Review: Nikon 105mm f1.4 E ED (Nikon F)

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The world of portrait photography is becoming more and more filled with great lens options available for purchase. Sony. Zeiss, Sigma, and Tamron all make some absolutely fantastic ones that were recently announced: but one lens is seriously looking to outdo all of them. Nikon has shown some recent true innovation with the Nikon 105mm f1.4. This lens is the longest telephoto lens to have an f1.4 aperture and also something that absolutely no one else has. Though Sony’s 85mm f1.4 G Master has 11 aperture blades and Tamron’s 85mm f1.8 has vibration control, nothing has the pure perspective flattening that a 105mm lens can–and nothing has the out of focus bokeh ability.

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The Sterile Look: The Problems with Camera Lenses Being Too Good

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Petzval Lens review images samples (21 of 24)ISO 2001-500 sec

When you look at camera lenses made for photographers, we can all say that they’ve arguably become better and better. Lenses today are sharper than they’ve ever been, more contrasty, able to keep lens flare down, and able to render incredible colors. Part of this came from marketing and everyone who believes they are an expert on the internet involving lab test scores to compete for the favor of many. This ultimately translates into awards and sales. This is fine in some ways, but the problem is lenses eventually start becoming something designed too much for engineers and those who don’t necessarily know better, and less for the actual photographers themselves. If you peruse any Facebook group with the more experienced photographers, you’ll see that they bring their own creative vision to life using software and lighting in their own ways.

This is the inherent problem with photography these days. What am I talking about?

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Tutorial: Zone Focusing With Super Wide Angle Lenses

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One of the biggest strengths of manual focus lenses and the reason why so many photographers love using them has to do with a process called zone focusing–and Zeiss Milvus lenses like the 18mm f2.8 and 15mm f2.8 lens themselves well to this. For years the methods around zone focusing are what has allowed many photographers to outdo the fastest focusing autofocus cameras and lenses. Street photographers, landscape photographers, and many others have used the technique to ensure that they get sharp photos. When film photography was king, lots of photographers did this to ensure they got “the shot.” Digital photography and its inherent nature requires photographers to get even sharper photos.

When you’re shooting landscapes and architecture, you really want the best you can get. With manual focus lenses, sometimes the best thing to do is to use zone focusing.

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6 Weather Sealed Wide Angle Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 PRO product images for review (6 of 6)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

If you’re an adventurer or a photographer that gets outside often, there are a number of wonderful lenses you can get your hands on to create compelling images in the elements. Many photographers tend to go for wide angle lenses, and these tend to give images that convey how they feel about the vast expanse before them when out hiking. But otherwise, they’re used by street photographers in the rain or sometimes even for certain types of portraits.

Here are six weather sealed wide angle lenses that we love for mirrorless cameras.

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First Impressions: Zeiss Loxia 85mm f2.4 (Sony FE)

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The Zeiss Loxia lineup of lenses are designed for the Sony full frame E mount, and the newest edition is the Zeiss Loxia 85mm f2.4. This lens is currently the company’s longest offering and is targeted at portrait photographers and video shooters. It’s also designed as compact a size as possible and to that end, has relatively slow aperture for a Zeiss lens.

At Photokina 2016, we got a chance to play with the lens–though we must warn you that the environment around the trade show floor isn’t anywhere as exciting as any of the locations where we’d typically test them.

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Zeiss’s New Telephoto and Macro Zoom iPhone Lenses Are Coming

The family members: the telephoto, wide-angle and macro-zoom lenses (from left) of ExoLens® with Optics by ZEISS.

They started out as more of a gimmick, and many photographers still do not take them seriously, but phone accessory lenses have come a long way in the last few years. There are some very solid options for people looking to not only get great images from their phone, but also extend their capabilities without sacrificing much, if any, image quality. One of the new, but higher quality players in the accessory lens game is Zeiss, and they just announced two new additions to their iPhone 6 line of accessory lenses.  Continue reading…

Review: Zeiss ExoLenses for Mobile Phones (Apple iPhone)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss ExoLenses review product images (2 of 6)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 4.0

Lots of people who call themselves photographers may not necessarily take mobile lenses seriously; but the truth is that they’re actually quite good, especially in the case of the Zeiss Exo Lenses. Moment and PhotoJoJo make great optics, and it only makes sense that one of the best lens makers in the world wanted to get involved. The company makes three lenses that we tested: a wide angle, a telephoto, and a macro. Though currently only available for the iPhone and Samsung phones, the lenses will offer photographers a significant improvement in image quality providing they take the right steps.

While the lenses are pretty wonderful, I can’t exactly say the same thing about the case.

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Zeiss Adds Three New Lenses to The Milvus Collection

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Milvus 18mm f2.8 product images (1 of 6)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.0

Today, Zeiss announced three new Milvus lenses: the 135mm f2 Milvus, 18mm f2.8 Milvus, and the 15mm f2.8 Milvus. Like the rest of the Milvus lineup of lenses, they all have weather sealing and boast very high image quality overall. We’re in the middle of reviewing them, and so we’re putting all the specs and images below.

The 15mm f2.8 will cost $2,950 while the 18mm f2.8 Milvus will be $2,299 and the 135mm f2 Milvus will come in at $2,199. Each lens will be available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

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