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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 58mm f2 Biotar images (4 of 4)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 8.0

While lots of us tend to geek out about how amazing many modern day lenses are, videographers love the look of vintage glass–especially for the bokeh. There’s a great reason for it besides how they tend to work with the sensor. But many years ago, I purchased a Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f2 with an adapter to Micro Four Thirds. On the old Panasonic GH2, it rendered results that looked beautiful. But that’s a Four Thirds sensor, and just yesterday I purchased an adapter for the lens to mount onto a Sony E Mount Full Frame camera.

This lens is an Exacta mount lens and still works very well. But one of the best things about the lens is the 17 or so aperture blades that it has.


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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 15mm f1.7 review product photos (2 of 6)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

The Panasonic 15mm f1.7 lens is a small, well designed lens for the Micro Four Thirds camera system–and we dare say that it is our favorite autofocusing lens for the system, too. Designed to be almost a pancake but with a wide f1.7 aperture, it pairs very nicely with some of the system’s medium to smaller camera. With nine elements in seven groups and seven aperture blades, it’s a fairly simply designed lens but whatever magic that Panasonic put into it makes the lens sing with pure image quality.

Introduced earlier this year, this lens is very heavily targeted at the street photographer and the person looking to take general candids and images due to its 30mm field of view.

And when our review period is over, we’re going to be very sad to say goodbye to it.


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One of our readers sent us a tip to let us know that the very rare Nikon 6mm f2.8 fisheye lens is available right now on eBay. The lens, which is literally able to see behind itself, is incredibly wide and is very rare because it is so specialized. The bidding is starting out at 49,990 Euro, and the lens overall seems to be in very good condition.

Earlier this year, another one of these lenses went on eBay too. As we state in our previous article:

Supposedly the lens was originally developed for special scientific and industrial use according to the seller’s description. This “special wider-than-180-degreee picture coverage [was] required for surveillance work, photographing the interiors of pipes, boilers, conduits, cylinder bores, and other constricted areas.”

Even cooler though is the fact that the owner shot a video with the Nikon D4s and the lens attached to show you what images from it look like.

More of the images and the video are after the jump, but head on over to eBay to see the lens for yourself.

- Thanks for the tip Kristoffer!


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Pro Tip: When shooting wide open, be sure to exercise proper breathing control to ensure that you keep your subject in focus.

Pro Tip: When shooting wide open, be sure to exercise proper breathing control to ensure that you keep your subject in focus.

Taking a person’s portrait is a back and forth game. It often involves a singular back and forth connection between the photographer and the subject being photographed. In no way can you just expect someone to know what you want in a photo, so it requires a dialogue. This ability to have a dialogue, and the social connection that a photographer can have with a person, is a skill that every portrait photographer needs in order to create stunning portraits. Like in many situations in real life, it’s all about communication. Communicating with your spouse, friends, boss, coworkers, family members is key to create an understanding of any sort.

But in portraiture, one needs to realize that every portrait is a collaborative project. And getting the final results requires an open two way street.


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Though kit zoom lenses are rarely the ones that you’d want to see tested by a lab, DxOMark today released their results on the Canon 55-250mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM–a lens that was announced a little over a year ago. And according to their results, it’s not looking too good. When scored against its closest competitors that the company has in their database from both Nikon and Sony the Canon lens falls a bit short. Nikon takes the lead and Sony just barely beats out Canon’s offering though shows itself to have the strongest sharpness of the three.

More of an analysis is after the jump.


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One of Canon’s most popular sports zoom lenses is getting a refresh today. The 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM is the successor to its predecessor that came out back in the late 1990’s. In our meeting with Canon’s Chuck Westfall, he states that Canon Japan assures that this lens will be every bit as sharp as the company’s 70-200mm f2.8 II L IS–which is also one of the company’s most popular lenses after being released a couple of years ago. The new lens features two new big features: tripod detection in the image stabilization and a new lens coating called the Air Sphere Coating. The tripod detection is built in and that means that you won’t necessarily need to turn off the IS when using a tripod or a monopod. The IS otherwise has the standard three modes, normal, panning, and shooting only.

The new Air Sphere coating is designed to prevent backlight flaring and ghosting. But for what it’s worth, many portrait photographers that tend to backlight a subject using natural light love the look of lens flare. We have yet to see examples of this in action though.

The new 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM features weather resistance and a magnesium exterior. The elements inside feature one fluorite element and one super UD element; but the cooler thing is that they’ve been arranged to allow the lens to focus as closely as 3.2 feet. While that doesn’t sound like such a large accomplishment, it really is quite considerable if you factor in the focal length range. Canon also promises up to four steps of image stabilization.

Another key feature of the lens is the nine aperture blades; which will help deliver some beautiful bokeh. It comes with a brand new lens hood that allows photographers to to remove a lens filter even while the hood is still attached.

Come this December, you’ll be able to get yours for $2,199.00. More images of the new Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM are after the jump.

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