What Every Phone Photographer Needs: Wolffilms Lenses Review

If you want to get more out of the already great cameras on your smartphone, you might want to check out these Wolffilms lenses.

Smartphone or mobile photography is becoming even more popular these days thanks to new devices that not only have pretty powerful cameras in them but also because of AI features as well. No matter how good the cameras are, though, you are usually stuck with whatever lenses the manufacturer decided to stick on the phone. Additional lenses for smartphones that clip over the base lenses aren’t new, but the quality of these lenses has been improving. We recently received some Wolffilms lenses to review, and we decided to put them to the test on one of the lastest smartphones to hit the market. How will they do? Find out in our full review after the break.

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The Quickest Way to Do In-Camera Paintings: Lensbaby Velvet 28 Review

The blur is worth embracing with the Lensbaby Velvet 28.

As this piece is being written, it’s becoming more difficult to drown out the cries of anger from photographers bound to misunderstand the Lensbaby Velvet 28. I didn’t get it either until I really started applying it to my own photography. This has to be Lensbaby’s softest and more blurry lens yet. And in fact, it’s very much designed to be that way. With an f2.5 aperture, photographers will be happy to know that the quirks about this lens allow it to be opened up slightly beyond that. I’m not going to call it a one-trick pony as it can become pretty sharp when stopped down. But, this lens is designed for a photographer that wants to embrace the world in a specific way. How often do you want the world to look like a Monet painting, though? Well, if you like long exposures, the painting method, or being experimental, then you’ll love the Lensbaby Velvet 28; this is a lens for an artist. However, you should know that this is very much a specialty tool.

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Bokeh for Days! The Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS Review

The Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM DS lens sports brand new Defocus Smoothing coatings to deliver even creamier bokeh than the original RF 85mm f1.2.

In an interesting move, Canon announced the RF 85mm f1.2 L USM DS less than six months after first introducing the original RF 85mm f1.2. The DS is essentially a Special Edition of the original RF 85mm f1.2 portrait lens. What sets the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM DS apart is the new Defocus Smoothing coating incorporated into the new lens, and the $2,999 price tag. This lens coating is designed to reduce the amount of light passing through the lens gradually from the center towards the periphery. The resulting bokeh appears smoother and more pleasing. We found a lot to love about the original RF 85mm f1.2. Does the additional Defocus Smoothing coating deliver and help improve upon the well regarded original?

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A Fantastic Portrait Lens: The Leica SL 50mm F1.4 Summilux Review

The Leica SL 50mm f1.4 Summilux performs admirably, but it’s chunky and held back by a slow focusing camera system.

I need to begin this review by telling you all how long I’d been lusting to test the Leica SL 50mm f1.4 Summilux. Three years ago, I wrote this article about Jarle Hagan’s documentary portraiture of Norway’s Sami – a protected indigenous people and the most northern dwelling indigenous people in Europe. When I saw his images, I was incredibly inspired in a way I haven’t been by a marketing campaign for years. His pictures, lighting, and the humanity he presents is the stuff of legends. But beyond that, it also meant the Leica SL 50mm f1.4 Summilux survived a super harsh environment.

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The Big City Lens: The Panasonic 16-35mm F4 PRO Review

The Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO is very nice, but it’s not outdoing Sigma’s 14-24mm f2.8.

When we called the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO lens in for review, we were pretty excited. Panasonic has done a positively stellar job of designing lenses for the L mount system. But when looking at prices, I was scratching my head. One would think the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO would be the affordable wide-angle zoom amongst the lineup. But the truth is it isn’t. Sigma’s 14-24mm f2.8 is a bigger lens that lets more light hit the sensor, and it’s more affordable than the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO. As I sit in my office typing that sentence, I’m still perplexed as to why. The Panasonic is an excellent lens in every single respect, but I would sooner reach for an f2.8 lens if I could. That’s also not to say that the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO isn’t a great performer. In fact, it’s exceptional.

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Did Sigma Do Better? The Panasonic 24-70mm F2.8 LUMIX Pro Review

With the Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8 LUMIX Pro, photographers are getting a lens that’s high quality but held back by the system’s autofocus.

For the past year, I feel like I’ve been singing the same song about the L mount alliance’s glass offerings, and the Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8 LUMIX Pro is no different. Panasonic has engineered a top-notch lens in almost every way, but the issue has more to do with the camera system. While readers have said the L mount system is pretty fast, we haven’t had the same experiences at all. Everyone else has managed to pull ahead of the L mount alliance for autofocus speed and performance. I’d like to believe this issue will be fixed one day, but until then, the Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8 LUMIX Pro is still a solid investment into the system. From an image quality standpoint, it’s one of the best 24-70mm lenses we’ve tested–even if it is big, costly, and married to a system that desperately needs to improve their autofocus.

