Overview

Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT is an ultra wide-angle manual lens providing 180° angle of view. Apart from compact sizes, it combines the best features of the popular model: Samyang 8mm fish-eye, providing the highest-quality optics fitted in a compact and visually stunning case. 

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 prime lens review at Camera Labs: This is superb performance made all the more remarkable by the tiny dimensions and relatively affordable price tag.

Gordon Laing is the reviewer, and he took the unusual step to use the Panasonic GX1 as the test camera: 

"The Olympus 45mm f1.8 is arguably one of the best lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, whether you're using an Olympus or Panasonic body. This lens is so small and light you'll hardly know you're carrying it around, yet is capable of delivering industry-leading performance with pin-sharp details across the entire frame right into the extreme corners. With an effective focal length of 90mm and a maximum aperture of f1.8, the lens is ideal for portrait work and can deliver sharp detail on the subject with a satisfyingly blurred background behind it. Likewise for closer subjects down to the nearest focusing . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED macro lens review by Ming Thein: '...of all of the lenses I own, it’s the one that’s been with me the longest"

Ming Thein mostly uses this lens with the Nikon D800E Dslr body:

"I actually don’t have much to say about resolution and optics: what do you expect? It’s a macro lens. There’s almost zero distortion or field curvature, and nothing funny going on with the focal plane. Sharpness is already excellent at f2.8, though with the D800E you’ll probably have to go to f4 or f5.6 to hit peak resolving power across the frame. Note that diffraction softening will set in by around f13 or so with the D800E; I try not to go past f16 unless I absolutely have no choice. That said, you can get away with f22 on the 12MP FX cameras if you need to.

Something I’ve been asked in the past is why I don’t use the 105/2.8 VR instead for greater working distance; the answer is that for the kind of work I do, the 60 actually holds several advantages. Firstly, I don’t need as many extension tubes to achieve higher magnifications*; secondly, the lens itself has . . . read more

Little Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm f/8.0 go to the DXO Mark playground, gets called 'cute' by the grownups.

Why read a review of the body cap lens? It costs less that some of Oly's lens hoods, is comes at around the same size as a regular body cap, but is a lens. Excellent for photography training too, as every prime lens it makes you use your feet instead of a zoom range.  I gave it as a Christmas gift to a fat relative of mine, and now he's looking healthier than ever!

"No photographer buying a $49, 9mm long body cap lens is expecting optical perfection. Instead this lens is a bit of fun, a curiosity, a point and shoot option that’s a bit quirky and doesn’t cost much money.  The limited focusing, fixed 15mm focal . . . read more

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens review by Ken Rockwell: "The Canon 40mm is insanely sharp at every setting throughout the entire full-frame on the 22 MP 5D Mark III"

"This Canon EF EOS 40mm f/2.8 STM works perfectly with every Canon EOS camera ever made, meaning every Canon DSLR and every Canon autofocus 35mm camera made since 1987. Of course it works great on today's 5D Mark III and Canon 7D, but it also works great on my original 1987 Canon EOS 650! The only oddness I noted on my 1987 EOS 650 is that while auto and manual focus and depth-of-field preview and everything work great, manual focus override doesn't work: you have to set the lens to manual first. Manual-focus override works flawlessly on my 35mm EOS Rebel G from 1996 and EOS 3 from 1998, so I'm not worrying about it." . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 ASPH VS 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens sharpness comparison by Fredrik Gløckner

From my own findings, there's the issue of Sigma's much lower CA and purple fringing when used on Olympus bodies. In any case, the Sigma is an automatic buy anyway, due to its current very low price.

"We see that the Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 has an impressive level of sharpness, even wide open. The Sigma 19mm, on the other hand, needs a bit of stopping down before reaching the same level of sharpness. At f/2.8, the 19mm lens is a tad bit dull, even in the centre of the image frame. This finding is consistent with other tests I have seen. Generally, it is observed that the Sigma 19mm lens is not the sharpest at f/2.8, and improves when stopped down to f/4 and f/5.6. Stopping down beyond f/5.6 does generally not add anything to the overall sharpness, but does give you more depth of focus (DoF). If you need a deep DoF, it may still be wise to stop down to f/8 or even further, but this will give you slightly worse sharpness at pixel level.

