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Review: Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens


12.24.2018 Tech

For the love of BokehThe Sigma Photo 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is part of the company’s Global Vision line of Art, Sport, and Contemporary lenses. It is a solidly constructed, large-aperture, large-bodied (for its focal length) autofocus lens designed for full-format (24x36mm) cameras. And like the other Sigma Art lenses, it delivers superb optical performance at a reasonable price. One thing about Sigma’s Art series lenses is that they make you feel as if the people who make them truly... Continue Reading >

Super-telephoto Canon lenses are ideal for sports and wildlife

11.25.2018 Tech

Canon has managed to take pounds off the weight required for super-telephoto performance in two new lenses being released this month. The EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM (pictured) is now 25 percent lighter than its predecessor, weighing just 6.26 pounds, and the EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens dropped 20 percent to 6.73 pounds.Improvements incorporated into the lenses include Optical Image Stabilization that’s up to five shutter speed stops of correction, heat-shielded paint that helps prevent... Continue Reading >

Review: Sigma 70mm F2.8 Macro Art Camera Lens


November 2018 issue Tech

Macro photography reveals the art of the smallMacro photography is always tricky, but when done well, it reveals a world our unaided eyes cannot perceive. Macro photography is hard because it comes with its own set of problems: The depth of field is shallow (unless you use focus stacking), and the small scale makes lighting control difficult. True macro photography covers the 1X to 10X magnification range of a subject. Lenses that natively magnify greater than 1X, like Canon’s MP-E 65mm... Continue Reading >

Pro review: Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens


8.25.2018 Tech

Good thing, small packageOnce again Sigma has produced a high-quality lens, and it’s not even part of the company’s acclaimed Art series. The Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN is part of the Contemporary lineup for APS-C and Micro Four Thirds system cameras.  Even though it isn’t an Art lens, it performs on the same level—sharp with excellent flare and ghost suppression and pleasing bokeh. I saw no noticeable chromatic aberrations or geometric distortion. Used with APS-C cameras, it covers the... Continue Reading >

Nikon announces new full-frame mirrorless cameras, new lens line


8.23.2018 Tech

Nikon has introduced two full-frame mirrorless cameras: the 24.5-megapixel Z 6, a body optimized for high speed and low light performance, and the high-resolution 45.7-megapixel Z 7. Both bodies are nearly identical in appearance, slightly smaller in width than a full-size speedlight is tall and only slightly taller than the same speedlight is wide. What's remarkable is how thin the body is except for the grip. The bodies are dominated on the front by the new 55mm diameter Z- bayonet lens mount... Continue Reading >

Review: Petzval-style optical design in the Lensbaby Burnside 35


5.29.2018 Tech

Despite the increasing availability of effects and filters in digital cameras and imaging programs, there remains a group of dedicated creative photographers who prefer to get an optical effect in-camera rather than in post-production. Lensbaby has been imagining and producing optics for many years. Its latest creation, the Lensbaby Burnside 35, incorporates two optical effects—a Petzval-style optical design and an adjustable vignette—in a unique lens that opens a wide array of creative... Continue Reading >

Review: Sigma scores a home run with this lens


June 2018 issue Tech

Is it silly to even discuss the optical performance of the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM lens? Pretty much. Like all of the Art series lenses, Sigma hits an upper deck center field home run with this one. After working with it extensively for a couple of months, I’m clear on one point: This is one of the very best 24-70mm zooms you can buy. Even on the notoriously picky 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5DS it performs beautifully—sharp, virtually flare free, and masterfully corrected for both... Continue Reading >

Product spotlight: Lensbaby Burnside 35

May 2018 issue Tech

The new Lensbaby Burnside 35 is an all-metal, non-tilting lens that brings the user variable control over vignette and bokeh through a gold anodized slider on the barrel. Images from the 35mm f/2.8 lens have a large, bright central area of sharp focus surrounded by swirling bokeh that can be strong or subtle.The effect slider can be used to adjust center brightness and in-camera vignette in a four-stop range. The aperture range adjusts from f/2.8 to f/16 with a six-blade internal aperture and... Continue Reading >

Review: Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro lens


May 2018 issue Tech

What makes a tilt-shift lens so different from most other lenses is that the lens plane is not fixed in relation to the image plane. The lens can be rotated (tilted) in relation to the image plane and moved (shifted) parallel to the image plane. These movements can also be combined.These features allow you to create images where the plane of focus is tilted, and if you combine that with a fast aperture,  you can produce lush organic blur. Combined with a slow aperture, such as f/11, you can... Continue Reading >
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