Lens Reviews

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Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Aug 17, 2017  |  0 comments

The Lensbaby Twist 60 is a very modern rendition of a 175-year-old optical design, and true to the designer, Joseph Petzval. But does it satisfy our creative expectations when used in the field?

Joe Farace  |  May 06, 2015  |  0 comments

I’ve been writing about and playing with—emphasis on play—Lensbaby lenses since they were introduced in 2004 and ten years later they’re still coming up with new ideas. All their products, including the Medium Format 3G with "Marvin the Martian"-like antennae, have been interesting and the new Lensbaby Velvet 56 portrait lens not only looks like fun but appears to be the most practical Lensbaby product ever.

George Schaub  |  Sep 15, 2011  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Having shot with numerous Lensbaby products over the past years I’ve almost grown accustomed to their ingenious approach to image-making tools and the equally ingenious way in which they approach product design. I do have to admit that one area in which I took less advantage than I might have was in aperture control and how that affected depth of field in my Lensbaby shots, more from laziness or simply forgetting about changing the aperture inserts as I got involved in the shoot. (For those who have not shot with Lensbaby optics you lift in and drop out, via supplied magnetic wand, the various aperture rings corresponding to the diameter of the desired aperture for the optic in use.) Now, this impediment to getting the most from the optics (admittedly, again, my own) is removed with their latest product, the Sweet 35 Optic.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Nov 26, 2015  |  1 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. 

Joe Farace  |  Jul 26, 2016  |  0 comments

We all know nature and wildlife photographers need long focal length lenses but they’re not the only ones who need a longer-than-normal lens. While the only wildlife I have photographed are the mule deer who treat my backyard like it’s their backyard, I’ve photographed a racing car from time to time and that’s when a telephoto or long zoom lens comes to the rescue.

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, 2007  |  0 comments

At PMA 2007 Lensbabies introduced the medium format version of its third-generation selective focus lens for Mamiya 645 and Pentax 67 cameras. That's right kiddies, it's a new lens that's engineered for use with medium format film (remember that stuff?) cameras.

The optic in the Medium Format Lensbaby 3G produces the same effects as the optic in...

Ron Leach  |  Sep 05, 2017  |  0 comments

We often turn to Weird Lens Guru Mathieu Stern for interesting tips on bargain vintage lenses that that can be adapted for use with today’s modern mirrorless digital cameras. Best yet, you can often pick up some awesome glass for chump change and the adapters are very inexpensive.

Dan Havlik  |  Sep 25, 2014  |  0 comments

Here’s a little more photo gear news we didn’t fully get to in our comprehensive photokina coverage last week. Third-party lens manufacturers Sigma and Tamron both made waves at the show by announcing intriguing new zoom lenses.

Dan Havlik  |  Sep 12, 2017  |  1 comments

Nikon launched an intriguing new lens this summer though you might have missed it. For whatever reason, the AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6E ED VR, which was announced the second week of July, slipped under most photographers’ radar and that’s a shame. I recently had a chance to test out this surprisingly lightweight and compact wide-ranging zoom lens from Nikon while shooting with it from the field level press area at a Major League Baseball game and came away impressed.

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.

Joe Farace  |  Feb 17, 2017  |  0 comments

There’s no more iconic focal length in Nikon folklore than 105mm. I remember the day in the 1980s when I purchased the legendary Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 lens (at prices that seem ridiculously low these days) from Denver’s Robert Waxman Camera and thought I’d finally made it. I felt some of that same rush of excitement when I picked up the new AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens ($2,196). While designed for FX (full frame) Nikon F-mount SLRs, it can also be used on their DX cameras that use APS-C-sized sensors, where it produces a 157.5mm equivalent field of view.

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! 

Stan Trzoniec  |  Apr 12, 2016  |  0 comments

Like many photographers, when Nikon introduced their 20-35mm f/2.8 lens I just had to have one. Being a commercial photographer, the ability to carry a zoom that would cover this field of view was very handy, especially for assignments that involved shooting in buildings or offices for public relations clients. While the lens was exciting, the best images were captured at around f/5.6 to f/8 when the corners started to match the sharpness of dead center. Following that was the Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8, which was more commonly known as the “beast” in photographic circles because it gave us more breathing room at the long end, complete with AF-S focusing. Although it weighed in at two pounds, it was a sharp lens!

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. 

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