Lens of a Lifetime Winner • Olga Kulakova

Mukaghali Peak, Kazakhstan • Sony ILCA-99 Mk II, Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8, f/6.3, 25sec, ISO 400
I am an amateur landscape and wildlife photographer from Almaty, Kazakhstan. I love mountaineering and am continually inspired by the incredible mountain views, especially the night sky and the Milky Way over the mountain peaks

Which lens has changed your life and why?
The Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8. Zeiss lenses have changed my view on landscape photography. I often go on mountain trips and the weight of my backpack is very important, but I always carry one of my Zeiss lenses with me.

How long have you been shooting with it?
I have used my two Zeiss lenses since 2011. I love astro photography and the 24-70mm lens became my favourite as it is the most suitable for night landscapes.


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What drew you to that lens initially?
When I purchased my first full-frame camera Sony A900 in 2011, I was told the importance of investing in good lenses, otherwise buying a full-frame cameras doesn't make any sense. So, I bought two lenses: Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM and Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM.

Has this lens lived up to or exceeded your expectations?
Zeiss lenses have definitely exceeded my expectations. I never imagined that it would be such a pleasure to use a lens of such high quality. In my case, zoom lenses offer more opportunities for mountain landscapes, hence the reason why, in my recent mountaineering trip to the Tien Shan Mountains, I took the Zeiss 24-70mm with me.

What advice would you give to other photographers considering this lens?
This lens is really worth its price and is perfect for landscape photography. It offers fantastic picture quality and is very easy to use. The Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 is perfect for landscapes or nightscapes. Once you try it, you will never want to change it for any other lens.

What is your future lens purchase?
Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD for wildlife photography.

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    I enjoyed your article and may look into the Zeiss 24-70. That one size(among others) is missing from my line up of landscape lenses. It is one I have thought of purchasing from Canon. I have the Tamron 150-600 and find it works well. I purchased the 1.4x and recommend it as well.

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