Latest From The Phoblographer

Remarkable Zoom, Handheld: Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III Review

With stabilization, a more compact design, and a reasonable price, the Tamron 150-500mm makes super telephoto more accessible.

The super-telephoto is one of the most difficult lenses to master both for the lens builder and the photographer attempting to wield such large glass. While no 500mm will be described as tiny, Tamron managed to shed some weight and length while still packing in a lot of zoom. The Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Di III VC VXD weighs 3.8 pounds and is roughly eight inches long. With image stabilization built in, the new telephoto is manageable enough to shoot handheld.

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Beautiful, Streaky Lens Flares. Olympus 8-25mm F4 Pro Review

The Olympus 8-25mm f4 Pro is an incredibly versatile, durable lens, but it doesn’t denounce the older 7-14mm f2.8.

The Micro Four Thirds system is made for telephoto lenses, but ultra-wide angles are tougher for the smaller system. That’s not stopping Olympus from adding another wide-angle zoom to its lineup, however. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f4.0 Pro (we’ll call it the Olympus 8-25mm f4 Pro for short) is a 16-50mm equivalent lens wrapped in Pro line features. Unlike the mount’s current M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 Pro, the 8-25mm can accept filters without an adapter.

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Small Lens, Big, Beautiful Colors. Sony 14mm F1.8 G Master Review

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I’d like to say that astrophotographers should be excited about the Sony 14mm f1.8 G Master. But, during my short time testing the lens, I wasn’t able to do any serious astrophotography. (It’s totally possible here in NYC though.) I’d actually look at different systems to do astrophotography, but I also know not everyone will use the Sony 14mm f1.8 G Master for that. So, you’ll be delighted to know how nice the colors from this lens are. And if you’re ready to go about exploring the post-pandemic world, then you’ll like this lens. You have to pay quite a price for it, though.

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A Great Telephoto for L Mount: Panasonic 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Review

The Panasonic 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 is an affordable telephoto that L mount camera owners should consider.

The L mount lens library is finally starting to grow thanks to Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma. Until recently, all Panasonic lenses were designed for pros who needed top quality. That’s fine, but they came with top-quality prices too. However, this is starting to change. The Panasonic 85mm f1.8 has been released (review coming later), and now an affordable telephoto option is on the market. The Panasonic 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 is looking to sit alongside the Sigma 100-400mm f5.6-6.3 as a telephoto lens for the masses. At $1,249.99, it’s an attractive option, but does it produce the goods? Find out in our full review.

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Fantastic Zoom, Limited Distortion: Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR Review

The Nikon Z 24-200mm f4-6.3 VR captures images that don’t look like they were shot with a budget lens.

As a series that’s just a few years old, the Z mount doesn’t have the wealth of coverage and specialty optics as the F mount. But, the Nikon Z 24-200mm f4-6.3 VR covers a ton of focal lengths in a single lens. At $799, it offers a lot of focal lengths for a reasonable price. But, cramming lots of focal lengths in one lens can be disastrous for image quality — and that’s coupled with a narrower variable aperture.

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And the World Reopens. Leica 24-70mm f2.8 SL Review

The Leica 24-70mm f2.8 SL isn’t just a clone of the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 Art Lens.

If you thought that the Leica 24-70mm f2.8 SL is just a Sigma lens, then you’re wrong. I personally own and use the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 Art lens. And after working with the Leica 24-70mm f2.8 SL for a while, I can say this definitively. They’re not the same. The Sigma is negligibly lighter. The Leica isn’t even noticeably larger. But what’s evident is the autofocus speed and the build quality. Essentially, the Leica 24-70mm f2.8 SL is the best of both worlds. In some ways, it’s the ultimate 24-70mm for the lens system. In other ways, the L mount continues to do things that perplex me.

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Sturdy Yet Small: Leica 28mm F2.8 ASPH Elmarit Review

Leica’s tiny M-mount lens balances sharpness, character, and great design.

