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Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4 ED VR and 70-200mm f/2.8 ED VR II

Which speed zoom for the Nikon D800/D800E?.

Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Nikon’s bread and butter telephoto zoom.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II

Ultra fast 200mm with gorgeous bokeh and high resolving power..

Canon EOS 5D Mark II review

Canon 5D Mark II impressions.

Canon 14mm f/2.8L II

In-depth review of the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II including flare, distortion, field curvature, resolution charts, numerous field examples and comparison to the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G. The Canon EF 14/2.8L II is a superb lens, but with some peculiarities which may enhance or degrade its appeal for different uses. The review is as much a “user guide” as a review; even if you use this lens it’s well worth your time to read this review..

Voigtlander 20mm, 28mm, 40mm, 58mm, 90mm Lenses for Nikon and Canon

In-depth review evaluates ergonomics, flare, bokeh, vignetting, focus shift, sharpness. Includes comparisons with Zeiss ZF 35/2 Distagon, Nikon 45mm f/2.8P and NOCT-Nikkor 58/1.2. Reviewed on Nikon, but now available for Canon EOS..

Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 SL II Color-Skopar

Ultra compact normal lens..

Shift Lenses for Nikon and Canon

[Older material, but still relevant]. Shift lens performance of Nikon/Canon/Schneider/Olympus on various cameras..

Landscape Photography at Wide Apertures

Escape the banale postcard look by shooting landscapes at f/1.4 or f/0.95..

Pentax HD DA Limited 20-40mm f/2.8-4 ED DC WR

APS-C mid-range zoom equivalent to 30-60mm on full-frame..

Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM

Canon’s tiny and lovely pancake lens..

Canon 50mm Lenses

Is Canon’s f/1.2 lens really better than an inexpensive f/1.4 or f/1.8?.

Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Canon’s best-ever medium telephoto and with image stabilization..

Canon 85mm Lenses

Canon’s ultra-fast medium telephoto compared and in the field.

Canon 35mm f/1.4L II

Canon’s updated fast 35mm prime, evaluated on Canon 5DS R..

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art

High performance mid-range zoom..

Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

A whopping 4/3 stop faster than other lenses in its range..

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

The fastest extreme wide angle yet..

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma’s fast high performance wide angle..

Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Extraordinary optical efforts for outstanding performance..

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma’s fast and affordable moderate excellent wide angle..

Sigma 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Extraordinary optical efforts for outstanding performance..

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma’s fast high performance normal lens..

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Extraordinary optical efforts for class-leading performance?.

Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

Fastest 135mm lens yet, with ultra high performance..

Schneider PC-TS Perspective Control Tilt/Shift Lenses

Tilt/Shift by Schneider for Canon and Nikon and other brands..

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM on Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is a worthy contender in the crowded 50mm area. See how it performs compared to the Canon EF 50/1.4 and EF 50/1.2L..

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G

Nikon’s latest 50mm lens compared with the Zeiss ZF 50/1.4, Nikon 50/1.4D and Sigma 50/1.4..

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

Nikon’s High performance normal lens.

Canon 24mm f/1.4L II

State of the art design in a fast ultra wide angle lens..

Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4.0D IF-ED

Nikon’s workhorse 200mm macro lens, and not just sharp at close-ups!.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G

Nikon’s fast ultra wide angle..

Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED

State of the art design in a fast 24mm lens. Includes full-resolution images at f/1.4..

Olympus Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.2

An ultra-fast older design still offers appeal on modern digital..

Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO Macro

A superlative multi-spectral lens with perfect color correction..

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II and 24-70mm f/4L IS

Canon’s premium mid-range zooms..

Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8G

A fast moderate wide angle lens with some practical difficulties..

Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G

State of the art design in a fast 35mm lens..

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

State of the art design in a fast 85mm lens..

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

Nikon’s best-ever f/1.4 lens?.

Nikon 105mm f/2 DC

Strong telephoto lens with special control over spherical aberration..

Canon 200mm f/2L IS

A review of Canon’s 200mm f/2L mini super telephoto. Not just for sports, it makes a great landscape lens..

