Lenses

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Aug 01, 2000 1 comments

Although most lens manufacturers offer fast (f/2.8) ultra-wide zoom lenses, these tend to be large, heavy, and quite expensive. Tokina's own AF 20-35mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO is a superb product but most photo enthusiasts do not require such a wide aperture...

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Aug 01, 1999 0 comments

Tokina is not a manufacturer that seeks a lot of publicity, refusing to get involved in the old "sell the sizzle, not the steak" approach. And yet, they deserve greater recognition after producing lenses for over 40 years. Under the trademarks...

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2006 1 comments

Although many zoom lenses are labeled as "macro" that designation generally refers only to moderately close focusing ability. With a few exceptions, such zooms are not adequate for a dramatic frame-filling image unless the subject is quite large. (A few tele macro zoom lenses are capable of much higher magnification, however.) On the other hand, true macro lenses can...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Aug 01, 2008 0 comments

I developed a love for fisheyes way back when I was shooting film. In fact, when I took the digital route, the first new lens I bought for my brand-new Canon EOS 5D was a fisheye.

I figured, what better way to celebrate my purchase of a full-frame D-SLR than with a lens that could take full advantage of the larger sensor! So now, fast forward to the purchase of a...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Nov 01, 2008 0 comments

The mid-range zoom I started with when I bought my Nikon D300 was no speed demon, and I was hankering for an f/2.8 lens in the (effective) 70-200mm range. What first attracted me to the Tokina AT-X 535 PRO DX was the fast, constant maximum aperture, providing a bright view every step of the way. What’s more, the barrel on this tele-zoom does not rotate when zoomed: all movement is entirely...

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Aug 01, 2003 0 comments

Tunnel Vision

There certainly seems to be a true mystique when it comes to telephoto lenses. In a quick poll taken in our lab I found out that when a person buys a new single lens reflex camera the next lens he or she wants is a telephoto. Not...

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Robert E. Mayer Posted: Apr 01, 2000 0 comments

For extreme convenience a zoom lens with an ultra-wide range can make taking top quality images at a variety of focal lengths very practical. One example of this new breed is the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 AF Aspherical LD lens which encompasses practically...

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George Schaub Posted: Aug 01, 2003 0 comments

Vario-Sonnar T*

At a street price of just under $3000 the Vario-Sonnar T* 45-90mm f/4.5 lens is not to be trifled with. It is a serious optical instrument for those who require zoom lens flexibility for their Contax 645. But those in the...

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Tom Fuller Posted: Aug 01, 2000 0 comments

My first encounter with a Vivitar Series 1 lens goes back more than 15 years to the 600mm "Solid Cat," one of the slickest super-telephotos ever made. In addition to great optics, the lens featured an overall length and diameter of--and I'm not joking--around...

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Steve Bedell Posted: Aug 01, 2009 0 comments

“Most pro lenses have much sturdier construction than their consumer counterparts.”

I’m a pro photographer and have been for about 30 years. I mostly shoot portraits and a few weddings. I’m not one of those guys who will be first in line for the latest 15-800mm f/1.2 lens. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty much an equipment minimalist. But when I need a lens, I...

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Steve Bedell Posted: Sep 14, 2011 Published: Aug 01, 2011 1 comments
I really like extreme lenses. Extremely wide, extremely fast, and extremely long lenses will all allow you to create unique images that stand out from the crowd. When I heard about the Sigma 8-16mm lens I wanted to get my hands on one and start shooting, so I asked my editor if I could borrow one from Sigma for testing. He wanted to know what I was going to do with it, so naturally I told him: take portraits. You might, as he did, find this a little odd—taking portraits with a wide-angle lens, and a very wide lens at that. After all, don’t photographers usually use long lenses for portraits?

Why are photographers taught to use long lenses for portraits? There are four basic tenets behind this reasoning: narrow angle of view, shallow depth of field, flattering perspective, and a comfortable working distance between you and your subject. However, flip these “rules” on their head and you’ll see why I like working with wides: wide angle of view, great potential depth of field, unique perspective, and, oddly enough, working right in your subject’s face. In short, I use the special nature of a wide lens to give my portraits a new and unique look.

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Dec 01, 2001 0 comments

Minolta's New "D" Series
Minolta introduced a new series of D-type lenses, with an Advanced Distance Integration (ADI) distance encoder chip for superior results in flash photography with the Maxxum 7 and Maxxum 5. By adding distance information to the equation, they...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Aug 01, 2007 0 comments

"My" Leica M8--a loaner from Leica for review--came with a 50mm f/2 bar-coded Summicron. The 18x27mm sensor turns this into a 67mm lens in 35mm terms: rather long for someone whose standard lens on 35mm has for decades been a 35mm. So as soon as I got the M8, I started using other, older lenses. There is, after all, an enormous choice, from 12mm (18mm...

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Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz Posted: Aug 01, 2006 1 comments

As we said in the review of the new Zeiss Ikon (ZI) 35mm rangefinder (April 2006 issue of Shutterbug or online at www.shutterbug.com), we received six of the seven Zeiss ZM-mount lenses announced at photokina 2004: 15mm f/2.8, 21mm f/2.8, 25mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, and 50mm f/2. The 85mm f/2 (listing at $2759, plus $127 for the lens shade) still wasn't available as we...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: May 01, 2007 0 comments

Quality, according to the old saying, doesn't cost: it pays. These new manual-focus, Nikon-fit "ZF" lenses are a perfect illustration of that saying. Sure, they are built by Hirofumi Kobayashi in Japan, but they are built to Zeiss standards from Zeiss designs, and they feel like the Zeiss lenses of yesteryear: smooth, solid, beautifully finished, with a lot of...

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