Daily Doggo: On the Hunt

I see this look a lot when we’re on walkies. She really loves to hunt the chipmunks that infest the national forest. Shot with the Sony A7Sii and the CZJ 135mm f/3.5 and exported straight out of camera.

The last few outings I carried the Sony A7Sii with a triplet of Carl Zeiss Jena (CZJ) lenses in m bag — the 35mm f/2.4 Flektogon, the 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar, and the 135mm f/3.5 Sonnar. These are all Zeiss designs copied by the East Germans after WWII.

The build quality of my samples is good, perhaps not up to West German Zeiss builds, but they all cost a fraction of the western glass. I find them very good optically and they produce lovely images with a quality much different than modern glass.

The Girl loves our walks in the national forest. If we do not get out early, I have to watch her carefully because she can overheat even at 7,000ft. The insolation heats her up even if the air temperature is about 80ºF. I always carry water and we take a break mid-hike so she can rest a couple of minutes and drink.

I see this look a lot. This particular fallen tree often harbors chipmunks and I think they tease her.

She is a happy dog. That makes me a happy man. I am grateful and life is good!

Daily Image: South End

I cannot count the number of times I have seen the south end of a northbound dog. Shot with the Sony A7Sii and the CZJ 135mm f/3.5 Sonnar at about f/4.

While hiking in the Sierra yesterday, The Girl was on the lookout for chipmunks. I do not know if Alvin called, but she gave a merry chase.

And what did I get? Well, once again I got the south end of a northbound dog. So, I made the capture.

This frame is basically straight out of camera. The only post processing done was to resize the image and export to JPEG.

It was a good hike. I had a good laugh at The Girl. Life is good.

Daily Image: CZJ 135mm f/3.5 Test

Test shot with CZJ 135mm f/3.5 Sonnar and the Sony A7Sii. SOOC shot wide open.

A new-to-me Carl Zeiss Jena (CZJ) 135mm f/3.5 Sonnar medium telephoto lens arrived a couple of days ago. It was listed as excellent condition and CLA’d1. It sat on the table for a couple of days, but I decided to mount it on the Sony A7Sii and shoot it this morning. I might take it along on walkies as well.

The focus is a bit stiff and grabby, although not grinding as if the helicoid grease was hardened. It might just be the sample. It might be the age. Or it might need a little better cleaning.

The lens looks good, no obvious flaws. There is the usual minor internal dust and a few cleaning marks on the front element. Neither of these are of concern, although if I open it up to clean and relubricate the helicoid I will clean up the dust (of course).

I have a fondness for the Sonnar design. Lenses based on this old Zeiss optical formula generally produce very nice images, with out of focus areas smooth and a slight softening of the image toward the edge.

This is one of the things I prefer from legacy glass — the images do not have that clinical sharpness common to modern glass (and the computer designs), but have a certain character. There is nothing wrong with the former for the proper application. But for my images, which I shoot for art and fun, I like the character and quirky quality that some legacy lenses provide.

I think this is a keeper.

1CLA = Clean, Lubricate, Adjust.