Lens Reviews

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Steve Bedell  |  Jun 01, 2007  |  0 comments

I 've been shooting most of my portrait work with a 28-75mm zoom, but always felt I could use something longer. And I'm about at the point where fixed focal length lenses just won't do; once you get used to the flexibility of a zoom, you're spoiled. I also like a fast lens with a relatively wide maximum aperture, as I like to get way out-of-focus...

Roger W. Hicks  |  May 01, 2007  |  0 comments

Quality, according to the old saying, doesn't cost: it pays. These new manual-focus, Nikon-fit "ZF" lenses are a perfect illustration of that saying. Sure, they are built by Hirofumi Kobayashi in Japan, but they are built to Zeiss standards from Zeiss designs, and they feel like the Zeiss lenses of yesteryear: smooth, solid, beautifully finished, with a lot of...

Peter K. Burian  |  Dec 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Because of the increasing popularity of digital SLR cameras, Tamron has been upgrading their line of lenses to the "Digitally integrated" (Di) standard, employing methods discussed in our Technology sidebar. Some of the new products (Di II series) were designed exclusively for digital cameras with the typical APS-size sensor, while others (Di) are multi-platform...

Steve Bedell  |  Dec 01, 2006  |  0 comments

While searching for a new portrait lens I saw Sigma's APO MACRO 150mm f/2.8 on their website. But wait, you say, this is a macro lens, not a portrait lens! Here's my thinking: Any portrait photographer out there worth his light meter will gladly extol the virtues of a long, fast lens for portraiture. The reasons are simple--limited angle of view to get rid of...

Peter K. Burian  |  Nov 01, 2006  |  0 comments

One of the favorite lenses among news photographers, a 70-200mm f/2.8 or 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom also appeals to many serious photo enthusiasts. Although large and heavy, lenses of this type offer several benefits. Their very wide maximum aperture allows for faster shutter speeds than the more typical f/4.5-5.6 zooms, great for low-light or action photography at lower ISOs (film or...

Jason Schneider  |  Sep 01, 2006  |  0 comments

In the first noteworthy change to the Leica M mount since its introduction back in 1954, all Leica M lenses delivered to dealers starting on July 1, 2006, will have a 6-bit digital black and white code applied to the bayonet ring. The physical dimensions and mechanical specs of the venerable M mount will remain exactly the same, so both coded and non-coded lenses can be used on...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

As we said in the review of the new Zeiss Ikon (ZI) 35mm rangefinder (April 2006 issue of Shutterbug or online at www.shutterbug.com), we received six of the seven Zeiss ZM-mount lenses announced at photokina 2004: 15mm f/2.8, 21mm f/2.8, 25mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, and 50mm f/2. The 85mm f/2 (listing at $2759, plus $127 for the lens shade) still wasn't available as we...

Jason Schneider  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

This fairly large (6.5" long, 3.3" in diameter), reasonably lightweight (32.5 oz, including removable tripod collar) macro tele covers the 24x36mm format in film or digital as well as the smaller APS-C digital format. The Di (Digitally Integrated) designation indicates that it's "optically designed for digital SLR cameras." To translate the remainder...

Jack Neubart  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

When I first heard about a 35mm focal length macro lens my mouth began to water. The $229 price tag was an immediate inducement, as were the compactness and lightweight of this glass. What threw me, though, was the focal length. Because this was in the new Four Thirds System for an Olympus digital SLR (the EVOLT E-300 was used for this test), focal length doubled to 70mm. A 70mm...

Stan Trzoniec  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

My first macro lens was the popular Nikon 60mm Micro-Nikkor. Good move, I thought, as the 60mm focal length could double as an all-purpose lens for a variety of assignments. Trouble is, when I started to get into more and more 1:1 (life-size) work, I only had 21/2" of working space between the front of the lens and my subject. The 105mm was next, sharp as a tack but again...

Joe Farace  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

For some time now my favorite portrait lens has been Canon's EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, but now my new favorite is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. It replaces the EF 85mm f/1.2L USM and offers the widest aperture of any lens in Canon's EF family. All in all it provides a useful combination of focal length, depth-of-field control, and low-light performance. The superb optics...

Jack Neubart  |  Apr 01, 2006  |  0 comments

If I could, I'd spend all my time hunting down bugs and lizards and any other critters small enough to fit inside a macro lens. Simply stated, I love macro. So I couldn't wait to put the new EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens through its paces on my Canon EOS 20D digital SLR.

 

As you may already know, EF-S is Canon's designation for APS-C-dedicated lenses...

Peter K. Burian  |  Feb 01, 2006  |  0 comments

As digital SLR cameras have become more affordable, an increasing number of photography and imaging enthusiasts have made the shift to digital capture. But there's one common complaint--the ultra-wide angle lenses designed for 35mm systems do not produce an expansive angle of view with any of the affordable digital SLRs. Because such cameras employ a sensor that's...

Peter K. Burian  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Although many zoom lenses are labeled as "macro" that designation generally refers only to moderately close focusing ability. With a few exceptions, such zooms are not adequate for a dramatic frame-filling image unless the subject is quite large. (A few tele macro zoom lenses are capable of much higher magnification, however.) On the other hand, true macro lenses can...

Jack Neubart  |  Dec 01, 2005  |  0 comments

The Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (16-35mm equivalent in 35mm parlance) was designed to cover the APS-C format, specifically the EOS 20D and both EOS Digital Rebels (plus future APS-C models). Canon's EF-S lenses (S = Short Back Focus) are physically matched to these cameras. This design also results in a smaller and lighter lens (3.5" long and less than 14 oz).

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