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Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M: Streamside Macro

See my Zeiss DSLR lenses wish list at B&H Photo.

Macro photography has long irritated me for being tedious and typical (my own conceptual fault). So on this trip I opted for trying more unconventional shooting: high ISO in full glaring mountain sun, and all handheld.

A few examples are shown below, processed while sitting in my car while munching on blueberries outside Vons in Mammoth (a resupply mission)—not ideal for assessing of course. What I found very interesting is in seeing what I did not see—details and styles of rendition that I would walk right past for 30 years and never see (speaking of myself). I also am pleased in capturing some sense of both the beauty and the raw elements of the high Sierra.

The Nikon D810 sensor quality is sensational. It reminds me just how disappointing the Sony A7R II can be when the files have to be pushed a couple of stops and from ISO at 400/800/1600 to boot. The D810 images feel artful; the Sony images feel digital. How unscientific! But that’s what my eyes tell me.

No filters used.

Out of focus lens bokeh is very pleasing on the Milvus 100/2M in spite of some secondary color.

 
Violet Flower and Lens Bokeh @ ~ 1:10
f2.8 @ 1/2000 sec, ISO 64; 2016-08-25 16:17:34
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]

A high-key take on lighting conditions normally very difficult to work with: flowers in strong sun on white gneiss.

 
Backlit Flowers against Blindingly Bright Gneiss Boulder @ ~ 1:5
f4 @ 1/2000 sec, ISO 100; 2016-08-27 16:53:23
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]

This one was devilishly hard: the bubbles move very fast, focus perched on slippery rocks is a major challenge, and depth of field is nil. 100 frames or so yielded this one acceptable result, but every bubble pattern is different 1/10 of a second later; these things gyrate around.

 
Bubbles @ ~ 1:2.5
f5.6 @ 1/1600 sec, ISO 400; 2016-08-25 17:01:44
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]

The scene, including sunstars and ripples, changes many times a a second due to water movement.

 
Streamside Greenery @ ~ 1:10
f13 @ 1/50 sec, ISO 400; 2016-08-25 16:52:01
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]

The naked eye cannot see this standing-waver pattern. Not until I had shot this image did I realize just how much subtlety the rippled water entails.

 
Water Patterns, Small Scale @ ~ 1:5
f16 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 1600; 2016-08-25 17:14:49
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]
 
Scrub Blueberry in Gneiss Boulders with Insect @ ~ 1:3
f11 @ 1/160 sec, ISO 64; 2016-08-27 16:04:34
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]
 
Healthy Year’s Growth of Small Pine, Scrub Blueberry Bushes, Gneiss Boulder @ ~ 1:5
f7.1 @ 1/1250 sec, ISO 400; 2016-08-27 17:18:36
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]
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