raviews zeiss batis 18mm f/2.8

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 Photography

Photographer Maurizio tells us about what draws him again and again to Icelandic photography and how he takes his Iceland photos in extremes of cold temperatures, darkeness and humidity.

SHOOTING ICE AND ROCK: AN ICELAND PHOTOGRAPHY 

By Maurizio

Although I was born in the beautiful island of Sardinia, I love the Arctic temperatures, and for some years I have been dedicating a portion of the year to a trip to the great north. My first trip to Iceland was in 2015 and since then I cannot do without it. Sardinia, being an island in the Mediterranean, reaches very high temperatures and immediately after the summer I organize myself for trips to the far north to get my fix of the intense cold and more amazing Iceland photos.

For my last trip, I was testing out the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 lens.  I was extremely satisfied and amazed by the quality of this lens, both in night shots and in daytime shots. Being a fixed lens allowed me to get good iceland photos of great overall quality, and above all it allowed me to have much less gear in my backpack. During this Icelandic tour, I put a lot of pressure on the 18mm, using it in really demanding situations.

First Impressions of the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 lens – at night!

I start with this shot, made in Sardinia in the ancient theater of the submerged city of Nora. This photograph is a composite of several shots, six of the land and six of the sky. The complexity of the final image is due to the combination of several photographs, but fortunately the 18mm has allowed me to get a good starting file with clear detail in the shadows even though it was dark. None of the photos showed any aberrations thanks to the quality of ZEISS lenses which have zero distortion. Another factor that amazed me with this lens is its sharpness. Unparalleled in my opinion, and you reach maximum precision thanks to its OLED display that allows you to read accurately the focal distance between the focus point and infinity. In night photography this is normally very difficult to handle, because of the difficulty of focusing on dark subjects. Alternatively, you can focus on the stars, but you can’t always get a good result.

roman_theater_nora
© Maurizio Casula, Sony ILCE-7RM2, ZEISS Batis 2.8/18, @f/4, 1/90 sec., ISO 1000

Images in Iceland – the real test

gljúfrabúi_waterfull_iceland
© Maurizio Casula, Sony ILCE-7RM2, ZEISS Batis 2.8/18, @f/14, 1/2.5 sec., ISO 100

My Iceland photography trip with the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 started inside this hidden waterfall. The experience was really fantastic. The weather-proofing of the optics prevented the entry of water, while the intensity of the water droplets was truly remarkable. And what struck me most was the simplicity of cleaning the water drops off the lens. Ease of focusing was another happy surprise. It was very precise from the first touch, so allowing me to easily get the perfect ‘hyperfocal effect’.

Another stunning aspect of the ZEISS Batis 18mm f / 2.8 is its compact design, perfectly conceived for a camera body like my Sony α7R II. The Sony α7R II is equipped with a 42.4 Megapixel BIONZ X sensor, which is not compatible with all lenses. The reason is very simple, the number of pixels is so high that if the lens is not equal to this resolution, you lose detail. I tested the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 alongside other manufacturers’ lenses but none has reached the quality and detail of the ZEISS Batis.

Shooting the Northern Lights in Iceland

To make this panoramic shot of Kirkjufell, Iceland, I merged 4 shots to have a greater visual breadth, but I never imagined that I would get so much sharpness and clarity in the picture. In my opinion, the high quality is given by 2 factors: the quality of the lenses and the low dispersion of the light.

During the Northern Lights, you can often find yourself faced with really complicated situations, with frequent changes of light and problems with focusing. All this was just a distant memory, after setting the ISO and aligning my tripod, I made it very simple to focus by pressing the shutter button halfway. It did not seem possible as I could barely see the edges of the mountains, but thanks to the brightness of the optics I could manage the focus without any problem even in such an extreme situation. And the resulting Iceland image is one of my favourites.
kirkjufellfoss_2_aurora_night_iceland
© Maurizio Casula, Sony ILCE-7RM2, ZEISS Batis 2.8/18, @f/14, 1/10 sec., ISO 1250

Iceland photography in extremes of temperature and humidity

Another aspect that has amazed me is the thermal seal of the optics. In the past I would never have managed to shoot for more than 2 hours without incurring lens fogging. While I was taking these Iceland pictures, the wind chill temperature was -17 °C with a very high percentage of humidity. Everything around me was devoid of movement, and the air we breathed was as sharp as razor blades. Despite this I spent from 9pm to 3am, without respite, pausing from time to time inside the car to warm up a bit. However, even in Iceland’s extreme climate, the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 has proven to be effective and has handled the situation without any problem.
     //1
//2
//1 © Maurizio Casula, Sony ILCE-7RM2, ZEISS Batis 2.8/18, @f/2.8, 1/18 sec., ISO 3200 
//2 © Maurizio Casula, Sony ILCE-7RM2, ZEISS Batis 2.8/18, @f/2.8, 1/8 sec., ISO 2500 /

Ice on the beach, a classic Icelandic photo subject

I had the pleasure of testing the superior color rendering of the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 lens. To make these two shots I used a set of Nisi filters and a polarizer, and I found the balance of light and tones was perfect. Whenever I look at these Iceland photos I relive the sensations I had while shooting when I stood there with my feet in the icy water. It can also be seen how the lens has done justice to the block of ice, reflecting every detail.
jökulsárlón_iceberg_sunset_iceland
© Maurizio Casula, Sony ILCE-7RM2, ZEISS Batis 2.8/18, @f/8, 1/0.8 sec., ISO 160
jökulsárlón_sunrise_iceland
© Maurizio Casula, Sony ILCE-7RM2, ZEISS Batis 2.8/18, @f/8, 1/1 sec., ISO 800

In conclusion, I think the lens that every landscape photographer should have is a ZEISS Batis 18 mm f/2.8, because in any situation you will face you can rely on it to capture every little detail of what you lived.

