-Sonnar, the image is crystal clear wide open at ƒ/2.

Article continues for subscribers...

If you’re already a subscriber, CLICK HERE TO LOG IN

Guide to Zeiss ZF.2/ZE Lenses

diglloyd.com’s Guide to Zeiss includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution, Retina-grade examples for all ZF.2 and ZE lenses and in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare. Since 2007, Guide to Zeiss is the authoritative review and practical reference for Zeiss lenses for Nikon- and Canon-mount cameras. Subscriptions cost $ per year.

  1. Explore the table of contents
  2. Check out Lloyd Chambers’ Blog
  3. Subscribe today!
diglloyd image
1/160 handheld @ ƒ/4, ISO 800
Nikon D800E + 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar

diglloyd Home Page | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | Contact
Copyright © 2008-2015 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.