Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens Sample Pictures

Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens
Upper Dutchman Falls Upper Dutchman Falls

As far as I know, this falls remains un-named. So, I dug deep into my creativity and named it Upper Dutchman Falls, since it is located just above Dutchman Falls.
Upper Dutchman Falls is not nearly as high as the bigger falls just below it, but I find it to be at least as asthetically pleasing.
With an ultra-wide angle focal length, move in close to make the falls appear large relative to the more distant objects in the frame.

15mm  f/11.0  3.2s  ISO 100
Balanced Rock, Old Rag Mountain Balanced Rock, Old Rag Mountain

One of the rewards of a 2,500' climb to the top of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park is this huge balanced granite rock. Because this mountain is so high above/far away from the surroundings, and because the low-contrast distant details become lost in haze, the best mountaintop subjects were those close to me. And the sky. But the sky was clear (pretty but not so picturesque) on this day, so I primarily focused on the close objects – primarily rocks.

15mm  f/11.0  1/80s  ISO 100
Manhattan Skyline and Hamilton Park Manhattan Skyline and Hamilton Park

A 100 degree horizontal angle of view captures a large portion of the Manhattan skyline in a single frame. The buildings leaning outward at the top of the frame reveal the downward angle used to capture this ultra-wide angle image. The fence reveals the Hamilton Park shooting location.

15mm  f/16.0  30s  ISO 100
The Beautiful Oneida Falls The Beautiful Oneida Falls

I have seen a huge number of waterfalls. And while all are great to see, not all are what I consider to be photogenic.
Oneida Falls in Ricketts Glen State Park has ended up in my galleries more than most, reflecting my opinion of its beauty. With a low water level and a precarious setup, I was able to shoot from behind the falls this day. The result is one of the less-normal falls shots I have captured.
Aiding the unusual look of this image is the ultra-wide focal length lens used to capture it. What you don't see is the photographer that walked into my frame and setup for his own shooting. I 'shopped him out.
When shooting waterfalls, the sky is often not wanted in the frame. When shooting with angles of view this wide, it is hard to keep the sky out of the frame. By shooting at a downward angle, I was able to reduce the amount of over-bright sky remaining in the frame.

15mm  f/11.0  5s  ISO 100
Kitchen Destruction or Cookie Production Kitchen Destruction or Cookie Production

It all depends on your perspective. Mom thinks one way, the kids the other.
From a photographic perspective, this image shows an example of how an ultra-wide angle lens can be used around the house. You can shoot in tight spaces or move in close to emphasize a subject in the frame.
I don't often shoot at f/22 due to the softness brought on by diffraction, but did so in this case to keep as much of the frame in focus as possible.

15mm  f/22.0  5s  ISO 100
A Call from my Wife and the Dandelion Field A Call from my Wife and the Dandelion Field

I always appreciate photo subject and location scouting help and my family looks out for me in this regard. It was early-mid morning and I was sitting in my office when the phone rang. As you guessed from the title, it was my wife. "The neighbor's field is full of yellow dandelions in full bloom. The light is perfect."
My wife has a good eye for beauty (she married me, didn't she? OK, OK, just kidding). I knew that the field she was talking about was indeed full of these yellow flowers and I had already considered photographing them. The part of the report that I was most questioning was the perfect light part. It was well after the golden hour and the sky did not look hazy enough to remain warm and/or soft this late in the morning.
The big question was, "Did I want to carve out an hour+ of my day for this shoot?" Keeping the scouts happy always has merit, the blooms were not going to last for long and a circular polarizer filter can take care of the high sun issue, so I loaded a couple of lenses and a 5D III into a Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Backpack and drove a couple of miles to the field.
My goal was to create an attractive photo highlighting the massive quantity of yellow dandelions, so the lenses I took were of the wide angle variety. Upon walking up to the field, I realized that looking downward revealed a much lower flower density than I wanted to see and dirt showed between many of the green plants in this hay field. Looking at the field from a low vantage point (from near or far) showed the bed of bright yellow flowers perspective I was looking for.
The chicken barn was not going to be avoided being included in the frame with the wide angle lenses I had with me, so I embraced it. Much of the very long barn was featureless, but taking a position close to the feed bins allowed the bins to become a prominent feature of the barn.
With the sun still relatively low in the sky, the CPOL filter needed a specific angle into the scene to work its magic.
The final composition involved finding the best-available foreground flower clumps relatively close to the grain bins, getting down close to ground and shooting in the angle providing the best CPOL filter effect. While I often avoid getting much of a clear sky in the frame, I felt that the bright polarized blue gradient sky color was attractive and added balance to this overall composition.
Down low and up close to the foreground flowers meant that an f/16 depth of field was not quite enough to give me sharp details in the closest foreground subjects, so I shot a second frame with those subjects in better focus. The two frames were stacked in Photoshop layers and the not-sharp-enough foreground details were erased from the top layer to allow the sharper second layer to show through.
What I didn't remember from childhood is that the yellow readily comes off of dandelion flowers. Upon getting into the car, I realized that my pants were very yellow. They were still yellow after blowing them off with an air compressor and they were still somewhat yellow after their first washing. All photos have a cost, but some have unforeseen costs.
In the end, I was glad my wife called and the collection of images I captured on this morning were worth the costs.

