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 >

Product review: Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport Lens

June 2019 issue Tech

Whether you’re an APS-C or full-frame shooter, the Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport lens is great for both travel and outdoor photography. It covers every subject that doesn’t need a wide angle, and at 200mm it can even be used for telephoto macro photography, with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.3. Unlike older zooms with a 10X focal length range, it’s sharp and almost completely free of geometric and chromatic distortions. It’s also large. You can find smaller lenses in... Continue Reading >

Like no other: Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens

March 2019 issue Tech

© Courtesy NikonThe giant leap in mirrorless camera technology opened new doors in lens design. Nikon has made a grand entrance with its Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens, the first ultra-wide zoom to take advantage of the capabilities made available by the Nikon Z Mount. With its flat front lens element, it’s the first filter-attachable ultra-wide-angle zoom lens covering a focal length from 14mm.Landscape, architecture, and event photographers as well as videographers will appreciate the... Continue Reading >

Filters On High: Tiffen Mavic 2 Zoom 6 Filter Kit

1.31.2019 News

Kudos to Tiffen for a well-designed collection. I tested the Mavic 2 Zoom 6 Filter Kit that’s part of the Tiffen ND (neutral-density) Aerial Collection for drones. My tests were of the six ND filters in the set— three ND and three ND with polarizer (PL) filters—which are housed in a nice tin case.© EDDIE TAPP Neutral density filters and polarizers are an essential tool in any photographer’s equipment bag, and they’re particularly important for creating long-exposure drone... Continue Reading >

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 >