Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 G ED VR lens review at PhotoZone: An excellent lens that performs on a very high level, but Nikon should have included the tripod collar.

Markus Stamm tests the lens with a Nikon D3X Dslr body:

"The Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4 VR is an excellent lens that performs on a very high level. Resolution is generally excellent in the image center and very good at the borders and corners. Distortion is a bit on the high side at the long end of the zoom range, while vignetting and CAs are well controlled. The bokeh is quite smooth. The build quality is excellent, it's a bit annoying though that Nikon does not include the tripod collar with the lens. Thanks to a silent-wave drive the AF is silent and very fast. The new third-generation VR module is impressive and works very well. Which in summary means: a highly recommended lens." . . . read more

Sigma APO 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM Lens review by Bobby Zhang at the Phoblographer: At the popular 50-150mm focal range, this lens can be used for close portraits or for far-reaching sports, making it one of the more versatile lenses out there.

The Lens was tested with a Canon OS Rebel T3i/600D body. Kudos to Bobby for the intact EXIF information in his images.

"Designed for cropped sensor cameras, the Sigma 50-150mm OS works wonders when it comes to speed. At an awesome f2.8 aperture, this lens becomes much more flexible to fit your shooting needs and environment. Whether it is outside on a bright day or indoors in a poorly lit hockey rink, the images are clear and sometimes even surprisingly so.With a slightly higher $999 price tag, this Sigma lens costs much more than your average glassware but it is also appropriately priced. For the performance from the HSM and OS which combines to produce stellar images, it is difficult to not want one in your own bag. At the popular 50-150mm focal range, this lens can be used for close . . . read more

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens full-frame review by Ivo Freriks at Camera Stuff Review: The Canon 70-300 mm L is, given its optical performance and solid finish, an attractively priced compact telephoto zoom lens.

The Lens was previously tested with a cropped camera (EOS 650D) and now with a full frame EOS 5D Mark II Dslr body:

"The Canon 70-300 mm L is, given its optical performance and solid finish, an attractively priced compact telephoto zoom lens. The higher vignetting and distortion that you get, when using this lens, makes the total score of the Canon 70-300 mm L review half a point lower than the final score of our Canon 70-300 mm L review on a Canon 650D. Those who shoot in RAW can easily remove this difference by using the standard lens correction profiles in Canon's DPP software, Lightroom or Photoshop. In short, this is a lens to use with pleasure for years. . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR II (wheew!) Lens short review by J.Meyer at Nphoto Mag: Feature packed and effective, without the pro price tag.

"The 16-85mm acquits itself well in the lab and is a joy to use. The VR system is superb and image quality is impressively sharp, even at the largest apertures, making the f/5.6 at 85mm all the more usable. Contrast is excellent and the lens gives superb results in practically any shooting conditions.

What’s good – Class-leading zoom range, ring-type autofocus, dual-mode stabilisation and superb image quality.
What’s bad – The maximum aperture is f/5.6 at the long end of the zoom range, and only f/5 at about 50mm.
. . . read more

Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II lens review by Justin VanLeeuwen at Canon Rumors: Is it worth more than twice the 70-200 f’/4L IS? Yes, if the ability to shoot at f’/2.8 across this entire range is what you need.

The lens was tested on EOS 5D Mark III, Mark II, and 7D bodies, and according to the reviewer performed admirably on every occasion:

I can’t find anything wrong with the 70-200 f’/2.8 L IS II, even the weight isn’t so significant that I whine, especially when I consider the results. If you want one of the very best telephoto zoom lenses with a consistent wide-open aperture this is, without compromise, it. If you want incredibly professional looking photographs with a sharp subject and a blurred out background with the versatility of a zoom, this is for you. Is it worth more than twice the 70-200 f’/4L IS? Yes, if the ability to shoot at f’/2.8 across this entire range is what you need. If you’re stuck shooting at . . . read more

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-f5.6 IS STM review (tested with a Canon 7D) and score by DXO Mark: An excellent Super Zoom but no significant improvement.

"With a DxOMark Score of 12 the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-f5.6 IS STM achieves an excellent rating for an all-in-one Super Zoom lens. In terms of Sharpness the latest version just edges out its predecessor the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5 –f/5.6 IS to make it the sharpest Super Zoom on the DxOMark tested database.

