Zeiss 100mm f/2 Macro Lens

Gaillardia, Papaver, and Iris

Gaillardia, Papaver, and Iris, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: I bought a Zeiss Macro 100mm f/2 ZF Makro-Planar T* Manual Focus Lens to use with my Nikon D300 and experimented with some flowers. This is a remarkable lens with its precise focus, brilliant color rendering, and delicious bokeh.

Not, however, for the faint of heart. It’s heavy, expensive, and completely manual. Even thinking of auto-focusing this grand piece of glass would be sacrilege. The lens is made by Zeiss in Japan, but the documentation explains that the optical technology was developed for the movie industry.

To get exposure settings to work on the D300 in Aperture-preferred or Manual mode (forget about fully Programmed automatic), you need to create a non-CPU lens listing with the focal length and aperture of the lens. You can enter this info using the Non-CPU Lens Data item on the Tools menu of the camera. If you have multiple non-CPU lenses that you use, you can program the Function button (not normally used for much else) to allow you to use the Command Dial to switch between your non-CPU lenses. In other words, if you don’t tell the camera about the lens, it doesn’t know anything about it (unlike the lenses from Nikon and other 3rd party vendors that speak directly to the camera-that-is-a-computer).

Unbearable Lightness of Iris

View this image larger.

Do Flowers Dream?

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[Each image: Nikon D300, Zeiss Macro 100mm f/2 ZF Makro-Planar T* Manual Focus Lens, four combined exposures from 1/2 of a second to 2 seconds at f/22 and ISO 100, tripod mounted. Bottom image is inverted to create the black background and post-processed in Photoshop.]

This entry was posted in Bemusements, Flowers, Photography.

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