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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I Miss the CCD Sensor: A Love Letter to Older Digital Cameras

chris gampat the phoblographer leica m9p review (2 of 15)

I’m about to say something that is going to be very unpopular with many of you, but will make a whole load of sense to those of you experienced enough to truly realize what I’m saying. CMOS sensors in cameras these days are all good. The ones in phones, dedicated cameras, etc. They work and they’re all highly capable of delivering beautiful results. I’d guarantee you that if you put the output from a Sony camera and a Canon camera side by side, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell which is which. Why? They’re all so perfect. Because of this, I honestly really miss the CCD sensor–the unique look that it was able to deliver rendered images to resemble chrome film and gave us beautiful flaws that could easily be embraced by the most crafty amongst us. Indeed, the “bad results” truly brought out those of us that could make lemonade out of a pile of lemons.

It’s a tune I’ve been singing for years now.

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Is the New Sony a99 II Too Late to the Photography Game?


Though Sony was the first to the game with full frame interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras with autofocus, the company has traditionally played catch up in the digital photography world–and there seems to be a bit of that with the Sony a99 II. Granted, they’re now very much the leader in many ways and create understandably fantastic products–but the a99 II’s announcement after around four years or more feels a bit like what Canon and Nikon do. Granted, that makes sense in some ways; but Sony is now mostly known for their mirrorless cameras and that begs the question of whether or not the company is too late with this announcement.

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First Impressions: Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f2 (Sony FE)


If you’ve known anything about Venus Optics and what they’ve been doing for the past couple of years, you’ll know they entered the manual focusing lens world and are promising a zero-distortion 15mm f2 lens to be delivered soon for the Sony full frame E mount. At Photokina 2016, we got a chance to meet with the company to give the lens a bit of a try on the original Sony a7. So far, it seems like they’re holding themselves very closely to their claims.

To be fair, I tested a pre-production unit and our reps tell us that the production version of the lens will be around 30% better.

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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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Review: Zeiss 15mm f2.8 Milvus (Nikon F)


When you look at a Zeiss lens, it’s very common to feel gear lust–and that’s what the Zeiss 15mm f2.8 Milvus lens will create in you. As the company’s widest lens and one of the newest additions to the Milvus lineup, it’s also one that will inspire you quite a bit due to its gorgeous way of rendering the world around you. Those that will really love this lens are landscape, architecture and real estate photographers. These shooters will also most likely be ones that wok professionally especially as they’re some of the few that will be able to justify the purchase to themselves.

But if you can get your hands on one, you’ll never want to go back to anything else.

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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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