Awesome Comparison: Bokeh Shootout between Leica, Canon, and Nikon 50-58mm Primes

This is a syndicated post originally published over at Street Silhouettes. Prepared by Anthony Thurston. Originally by Horatio Tan.

In retrospect, I really should have conducted this comparison on another day, given that I had been awake that day since 3:00AM Hong Kong Standard Time, and was conducting this shootout after work from 7:00PM-9:00PM. Something was going to give, and in this case, it was a Nikon 50mm f/1.2 that I had I accidentally replaced with a Nikon 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor – essentially repeating the result of the Noct-Nikkor lens. Hey, you can’t blame me. Those AIs Nikon lenses all look the same, especially when you’re sleep deprived. Needless to say, I will do a second day of shooting.

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Review: Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG HSM Art (Canon EF)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 20mm f1.4 Review product images (6 of 7)ISO 4001-160 sec

For the past couple of months, I’ve been incredibly busy testing gear from many different manufacturers. But as many of you know who have been readers of this blog for a while, I switched all my DSLR lenses over to Sigma a couple of years back. Why? To be honest, they’re fantastic–especially with their primes. So when the Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG HSM Art came in for review, it seemed to be like coming home in many ways.

The Sigma 20mm f1.4 is the widest angle f1.4 lens that also offers autofocus available on the market. It’s beautiful, big, and has lots of signature things about it that make it a Sigma lens worthy of being in the bag of many photographers.

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Review: SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 (Micro Four Thirds)

Felix Esser The Phoblographer SLR Magic 35mm f/1.4 Aperture

The SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 cine lens has been out for a while now, and indeed we posted our first impressions of it a while back. Since then, I’ve spent considerably more time with it and used it in a number of different scenarios. Besides the Panasonic G1, I’ve also tested it on a Sony NEX-3 (via adapter), on which it really shined. So how does this lens, which offers quite a lot of speed for the money, fare in daily use? Does it keep up with expectations? Read the full review to find out.

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Review: Billingham F-Stop f1.4 Camera Bag

Ask almost any well-seasoned camera lover who Billingham is and most will tell you about how nice but pricey their bags are. In having this bag for the few weeks I’ve had most of my other professional photographer friends just come off as plain jealous. I can just see why. Known to some as the Rolls Royce of camera bags, Billingham makes some of the more classic looking bags in the business.

But, how was it like to use in real life you ask?

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SLR Magic Announces New Toy Lenses For NEX, MFT and Pentax Q

Picture by Leo Fok

Picture by Leo Fok

In harsh contrast to their upcoming 50mm T0.95 lens for Leica M-mount, SLR Magic has just announced three new toy lenses for Sony NEX, Micro Four Thirds and Pentax Q. The NEX lens “Bokehmorphic” comes with interchangeable aperture inserts that create custom-shaped bokeh highlights, the new Micro Four Thirds “lens” is a pinhole cap with protection glass and the new Pentax Q offering is an adaption of the 11mm f1.4 toy lens released for Micro Four Thirds a while ago.

Correction: the apertures are built in. Thanks for the catch Andrew!

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A Second Chance with the Leica M9 (and 50mm and 35mm Summilux Lenses)

Though I’ve reviewed the Leica M9 and M9-P before, I only recently had the pleasure of trying the Leica 50mm f1.4 Summilux and Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux on the new digital bodies in real world use and street photography (I’ve used the former with a film body before). As readers of this site may know, I like the cameras; but have a major problem with their metering methods. Additionally, I tend to liken the images from the camera to chrome film in that one needs to nail the exposure perfectly and there isn’t a tremendous amount of versatility in the post-production process, though there is some.

So with all that aside, how do the lenses perform on the camera body?

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Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM – Canon

My first lens review with The Phoblographer was on the Sigma 85mm f/1.4. I truly enjoyed shooting with that lens and if I was in the market for an 85mm prime, Sigma would get my money. An 85mm lens is great for portraits but I, like many other people, find 50mm to be a more useful focal length for everyday shooting. Luckily for me, Sigma offered to lend me the 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM to test out. If this performs as good as its 85mm sibling, my wallet may be lighter by the end of this review. Continue reading…

Sample from the Samsung 85mm f1.4 Lens for the NX System

Shot with the Samsung 85mm f1.4 on the Samsung NX200. ISO 250 1/320 sec f1.4

The other night, we attended a Samsung event where we got to see the new NX200 camera with the 85mm f1.4 lens. Yesterday, the PR Reps from Samsung sent this image sample to me via email. I shot this with the 85mm attached to the NX200. The subject (an event photographer) was asked to step into the illumination of the Photogenic lights around the area. The result is this photo.

For the record, I have done no editing to this photo except for sizing it down to around 500kb for the web. The reason why is because I’d like to show off the purest abilities of the camera. The original file was a 6MB beast.

I was focusing on his eyes and this was shot at ISO 250 1/320 sec and wide open at f1.4. So what do you think? We’d love to hear your comments below.