How to choose a camera, lenses, and the other stuff that’s worthwhile..
Newest blog posts
2019-03-07 Leica Q2 Announced, a Few Comments
2018-01-20 Working on Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS
Sigma/Foveon true-color sensor in a DSLR body..
50 megapixel successor to the 22 megapixel Canon 5D Mark III..
Which speed zoom for the Nikon D800/D800E?.
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..
Evaluates performance of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR on the Nikon D3. Comparison with the Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF..
Very compact ultra wide angle..
Ultra wide angle tilt shift with tremendous versatility.
[Older material, but still relevant]. Shift lens performance of Nikon/Canon/Schneider/Olympus on various cameras..
[Archive] In-depth review on the Nikon D2x of the Nikon 28mm f/3.5 PC-Nikkor, Nikon 28mm f/4 PC-Nikkor and the Schneider 28mm f/2.8 PC-Super-Angulon. Flare, distortion, color fringing, color rendition, sharpness, ergonomics, aligmnent, sample variation..
Full frame slightly wide normal lens, pancake form factor..
Canon’s best-ever medium telephoto and with image stabilization..
Canon’s ultra-fast medium telephoto compared and in the field.
Do Canon’s 1.4X and 2X version III tele extenders offer image quality at reasonable apertures?.
Canon’s image stabilized 35mm..
Tamron’s ultra wide to medium fast zoom..
Mid-range optimized groundbreaking f/2 zoom..
A whopping 4/3 stop faster than other lenses in its range..
The fastest extreme wide angle yet..
Sigma’s fast high performance wide angle..
Sigma’s fast and affordable moderate excellent wide angle..
Sigma’s fast high performance normal lens..
Sigma’s best portrait lens..
Fastest 135mm lens yet, with ultra high performance..
Explores options for 180mm lenses on the Nikon D3x, including the Leica 180/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R in Nikon mount, Nikon 180/2.8 ED, Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR, Nikon 70-300/4.5-5.6 VR, and Tamron 70-200/2.8. Updated: now includes the Voigtlander 180/4 APO!.
Nikon’s latest wide range zoom with vibration reduction and fixed f/4 aperture..
Nikon’s High Performance Moderately-Priced 50mm..
Nikon’s High performance normal lens.
State of the art design in a fast ultra wide angle lens..
Nikon’s fast ultra wide angle..
Versatile image-stabilized mid-range zoom..
Versatile autofocus wide angle..
State of the art design in a fast 24mm lens. Includes full-resolution images at f/1.4..
Canon’s compact image stabilized wide angle zoom..
Canon’s premium mid-range zooms..
State of the art design in a fast 35mm lens..
Relatively inexpensive alternative to the pro 35/1.4G..
State of the art design in a fast 85mm lens..
Relatively compact super-telephoto zoom..
Comparing Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR, 17-35mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 18-35mm, 24-70mm f/2.8 along with Nikon 20mm f/3.5, 24mm f/2, 28mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4 AIS, and more..
- Personal Usage Notes and Reactions
- Hazy Low Contrast with Nikon 17-35 @ f/2.8
- Correcting Distortion in Software
- Distortion at 16mm
- Distortion at 17mm
- Distortion at 21mm
- Distortion at 24mm
- Distortion at 28mm
- Distortion at 35mm
- Conclusions on Mosaic Comparisons —
- Distortion of Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-5.6 vs Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR
Comparing the Canon 17-40mm f/4L and 16-35mm f/2.L II..
Exploring the 16mm fisheye for landscape photography, and correcting fisheye distortion..
Ultra wide angle equivalent to 19mm f/3.3. .
Standard normal lens equivalent to 52mm f/2.3..
Telephoto equivalent to 200mm lens. .
How does Hasselblad’s 3rd generation medium format entry measure up?.
Lenses for the Leica S2 (original Leica S2 material).
Extreme wide angle with ultra high performance..
All-arounder zoom for Leica S.
Moderate wide angle with low distortion..