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Did Sony Get It Right? The Sony 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS Review

Sony Sale

The Sony 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 G OSS is great for photographers who want a lightweight lens for wildlife, sports, nature, and portraits that won’t break the bank.

With the release of several new APS-C camera bodies last year, Sony finally thought it was about time to release APS-C specific lenses to go with them. Photographers who have been using Sony’s APS-C cameras have been crying for a super-telephoto zoom that they can call their own for the longest time, and now Sony has answered those calls with the Sony 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 G OSS. Has the wait for this super-telephoto lens been worth it? Let’s find out in our review.

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Review: Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art (The Perfect Zoom for Sony FE?)

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN Art is one of the perfect zoom lenses made for the Sony FE camera lineup.

This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN Art is the reason. I’ve known that Sigma’s quality has been top-notch: there’s no denying that. But for the first time, I genuinely believe they’ve achieved top-notch quality in a small lens. The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN Art is really not that large. It’s also pretty lightweight. These two things have eluded Sigma’s designers for a long time. And while this lens is very capable and fantastic in many ways, there’s one thing that annoys me just a bit. But for newer photographers who haven’t yet learned how to properly hold a camera or a lens, they’re bound to clamor for image stabilization in a lens like this. That’s when the cult of Sony will come out and scream at Sigma loyalists about Sony’s built-in image stabilization. But with my own two eyes, I’ve seen this isn’t enough for some people.

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Review: Nikon 24mm F1.8 Z (One of My Favorite Lenses for the System)

Nikon did a great job on the 24mm f1.8 Z lens.

Would you shell out almost $1,000 for the Nikon 24mm f1.8 Z? If you were judging it by just the lens itself, it would probably make sense. This lens is fantastic in a variety of ways. It’s sharp, it focuses pretty fast, and it’s very well built. Most importantly, the small size embraces the ideals of Mirrorless camera systems. Landscape photographers would especially love this lens. This all sounds fantastic, but there are a few pretty big problems.

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Review: Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM (A Legend Is Reborn)

The Canon RF 15-35mm f2.8 L IS USM is one of the most versatile RF mount lenses you can get your hands on.

The Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8 L lens became one of the most beloved of Canon lenses thanks to stunning image quality, superior build quality, versatility, and just how fun they were to use. Canon is hoping to replicate that success on its new Mirrorless RF mount platform with the Canon RF 15-35mm f2.8 L IS USM. This new lens has some big shoes to fill, and many photographers who fell in love with the old EF models are no doubt hoping this new RF version of the lens can pick up where the old lenses left off. I have been fortunate enough to have this lens for the past month, and I am incredibly impressed with it. Find out more about the Canon RF 15-35mm f2.8 L IS USM in our full review.

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Review: Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro (A Beauty of the L Mount)

The Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro is an exceptional lens that is held back by a system that needs to evolve.

Something really amazed me during the presentation of the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro. They compared it to a Zeiss Otus lens. They specifically said that that’s what they were going for when it came to image quality. To be honest, they’ve either met or exceeded it. Further, they’ve added autofocus and some of the best weather sealing that I’ve seen. With 11 aperture blades at the heart of the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro, one could say that it’s doing what the Sony G Master system is striving for. But that would leave out the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro’s biggest weakness.

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Review: Sony 20mm f1.8 G (A Fantastic Lens for Everyday Shooters)

The Sony 20mm f1.8 is a versatile lens that will suit photographers who like to shoot a wide range of genres.

When you look at the current Sony E mount lens lineup, and then you take a look at the Sony 20mm f1.8 G, you might be wondering why Sony released this lens when they already have the 24mm f1.4 GM. The specs of the Sony 20mm 1.8 G sound great; in fact, the 20mm f1.8 G borrows a lot of the same tech that’s used in Sony’s more expensive GM options, so it should be a strong performer. On paper, the Sony 20mm f1.8 G sounds like a solid wide lens (it also happens to now be the widest prime lens in the Sony lineup), but how does the lens perform in the real world for $899.99? Let’s find out in our review.

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Review: Tamron 20mm F2.8 Di III OSD (One of the Best Wides for Sony)

With the Tamron 20mm f2.8 Di III OSD, a photographer is getting a lot for their money, including distortion.

The Tamron 20mm f2.8 Di III OSD is part of the trio that the company announced last year. It’s lightweight, weather-sealed, and priced at only $349. This lens is pretty much an impulse buy. You’re not only getting Tamron’s level of fantastic build quality, but also great images that you’re going to love. Of course, this isn’t a lens for everyone: not every photographer needs a 20mm lens. But if you shoot landscapes or buildings, then then the Tamron 20mm f2.8 Di III OSD is a lens that can keep your overall travel pack very light. It’s got some issues with distortion, but that can be fixed.

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Review: Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM (A Work of Art)

The Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM is arguably one of the most innovative zoom lenses made for Mirrorless.