. . . read more

Nikon AFS DX Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G lens review by Markus Stamm at Photo Zone: Until Nikon offers a native macro lens for the CX mount, the AF-S DX 40/2.8 G is the most affordable AF lens to explore macro photography with a Nikon 1 series camera.

This is a rather interesting review, the lens is tested with the FT-1 adapter on a Nikon 1 V1 body, and that transforms the Micro-Nikkor 40mm to something of a short tele 108mm macro lens:

"The Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8 G offers excellent resolution in the image center straight from the maximum aperture. The borders and corners struggle a bit at large aperture settings, but stopped down reach very good resolution. Since the lens is designed for a larger sensor, distortion and vignetting are no issues on Nikon 1 cameras. CAs are a bit pronounced at small apertures, but can easily be taken care of in post processing. . . . read more

Old pops Canon EF300mm f/2.8 IS USM goes to the DXO mark party, ends up with a retirement plaque and a nice watch.

the Canon EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM released in 1999 is long overdue

15 years in lens years, how much does it make in human years? Never mind, the guys in Boulogne-Billancourt are impressed:

"Taking a lens launched in 1999 and testing it against more current models is always going to be an interesting exercise. Fortunately for the EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM, the test data backs up what users have known for years – it really is very good. If you’ve got one and have been considering an upgrade to the Mark II version, you will find improved optical performance, though not by much. The main benefits will be in the reduction in weight (2,550g vs 2,400g) and the . . . read more

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens review by James Leynse at The Online Photographer: I think we have a new winner for "available dark" photography.

Unlike the EF 50mm ƒ/1.4 , nothing shakes when you pick up the 35mm f/2 IS lens.

A Lens review by Mr. Leynse :) The lens was tested on a 5D Mark III body, and this is more of a user experience report (a good one) than a technical review:

"The biggest surprise for me is how effective the image stabilization is on this lens. It's so quiet that I can't tell it's working unless I press my ear against it. Combined with the new high-ISO abilities of the 5D MKIII, I can take pictures in light almost too dim to see by. In fact, it was actually hard to find suitably dark scenes to illustrate the lens's IS ability. For the moment, this might be the best low-light lens around. . . . read more

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM review at Digital Camera Review: If I were stuck on a desert island with only one lens and my camera, this would be it.

The Lens was tested by Chris Gampat using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II body:

Overall, not a bad thing can be said about Sigma's 35mm f1.4 EX. The company surely put a lot of time and effort into the design and it's worth every penny. The lens is sharp as a razor, a relative speed-demon when it comes to focusing, and has some beautiful image quality. It may even stay mated to your camera! If we really had to nitpick, we could talk about the lack of weather sealing; but then the $899.00 price point gets factored in. And that understandably keeps the price down. Personally, this is currently my favorite lens--I'm old school and was trained to shoot with all primes. If I were stuck on a desert island with only one lens and my camera, this would be it. Sigma's 35mm f1.4 EX wins my fullest . . . read more

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens Review by Mark Goldstein at the Photography Blog: We can whole-heartedly recommend the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM as a fast, well-built prime lens that delivers superb results. Essential!

the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens was attached to a Canon EOS 6D body

Mark Goldstein tested this lens on a Canon EOS 6D body and went 'to 11' with his rating of this lens, giving it the unique rating of 'Essential' I also wonder where he tested it, since the lens seems dirty :)

"If the new 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens is anything to go by, Sigma are definitely raising their game with the recent introduction of their three new lens ranges (Art, Sports and Contemporary). The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is a fast and tack-sharp lens that exhibits low chromatic aberrations and very little barrel distortion. Vignetting at wide-open apertures is the only real optical issue of note, something that other fast lenses also suffer from, and stopping down to F/4 solves the problem altogether.

. . . read more

Samsung NX 20mm f/2.8 Pancake lens review at Lens Tip: Sharp in the center, doomed otherwise because of pancake construction (Ed: Really? My Panny 20mm and Canon 40mm STM pancakes say otherwise)

The lens was tested with a Samsung NX 10 body by someone with an apparent distaste for pancakes:

It would be difficult not to feel sympathy for this lens. It is a small, lightweight, handy instrument with an all-purpose focal length which provides the most important thing – a very good image quality in the frame centre. Of course it has some flaws because any ‘pancake’ device is doomed due to their small dimensions.

