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


I never quite understood the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 series of lenses–they overlap with the company’s 24-70 offerings and the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lenses seemed to be more reasonable in terms of building a kit. But nonetheless, the lenses have always been popular with the photographers that really need the wide to semi-wide angle of view. When the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM III was announced, I figured that it made sense to replace that lens. Interestingly enough, these focal lengths are some of my favorite to play with. I swear by the 35mm field of view over the 50mm field of view, and I thoroughly enjoy shooting wider than 24mm when I can.

But to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from the beta version of the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM III lens that I tried.

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Which One? The Sony RX1r II vs Leica Q Comparison


If you wanted to go for a premium point and shoot camera of some sort, then the best of the best is easily awarded to the Sony RX1r II and the Leica Q. With their full frame sensors and fast aperture lenses, they’re bound to be appreciated by many photographers. Both of them have been out for a while now, and with the price differences not too far apart from one another you’re obviously curious about which one you should get. For some, the answer is clear: you prefer a higher megapixel sensor and the 35mm field of view. Others however want to go for the 28mm f1.7 lens and don’t want to fill their hard drives up.

We’ve reviewed both cameras, so here’s what we think.

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Vintage Camera Review: Nikon N2020


One day last year, my uncle gave me a gift that rekindled my interest in 35mm film photography–the Nikon N2020. My delight to hear him say, “It has a motor focus,” was followed by a chuckle of appreciation. Ever since I was a young boy, he knew how much I loved playing with new toys and this wasn’t really any sort of exception. The Hexar AF is the camera that turned that kindle into a raging, fiery passion; but the N2020 has quite a bit going for it that makes it wonderful in some ways. Quirky, fun, reliable, and compact–I can tell why so many people genuinely loved this camera.

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First Impressions: Sony a99 II


It’s been years since Sony has updated the a99, and at Photokina 2016 the company announced the successor–the Sony a99 II. Chock full of upgrades like a 42.2MP full frame sensor, hybrid autofocus detection, 4K video without pixel binning, 12 fps shooting capabilities in raw with a buffer of up to 56 images, and a new three way tilting LCD screen there is surely a lot to love here.

We got a chance to play with the camera–like 15 minutes if anything. And though we weren’t allowed to take home sample images, we’re quite impressed with what we’ve seen so far.

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First Impressions: Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2 (Sony FE)


The first new lens in Tokina’s new FiRIN lineup of lenses is a manual focus offering with electronic contacts communicating with the Sony a7 camera bodies it’s designed for: and it’s called the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2. Odd naming aside from a Japanese company using a Gaelic term, the lens is an all manual focus, manual aperture optic that is well designed from metal and targeted to both photographers and videographers. As a fast, compact, well built prime lens it’s designed from the ground up–and Tokina has done a very good job.

At Photokina 2016, we got the chance to get some personal fondling time with the lens.

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Review: Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR (Fujifilm X Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens review product images (1 of 10)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.0

Compare the Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens to anything else on the APS-C camera market, and you’ll find pretty much no sort of equivalent product. It’s weather sealed, has optical image stabilization, doesn’t change its aperture very much throughout the range, and is built incredibly well. Then tag onto it the fact that it’s made by Fujifilm–one of the best lens makers of all time. Keep moving forward, and consider the fact that you’re putting this glass in front of the company’s excellent X Trans Sensors; designed by Fujifilm but manufactured by Sony. If you’re a sports, photojournalism, wildlife photographer or professional creeper then this lens may indeed by an option that you’ll want to consider.

Announced quite a while back, the Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR may also be the company’s most expensive lens. But if you need something like this, it’s worth every penny.

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Review: Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 FE lens review (1 of 10)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

There is very little on the market that can truly be compared to the Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G OSS lens; and for that reason it’s truly considered something unique. Very little, if anything at all, even compares to this lens in the mirrorless camera world.

For a little over $1,000 you’re getting a dust and splash resistant lens with quite a zoom range and a fairly compact size. Sure, it’s not an internal zooming lens but it’s still not too bad. On top of that, it’s designed for full frame mirrorless cameras. Considering Sony’s reputation, you can bet that it’s also going to be pretty darn good.

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Review: Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f2 Smooth Trans Focus Lens (Sony E, Full Frame)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Laowa 105mm f2 lens review product images (7 of 10)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

When you look at the landscape of portrait lenses available for the full frame Sony E mount, you’ll see that they’re growing at a high rate–and the Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f2 lens is only one of those options. This lens is very special due to the design incorporating an apodization element to produce images that the company claims will give you “smooth and creamy bokeh while maintaining excellent sharpness at the focal plane.” To that end, it loses some light gathering abilities and has a T rating of T3.2–meaning that the photographer loses more than a full stop of light.

In practice, you indeed do get incredible images. But as with every manual focus telephoto lens, you’ll need to be very careful.

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