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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Great for a Sony a7 Series Camera: Samyang 45mm F1.8 Review

The Samyang 45mm f1.8 lens provides a unique experience for the Sony a7 camera system.

Contrast–that’s one of the things I think of when we talk about Samyang lenses. The Samyang 45mm f1.8 is no exception here. For a super affordable price point, you’re getting character in a lens. It doesn’t have some of the features that licensed companies have, but with the addition of the Samyang Lens Dock, you can make your own additions and adjustments. If you’re a hobbyist, you’re going to love this lens. Most of those folks care just about image quality, bokeh, and having a fast aperture. In fact, this is the closest thing to an alternative nifty 50 on Sony. If you want something in between a 35mm and 50mm field of view, the Samyang 45mm f1.8 could be exactly what you’re looking for.

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I Love This Lens: Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Review

The Tamron 28-200mm f2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is quite a fun lens to use, but it’s not perfect.

I’ve learned something over the years; if anyone knows how to make a superzoom lens, it’s Tamron. They’ve made a few that were great in the past decade. And with the Tamron 28-200mm f2.8-5.6 Di III RXD, I’m impressed on a level I didn’t expect to be. Typically with superzooms like this, you sacrifice on image quality. But in Capture One 20, we couldn’t find any significant issues with distortion sharpness, etc. Throw in the fact that this lens is weather-sealed, lightweight, and small. Seems like a perfect lens, right? On top of all this, consider the fact that there’s only a two-stop difference between the wide end and the telephoto end. The focal length range with the apertures is very usable indeed. Despite all this, there’s one big problem that you’ll need to find a way past.

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Ultra-Wide, Ultra-Sharp, and Ultra-Pricey: Sony 12-24mm F2.8 GM Review

The world’s fastest and widest Full Frame lens in this category is the Sony 12-24mm f2.8 GM, but it comes with a worldie of a price tag.

The Sony 12-24mm f4 has been a staple in the camera bags of landscape shooters for a while, and so it should be: it’s a great lens. But there has been a clamoring for a faster G Master version. If you’re a photographer who has a need for speed, you’ll be pleased to know that your wait for a faster, ultra-wide-angle lens from Sony is over; the Sony 12-24mm f2.8 GM is finally here. It joins at a time when others such as Sigma and Tamron, have already released their fast ultra-wides. However, Sony has pushed the envelope with their offering. The Sony 12-24mm f2.8 GM is the world’s widest fast 12-24mm f2.8 lens on any Full Frame platform, but does it warrant its eye-watering price tag? Find out in our full review.

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One Zoom to Rule Them All? Fujifilm 16-80mm F4 Lens Review

The Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f4 combines a huge zoom range, constant maximum aperture, weather sealing, and optical image stabilization in a compact package.

Until recently, Fujifilm’s 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR and 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS lenses were the only options available for X mount cameras when it came to standard 24-70mm zooms (35mm Full Frame equivalent). With the introduction of the Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR, Fujifilm shooters finally have a third option. With a focal range spanning the 35mm Full Frame equivalent of 24-120mm, the Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f4 is essentially a 24-105mm standard zoom for the X Mount (with an extra 15mm of coverage at the long end). As its name indicates, the XF 16-80mm f4 is a weather-resistant and optically image-stabilized zoom lens featuring a dedicated aperture control ring. Weighing in at just 0.97 lbs / 440 g, it’s pretty lightweight as well. If you’re a Fujifilm X Mount shooter, the 16-80mm f4 could be the right lens for you.

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A New Wide-Angle Lens Appears: Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 First Impressions

The Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR is an excellent wide-angle prime lens for photographers shooting with Fujifilm Medium Format cameras.

Photographers shooting with Fujifilm Medium Format cameras are getting a new wide-angle prime option today. The Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR is the eighth prime to join the company’s G mount lens lineup. It covers a 30mm focal length, which is roughly equivalent to 24mm in 35mm Full Frame. It’s also got a reasonably bright maximum aperture of f3.5 (which equates to approximate f2.8 in 35mm Full Frame). The GF 30mm f3.5 is also weather-sealed like the rest of the lenses in Fujifilm’s Medium Format G Mount. It’s relatively lightweight and feels very well balanced when paired with one of the GFX camera bodies (we tested it with the GFX 100). We recently got to spend some time with a pre-production prototype of the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR ahead of today’s announcement. Head on after the jump for our first impressions.

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Comparison: Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 vs Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Master

Would you trade 20mms of max zoom range and stabilization for US $1,400 in savings? Let’s compare Tamron’s 70-180mm f2.8 against Sony’s 70-200mm f2.8 G Master

It should come as no surprise that Tamron launched their 70-180mm f2.8 lens as a competitor to Sony’s native 70-200mm f2.8 G Master. This is an interesting move on Tamron’s part: Sony owns 12.06% stakes in the third party lens manufacturer. Fundamental differences in focal range and lens design contribute to the Tamron offering’s lower price point. Let’s compare the two telephoto zooms and see whether the Tamron’s cost savings can outweigh the added functionally of the Sony G Master.

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Do the Extra 20mm Really Matter? The Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Review

The Tamron 70-180mm f2.8 Di III VXD zoom lens is an affordable alternative to traditional 70-200 zooms for Sony E Mount cameras.

The Tamron 70-180mm f2.8 is a weather-resistant telephoto zoom lens designed to be an affordable, compact, and lightweight alternative to Sony’s own 70-200mm f2.8 G Master lens. It joins the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 and the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 to complete the third-party lens manufacturer’s “Holy Trinity” zoom lens lineup for Sony E mount. The 70-180mm features many of the same design elements found in Tamron’s other E mount offerings. These include moisture-resistant construction, accurate and quiet VXD linear focusing motor, and the same 67mm front filter thread.

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Macro On the Cheap: ProMaster Close-Up Lens Review

Interested in macro photography but can’t afford a macro lens? The ProMaster Achromatic Close-Up Lens lets you turn an existing lens into a macro easily.

Most of us are stuck at home right now thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, macro photography generally doesn’t require you to be out and about or to have to interact with others. Many photographers have turned to it as a creative outlet while sheltering in place. Macro photography typically requires you to get up close to the objects you’re shooting. Normally, dedicated macro lenses are needed, as most non-macro lenses lack the minimum focusing distances required for macro work. But not everyone owns a macro lens, and purchasing one during these uncertain times can be a hard decision to justify. This is where the ProMaster Close-Up Lenses comes in. They are diopters that allow your lens to focus up close like a macro lens, making macro photography possible with your existing lenses. ProMaster sent over a pair of their Close-Up Lenses for us to check out. Let’s see how they fared in real world use.

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Great Colors for Portraits or Landscapes: Fujifilm GF 45-100mm F4 Review

The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR is a stabilized and weather-resistant standard zoom lens for Fujifilm’s GFX Medium Format Mirrorless cameras.

Announced in January of this year, the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR is a standard zoom lens for the Fujifilm GFX Medium Format Mirrorless system. It’s weather-resistant and features five stops of optical image stabilization with a focal range equivalent to 36-79mm on Full Frame cameras. The GF 45-100mm features a maximum aperture of f4 and can be stopped all the way down to f32. The lens boasts 16 elements arranged into 12 groups and includes three aspherical elements, one Super ED element, and one ED element. We had the opportunity to test a final production copy of the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 in the wild prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our full review is after the jump.

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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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