Lenses

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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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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Aug 01, 2006 0 comments

My first macro lens was the popular Nikon 60mm Micro-Nikkor. Good move, I thought, as the 60mm focal length could double as an all-purpose lens for a variety of assignments. Trouble is, when I started to get into more and more 1:1 (life-size) work, I only had 21/2" of working space between the front of the lens and my subject. The 105mm was next, sharp as a tack but again...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Aug 01, 2006 0 comments

When I first heard about a 35mm focal length macro lens my mouth began to water. The $229 price tag was an immediate inducement, as were the compactness and lightweight of this glass. What threw me, though, was the focal length. Because this was in the new Four Thirds System for an Olympus digital SLR (the EVOLT E-300 was used for this test), focal length doubled to 70mm. A 70mm...

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Jason Schneider Posted: Aug 01, 2006 1 comments

This fairly large (6.5" long, 3.3" in diameter), reasonably lightweight (32.5 oz, including removable tripod collar) macro tele covers the 24x36mm format in film or digital as well as the smaller APS-C digital format. The Di (Digitally Integrated) designation indicates that it's "optically designed for digital SLR cameras." To translate the remainder...

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Joe Farace Posted: Aug 01, 2006 0 comments

For some time now my favorite portrait lens has been Canon's EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, but now my new favorite is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. It replaces the EF 85mm f/1.2L USM and offers the widest aperture of any lens in Canon's EF family. All in all it provides a useful combination of focal length, depth-of-field control, and low-light performance. The superb optics...

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

Every year the PMA Show becomes increasingly digital in its scope, with fewer exhibitors of "traditional" products. The 2006 show confirmed this trend but surprisingly, most of the new lenses (of familiar brands) are of the multi-platform type: suitable for 35mm cameras and digital SLRs with small (APS-C size) or full-frame sensors. That may not prove to be a...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Apr 01, 2006 0 comments

If I could, I'd spend all my time hunting down bugs and lizards and any other critters small enough to fit inside a macro lens. Simply stated, I love macro. So I couldn't wait to put the new EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens through its paces on my Canon EOS 20D digital SLR.

As you may already know, EF-S is Canon's designation for APS-C-dedicated lenses...

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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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Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2006 0 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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Frances E. Schultz Posted: Jan 01, 2006 4 comments

If a picture is really brilliant, you don't have to worry about grain or sharpness or anything else: to quote Mike Gristwood, late of Ilford, "How much good would it do you to know the technical details of any one of Henri Cartier-Bresson's pictures?"

By the same token, if a picture is really bad, no amount of technical brilliance is going...

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David B. Brooks Posted: Jan 01, 2006 0 comments

There's one lens that's part of my 35mm/digital SLR system that I have used longest, continuously now for about 40 years. It is a homemade single-element soft-focus lens inspired by the Rodenstock Imagon lens for large format cameras. There are more images in my library of photographs made with this lens than any other. But why in this modern, high-tech world of...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Dec 01, 2005 0 comments

The Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (16-35mm equivalent in 35mm parlance) was designed to cover the APS-C format, specifically the EOS 20D and both EOS Digital Rebels (plus future APS-C models). Canon's EF-S lenses (S = Short Back Focus) are physically matched to these cameras. This design also results in a smaller and lighter lens (3.5" long and less than 14 oz).

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Joe Farace Posted: Nov 01, 2005 1 comments

Tamron's AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 lens is part of their digitally integrated (Di II) lens series that's designed for digital SLRs and is not recommended for use with cameras having image sensors larger than 24x16mm, or 35mm film cameras. The lens is available in Canon EF, Konica Minolta AF-D, Nikon AF-D, and Pentax AF mounts and is maximized for smaller-sized imaging...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Oct 01, 2005 0 comments

What do you want from a 75mm f/2 lens? Whatever it is, the new APO-Summicron-M Aspheric almost certainly delivers it--except, it must be said, low cost. Perfection, or as close as modern lens design can come to it, doesn't come cheap.

For reportage, it is superb: fast, compact, and convenient. Of course, you don't normally need or expect ultimate...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Sep 01, 2005 0 comments

Canon's 50mm f/1.2 in Leica screwmount (39mm x 26 tpi) is something of a legend. Introduced in 1957/58, it is very fast and today it is relatively affordable. The main alternatives, after all, are either Leica Noctiluxes (the 50mm f/1.2, 1966, discontinued, or the 50mm f/1, 1967, still current) or two vanishingly rare lenses introduced in 1955, the 50mm f/1.1 Nikkor and...

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