 If there is one feature you can carp about its the aperture. Producing the EF-M 2/22 model Canon proved that you can . . . read more

Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS Lens review (tested with a NEX7) by Matthew Durr: There’s no denying that the 35mm f/1.8 is the prime lens that a large majority of NEX photographers have been waiting for.

The Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS has the ability to focus to a close .98 feet/.3 meters.

The 35mm f/1.8 is a fantastic lens, despite its focusing limitations dependent on CDAF. The only “real” knacks against it—heavy vignetting and noticeable fringing wide-open—can easily be worked around depending on the situation, what settings you shoot at, and how much post-processing you are used to doing. This lens truly is an all-purpose E-mount lens for excellent video and low-light photographs with shallow depth of field. Though other cheaper options exist in the general focal range for the system (the tack-sharp Sigma 30mm f/2.8 for E-mount) or other camera manufacturers (Samsung NX 30mm f/2), there’s no denying that the 35mm f/1.8 is the prime lens that a large majority of NEX . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 lens review at Photo Review: Buy it if you require a fast wide-angle lens for general-purpose use and if you'd like a lens that requires no readjustment when you fit polarisers and graduated filters.

The M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 lens shown without end caps and lens hood.

"We tested the review lens on two camera bodies, the PEN E-PM2 (which is reviewed separately) and the OM-D E-M5. It performed better on the latter camera so we've used those results as the basis for this review. Autofocusing was as fast as the camera supports and generally very quiet, making this lens ideal for use when shooting movie clips.

Subjective assessment of shots straight from the camera showed them to be a little soft. However, they became 'sharp as a tack' after very modest unsharp masking in Photoshop.

. . . read more

Canon EF 50 f/1.2L lens (mounted on a Canon 5D Mark III) review by Justin Van Leeuwen at Canon Rumors: It’s a pro lens, and with that comes the need for a pro’s experience to handle it.

The Canon 50mm f/1.2 L comes with the ES-78 lens hood

"I knew why I purchased the Canon 50mm f/1.4 over the 50mm f/1.8; the more rounded (not hexagonal) bokeh, and the slightly better build. That’s a few hundred bucks. The Canon 50mm f/1.2 L is more than four times the price of the 1.4. This is a cost/value factor we often weigh, and I have personally never once been let down by the better glass I’ve purchased, where I have with less-than-the-best. The aperture may be a bit misleading, I don’t consider f/1.2 useful for me, I have a hard time focusing that shallow of depth of field, and while a good camera body like the 1DX or . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G review (mounted on a Nikon D800E) by Ivo Freriks at Camera Stuff Review: One of the best Nikon Lenses we've tested so far.

The Nikon 50 mm 1.4G has very few problems with backlight.

"For a non-zoom lens of 50 mm (since generations already the 'standard' focal length and therefore very popular), this Nikkor is firmly priced of course. Nevertheless, with its extreme sensitivity, it also lives up to that price. The mechanical and optical qualities are very high. The resolution is exceptionally good, and with the exception of some vignetting at large apertures, there are actually no lens errors. The lens is large enough for you to wrap your hand around when shooting. On our wish list for the Nikon 50 mm 1.4G is only vibration reduction. . . . read more

Tamron SP 90 mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD lens review at LensTip: Sensational image quality in the frame centre up from the maximum relative aperture, very good image quality on the edge of the frame on APS-C/DX and full frame and negligible CA.

 the Tamron SP 90 mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD

"Looking at the list of pros and cons, published above, and comparing the results of other lenses, tested by us in particular categories it is pretty transparent that all 90–105 mm stabilized macro lenses keep a similar, very high level. It doesn’t mean that there are no differences between them. The best performance seems to be presented by the Canon 2.8/100L IS USM which in many categories topped the list and had practically no slip-ups. Right behind it there are the Tamron and the Nikkor and the Sigma fares the worst. . . . read more

Canon EF 35mm f/2 lens review (tested on a 5D Mark III) by Ken Rockwell: This 35/2 is smaller, lighter and less expensive than any other fixed Canon 35mm AF lens. It's also just as sharp, with less flare, very slightly less distortion and better sunstars.

The Canon 35mm f/2 is optically superb and handles very well.

