Review: Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

When the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 was put into my hands a few months ago, I was really curious about this lens. The previous one coming in at 56mm was incredibly soft. Now, that’s all part of the charm of the Velvet series–but when it’s so soft that focus peaking sometimes won’t even work, then it can be tough to get anything in focus with the lens. But the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 is different in a whole bunch of ways. It’s still soft wide open, but you can make that work for you in a number of ways: one of which is to work with a studio flash system.

With the announcement of the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 available in a number of mounts, this only makes the choice of which 85mm lens to choose for the Sony camera system even more difficult.

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Review: Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR (Fujifilm X Mount)

The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR is the third lens addition to the f2 weather sealed compact prime offerings from Fujifilm–and in many ways it’s an excellent portrait lens. But it’s also great for much more than that. You see, Fujifilm developed the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR lens to be pretty versatile. It can focus fairly close and it has weather sealing built into the design. Combine this with naturally sharp optics, fast autofocus performance, and the not too large size and you’ve got yourself a pretty powerful, compact longer focal length.

Most photographers picking this lens up may opt for shooting portraits. In all honesty, there are better options for portraiture in the Fujifilm X series system, and also a few fantastic third party options. But if you’re the type of photographer who shoots candids on the streets and like to do street portraits, you may want to give this lens a try. Yes, the street photographer and the street portrait photographer are the ones who will want to go for this lens.

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Review: Sony 35mm f1.4 (Sony Alpha)

If you were to look back at some of the quintessential lens options for the Sony Alpha lineup of lenses, then you’re sure to figure that the company would have updated their 35mm f1.4 by now; but they haven’t. Sony has a fantastic 50mm f1.4 lens for their Alpha lineup of cameras and considering that the A99 II is such a blow-me-away great camera, it would make a whole lot of sense that they updated their 35mm for the wedding and photojournalism crowd.

However, those photographers are understandable looking more towards the mirrorless camera world. So with that said, when Sony sent us the Sony 35mm f1.4 lens in Alpha mount to review with the Minolta a7, we decided to do something different: test the lens entirely on film.

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Extended Impressions: Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 Lens

When it comes to really long lenses, there’s probably a chance that we wouldn’t really review them. The reason for this is because of our audience doesn’t really use them. But if you’re curious, a while back, we were using the Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 Lens. So we’ve added some extended first impressions and a fully image gallery to our original post on that lens.

You can check that out right here.

Review: Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art (Canon EF)

If you’re a fan of the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens, then you’re bound to fall head over heels for the Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art lens. When it comes to portrait lenses, photographers are typically tied to the 85mm and 135mm focal lengths: and so that makes this latest decision even harder. Both are good. In fact, both are fantastic. But with the new Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art lens, you get what seems like a smaller and lighter lens though surely longer. Plus it has weather sealing and a classic quality about it with just a bit less contrast than many of the other Sigma Art lenses.

But is it the right portrait lens for you?

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Review: Zeiss 28mm f2.8 ZM (Leica M Mount)

If you were to consider one lens for street photography and urban geometry, then there isn’t a fantastic reason why the Zeiss 28mm f2.8 ZM lens shouldn’t be on your list. The lens is designed for the Leica M mount, which means that it has a whole lot of versatility when it comes to mounting it to something else. So for the Sony a7 series shooter, it’s a nice addition. But it’s also nice to be in the bag of a Leica M shooter or in my case, with the Leica CL. Zeiss has always made some really stellar lenses, but when you also make them this compact, it’s easy to fall in love with their glass all over again.

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First Impressions: Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE is designed to compete with the options from Sigma, Canon, etc. So why would Sony design a lens like this, you wonder? I wondered the same, exact thing–and then I saw it and held it in person. The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE is incredibly small and for the first time, I’m very glad to say that Sony has made a zoom lens that doesn’t make me cringe in terms of size in relation to a mirrorless camera. It’s also go weather sealing built in though Sony says that it isn’t to the spec of the G Master series.

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First Impressions: Sony 16-35mm f2.8 G Master FE (Sony E Mount, Full Mount)

Today, Sony is announcing the last addition to their f2.8 trinity: the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 G Master FE lens. The new Sony 16-35mm f2.8 G Master FE lens is designed to be every bit as professional as the 70-200mm f2.8 and 24-70mm f2.8 lens offerings. In regards to the design, Sony talks a lot about how much engineering went into it in regards to corner to corner sharpness in addition to distortion. When it launches later this year, it’s going to be $2,199 in stores at the end of August.

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