Kunito Imai is fond of animals and plants. In and around Tokyo he regularly searches out a small area of nature that he can capture in pictures using ZEISS lenses. His motifs reflect the changing light of the seasons. Portraits of primates, still lifes of flower petals, alluring macro photos — for Imai it is the haiku, the Japanese short poetry form, that forms the common element.
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.
How Do We Walk? This is what movement scientists at the Locomotion Lab* in the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena are investigating. As well as analyzing movement patterns in humans and animals, they also construct robots. High-speed cameras with high-quality lenses are essential tools for this work.
As a travel photographer, Laura Saffioti often finds herself in exotic countries like India, searching for the stories of the street. Her shots of street life transport the viewer into the everyday life of cultures foreign to Europeans, placing the European value system in a new light. The performance of ZEISS lenses is vital to Saffioti’s work.
Saffioti’s favorite picture is the image that came 8th in the Carl Zeiss Photo Contest 2012 that had the theme “The moment that knows no limits.” It is also the picture that shows best how ZEISS lenses support Saffioti’s photography.
The picture of the man pulling a loaded cart was taken with the Makro-Planar T* 2/50 from a moving tuk-tuk in the city of Maduai, India. The exertion from pulling the cart through the street traffic is written on the man’s face and we can see quite clearly his pearls of sweat. Through the use of f/3.5 the man is detached from his background, while the bus in the background appears in a pleasant bokeh, helping to keep the viewer’s attention focused on the man. The motif was captured in movement, and the optical performance and fast handling of the Makro-Planar made the image possible.
When you read the biography of well-known American fashion photographer Sean Riva, one thing stands out: beauty and art have always played a significant role in his family. He is the great-grandson of Marlene Dietrich, who has always been a role model for him due to her vision of beauty, her artistic discipline and her demand for total perfection. And that, says Riva, is exactly the reason why he has never attached any other lens to his cameras than a ZEISS lens.
Now that you have learned the technical fundamentals and about macro lenses in the first installment of our Tips and Tricks in Macro Photography article we would like to show you some practical aspects in the second part. We will use some examples to explain how to take full-frame pictures of the smallest subjects.
Close-ups, photos with a short distance between the lens and the subject and a large image scale, are commonly referred to as macro images. We have put together some tips for you below so that you can capture really nice macro images.