Maurizio Casula Biography

Mi chiamo Maurizio Casula, vivo in Sardegna in un paese turistico di 7000 abitanti, sono nato a Cagliari il 14.09.1985, e nel 2003 mi sono specializzato in grafica pubblicitaria su pc. Ho sempre avuto la passione per l’informatica e la fotografia fin da piccolo, ma con l’avvento della fotografia digitale sono rimasto affascinato dalla possibilità di realizzare scatti e processarli subito. Utilizzavo la fotocamera dei miei genitori “una polaroid”,  ma con il passar degli anni acquistai varie fotocamere fino ad arrivare alle  reflex. Oggi non riesco a fare a meno della fotografia, dedico tutto il tempo ad essa, viaggiando e conoscendo sempre nuovi luoghi possibilmente lontani dalle grandi città.

 

My name is Maurizio Casula, I live in Sardinia, in a touristic town (Pula) with 7000 people. I’m born in Cagliari on 14th September 1985, and in 2002 I’d graduated in ad graphic on pc. I’ve always had the this passion about informatics and photography since I was a kid, but with the incoming of digital photography, I’ve been amazed about the chance to take pictures and post process them straight away. Since I was a kid I always used my parents camera, a polaroid. Years later I've bought various cameras before the DSRL. There’s no day I can live without photography giving all of myself to this passion spending time and money. In matter of facts in November I’ve realized my dream, being in Iceland, and like in a dream, I’ve been amazed by the Northern Lights. Now I want to dedicate my life to travel more around the world, taking pictures about different landscapes, without ever forget my homeland, Sardinia.

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Commenti: 8
  • #8

    Paolo Vernotti (mercoledì, 12 settembre 2018 15:52)

    Bellissime foto Maurizio!

    Ti scrivo perchè mi sorge una curiosità. Quando tu descrivi la procedura per eseguire una lunga esposizione, dici di misurare la corretta esposizione mediante ovviamente l'esposimetro. La domanda che ti pongo è: in che modalità e quale porzione di paesaggio prendi in considerazione per valutare la corretta esposizione? Matrix, media-ponderata, spot? Se questa fosse spot, dove "miri" per ottenere il valore corretto?

    Grazie per la risposta e buona luce!

  • #7

    Francesco (venerdì, 30 marzo 2018)

    Compliementi Maurizio!
    Ho sempre ammmirato i tuoi scatti sul tuo profilo facebook, poi su 500px ed ora su questo sito ottimamente costruito e organizzato.
    Hai raggiunto un ottimo livello ormai che dire! Ti auguro un futuro luminoso per stare in tema ;)
    Buona luce e tanti traguardi per il tuo futuro.
    Grande !

  • #6

    Luigi Cabras (sabato, 17 marzo 2018 15:32)

    Io non sono un fotografo, ma amo l'arte e ti ritengo un grande artista. Seguo sempre le tue foto su facebook e con questi scatti dell'Islanda ti sei davvero superato. Hai la capacità di far sognare le persone che non sono state li... Sono piene di magia! Grazie Maurizio!

  • #5

    Luciana (venerdì, 02 febbraio 2018 22:28)

    Non mi intendo di foto ma da quando ho visto la tua arte mi ha incantato. Sono bellissime quando li guardo mi trasportino, mi fanno vivere l attimo complimenti don sicura che farà tanta tanta strada te lo auguro con tutto il cuore un bacio

  • #4

    Maddalena Sebellin (giovedì, 01 febbraio 2018)

    Ciao Maurizio,
    Sono sempre io, la tua allieva più anziana :D
    Quello che mi incanta soprattutto delle tue foto è l'equilibrio nella color e la nitidezza assoluta oltre naturalmente all'amore che riesci a trasmettere per la tua bellissima terra!
    Spero tanto di tornare presto per fotografare con te e gli amici sardi perché è stata un'esperienza validissima sia umanamente che tecnicamente.
    Un abbraccio
    Maddalena

  • #3

    Maddalena Sebellin (martedì, 29 agosto 2017 19:07)

    Molto di buon gusto il tuo sito Maurizio! Complimenti :)

  • #2

    Andrea Soliani (martedì, 30 maggio 2017 19:47)

    Dopo tanto tempo che seguo la tua pagina Facebook per poter ammirare i tuoi scatti, mi accingo con piacere al tuo sito, bello bello. Appena pubblichi la recensione sui filtri Nisi (già possedevo ND1000 e Polarized) vado a leggere incuriosito per leggere la tua opinione (la mia era molto positiva, ma avere una recensione di qualcuno veramente autorevole come te serve :) ) e scopro una recensione non solo positiva e mielensa come spesso si trova in giro per il web, ma onesta e molto ben fatta, approfondita, professionale.
    Complimenti!
    Aver poi avuto la possibilità di scambiare 4 chiacchere (e siccome ho la lingua sciolta son diventate 8, 12, 20...) è stata la chicca.
    Ho avuto la conferma (dopo qualche saltuario contatto su FB) della bella persona che sei: disponibile, gentile e simpatico.
    Spero capiterà di incrociarsi dal vivo.
    KEEP GOING!!!

  • #1

    inma cardenas (martedì, 21 febbraio 2017 14:48)

    Augurissimi !


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