Review: Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 Series E

Introduction

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Sony A7rII with Metabones adapter and Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5

The Series E lenses were meant as a low cost alternative to the more expensive yet reknown Nikkor lenses. This didn’t work out so well for Nikon, at that time many people were simply not interested in “cheap” lenses made mostly from plastic. Nevertheless, some of these lenses are quite good optically, therefore I take a look at the Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 zoom lens.

Sample Images

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Sony A7rII | Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 | 150mm | f/3.5 | full resolution
nikon series e zoom 75-150mm 3.5 metabones adapter a7 lowcost lens lens flare ghost ghosts veiling glare
Sony A7rII | Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 | 75mm | f/5.6 | full resolution
nikon series e zoom 75-150mm 3.5 metabones adapter a7 portrait lowcost lens lens flare ghost ghosts veiling glare
Sony A7s | Nikon Series E 75-150mm 3.5 | 150mm | f/3.5 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 Series E

12 images from 2016

Better late than never: We wish all of our readers a great and succesful year 2017! Thank you for reading our blog and for all your contributions and comments. This is our retrospective conclusion of the favorite images that we took in the passed year.

Phillip’s 2016

2016 was a very eventful year for me. Not all of those events were pleasant but photography was always a great compensation even in stressful times.

The blog is more about gear than about photography and I view my obsessions with gear and photography as two more or less separate hobbies of mine but it is also a pleasure (most of the time at least, the G 4/70-200 review which has been in the making  for months now has been very frustrating to so far ;)) for me to discover new lenses, to share my experiences and to receive the great feedback I get here.

In early 2016 I also made the lucky decision to invite Jannik and Bastian to join the team of this blog. In them I have found two soulmates who are as crazy about lenses as I am. Behind the scenes we constantly discuss gear, photos and articles which is a great source of motivation. And of course both have since then written many well received articles and together we can bring many more lenses to your attention than I could alone.

The Creek

Continue reading 12 images from 2016

Review: Sony FE 2.8/24-70 GM

Introduction

Since the introduction of the Sony A7-series cameras, many people asked for well performing f/2.8 zooms.  Although it negates the approach of the small bodies, Sony listened to their customers and developed the no-compromise GM(aster) lens lineup. The FE 2.8/24-70 GM is the first lens of this new series in our hands.  In this review I will check the performance of my own copy which I have used for the last three months.

Sample Images

Sony A7II | Sony FE 24-70mm 2.8 GM | 24mm f/10 | full resolution
Sony A7II | Sony FE 24-70mm 2.8 GM | 31mm f/16 | full resolution
Sony A7II | Sony FE 24-70mm 2.8 GM | 70mm f/2.8 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Sony FE 2.8/24-70 GM

Review: Voigtländer VM-E close focus adapter

Introduction

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Voigtländer VM-E close focus adapter

Classic rangefinder lenses focus much less close than their SLR-counterparts because of how the focusing with rangefinder cameras works. With the  Voigtländer VM-E adapter you can focus these lenses much closer when using them on an E-mount camera. The adapter is not only a Leica-M to Sony E adapter but also a variable extension tube. It has its own helicoid by which you can focus your lenses much closer than with a conventional adapter. I have been using the Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter for more than a year now and it has become a valuable addition to my kit.

Sample Images

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Sony A7rII | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon + VM-E | f/1.4
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Sony A7s | Voigtländer 28mm 2.0 Ultron + VM-E | f/2.0
vm-e close focud helicoid adapter nahadapter nah voigtländer zm leica m m-mount emount e-mount a7 a7r a7rii a7s
Sony A7s | Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0 pre Asph + VM-E | f/2.0

Continue reading Review: Voigtländer VM-E close focus adapter

The manual photographers series part 3: Oliver Fecher (aidualk)

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Hi Oliver, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?”

I am an industrial economist and live near Frankfurt, Germany. Photography has been my hobby for more than 25 years. When I started I was never satisfied with the image quality of analog 35mm film, so I turned to larger formats very soon. Most of my landscape pictures were taken with medium and large format cameras. Of course all lenses were manual focus, so I was accustomed to manual focus from beginning . 😉

With the Sony A900, I switched to digital cameras in 2008 and I was very satisfied with the possibilities of this new medium. At that time, the Sony-Zeiss 24mm SSM lens was my favorite and remained so for many years.

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Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland – Sony A900, Sony-Zeiss 24mm, f8

The next steps were the A7R in 2013 and, since last year, the A7RII. I switch slowly and flexibly (thanks to the LE-EA Adapter) from A- to E-Mount, also by reason of the fantastic Zeiss primes for E-Mount, lenses which I wanted to have for a very long time 😉 I use AF Lenses too, but for landscape pictures, I use them mostly by manual focus to get the best control of the depth of field. The Sony cameras are perfect for manual focus.