Hartblei 40/80/120mm SuperRotators

Medium format Zeiss glass in Hartblei precision tilt/shift lens barrels!.

Nikon 24mm Lens Choices

Options for a 24mm lens: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, Nikon 24-70/2.8G, Nikon 24/2 AI-S, Nikon PC-E 24/3.5. Sharpness, distortion, flare, field curvature, shooting impression and ergonomics..

Focus Shift In-Depth

Focus shift assesments of a wide variety of lenses of various brands. Shows a range of apertures for each lens and the mount of focus shift, discusses how to compensate for it..

Fujifilm GF 250mm f/4 OIS R WR

Telephoto equivalent to 200mm lens. .

Hasselblad X1D Imaging Quality

Performance both in the field and controlled conditions..

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2

Medium format telephoto lens, 74mm equivalent..

Pentax 645Z Image Quality

High end image quality, but what about lenses?.

Pentax 645 90mm f/2.8 D FA 645 Macro ED AW SR

Medium telephoto macro lens for Pentax 645 digital and film..

Leica S2 37.5 Megapixel Medium Format DSLR

How does Leica’s medium format entry measure up in ergonomics, image quality, etc?.

Leica S Examples

Examples and comparison from the various lenses.

Leica 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar-S ASPH

All-arounder zoom for Leica S.

Milvus 25mm f/1.4

Highest performing 25mm from Zeiss ever..

Milvus 35mm f/1.4

Highest performing 35mm from Zeiss ever..

Milvus 50mm f/1.4

Outstanding build and optical quality in a normal lens..

Milvus 85mm f/1.4

Outstanding build and optical quality in a medium tele..

Milvus 100mm f/2M

The classic 100/2 Makro-Planar improved..


Start here to best utilize this guide..

Optical Performance

Sharpness and rendering..

18mm f/3.5 Distagon

A brilliant, but also colorful character..

25mm f/2 Distagon

Ultra high performance with a fast aperture..

25mm f/2.8 Distagon

A gem with unusual close-focus..

28mm f/2 Distagon

An artist’s drawing tool..

35mm f/1.4 Distagon

Strokes of a master..

35mm f/2 Distagon

Balance and poise..

50mm f/1.4 Planar

Brilliant imaging in a compact package..

50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

Versatility in a “normal” lens and macro too!.

Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

Fast high performance APO wide angle..

Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon Rendering Style

Rendering style, bokeh and beauty..

Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar

Ultra high performance apochromatic medium telephoto, overview and technical..

Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar Rendering Style

Rendering style, bokeh and 'transparency' without peer..

85mm f/1.4 Planar

True-to-life imagery..

100mm f/2 Makro-Planar

King of bokeh! Corner-to-corner sharpness, world class..

135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar

Beautiful bokeh, razor sharp, superb color correction..


Summary and wrap-up..

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

Bread and butter all-around zoom..

Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct

Ultra high speed normal lens, flagship of the line..

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S

Mid-range zoom expressly designed for Nikon Z cameras..

Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 Distagon ZA

Fast and gorgeous moderate wide angle Zeiss design..

Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA

Fast high performance normal lens of Zeiss design..

Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Sonnar

Compact moderate wide angle for Sony mirrorless..

Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Sonnar

Compact normal lens for full-frame Sony mirrorless..

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

Top-grade medium telephoto..

Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM

Razor sharp medium telephoto with apodization filter..

Voigtlander FE Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4

Fast lens speed with curious rendering..

Voigtlander FE Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Aspherical

Fast lens speed for versatile rendering..

Voigtlander FE 65mm f/2 Macro APO-Lanthar Aspherical

Ultra high grade performer at a modest price..

Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Nocturnus 50mm f/0.95 II

Speed to match the Leica Noctilux-M, based on Mitakon Zonghyi optics..

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

Pro-grade f/2.8 wide angle zoom..

Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar

Comapact ultra-wide zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless..

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

Premiere mid-range zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless.

Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 OSS Vario-Tessar

Comapact mid-range zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless.

Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f/2 STF

Manual focus apodized lens for ultra smooth focus..

