Sony DSC-RX1 Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Sonnar vs. Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Biogon ZM comparison review

The Sony DSC-RX1 ultra-premium compact full frame camera with Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Sonnar lens has received a lot of praise for its technical achievements. Not only is it the smallest camera in its class (it’s perhaps in a class of its own at the moment), but it also attains very high levels of image quality, comparable to what one can produce from full frame interchangeable lens systems.

The Sonnar lens is the purpose of this review. More specifically, an examination of how well it and the RX1 hold up against currently available Carl Zeiss 35mm ZM-series lenses on the Leica M9 full frame 18MP camera.

Why the ZM lenses and not the ZE/ZF lenses? For a couple reasons:

1) It has been stated by some that for the price of the RX1 and a few accessories, one comes into used M9 territory. This is more so the case now that Leica has released the ‘M’ and used M9 prices have dropped below $4,000. For ‘only’ another $1,000 or so, one can add a quality ZM lens to the M9 and benefit from an interchangeable lens system not much larger in size with more flexibility than the RX1. Both options are much smaller than currently available full frame DSLRs with Zeiss ZE/ZF lenses.

2) I happen to use the M9 and am curious about how well the RX1 compares, and have access to both ZM 35mm lenses. If time and opportunities permit, I may revisit this comparison with some additional Leica M-series lenses.

Click on the image at top or here to continue to the review.

Fast M-series 21mm lens shootout on Leica M9, NEX-7 and Ricoh GXR

Can the $1249 US Voigtlander Ultron Aspherical 21mm f/1.8 compare favorably to the $7000 US Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH.?

I’ve added an extensive write-up to the TechTalk section of this site comparing the following lenses:

Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH.
Voigtländer Ultron Aspherical 21mm f/1.8
Zeiss Biogon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZM
Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH.

Click on the image above or on this link to proceed to the full review.

Sony NEX-5N with Zeiss, Voigtlander, Leica and Sony lenses

Just added several posts to the TechTalk section comparing various rangefinder lenses on the new Sony NEX-5N camera:

Sony NEX-5N with select ultra-wide rangefinder lenses – high-rez samples


There has been a lot of discussion about how well the new NEX cameras will work with wide and ultra-wide angle rangefinder lenses. Apparently the NEX-3 and 5 did not work well with many, resulting in color shifts and smearing in to the edges and corners.

Continue to see comparison photos of the Voigtlander Ultra Heliar 12mm f/5.6, Voigtlander Super Heliar 15mm f/4.5 and Zeiss ZM 21mm f/2.8 Biogon.

Click on photo above or here to continue to the article.


Sony NEX-5N with Voigtlander and Zeiss rangefinder lenses – part 2 – a couple 35mm options

To continue with the test of rangefinder lenses on the Sony NEX-5N, next up are two 35mm lenses, simply because these are two that I use on the Leica M9:

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/2.8 C-Biogon
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 Aspherical VM II

Click on photo above or here to continue to the article.


Sony NEX-5N with rangefinder lenses – part 3 – 50mm – Zeiss vs. Sony

The next installment of my NEX-5N test compares the Zeiss ZM 50 Planar against the Sony SEL 50mm f/1.8 lens for the NEX system.

Click on photo above or here to continue to the article.


Part four, to be posted, will examine samples from the Voigtlander Heliar Classic 75mm f/1.8 and the Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5.

Buy Zeiss lenses in Canada at USA equivalent prices with free shipping and a free B+W filter

My good friend Rob Skeoch over at is an official Canadian Zeiss dealer and has created a special offer exclusively for readers of this blog. Rob will include a free B+W UV filter with the purchase of any Zeiss ZM/ZE/ZF series lens. That’s a value of at least $50 for the average ZM lens.

Rob includes free shipping within Canada for all Zeiss orders and most Zeiss products are price matched to major US online retailers such as B&H. Here’s one instance where a Canadian photographic dealer is looking out for Canadian customers and actually undercutting USA prices when factoring in cross-border shipping costs and the value of the free filter.

Rob is a great guy and very knowledgeable, so don’t hesitate to contact him through his website, by email at or calling 905-335-6031.

When contacting Rob, tell him you read about the exclusive free filter offer here at in order to receive the free filter.

Incoming storm – Ivor Wynne Stadium

A storm approaches over the pressbox of Ivor Wynne Stadium

One of my first shots with the very impressive Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L tilt-shift lens on July 31, 2009 as a storm rolled through the area before the Tiger-Cats game against the BC Lions. Game photos here, here and here.

I usually arrive for Ticats games a couple hours early and lately have been wandering around the stadium looking for creative angles. The south side pictured here with the pressbox is the older half of the stadium, or so it looks, and seems to have a bit more character.

For more photos of the stadium visit my Tiger-Cats/CFL photo archive.

My mini-review of the TS-E 17mm f/4L.