Lenses

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Jun 01, 2009 0 comments

Although zoom lenses are certainly versatile and convenient, they do have some drawbacks, including relatively small maximum apertures.

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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Sep 09, 2011 Published: Aug 01, 2011 2 comments
With the availability of sky-high ISOs on digital cameras and VR on slower lenses, some have argued that it’s not practical or economical to work with fast, prime lenses anymore. On the other hand, lenses like the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED (list: $2200) and 50mm f/1.4G (list: $485) serve a distinct purpose for not only the obvious low-light advantages but also for the very, very shallow depth of field they can deliver.
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Stan Trzoniec Posted: May 16, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 2 comments
There are two general classifications of lenses that define how you use them in the field—zooms and single focal length, the former being a variable focal length lens that has many convenient advantages, and the latter being a single focal length that, in the group we’re covering here, is what’s known as a “fast” lens. Fast doesn’t mean that it focuses quicker than its zoom cousins, though it might—it usually means that it offers a wide maximum aperture, anywhere from f/1.2 to f/2.8, and that aperture stays put, unlike some zooms where the aperture varies by going narrower as you zoom into longer focal lengths. And to help refine the group we’re covering here we’re also topping out the focal length at 50mm, which makes these lenses prime for street and low-light photography, candid and photojournalism work.
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Peter K. Burian Posted: Oct 01, 2001 0 comments

Although Sigma has recently concentrated on fast wide angle prime lenses, the company continues to develop new zoom lenses, too. This summer I tested two of these at a safari park, at bicycle, motorcycle and War of 1812 events, as well...

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George Schaub Posted: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments

Macro photography takes all shapes and forms, and covers a wide range of subject matter from nature to abstract to collectibles' cataloging. While you can get into the macro realm using supplemental lenses (essentially magnifying glass that you screw...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Aug 01, 2010 0 comments

Fisheye optics are an unusual beast. The bulbous nature of the front element is one characteristic trademark, but the unique view this lens affords us is what makes it truly appealing—and at the same time challenging to work with.

My fisheye lenses have literally widened my view of the world around me and given me a new perspective on my photography. Admittedly, some...

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Steve Bedell Posted: Aug 01, 1999 0 comments

Wedding photography has changed greatly in the last few years, and I expect that trend to continue. The flood gates burst back in the late '80s with a new, more photojournalistic approach to the "Satin Jungle." Gone were the cornball posed...

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Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz Posted: Aug 01, 2008 0 comments

Understatement almost always speaks louder than overstatement; or if not louder, then generally with more authority. The four new Leica Summarits, for M-series Leicas, Zeiss Ikons, and Voigtländer Bessas, are about as far from ostentatious as you can get; they are merely first-class tools for the photographer who knows what he or she is doing.

Neither the...

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George Schaub Posted: Sep 01, 2001 0 comments

Photographers have always been fascinated by super wide angle focal lengths. This focal length range, including 20mm, expands peripheral vision beyond the scope of human vision, and does so with a potential depth of field that makes...

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George Schaub Posted: Apr 11, 2012 105 comments
The new super wide angle Distagon T* f/2.8 15mm lens for Canon and Nikon mounts is neither lightweight nor inexpensive (1.6 lb for Nikon, 1.8 lb for Canon mount, $2950) but what you get from this manual focus lens is exceptional image quality and facility that is perhaps unmatched by any other lens in its focal length class. With a 95mm filter thread and integral and fully compatible lens shade, the lens offers an extraordinary 110-degree angle of view that is pleasure to work with on a wide variety of subjects. The fast f/2.8 aperture is matched on the narrow end by a minimum aperture of f/22, which at 15mm means there’s potential for extraordinary depth of field effects using the 10-inch closest focusing range. While decidedly not a portrait lens, the 15mm is ideal for landscape, street photography and creative advertising work, as well as architectural and urban photography, as I discovered in mybrief time working with it.
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Jay Abend Posted: Jan 01, 2003 0 comments

Hasselblad Zeiss Telephoto

When you think about really long, really fast glass, you naturally think of 35mm. I have owned both Hasselblad and Mamiya RZ systems for years, and the longest lens I own is a 180mm. I'm like most shooters--I think of compact and portable 35mm as the...

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Feb 01, 2006 0 comments

As digital SLR cameras have become more affordable, an increasing number of photography and imaging enthusiasts have made the shift to digital capture. But there's one common complaint--the ultra-wide angle lenses designed for 35mm systems do not produce an expansive angle of view with any of the affordable digital SLRs. Because such cameras employ a sensor that's...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Aug 06, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 5 comments
There are a number of new lenses, including those for “full-frame,” Micro Four Thirds, and “mirrorless” compact system cameras debuting this year, listed in alphabetical order. Here’s a sampler, with a sprinkling of filters thrown in for good measure. We’ve shown prices when available at press time—if not, check the websites of the companies for updates.
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Christopher Dack Posted: Sep 23, 2011 Published: Aug 01, 2011 16 comments
Every lens maker offers standard types of lenses: wide angle, normal, and telephoto zooms plus several primes in popular focal lengths. Although highly useful, these lenses alone do not represent the breadth of offerings available. Hidden away within the lineups of many lens makers are specialty models which, even if they aren’t suitable for one’s purposes at any given time, are fascinating not only for their unique qualities but also because they might someday be the perfect tool for a specific shooting situation.
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Joe Farace Posted: Dec 01, 2009 0 comments

In my heart I know that few readers can afford these kinds of expensive lenses, but there are always those who can and for the rest of us, it’s something to dream about.

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