Review: Zeiss 25mm f1.4 Milvus (Canon EF)

The Zeiss 25mm f1.4 Milvus Lens is a great lens for sure, but do you need one?

When Zeiss announced their Zeiss 25mm f1.4 Milvus lens, I was surely excited. But at the same time, a part of me considers this a focal length I’m not too sure about. It’s not a 24mm, it’s not a 28mm, and it isn’t their fantastic 35mm f1.4. In some ways I wish it were a 28mm, or that Zeiss went wide to a 21mm. Instead, it’s somewhere in the awkward middle. That doesn’t make the 25mm f1.4 Milvus lens a bad lens. In fact, I think it’s better than most 24mm or 25mm lenses on the market. But then you need to consider the price point–which is really high. However, you’re getting a solid lens with a metal body, weather sealing, some of the absolute best optics currently on the market, good color, versatility for both video and stills, and a guaranteed lifespan of more than what’s currently on the market.

Continue reading…

Review: Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Canon EF)

The Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 is a winner in so many ways!

What pretty much every photographer seems to aim for is a 24-70mm lens of some sort, and the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 may be just the thing that many photographers really need. There are professional features to a lens like this such as a metal exterior, weather sealing, and solid image quality that embraces a more saturated look. Plus it has vibration compensation which keeps the camera shake down. More and more options like this are appearing on the market with Sigma and Nikon both putting image stabilization into their lens offerings. Indeed, it’s a feature that photographers have been asking for for the better part of 10 years. And arguably, it took way too long to get to us.

But Tamron is surely one of those companies looking to change things.

Continue reading…

Review: Olympus 12-100mm f4 PRO (Micro Four Thirds)

In absolutely so many ways, the Olympus 12-100mm f4 PRO is the only lens you’ll probably ever need if you’re combining it with the company’s fantastic higher end cameras. Micro Four Thirds camera owners who use this lens may never take it off unless they want something with a faster aperture. But time and time again, I was absolutely surprised by the output of this lens due to how it was constructed. It boasts weather sealing, a simple way to switch to manual focus, image stabilization, and the ability to produce some beautiful image quality. It’s designed for the landscape and travel photographer more than anything. And when you consider the format is more or less based on a sensor that’s around the size of 110 film then you can see just how far the system has evolved.

Continue reading…

Review: Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens (Canon EF Mount)

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens is fantastic; will you trade up for it?

One of the best pieces of news professional working photographers have heard in the lens world could be about the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens. Unlike many first party options out there, it has optical stabilization built in which helps a lot at weddings, events, for portraits, etc. Those types of photographers will greatly appreciate this addition on top of the already fantastic optics. Speaking of those optics, Sigma has consistently hit the ball out of the park in our reviews, and I’m happy to say they’re pretty much going to do this same thing in this review. But I should warn you that Sigma’s zoom lenses, while good, aren’t their primes. Sigma’s prime lenses are better. So if you want the best of every focal length offered here, you probably won’t be satisfied until you go for their f1.4 primes instead. And like many of those other lenses, you can take the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art out into the rain due its weather resistance.

Continue reading…

Review: Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm f2.8 Lens (Sony E Mount)

The revamped Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm f2.8 Lens has been around for a little while, and it will mostly appeal to the photographers who like the look of old vintage lenses. Indeed, these lenses have different coatings and construction than many modern optics which are designed to be super sterile and sharp. But older lenses have character that takes those modern ideals and slaps them in the face. Personally, that’s what I prefer. It’s one of the easiest ways to make digital photos look a bit more film-like beyond changing your white balance, but it also gives me a look with portraits that clients and collaborators tend to really enjoy. The Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm f2.8 Lens is based on the older design but updated for modern cameras.

Crazy enough, despites liking lenses like these, I’m only lukewarm about the Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm f2.8 Lens. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the focal length and the aperture.

Continue reading…

Review: Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM Art (Canon EF Mount)

The Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM Art lens is the fastest aperture wide angle lens that you can currently find on the market. It’s perfect in so many ways for the photographers who do astrophotography as well as those who photograph interiors in low lighting. The fast f1.8 aperture along with the autofocusing will suit these photographers well. However, the moment you try to attach a filter to the lens is when things start to go weird. It’s very difficult to do despite many lens options on the market finding ways to make this easier. At the same time, photographers can argue about how modern day sensors are so good at getting the image that you may not need those filters. But the same argument can be made for high ISO output–I mean, why would you need an f1.8 lens? Let me restate that: why would you need an f1.8 wide angle lens?

Despite my questions and reasoning with just how good modern optics and cameras are, the Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM Art lens is a fantastic, and innovative lens for pretty much any photographer who needs a wide angle, prime lens.

Continue reading…

Review: Moment Lenses 2.0 (Apple iPhone)

Moment has quite a cult following; the company has created a number of stellar lenses for mobile phones that have inspired generations of new photographers. The Moment Lenses are pieces of high quality glass that attach onto a special case or plate on your phone to change the perspective. In recent years, the telephoto (sort of) focal length they offer has become a bit obsolete, but their wider focal length is quite different. If you need a wide, sweeping view of something, the only other alternative is to shoot panoramic photos of some sort unless you use another add-on lens. But besides changing the viewing angle, Moment lenses tend to add character and charm to an otherwise very sterile aesthetic.

Continue reading…

Review: Irix 15mm f2.4 Blackstone (Nikon F Mount)

If you were to look at the lenses coming from Korea in the past couples of years, you’d be shocked; and that’s where the Irix 15mm f2.4 Blackstone lens is manufactured. We took a previous look at the company’s Blackstone lenses at Photo Plus last year and were very blown away by some of the features and innovation that Irix has been putting into the glass to make it different from many of the others out there. For starters, besides the metal build, there is text on the lens that can be illuminated to glow when a blacklight is shone on it. Then there’s the fact that the lens clicks into place when the focusing hits infinity. While these features sound infinitesimal, they’re important to the manual focus shooter when it comes to working with a precise manual focus optic in various lighting scenarios.

Then you consider other features such as weather sealing, the image quality, and the feeling of the lens in your hand–and then it just gets put over the top in many ways.

Continue reading…