The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was announced earlier this year hot on the heels of Sigma’s own lens–and for the photographer who loves to shoot wide this lens could be the only lens you’ll care to travel with. The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was designed with weather resistance and is being touted as a G lens, not to be mistaken with the company’s G Master offerings. Like many of Sony’s higher end lenses, it’s a pretty pricy offering but we need to expect that from a wide angle lens. Lenses like the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE are most suited for travel photography, landscapes, astrophotography, architecture and to some degree extreme sports. It’s also fun at parties if you’re looking to get a unique perspective. But photographers may have a tough choice between the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE and the 16-35mm f2.8.
When the Nikon 28mm f1.4 came in for review and was announced, I was a bit hesitant. Why? Well, while I was excited about the lens for sure, I’m still not a person that believes that DSLRs are necessarily the future despite the fact that I acknowledge how good they are. And to that end, I believe that if Nikon has a full frame mirrorless camera system and made this lens for it, it would be an even bigger winner than it really is. But the current Nikon 28mm f1.4 is a dream lens in so many ways. If you’re a street photographer, portrait photographer, or a photojournalist then you may really enjoy what this lens offers.
In fact, this is hands down my favorite Nikon prime lens with the exception of the company’s 105mm f1.4.
Canon has always been a company that is a bit slower to change things, and so when the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II was announced, I was pleased to see that they did a number to fix many issues with the previous lens. With that said though, years have passed now and the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II more or less looks like every other option on the market. Some of the new welcome additions are the prevention of lens creep incorporated into the design, a lock to keep the lens locked in at 24mm, better weather sealing, faster autofocus, and less issues with image quality. For years, the previous version of the lens was my bread and butter option. While many photographers reach for the 24-70mm f2.8 lenses, I tend to go for the longer focal range option.
For only $1,099 you’re getting one of the best bang for your buck L lenses that Canon offers. At a more expensive price point than Sigma’s 24-105mm f4 DG OS HSM, you’re paying for weather sealing and the ability to lock the lens at 24mm to prevent it from extending when in your camera bag. that and less contrast in the images. But the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II’s main strength is in the versatility it offers the photographer.
The Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE comes in at a significantly more affordable price point than what Sony’s offering is–and the only major difference is its lack of weather sealing vs it’s Sony counterpart. In fact, that’s the only difference most people may consider besides marginally slower autofocus performance. The lenses even look alike in some ways in that they’re pretty much the same size but with different casings. But Rokinon has brought out autofocus abilities with the Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE–making this the company’s first autofocusing lens for the Sony full frame E mount system. Indeed, it fills a niche of the photography market that is not really saturated: a place for good, affordable lenses of the Sony FE camera space.
So if you’re one of those folks that doesn’t need weather sealing, then the Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE could just be a lens that you’ll want.
The MS Optics 28mm f2 Pancake lens offering is a lens that should be permanently glued to a Leica CL if you have one. Now, don’t go doing that for real now, but more to the point, this is a lens that really should be glued on. Why? It’s incredibly small. The MS Optics 28mm f2 is one of the smallest lens offerings for the Leica M mount, with perhaps only Lomography’s Minitar 32mm f2.8 lens rivaling it. In fact, both of those lenses have unique image qualities to them as well as drastically different price points. Their operation is quite similar though due to their being this small.
One thing is for absolutely certain: mate the MS Optics 28mm f2 to your Leica M mount (or any M mount camera) and the package will be that much lighter and smaller than nearly any other lens you use with your camera.
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.
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.
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.