Chicago with the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar T

This native Sony lens by Zeiss is about as ace as you can get when it comes to performance, with sharpness that was literally off DP Review's chart. But I've found that some photos that would've been full of life on quirkier and lower quality lenses end up boring on this Zeiss. Steve Huff once referred to this lens as being a bit sterile, and I totally agree.

The result is that, just like with any other lens, you have to learn what works for it. The 55mm f/1.8 doesn't seem content with the standard or straightforward. It likes to have its boundaries pushed, or to at least be used for the kind of shots that will allow for more creative editing.

I took the lens to Chicago last weekend along with my a7ii...

Both this and the next one were at f/4.

At full crop every thread of the bulb's filament is impressively sharp.

Pleasantly surprised with this shot from a restaurant's patio looking through a window at the bartender. f/1.8, 1/60th shutter, ISO 160.

Had the content been different, this is the kind of photo that I might've called dull in terms of lens performance, but your gear's shortcomings don't matter quite so much when you find two dogs wearing doggles and Cubs shirts in a Vespa sidecar.

The Zeiss really excels at picking up every detail in shots like this. f/4, 1/2500th shutter, ISO 50.