Review: Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens (Canon EF Mount)

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens is fantastic; will you trade up for it?

One of the best pieces of news professional working photographers have heard in the lens world could be about the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens. Unlike many first party options out there, it has optical stabilization built in which helps a lot at weddings, events, for portraits, etc. Those types of photographers will greatly appreciate this addition on top of the already fantastic optics. Speaking of those optics, Sigma has consistently hit the ball out of the park in our reviews, and I’m happy to say they’re pretty much going to do this same thing in this review. But I should warn you that Sigma’s zoom lenses, while good, aren’t their primes. Sigma’s prime lenses are better. So if you want the best of every focal length offered here, you probably won’t be satisfied until you go for their f1.4 primes instead. And like many of those other lenses, you can take the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art out into the rain due its weather resistance.

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Review: Leica CL Digital (Starring the New Leica 18mm f2.8)

The Leica CL digital is finally here; and it performs admirably.

The Leica CL digital is a camera I’ve been waiting a while for; almost 10 years now. But if you rewinded back to the technology world 10 years ago, you saw that mirrorless cameras weren’t even a thing yet, and the Leica M9 hadn’t even launched. Indeed, many photographers have been waiting for a Leica CL digital–something like an M series camera but smaller, more affordable and well built. The newly announced Leica CL digital has design cues harkening back to the original M series cameras but fully embracing the L mount system that is shared between the Leica TL series and the Leica SL series of cameras. With that said, the Leica CL digital houses an APS-C sensor at the heart. So while it isn’t an M mount camera or a full frame camera, it indeed does show Leica has been paying attention to folks.

The Leica CL digital performs very well in most situations; but I think my sentiment is shared with other Leica users that some sort of small M series camera would have been ideal.

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Review: Nikon D7500

Editor’s Note: for the Nikon D7500 review, I thought I’d try something a bit different. Our Kickstarter manager, Justin, was going on a European vacation trip. And so he asked to use the camera. Justin isn’t a photographer; and the people that may buy the Nikon D7500 are probably amateurs who would use it for fun in the same way that he did. So I commissioned Justin to write the review. And so the subheading of this review is “Chris is a very trusting friend.” This review is targeted at photographers who have no idea what they should get. As we know, there are photographers out there who simply just buy the best camera they can afford; which I’ve never found to be a winning strategy.

I came to Chris before a big vacation, and asked a simple question, “Do you have a good quality camera a total novice could use that needs a review?” Twenty minutes later, he handed me the Nikon D7500 and a Nikkor lens, set up a few features, and said, “You’ll want to keep the Fstop to about 4.5. Have fun.” Boy did I. This thing traveled with me to four countries in two weeks, and worked hard. According to some of the wonderful information I read on the Phoblographer (Meta. Cool.), Nikon released this as a “little brother” to the D500. I will fully admit, I have never used the D500, but the D7500 gave me plenty of options as is, and a great deal of power.

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Review: Rokinon 14mm f2.4 SP Lens (Canon EF)

The Rokinon 14mm f2.4 SP isn’t the fastest wide angle lens on the market these days, but Rokinon is touting it to be one of the company’s very best. The lens is part of the SP lineup, which Rokinon is branding as the creme de la creme of their lens lineup. These lenses are designed to take on the likes of Zeiss. That’s a bold statement, especially as Zeiss has been a premium lens maker for far longer. But Rokinon also isn’t charging Zeiss prices. When you consider that, the Rokinon 14mm f2.4 SP seems to be a very attractive option. With a metal exterior body and a giant rubber focusing ring, the Korean lens manufacturer seems to be doing what I’d like to believe is a great job. Then I took some time to really try the lens–and I’ve seen just how far Rokinon has come.

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First Impressions: Tamron 100-400mm f4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

The Tamron 100-400mm f4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is a pretty impressive optic

When I first got to see and hold the Tamron 100-400mm f4.5-6.3 Di VC USD lens, I didn’t think it would be anywhere near as lightweight as it is. To be honest, I’ve seen and held 70-200mm f2.8 lenses that are heavier and in some ways bigger, at least when collapsed. Granted, this lens has external zooming.

The Tamron 100-400mm f4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is designed for photographers who shoot stuff like wildlife, sports, etc. and want something lightweight, good quality and with professional performance. And even though I handled a prototype at Photo Plus, it’s showing a lot of promise.

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First Impressions: Sony 24-105mm f4 G OSS (Sony FE)

The new Sony 24-105mm f4 G OSS is an extremely versatile offering, but not as great as a G Master

If you were to mount the Sony 24-105mm f4 G OSS on pretty much any modern Sony FE series camera, you’d be incredibly amazed at its versatility. However, these types of lenses have always been more about convenience than solid quality. And, with the Sony 24-105mm f4 G OSS, I find the lens to be not as sharp as many of Sony’s other offerings–at least initially.

To be fair, I only had maybe four hours max to use the new Sony 24-105mm f4 G OSS recently. So our full review is on the way still.

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Review: Nikon D850 (A Fantastic DSLR, But I’m Over DSLRs)

The Nikon D850 surely has to be one of our new favorite DSLRs.

If you look around at various reviews of the Nikon D850 on the web, they’ll most likely rate it as one of the best cameras ever made thus far. In truth, it really does perform very admirably and it absolutely does have a great sensor at the heart. Professional photographers considering making some sort of move since the Nikon D810 hadn’t been updated in awhile have an option that is going to last them a few more years before the industry changes yet again. That statement is more or less the basis of my review. The days of being able to know that your camera won’t be updated for four years are probably gone, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to take great photos with it long after it has been updated by some shiny new thing. The Nikon D850 is a fantastic image taking device and tool in the hands of the right photographer. It has a lot of great technology at the heart, but a part of me is wondering about its futureproofing.

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Review: Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was announced earlier this year hot on the heels of Sigma’s own lens–and for the photographer who loves to shoot wide this lens could be the only lens you’ll care to travel with. The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was designed with weather resistance and is being touted as a G lens, not to be mistaken with the company’s G Master offerings. Like many of Sony’s higher end lenses, it’s a pretty pricy offering but we need to expect that from a wide angle lens. Lenses like the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE are most suited for travel photography, landscapes, astrophotography, architecture and to some degree extreme sports. It’s also fun at parties if you’re looking to get a unique perspective. But photographers may have a tough choice between the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE and the 16-35mm f2.8.

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