Lost Vegas Nevada – Photographic Wanderings with ZEISS Batis
Cinematographer and Director Jonathan Edwards of Naive Studio tested out the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 and Batis 2/25 whilst away in Las Vegas, Nevada. Learn about his experiences below in this post.
By Jonathan Edwards, Naive Studio
Hi, I am Jonathan Edwards of Naive Studio, I am 33 years old and shoot film and stills across a wide range of commercial and branded content. I recently had a trip booked to Las Vegas, Nevada and had decided to shoot a range of stills along with a social media film whilst away. Instantly I thought of the ZEISS Batis range due to high end glass, excellent build quality and the added feature of fantastic auto focus for stills. I loaned the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 to cover portrait and close up details and the ZEISS Batis 2/25 for when filming wide, to architectural and landscape photography.
So with the trip I wanted to show the contrast between the bright lights of Las Vegas and the beautiful sparse view of the Nevada deserts, so we spent some of our time on Las Vegas Boulevard (the strip) taking in the sights and seeing all the usual things that the strip has to offer and then as a total reverse of this we hired a car to escape the city and visit the valley of fire national park. We had previously visited Las Vegas before this trip along with the valley of fire, but due to a sensor failing on a camera body was limited to stills only on that occasion- which in a roundabout way was fantastic as it served as a location scout as such for this trip. So with everything penned in place for both city and desert environments we set out to enjoy ourselves, shoot some street and landscape photography and create a short social media film.
The two Batis lenses that ZEISS suggested were fantastic for the trip, the build quality of the lenses is what I’ve come to know and expect from ZEISS and again with the glass and edge to edge sharpness, the Batis range is also very light and compact which was of huge importance to the trip due to cutting back on gear and transporting all the equipment in simply a backpack.The lenses are robust, have the same caps and filter threads which meant ease of switching lenses, combining ND filters and quickly taking equipment in and out of the rucksack.
The lenses performed amazingly well across all areas from sharp still portraits to wide time-lapse footage and manually focusing for film with the Sony auto enlarge focus e-mount system. The ZEISS Batis 2/25 was really not removed from the camera once entering The Valley of Fire national park, when shooting such vast epic landscapes a wide is a must and the 25mm was beautiful in hand. The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lens really shone through for a number of reasons. The bokeh quality within the close up film work at night on the strip was amazing and the subject so sharp even when shooting at f/1.8. The second huge advantage I found out about shooting on the 85mm was when time-lapsing at night I wanted to remove reflections when shooting through glass, for example our hotel windows and also the large high roller attraction on the strip. The field of vision with the 85mm firstly helped reduce this greatly and second to that meant shooting at a faster available f stop in such low light conditions.
The only thing I added to the lenses whilst on the trip was a pro ND 1/4 filter and I could not recommend the Batis range highly enough- the only downside to the trip other than the Camero rental car breaking down in the desert and us not making it to see the sunset in death valley was returning the lenses to ZEISS UK of which I must say a huge thank you again for the support with this project.
About Jonathan Edwards
Naive is cinematographer, photographer and director Jonathan Edwards. The 33 year old first established his career after winning the commercial sector of the Sony Pro Production awards in 2013, now specialising in high-end creative commercial and branded content. Jonathan also supplies film stock to Sony Ci USA and Sony Pro Europe and is also an ambassador for 3DR drones.
You can see examples of his work at: www.naivestudio.co.uk / @naive_studio