15mm  f/16  1/30s  ISO 100
Closer Than It Appears Closer Than It Appears

Warning: At 15mm, objects in the viewfinder are closer than they appear! Brittany has trained the horses to do some great tricks including riderless horse jumping. To capture this, I stood just behind the jump standard and timed the shot as the two of them went by me. I would not have wanted to get much closer for safety reasons.

15mm  f/5.0  1/1250s  ISO 100
Old Rag Mountain Rocks Old Rag Mountain Rocks

Rocks are what you find in abundance at the top of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. Fortunately, rocks can make great subjects.
For this composition, I moved in very close to a crack in the rocks with green grass growing in it.

15mm  f/16.0  1/40s  ISO 100
Rose River Trail Falls and Swirling Leaves Rose River Trail Falls and Swirling Leaves

While the leaves are falling is a great time for waterfall photography. Watch for brightly colored leaves (consider adding your own) that are moving in circles, then formulate a composition that includes them.
I did not need to add leaves to this swirl, but I occasionally forced a break up of the pile to get a different look to the swirling. I experimented with shutter speeds and even tried digital neutral density filter processing that combined multiple shots, but this shot out of the camera was as good as any of the other results.
This un-named falls is found along the Rose River Trail in Shenandoah National Park.

15mm  f/16.0  1.6s  ISO 100
Highland Trail, Ricketts Glen State Park Highland Trail, Ricketts Glen State Park

Highland Trail connects the two falls trails in Ricketts Glen State Park. I've hiked it many times, but have seldom seen it in the daylight. I usually spend all of the daylight hours with the falls and navigate out of the park with a flashlight. However, this trail is very scenic and offers photo opportunities to daylight hikers. Granted, I needed a 15 second exposure for this image, but the light is still natural.
The 15mm focal length gives the viewer a sense of presence in the scene.

15mm  f/13.0  15s  ISO 100
Tree Trunk Leading Lines Tree Trunk Leading Lines

For an easy but often interesting photo, find some tall trees in a woods and shoot straight up with an ultra-wide angle lens (bonus points for shooting while lying on your back). The converging lines lead the viewer's eye into the photo.

15mm  f/8.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Cayuga Falls Sans Log Cayuga Falls Sans Log

Great locations warrant revisiting. Seasons change, weather changes even faster. Clouds are rarely the same. And sometimes the scene itself changes.
In this case, a log that has been in Cayuga falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, for what seems like forever is now gone. Apparently the extraordinarily harsh/cold/icy winter forced the log from its prominent long-time resting place. I had some pictures from this falls that included the log, and, while I thought they were nice, I like the sans-log pictures I now have even better. That I visited immediately after a very heavy rain gave me an additional benefit of a more than usual amount of water to work with along with some color in the water.
The 15mm full frame angle of view is able to give the viewer a nice sense of presence in the scene, but being this close means that water drops splashing onto the lens becomes an issue. I was holding a microfiber cloth over the lens as much as possible when the shutter was closed and was using that cloth to wipe water drops from the CPOL filter between shots. Water drops on the filter are very noticeable in narrow-aperture 15mm images.
This is an HDR image. I used a slightly darker exposure for the water, better retaining the highlight and detail in the water.

15mm  f/11.0  .5s  ISO 100
Rock Run Leaf Dam Rock Run Leaf Dam

Leaves pile up at the end of a pool in Rock Run. This small falls can be found by watching north while driving across a small stream on the moutain road that leads through the Rock Run area.