"This said, the Canon 35mm f/2 is among the sharpest wide lenses I've tested, just like the 35mm f/1.4 L (1998-) and new 35mm f/2 IS (2012-). The only differences between these and the 24-70/2.8 L II is if you're looking in the far corners on full-frame, in which case, this original 35/2 is slightly less sharp than the others wide-open, but the same stopped down, and the same throughout 95% of the rest of the image that matters.

This 35/2 is extraordinarily sharp and contrasty, even at f/2. Throughout 95% of the image, there is no difference between f/2 and stopped down, as seen on a 22MP 5D Mark III at the test range at infinity. As one stops down to f/8, the . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 review by Ivo Freriks at Camera Stuff Review: If you are looking for a high brightness and a nice creamy background, a choice for the optically superior Olympus 45 mm or 75 mm lenses is more obvious than for the 17mm lens.

"The Olympus 17 mm 1.8 is a nicely built lens with which you can focus quickly and accurately, automatically or manually. On this Olympus 17 mm 1.8 lens is a ring, which acts as an AF / MF switch. The focus ring stops at 25 cm or infinity and the focus ring has a pleasant resistance when focusing. This takes away the concerns that some photographers have against the electronic focus-by-wire system. The AF is also completely silent, which makes this lens very suitable for video. At full aperture, this lens already draws quite sharp in the center. From aperture 1.8, the center resolution . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 review at Camera Hoarders: Sharpness is excellent. At F/2 the lens shows slightly softer results both centre and corner, but nothing that prevented me from using it regularly wide open.

"Olympus 12 F/2 ED lens is quite a good performer. At $700 – $800 it is not cheap, but then you get what you pay for. F/2 wideangles this small are not something that grows on trees. It’s sharp across the frame at F/2 and gets really sharp from F/2.8 to F/8. There is visible vignette at F/2 but disappears already at F/2.8 so there’s really hardly anything to complain from optical performance standpoint. Unique manual focus implementation makes this lens really desirable for . . . read more

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens review by Ken Rockwel: It is very sharp, but not much better than Canon's older and much cheaper 35mm f/2 lens. If you need something really better, go with the EF 35mm f/1.4 L Lens.

The Canon 35mm f/2 IS is made to typical consumer standards.

"The Canon 35mm f/2 IS is among the sharpest wide lenses I've tested, just like the 35mm f/1.4 L (1998-) and original 35mm f/2 (1990-). The only differences between these and the 24-70/2.8 L II is if you're looking in the far corners on full-frame wide-open, in which case, the original 35/f2 is slightly less sharp, and all the rest are also about the same, with this 35/2 IS and the 24-70/2.8 L II being very slightly better in the corners wide-open.

This 35/2 IS is extraordinarily sharp and contrasty, even at f/2. Throughout most of the image, there is little or no . . . read more

Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G lens gets a stellar DXO Mark score: The Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G is a highly competitive lens. It is well priced for the quality it offers and for a prime wide-angle lens the optical performance is, quite simply, staggering.

verall, the Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G provides the best results of these three lenses.

"The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G is a highly competitive lens. It is very well priced for the quality it offers and for a prime wide-angle lens the optical performance is, quite simply, staggering. Whatever genre of photography you enjoy, from landscapes to travel, reportage or architecture, the 28mm f/1.8G will ensure you capture the scene as accurately as possible. If you’re looking for an FX-fit wide-angle lens to mount on your Nikon FX camera, the 28mm f/1.8G represents not just the ‘best’ choice in terms of optical performance, but also the ‘smart’ choice because the performance per . . . read more

Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM goes to the DXO mark shop, comes out pretty unscathed: This Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM is a very good lens, if you are looking for a 28mm lens then really this is the only one that stands out.

Canon EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM vs Canon EF 24mm f2.8 IS USM vs Canon EF 28mm f1.8 USM

"Among Canon’s own lenses the EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM can hold its head high, it performs very well, so is it worth looking further afield too? Carl Zeiss also produces a 28mm lens in Canon fit, their Distagon f2 ZE. Without image stabilization or auto focus this is a lens that needs to perform significantly better to justify costing twice as much: It doesn’t, it actually matches the Canon virtually point for point, it’s only benefit apparently being its wider aperture. However Canon’s image . . . read more

A super-rare Nikon Nikkor 10mm OP f5.6 fisheye lens up for grabs for $49.000 on Ebay. Pop Photo explains the what and why of this remarkable lens.

