Lens Reviews

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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.

Stan Trzoniec  |  May 16, 2012  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2012  |  0 comments

There are two general classifications of lenses that define how you use them in the field—zooms and single focal length, the former being a variable focal length lens that has many convenient advantages, and the latter being a single focal length that, in the group we’re covering here, is what’s known as a “fast” lens. Fast doesn’t mean that it focuses quicker than its zoom cousins, though it might—it usually means that it offers a wide maximum aperture, anywhere from f/1.2 to f/2.8, and that aperture stays put, unlike some zooms where the aperture varies by going narrower as you zoom into longer focal lengths. And to help refine the group we’re covering here we’re also topping out the focal length at 50mm, which makes these lenses prime for street and low-light photography, candid and photojournalism work.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Feb 16, 2017  |  0 comments

It was portrait shooter’s paradise with two new Sony lenses this week. The 100mm STF is a veritable bokeh machine, while the FE 85mm f/1.8 is a budget-friendly, professional quality portrait lens. Sony invited a small group of editors to a private studio and assured us that we were the first journalists in the world to shoot with this new glass.

Jack Neubart  |  Aug 01, 2010  |  0 comments

Fisheye optics are an unusual beast. The bulbous nature of the front element is one characteristic trademark, but the unique view this lens affords us is what makes it truly appealing—and at the same time challenging to work with.

My fisheye lenses have literally widened my view of the world around me and given me a new perspective on my photography. Admittedly, some...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Aug 01, 2008  |  0 comments

Understatement almost always speaks louder than overstatement; or if not louder, then generally with more authority. The four new Leica Summarits, for M-series Leicas, Zeiss Ikons, and Voigtländer Bessas, are about as far from ostentatious as you can get; they are merely first-class tools for the photographer who knows what he or she is doing.

Neither the...

Ron Leach  |  May 04, 2016  |  0 comments

Here’s a little something for those of you who can’t afford the new $6000 Leica M–D: Four quirky lenses you can get for under 30 bucks from Weird Lens Guru Mathieu Stern, whose passion is discovering odd optics you can adapt to your mirrorless camera to capture both still images and video. In this video Stern describes a quartet of lenses you can get for less than the cost of two decent cocktails in Paris.

Zach Sutton - Lensrentals  |  Feb 01, 2018  |  1 comments

Location, location, location. That's what someone who is just getting started in wildlife photography will tell you is the secret to the trade. Certainly, the wildlife available in the remote Sahara of Africa is far more interesting to those who are used to the rolling hills of Ohio, but there are two other key components to successful wildlife photography: preparedness and luck.

Zach Sutton - Lensrentals  |  Aug 15, 2017  |  3 comments

There is no denying that zoom lenses have far more versatility than prime lenses, and with faster-apertured zoom lenses becoming more and more common in the photography world, I figured it was time to truly give them the spotlight they deserve.

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.

George Schaub  |  Apr 11, 2012  |  0 comments

The new super wide angle Distagon T* f/2.8 15mm lens for Canon and Nikon mounts is neither lightweight nor inexpensive (1.6 lb for Nikon, 1.8 lb for Canon mount, $2950) but what you get from this manual focus lens is exceptional image quality and facility that is perhaps unmatched by any other lens in its focal length class. With a 95mm filter thread and integral and fully compatible lens shade, the lens offers an extraordinary 110-degree angle of view that is pleasure to work with on a wide variety of subjects. The fast f/2.8 aperture is matched on the narrow end by a minimum aperture of f/22, which at 15mm means there’s potential for extraordinary depth of field effects using the 10-inch closest focusing range. While decidedly not a portrait lens, the 15mm is ideal for landscape, street photography and creative advertising work, as well as architectural and urban photography, as I discovered in mybrief time working with it.

Dan Havlik  |  Sep 17, 2014  |  0 comments

Fujifilm was showing off its new toys at photokina today and we got some hands-on time with these latest X-series cameras and lenses. Initially announced on September 10th, the Fujifilm X100T and XT-1 Graphite Silver cameras, and Fujinon XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR and XF56mm F1.2 R APD lenses continue to build on Fuji’s compact and retro-style (Fuji would say “classic" style) X-Series line.

Shutterbug Staff  |  Jun 25, 2019  |  0 comments

Photographer Julia Trotti is out with a revealing new video where she compares portraits shot with her whole arsenal of prime lenses: 24mm vs 35mm vs 50mm vs 85mm vs 135mm. We knew there would be a difference in the look of each portrait shot at a different focal length but we were surprised at how much.

DL Byron  |  Jul 11, 2016  |  0 comments

“Date your cameras and marry your lenses,” a Sony staffer professed after I arrived in San Diego last week for the unveiling of two new lenses; the 50mm f/1.4 ZA prime and 70-200mm f/2.8 GM zoom. Our select group of journalists were repeatedly told, “Do not leak this launch.” Considering the leaks of cameras introductions from their competitors this summer, the firm request was understandable and we obliged.

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...

Jack Neubart  |  Aug 06, 2013  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2013  |  1 comments

There are a number of new lenses, including those for “full-frame,” Micro Four Thirds, and “mirrorless” compact system cameras debuting this year, listed in alphabetical order. Here’s a sampler, with a sprinkling of filters thrown in for good measure. We’ve shown prices when available at press time—if not, check the websites of the companies for updates.

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