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

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Milvus 18mm f2.8 product images (1 of 6)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.0

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.

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

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 FE product images review (3 of 8)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.8

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

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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.

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

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master product images (1 of 7)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 4.5

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.

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Review: Nikon 24mm f1.8 G (Nikon F Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon 24mm f1.8 G product images (1 of 6)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Nikon has created an incredible lineup of f1.8 lenses for those of us who can’t afford some of the higher end products. We’ve been waiting a while for the 24mm f1.8–and thankfully it doesn’t disappoint. Nikon’s lenses have always been stellar, and when you use the 24mm f1.8, you don’t really think that you’re using a typical f1.8 lens.

With seven aperture blades, 12 elements in 9 groups and a weight of 12.6 oz, you’ll probably never want to take it off of your camera.

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Review: Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography DAGUERREOTYPE--ACHROMAT 2.9-64 ART LENS (1 of 8)ISO 2001-80 sec at f - 2.8

It’s not often that Lomography calls the press in before an announcement of theirs, but the new Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 64mm f2.9 Art lens demands it. This is a first for Lomo: a lens designed on the daguerreotype methods vs the Petzval style. Like many of the company’s other lenses, this one isn’t about the sharpness, the pixel peeping, the MTF curve charts or any of that crap that doesn’t necessarily matter to the actual content of a photo. Instead, it’s about the look and the creative vision that you can create with it.

Call it hipster, go ahead: but that probably means that this lens isn’t for you. This is a lens for the majority of the photography world– those that care more about capturing and creating an incredible moment.

So what’s so cool about this lens? Besides the uber-retro look and feel, Lomography decided to take the Waterhouse aperture system even further. You’ll get lots of normal apertures and a ton of specially spaced ones that change the look of the bokeh accordingly. This is super cool for video shooters and for still shooters doing studio portrait work, you’re bound to have fun with manual studio strobes.

Today, the company’s Kickstarter for the Achromat lens launches. For the past week, I’ve been working with the lens.

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Review: Lomography Jupiter 3+ 50mm f1.5 (M39 Screwmount/Leica M)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography 50mm f1.5 Helios Zenit product photos (9 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

While photographers who have used Helios lenses for years scoffed at the pricing of the Lomography 50mm f1.5, they didn’t take a lot of the new factors into consideration. This lens has an absolutely incredible build quality, smooth clickless aperture, absolutely wonderful colors, and it includes an adapter for Leica M cameras.

This lens is a manual focus optic with an f1.5 aperture, a small body size, and rangefinder coupling. If I haven’t said it enough already, it also has some of the absolute best build quality I’ve felt in years from a modern lens.

It’s fun–and for sure an excellent portrait lens. Despite its great image quality and fun uses, I’m still not sure that it’s a lens for everyone; much like most of Lomo’s products.

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Review: Canon 35mm f1.4 L USM II (Canon EF)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 35mm f1.4 L II review product images (1 of 7)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.8

It’s been nearly 20 years since Canon released the first 35mm f1.4 L USM lens for the Canon EF mount. For a few years, that lens was my bread and butter optic. Then one year, Sigma released the 35mm f1.4 Art lens–and that quickly replaced the aged Canon offering. Earlier this year, Canon announced their response to the new line of absolutely stellar 35mm lenses that have recently been released from various manufacturers: the 35mm f1.4 II L USM.

So what are the big upgrades? Canon incorporated a Blue Refractive optic into the lens that’s supposed to cut down on color fringing, added weather sealing, and a textured surface–at least those are the biggest changes. That, and for some odd reason that big, bright red ring seems even brighter.

Earlier on, we saw that Sigma still takes a very slight advantage: but is it enough to make you want to spend approximately double the money?

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