Review: Lomography 32mm f2.8 Minitar Art Lens (Leica M Mount)

Most of Lomography’s art lenses have been a hit, but in the case of the Lomography 32mm f2.8 Minitar, I’m not totally sure I know what to think. There’s a fair amount going for it in terms of being super small and easily mountable to a Leica M camera body, but then there’s a lot of weirdness with the image quality. This lens is capable of being either pretty darn sharp or kind of kooky–and I’m not sure it’s kooky in a bad way or if it’s just some of Lomography’s charm trying to come off on us. But if you’re aware of how the Lomography LC-A works, this is basically the same lens.

If you’re a lover of really old analog lenses, then you may digg this one.

Continue reading…

Review: Leica 40mm f2 Rokkor (Leica M Mount)

Most affectionately known as the lens that comes with the Leica CL, the Leica 40mm f2 Rokkor is also a bit of a hidden gem. To this day, it’s one of the sharpest Leica lenses ever made and perhaps a lens that has held its value so well vs many other options on the market. Due to it being Leica M mount, it’s easily adaptable to many mirrorless cameras. If photographers who own Fujifilm, Sony, or Micro Four Thirds cameras are looking for a solid manual focus lens that is also compact it’s very hard to invalidate what the Leica 40mm f2 is capable of.

That, and it’s crazy affordable price point.

Continue reading…

Review: Olympus M. Zuiko 30mm f3.5 (Micro Four Thirds)

You really have to give it to Olympus: even when you’re not working with their highest-end glass, the image quality is still super stellar–and that’s the case with the new Olympus 30mm f3.5 Macro lens. It isn’t one of the company’s best built lenses, but it also isn’t one of their worst. Rendering the equivalent of a 60mm f7 field of view in the full frame equivalent, you have little to no reason to stop a lens down like this.

And beyond there, there is a whole lot to love here.

Continue reading…

Review: Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L III USM (Canon EF)

For years, the saying used to go something like “You go to Canon for the glass, and you go to Nikon for the cameras.” But as technology has progressed, it’s debatable that both companies are making solid products if that whole statement isn’t swapped. While Canon’s lenses don’t score the highest numbers at DXOMark (except in sharpness where they take a big lead), you can’t exactly sit here and fault a lens like the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L III USM. Websites around the world can sit here and measure things like sharpness, distortion, vignetting, etc. But they can’t measure things like bokeh or pure character that a lens like this can deliver. As the third update to the popular Canon lens, it begs the question as to why Canon hasn’t decided to go wider to properly compete with the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 G option. Instead, you get some overlap with the 16-35mm, 24-70mm, and the 70-200mm lenses. Even if you went with something like the 11-24mm, you’re going down to f4 instead of f2.8.

Then you remember something: photography isn’t always all about the numbers.

But with weather sealing, some incredible sharpness, and overall great quality to the lens, Canon is showing the new school of photographers that they’re not going to go down without a fight to the likes of Sony.

Continue reading…

Review: Zeiss 18mm f2.8 Milvus (Nikon F)

Along with recent announcement of the 135mm f2 and 15mm f2.8 Milvus lenses, we were also treated to the Zeiss 18mm f2.8 Milvus lens. This lens is the company’s offering in-between their 15mm and 21mm focal lengths that are supposed to deliver architecture, Real Estate, Cityscape and landscape photographers a different experience. Like the others out there, this lens is weather sealed and characterized with the blue ring towards the back of the lens–which aids in weather sealing overall. Additionally, it boasts manual focusing, a rubber focusing ring and an all metal body.

Indeed, it’s one heck of a lens designed for the outdoor photographer.

Continue reading…

Review (Complete): Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 (Full Frame E Mount)

The release of the Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for full frame E mount cameras begs the question “just how many 50mm lenses does one need?” In truth, just one–but the strategy is a smart one for the company. You see, years ago camera manufacturers used to offer loads of different lens options. You’d get a 50mm f1.8, f1.4, f2, etc. Leica still does this and to some degree, Zeiss does too. But with Sony, you’re getting something different.

This new lens isn’t part of the company’s G Master series of optics and instead it’s a lens that was created in collaboration with Zeiss. It boasts dust/moisture resistance, 11 aperture blades, and other cool features including Zeiss T* coatings that are bound to give you that Zeiss-like look though probably not as clear as their Milvus lineup of lenses.

Editor’s note: this review is now complete

Continue reading…

Review: Lensbaby Twist 60 f2.5 (Canon EF)

Additional reporting done by Chris Gampat

Lensbaby has always been a company that does things just a bit different from the rest. Such is the case with the company’s Twist 60mm f2.5 lens. It’s well built and in the right situations can deliver beautiful photos that will really make your jaw drop. At the same time though, it’s not for everyone. This lens is based off of the old Petzval schematics–and you should be willing to embrace that with this lens.

Continue reading…

Review: Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master (Sony E Mount)

It was only a matter of time until Sony announced their 24-70mm f2.8 lens that put it more squarely in the eyes of professionals. This lens is part of the company’s G Master lineup: which despite the hilarious name is also very capable of helping you shoot and gain a ton of excitement (I had to, sorry.)

Unlike some of Sony’s other lenses, this one has weather sealing at the mount and resistance built in all around the lens. Plus it focuses quickly, is pretty well built overall, and is pretty compact for a 24-70mm lens.

It’s meant for the professional, and the price really reflects that.

Continue reading…