Review: Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus (Canon EF)

The Milvus lineup of lenses from Zeiss are more or less their workhorses; and with the addition of the new Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens, I’ve never been more convinced that they’re the absolute best lens maker on the market. Yes, Sigma–that mean even above what you’re capable of. While Zeiss’s mentality has always been about MTF charts and curves, in the past few years they’ve been working on a transition that’s catering not only to that crowd, but also to those who care more about the stuff that can’t be measured in a lab. For example, Zeiss lenses have always had a special character about them–I’ve seen folks on our Facebook page talk about it fairly often when their optics come up.

So what’s even more appealing about the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens is that they’re targeting at portrait photographers.

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Review: Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD (Canon EF-S)

The Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is a lens that has been sorely needed for a while: it delivers a wide angle zoom option to APS-C DSLRs while putting in weather sealing, good autofocus performance, light weight, and overall great image quality. It’s a fantastic option for the photographer that has been looking for a way to shoot wide landscapes and cities with their APS-C DSLR while on vacation–or even just for fun. When you consider the weather sealing abilities built into the lens along with the relatively recent major improvements that Tamron has been making to their lenses, there is almost no reason to not consider the Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD 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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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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Lens Review: Leica Summaron-M 28mm F5.6 (Leica M Mount)

The Leica Summaron-M 28mm F5.6 is a lens that in many ways is bound to garner the love of many street photographers out there. One could easily think to themselves: why would someone go crazy over a small, slow prime lens? There are a lot of reasons beyond its more affordable price point. There’s the image quality–which is unlike anything I’ve seen from most modern lenses. Then there are things like the low profile and the fact that the fairly slow speed means that’s all you’re going to be using for street photography anyway. It’s a gorgeous lens if you’re into something smaller and a lot more classic–not only in the quality but also the operation.

And seriously, I have to hand it to Leica. The Leica Summaron-M 28mm f5.6 is designed more for the look: not to appease some DXO overlord.

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Five Fantastic A Little Longer Than 50mm Lenses for Portrait Photography

There are whole swarms of photographers who absolutely swear by and to the 50mm focal length, yet when it comes to portraiture, it’s easy for a lot of photographers to find the focal length a bit lacking. That’s where all of these slightly longer focal lengths have been coming from for a while now–something just a bit longer than a 50mm lens is often a fantastic option for portraits because while it isn’t as constrained as an 85mm lens, you tend to get a slightly longer field of view and therefore just enough more compression when shooting.

Here are some of our favorites.

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Review: Tamron AF 180mm f3.5 Di SP A/M FEC LD (IF) 1:1 Macro (Canon EF)

Before the company started to really revamp their lenses, Tamron’s offerings were actually pretty darn good to start. So on a whim of curiousity, I decided to try the Tamron AF 180mm f3.5 Di SP A/M FEC LD (IF) 1:1 Macro–surely a long telephoto macro lens will have to be great, right? Truthfully, it really is; but it isn’t without its own faults partially due to how DSLR cameras work. Though for the enthusiast photographer, you’ll probably really appreciate what it’s capable of.

And at the same time, you’ll need to shoot it like a pro.

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