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.

"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.

"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.

"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

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.

"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

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 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

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 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

Pentax SMC DA 50 mm f/1.8 lens review at Lens Tip: In many categories (chromatic aberration, vignetting, astigmatism, work against bright light or distortion) it actually is the best in its class or at least among the best instruments available.

"When it comes to optics, the Pentax 1.8/50 is a very solid lens which compares favourably with its competitors. It would be difficult to find a flaw here; if only the lens performed a bit better at the maximum relative aperture and had a better coma correction, we would be completely satisfied. However it’s worth emphasizing that none 1.8/50 lens doesn’t fare well at the maximum relative aperture so the Pentax certainly doesn’t lag behind its rivals. In many categories (chromatic aberration, vignetting, astigmatism, work against bright light or distortion) it actually is the best in its class or at least among the best instruments available. . . . read more

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L USM Lens review by Ken Rockwell: It's so good, there isn't any room for improvement.

"There's a reason Canon has never bothered with a -II version of this 35mm lens: it's so good, there isn't any room for improvement. I'm sure Canon will come up with a -II version at twice the price and made of a lot more plastic with virtually identical optical performance one of these days in the interest of cost reduction (for them), but for today, this 35/1.4 is one of the biggest deals in the entire Canon catalog.

I'd use a 72mm B+W 010 MRC UV filter for protection, or the Canon 72mm UV, or an 72mm Hoya Alpha UV. You don't . . . read more

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens worship at DP Review: If you're after a top quality fast prime at this focal length it should be right at the top of your short list, and it easily earns our top award.

"Sigma has produced some really fine lenses over the past few years, including the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM (which we liked a lot when we reviewed it in 2008) and the 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. But the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM may possibly be its best yet. In fact it's one of those rare lenses for which finding any fault seems almost churlish, so good is its overall performance.

Let's start with the optics. It's remarkably sharp, even wide open, outperforming not only its Canon, Nikon and Sony . . . read more

Olympus Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review from a guy who never shoots macro, that's Steve Huff.

"Even for a guy who has not a “Macro Guy” I feel this lens could add something to my Micro 4/3 kit. It continues the streak from Olympus with high quality super glass that seems to be created from magic lens elves. If you like to shoot Macro or get in close I can not imagine ANYONE being disappointed in this lens. It is built well, feels solid, has nice auto focus performance, is 100% silent, is sharp and even the manual focus is smooth, silky and easy to use. There is some minimal CA in certain extreme situations (high contrast with full light behind subject such as tree branch can create some purple . . . read more

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM 'Art" lens action is gearing up, first impressions are very, very positive.

Welcome to the new Sigma, the one that no longer wants to be the underdog of lenses. They made a pledge to improve upon themselves, a pledge that among other points included the statement that every single Sigma lens will be hand-tested at the factory, a move intended to stamp out the persistent rumors facts about horrible quality control and huge lens to lens variations in optical performance. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 X OIS review at AdmiringLight: Very, very good, but not flawless.

"The cons list above may seem a bit nitpicky to some. Especially the last point, so let me explain. The image quality of this lens is outstanding, and the lens is a worthy addition to the Micro 4/3 lineup. However, compared with the newest 70-200mm lenses from Canon and Nikon, it’s not quite going to match those stellar optics. Instead, I’d say it’s on the level of something like the original Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. So, very, very good, but not flawless. Considering it’s $1,000 less than those new Canon and Nikon lenses, though, I can forgive this. Still, it’s a pricey lens at $1,499, and will really only . . . read more

Olympus M.zuiko 17mm f/1.8 VS 17mm f2.8 VS Panasonic 20mm f1.7 ASPH review by Ming Thein: We're not there yet, but it is a good start.

"That leaves us with the three native AF options. I would not buy the 17/2.8 unless size is a critical priority, or you know that you’re going to be shooting only static objects stopped down; otherwise the slow AF speed will drive you crazy. The Panasonic 20/1.7 is in a similar boat; it’s faster to focus than the 17/2.8 and optically better, but nowhere near as fast as the 17/1.8. The 20/1.7 and 17/1.8 deliver similar resolution in the center, but they render quite differently – the 20/1.7 is . . . read more

Olympus Introduces the M.ZUIKO 17mm f1.8 lens, lens hood and cap comes optional.

Yes, it is not enough that Olympus charges serious money for their always optional lens hoods, lately they've gone the optional route for the freaking lens cap too. Street price for a cap: $22-30. Add the hood for approx. $90-$100.
Anyway, the lens will be available from December, with an estimated price of $499/€449.

Olympus (US) press release. . . . read more

Thoughts on the Olympus Body Cap Lens, by Simon Goldsworthy

Maybe this idea Olympus had about a body cap lens ain't so bad after all:

"Optically this lens is a little bit pants. The corners are soft and a little smeary. There is also quite a bit of vignetting. However, it’s enjoyable to shoot with because you have to shift your shooting style to compensate for the narrow (fixed) aperture and manual focus. To be fair the centre is sharp even if the corners are not." . . . read more

Nikon reveals the 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8, a 50mm equivalent prime lens priced just right.

