Review: Tokina 70-200mm F4 AT-X Pro FX VCMS (Nikon F)

 

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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First Impressions: Fujifilm XM1

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm XM1 First Impressions product photos (4 of 7)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Fujifilm’s XM1 is targeted at the user that wants Fujifilm’s image quality, but can’t reach the higher fruit that is the X-E1 and X Pro 1. This audience is the entry level mirrorless camera user–and certain things about the XM1 hammer this fact home. For example, it is kitted with the 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 lens which has no aperture ring in order to make it simpler for entry level users to operate it. Instead, the XM1 emphasizes the use of two dials to set up exposures.

The camera also deviates from its higher end siblings in that it forgoes the use of a viewfinder of any sort and instead relies on its tilting LCD screen.

Fujifilm has already proven itself in terms of image quality and having stylish good looks. But can they really court over a crowd that asks, “Canon or Nikon” before anything else?

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First Impressions: Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon 80-400mm product photos (1 of 5)ISO 8001-50 sec at f - 5.0

Nikon’s new 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR lens is one heck of an optic. When I was first reaching for it, I expected to need to use more strength than I really needed. But when I picked it up, my jaw dropped. In all seriousness: where the hell was this lens when I was a paparazzi? This refresh of the older lens is smaller, lighter, and focuses ridiculously fast. To be very honest, I haven’t seen a DSLR lens focus this fast–ever! The closest thing might be Canon’s 85mm f1.8 on a 1D X or a 5D Mk III, but even then this latest offering from Nikon wiped the floor with them.

Granted, you’re surely paying for everything you get in this lens.

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The Canon EOS M’s Focusing Speed Doesn’t Suck So Badly Anymore

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon EOS M First Impressions (6 of 18)ISO 200

The Canon EOS M has been the butt of many jokes. The company has received well deserved critiques stating that they essentially half-assed the camera. But it seems like from there, they have figured out a way to try to improve on it. We played with the camera a while back and by all means, it isn’t a bad camera per se. But the autofocus really wasn’t the best.

However, the camera received a firmware update recently that was supposed to greatly improve the autofocus capabilities–therefore giving some extra hope to the camera.

Canon Watch’s readers sent them videos showing off the differences. From what we see, it still isn’t faster than Olympus, Panasonic, Sony or Samsung. But it can be said to be a tad faster than Fujifilm’s focusing. See for yourself after the jump.

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Review: Samsung 16mm f2.4 (Samsung NX Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 16mm f2.4 product images (2 of 5)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 2.8

Though Samsung isn’t as well known here in the States for their cameras, it should be noted that they have a couple of gems. They have some excellent lenses with one being their very good 85mm f1.4. During our review of the Samsung NX300, we also tried the 16mm f2.4 pancake with it–and to be frank, we really think that this is the lens that every Samsung camera should be bundled with, period!

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Review: Fujifilm 14mm f2.8 (X Mount)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As the first Ultra-Wide Prime lens from Fujifilm, the 14mm f2.8 also incorporates some interesting design elements that surely says that the company is looking at what others are doing. This is evident in the manual focus ring that needs to be pulled back in order to activate the manual focusing ability. Additionally, it reveals a working depth of field scale–something that tells consumers that this lens was designed not only to take on Leica and Zeiss, but also for the street photography crowd. The 14mm f2.8 renders a 21mm field of view with an approximate depth of field equivalence of f4.5 on a full frame camera when wide open according to mathematical calculations.  However, we tested it on Fujifilm’s X Pro 1.

At the time of publishing this post, it is also Fujifilm’s slowest aperture lens–but that doesn’t mean that it is a slouch.

 

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Review: Sony NEX 5R

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5R with 35mm f1.8 OSS product photos (1 of 9)ISO 8001-50 sec at f - 4.5

The NEX 5R has quite a bit to live up to. We previously reviewed its predecessor, the NEX 5N, and nearly fell in love with the camera’s image quality and small size. Indeed, Sony did an excellent job with the camera as  enthusiasts, semi-professionals, and professionals in the case of the BBC picked it up. With all of this said, does the NEX 5R have what it takes to dethrone its ancestor?

 

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