Snowy Ouray with Canon 5D2

Beaumont, Ouray, Colorado

Despite my tenacious cold, I bundled up and walked around the block this morning to take the new Canon 5D2 and some new lenses for a spin. The fresh snow caking Ouray and the surrounding mountains made for a nice test subject!

The photo above was taken with a Contax/Zeiss 35-70mm lens, at 35mm f/8. This is an old, discontinued, manual focus and manual aperature lens, but I had read many glowing reviews about its incredible sharpness. Supposedly this zoom lens is as sharp or sharper than equivalent length prime lenses! So I picked one up on ebay for a reasonable price and this morning was my first trial run with it. I eagerly opened the files on my computer, and was not disappointed! The sharpness almost looks like it came from a Foveon sensor, but at a much larger resolution. In fact I’m so stoked I thought I’d share the fullsize file with all you pixel-peeping camera geeks out there.

>> Click here to see the sample full resolution file (7.6mb). The raw file had a sharpness setting of 3 (of 10), which does snap it up a little bit, but I figured since that’s about what I’d do anyways with my files, you might as well see it at that setting. The file was converted from 16bit to 8bit, I tinkered with the levels and color balance in Photoshop, added the watermark, and saved it as a quality 10 jpeg (to save a little bandwidth).

Anyhow, I am way stoked on the sharpness I’m getting from the 5D2, the 17mm and 24mm TS-E lenses, and now this Contax/Zeiss 35-70mm lens. I can’t wait to get out into the mountains again for some more real shooting with this setup! I’ve got to kick this pesky cold first though.

13 thoughts on “Snowy Ouray with Canon 5D2

  1. Holy crap – when I enlarged it I could see EVERY brick, EVERY piece of slate, and EVERY ruffle in EVERY curtain in/on the Beaumont! EQUISITE for sure! When do you head for Jackson Hole? Hope you get over the cold – no piggy flu for you, please!

  2. Nice, I have been using a 5D for several years with alt glass. The Contax/Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 is my go-to landscape lens, along with the Olympus Zuiko 21/3.5. Since you are used to camera movements you could also give the Zeiss 35/2.8 shift a try, though it will cost you a pretty penny.

  3. Hello Jack,

    very interesting, but have you ever seen an Alpha 900 with an Carl Zeiss 24-70mm 2.8 ZA SSM? You would be even more amazed.

    Greatings from the Alps

  4. Was really interesting to read your thoughts on this lens combo. I currently have the 17-40 and 24-105 with the 5DMk2. The 17-40 is a very good copy which is spot on up to about 35mm, but the 24-105 is less than stellar on the MK2.

    Out of interest which converter do you have for this lens. Have read that there are a number of problems with the lens fouling the mirror.

    Personally I love the 5D2 such an improvment over the Mk1 which I used for about 2 years.


  5. hello in beloved colorado
    inspired by your picture of that old brick building in ouray, i just bought the zeiss/contact 35-70 lens equiped with a mid-price c/y-canon adapter and it doesn’t work with the eos 5d mkII. it seems as the mirror would be somehow stopped by the adapter or the backside of the lens. also the aperture is stopped.
    what kind of adapter do you use?

  6. Hi Georg, when I bought the lens on ebay, it actually came with an adapter on the lens already, and it works fine with the 5D2. I don’t know what kind of adapter it is… it’s a silver one and looks fairly old. I didn’t realize at the time that it would come with the adapter, so I bought one on ebay from “happypagehk” whose adapters have a good reputation according to the research I did. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet though. I will one of these days, since it has the chip to hopefully transmit the aperature values to the camera. Anyhow, good luck! It’s certainly worth getting it figured out since the lens is a gem!

  7. Love your site Jack, I come here often for photographic inspiration. You are very talented, keep doing what you are doing! I am a photographer here in Arlington, TX and occasionally shoot nature editorials for publications around TX and your work keeps me inspired… BTW are you still shooting with the Oly E-620 and 12-60? Thanks, John

  8. Thanks for the compliments, John! Now that I’m mostly shooting the Canon 5D2 I haven’t been using the Oly much anymore. Though the Oly is a great camera and the 12-60 a great lens, the resolution is no match for the 5D2 so I mostly go for the latter now.

  9. Thanks Jack, for my magazine work my Oly E-3 is great but I am still looking forward to a higher resolution Oly body in the near future for my landscape work. Do you have somewhere on your site showing your post workflow and how you print? I know that you do some prints yourself, but what about the really large prints/panos. Best, John

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