Review: Sony FE 20mm f/1.8G Lens

October 2020 issue Tech

Sony’s FE 20mm f/1.8 G is an ultrawide-angle full-frame lens made for Sony E-mount cameras. Relatively small and light, this prime lens has excellent optics and autofocus speed.© Courtesy SonyThe sample I evaluated was sharp from center to corners and exceptionally well corrected for both optical and geometric distortions. It was an excellent match for Sony’s current flagship camera, the 60-megapixel a7R IV. Even with erratically moving subjects at close range and large apertures,... Continue Reading >

Lens Review: Lensbaby Velvet 28

September 2020 issue Tech

Lenses designed for specific uses have become increasingly common. Defying this trend is Lensbaby, which for years has produced innovative products that open creative avenues for photographers.The latest from Lensbaby is the Velvet 28 f/2.5. This lens marks the third in the Velvet line, joining the Velvet 85 f/1.6 and Velvet 56 f/1.6, and adding wide-angle coverage for landscape, travel, and street photographers.What distinguishes the Lensbaby Velvet lenses from other modern glass is their... Continue Reading >

Lens Review: Tamron 70-180MM F/2.8 DI III VXD

September 2020 issue Tech

The two workhorse lenses for professional photographers are a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom. It’s hard to beat this duo for versatility, but they tend to be large, heavy, and expensive, especially the longer one.Tamron breaks that mold with the new 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD. It’s available only in Sony E-mount, and you give up a few things you’d have with traditional 70-200mm lenses, like the extra 20mm of focal length at the long end, a tripod collar, and built-in image... Continue Reading >

Product Review: Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover

4.23.2020 Tech

 © Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography The Emergency Rain Cover packs down and stows away its carry case, which has a label showing which size cover it’s for. That’s handy if you have more than one.Photographing in bad weather: What to do when the show must go onWhen the weather gets bad, sports and wildlife photographers know to protect their gear with rain covers and finish the shoot. Portrait photographers tend to pack up and reschedule—or use trash bags or other makeshift... Continue Reading >

Product review: Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD

January 2020 issue Tech

It’s not often that I get to concurrently test two lenses with focal length ranges that somewhat overlap. While working with a Nikon F mount Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD for review, I also had access to a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G. Both lenses perform well and have different feature sets and radically different price points, with the Nikkor selling for nearly twice the price of the Tamron. I tested both lenses using a 45-megapixel Nikon D850 DSLR.The notable difference between these... Continue Reading >

Product review: PolarPro variable neutral density filters

December 2019 issue Tech

Variable neutral density (VND) filters are the solution to a range of needs for both still and video photographers. With control over the amount of light striking the digital sensor, still photographers can use slower shutter speeds to record movement, blur moving water and clouds, and control depth of field to isolate a subject against a blurred background in full sunlight.For videographers, neutral density (ND) filters are essential, and a variable neutral density filter provides exposure... Continue Reading >

World’s smallest full-frame mirrorless camera: Sigma FP

December 2019 issue Tech

The new Sigma fp is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless digital camera. The design provides portability, performance, scalability, and seamless function.Sized at 4.43x2.75x1.78 inches, the camera body houses a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Bayer sensor that captures 24.6 effective megapixels. The electronic shutter enables quiet shooting without any shutter shake.Three new lenses have been released for the fp’s L-mount: the 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art ($1,499), the... Continue Reading >

Product review: Zeiss Batis 2/40 CF lens

November 2019 issue Tech

The name Zeiss has been synonymous with high quality optics for more than a century, so it’s not image quality that makes Zeiss Batis lenses remarkable. What makes these full-frame camera lenses notable is that they’re autofocus. I took a close look at the Batis 2/40 CF, a 40mm f/2 lens built for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. While you’ll get the most value out of it on a camera with tight pixel pitch (like the 60-megapixel Sony a7R IV or the APS-C format a6400), it can make the most... Continue Reading >

Review: An unprecedented Nikkor lens

September 2019 issue Tech

I’m consistently impressed by the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens that I use with my Nikon Z 6 camera body. So I was anxious to see how the new, faster Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens compared. I also wanted to try the latest AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED-IF VR DSLR lens mounted with the FTZ adapter. What I found amazed me in a number of ways.The new 24-70mm f/2.8 S is clearly targeted to the professional (and perhaps the enthusiast with deep pockets). It’s both larger and heavier (by about a... Continue Reading >