Updated from a previous version to include Canon’s new Stepper Motor for silent autofocus during video capture the DxOMark Scores indicate there’s no discernable difference in optical performance between the new and old versions. There

. . . read more

Ken Rockwell reviews the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-20mm f/4.0 G ED VR Lens: It works great! It's about time Nikon made some reasonable tele zooms for digital, instead of just the f/2.8 pigs from back before we had today's hyper ISOs.

A few notes: Ken tested this lens mounted on a Nikon D800E. Also, it is rather sad to see the 'Made in Japan" engraving go away from even high end Nikkor lenses, it kinda takes away some of the magic. 

"I don't bother with f/2.8 tele zooms when shooting digital. I use them only when shooting 35mm, otherwise, they're too heavy. f/2.8 lenses went out with 35mm film, which only went to about ISO 100 before it started looking ratty. With digital, f/4 and f/5.6 are more than fast enough. It's high time Nikon finally got with the program to make a practical tele zoom like this again so we don't have to hump the f/2.8 beasts. . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Lens review by Nick Delvin at the Luminous Landscape: This lens is very good, showing what modern optical design can achieve, it is pleasing to use and the cost is bearable, though by no means a bargain.

Even at f/4, where the f/2.8 lens should have an advantage, I have been able to detect very little difference.  At 70 and 200mm I thought I saw a teeny, eensy, teeny, weeny little advantage in contrast for the f/2.8…..at 2:1 magnification on screen.  And no, I’m not reproducing those tests here because that kind of pixel abuse is not to be promoted <grin>.   The bokeh, or out of focus rendering, of the lens was just fine.  Not anything like a 75mm AA Summicron, but totally acceptable for an f/4 zoom.

I also wouldn't hesitate to us this lens for studio portraiture. It focuses quickly and silently (as expected) and performs as well as anyone would want on a portrait-shoot, throughout its range.

The f/4 lens did seem to have a slightly  warmer colour reproduction than the f/2.8 version – though again only very slightly. . . . read more

DXO Mark tests the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR, finds it to be a remarkably good performer.

"The Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR shows itself to be a remarkably good performer. If you are a Nikon user and are in the market for a 70-200mm focal range lens, it makes a great case for serious consideration with high scores in all lens test metrics and a price that is much lower than expected for the performance on offer. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS lens review by Fredrik Gløckner at m43photo: This is a very good performing lens, with few flaws. It is probably the best lens I have ever used. However, it comes at a rather steep price.

"Finally, in 2012, we got the two f/2.8 zoom lenses, with the premium metal finish. The lens barrel is made of anodized metal with a purple-ish colour. This leaves me a bit unhappy. The lens barrel has two functions, in my opinion: To be solid, and to provide a good grip. With the latter in mind, why make it out of glossy metal? Other manufacturers go for a matte crinkle finish, which I think is better.

While the two kit zoom lenses above look similar, they are in fact very different. The Lumix G 14-42mm basic kit lens has a . . . read more

Canon 24-70mm f/4.0 L IS lens Resolution Tests by Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals: This is a good lens, but I at the price point I’d probably prefer the f/2.8 of the Tamron VC to the new Canon’s f/4.

"Obviously this hasn’t told us a thing about autofocus accuracy, bokeh, or a dozen other things that have to be considered when choosing a lens. Just like you, I’ll be waiting for more complete reviews to tell us about that.

On the basis of this information, though, I’m . . .  well, I don’t know what I am. This is a good lens, but I at the price point I’d probably prefer the f/2.8 of the Tamron VC to the new Canon’s f/4. The macro feature is nice and will certainly pull some

. . . read more

Panasonic G X Vario 12-35mm F/2.8 ASPH O.I.S lens (mounted on a Olympus E-M5) review by Kurt Munger: This lens is extremely impressive wide, and very good as you zoom out, with the sides being the only issue keeping the lens from being a dream come true.

Dat Purple! This is the real dark side to the alleged micro 4/3 interoperability between lenses and cameras: Nasties such as color fringing and distortion produced by Panasonic lenses are all but eliminated when used with a Panasonic camera. Not so much when it comes to Olympus cameras, and this fact can transform an otherwise excellent lens like this one, to a mediocre one. The problem is, Olympus camera users have nowhere else to turn to, Oly has focused on prime lenses, and their only  high-end zoom ones are the old Zuiko behemoths, that don't work very well-or at all, with micro 4/3 bodies. Kurt Munger however does not appear to be excessively bothered by the less than optimal results the Vario 12- . . . read more

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 ED R MSC review by Sebastian Milczanowski at Photozone: From a price/performance perspective, the Olympus is a viable choice but it stays short of the higher expectations from more ambitious users.

