Lens Reviews

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Patrick Sweeney  |  Apr 11, 2016  |  0 comments

Sometimes you want to capture expansive vistas without resorting to post-capture tricks like stitching multiple frames together; like on my latest excursion to Antarctica when I wanted a wider perspective than I achieved on an earlier visit with a 24mm lens (which transformed into a 38mm on my crop-body camera). The question I asked myself was ”how wide is “wide enough?”

Jack Neubart  |  Apr 04, 2016  |  0 comments

I’ve always preferred longer focal-length macro lenses in the 90-100mm range because they give you more breathing room between the camera and skittish subjects than does standard (50/60mm) macros. No wonder, then, that one of my earliest lenses was the original Vivitar Series 1 90mm f/2.5 macro, which I first paired with a Minolta SR-T 102. I burned plenty of Kodachrome with that glass.

Joe Farace  |  Mar 25, 2016  |  0 comments

Every company that makes lenses usually designs a few that are ideal for portraiture. The trend these days for studio and boudoir portraits is toward fast prime lenses, while zooms remain popular for location and wedding photography. Wide-angle lenses may get you closer to the subject but perspective distortion exaggerates a subject’s nose and ears.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Mar 21, 2016  |  0 comments

I really can’t recall the last time I became so emotionally involved with a lens. This affordable Nikkor telephoto zoom is sharp, easy to hold, and at under $1400 you simply cannot go wrong. If I sound excited, I am! 

Jack Neubart  |  Mar 08, 2016  |  0 comments

Back in the day when fixed-focal-length optics reigned supreme, the 35mm lens, along with its wider cousin, the 28mm, was known as the lens a portrait or wedding photographer would use for group or full-length portraits or, especially if it had a fast aperture, the photojournalist would use to grab street candids. Today, with our wide zooms we’re often happy enough with an f/4 maximum aperture and we tend to overlook what faster fixed-focal-length lenses could do to help our photography.

Joe Farace  |  Feb 26, 2016  |  0 comments

Here are some tips I discovered when researching this month’s column. One was from my wife who uses this technique all the time—smile! And you know what, people smile back, making you appear friendly and non-threatening. The other was from Michael Archambault, who suggests you “acknowledge that street photography is not perfect.” Or as my grandfather once told me, “If you spend your whole life looking for happiness, it’ll make you miserable.”

Stan Trzoniec  |  Feb 08, 2016  |  0 comments

When I was a cub photographer in high school, I was very proud of my Kodak Signet 40 camera. With the attached flash unit, even if I did not look like a professional, I felt like one. Later, thanks to my obsession with large aperture lenses, I moved up to a Heiland H2 Pentax camera complete with its awesome Auto Takumar 50mm f/2 lens that I carried throughout Europe and later for the local newspaper.

Jack Neubart  |  Jan 06, 2016  |  0 comments

Call them what you will – ultra-wides or super-wides – I love ‘em. By covering a breathtaking expanse, these types of extreme wide-angle lenses are not only capable of capturing most landscapes, they also help sweep you into that landscape, making you feel a part of the scene in the process.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Nov 26, 2015  |  0 comments

As a lover of all things unsharp, I was eager to get my mitts on a Petzval 85mm portrait lens. When I saw it at Photo Plus Expo here in New York, it was under glass, gleaming like a gilded idol. The fine folks at Lomography were kind enough to loan me a sample. What follows is my report. 

Stan Trzoniec  |  Nov 05, 2015  |  0 comments

Chances are if you take a poll of what photographers picked for their first telephoto lens, it would be the 300mm. For one thing, it’s a good choice for those starting out in wildlife or sports photography and, given the nature of millimeters, it’s relatively inexpensive as compared to the big guns like the 400, 500 or 600mm lenses. 

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Oct 26, 2015  |  0 comments

Sometimes an old fashioned recipe and the latest modern technology don’t mix: zap-blasting your grandmother’s vegetable soup ingredients in a 10,000-watt microwave instead of slowly simmering them for six hours, for example. But other times strange bedfellows bring out the best in each other. Such is the case with Lensbaby optics on modern digital cameras.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Oct 01, 2015  |  0 comments

It took a while, but I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. For years, I’ve wanted to upgrade from my AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR that I’ve been sharing with my wife. I use the lightweight and portable Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G on my trusty Nikon D2X DSLR and she uses it with her Nikon D90 during longer photo trips when bringing minimal gear is essential. For shorter forays, the super sharp Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 is my go-to lens, especially when shooting landscapes.

George Schaub  |  Sep 25, 2015  |  0 comments

The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) member magazines recently convened for their General Assembly to vote for the best photo and imaging products launched by the industry in the last 12 months. The voting took place during the General Assembly that was held in spring 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Sep 17, 2015  |  0 comments

To make a better lens, one that avid photographers might even be inclined to leave on their DSLR camera permanently, Tamron set aside all of their former notions about lens design and construction and went straight back to the basics with the new Tamron SP 35mm f1.8 Di VC USD (Model F012) and SP 45mm f1.8 Di VC USD (Model F013) prime lenses, which are the subjects of this review. 

Joe Farace  |  Sep 01, 2015  |  0 comments

If there’s a more challenging photographic discipline than wildlife photography, I don’t know what it is. It requires heavy and expensive long focal length lenses, a sturdy tripod, and the physical prowess to schlep all this gear through physically demanding environments. If you’re thinking “that’s not you, Joe,” you are correctamundo so I asked a few friends for advice on telephoto lenses and this is what they told me.

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