Review: Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master FE (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

There are few lenses that have the extra versatility that something like the Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master FE does–it’s a decent option for wildlife, landscapes, outdoor sports, and a variety of other applications that really need longer focal lengths. Though at the same time, I don’t expect it to be one of Sony’s most popular lenses. Why? Well, the 70-200mm f2.8 with teleconverters provide photographers with a fair amount more versatility. But in addition to that, I just don’t see most photographers using it vs something like the 70-200mm f2.8 G Master. That’s an obviously given fact. And with all that in mind, that doesn’t at all mean that the Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master FE is a bad lens. In fact, it’s fantastic!

But at the same time, its release was a curious one. The Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master FE was released with the Sony a9. In terms of the sports world, that makes sense; but where are Sony’s long telephoto fast primes for this type of photography? At the time of publishing this review, they’re nowhere to be seen.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro (Sample Images Included)

The Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro is a lens that seems really interesting. It’s one of Fujifilm’s largest prime lenses, and though it doesn’t sport as wide of an aperture as the 90mm f2, it has lots of features like close focusing abilities. Due to this feature alone, it may be an attractive option not only for shooting macro photos but also as a portrait focal length. When used with the latest camera options from Fujifilm, it’s a lens that offers pretty fast focusing abilities in addition to a fully weather sealed package.

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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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First Impressions: Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR (Sample Images Included)

I applaud Fujifilm for delivering the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR to us in such a short time. Being the equivalent of the 35mm field of view, I also applaud them delivering a wide angle medium format lens with a relatively fast aperture. Like the other Fujifilm GF lenses, this one is weather sealed and is putting an emphasis on delivering only the absolute best image quality from Fujifilm. What’s really interesting here though is that a lens like this delivers the equivalent field of view of an approximately 35mm lens, but is inherently a longer focal length. What that translates into is less distortion for something like portraiture–which I’m positive the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR will be used for.

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Review: Nikon 28mm f1.4 E ED (Nikon F Mount)

When the Nikon 28mm f1.4 came in for review and was announced, I was a bit hesitant. Why? Well, while I was excited about the lens for sure, I’m still not a person that believes that DSLRs are necessarily the future despite the fact that I acknowledge how good they are. And to that end, I believe that if Nikon has a full frame mirrorless camera system and made this lens for it, it would be an even bigger winner than it really is. But the current Nikon 28mm f1.4 is a dream lens in so many ways. If you’re a street photographer, portrait photographer, or a photojournalist then you may really enjoy what this lens offers.

In fact, this is hands down my favorite Nikon prime lens with the exception of the company’s 105mm f1.4.

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First Impressions: Lomography Lomo’Instant Square

In the past few years, I’ve learned to trust in Lomography’s ability to churn out solid instant film cameras, and the Lomography Lomo’Instant Square seems to be every bit as solid as lots of camera I’ve seen thus far. It’s the first camera to use the Fujifilm Instax Square format that isn’t made by Fujifilm. With a very classic design that is sort of an ode to old Kodak instant film cameras, this is one of Lomography’s more curious cameras. Lomo decided to go with a glass lens, a bellows system, and more or less the same sort of system the previous Lomo’Instant cameras have had. It borrows a lot from them and personally speaking, I’m pretty glad that I backed it. For ethical reasons of running a photography blog, I typically don’t like to back Kickstarter campaigns, but this is one that I firmly believed in.

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Film Review: Lomography Earl Grey 100 Black and White (35mm and 120)

Years ago, Lomography introduced Lomography Earl Grey 100 black and white film and added yet another entry into a market looking for more 100 ISO black and white films. There are a few from Ilford, none from Kodak except for T-Max, one from Fujifilm and a few other manufacturers producing them. But slower ISO black and white films aren’t really spoken of except for Acros. Black and white ISO 100 films are great for studio and portraiture work but in many cases have the versatility to deliver great results when pushed.

Lomography’s Earl Grey 100 used to be an older emulsion of Kodak T-Max 100. But that’s changed over the years. It’s now a Fomapan emulsion. But in the end, who cares? All that matters is the results.

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Review: Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II (Canon EF Mount)

Canon has always been a company that is a bit slower to change things, and so when the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II was announced, I was pleased to see that they did a number to fix many issues with the previous lens. With that said though, years have passed now and the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II more or less looks like every other option on the market. Some of the new welcome additions are the prevention of lens creep incorporated into the design, a lock to keep the lens locked in at 24mm, better weather sealing, faster autofocus, and less issues with image quality. For years, the previous version of the lens was my bread and butter option. While many photographers reach for the 24-70mm f2.8 lenses, I tend to go for the longer focal range option.

For only $1,099 you’re getting one of the best bang for your buck L lenses that Canon offers. At a more expensive price point than Sigma’s 24-105mm f4 DG OS HSM, you’re paying for weather sealing and the ability to lock the lens at 24mm to prevent it from extending when in your camera bag. that and less contrast in the images. But the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II’s main strength is in the versatility it offers the photographer.

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