Milvus garb for the venerable 15/2.8 Distagon, with improved lens coating..
Outstanding build and optical quality in a normal lens..
Outstanding build and optical quality in a medium tele..
An Otus, in effect. Milvus garb for the 135/2 APO, with improved lens coatings on one element. See the ZF.2/ZE 135/2 review pages..
Ultra high performance in an extreme wild wide angle lens..
A brilliant, but also colorful character..
Brilliant imaging, even wide open, but with a few quirks. (Review in progress) .
An artist’s drawing tool..
Strokes of a master..
Balance and poise..
Comparing the two 50mm options near and far, more comparisons coming..
Fast high performance APO wide angle..
Ultra high performance apochromatic normal lens, first in the Otus line..
Ultra high performance apochromatic medium telephoto, overview and technical..
King of bokeh! Corner-to-corner sharpness, world class..
Beautiful bokeh, razor sharp, superb color correction..
Articles written for Lenspire.ZEISS.com..
- Harnessing Wide Angle Lenses: Perspective and Impact
- Zoom Lens or Prime? 50mm and 55mm
- Zoom Lens or Prime? 135mm
- Zeiss Fills Out the Milvus DSLR Lens Lineup with the 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2M, 100/2M
- First Look at the Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4
- Astrophotography Tips, Especially with Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon
High performance prime lenses for Sony NEX and Fujifilm X..
Zeiss ZF.2 and Zeiss ZE Lenses For Canon and Nikon.
- Overview of Zeiss ZF.2/ZE Lenses
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 21mm f/2.8 Distagon
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 25mm f/2.8 Distagon
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 28mm f/2 Distagon
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 35mm f/2 Distagon
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 50mm f/1.4 Planar
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 85mm f/1.4 Planar
- Mini Review: Zeiss ZF/ZE 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar
Q&A on the 15/2.8 Distagon with Dr. Hubert Nasse.
Leica S2 37.5 megapixel DSLR and its lenses..
Lenses for Leica M cameras, especially the M9.
- Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH
- Leica 21mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
- Leica 24mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
- Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH
- Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH 2010
- Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH
- Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH
- Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH
- Zeiss ZM 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T*
- Zeiss ZM 18mm f/4 Distagon T*
- Zeiss ZM 21mm f/2.8 Biogon T*
- Zeiss ZM 21mm f/4.5 C-Biogon T*
- Zeiss ZM 35mm f/2 Biogon T*
- Zeiss ZM 50mm f/1.5 C-Sonnar T*
- Zeiss ZM 85mm f/2 Sonnar T*
- Zeiss ZM 85mm f/4 Tele-Tessar T*
Bread and butter all-around zoom..
Normal lens expressly designed for Nikon Z cameras..
Mid-range zoom expressly designed for Nikon Z cameras..
Attention to details: a solid upgrade over the A7R II..
Fast wide angle..
Fast high performance normal lens of Zeiss design..
Compact moderate wide angle for Sony mirrorless..
Razor sharp medium telephoto with apodization filter..
Native-mount macro length designed by Zeiss..
Anything wider would be a fisheye..
Ultra wide native mount manual focus lens for Sony mirrorless..
Fast lens speed for versatile rendering..
Ultra high grade performer at a modest price..
Extreme wide angle zoom..
- Distortion Examples @ 12mm, Uncorrected and Corrected
- Distortion Examples @ 17mm, Uncorrected and Corrected
- Distortion Examples @ 24mm, Uncorrected and Corrected
- Aperture Series @ 12mm: Mosaic
- Aperture Series @ 17mm: Mosaic
- Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic
- Shootout vs Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8: Pescadero Creek Overview
- Shootout: Sony 12-24/4 vs Zeiss Batis 18/2.8: Pescadero Creek Downstream
- Aperture Series @ 12mm: Pescadero Creek, Upstream (with Focus Stack)
Pro-grade f/2.8 wide angle zoom..
Comapact ultra-wide zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless..
