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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Review: Zeiss 135mm f2.8 Batis (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

One of the lenses that the Sony FE system has been lacking for a while is a proper 135mm lens offering; but today Zeiss is solving that with the Zeiss 135mm f2.8 Batis offering. Like many of the other Batis lenses out there, it’s a lens that is characterized with an almost clinically smooth body, weather sealing and the company’s very unconventional LCD info screen on top of the lens. It’s truly designed from the ground up for digital. Being a 135mm focal length, it’s going to surely find itself in the hands of portrait and headshot photographers who shoot with Sony cameras. In fact, along with the Sony 85mm f1.8 and G Master lens offerings, I consider the 135mm f2.8 to be a nearly perfect portrait lens offering.

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Review: Tokina 20mm f2 FiRIN (Sony E, Full Frame)

The Tokina 20mm f2 FiRIN lens is company’s first entry into creating lenses for the full frame Sony E mount lineup of cameras. After speaking with the company at Photokina last year, we learned that this will be the only option with manual focus-only capabilities. As it is, the 20mm f2 is one of the wider angle prime lenses available for full frame Sony E Mount cameras that also has full focusing and exposure communication.

As it’s been an incredible pleasure to use.

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Review: Sony 100mm f2.8 G Master OSS STM FE (Sony Full Frame E Mount)

The Sony 100mm f2.8 G Master OSS STM lens is a bit of a weird one for a lot of photographers who don’t necessarily understand F stops and T stops–but those photographers should also know just how great the potential image quality is. This lens is a smooth trans focus lens, which means there is an extra element that sort of acts like an ND filter. To that end, this element also cuts down a lot of light–in this case two stops of it. Considering that it’s a G Master lens too, you can be sure that Sony put a lot into its creation.

Despite all this fantastic work though, I’m somehow or another just not as super impressed by it as I should be.

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

If you were to ask me about what my favorite lenses are for the Sony full frame E mount camera system, the Sony 85mm f1.8 FE would surely be up there in the top 5. It’s compact, sharp, can focus quickly (emphasis on can), touts moisture and dust resistance, and overall delivers some of the most pleasing images I’ve gotten in a while. You see, I really LOVE 85mm lenses. They let me work closer to a subject while also being fairly intimate with them in a portrait setting. But then you consider just how great the image quality is with this lens, the fast aperture, and the small size and you’ve got yourself something really quite magical.

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Review: Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM (Leica M Mount)

Upon purchasing a Leica CL, I figured it was time to dive into reviewing more M Mount glass; and what better place to start than with the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM. For years now, I’ve been smitten with Zeiss lenses and most manual focus glass in general. Their lenses are fantastic, and are often highly regarded even amongst the M mount community of users. Offering a 35mm field of view in addition to being rangefinder coupled, the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM ( $2,249.95 ) works well with both mirrorless digital cameras and M mount camera bodies.

Oddly enough, though I’ve always loved Zeiss lenses, they’ve never made a 35mm lens I’ve seriously been smitten by. Upon handling and using this lens though, that has changed.

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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.

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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.

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