The Most Beautiful Bokeh Ever! Meyer Optik Trioplan 100mm II Review

You can follow along with this review by clicking the Listen to This Article button. Give it a try!

It’s no secret that photographers get lots of pleasure from bokeh in photos. It’s gorgeous. Apple, Samsung, Google, and others spend lots of money and processing power, trying to replicate it with their phones. But it’s never going to become anything like what the Meyer Optik Trioplan 100mm II has. This bokeh is absolutely stunning. And I’m a fan of the colors too. They remind me of older Zeiss Biotar lenses. The bokeh isn’t all you’ll drool over. You’ll also adore the colors. Now, we tested this lens on Sony camera bodies, but I’ve got a feeling it will be ideal on Leica bodies. Portrait photographers are going to love this lens. Believe it or not, it’s also a great lens for photo walking. It’s incredibly fun, and the character it has is truly unique.

Continue reading…

Look at These Colors! Samyang 14mm F2.8 II MF Review

The Samyang 14mm f2.8 II MF is a step forward in the right direction.

By far, my favorite focal lengths to play with are super wide-angle lenses. The Samyang 14mm f2.8 II MF is no exception to this. This is an update to a lens that the company had for many years, and it’s been improved many times over. Besides a bit of weather sealing, the optics are very sharp. The colors are also positively gorgeous–which translate to better landscapes. It also doesn’t feel as plasticky as the previous iteration. Of course, it’s still manual focus-only. So if you’re not a fan of focusing a lens yourself, then steer clear. But keep in mind that a manual focus lens makes you work harder and more carefully for better photos.

Continue reading…

The Classic Look You’ll Love. Rokinon 85mm F1.4 II MF Review

Follow along with this article by click on the Listen to this Article button. Give it a try!

I’ve had mixed feelings about the Rokinon 85mm f1.4 II MF. I’ve been told there are versions of this lens with autofocus contacts. And if you’re choosing this lens, then I recommend that version. I also have a few qualms with the way Samyang and Rokinon state their lenses are weather sealed. But if you can get beyond those things, you’ll have a beautiful lens. There’s something about it that feels both classic and modern. Portraits will have a 3D look to them. At the same time, it won’t be overly sharp the way some new lenses look. This is because it was designed for both cinema and still photo use. Unfortunately, that makes this review very complicated.

Continue reading…

Try Something New. Panasonic LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 Review

Follow along with this blog post by clicking the Listen to this Article button. Give it a try!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this; there’s something odd about the Panasonic LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens. Designed for their full-frame L mount cameras, this lens is a wide to normal zoom. And I get the intent of that. You’re making the lens smaller, wider, and keeping the same aperture range. But it’s still odd. A zoom lens that went from 28-70mm would be far more useful. Admittedly, it’s a good lens. You can explore with it and shoot vast, wide scenes. You can even shoot portraits that are good enough at 60mm. But you’re never going to experience true telephoto. And that’s one of the reasons why you buy real cameras. All of the high-end phones these days have “telephoto” lenses, which are normal focal lengths. And you might be asking why I’m sitting here even bothering with this lens. Well, that’s because it’s a kit lens option.

Continue reading…

Why Didn’t Canon Make This? Samyang 85mm F1.4 RF Review

The Samyang 85mm f1.4 RF is an affordable option for Canon RF shooters and has everything you want.

This is the lens so many have been asking for. Canon currently has two main 85mm lens options. There’s the 85mm f1.2 RF, which we adore, and the Canon RF 85mm f2. The Samyang 85mm f1.4 RF sits right between both of these. For many, it’s perfectly positioned. There’s no image stabilization, but it has a bit of weather sealing, and it also focuses quickly. And best of all, this lens has its own character to it. It could very well be the option you’re looking for if you’re a portrait photographer.

Continue reading…

Endless Fun! Solid Quality! Samyang XP 10mm f3.5 Review

The Samyang XP 10mm f3.5 is a fantastic lens in so many different ways.

At first, I thought that the Samyang XP 10mm f3.5 would be very difficult to use. But then I went about photo walking–and it became second nature. The world suddenly became a bit more magical. Good cameras and lenses fo that for you. And the Samyang XP 10mm f3.5 really did that for me. It also helps when I put it on the camera that unicorns appear to vomit out truck tons of free money. I’m kidding–it just makes things look larger than they really are at times. Nonetheless, ultra-wide-angle primes are amongst the funniest to use.

Continue reading…

The Fujifilm 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR Has Stunning Color

You can follow along with this blog post by clicking the Listen to The Article button. Give it a try!

The good news is that it feels like a prime lens. Yes, that’s right. The prototype Fujifilm 10-24mm f4 R OIS WR we’ve been playing with is incredible. It gives Fujifilm users everything they want for the most part. Landscape photographers, city dwellers, and even travelers will call this lens their soulmate. Well, not really, but we really do like this lens just that much. As an update to the previous version, this new lens boasts solid enhancements. It’s weather sealed for starters, which is incredibly important these days. Plus, it’s a lighter lens. What’s more, it’s almost a fully internal zooming lens. For what it is, Fuji is hitting the ball out of the park. But personally speaking, I think they can go even further.

