PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Carl Zeiss 2/28 Distagon T* Review

The 28mm Distagon ZF is the best kept secret of the ZF lens program. Overall it is a powerhouse of a lens, with particularly excellent treatment of color, but some issues at full aperture have kept it in the shadow of more consistent lenses in the series. This Distagon is an excellent choice for a normal lens on APS-C cameras and a demanding (but rewarding) high-speed wide-angle on full-frame cameras.


Carl Zeiss 2/35 Biogon T* Review

The 35mm Biogon ZM delivers beautiful drawing, excellent sharpness, no distortions, decent speed, and compact size at reasonable price. In comparison the Summicron ASPH is even more compact, particularly if one accounts for the hood, but costs far more and doesn’t deliver very much improvement in terms of optics. Here Zeiss makes a quiet statement: spherical designs are still competitive in a world gone aspherical.


Leica 75mm APO Summicron-M ASPH Review

The 75mm Summicron-M is one Leica’s flagship lenses, a best among bests for anyone keeping score.  Though the Noctilux and Summilux lenses generate more gushing excitement in the press, the reputation of Summicron lenses is that they generally deliver more even performance.  This Summicron’s performance is even indeed, and also essentially perfect when focused properly.


Early Samples

Samples for the 75mm APO Summicron-M ASPH.  It's an outstanding lens, though at times it can be difficult to focus and it's not as resilient to veiling flare as I would have wished.


Next Review : 75mm APO Summicron-M ASPH


More Reviews Coming Up

Next week you can expect my first Leica M lens review. I'll have some updates later in the week about that.

Soon thereafter will come another Zeiss ZM review. I'm almost finished writing it but I am keeping it on a shelf for now.


Filed under: Photography, Review 1 Comment

Nikon D700 Re-Review

The D700 strikes a balance of practicality and quality that is rare in any kind of product.  Although it’s no longer the latest model on the shelf, it delivers useful images under more adverse conditions than almost all other cameras on the market still today.  It remains a large and heavy camera however, and in my opinion that interferes with the journalistic style it is otherwise ideally suited for.


Carl Zeiss 1.5/50 C Sonnar T* ZM Review

The 50mm C Sonnar ZM is a very unique option for a normal lens. In a nutshell this lens looks and draws as if were a compressed version of the 85mm Planar ZF, in ZM mount. The Sonnar is unusually compact even for its focal length and speed class, but costs far less than Leica’s more modern aspherical lens of similar specifications. There are some well-known issues with this lens however, which should dampen the enthusiasm of many.


Carl Zeiss 2.8/25 Distagon T* Review

The 25mm Distagon ZF is a typical wide-angle lens on paper, conservatively specified and priced. In practice it is a versatile lens that could be recommended to many who wish to concentrate on their photography skills. For various reasons the appeal of this Distagon is centered on APS-C cameras where it offers a handy field of view, delivering much the same experience as the 2/35mm Distagon ZF does on full-frame cameras.


Carl Zeiss 1.4/85 Planar T* Review

High-speed 85mm lenses are not the most versatile of lenses but their association with portraiture runs deep in photographic traditions.  The 85mm Planar ZF will appeal to those who seek a look from a bygone era, which is another way to say that it is a bit of a throwback.  Nevertheless, the Planar can stand toe-to-toe with the best of modern lenses at smaller apertures.