15mm  f/16.0  5s  ISO 100
Shenandoah Mountains Shenandoah Mountains

The view from all of the 75 scenic overlooks on Skyline Drive is great, but a short hike can deliver the better foregrounds necessary for taking your imagery to the next level. A circular polarizer filter made a big improvement in the saturation of the fall foliage color.

15mm  f/11.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Skyline Drive Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive is the famous road leading over the mountaintops of Shenandoah National Park. This image came from a series of close-to-the-road shots I took. I was using the 2-second self-timer and carefully timed my car-blurring .6 second exposure with an approaching vehicle.

15mm  f/16.0  .6s  ISO 100
Late Fall in Shenandoah National Park Late Fall in Shenandoah National Park

The timing for my trip to Shenandoah National Park was focused on white-tailed deer photography. I chose the last week that the Big Meadows Lodge was opened, the last week in October, for several reasons. One was that the leaves would mostly be down, making the deer easier to find. Another was that the undergrowth and grass would have good color (since these would be in the background of my deer photos). A positive aspect of the late October timing I did not count on was that the attractive lichen-covered oak tree trunks would have nice sunlight reaching them.
The unevenly shaded blue sky is due to the use of a circular polarizer filter on an ultra-wide angle lens. Whether this is a positive aspect of the photo or not is up for debate, but I can tell you that the rest of the image benefits significantly from this filter being used.

15mm  f/11.0  1/25s  ISO 100
Lines in the Sky Lines in the Sky

Sometimes, for me at least, clouds alone are enough for an image. In those situations, I'm usually looking for something dramatic or unique (and sunrises or sunsets most frequently qualify as such). While I wouldn't go as far to say that these clouds are dramatic, they are definitely unique.
The lines of clouds were so broad that they completely filled a 15mm full frame format DSLR angle of view. While I captured many images of these clouds, I settled on this one to share. What I like is the larger clouds diminishing to smaller ones (due to perspective) as they angle through the frame into the distance.
With unique clouds in the frame, it is unlikely for an image to be repeatable.

15mm  f/8.0  1/25s  ISO 100
Dry Run Falls Dry Run Falls

Dry Run Falls are located in sight of Dry Run Road near Hillsgrove, PA. If you can get across the stream (it was low on this day), there are some nice ledges to incorporate into your images.

15mm  f/11.0  5s  ISO 100
Maximum 15mm Blur Maximum 15mm Blur

Using a widest-available aperture at the minimum-available focus distance with a very distant background produces the maximum amount of blur a lens is capable of. With its wide angle of view, a 15mm lens does not enlarge the distant out-of-focus objects enough to make them undistinguishable. Composing with a wide angle lens can be challenging due to background distrations present in the frame.

15mm  f/2.8  1/800s  ISO 100
Watchman Falls Watchman Falls

The dynamic range in this Watchman Falls composition was extreme. A manual HDR composite technique was required to achive this result.

15mm  f/11.0  4s  ISO 100
Hidden Falls Hidden Falls

You will not find Hidden Falls listed on the Ricketts Glen State Park map, but with the large moss and fern-covered rock, it is worth the short off-trail hike to find. Unfortunately, what you now find in this compact setting is a huge fallen tree. The fallen tree significantly effects working space, but with a 15mm lens in the pack, I was still able to capture the entire scene.

15mm  f/11.0  5s  ISO 100
Big Meadows Grass and Oaks Big Meadows Grass and Oaks

The sky in this image shows strong gradation due to a circular polarizer filter being used on an ultra-wide angle lens. The benefit is that the lichen-covered oaks and yellow grasses become emphasized in the composition.

15mm  f/11.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Shawnee Falls Shawnee Falls

I can count on the beech trees above Shawnee Falls in Ricketts Glen to provide great color in mid-late October. With a low water flow, I had access to a side of the falls I typically do not shoot from.
What to do with the big log is always a challenge this location yields.
HDR capture and processing provided the evenly lit image.

15mm  f/11.0  1s  ISO 100
Happy Dog in Corn Field Happy Dog in Corn Field

With only a few exceptions, the dog is always happy. But being on a run is always a happy time. Unfortunately, the dog is camera shy and capturing a tight-framed portrait of her with an ultra-wide angle lens is very challenging.

15mm  f/2.8  1/320s  ISO 100
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