Zeiss Touit Lenses And Sony a6000 Travel Photography – Perfect Together

[icon name=”e-info-circled”]This article on Sony a6000 travel photography and the Zeiss Touit lens series by Marie Bärsch  first ran on our columnist Alexander Wätzel’s site, Passportsandlenses.com. It has been edited to run here. You can find the original article here

Zeiss Germany was kind enough to let me use the three currently available Touit lenses on my trip to Asia in December of 2014. I had just bought a Sony a6000 so this came in very handy.

Sigma: The wait is over. Shop e-mount primes.

Since Alex had quite a hard time in 2013 [having to carry so much heavy camera gear] on our first trip to thailand I was definitely interested when he talked about getting a lighter and more portable camera system. I jumped on board by purchasing the Sony a6000 even if i was skeptical at first. (Read Alex’s review here.)

Since I didn’t really know what lens to buy right away I asked Zeiss if it was possible to try their lenses for mirrorless cameras. A few days later a package with all three lenses of the Touit line-up arrived. This included a Zeiss 2.8/12mm Touit, a Zeiss 1.8/32mm Touit and a Zeiss 2.8/50mm Touit, which would become my favorite for the trip. But more on that later.

A man selling gambling tickets, waiting on a crossing. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 1.8/32mm.

Great color and contrast. That is what you get when opting for a zeiss lens. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 1.8/32mm.

 

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 Zeiss Touit and Optical Appearance

From an appearance standpoint, these lenses are very understated. Apart from the soft rubberized focus ring and the blue/white zeiss logo there is nothing to distract on the outer barrel itself. All of the lenses come with a tight-fitting lens hood, which tends to be a little too big in my opinion—especially for the 12mm and the 50mm. The lens is made entirely of metal with a very smooth finish. The rubber of the focus ring is nice to feel and the focus ring is also very smooth in it’s movement. The lenses are built to last and I always found it quite reassuring to use them.

The Zeiss Touit 1.8/32mm on the Sony a6000. All of the lenses feature the same streamlined aesthetics making them a perfect match for sony's capable mirrorless camera.

The zeiss family, with this 3 lens set-up I had every focal length with me.

Sharpness, Color and Contrast

In my photographic work, I don’t really zoom in to 1:1 on my travel photos. Sure I want a decent, sharp picture, but it’s not the same as when I’m doing a fashion shoot for a magazine or commercial project.

With this in mind, let’s say these lenses are very sharp. This is especially true for the Zeiss 12mm. Is it the same level of sharpness as the Nikon 70-200mm? I don’t think so, but they’re sharp enough without making me miss something or want something more out of it. [Editor’s note: The difference here is likely the resolving power of the sensor. A 70-200 on a full frame Nikon camera will have a different level of sharpness than an equivalent focal length on an APS-C, and none of these were the same focal length.]

But when it comes to color and contrast even wide open these beauties shine. Even right out of the camera there is little to no editing needed to make the colors and contrast pop how I want them to do.

The 2.8/12mm showing of its strength with no distortion and stellar sharpness. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/12mm.

Want more pop in your pictures? Try a zeiss! Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss 2.8/50mm.

Did anybody say contrast? There you go, and that bokeh! Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

The 50mm became my favorite lens out of the 3. Even though being just a 2.8 it delivers smooth and buttery bokeh on the Sony's APS-C sized sensor. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

Autofocus

Oh boy, this one is getting tricky. Out of the box the 50mm is the best one. Or well, it was the best one. At least on the a6000. The problem is that the older 12mm and 32mm did not use the a6000s amazing hybrid autofocus due to firmware issues. [Editor’s Note: This has since been resolved.] The autofocus is fast enough to capture life shots, but not fast enough for sports.

A monk walking up the golden mount in Bangkok. The autofocus with these lenses never let me down and i was nearly always able to get the shot i wanted. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

Did i told you about the great contrast? I did right? Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

The 50mm are handling flare quite good without loosing too much contrast or leaving colors washed out. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

Bokeh might get a bit distracting with busy background but that is on rare occasions. Remember it is just a 2.8 on a crop sensor and you won't make you back ache at the end of the day! Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

Oh and by the way the 50mm is a macro, just in case you stumble over a beautiful butterfly on your way through the jungle. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

The Touits are definitly good at rendering orange! Trust me, i tried! Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

Conclusion

I like to have a camera that does the job without getting in the way between me and the picture I want to take. It doesn’t really matter what brand is printed on it and it’s the same with lenses.

These may not be right for you if you’re on a budget, or if you into heavy post processing. Or if you’re doing action sports. But if you want to focus on your picture and you want to save it the way you saw it, then you should definitely consider throwing one of these in your bag. With their smooth optical appearance, above average sharpness, excellent color rendition and amazing contrast, they won’t let you down.

Are they worth their premium price tag? I guess you have to decide for yourself but I just love the pictures I took with them, especially with the 50mm which give me quite a hard time when i had to sent it back.

It is just delivering a great field of view with mostly amazing booked. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

It is not too close to scare your subjects. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

The 50mm is your great overall portrait lens. Marie Baersch, Sony a6000, Zeiss Touit 2.8/50mm.

 

 

My daily shooter is Sony a9 with a vertical grip and various Sigma lenses attached like the 14mm 1.4 Art. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.