Category: Lens Reviews

Old School Zooms

Nikon 28-80mm v Nikon 28-85mm v Nikon 28-105mm v Nikon 35-70mm With photographers abandoning bijou mirrorless systems for full frame SLRs, May 2020 feels like a great time to review the walkabout lenses of another century. Bored by the low-hanging fruit of optically faultless 24-120mm kit lenses, today’s image-makers crave the creativity-testing limits of zooms […]

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 v Sigma 14-24mm f2.8

Le Roi est Mort! Yes, Roy is dead. For many years the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 reigned over wide angles. For some months after its launch, the review we wrote back in 2007 was attached to the wall in Nikon’s R&D HQ in which we demonstrated its superiority over the erstwhile wide champion, the Zeiss 21mm […]

Samyang 10mm f3.5

What can I compare you to? Shall I compare thee to a Samyang 14mm? Thou art more panoramic and more divergent. Shall I compare thee to a fishes eye? Thou art commensurately wide, yet in fashion rectilinear.  Like a woman dressed as a man in a forest, I find myself musing “Can one desire too […]

Speedboosting: Part 2

Metabones Ultra v Viltrox II Metabones did it first, but so did Xerox (with Windows) and look how that turned out. Is the superficially identical, significantly cheaper Viltrox Speedbooster a democratically-priced refinement, or a second rate rip-off? For many, the pricetag is the most important stat. A Nikon user perusing eBay faces the persuasive maths […]

The 7-8mm Focal Length

        Panasonic 7-14mm Panasonic 8-18mm Olympus 7-14mm Laowa 7.5mm Acuity: 86.5%Bokeh: 45%Geometry: 60%Light Handling: XShot-Grabbing: 45%Light-Gathering: 20%Overall: 69.3% Acuity: 72.4%Bokeh: 60%Geometry: 72.9%Light Handling: XShot-Grabbing: 45%Light-Gathering: 40%Overall: 67.5% Acuity: 72.4%Bokeh: 60%Geometry: 72.9%Light Handling: XShot-Grabbing: 45%Light-Gathering: 40%Overall: 67.5% Acuity: 65.2%Bokeh: 55%Geometry: 75%Light Handling: X%Shot-Grabbing: 0%Light-Gathering: 60%Overall: 63.2% At 7mm, the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 is […]

Speedboosting: Part 1

I was nagged by five questions: some may have pestered you too: 1: What does a Speedbooster do? Not the obvious gains – 30% more FoV and a stop of light – but what’s the hidden penalty? What degree the degradation? Or are Speedboosters win-win? Do they really improve results for smaller sensors? 2. Is […]

G9 HiRes v D810: 14mm Comparison

The 28mm focal length (14mm in MFT) is the gateway to wide-angle. It’s an architectural photographer’s staple. Many lenses cover it: it’s typically at the top of a wide zoom and the low end of a standard zoom – where both tend to be weak. There are few MFT primes in this territory: Panasonic has […]

High Res on the Lumix G9 and S1R: Introduction

The fundamentals of shooting in the Lumix G9’s high-res mode were sketched out when the camera was released in 2017. Likely you’ve already read Damien Demolder’s article; if you haven’t, that’s a good place to begin. In 2019, MFT seems to be clinging to a rather precarious foothold supported by Panasonic’s critical mass in the […]

Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6

Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS Review There is much speculation about how this lens performs compared with the Canon 70-200mm f4 L, and of course everybody still really really wants a Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS, but Canon knows that if such a fantastically useful and high quality lens existed, far fewer of its other (more […]

Zeiss 21mm v Canon 17-40mm

Contax Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon v Canon 17-40mm f4 L [first published 2002] Lens comparison made at 21mm / f11. Exposure 4 seconds on a Canon 1Ds Mark I mounted on a view camera head on Manfrotto 155 legs, locked and braced, on a concrete floor. Multiple frames were shot, with fractionally different focusing – […]