25 millimeters of landscape
Timm Allrich spent a month in the countryside of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in northern Germany with the Distagon T* 2/25. In his impressive images, he reveals a perspective of dunes, the ocean and fields that is only possible with this focal length.
“For me the Distagon T* 2/25 was love at second sight. The first time I used this lens, I didn’t see its purpose for my photography. There was a focal length somewhere in ‘no man’s land’. But ZEISS recently offered me the chance to test the Distagon T* 2/25. My interest was raised — and rightly so, as I would find out.”
All the images shown here – with the exception of the first one, which shows the view directly in front of Allrich’s house – were created during a three-day photography workshop on the Baltic coast between Rostock and Stralsund in Darß. The area is part of the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula and the Western-Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park.
In tropical regions one would call the ‘bodden’ – which divides the peninsula from the Baltic Sea – a lagoon landscape. “Very flat, a mix of fresh and salt water, with a unique flora and fauna. A wonderful area, where you can indulge your passion for photography without any distractions”, so Allrich tells participants during his photography workshop.
The western beach of Darß, for example, has retained its natural and wild character. “The sunset here is incredibly beautiful owing to the strict west orientation of the beach. In this picture you can see how well suited the Distagon T* 2/25 is for panoramic shots. The lens is almost completely distortion-free, there’s hardly any vignetting, and it’s sharp all the way to the edges.”
The purpose of the workshop is to question the traditional dogmas of landscape photography, according to which you should try to fit everything in the image with a wide angle and consistently in focus. “This picture shows the possibilities that the Distagon T* 2/25 offers to compose the perspective. The white crest in the foreground was only around 20 centimeters long, the beach behind it about four kilometers. By taking this picture with a 25-millimeter focal length, and from a low vantage point, you can dramatize their relationships to each other.” By positioning the focus point in the center of the image, the attention of the viewer is directed to the middle, just like being caught in a fishing net.
On another day, at around 5am, Timm Allrich takes his workshop participants to the sleepy bodden harbor of Wiek, where you can still find old fishing boats anchored. “In this picture you see that the Distagon T* 2/25 lets you combine the total view with the details very nicely. At the same time, nothing is distorted, the masts are exactly straight. Even in these difficult light conditions, a high dynamic range was achieved. The shadows have sufficient detail, the highlights do not erode. Overall, it’s a very balanced light.”
A sunset is clearly the fitting conclusion to a long day devoted to photography. “The image quality here is sensational: a horizon that is absolutely distortion-free, even though it was clearly placed at the lower edge of the picture. And although the picture was shot directly into the sun – which is not positioned centrally in the picture – there is no lens flare. The golden light puts a wonderful shimmer around the contours of the trees.”
Timm Allrich concludes, “What really convinced me about this lens was that it possesses all the performance features of a wide angle, but doesn’t deliver perspectives that are too dramatic. In landscape photography, that’s a creative plus, especially when details in the foreground need to appear distortion-free. Here, it delivers very natural proportions. The Distagon T* 2/25 is a well-balanced compromise between the natural perspective of a 35-millimeter lens and a wide angle. It combines their respective advantages in the best way. It was difficult for me to give the lens back when the test ended.”
About Timm Allrich
Timm Allrich takes his camera with him almost every day in, and around, his hometown of Schwerin. His preferred time for taking pictures is the early morning. Timm focuses on professional black and white photography and is currently finishing his residency as a radiologist. Since 2013 he has been an official brand ambassador for ZEISS Camera Lenses. Timm photographs for the tourism association of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Western Pomerania Bodden Landscape National Park, and the local photography festival ‘Erlebniswelt Fotografie Zingst’ (Experience World Photography Zingst).