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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

With Zeiss’s new 85mm f1.4 Otus reviewed, we took it upon ourselves to do an informal comparison of two of its biggest and closest competitors: the Rokinon 85mm f1.4 and the Sigma 85mm f1.4. Now granted, neither of these lenses are said to be targeted at the higher end photographer. But with Sigma’s offering being a couple of years old and Rokinon’s not being so old either, we decided that it would be great to see just how the three perform against one another.

Editor’s Note: Again we are saying that this is an informal comparison to see how the three stack up against one another. We’d like to remind our readers though that each offering is pretty darn solid, but if anything this is more of a measure of how the technology has progressed.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Otus product images review (1 of 7)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.0

For a couple of weeks now, we’ve been testing the Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Otus lens on the Nikon D810. We’ve teased some images on our Instagram and got you guys excited about what it might be. Indeed, the mystery lens was the Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Otus. Recently announced in time for Photokina 2014, the 85mm f1.4 Otus is the company’s entry into the no-compromise on image quality arena. It is the follow up and partner to its 55mm f1.4 Otus–which received our Editor’s Choice award.

The Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Otus features 11 elements in 9 groups and a massive 86mm filter thread. Indeed, this is a serious piece of glass and of considerable size.

And despite the fact that Zeiss has delivered a spectacular product, just one thing made taking images a bit tough at times.

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Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Sigma vs Rokinon 35mm f1.4 comparison lead image (1 of 1)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

Rokinon recently announced their AF chipped version of their 35mm f1.4 lens for Canon EF mount cameras. For this segment of the market, it’s about time. The new lens doesn’t sport an aperture ring and instead works perfectly with Canon’s DSLRs in a way very much like Zeiss does.

With the new chipped version of the lens, we decided to see how it holds up against the Sigma 35mm f1.4–the current king of the 35mm lenses in our book.

Editor’s Note: we’re not sanctioning this test to be the end all be all of all tests. It’s informal as per the way that the site’s philosophy works with our in the field real world reviews do.

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chris-gampat-the-phoblographer-yashica-electro-35-gsn-camera

The folks over at Treat recently emailed us to share their new massive glossary of photography terms originally published on their site. If there is any term that you’ve ever wanted to know, it’s probably in here. You can check it out on their website or hit the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer beach shot with tokina 70-200mm f4 (1 of 1)ISO 1001-1250 sec at f - 4.0

Tokina has always been a maker of some excellent third party lenses, and the release of the Tokina 70-20mm f4 ATX Pro heralds this even more so. The recently announced lens isn’t billed as being weather sealed–but that doesn’t meant that it wasn’t able to take a beating. The lens also exhibits great image quality and some of the best bokeh that we’ve seen from a zoom lens.

But while it’s an overall great lens, know that it doesn’t specialize in any one particular aspect.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D810 high ISO samples Speakeasy Dollhouse NYC (3 of 9)ISO 8001-80 sec at f - 2.5

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out here.

We’ve done a slightly longer tutorial on how to make an image look sharper, but what if we told you that you can do it in Adobe Lightroom in less than 30 seconds and without even touching the sharpness sliders? Sounds crazy, right? Well, the reality is that it is completely possible.

Like our other tutorials, it begins with proper in-camera exposure techniques. For the absolute best sharpness from a lens straight out of the camera your best bet is to use some sort of diffused flash. It could be as simple as bouncing a flash off of a wall. If not, then consider stopping your lens down just a bit and exercising the reciprocal rule of shutter speeds to ensure that your image is blur free from camera shake.

Then if you bring your image into Adobe Lightroom, all you’ll need to do is raise the overall exposure of your image by around 1/3rd of a stop, lower (deepen) your black levels, raise your contrast, and raise the clarity of your image by just a tad. And to be honest–you’re done. The human eye looks at images with deeper blacks and puts a stronger emphasis on other colors in the scene to be able to naturally find objects. In this method, you’re actually fooling the human eye into thinking that something is sharper than it really is.

Give it a shot and see how many people you can actually fool with it.