Lens Reviews

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Joe Farace Posted: May 16, 2017 0 comments

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer, and often the supreme disappointment.”—Ansel Adams

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George Schaub Posted: May 11, 2017 0 comments

When Sigma introduced their new super-wide zoom in late 2016 I was eager to give it a try. Among their Art lens offerings, the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM lens ($1,599, MSRP) serves as an upgrade to their 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 (still available at an MSRP of $949) with a constant f/4 aperture; a nine-bladed diaphragm; FLD glass elements; an updated HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) that uses 1.3x the torque for fast and smooth autofocus operation; 16 elements in 11 groups construction; and what Sigma claims is “the largest aspherical element in the industry” to minimize distortion, ghosting, and flare. The angle of view ranges from 84 to 122 degrees, with mount compatibility for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma DSLRs.

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Apr 06, 2017 0 comments

Does a 5mm scratch in the center of the front element ruin a lens? We gouged a brand new, straight-from-the-box, $499 Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 zoom to find out. Then we shot some test subjects. Was the defect visible in the images? See for yourself…

Joe Farace Posted: Mar 21, 2017 0 comments

In the trifecta of portrait lenses—85mm, 105mm, and 135mm—the 85mm focal length is the gateway. It’s short enough for tight shooting spaces, while producing a real portrait look, yet versatile enough for use in other genres, including photojournalism, where a nifty 50 comes up a bit short. Enter Sigma’s 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens ($1,199) that’s fast enough for reportage and long enough for portraiture.

Ron Leach Posted: Mar 17, 2017 0 comments

I tend to travel on the wide side when it comes to lens selection, so it was exciting to get a hold of Tamron’s new super telephoto zoom—the SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022). And what better way to give this big beauty a try than to take it on safari? Admittedly, this “safari” was of the local variety with a quick trip to the recently renovated Audubon Zoo barely two miles from my home in New Orleans. I also spent an afternoon with the Tamron 150-600mm G2 ($1,399) on one of the many bayous running through Southern Louisiana to shoot some gators and less exotic wildlife.

Joe Farace Posted: Mar 14, 2017 0 comments

The late Mr. Newton was certainly onto something. I believe the overwhelming desire of most portrait photographers is to please the client, with seduction, amusement, and entertainment far from their minds. Let me submit this idea: shoot what the client says they want and then shoot something challenging their assumptions. Most wedding clients tend to be traditional but even introducing black and white or infrared images can increase sales and show clients you’re thinking outside the veil.

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Joe Farace Posted: Feb 17, 2017 0 comments

There’s no more iconic focal length in Nikon folklore than 105mm. I remember the day in the 1980s when I purchased the legendary Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 lens (at prices that seem ridiculously low these days) from Denver’s Robert Waxman Camera and thought I’d finally made it. I felt some of that same rush of excitement when I picked up the new AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens ($2,196). While designed for FX (full frame) Nikon F-mount SLRs, it can also be used on their DX cameras that use APS-C-sized sensors, where it produces a 157.5mm equivalent field of view.

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Feb 16, 2017 0 comments

It was portrait shooter’s paradise with two new Sony lenses this week. The 100mm STF is a veritable bokeh machine, while the FE 85mm f/1.8 is a budget-friendly, professional quality portrait lens. Sony invited a small group of editors to a private studio and assured us that we were the first journalists in the world to shoot with this new glass.

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Feb 09, 2017 1 comments

If you’re into high quality glass, this is the kind of lens you can get lost in. Build quality is exceptional, performance is outstanding and…I’m getting ahead of myself, but you’ll see the world in a whole new way when you use this lens.

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Feb 02, 2017 0 comments

Unless you’re completely new to photography, you’ve heard about Lensbaby, the marvelously creative series of lenses that are best described as intentionally unsharp and stuffed with almost every imaginable aberration and distortion. The Lensbaby Trio 28 is the latest model, and it has a secret. 

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Jan 20, 2017 0 comments

Welcome back! Last week we covered lenses that are well suited for five of the most popular camera activities, including kids’ sports, travel and online auctions. If you missed that piece, you’ll find it here. This week—as promised—five more lenses for five more activities. These are sometimes thought of as being in the realm of more advanced hobbyists, but that ain’t necessarily so. Read on…

Jason Schneider Posted: Jan 09, 2017 0 comments

Why would anyone in their right mind want to use old lenses on their shiny new high-performance DSLR or mirrorless camera? The simple answer is that some older lenses can capture images that have that elusive quality known as character. 

The Editors Posted: Jan 05, 2017 1 comments

Now that 2016 is done and dusted, we’ve had a chance to look back at all the cameras and lenses we reviewed this past year and have chosen ten of our absolute favorites. 

Joe Farace Posted: Dec 16, 2016 0 comments

Sports photography shares much in common with capturing images of wildlife: You’ve got an active scene captured at a distance requiring specialized equipment and knowledge of the subject’s activities while anticipating what they are going to do next…or not. Sure, you’ll need fast, long focal length lenses but you will also need camera supports and other gear that along with specialized knowledge separates the virtuosos, like Regis Lefebure (regislefebure.com), from the wannabes. Here’s a look at some of our favorite tools of the sports trade.

Ron Leach Posted: Nov 30, 2016 5 comments

I tend to travel on the wide side when it comes to lens selection, so it was exciting to get ahold of Tamron’s new super telephoto zoom—the SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022). And what better way to give this big beauty a try than to take it on safari?

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