David Bumann reveals mountains in the darkness of night and in the bright glow of pyrotechnics and light effects. His images, taken with long exposure times and often a great deal of effort, are both unusual and impressive. And he captures them with ZEISS lenses.
Look at David Bumann‘s pictures and you think of photo montage: Brightly lit snow fields — in the middle of the night? Illuminated railroad bridges — in remote valleys? But that impression deceives. The the snow fields and bridges really are lit up.
A clear night sky has always appealed to Loscar Numael. No smog and no light pollution — conditions you will only find outside in nature. When Numael points his ZEISS lenses at the sky — toward the Milky Way above California, for example, or the Northern Lights — he loses himself in another world. With fascinating photographic results.
Around four years ago, Loscar Numael was gripped: during a trip to Oregon (USA) he experimented for the first time with taking landscape images at night. He liked the results so much that night photography has been a fixed element in his photographic adventures ever since. During these trips he always takes five ZEISS lenses with him. He entered the “world of ZEISS” around five years go. He used his first ZEISS optic — a head loupe needed for his studies. From there it was just a small step to the Distagon T* 2,8/21, whose precision thrilled him so much that he gradually came to augment his photo gear exclusively with ZEISS lenses: the Distagon T* 2/35, the Makro-Planar T* 2/50, the Makro-Planar T* 2/100 and finally the Distagon T* 2,8/15.
The ZEISS Art Calendar is published once a year and contains pictures of well-known figures taken by a celebrated photographer. For the 2014 calendar, Mary McCartney created classic black-and-white images set in New York City with Alec Baldwin and Gemma Arterton, using analog film.
A man, a woman. A couple in front of the camera in a popular place. It sounds like a simple concept, but it requires talent. This concept has delighted the friends and customers of ZEISS who have received the ZEISS Art Calendar in previous years. For the fifth time in a row, the premium lens manufacturer followed this approach again. For the 2014 calendar, entitled “Moments in the City“, ZEISS engaged Mary McCartney, who is known for her expressive and very personal portrait photography. “When I was approached, I already knew that ZEISS brought out a calendar each year. I really liked the idea, because as a photographer ZEISS has an absolutely excellent reputation,” says McCartney about her motivation to help style the calendar.
Bright light that shines directly through from the front or side is an unavoidable situation that every photographer faces from time to time, whether it is at sunset, dusk or night, or a strong spotlight used for indoor shots. Under such extreme conditions, ghosting of the light source often appears, which becomes visible mirror-imaged to the optical axis (i.e. to the center of the image). It doesn’t look good and disturbs the overall image composition.
So when designing the Distagon T* 2,8/15, a great deal of attention was paid to preventing such light reflections as much as possible. With success, as Bertram Hönlinger from the ZEISS Customer Care Center explains: “Especially when it comes to digital cameras, as a lens manufacturer we are often faced with the problem that back reflections are emitted into the lens from the filter package in front of the image sensor, usually consisting of various low-pass filters and IR cut filters directly in front of the surface of the sensor. Depending on the radius of curvature of the individual lens surfaces, ghost images of the light source can reappear in the image field. In the design we solved this problem as follows: through a smart choice of the radii of curvature of individual lenses, these back reflections can, in most cases, be moved to the outside of the image field. During the development and prototype stage, simulations and tests revealed how the Distagon T* 2,8/15 responded to that effect and whether changes in the optical design were needed. That is the most important point for us. Other manufacturers do not place as much value on that.”
Looking deep into the starry sky with almost no optical weaknesses – the ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 at night
Night pictures are challenging for any lens. The enormous contrast between dark areas and small bright dots of light can lead to optical imperfections such as spherical and chromatic aberrations, astigmatism and coma. In particular super wide-angle lenses have to overcome this test, something that the Distagon T* 2,8/15 does remarkably well.
Color fringing is almost completely corrected by this lens’s technically sophisticated correction of color aberrations. Tiny spots of light on the image field show almost no trace of spherical aberrations, coma or astigmatism — something that independent tester Lloyd Chambers can confirm. “A hallmark of the Distagon T* 2,8/15 is its outstanding contrast, superb color saturation and near-freedom from chromatic errors.” This high performance is achieved through a sophisticated optical construction, using two aspheric lens elements and special glasses with anomalous partial dispersion that correct chromatic aberrations.
The rapid development of image sensors for SLR cameras puts ever greater demands on the image performance of lenses. The resolution and contrast rendition of the optics have to keep pace with the higher megapixel values of the sensors to be able to take full advantage of their potential. This makes the ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 a solid investment for the future: its outstanding resolution power leaves plenty of room for future developments in the field of imaging sensors.
Unusual perspectives and dramatic staging: the ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 in street and travel photography
Architectural photography is the traditional domain of a wide-angle lens, and a powerful one at that, given the distortion-free results you can achieve with the Distagon T* 2,8/15. But the new ZEISS super-wide angle is not only suitable for these types of images. With a field of view of 110°, it is also the ideal companion for staging events and emotionally-charged scenes in a lively and unique way.
With the Distagon T* 2,8/15, details can be focused at very close range. This leads to huge size differences between objects in the foreground and background, creating additional three-dimensionality. Depending on the pre-selected aperture value, an impressive sharpness over the entire frame from close-up to infinity or a selective sharpness of the focused subject can be achieved. The closest focusing distance is 0.25m, which enables the photographer to operate with a wide-angle perspective in even the tightest spaces. Details in the foreground can be purposely accentuated, making the lens perfect for creating energetic and striking images in both journalism and photo reportage, and allowing photographers to stress either the foreground or background in a creative way.
The ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 as a “classic“ wide-angle lens for architectural and landscape photography, with minimal distortion
Architectural and landscape photography are classic fields for using wide-angle lenses because they offer the necessary overview as well as lots of scope for composing and working with perspective. With its extra-large field of view of 110° and a speed of 1:2,8, the ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 is a very powerful super wide-angle lens that reduces to a minimum a problem that often appears with such lenses: It avoids image defects — such as distortion — and thus ensures perfect rendition of lines and edges, particularly for architectural images. It is a feature that has been stressed by several independent testers, including Helge Hackbarth (“The ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 produces the least distortions and needs only very little distortion correction.”) and Lloyd Chambers (“A 15 mm is an extreme wide-angle lens, but with the ultra-low distortion of the ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 it becomes a practical tool for tight spaces.”).
“My mind thinks and dreams in light,” says JanLeonardo Woellert about his art. The light photographer and pyrotechnician is out and about almost every night. Whether out in the wilds or in unusual buildings, he tirelessly seeks out spectacular subjects and transforms them by using a range of LED light sources and existing light. His choreographed movement patterns create new, mysterious worlds.