Camera lenses are typically small or bright, but not both. The Leica 28mm f2.8 ASPH Elmarit may not be as bright as its f1.4 siblings, but it takes up barely any room in a camera bag. I rarely throw around words like cute when writing about technology, but the 28mm is so small that it’s adorable. And, more practically, it’s less in-your-face while out shooting, better balanced on an M-mount body, and easier on the neck.

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A Tempting Mix of Unusual Bokeh: Leica 21mm F1.4 Summilux Review

If you want a wide-angle with unique bokeh and plenty of flare potential, look no further.

The latest high-end lenses brag about uniform sharpness across every pixel of the photograph. But, for those who find uniformity boring, there’s the Leica 21mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH. The ultra-wide, ultra-bright M-mount lens delivers more character than technical perfection. But, more than that, the lens delivers a variety of character, from the varying shapes of the bokeh to several different types of flare.

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This Thrifty Nifty Fifty Has Beautiful Photos: Canon RF 50mm F1.8 Review

The Canon RF 50mm f1.8 isn’t perfect, but for $200, we can forgive its few flaws.

I’ve long recommended the nifty fifty as one of the first lenses for beginners to add to their DSLR kit. With a bright aperture and a price often around or even under $200, the nifty fifty is an easy choice. However, the affordability of the 50mm f1.8 hasn’t quite made the migration over to mirrorless. Nikon’s is $600, and L-mount lenses are all much higher. Sony is an outlier with a $250 option. That is, until the Canon RF 50mm f1.8 STM.

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The Lust Is Real. Leica 35mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH Review

The Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH lens will appeal to the person who loves the 35mm field of view.

They’re pricey, but they’re often worth it. That’s how I often describe Leica lenses often. The Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH fits the bill in many ways. There’s beautiful image quality, nice colors, it’s small, well built, and there’s a justified sense of prideful ownership. I’ve used the lens many times over the years, but I never completed a full review. Time and time again, I always found myself blissfully content with the Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH. If you were to ever get just one lens for the Leica M mount, this is the one to go for. Alternatively, you could buy the lens and adapt it to any mount you want.

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Remarkable Images, Risky Design: Nikon Z 20mm F1.8 S Review

The Nikon Z 20mm f1.8 S delivers some impressive images, but in a minimal package.

Just 4 mm from the more standard 24mm, the 20mm lens offers a happy medium between ultra-wide distortion and the narrower view of a 24 or 35mm. The Nikon 20mm f1.8 S blends in with a growing list of Z mount lenses. On the outside, the 20mm looks nearly indistinguishable from all other f1.8 primes in the series. But, on the inside, the lens hides a new dual-motor autofocus design.

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Challenging, but a Worthy Slice of Focus: Leica 90mm F1.5 Summilux ASPH

The Leica 90 f1.5 Summilux ASPH rewards patience with some spectacular flare.

Leica’s Summilux lenses boast ultra-bright apertures, but until recently these ultra-fast lenses have been limited to wide-angle and standard focal lengths. The Leica 90mm f1.5 Summilux ASPH is the Summilux line’s first 90mm, joining 90mms from the Summicron and Macro-Elmar line-ups. Mixing the wide aperture of the Summilux line with a longer focal length creates a tiny slice of perfect focus that fades quickly into a spectacular blur.

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Affordable and Surprisingly Fantastic: Fujifilm 27mm F2.8 R WR Review

Kit lenses have a reputation for being lackluster. But then, sometimes cameras are paired with lenses that are excellent to consider, even for photographers not investing in a kit. The Fujifilm 27mm f2.8 R WR is one of those lenses. Equivalent to 41mm on a crop camera, the pancake lens makes a good walk-around kit with the XE4. But does the XF 27mm have enough strength to stand alone outside of the kit?

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The Fujifilm 18mm F1.4 LM WR Is Probably Everything You Ever Wanted

The Fujifilm 18mm F1.4 LM WR is going to please many photographers, especially street photographers.

The Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR is probably going to confuse a lot of people. It’s not replacing the 16mm f1.4 R WR or the 18mm f2. Instead, it’s living alongside those lenses. Now, the X series has a classic 28mm equivalent with an f1.4 aperture. Add onto that the fact that it’s weather sealed. Then top it off with the linear motor that’s inside for faster autofocus. To blow your mind more, it’s coming in at under $1,000. Trust me when I say that I think the Fujifilm 18mm F1.4 LM WR will sell like newly legalized marijuana in NYC.

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It’s Beautiful, But It Has Issues: Fujifilm GF 80mm F1.7 R WR Review

The Fujifilm GF 80mm f1.7 R WR is an innovative lens that almost hits it out of the park.

Fujifilm is no stranger to shaking things up when it comes to cameras and lenses. They have dominated the APS-C field for some time, and they have taken the Medium Format segment by storm. They are continually innovating; it’s what sets them apart from other manufacturers. When it comes to Medium Format, we have been calling for faster glass for some time. Now, Fujifilm has delivered. Not only is the Fujifilm GF 80mm f1.7 R WR the fastest GF mount lens, but it’s also the fastest Medium Format lens with autofocus on the market. Period. Does it live up to the hype? Find out in our full review.

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Astonishing Images, Finally Focused: Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VR S Review

The bokeh on the Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S is delicious, but the autofocus lags.

The 70-200mm f2.8 lens is meant to be a workhorse lens that can move seamlessly from one genre to the next. Now, Nikon has brought that workhorse to the Z mount system. The Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S is a $2,600 lens that boasts closer autofocus and lighter weight than competing lenses. And, as the name suggests, it pairs a lens stabilization system with the in-body system on many Z bodies.

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The One You Want. Leica 28mm F2 Summicron SL Review

We’re amazed at how well the Leica 28mm f2 Summicron SL lens performed.

The Leica 28mm is something to behold. One of my favorite lenses is their 28mm f1.4 for M mount. So when the Leica 28mm f2 Summicron SL, I was incredibly intrigued. Leica started off by making some massive claims about autofocus speed. That one raised my eyebrows. Autofocus speed has been a huge problem for Leica for years, and now it seems they’re taking it more seriously. On top of that, they’re packing in a ton of aspherical lens elements. For a long time, I’ve wanted them to make faster lenses than f2, but in this case, I’m delighted.

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This Affordable Lens Doesn’t Suck: Sony 50mm F2.5 G Review

The new Sony 50mm f2.5 G isn’t perfect, but for $600 it’s pretty impressive.

Prime lenses fall into two categories: the compact, affordable yet bright lenses and the pro-level, huge, near-technical-perfection monstrosities. The Sony 50mm f2.5 G falls in the first category. Weighing roughly six ounces, it’s a lens that almost feels like you forgot to mount a lens at all. In the bag, it barely takes up a lens slot.

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Spend Your Money Better: The Funleader 18mm F8 Lens Review

The Funleader 18mm f8 lens can surely be a joy to use, but you’ll use it maybe once and then give it up.

We’ve been asking manufacturers for something different for a long time now. And thankfully, we’re experiencing a lens renaissance. So the Funleader 18mm f8 seems like just the right tool, right? It’s a pancake lens for a variety of lens mounts. It’s got an 18mm focal length with a fixed f8 aperture. Plus, you can’t even focus the lens. It’s got a fixed focus to a certain distance away. Best of all, this lens packs in character to it that’s beautiful.

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One of the Best: Leica APO Summicron 35mm F2 ASPH Review

The Leica APO Summicron 35mm f2 is as close to perfect as you can get.

The word innovator is thrown around a little too easily these days. Sure, lots of companies are creating lenses we haven’t seen before. In the pursuit of perfection, though, many modern lenses produce sterile images. But Leica has a habit of creating modern lenses while retaining qualities that make their images stand out. The new Leica APO Summicron-M 35mm f2 ASPH is the latest prime to come out of Germany. We’ve had our hands on it for a few weeks now, and we have been putting it through a battery of real-world tests. Find out how it performs and if it’s worth the lofty price tag in our full review.

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