Continue reading…

Affordable Superzoom: Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS Review

The Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 is an affordable superzoom lens for photographers shooting E Mount or L Mount mirrorless cameras.

Many sports and wildlife photographers rely on super-telephotos. Of course, there are compromises for their versatility. The Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG DN OS Contemporary is no exception. It was designed specifically for mirrorless cameras. At the cost of a brighter aperture, Sigma kept the weight and size down. Its direct competitor, the Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master, has a similar tradeoff. However, the Sigma is more than 60% cheaper ($949 USD). We’ve been testing the lens for the last few weeks in Sony E Mount, but it’s available for L Mount mirrorless cameras too.

Continue reading…

Hobbyist Birders Will Love It: Canon 600mm F11 IS STM Review

The Canon 600mm f11 IS STM is a super-telephoto that’s easy to use and wallet-friendly.

We recently reviewed the Canon 800mm f11, and now it’s time to take a look at its smaller brother, the Canon RF 600mm f11 IS STM. Canon broke the mold when they launched these lenses, and many photographers are interested in their performance, especially because of the fixed f11 aperture. So, the biggest question is whether the 600mm version of this lens performs better than the 800mm version. Is it worth your time? Let’s find out in our full review.

Continue reading…

Can You Believe the Quality? Samyang 75mm f1.8 AF Review

The Samyang 75mm f1.8 AF is an excellent first portrait lens for a Sony a7 series camera shooter.

I need to preface this review of the Samyang 75mm f1.8 AF by saying that we didn’t test it on the newest cameras. We’ve done this for years. We, like you, don’t always have a justification for upgrading cameras every generation. And this site was designed to mimic the consumer experience of photography. I’ve been told that the Samyang 75mm f1.8 AF isn’t that sharp on the Sony a7r IV. And you can head over to PCMag to learn more about that from my good buddy Jim Fisher. But if you’re using an older camera body, you’re going to enjoy what this lens delivers. It’s not perfect, but it’s priced to be an impulse buy. Portrait photographers and candid shoots alike will appreciate what this lens can do. For the most part, I did too. But it lacks my favorite feature.

Continue reading…

I Can See Russia from Here: The Canon RF 800mm F11 IS STM Review

Well, maybe not quite Russia, but the Canon RF 800mm f11 prime brings the world much closer to you at an affordable price.

The Canon RF 800mm f11 IS STM caught a lot of attention when it was announced alongside the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 earlier this year. Many photographers questioned Canon and their choice to present a fixed f11 aperture 800mm prime lens. One thing is for sure: Canon continues to innovate with its RF lenses. The question is, is this 800mm prime worth your time? Over the last couple of weeks, we have been putting this super-telephoto lens to the test. Read what we have to say about this unique lens in our full review.

Continue reading…

This Is One of the Most Compact Leica Camera Setups You Can Have

Every photographer wants a smaller and more Compact Leica camera setup.

The Leica camera, no matter the model, is always in demand. But the Leica CL has the hearts of many photographers. It’s the smallest M mount camera made. And on eBay, the Leica CL is crazy cheap right now. This isn’t the digital version with an APS-C sensor. (I always felt that was a slap in the face to that part of Leica’s history.) Instead, this camera uses 35mm film. It also boasts a light meter. The Leica CL was created in collaboration with Minolta. And there’s a very excellent and super small 40mm f2 Rokkor that is still one of Leica’s sharpest lenses. But there’s an even smaller lens for Leica M Mount that makes photographers’ hearts beat. That’s the MS Optical 28mm f2.

Continue reading…

Sony vs Sigma Comparison: Battle of the 85mm F1.4 Lenses

It’s Sony vs Sigma as the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art and the Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master duke it out!

The Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art competes directly with Sony’s well-received 85mm f1.4 G Master. Both lenses share an identical focal length and maximum constant aperture. There are other similarities, too: they boast an 11-bladed circular aperture, weather sealing, a customizable focus hold button, a de-clickable aperture ring, and a dedicated focus mode switch. The Sigma even includes an aperture ring lock that the Sony lacks, and costs a fraction of what the G Master does. Did Sigma have to cut any corners to achieve the lower price point? Let’s put these two 85mm portrait lenses head to head and find out in the battle of Sony vs Sigma!

Continue reading…

One Big Problem. Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art Review

The Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art is a nearly perfect portrait lens for photographers shooting E or L Mount mirrorless cameras.

Portrait shooters are in for a treat with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art. It’s the spiritual successor to Sigma’s much-loved, mammoth 85mm f1.4 DG HSM Art. Designed initially for DSLRs, Sigma eventually released it for E and L Mounts, but its performance on mirrorless cameras is lackluster. The new Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art is designed for mirrorless cameras. It aims to address both the size and performance issues that plagued its predecessor. We reviewed the E Mount version of the lens, but it’s available for L Mount too.

Continue reading…

Explore Your City: Samyang 18mm F2.8 Lens Review

With the Samyang 18mm f2.8, photographers can get unique image quality at an affordable price.

