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Shooting Zeiss ZF.2 Lenses on the Sony A7R II

Get Sony A7R II mirrorless and Zeiss ZF.2 lens at B&H Photo.

I’ve been shooting various Zeiss ZF.2 DSLR lenses on the Sony A7R II, using the Novoflex adapter. While larger lenses (e.g. Otus) work fine too with the ASTAT tripod collar, it’s not nearly so nice handling the 'rig' as with a smaller and lighter lens.

Most of the Zeiss wide angles (f/2 and f/2.8) meet the size metric for reasonable balance and feel. As does the Zeiss ZF.2 50mm Makro-Planar. It is my intention to present various aperture series with several ZF.2 lenses (hence the varying focal lengths seen in some recent images)*.

So I've been shooting the ZF.2 21/2.8, 25/2.8, 28/2, 35/2, 50/2, 50/1.4, Milvus, etc.

The examples below with the Zeiss ZF.2 50mm Makro-Planar show off its pleasing bokeh. Being a symmetric Planar design with spherical elements (no aspherics), it is not as highly corrected as the Sony/Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar, and this offers quite a different look from the Sonnar. And so it may be preferred by some users (every lens has its own rendering style). But of course there is a lot to be said for native mount and autofocus. Still, if one has DSLR lenses (particularly Nikon F-mount), they are all but universal in usefulness.

* A terribly annoying missing feature in the A7R II is no ability to plug in the focal length and aperture for a non-native lens. For me, this is a big headache, so I have to be careful to folderize and label accordingly, based on that day’s recollection of which lens.

I have to remember which lens (a short video helps me each time I change a lens, I wish the A7R II had an audio clip feature instead). Then when processing, I have to manually set lens info when adapted to Sony, since there is no EXIF info. I use a script to set the info, and sometimes things get mislabeled. These images below are all properly labeled however (50/2 Makro Planar).

Aspen Trunk and Incipient Color
f2 @ 1/100 sec, ISO 100; 2015-10-03 17:22:05
Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF.2 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

[low-res image for bot]
Fir Trees
f2 @ 1/50 sec, ISO 100; 2015-10-03 17:00:42
Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF.2 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

[low-res image for bot]
Aspen in Shaded Canyon
f2 @ 1/60 sec, ISO 100; 2015-10-03 17:47:15
Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF.2 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

[low-res image for bot]
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