"The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R is a quite good entry-level telephoto zoom lens. It may not be a cracker in terms of delivered resolution but it is no show-stopper either. The image quality is quite impressive in the low to mid portion of the zoom range. At 150mm it is somewhat weaker but not terribly so. Image distortions are usually cared about by the camera's auto-correction mechanism but technically they are only very obvious at 40mm anyway (in RAW data only). Vignetting is usually nothing to worry about either. Lateral CAs can get obvious at 40mm but they're not . . . read more

Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS Lens (mounted on a NEX-7) review at 3D-Kraft.de: This lens get's a strong recommendation from me and I think it will be a big challenge for the Zeiss Distagon 12mm F2.8 E-Mount prime lens.

After NEX users had to go for such a long time without a good ultra wide angle, now Sony is on target with its new E 10-18mm F4 OSS (SEL1018). We were very curious to see how it performs especially on the NEX-7, which is very challenging as many short focal lengths adapted from Leica M mount produced strong color shifts.

The zoom lens starts at a viewing angle of 109° comparable to a 15mm UWA lens on a fullframe camera allowing dramatic perspectives for close ups as well as for architecture and landscape photography. The lens is constructed  . . . read more

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR review underway at Camera Labs: MTF and resolution charts looks very promising.

"These charts show the lens-performance at the largest aperture f4.0. Higher values are better and the closer the dotted and the continuous lines of each color are together the less astigmatism (= resolution depends on the orientation of the test-pattern) the lens has. The x-axis displays the distance from the optical axis (=center of the sensor) in mm. I'll show you the real-life performance at 4 mm (center), 13 mm (DX-corner), and 20 mm (FX-corner) on a D800.

From the charts the new lens should perform on a very high level regarding overall contrast. Sharpness on the long end . . . read more

Steve Huff does a mega double review of the Sony NEX-6 and 5R, compares them to the E-M5 and X-E1, and throws in the new 35mm f/1.8 OSS and 10-18mm f/4.0 OSS lenses in the mix.

"Sony is having a huge 2012 and as we approach 2013 I have a feeling they will be very successful with their latest and greatest camera releases. The RX1 made “Camera of the Year” for me and I stand behind that one 100%. As for the NEX cameras, well, they are NEX’s! You know what to expect if you have ever shot with one and these are basically the same as the ones that came before with some refinements, enhancements and new lenses.

They are more mature but at the same time they throw in even more features which make them feel like mini . . . read more

Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 ED M.Zuiko EZ Micro 4/3 Lens review by Thom Hogan: A bit better than your usual cheapo kit lens, especially for users that shoot video.

"I consider the 12-50mm a "kit lens for videographers." Most of the weaknesses of this lens hurt still users, but not video users, plus a video user likely feels more restrained by the kit lens than a still user. The 4x zoom range gives them more flexibility than the ~3x zoom range of the regular kit lens, the silent zoom/focus is necessary for close work, and even the quasi-macro range opens up abilities that a video user would seek.

While Olympus and others have suggested this lens with the E-M5 as the perfect kit lens combination, I have reservations . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens review at PhotographyBlog: It won't win any image quality awards, but it is worthy of its relatively low pricetag.

"The lens' centre sharpness, while not quite as “biting” as that of Nikon's most prestigious primes and zooms, is good at most focal lengths and f-stops. Edge sharpness isn't so great, requiring quite a lot of stopping-down to get acceptable results. There are a few other weak points including some h corner shading and quite a bit of chromatic aberration at maximum aperture, a somewhat “nervous” bokeh and a hefty dose of geometric distortions.

Still, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR does offer a useful focal range, well-implemented Vibration . . . read more

Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM lens review at LensTip: Better than its predecessor, but the competition has also moved on, without hiking the price like Canon did.

"I admit that, while writing a summary of this test, my feelings are mixed. On the one hand I am pleased that the new lens is much better than its predecessor in almost all categories. Its high build quality and good optical properties are exactly those features professional photographers are looking for. In regard to that aspect the lens won’t disappoint you for sure.

On the other hand the competitors also didn’t let the grass grow under their feet and their new 24-70 mm f/2.8 products . . . read more

Canon still holds a vast lead among pro photogs: Reddit users compile the most popular cameras and lenses settings from Reuters '2012 Photos of the Year' into neat pie-charts.

