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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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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