Ricoh GR

Razor sharp 28mm lens on APS-C sensor and outstanding usability and features..

Sony Cybershot RX1R II

Diminutive full-frame camera with 35mm f/2 fixed lens..

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX1 / RX1R

Full frame camera in an ultra-compact body with or without anti-aliasing filter..


Stunningly high image quality in a 20MP point and wide range zoom..

Olympus Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Zoom

A high performance mid-range zoom..

Sigma DN 19mm f/2.8

Wide angle for Micro Four Thirds or Sony E Mount/NEX..

Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH

Fast, bright and highly corrected medium telephoto..

Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95

Ultra fast medium telephoto manual focus lens..

Fujifilm X-Pro1

Interchangeable lenses on a 16MP APS-C sensor.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2

A bright short telephoto lens..

Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 APD

Apodization filter version of the 56/1.2..

Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR

Medium-long fast telephoto..

Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Distagon

Outstanding ultra wide angle performer..

Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 Distagon

Outstanding wide angle, superb performer..

Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar

Manual focus normal lens for full-frame mirrorless..

Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Distagon

Autofocus extreme wide angle for Sony full-frame mirrorless..

Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2

All-around slightly wide angle/normal with close focus..

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Autofocus portrait lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless..

Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 Distagon

Ultra wide angle lens for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X..

Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Planar

Normal lens for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X..

Sigma DP3 Merrill

75mm f/2.8 equivalent lens on APS-C sensor..

Considerations in choosing a lens.

Focal lengths, color, weight and travel considerations. [relevant, but dated/old material].

Leica 24mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Leica’s fast wide angle..

Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH (2010 FLE)

Leica’s superlative and most natural lens for the M..

Leica M 50mm Lenses

Six models to choose from..

Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH

World’s fastest 50mm full-frame lens..

50/0.95 Noctilux Rendering Style

Understanding the Rendering Style of the Noctilux..

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

The world’s best 50mm lens is outstanding, but with some limits..

Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M

Leica’s compact low-distortion normal lens..

Leica 75mm f/1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH

Leica’s ultra high grade and ultra fast modern short telephoto..

Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

Leica’s medium tele for Leica M..

Leica 75mm f/2.4 (2.5) Summarit-M

Leica’s budget 75mm medium telephoto..

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R ASPH

Compact lens for portraiture or similar..

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

Fast and ultra high performance moderate wide angle rangefinder lens..

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon on Leica SL

A star performer sets the standard on the SL..

Zeiss ZM 85mm f/4 Tele-Tessar

Compact high performance medium telephoto..

Voigtlander M 50mm f/1.1

A slightly slower, but smaller and lighter alternative to the Noctilux, at 1/10 the price..

Blog posts, reverse chronological


2019-02-10 Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L Aperture Series: Bokeh with Out-of-Focus Speculars (Canon EOS R)


2018-10-22 Zeiss Batis 40mm f/4 CF: Bokeh Wide Open at f/2 Shows Nonagonal Shape of Lens Diaphragm

2018-09-30 Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series for Bokeh / Visual Impact: Aspen Trunks at Rock Creek

2018-09-25 Sigma’s Fast New Art Lenses, Plus What Looks to be a 'Killer' 70-200mm f/2.8 Zoom

2018-09-06 LensBaby Sol 45mm f/3.5

2018-08-24 Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct

2018-07-13 Three Sigma for Sony 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Aperture Series: Closed Flower Seedheads, Yellow Flower, Crooked Pine

2018-06-22 Bokeh Shootout: Leica 90mm f/2.2 Thambar-M vs Nikon 105mm f/2 DC: Bird of Paradise

2018-05-25 Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art


2017-09-01 Voigtlander 65mm f/2 Macro APO-Lanthar Bokeh Series: Backlit Trees

2017-05-17 Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

2017-02-24 Sigma Announces 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art for Nikon and Canon DSLRs and Sigma sa

2017-02-24 Sigma Announces 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art for Nikon and Canon DSLRs and Sigma sa

2017-02-24 Sigma Announces 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art for Nikon and Canon DSLRs and Sigma sa

2017-02-14 Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2: Unusual Bokeh for Out-of-Focus Blurs


2016-09-17 Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M: Many Examples + Bokeh Aperture Series

2016-09-08 Zeiss Announces 3 Milvus Lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs

2016-07-11 NEW Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA for Sony Mirrorless


2015-10-22 The Irrational Aim of f/1.4 Lenses

2015-10-21 Impressions of 4K Television

2015-09-17 King of Bokeh, well-controlled SLOCA?