 Nikon Press Release

1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8

I AM LIGHT AND BRIGHT . . . read more

Nikon announces AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lenses

Nikon goes where no one has gone before, the land of monstrous 18-300mm lenses, a huge 16.7x zoom ratio. This should be the lazy photogs companion lens of choice, albeit at a pretty hefty price. As for the second lens of this announcement, well, it seems to be the perfect kit lens companion for a yet un-announced affordable full frame camera.  . . . read more

Pentax 40mm f/2.8 XS SMC DA review at SLR Gear

"The only control feature on the lens is the focusing ring: there are no switches or informational surfaces. The focusing ring is just under a quarter-inch in width, made of a polycarbonate with lengthwise ridges inscribed into it. It is easy to find and use, and offers ninety degrees of turning action: there are hard stops on the close-focusing and infinity end. . . . read more

Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN review at SLR Gear

"The Sigma 30mm ƒ/2.8 EX DN is a fairly pedestrian lens, small and light with a matte black finish. The lens is made of primarily plastic components, weighing only 128 grams (4.8oz), with plastic 46mm filter threads and a metal lens mount. The lens has only one control on it, the manual focus ring. There is no depth-of-field scale, distance scale or infrared index. . . . read more

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor review at SLR Gear

"The lens is well-built, with durable plastic components and a metal lens mount. A rubber gasket shrouds the lens mount, protecting the lens from dust and moisture. The lens barrel is composed of a black semi-roughed finish, and the rubber focus ring shows a ridged pattern that is easy to grip. The lens features seven rounded diaphragm blades to make up the aperture, said to produce pleasing out-of-focus results. . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-50 mm f/3.5-6.3 ED EZ review at Lens Tip

"It would be difficult to go into raptures here. The Olympus 12-50 mm has problems to pull level with the “pancakes” which are already a kind of compromise between a high image quality and small dimensions. Maximum results of less than 60 lpmm are certainly not impressive.

Even before we start criticizing Olympus – which is a producer known for its excellent optics – we must remind you here about two things. . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ Review at Photography Blog

Here's another review of this lens that goes with the 'Jack of all trades, master of none' mantra. Unfair? Sure, when it comes to lightweight ness, weather proofing, video optimization, and even price, this lens appears to be in the 'master' category. This pretty much leaves only the optical characteristics as a 'Jack':

"Based on its specifications alone, it would be tempting to dub the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ a “jack of all . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ Lens Review at ePhotozine

Apparent sharpness, appealing weather proofing, and appalling aperture at the tele end, is the very short version of this review:

"As focusing and zoom are performed internally the 52mm filter thread does not rotate during use, making this lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Focus speeds are fairly quick, although in low light conditions the lens can sometimes struggle . . . read more

Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 Macro Leica D Vario-Elmar Micro Four Thirds Lens Review at ePhotozine

"Although not up to the standard of Leica's 'M' lenses, the build quality is good, with high quality plastics used for much of the barrel's construction and metal for the lens mount. This helps to keep the overall weight down. With the lens tipping the scales at 225g, it is certainly lightweight for a 1:1 macro optic with a fast f/2.8 aperture and optical stabilisation. At only 62.5mm long, it is very compact too and balances perfectly on the Panasonic G1 used for testing. . . . read more

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 ASPH review by Kirk Tuck

Micro four thirds users are the most pampered when it comes to sharp AF primes in the normal distance range, with no less than 6 such lenses available at this moment. Does this Leica branded lens bring some (or all) of the characteristics its $7000 non AF older and bigger 24mm sibling carries? As usual when it comes to reviews featured in The Online Photographer, many of the readers comments are very insightful and a worthy compliment to the review: . . . read more

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ review at Sound Image Plus

Optically bland, but weather sealed, video optimized and farther reaching at the tele end, this lens is a good alternative to the usual 12-42mm kit lens:

 

"If you are thinking about the possibility of this being a cheaper solution to the 12mm f/2, think again. Its not the same optically. In fact its quite soft. My copy didn't even seem quite as sharp as the 14-42mm kit lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus. However  . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Review at Photography Blog

"Optically, the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G is excellent, which given its reasonable price tag is a very nice surprise. Sharpness is excellent in the centre from f2.8 to f/11, with f5.6-f/11 producing the sharpest results at the edges of the frame. Bokeh is very good, vignetting is essentially a non-issue, and chromatic aberrations aren't too bad, either. . . . read more

Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D reviewed and marked by DXO Labs

"The advantages of the Nikon 35mm f/2.0D:

Three times lighter!
About 1400 USD less expensive.

Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro review at The Discerning Photographer

"Let’s cut right to the chase: the BIG difference between this lens, priced at about $750, and the Canon version, costing $1450, is in the autofocus: there’s simply no comparison. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of autofocusing a modern professional telephoto lens like my Canon 70-200, you’ve experienced the almost-instantaneous and silentoperation of its autofocus motors: you point your camera at something, hit the . . . read more

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