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Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon: its Point Spread Function, and Why a Classic Balanced Optical Performance Might be Just Right

Get Zeiss Loxia at B&H Photo, and see my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

I returned to an old classic (meaning 3-4 years now!) on my recent outing with my daughter to Rock Creek in the Eastern Sierra.

Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon

This Sparkling Sun on Lake series evaluates sharpness, field curvature, longitudinal chromatic aberration, sunstar behavior and subsuming much of that, the point spread function. It is an excellent demonstration of the totality of a number of optical aberrations, but what dominates is what is often loosely termed sagittal coma flare, which is a misnomer, for it is not really flare caused by internal reflections, but a deviation of the point spread function from a point to a shape like bird’s wings.

Aperture Series: Sparkling Sun on Lake (Evaluating Point Spread Function)

In the above series, the point spread function was demonstrated including how it results in moderate contrast and micro contrast. That moderate contrast combined with the ultra-low distortion of the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon combine to offer a pleasing visual effect that has a natural feel that may be well suited to photographic intents where the “feel” of an image is more important than absolute performance.

Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon Examples: Portraits, Especially at f/2

It is a pleasure to use the Loxia lenses while hiking; the Sony A7R III with a Zeiss Loxia lens is about the same weigh as a Micro Four Thirds camera, or less and is the closest one can get to the compact of a Leica M camera, but with more resolution and versatility.

Sparkling Sun, Rock Creek Lake
f2 @ 1/5000 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2018-09-15 16:40:33
[location “Rock Creek”, altitude 10500 ft / 3200 m, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon

[low-res image for bot]
Tired but content hiker
f2 @ 1/160 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2018-09-15 17:25:47
[location “Rock Creek”, altitude 10500 ft / 3200 m, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + ZEISS Loxia 2/35

[low-res image for bot]
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