Lens Reviews

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Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jun 19, 2014  |  0 comments

If a visitor from another planet arrived on Earth and asked to see the perfect specimen of what a digital camera and lens should look like, this combination might be the best choice. In terms of design and construction, fit and feel, the Leica M with 50mm APO Summicron is nearly perfect.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jun 25, 2014  |  0 comments

Beauty is as beauty does. A Leica M with a 50mm APO Summicron attached is the iconic archetype of modern digital cameras with retro design. Using it is a prodigious experience comparable to, let’s say, playing a concert Steinway grand piano, or maybe setting the hands on a Patek Philippe timepiece. I’m only guessing here, ‘cause I’ve done neither. But I did use a Leica M and 50mm APO Summicron for a week. Did they perform? Read on…

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jun 10, 2016  |  0 comments

The big news about the Leica M-D (Typ 262) is what it doesn’t have. It does not have autofocus. It does not provide through-the-lens viewing. And it’s not compatible with any zoom lens. 

Joe Farace  |  Dec 01, 2009  |  0 comments

In my heart I know that few readers can afford these kinds of expensive lenses, but there are always those who can and for the rest of us, it’s something to dream about.

Roger W. Hicks  |  Oct 01, 2005  |  0 comments

What do you want from a 75mm f/2 lens? Whatever it is, the new APO-Summicron-M Aspheric almost certainly delivers it--except, it must be said, low cost. Perfection, or as close as modern lens design can come to it, doesn't come cheap.

For reportage, it is superb: fast, compact, and convenient. Of course, you don't normally need or expect ultimate...

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

If you own and use an M-series Leica, a Zeiss Ikon, or a bayonet-mount Voigtländer Bessa, Leica’s 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar is so staggeringly desirable that it is almost easier to list the reasons for not buying one than to list its advantages—though these are easy enough to list, too. It is compact, sweet handling, sharp, contrasty, rangefinder-coupled, unbelievably convenient, and...

Joe Farace  |  Mar 14, 2017  |  0 comments

The late Mr. Newton was certainly onto something. I believe the overwhelming desire of most portrait photographers is to please the client, with seduction, amusement, and entertainment far from their minds. Let me submit this idea: shoot what the client says they want and then shoot something challenging their assumptions. Most wedding clients tend to be traditional but even introducing black and white or infrared images can increase sales and show clients you’re thinking outside the veil.

Joe Farace  |  Dec 03, 2014  |  0 comments

Tamron is a pioneer in all-in-one, do-everything lenses. Their new 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di PZD lens is designed for Canon, Nikon and Sony shooters and I tested the Canon EF version using an EOS 5D Mark I and an EOS 50D, which changes the lens’ angle-of-view to that of a 45-480mm lens.

George Schaub  |  Aug 15, 2014  |  0 comments

Being in general a wide to moderate tele-zoom kind of guy, I have found myself occasionally frustrated by lacking a long zoom or tele prime when shooting in the great outdoors. There are some scenes and places that cry out for a longer focal length, and it’s not from laziness but more accessibility that creates the need.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  May 25, 2014  |  0 comments

Misprint? No. The latest “all-in-one” zoom lens from Tamron ranges from 16mm to 300mm, the equivalent of 24mm to 450mm on my Nikon D300s (with APS-C size sensor). Add Vibration Compensation (VC), excellent Macro focusing and PZD Piezo Drive for quiet and blazing-fast autofocus and you’ve got “Lensational.”

George Schaub  |  Dec 26, 2014  |  0 comments

The adage, “To get a fresh point of view in your photography, try a new lens,” was never truer than when applied to so-called fisheyes. I do not presume to know how a fish sees, but that’s irrelevant because lenses of this ilk get their moniker from the bulbous convexity of the front element, not from any inspection of the image going to the piscine brain.

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.

George Schaub  |  Jun 15, 2012  |  First Published: May 01, 2012  |  0 comments

There are three main elements in depth of field—focal length, aperture, and distance to subject—and depth of field is a very important part of a 2D photograph. It’s how we judge scale (or are fooled by it), how we note the importance of certain subjects within the frame, and how we define content and context in the scene. With these three controls, and using various points of view, it seems we have infinite variations to choose from, and that’s part of the creative play of photography. Now you can add a fourth element to the mix—tilts that range from mild to extreme and that create “slices” of sharpness within the frame. The tool that helps us create that effect is the latest optic from Lensbaby, which they dub the Edge 80.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Nov 24, 2013  |  0 comments

Lensbaby Spark lets your camera color outside the lines. It mounts directly on your Canon or Nikon and focuses manually when you squeeze it toward the rear while watching the sharp, sweet spot move around in the viewfinder. The affordable Lensbaby Spark deserves a spot on every photographer’s holiday wish list.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Feb 02, 2017  |  0 comments

Unless you’re completely new to photography, you’ve heard about Lensbaby, the marvelously creative series of lenses that are best described as intentionally unsharp and stuffed with almost every imaginable aberration and distortion. The Lensbaby Trio 28 is the latest model, and it has a secret. 

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