2015-04-13 Making Sharp Images: Updated Bokeh Examples

2015-04-10 Leica 75mm f/2.4 Summarit-M: Bokeh for Defocused Point Sources

2015-04-09 Leica 75mm f/2.4 Summarit-M: Veiling Flare, and Bokeh

2015-03-23 Compared: Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 APD vs Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 (Mannequin and Glass Bottles)

2015-03-23 Compared: Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 APD vs Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2

2015-03-10 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 APD (Bokeh)


2014-11-28 Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar: Bokeh Series, In-Focus and Defocused

2014-11-08 Zeiss Loxia 50/2 Planar Aperture Series: Understory Aspen Bokeh

2014-05-13 My Most Important Publication: Making Sharp Images

2014-04-11 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS Aperture Series, DeChambeau Sidelit Barn

2014-04-10 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM 'Art' (for Canon, Nikon, etc)

2014-01-22 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM 'Art' (for Canon, Nikon, etc)

2014-01-06 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM 'Art' (for Canon, Nikon, etc)


2013-12-07 Sony A7R: Aperture Series Redwood Stump, Cross-Eyed Bokeh

2013-11-14 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS Aperture Series, DeChambeau Ranch House, D800E

2013-11-13 Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS Aperture Series, Cottonwood Stump, D800E

2013-10-28 Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar: Bokeh Study (Aspen at Dawn, Nikon D800E)

2013-08-31 Sony RX1R: Rendering Style

2013-07-31 Ricoh GR Bokeh, and Its Unusual Lens

2013-07-19 Fujifilm Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro Aperture Series: Pot on Stove (Fujifilm X-E1)

2013-07-17 Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH: Tuolumne River Aperture Series (Leica M Typ 240)

2013-07-13 Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar: Bristlecone Branches Bokeh (Nikon D800E)

2013-07-04 Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH: Bokeh / Blur

2013-07-01 Ricoh GR Digital: More Examples and Bokeh

2013-05-31 Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 Distagon: Aperture Series Sharpness, Bokeh (Picnic Table, Sony NEX-7)

2013-05-16 Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Planar: Bokeh (Glassware)

2013-05-11 Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Planar: Examples

2013-03-20 Just Peachy

2013-02-27 Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar: Out of Focus Specular Bokeh

2013-02-27 Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar: Examples for Bokeh Evaluation

2013-02-10 Reader Comment: Fast Lenses Wide Open


2012-11-02 Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II: Bokeh at f/2.8 Outdoors (Alpine Creek)

2012-10-30 Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II: Bokeh and Correcting Color Fringing

2012-09-05 Canon 85mm f/1.2L II As a Landscape Lens, Wide Open or Stopped Down? Five Aperture Series

2012-03-16 Reader Comments: Zeiss 15/2.8 Distagon


2011-05-11 Reader Comments

2011-04-18 Bokeh Examples with Nikon D3x and Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon


2010-12-13 Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar new examples

2010-09-26 Reviewed! Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G

2010-09-18 Carl Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon bokeh (a few more)

2010-09-17 Carl Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon bokeh

2010-09-15 Nikon 85mm f/1.4G first impressions

2010-09-01 Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon for Nikon and Canon

2010-07-24 Aperture shape — is it circular? Does it matter for bokeh?

2010-05-30 The way it blurs (bokeh)

2010-05-11 Nikon 24mm f/1.4G focus shift and color bokeh page

2010-04-12 Carl Zeiss on “Depth of Field and Bokeh”


2009-12-14 Two serious issues in Nikon 70-200/2.8G VR II

2009-05-09 Color bokeh — Canon 85/1.2L II


2007-07-30 Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar

2007-07-08 Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar — best of the best

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