My intro to our review of the Samyang 18mm f2.8 is the last section I’m writing. It’s possibly because I don’t really know how to start it. Why? Well, the Samyang 18mm f2.8 is sort of a one trick pony. It delivers solid image quality on the Sony a7r III. The colors and the contrast are lovely. Couple that with the amazingly low price point and you’ve got everything the Samyang 18mm f2.8 embodies. Yet, if you want the best autofocus performance out of it, you need to buy the Samyang dock. Further, it lacks weather sealing, and that limits you from shooting in the rain (which is honestly one of the best things you could do). So for what it is, the Samyang 18mm f2.8 is pretty decent, but I wouldn’t spring for it.

Continue reading…

The Lens No One Should Discuss. Sony 28-60mm F4-5.6 Review

The Sony 28-60mm f4-5.6 was designed to be a small zoom lens, but they didn’t need it.

“What the hell did you do, Sony?” That’s what I thought as I sat in a Go-To meeting looking at this lens. The Sony 28-60mm f4-5.6 is clearly outshined by the new Sony a7c today. But I’m also wondering why Sony even made it. Sure, a smaller kit zoom is a welcome addition, but they also have small prime lenses. How about their 35mm f2.8 FE? Or the 28mm f2 FE? The Sony 28-60mm f4-5.6 gives you versatility with only a stop of difference between the wide end and the long end. Optically speaking, they also did a decent job. But as I found in my review, this lens shouldn’t be paired with the Sony a7c. Instead, it’s an okay option for the higher end a7 series camera models.

Continue reading…

Absolutely Stunning Photos. Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR First Impressions

Trust us, the impressive Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR will be on your wish list.

“Why the hell would I want a 50mm f1 lens?” is what I asked myself. Fujifilm changed its super-fast lens strategy. The Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR is one that I wasn’t too sure about. I mean, I liked the idea of a 33mm. I also prefer the idea of a 56mm f1. At least, I thought I did. My mind changed after using the Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR on the Fujifilm XT4. This fantastic lens renders the full-frame equivalent of a 75mm f1.5 lens. If you’re a newer photographer, that’s going to be weird to you. If you’re a Leica shooter, you’ll probably feel right at home. The Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR boasts weather sealing and a metal body to boot. But best of all, it focuses incredibly fast.

Continue reading…

Small, Sharp, and Affordable: Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM Review

Kit lenses have a certain stigma attached to them, but the Canon RF 24-105mm f4-7.1 IS STM breaks the kit lens mold.

One of the biggest complaints we hear is that the cost of entry into Canon’s RF mount glass is too high. Canon has a plan to rectify this with more affordable RF lens options for those who don’t want to spring for premium L series glass. The Canon RF 24-105mm f4-7.1 IS STM was launched earlier this year, and it’s intended to be sold as part of Canon’s camera kit bundles. However, you can buy this lens separately from their camera bodies. At just $399, this versatile lens is a full $700 cheaper than the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM, but is it worthy of your time? Find out in our full review.

Continue reading…

Powerful, Portable, and Affordable: Olympus 100-400mm F5-6.3 IS Review

The Olympus 100-400mm f5-6.3 IS is a powerful superzoom perfect for sports and wildlife photographers.

If Micro Four Thirds shooters wanted an affordable superzoom, their only choice for a good few years has been the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm. But now, Olympus has jumped into this space with the new Olympus 100-400mm f5-6.3 IS. This lens has been a long time coming, and from the moment it appeared on the Olympus lens road map, wildlife, and even some sports photographers have been eager to get their hands on it. Does this new lens live up to the hype? Has the wait been worth it? Let’s find out in our full review.

Continue reading…

It’s Not a Summilux: Leica 28mm F2 Summicron ASPH Review

The Leica 28mm f2 Summicron is a beautiful lens, but if you’ve used their f1.4 Summilux, then you can’t go back to the f2.

When I got the Leica 28mm f2 Summicron ASPH, I was pretty excited. I’ve always loved the feeling of the company’s small Summicron lenses. In hand, they just feel right and perfectly mated to the Leica M bodies they attach to. Indeed, the Leica 28mm f2 Summicron ASPH is very much a tactile experience as it is a godsend of image quality for some. If you’re a fan of muted colors and a cinematic look, then you’ll adore the Leica 28mm f2 Summicron ASPH. But if you want more resolution, you’re best off mating this lens to a third-party camera. If you want colors that pop, you should probably reach for their f1.4 variant. And if you’re going to stop this lens down a lot, then it may be even better for you to reach for a more affordable, slower aperture lens.

Continue reading…

Sharp and Stable: Olympus 100-400mm F5-6.3 IS First Impressions

Many photographers have been waiting a long time for the Olympus 100-400mm f5-6.3, and so far, it seems like the wait has been worth it.

Fans of Olympus have been waiting a long time for the Olympus 100-400mm f5-6.3 IS, and we’re pleased to say that today, Olympus has officially unveiled their new tele to super-telephoto lens that will appeal to wildlife and nature photographers the world over. Instead of just offering a boring news post, we have instead put together a first impressions post that will give you a glimpse of the new glass. We have had the lens on hand for a short while, and we have been putting it to work, so pull up a chair and see what we have found out so far (yes, there are sample images) after the break.

Continue reading…