Lens Reviews

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Steve Bedell  |  Sep 14, 2011  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2011  |  0 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.

Roger W. Hicks  |  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...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 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...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Apr 01, 2008  |  0 comments

What is the appeal of "retro" photography? I mean, surely, hasn't everyone "gone digital" nowadays? And equally surely, wouldn't you admit that the three new ZV Classic lenses from Zeiss, for traditional Hasselblads, are as retro as they come?
The answer is no, on both counts.

 

First, film has no more been killed by digital than...

Roger W. Hicks  |  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...

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Nov 18, 2016  |  0 comments

If you’ve ever lusted after a really fast lens—even faster than f/1.2—imagine how compelling the thought of an affordable f/0.95 lens might be. Well, buckle your gadget bags folks, because the Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm for Micro Four Thirds cameras is an f/0.95 that pops into the shopping cart for less than $400.  

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