Review: Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was announced earlier this year hot on the heels of Sigma’s own lens–and for the photographer who loves to shoot wide this lens could be the only lens you’ll care to travel with. The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was designed with weather resistance and is being touted as a G lens, not to be mistaken with the company’s G Master offerings. Like many of Sony’s higher end lenses, it’s a pretty pricy offering but we need to expect that from a wide angle lens. Lenses like the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE are most suited for travel photography, landscapes, astrophotography, architecture and to some degree extreme sports. It’s also fun at parties if you’re looking to get a unique perspective. But photographers may have a tough choice between the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE and the 16-35mm f2.8.

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Review: Canon 6D Mk II

I want to get something straight that not a lot of reviews are putting out there: the Canon 6D Mk II isn’t a bad camera, in fact for most people, it will be a pretty darned good one. But for the rest of us that are at a point where we are demanding more from our cameras and image quality, we shouldn’t even be looking at this one. In many ways, the Canon 6D Mk II is the modern Canon full frame Rebel. What do I mean by that? Canon has squarely given the camera enough features to please the folks who just want to move up to full frame and their current lineup of users. There’s nothing incredibly revolutionary about it and the folks at the NYTimes aren’t bound to write praises all about it; but at the same time it isn’t a terrible camera at all.

But in every single way, it isn’t something that I’d recommend to any sort of working pro or semi-professional except for perhaps portrait photographers.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm X-E3 (Sample Images Included)

I’m really glad that Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm X-E3 partially because the Fujifilm XE2s was such an absolute failure in my eyes. In many ways, it felt half-assed and due to its release after the announcement of cameras with the new 24MP X Trans sensor, its usage of the 16MP sensor seemed odd. Nonetheless, I believe that sensor’s output looked much more analog than the newer ones. With the Fujifilm X-E3 though, photographers are getting a camera that is perhaps one of Fujifilm’s most straightforward creations in a while. However, there are things that are sort of odd. It uses the same sensor as the company’s flagship cameras and includes 4K video, the joystick that every Fujifilm user pretty much demands at this point, and a shutter speed dial without the ISO setting incorporated (lest someone who doesn’t understand how to use the dial goes onto YouTube and creates a video about how terrible this one thing is when they’ve probably never shot with a film camera in their life).

No, with the Fujifilm X-E3 you’ve got a heavy emphasis on just the basics: exposure.

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First Impressions: Lomography Lomo’Instant Square

In the past few years, I’ve learned to trust in Lomography’s ability to churn out solid instant film cameras, and the Lomography Lomo’Instant Square seems to be every bit as solid as lots of camera I’ve seen thus far. It’s the first camera to use the Fujifilm Instax Square format that isn’t made by Fujifilm. With a very classic design that is sort of an ode to old Kodak instant film cameras, this is one of Lomography’s more curious cameras. Lomo decided to go with a glass lens, a bellows system, and more or less the same sort of system the previous Lomo’Instant cameras have had. It borrows a lot from them and personally speaking, I’m pretty glad that I backed it. For ethical reasons of running a photography blog, I typically don’t like to back Kickstarter campaigns, but this is one that I firmly believed in.

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Review: Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II (Canon EF Mount)

Canon has always been a company that is a bit slower to change things, and so when the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II was announced, I was pleased to see that they did a number to fix many issues with the previous lens. With that said though, years have passed now and the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II more or less looks like every other option on the market. Some of the new welcome additions are the prevention of lens creep incorporated into the design, a lock to keep the lens locked in at 24mm, better weather sealing, faster autofocus, and less issues with image quality. For years, the previous version of the lens was my bread and butter option. While many photographers reach for the 24-70mm f2.8 lenses, I tend to go for the longer focal range option.

For only $1,099 you’re getting one of the best bang for your buck L lenses that Canon offers. At a more expensive price point than Sigma’s 24-105mm f4 DG OS HSM, you’re paying for weather sealing and the ability to lock the lens at 24mm to prevent it from extending when in your camera bag. that and less contrast in the images. But the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II’s main strength is in the versatility it offers the photographer.

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Review: Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE (Sony FE Full Frame E Mount)

The Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE comes in at a significantly more affordable price point than what Sony’s offering is–and the only major difference is its lack of weather sealing vs it’s Sony counterpart. In fact, that’s the only difference most people may consider besides marginally slower autofocus performance. The lenses even look alike in some ways in that they’re pretty much the same size but with different casings. But Rokinon has brought out autofocus abilities with the Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE–making this the company’s first autofocusing lens for the Sony full frame E mount system. Indeed, it fills a niche of the photography market that is not really saturated: a place for good, affordable lenses of the Sony FE camera space.

So if you’re one of those folks that doesn’t need weather sealing, then the Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE could just be a lens that you’ll want.

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UPDATED First Impressions: Nikon D850 (The 45.7MP Full Frame Beast)

In what is perhaps one of the worst kept secrets of the year in the photo industry, the Nikon D850 is finally making its debut today. The Nikon D850 is the company’s latest update to the Nikon D810 and brings with it a number of pretty awesome features that are probably bound to keep Nikon users from going to something like a Sony a9 instead. For starters, the Nikon D850 has a brand new 45.7MP Full frame sensor–and they’re not saying who makes it. And as is very typical Nikon in the past few years, it goes down organically to ISO 64–which is fantastic news for us landscape and portrait shooters. But in addition to that, the Nikon D850 sports a touchscreen LCD, dual card slots, a diopter that goes to +/- 3, 7fps with expansion up to 9 when using the booster grip, an EXPEED 5 processor, ISO sensitivity to 25,600, focus stacking abilities, flash sync of 1/250th, weather sealing, 4K video options and much more.

Updated: September 13th 2017 with a sample image gallery

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