First Impressions: Sony 50mm f1.8 (Sony FE Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm f1.8 first impressions product images (1 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

You’ve been waiting for a while now if you’re a Sony a7 camera user for a nice, affordable 50mm prime lens, and today you’ve finally got your new nifty 50. The Sony 50mm f1.8 FE lens has seven aperture blades and a very typical body of 50mm f1.8 lens: therefore justifying the price point.

Today, I had a couple of minutes to play with the lens and more are coming later on. But here are my first impressions.

Continue reading…

The Idea of the Kit Lens Needs to Change

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 50mm f1.8 STM lens review product images (2 of 2)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Throughout much of the history of digital cameras, kit lenses have often been looked down on by more advanced photographers. While they’ve improved greatly over the years, they still haven’t done enough. For a person buying a brand new camera and that wants some extra flexibility, they’re usually satisfactory.

Well, in some ways.

Continue reading…

DXOMark: Canon’s 40mm f2.8 is Sharper than 11-24mm f4 L

Canon EF 11-24mm f4L USM Lens

DXOMark hasn’t been kind to Canon; and their latest tests are even more brutal. According to the site’s findings, there are many lenses that score higher numbers and are overall much sharper. One of DXOMark’s favorite lenses is the 100mm f2–and when you look at the sharpness you can see that the 40mm f2.8 STM is scoring higher digits. Sure, these lenses can’t totally be compared in terms of what they’re capable of, but what ever happened to the idea that L glass is superior to all others? Photographers still buy into that idea even though we know it’s not necessarily true.

Even more embarrassing: the company’s 50mm f1.8 II rates in higher than the Canon 11-24mm f4 L USM.

Despite it being a completely new lens, it rates nowhere near many other new offerings. Sony, Zeiss, Sigma and Nikon seem to dominate the top 10 on the list. To Canon’s credit, nothing that is remotely close and a full frame lens is available for comparison on the site. The closest competitor would be the Tamron 15-30mm f2.8, which we just got in for review.

Also, do keep in mind that these numbers are qualitative and don’t at all affect someone’s creativity.


Cheap Photo: Discounts on 50mm f1.8 Lenses

Canon 50mm f1.8 III

Today in Cheap photo, we’ve found discounts on loads of 50mm f1.8 (nifty 50) lenses. Plus, the new Tokina 24-70mm f2.8 lens is now available in both Canon and Nikon mounts,

Also still valid: Here’s your chance to get the Sony A7 at the cheapest price that we’ve seen it for yet. And just in case Amazon runs out, try B&H Photo or Adorama. We’ve also found deals on Pentax lenses, B&H’s Deal zone, a 70D bundle rebate deal,

If you’re still interested: the new Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens is getting $100 off and going for $849. But be sure to check out our review before you go buy one, our comparison to the original and to the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art.

We’ve found a bundle deal on a Canon 70D Bundle for $789 after a rebate, plus Nikon savingsNikon summer bundle deals as well as so much more.

$400 off the Sony A7r, Zeiss lens rebates, $299 for the Olympus EPL5, a discount on the Fujifilm XT-1, $499 for the Olympus OMD EM5, $200 off on the Fujifilm X100T, Tamron lens discounts, Lexar card specials.

Not a Nikon fan? Then check out Amazon’s best selling cameras, with lots of the under $500. Plus, Adorama has specials on Lowepro camera bags. Continue reading…

The 5 Best Cheap Lenses for Sony E-mount

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 28mm f2 lens review product photos (1 of 7)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.5

Sony has had a mirrorless camera system for a while. Originally called the NEX system, it has since been incorporated into the Alpha system. The company originally had only APS-C cameras, but they were the first to give the world full frame mirrorless cameras for the E-mount. However, the full-frame E-mount lenses are more expensive and much newer. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find affordable options out there.

In our reviews of reviewing lenses, we’ve compiled lots of information from our Reviews Index and around rounding up our favorite E-mount lenses that won’t break the bank.

Continue reading…

The 5 Best Cheap Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

Nikon Df GServo-20131231-0012

Yesterday, we featured five great cheap lenses for the Canon DSLR system; and today we’re taking a look at what Nikon has to offer. For years, photographers always said that you go to Canon for the lenses and you go to Nikon for the bodies. But in the most recent years, Nikon has been updating and putting out new lenses on a faster scale than Canon does. For starters, they’re determined to make loads of prime lenses at f1.8 and the company is also working on updating their other lenses that were otherwise left from the film days.

Over our years of testing lenses and cameras, we’ve rounded up some of the best and most affordable lenses that are available for the Nikon F mount DSLR system. So if you’re looking for the best cheap lenses for your Nikon DSLR, then look no further.

Continue reading…

Canon Finally Updates Their 50mm f1.8 Lens

Canon 50mm f1.8 III

After years without an update, Canon is finally giving their 50mm f1.8 lens some new moxy. This is their third iteration in the EOS lineup and it seems to combine the best of both of the previous versions. The Canon 50mm f1.8 III has a metal mount, seven aperture blades, new lens coatings and a new STM motor for more silent focusing.

The new lens can focus and close at 14 inches away, has a 49mm front filter thread and weighs in at only 5.61 oz.

Best of all: it’s still cheap on the price-side of things.

The new lens will be available for $125 and is currently on pre-order at B&H Photo. Shipping begins later this month.

We’ve got no word if this thing is capable of resolving the 50MP Canon 5Ds or 5DsR; but if it is then it has stepped leaps and bounds ahead of lots of the company’s L lenses.

First Impressions: Nikon D5500


The Nikon D5500 clearly shows off the company’s continued evolution of their more entry level offerings–to the point where it pretty much seems to be targeting the mirrorless camera market. It’s small; in fact during our initial meeting with Nikon we found it to be comparable to the full frame mirrorless Sony A7 camera. And while it’s small, Nikon is still trying to do things that don’t sacrifice on build quality, feel, and features.

The Nikon D5500 sports a 24.2MP APS-C sensor with no OLPF at the heart. Other specs include a 3.2 inch vari-angle LCD touch screen (yes, touch screen), the EXPEED 4 imaging processor, ISOs ranging from 100-25,600, 5 fps shooting, and similar video capabilities to the D750.

Yes, these are all very cool features for an entry level DSLR (or a step above it.) But they’re still not our favorite thing about this camera.

Continue reading…