Night Photography With The Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8

Night Photography With The Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8

I’ve had my eye on this lens for about a year, maybe more.  I went to B&H a few times to try it out and I loved it more each time that I went to the store.  I kept putting it off because I couldn’t justify such an expensive purchase, but I had been saving for a while so I decided to buy it last week.  I mainly wanted the lens for street photography.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  An 85mm for street?  Let me explain.  When I was shooting with my Canon 5D Mark III, I had an 85mm lens and I loved the results.  I also do not like interacting with people when I’m taking street photos.  People tend to react differently or pose when they are aware of a camera and I liked how I was able to maintain a certain distance from whatever it was I was photographing.  

85mm lens, a7Rii, Aperture for Mac, Chinatown, color, f/1.8, flowers, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, night photography, NYC, ponytail, red, Sony, street photography

The day that I got it, it was raining outside so I didn’t want to go out and take pictures in the rain.  Instead, I stayed indoors and took pictures of my mother and I really liked how the pictures came out.  Since I work during the week and I didn’t want to wait until the weekend to take pictures, I decided to take the lens out for a spin the next night.  I mainly stayed in the Chinatown area because I wanted the contrast of neon lights against the darkness of night.  This picture was taken outside a store, so there was more light than in the other pictures I took that day, but I liked it anyway.  Her face is a little blurry because I was still getting used to this focal length, and also because I had to hurry to take the picture before people passed between us and the woman noticed me.

85mm lens, a7Rii, Aperture for Mac, bakery, brighten shadows, Chinatown, color, f/1.8, Lower East Side, Manhattan, neon sign, New York City, night photography, NYC, Sony, street photography, under exposed

I under exposed this picture to -2.0 so that the neon of the signs wouldn’t get blown out and so that you could even see inside the bakery.  I edit all my photos using Aperture for Mac and used the brighten shadows feature to get it to look the way I wanted.  I don’t like Photoshop and only use it when I have to.  I use Capture One at work and I don’t care for that either.  I’m used to Aperture and will ride that one until the wheels fall off.

85mm lens, a7Rii, Aperture for Mac, black and white, chilly, Chinatown, cold, f/1.8, huddled, keeping warm, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, night photography, NYC, Sony, street photography, under exposed, winter

 

 

It was fairly chilly outside, but since the wind wasn’t blowing, it wasn’t too bad.  My fingers were kind of numb and stiff after my little trip, but not anything super uncomfortable.  These people were obviously not enjoying the chill in the air either.

 

 

85mm lens, a7Rii, Aperture for Mac, color, f/1.8, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, night photography, NYC, Sony, steam, street photography

 

 

There really is no reason for this picture but those big steam pipes always seem so New York City (or at least big city in general) to me.

 

 

85mm lens, a7Rii, Aperture for Mac, brighten shadows, Chinatown, color, crossing signal, f/1.8, fruit and vegetable stand, Grand St., Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, night photography, NYC, oranges, outdoor market, Sony, street photography, street signs, under exposed

Another reason I wanted an 85mm lens was because if I saw something that was far away or across the street, I wanted to be able to capture it fairly easily, and also not have to do a lot of, if any, cropping.  This was taken as a possible entry for this month’s monthly challenge for the “market stall” category.

85mm lens, a7Rii, Aperture for Mac, brighten shadows, color, f/1.8, Grand St., Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, night photography, NYC, potted plants, red, Sony, store, street photography, under exposed

I give them credit.  For one thing, I’d always be worried that someone might steal something that’s outside.  It’s not like they have someone sitting out there all day long, guarding the merchandise.  For another, that must be a pain in the butt to set up outside and then bring inside at the end of the night.  But it does make for an interesting picture.

85mm lens, a7Rii, Aperture for Mac, barrel, brighten shadows, color, f/1.8, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, night photography, NYC, reflection, shot through a window, Sony, Star Wars, street photography, The Pickle Guys, under exposed, Yoda

I always see these Star Wars, and other figures, in the window of The Pickle Guys whenever I walk near there to get bagels and bialys at Kossar’s.  This just looked so cool with the dark background, and the light shining directly on Yoda, that I snapped a few shots and continued on my way.  I figured this was as good a shot as any to end this post.  I have gone out in the daytime with this lens, and as much as I love it, I fairly certain I’m going to exchange it for the Sony Sonnar FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA lens, but that will be in a future blog post.

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