Zeiss Touit 32mm f1.8 Like a Leica? 2500 ISO!

June 20, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Zeiss Touit 32mm f1.8 “Super Prime”

I was so excited when Tom Tingle dropped of a few of the brand spankin’ new Zeiss X Mount lenses from their Touit series.  I have evolved into a “zoom lens shooter” and not too proud to admit it.  Primes were the way I made my living for many, many years.  They were work horses and never missed a beat.  The glass of today is every bit as good in zooms, possible better than some primes.  This prime is a thing of beauty to look at and to shoot.  It focuses quickly and accurately, what more do you need?

Disclaimer:  These images are out of the camera utilizing the Fuji B&W conversion.  The first image is as shot and has beautiful contrast, some of the other images could benefit from some contrast addition or even post processing in some other software, but for illustrating the lenses performance, I did none of that.

I walked just a few blocks away from our parking spot and stopped by the Ryman Auditorium, affectionately known as “The Mother Church of Country Music.”  The Tennessee Historical Commission has a plaque commemorating the birth of bluegrass at this spot in 1945.  I’ve seen the plaque before, and it was OK, basically it was just a plaque.  But last night, I was looking for visual designs and elements that would test this lens out.  I looked left, right, up and down…that was the right perspective!  By moving a little to the right and looking up, the “Batman Building” was placed beautifully in a sea of black sky.  After a few adjustments to my Fuji X Pro 1 I was totally and completely blown away!  Here is what I saw, and you won’t believe my exposure information.

The Mother Church of Country Music – Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee

The above image is a JPEG right from my camera with ZERO post processing!  This is huge.  Look at all that is happening here with contrast, sharpness and total lack of noise.  You may wonder why all the excitement, right?  This is hand held and 2500 ISO, 1/105 wide open at f1.8 and -2/3 EV compensation.  This is a fantastic lens on an incredible body.  I am so happy with the black and white I get from this camera, I prefer it over most methods.  If I do need to make a file B&W after the fact, I use NIk Silver FX, but with results like this, that is a wasted step.

So we walked down the street and just looked for subjects or things that were visually interesting.  One of the best street shooters in the known world is Zack Arias, man that guy can just kill it.  I have never ever tried my hand at this, but what the heck.  I took off  with two of my friends from Fuji, our rep Cy Franks and X Product Specialist, Mike Amico.  They were in town working at our store, so I invited them to go for a night photo walk.  I also opened this up on short notice to some of my photo friends here in town.  Kim and Keith agreed to meet us downtown, they just happen to shoot Fuji too.  Kim has some incredible images from the X100S and Keith from his X Pro 1.

We saw these kids hanging out from a window on Broadway.  They were too cute to pass up and loved posing for the camera.

Kids on Broadway

I love the way this shallow depth of field directs your eye.  2500 ISO, f2.2, monochrome setting with in camera processing. 

We walked down the street and just like always, there were a few motorcycles parked.  There was a great looking Victory and Cy was admiring it, I caught his eye in the mirror.

This one worked especially well in color

It wouldn’t be Nashville without live music on the street.  This band was talented and a lot of fun to watch, their instruments, especially the drummer were…interesting.  See how many home items you can identify on this kit.

Love the exhaled smoke and the bar “WannaB’s behind him

Here is a fun parting shot.  I think this could be called “horse-power” for pretty obvious reasons. 

I am happier than I’ve ever been with my switch to the Fuji camera system!  I walked around all night in nearly 90 degree temps and never broke a sweat or complained about all the extra weight I was carrying.  Shooting with the Zeiss 32mm lens was like a trip back in time for me.  When I started taking pictures all I owned was a 35mm camera with a 50mm lens, this is nearly the same angle of view.  I didn’t know what other lenses would do for me and could only dream that one day I might own more than one.  This lens is super sharp with beautiful contrast.  The camera focuses faster (especially after the recent Fuji firmware update) with this lens.  A fixed prime is not my preferred way to shoot when I’m doing a job.  But, street shooting it forces me to move to different angles and explore more of what may be there if I stretch myself.  This lens will be in the $900.00 range, approximately $300.00 more than the Fuji lens and a little faster.  This lens has much different characteristics than the Fuji prime and for some shooters it will be worth the slight additional investment.  As for me, I can possibly see one of these in my future!


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