Premiere mid-range zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless.
- Distortion @ 24mm: Uncorrected vs Corrected
- Distortion @ 35mm: Uncorrected vs Corrected
- Distortion @ 50mm: Uncorrected vs Corrected
- Distortion @ 70mm: Uncorrected vs Corrected
- Aperture Series @24mm: Finely Detailed Mosaic
- Aperture Series @35mm: Finely Detailed Mosaic
- Aperture Series @50mm: Finely Detailed Mosaic
- Aperture Series @70mm: Finely Detailed Mosaic
Wide angle to telephoto zoom with optical stabilization..
- Distortion Correction @ 24mm: Loss of Sharpness and Micro Contrast (Pixel Shift)
- Distortion @ 35mm: Corrected vs Uncorrected
- Distortion Correction @ 105mm: Loss of Sharpness and Micro Contrast (Pixel Shift)
- Shootout @ 24mm: Sony 24-105/4G OSS vs Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 (Mosaic)
- Shootout @ 35mm: Sony 24-105/4G OSS vs Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 (Mosaic)
- Aperture Series @ 50mm: Mosaic
- Aperture Series @ 70mm: Mosaic
- Shootout @ 85mm: Sony 24-105/4G OSS vs Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4 (Mosaic)
Wide mid-range zoom targeted at video shooters..
Comapact mid-range zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless.
Extreme wide angle with 'zero distortion'..
Extreme wide angle macro lens for Sony mirrorless..
Use Leica M lenses on a digital back designed for them..
Diminutive full-frame camera with 35mm f/2 fixed lens..
Full frame camera in an ultra-compact body with or without anti-aliasing filter..
Stunningly high image quality in a 20MP point and shoot tiny camera..
Wide angle zoom equivalent (14-28mm equivalent)..
A high performance mid-range zoom..
A worthy upddate to the E-M5 with pro-grade build quality..
Superb ergonomic design in a compact camera..
Can smaller sensor cameras compete with larger ones on any basis?.
Panasonic G-1 especially compared to the Olympus E-P1. Intriguing results with RAW vs in-camera JPEG. RAW file included for your own analysis..
Fujifilm's 24MP APS-C offering..
Outstanding ultra wide angle performer..
Outstanding wide angle, superb performer..
Manual focus moderate wide angle for full-frame mirrorless..
- Distortion for Zeiss Loxia 35/2 Biogon
- Aperture Series: Sparkling Sun on Lake (Evaluating Point Spread Function)
- Field Examples: Yosemite Area (Sony A7R II)
- Loxia 35/2 Biogon vs Sony 35/2.8 Sonnar: Log Cabin Mine Main Building (Sony A7R)
- Loxia 35/2 vs Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.4 and Samyang 35/2.8: Train Boxcar (A7R III)
Manual focus normal lens for full-frame mirrorless..
Manual focus telephoto lens for full-frame mirrorless..
Autofocus extreme wide angle for Sony full-frame mirrorless..
Autofocus wide angle for Sony full-frame mirrorless..
Autofocus portrait lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless..
Ultra wide angle lens for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X..
Normal lens for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X..
Relative sharpness and performance across cameras..
24-megapixel interchangeable lenses, high-res EVF..
All-arounder zoom with dubious optical compromises..
- Overview of Leica 24-90mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH
- Distortion @ 24mm and 90mm, Uncorrected and Corrected (Cerro Gordo Museum Interior)
- Distortion @ 24mm, Uncorrected and Corrected (DeChambeau Barn)
- Aperture Series @ 24mm: Fresh June Snow on White Mountain Road
- Aperture Series @ 24mm: DeChambeau Barn
- @35mm Shootout vs Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 Distagon: Fresh June Snowfall on White Mountains
24-megapixel fixed lens compact full-frame..
Focal lengths, color, weight and travel considerations. [relevant, but dated/old material].
Leica’s ultra wide angle zoom lens..
Leica’s widest prime lens..
