Lens Reviews

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Stan Trzoniec  |  Aug 12, 2015  |  1 comments

A lens aficionado once told me, “the more reach you have, the more you want.” This remark, of course, was directed at the wide array of telephoto lenses available today for outdoor photographers and their obsession with getting up close and personal with wildlife.

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.

George Schaub  |  Jul 12, 2011  |  0 comments

Perhaps the most versatile of all moderate tele zoom focal lengths, the 70-200mm or thereabouts range is a hallmark and standard-bearer for many optical companies. Being a constant aperture (fast) zoom, this lens opens up numerous focusing, depth of field and perhaps as important low light shooting possibilities that make it a lens most Canon photographers aspire to own. Introduced last year, we got a chance to work with one and were so impressed we thought we’d revisit it with a quick review.

Joe Farace  |  Sep 08, 2011  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2011  |  28 comments

Canon offers five different 70-300mm zoom lenses in its product lineup. Why so many? They obviously think this is a popular and practical focal length range and I happen to agree. I even own one of them myself—the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM—but the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM tested is the mac daddy of ’em all. Part of the reason for its high price tag ($1599) is that it’s the only one of the five lenses that is resplendent in white paint (the better for TV cameras to see), making it part of the “L” series. (See “Just For The ‘L’ Of It.”) Canon’s L lenses typically have wide apertures fixed throughout the zoom range but in this case all five lenses in this focal length range have identical f/4-5.6 apertures.

 

The new Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM telephoto zoom lens features two Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration. It incorporates a floating focusing mechanism for sharpness from close-up (3.9 feet) to infinity plus an Image Stabilization (IS) system that Canon claims increases usability by approximately four stops. The IS system includes a function that allows it to continue to operate even when the camera or the lens, the latter being a better idea, is mounted on a tripod. There’s an optional ($189.95) Canon Tripod Mount C for mounting on a tripod or monopod but I was unable to get one for testing. The lens is dust- and water-resistant and features a Fluorine coating that resists smears and fingerprints and significantly eases lens cleaning, but that doesn’t make me suggest less vigorous lens protection. More later.

 

Jack Neubart  |  May 01, 2008  |  0 comments

The expansive coverage of a 14mm lens may be more than you think you need. But you'd be surprised to discover that it reveals a world of possibilities that might otherwise escape you. While it certainly is ideal when shooting in open country, a super-wide lens can do wonders in tight quarters. To check out this lens, and along the way explore the potential of this focal...

Stan Trzoniec  |  May 01, 2009  |  0 comments

The arrival of the new Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens was a case of perfect timing as within a few days I’d be on the road for a couple of weeks photographing the abundance of wildlife at the Blackwater Refuge.

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  |  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).

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...

Joe Farace  |  Aug 01, 2009  |  0 comments

There is no doubt that Carl Zeiss is one of the magical names in the world of optics and so the introduction of the Zeiss ZE lenses for analog and digital cameras is big news.

Joe Farace  |  Aug 01, 2010  |  0 comments

When it comes to lenses, the name Carl Zeiss is synonymous with optical perfection or as they say around the Hallmark store, “when you care enough to shoot the very best.” Zeiss continues to expand its line of interchangeable lenses for Canon, Nikon, and Pentax cameras to include two new wide-angle lenses, the Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5 and Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8.

The...

Ron Leach  |  May 26, 2017  |  1 comments

One of the few things we didn’t try in our in our recent review of Sony’s small and sophisticated A6500 mirrorless camera was to try shooting with a cheap 500mm f/8 preset lens and a 2x teleconverter. But that’s exactly what photographer Christopher Burress did in the video below, and his results are pretty interesting.

Peter K. Burian  |  Jun 01, 2009  |  0 comments

Although zoom lenses are certainly versatile and convenient, they do have some drawbacks, including relatively small maximum apertures.

Joe Farace  |  Dec 16, 2016  |  0 comments

Sports photography shares much in common with capturing images of wildlife: You’ve got an active scene captured at a distance requiring specialized equipment and knowledge of the subject’s activities while anticipating what they are going to do next…or not. Sure, you’ll need fast, long focal length lenses but you will also need camera supports and other gear that along with specialized knowledge separates the virtuosos, like Regis Lefebure (regislefebure.com), from the wannabes. Here’s a look at some of our favorite tools of the sports trade.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Sep 09, 2011  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments

With the availability of sky-high ISOs on digital cameras and VR on slower lenses, some have argued that it’s not practical or economical to work with fast, prime lenses anymore. On the other hand, lenses like the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED (list: $2200) and 50mm f/1.4G (list: $485) serve a distinct purpose for not only the obvious low-light advantages but also for the very, very shallow depth of field they can deliver.

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