Review: Tamron 70-210mm f4 Di VC USD (Canon EF)

The Tamron 70-210mm f4 Di VC USD is in some ways fantastic; but in other ways a let down.

When testing the Tamron 70-210mm f4 Di VC USD, I had a whole lot of hope. The company’s lenses have been stellar and they’ve been winning many awards. But when it came to working with this lens, things were just off. The quality of the optics is fantastic as always. But where I saw issues was with performance–not only on the Canon 6D Mk II but with a Sony a7r III and a Metabones adapter. It could do the job, but with varying success that other lenses of similar types and focal lengths could do. With that said though, the Tamron 70-210mm f4 Di VC USD isn’t at all a bad lens–it’s just one that I’d probably relegate just to studio work and sports with lots of bright light.

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Review: Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD (Sony FE)

Spending time with the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD was a real pleasure

Generally speaking, I’m not one to like zoom lenses; but when I considered what the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD is then I didn’t mind it all that much. The talk about autofocus issues are, in my opinion, highly over-exaggerated as I personally didn’t see them with my unit. In fact, it didn’t suffer from any real autofocus issues at all. To that end, the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD focused better on the Sony a7r III than their lenses have focused on Canon DSLRs in my years of testing Tamron’s newest lenses. These lenses have been emphasizing a new philosophy within Tamron that gives each unit a silver ring around the mount, weather sealing, a new finish, and a number of major enhancements. While the world talks of Sigma this and Sigma that, I often like to remind folks that Tamron also isn’t doing a bad job.

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Review: 7Artisans 35mm f2 (Leica M Mount, Used on Sony FE)

The 7Artisans 35mm f2 lens isn’t as sharp and doesn’t have better bokeh than a Leica, but it’s still very pleasing

Let me get this right out of the way, the 7Artisans 35mm f2 lens isn’t as good as Leica’s. Leica’s outperforms in sharpness, detail, and bokeh in pretty much every way and at every aperture. But the 7Artisans 35mm f2 isn’t at all bad; and it can still render very gorgeous images. Being a Chinese lens, there are surely folks out there who may doubt how capable it is. But I can assure you that unless you had other lenses side by side or were very familiar with other optics, you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference between the 7Artisans 35mm f2 and other offerings when it comes to image quality. But when it comes to the ergonomics, there are surely differences.

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Sigma’s Bokeh Master 105mm f1.4 Art Lens Pricing and Availability Unveiled

Sigma’s latest and greatest will soon be available, and now we know how much it will cost you

Sigma’s Art series lenses are in a class of their own among third-party lenses, and in terms of their pricing to performance it is hard to say that they aren’t amongst the best buys on the market in third party lenses. A while back Sigma announced a special lens, a lens they dubbed the ‘Bokeh Master’, but as it happens from time to time, the company just announced the development of the lens, with full pricing and availability information coming at a later date.

Well, that later date is here; we now have pricing and availability information on the Sigma 105mm f1.4 DG HSM Art. Continue reading…

Lens Review: Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux (M Mount)

I didn’t think I’d fall in love with the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux like I did

The Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux was offered to me to test after requesting it a long time ago. I’d probably never buy it brand new as I prefer my lenses and cameras to have what we Americans love to call “Patina” to them, and even as it is I’m pretty well set on the M mount lenses I currently own. The Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux is quite possibly the ultimate photojournalist’s lens. It has a fast aperture, a solid build quality, and is surprisingly sharp at every single aperture. But even that isn’t the secret sauce to what makes this lens so incredibly special.

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Review: Lomography Neptune Lenses (Canon EF Mount Adapted to Sony FE)

Everywhere I went, folks were curious about the unconventional look of the Lomography Neptune Lenses.

When the Lomography Neptune Lenses were announced, I was sort of confused. They are simultaneously some of the weirdest lenses that I’ve ever used and amongst the most beautiful lenses that I’ve ever used. In some ways, I want to liken them to something like Zeiss lenses–except that they’re not as sharp (but you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you pixel peeped), have less contrast, more lens flare that I crave, none of the weather sealing, and they aren’t as fast. But if you really use the Neptune Lenses and simply just incorporate them into the way that you naturally work, you’ll be rewarded with image quality that is incredibly unique, versatile, and that you’re probably going to just get anyway if you sit there and apply some VSCO or RNI film presets to your images. But in this case, you won’t necessarily need to.

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Review: Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

A great lens at an affordable price with gorgeous bokeh

When I started using the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE, I didn’t think I and readers who I share images with on Instagram would adore the image quality this much. Don’t get me wrong, I knew Rokinon lenses are great, but this one seemed to create absolute magic. Photographers who likes bokeh are bound to be astounded by the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE, and those who enjoy contrasty images and very saturated photos will also find they’ll adore this lens. On top of that, you can guarantee it’s going to be sharp. The autofocus isn’t Sony’s but it’s still not at all that terrible. During my time with this lens, I was genuinely shocked because I hate the 50mm focal length. But over time, it started to change me. I still prefer the 35mm focal length, but the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE is an almost perfect lens.

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Review: Sony 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS (Sony E Mount)

The Sony 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS isn’t our favorite option, but it also isn’t that awful

If you’re a user of the Sony a6000 series cameras, then you can probably imagine yourself using a lens like the Sony 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS. It is targeted squarely at photographers who travel and for those who want a lens designed for a hobbyist. Want to photograph your kids? What about candid moments? The way I see it, the folks who would buy the Sony 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS would probably take their Sony a6500 or a6300 and set it on auto or some sort of scene mode to shoot. Now that’s not to say that those are the only people who may use it, but that’s who I imagine most of the buyers will be. With the variable apertures, image stabilization and a range of focal lengths, I can’t say that I blame them. In fact, I clearly see the Sony 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS being offered as a kit zoom of some sort. That’s where this lens probably belongs.

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