Leica’s fastest and widest lens..
Leica’s best-performing 21mm..
Leica’s fast wide angle..
Leica’s best-performing 24mm, and with a flat field..
Leica’s fast 28mm..
Leica’s widest lens utilizing built-in frame lines..
Tweaked 2016 redesign of Leica’s petite performer..
Leica’s smallest and lightest M lens with superlative performance..
Leica’s superlative and most natural lens for the M..
- Notes: Leica 2010 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
- Distortion: 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
- Aperture Series: 35/1.4 — Tile Rooftops Aerial
- Aperture Series: 35/1.4 — Tile Rooftops Aerial (NEX7)
- Compared: 35mm f/1.4 Summilux vs 35/2 Summicron vs Zeiss 35/2 Biogon (M9P, Cabin Sink)
- Compared: 35mm f/1.4 Summilux vs 35/2 Summicron vs Zeiss 35/2 Biogon (M9P, Cabin Exterior)
- 35/1.4 Summilux vs Zeiss 35/2 Biogon (M240, MTB)
- Compared: vs Zeiss ZM 35/2 and Sony 35/2.8 (Sony A7R, Red Barn)
Six models to choose from..
- 50mm 4-way Comparison (M240, Wagon)
- Compared: Noctilux, Summilux, APO-Summicron, Zeiss Planar (M240, Bristlecone)
- Compared: Noctilux, Summilux, APO-Summicron, Zeiss Planar (M240, Tioga Cabin #9 Chair)
- Compared: Noctilux, Summilux, APO-Summicron (M240, Green Paint Bldg)
- 50 Summilux vs 50 Noctilux (Joshua Tree)
World’s fastest 50mm full-frame lens..
Leica’s superlative normal lens..
The world’s best 50mm lens is outstanding, but with some limits..
Leica’s compact low-distortion normal lens..
Leica’s ultra high grade and ultra fast modern short telephoto..
Leica’s medium tele for Leica M..
Leica’s budget 75mm medium telephoto..
Leica’s longer tele for Leica M..
Leica’s compact 90mm for the M..
Diminutive telephoto and macro lens..
Compact lens for portraiture or similar..
Superb all-around macro and general-purpose lens..
World’s best mid-range telephoto lens..
Compact and ultra high performance long telephoto..
Compact high performance, ultra low distortion..
Moderate speed high contrast ultra-wide..
Compact wide angle with brilliant contrast..
Fast and ultra high performance moderate wide angle rangefinder lens..
All around razor sharp performer..
Ultra compact high performance moderate wide angle rangefinder lens..
Pleasing and relatively inexpensive normal lens.
Compact high performance medium telephoto..
Fast high performance wide angle..
Blog posts, reverse chronological
2019-03-07 Leica Q2 Announced, a Few Comments
2018-01-20 Working on Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS
2017-04-11 Fujifilm GF 63mm f/2.8 Distortion Example
2016-12-15 Reader Comments: Stitching and Panoramas
2016-10-18 Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III
2016-01-23 Reflecting on the Ricoh GR
2016-01-01 Sony RX1R II Distortion
2015-10-22 The Irrational Aim of f/1.4 Lenses
2015-02-05 Canon 11-24mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Zoom
2014-10-15 Nikon 20mm f/1.8G ED: Distortion
2013-09-03 Sony RX1R: Correcting Lens Distortion
2013-02-23 On the Way: Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO Sonnar
2012-12-11 Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Distortion
2012-09-09 Sony RX100: DXO Optics Pro vs ACR
2011-10-26 Zeiss 25mm f/2 Distagon Announced
2011-06-04 Fuji Finepix X100 — Lens Distortion
2010-11-13 Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR comments
2009-10-12 Carl Zeiss on lens distortion
2009-09-11 Canon TS-E 24/3.5L II distortion
2008-03-30 Atmospheric distortion
2008-02-15 Lens distortion
2007-09-17 Zeiss ZF 28mm f/2 Distagon announced