"This lens was only produced by Nikon for eight years, from 1968 to 1976, and even then was extremely uncommon — fewer than 1,000 were ever made (possibly even much fewer, one website cites just 78 were produced.) Not only that, but the 10mm was a specially designed lens that uses Orthographic Projection (OP) rather than Equidistant Projection, making it one of the first SLR lenses to do so. Perhaps even more importantly, it's allegedly the first aspherical SLR lens ever produced. . . . read more

Sony 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* Prime Lens review by Chris Gampat at the Phoblographer: The build quality is impeccable, the image quality overall is something to brag about to all your friends, and it’s a lens that you will never get tired of using.

"Overall lens sharpness is exceptional and gets better down to f5.6. In our real life tests, we saw excellent sharpness in the corners and the center area. Additionally, the lens resolved tons of detail–which sometimes made retouching a bit more work than we’d typically like. For the simplest workflow, we used Perfectly Clear. For the best results in camera, use studio lights to add more specular highlights to your image and therefore bring out more details and enhance perceived sharpness. . . . read more

Canon 135mm f2L USM gets DXO Marked, the oldie still holds its own after so many years.

 the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM only ranks 5th for EF mount telephoto primes.

"16 years on from its launch the 135mm f/2L USM is still a solid option for portrait, sport and low-light photography. That said as lens development continues to evolve recent telephoto primes like the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM and Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM do demonstrate notable improvements in Sharpness. Although performing well in all our DxOMark Lens Metric Scores the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM only ranks 5th for EF mount telephoto primes on the EOS 5D Mark II and new in terms of quality to price ratio the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM is noticeably sharper and a . . . read more

Conquering the darkness, SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 35mm T0.95 review (and comparison to the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH and Nikon 50mm f1.4G) at 3D-Kraft.de

"After the first look in September at the already surprisingly good prototype, it was amazing to see how SLR Magic could even increase the performance of that lens in the meantime. Thanks the new coating, CAs are almosty completely gone. The build quality is very good, sharpness, contrast and bokeh at 35mm on APS-C (comparable to 52mm on fullframe) are even at open aperture as good as the best 50/1.4 lenses I have seen so far on FF. As soon as I receive a Leica "M", I will do a comparison with a Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH. Only downside is the size and weight as you will loose the compactness . . . read more

Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens review by Ivo Freriks at Camera Stuff Review: At the time of the review, the Canon 40mm STM is the best of all Canon lenses tested so far in terms of resolution.

The 40mm's stepping AF motor (STM) provides improved AF during live view video.

The Canon 40mm STM pancake lens is perhaps, no, DEFINITIVELY, the sharpest lens south of the $/€/£ 200 line Canon has ever produced. It consistently scores very high on both full frame and cropped cameras, and mounted on a Dslr it looks almost as diminutive as the Olympus body cap lens on a micro 4/3 body, but with excellent optics. CSR tested this little gem mounted on a Canon 1Dx:

"The combination of a very compact and lightweight Canon 40 mm STM lens on a large, heavy professional camera may . . . read more

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 mm lens review at 3D-Kraft.de: It provides exceptional center sharpness already at F2.8 and vignettes at open aperture in a significant degree but correction is just one click away.

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 mm - Ultrawide and Fast!

"The lens has an exceptional haptics and build quality. If you compare the RAW images without any software lens correction to those with a lens correction profile applied correction in post processing (Adobe Lightroom 4.1 and Camera Raw 7.1 already have profiles for that lens), you can see that this lens needs only very little distortion correction. It providies exceptional center sharpness already at F2.8 and vignettes at open aperture in a significant degree but correction is just one click away in many raw processors and not always favored. . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 review by Ming Thein: Those are my only two complaints: the inaccuracy of the pseudo-manual focus clutch, and the continued minor farce of the lens hood.

If you read this carefully, it means that I don’t have any major criticisms of t

"Although the lens in general well corrected, you do get the feeling that it’s on the extreme edges of what was possible with the design constraints put upon the optical designers: there’s visible CA against high contrast subjects, especially in the corners where you can get up to 2 pixels’ worth; there’s also very noticeable distortion. Fortunately, it’s fairly simple in nature – barrel with no sombrero/ moustache – and is easily correctable in ACR. Flare exists but the ZERO coating does a good job of keeping it to a minimum – even without the hood. . . . read more

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