A walk at the zoo a month ago was a chance for me to make some images of animals. It’s a subject I rarely take photos at, so it was a new experience for me.
I started shooting with the Plaubel Makina 67 but it was loaded with black and white film and I soon felt like it was not the right choice. So I basically only took one specific shot of a bear and put it in my bag.
For the rest of my visit I used a focal length which is out of my normal shooting style. I fitted on the Sony NEX the 1960’s Leica Elmar 135mm f4 (which translates to 200m equivalent in 35mm format). The subjects were not close so this telephoto proved to be a good choice and it also allowed me to make some tight frame images (even portraits in some occasions).
The picture above me really stunned me when I first saw it on my monitor screen. Superb color and clarity together will smooth bokeh. We are talking about a 50 years old lens here which can be purchased for about 200€ used today. The way it matched perfectly with a modern sensor really impressed me. But after all it’s a Leica lens, I really believe that nothing can match the image quality a Leica lens can provide, and at this price range it’s a no brainer !!!
After that image, the Elmar stayed glued on my NEX for the rest of my walk. The 135mm focal length is very difficult to focus on a Leica M, but on the NEX with its great focus peaking system it was a joy to work with. It allows fast focusing and framing since you don’t have to deal with magnification focus and although it looks quite awkward on the small NEX body (it’s a thin but very long lens) its a fantastic combo.
All images below were taken with the Sony NEX 5 fitted with Leica Elmar 135mm f4 lens.
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