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Nightsky over Watzmann – Sony A7R, Samyang 14mm, f4

Continue reading The manual photographers series part 3: Oliver Fecher (aidualk)

Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Introduction

carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review
Sony A7rII with Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 Sonnar

Before the newest entry of the Loxia line was introduced we were guessing what combination of focal length and maximum aperture it might feature: 90mm 2.0? 100mm 2.0? 85mm 2.8? 100mm 3.5? We were all wrong as none of us had an 85mm 2.4 on his list. When the first pictures and the technical data appeared many were put down by the maximum aperture and especially size and weight. The mtf-graphs on the other hand look very promising with hardly any sharpness falloff towards the borders, putting this lens in the territory of the Leica APO-Summicron 90mm 2.0 or even the Zeiss Otus 85mm 1.4 on paper, which both cost two to three times as much. So let’s find out what Zeiss’ newest lens has to offer!
Last Update: 12/28/16: review finished, conclusion updated, new sample images added

Sample Images

carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review venice italy bokeh panorama
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | panorama from 4 shots | higher resolution
carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review portrait head shot black white
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution
carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review portrait head shot concert big band
Sony A7s | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Short Review: Olympus OM Zuiko MC 100mm 1:2.8

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The Olympus OM 100mm 1:2.8 is a tiny lens and yet a solid performer. In this shorter review I give you my impressions.

Specifications

Diameter 60 mm
Length 50 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight 230 g
Max. Magnification 0.12
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 1 m
Number of aperture blades 6
Elements/ Groups 5/5
The Olympus OM 2.8/100 usually sells for around $90 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). 
In Germany you can buy it used for around 90 at ebay.de (affiliate link). 

Image Samples

Just click on any image to get to the full resolution version.

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Continue reading Short Review: Olympus OM Zuiko MC 100mm 1:2.8

Rangefinder wide angle lenses on A7 cameras: problems and solutions

Introduction

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Close up lenses of different strength

In case you have read some of our reviews covering rangefinder wide angle lenses on this very blog you already know there are some limitations to be aware of and you might have also heard of the “Kolari”thin filter mod as a solution. But now, thanks to Fred Miranda forum member HaruhikoT, there is another way to use rangefinder wide angle lenses up to their full potential on A7 series cameras.

Continue reading Rangefinder wide angle lenses on A7 cameras: problems and solutions

The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series

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You can easily spend a fortune on lenses for your Sony a7 but you don’t have to. These 34 lenses all cost less than $499 and give you great image quality on your Alpha.

There are certainly other lenses which would deserve a spot in this list but we only include lenses we have used ourselves, so please don’t take it personal if we haven’t included your favorite lens.

We changed the format a bit from our other guides: For each lens we have summarized the defining strengths and weaknesses. We hope this will make it easier to decide for yourself, if the lens could fit your needs.  Please make sure to check out our in-depth reviews for a much more detailed discussion of each lens.

Voigtlander 5.6/12 M39

Compared to the DSLR lenses (like the Samyang 14mm 2.8) this lens is ridiculously small. This is a lens that will always easily fit into your bag, which is great if you not intend to shoot this wide on a regular basis. With the filter adapter it is even possible to use standard 77mm filters.

You should be aware of: The corners never reach excellent levels, huge vignetting, slow, not a good match for A7r.

175g + adapter | ~$450 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from ebay | Sony E-mount adapters (affiliate links)

dancing houses prag prague praha gehry sony a7s voigtlander 12mm 5.6

Continue reading The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series

The Team’s Christmas Gift Guide for photographers

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We decided to give you some inspiration for christmas gifts related to photography we have also used ourselves. So in case you need a gift for a friend who is also interested in photography or something for your fiance who spends way too much time on our blog you might find this article helpful :-).

All links marked with * are affiliate links. Using them won’t cost you anything extra but we get a small percentage of your purchase which keeps this blog running and free from obstrusive ads. Thanks for the support :).

Under 25$

L-bracket – $20

Phillip: An L-bracket is just a lump of metal which does three things:

  • It provides you with a super solid connection between the camera and your Arca-Swiss tripod head in landscape orientation as well as in portrait orientation.
  • It offers you a better grip which made quite a difference with my a7. With the a7II’s deeper grip it is less necessary but this is of course highly subjective
  • It offers some protection for your camera

The L-bracket for my a7 was one of the best 20 bucks I ever spent on camera gear and I can only recommend to try one.

I bought this one for the a7II at Amazon.de*, in the US you can buy the same at Amazon.com*.

Continue reading The Team’s Christmas Gift Guide for photographers