"Not trying to make any point here, I just love cameras and also statistics. So, I copy, pasted, sorted and tallied the data from the "Reuters Full Focus - Best photos of the year 2012" page (look for the link and thread at the top of [1] http://www.reddit.com/r/photography/I'm an amateur and I like to absorb what I can from shot data. Here's what I tallied: Camera: Canon 1D Mark III (4), Canon 1D Mark IV (26), Canon 1D X (6), Canon 5D (3), Canon 5D Mark II (19), Canon 5D Mark III (8), Nikon D3, NIKON D3S, Nikon D4, Nikon D7000, Nikon D800, Sony DSC H5, Prime Lenses: 15mm, 16 . . . read more

Fujinon Super EBC XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens review at Photo Review

On the X-E1 body the review lens provides fast, quiet and smooth auto focusing, while also handling smoothly for manual focusing. It was possible to focus very accurately in manual mode, particularly with the viewfinder, although the monitor was also usable, despite its relatively low resolution. Subjective assessments of test shots showed them to be sharp across most of the frame. Image stabilization was reliable for up to three stops and able to be pushed a further stop (or more) if you're prepared to tolerate some misses.
Imatest showed it to be capable of matching – and at times exceeding – expectations for the X-E1's 16-megapixel sensor, with best performance between one and three f-stops smaller than the maximum aperture. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests at the four indicated focal lengths.
. . . read more

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review at The-Digital-Picture.

"The 18-135 STM features a simple, smoothly-shaped exterior that is practically all zoom and focus rings. The zoom ring located toward the rear of the lens is my preference for positioning. Again featured is a quality plastic barrel with an attractive finish and the usual ribbed-rubber-covered rings.


Noticeably improved from the 18-135 IS is that there is practically no play in the 18-135 STM's extended lens barrel - and essentially no play in the focus and zoom rings. The rings are very smooth with a nice amount of dampening. A zoom lock . . . 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

Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 ASPH lens review by Jordan Steele at Admiring Light: This lens finally brings a top tier telephoto zoom to the Micro 4/3 system, and I can definitely recommend this lens for the serious Micro 4/3 shooter. A great lens.

The Lens was tested with Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-M5 bodies.

"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 cater to those who know they need an f/2.8 telephoto zoom in this range. . . . read more

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens Review at Ephotozine

Canon has gone completely wild with the pricing of this one. It demands more than twice  of what the previous 24-70mm lens used to cost, and a good 1000 $/£/€ more than the excellent Nikkor equivalent. So, is it worth the premium? (Spoiler: no, of course not).

"Sharpness in the centre of the frame is very good to outstanding throughout the zoom range. At 24mm and f/2.8 sharpness . . . read more

Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Review at Camera Labs

Tamron's intention with the SP (Special Performance) line is to play in the league of big boys, like Canon's "L" lenses, but at a lower price point. The experiment has been mostly successful:

"Focus accuracy and repeatability is critical to consistently produce sharp shots. Repeatability (the accuracy of focus on the same subject after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens is excellent with no outliers over a series of 20 shots. And there is . . . read more

Panasonic 14-45 mm vs Olympus 12-50 mm at CameraErgonomics.com

A very interesting comparison, mostly summed up in this phrase:

"The combination of  lower microcontrast, more uncorrected chromatic aberration and more local flare means that in general photographic use the Oly 12-50 mm lens, even when correctly focussed,  will often deliver less satisfying image quality than . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 Asph OIS Lens Review at EphotoZine

Excerpt:

"Distortion is well controlled at either end of the zoom range with only 0.58% barrel and 0.31% pincushion distortion detected by Imatest at 35mm and 100mm respectively. The distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, so any . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 Lens Review at Ephotozine

Panasonic's recently introduced and reasonably priced 90-300mm equivalent lens gets the low down by the EPZ crew:

"Although the optical performance of this lens may not be up to the lofty heights of some other Micro Four thirds lenses, especially at 150mm, the low price and good features still make this a decent value choice, especially for those after a . . . read more

Panasonic 100-300/4-5.6 Lumix G Vario review by Ming Thein: Among the blinds, this is the one-eyed king of m43 super tele zoom lenses.

"So what’s the 100-300 useful for? To be honest, I bought it out of curiosity and the lack of a telephoto solution for any of my other systems. It’s actually a pretty good option for reach in a pinch, especially when you’re not sure you’re going to need it – and don’t want to carry around a large 300, 400 or 500mm supertelephoto. The combination of lens and OM-D doesn’t occupy much space in the bag at all. Aside from slightly reduced optical quality and a slower aperture, the biggest . . . read more

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