After first laying eyes on the Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM nearly a year ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect when the review unit came in. What I didn’t realize is that it would quickly become one of my favorite telephoto zoom lenses. What’s more, it’s the first 70-200mm f2.8 lens I seriously considered purchasing. The secret to the Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM is the size. It becomes larger when it’s fully zoomed in, but, when set to 70mm, it’s shockingly small. Attach it to the Canon EOS R, and you can easily stuff it into a messenger bag. Then consider the image stabilization, Canon’s lens character, and the beautiful image quality it delivers. And let’s not forget that it survived a photo walk in the rain. In comparison to Sony’s option, the Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM is much more practical.

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Review: Sony 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto (Sony FE)

The Sony 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto lens is an ideal companion for Sony mirrorless shooters specializing in sports and wildlife photography

The Sony 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto lens covers a versatile focal range that allows you to photograph subjects that are typically hard to reach. Naturally, this is a lens that belongs in the hands of sports and wildlife photographers. For a lens covering such a long focal range, the Sony 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS is surprisingly lightweight and relatively compact. Sports and wildlife photographers will surely appreciate the 200-600mm’s reliable autofocusing capabilities. Paired with the latest Sony Full Frame Mirrorless cameras, it’ll make short work of acquiring and tracking fast-moving subjects.

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Review: Tamron 24mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Sony FE Mount)

The Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a compact, affordable ultra-wide-angle prime lens for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless shooters.

Introduced late last year, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051) is part of a trio of affordably priced prime lenses designed for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless cameras. Lightweight and compact, the Tamron 24mm f2.8 is also weather-sealed, sports a magnification ratio of 1:2, and can focus as close as 4.7 in (12 cm). We’ve been putting the final production version of this ultra-wide-angle lens through a bevy of real-world tests the last few weeks. Available for just $349, find out how the Tamron 24mm f2.8 performed in our full review.

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Review: Olympus 12-45mm f4 PRO (F8 and Be There!)

The Olympus 12-45mm f4 PRO embodies the ideals that WeeGee spoke of in photography.

You may be wondering why I’m channeling a WeeGee quote around the Olympus 12-45mm f4 PRO review. The reason why is because of the depth of field. Wide-open at f4, this lens has the equivalent depth of field of a full-frame lens at f8. However, it has the light-gathering abilities of f4. So with that said, a photographer can go around and shoot at an f8 equivalent and get lots of great moments perfectly in focus. Add to that this lens’ weather sealing, small size, and performance and you’ve got a lens that will prove itself very useful. While this is a great lens, it reminds me that Olympus really needs fast aperture zoom lenses too.

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Review: Tamron 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD (Sony FE Mount)

The Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is an excellent, cost-effective prime lens for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless shooters.

The Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD was introduced last year, and it’s part of a trio of compact, affordably priced prime lenses designed for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless cameras. It’s a lightweight and compact prime that’s said to be weather sealed, and focuses as close as 5.9 in (15 cm) and a reproduction ratio of 1:2. It lets you get up close and personal with your subjects, and for the past month, we’ve been putting the final production version of the Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F053) through its paces. Find out how it fared under real-world conditions in our full review.

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Review: Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens (Those Colors!)

The Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens is great for what it is, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

2019 was the year I hoped that DSLR lenses like the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Sports would be replaced by smaller and lighter Mirrorless lenses. (This piece was written in 2019 and published in 2020.) And quite honestly, if the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 DG OS Sports lens is any indication, then I’m excited to see what Sigma produces for Mirrorless cameras. This lens focuses quickly, accurately, and maintains focus when adapted to a Canon EOS R. But no matter what you’re using it on, you should know that this is a big lens. However, you should also know that this is a Sigma lens. And to that end, it’s one of the best on the market.

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Review: Panasonic 70-200mm F4 OIS Lumix S Pro (It’s Fast!)

The Panasonic 70-200mm f4 OIS Lumix S Pro isn’t a bad option for the photojournalist.

Many of you are of the philosophy that you hate zoom lenses, but the Panasonic 70-200mm f4 OIS Lumix S Pro is genuinely one of the most capable we’ve tested for the system. Thus far, I’ve found it to be the fastest focusing lens for L mount. That’s great news for photojournalistic photographers in addition to those who shoot weddings and events. You’re going to get great photos from it, but be sure to make a lot of space in your camera bag. Combined with the size of the Panasonic S1, you’ll see that it’s really large.

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Review: Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports

The Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports is a lens lots of photographers will find super useful.

Wildlife photographers are really the ones who are going to love the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports. In truth, very little is as great as getting some of that fantastic morning light in a shot with gorgeous wildlife. This lens is built for exactly that. Not only does it autofocus quickly, but it’s built solidly. And while there is nothing wrong with this lens, I wonder why it was made for DSLRs. In fact, I find it almost to be a waste. Mirrorless cameras are just so much more capable and that would have easily extended the capabilities of this lens.

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