Lens Reviews

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Stan Trzoniec  |  Jan 29, 2019  |  0 comments

Creating photo books on American railroads are a good part of my workload, so telephoto lenses are what I often turn to for my train photography. Extremely heavy and often dangerous, locomotives and rolling stock require a wide berth for safety’s sake. Furthermore, in the wake of the September 11th attacks, security has tightened around railroad property, demanding more distance between the photographer and subject. 

Stan Trzoniec  |  Jul 18, 2014  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Considering that this opticis only a tad slower than the Nikkor 200-400mm f/4, with a drop of a stop when you zoom out, has a 5x zoom range, is lighter, and costs about half of the near $7000 price tag of the 200-400mm f/4, it is certainly worthy of consideration for those who can appreciate what it has to offer in both range and versatility.

Jack Neubart  |  Nov 22, 2011  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2011  |  1 comments

The 85mm VR Micro Nikkor ($529.95, MSRP) benefits from next-generation VR II technology and is stated to deliver usable results at up to four steps below the optimum shutter speed. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with a DX-dedicated lens for an APS-C sensor camera (like my D300). So the optimum shutter speed when shooting handheld and without VR on translates into 1/(Lens Focal Length x Sensor Factor), or 1⁄85mm x 1.5, or 1⁄125 sec (rounded off). (Because this is a DX lens and this is Nikon, the multiplication factor is 1.5, so the effective focal length is approximately 128mm.)

George Schaub  |  Dec 01, 2009  |  0 comments

We have seen new options from independent and camera maker manufacturers alike, each bringing the fun and creative options of these unique angles of view to ever more affordable price ranges.

George Schaub  |  Aug 01, 2010  |  0 comments

When you talk about lenses these days you always have to bring in the multiplication factor, especially when you have a lens that fits comfortably on both so-called full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras. To know what angles of view you will have available you have to know: (a) that the lens is made for full-sized sensors (or not) so will work with the multiplication factor on smaller sized sensors...

Stan Trzoniec  |  Aug 01, 2010  |  1 comments

Nikon’s entry into past universal 80-200mm f/2.8 lenses started back in 1978 with a manual focus, push-pull lens checking in at 4 lbs. Ten years later the autofocus model arrived sporting ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass; ’92 marked the “D” package. In ’96 the AF-S version came along, followed by the new generation of front motor drive “G” models. Now we...

Dan Havlik  |  May 27, 2015  |  0 comments

I got a lot of feedback – mostly positive but with a few spirited rejoiners – to last month’s editorial “Smartphones (Still) Can’t Compete with Great Camera Gear,” that I feel I should “double down.” Again, this isn’t a knock against using smartphones for shooting images. As I mentioned last month, I do it all the time with some pretty decent results. And many serious photographers are constantly turning to that little phone in their pockets and have produced many spectacular photos.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Apr 04, 2019  |  0 comments

It’s Macro SmackDown! If the cost were the same, which Olympus macro lens would you buy for your Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera, the 60mm f/2.8 or the 30mm f/3.5? We shot with both and came to a conclusion that might surprise you.

Jack Neubart  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

When I first heard about a 35mm focal length macro lens my mouth began to water. The $229 price tag was an immediate inducement, as were the compactness and lightweight of this glass. What threw me, though, was the focal length. Because this was in the new Four Thirds System for an Olympus digital SLR (the EVOLT E-300 was used for this test), focal length doubled to 70mm. A 70mm...

Jason Schneider  |  Feb 28, 2019  |  0 comments

It’s now widely appreciated that many great old lenses of the analog era can capture images that have that elusive quality known as character. Writers of the early 20th    century tried to express these qualities by describing them as “rounded” “luminous” or “plastic” rendition, but later writers and scientists dismissed such terms as imprecise and speculative, turning to resolution and later MTF testing to quantify lens performance parameters.

Jason Schneider  |  Oct 07, 2016  |  0 comments

I’ve shot thousands of pictures with hundreds of great lenses over the past 40+ years, but these seven have a special place in my heart. That’s because they capture beautiful images that have “the look”—an elusive quality that may be a combination of excellent detail and sharpness plus a natural roundness in their rendition. It’s not bokeh exactly—that refers to smooth transitions and shape retention in the out-of-focus areas of the image—although these lenses all have gorgeous bokeh as well. 

Jason Schneider  |  Jan 22, 2018  |  0 comments

Professional photographers live by their lenses—they know they’re one of the keys to capturing high-quality images. That’s why they often spend thousands of dollars for a lens that’s optimized for their type of shooting, or gives them an edge over their competitors. But is it possible for serious photo enthusiasts without deep pockets or a business write-off to acquire lenses that deliver professional caliber imaging performance for a lot less money?

Jason Schneider  |  Aug 25, 2016  |  0 comments

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras have become increasingly popular among enthusiasts and pros because they provide a DSLR-like shooting experience in a lighter, more compact form factor, along with robust feature sets and significant technical advantages. The top models deliver pro-caliber performance and hi-res/high-magnification EVFs with incredibly rapid refresh rates that display the image captured by the sensor in real time.

Jason Schneider  |  Jan 09, 2017  |  0 comments

Why would anyone in their right mind want to use old lenses on their shiny new high-performance DSLR or mirrorless camera? The simple answer is that some older lenses can capture images that have that elusive quality known as character. 

George Schaub  |  Aug 01, 2008  |  0 comments

Created chiefly for the high-end Nikon D300 and D3, the new 24mm PC (Perspective Control) lens from Nikon can also be used on other Nikon D-SLR cameras, such as the relatively new D60 on which I tested it, albeit with some loss of full automation and functionality. Being a manual focus lens it can also mount on most Nikon film SLRs as well; being a PC lens it is unique in both...

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