Modern lenses are too good, free of most optical aberrations even at their maximum aperture. This led to a whole new market emerging offering all kind of accessories to make your pictures look worse: kaleidoscope filters, prisms, streak filters and black mist/diffusion filters, the latter being what we will have a look at today.
A couple of years ago, with samples taken on the last major overseas trip I took before Covid closed the world for quite a while, I reviewed the Laowa 100mm macro. I concluded it was good and sharp, a little challenged for flare at longer distances, but absolutely superb in the macro range. Eventually – in fact very recently, a couple of years after that review – I purchased my own copy. I was doing a lot of macro and at actual macro distances that lens is in most ways better than all the pricier lenses I’ve tried (though perhaps not as an all purpose short tele with macro).
Of course, inevitably, after I paid my money, Laowa announced a new lens – a 90mm, built specifically for mirrorless, and a lot more compact, with otherwise similar specs.
Did I blow it? Should I get rid of my recently acquired 100 and get the new 90? Read on and see.
The Samyang 10mm 3.5 XP is a bit of an odd lens. It is still the widest lens for DSLRs, but it was announced at a time when no one really cared about DSLRs anymore. And it came out after the Voigtländer 10mm 5.6, which surely didn’t help the marketing department. And in the meantime we also got the Laowa 9mm 5.6, which is even wider, has great optics and is small at the same time. So is there still a reason to get the Samyang 10mm 3.5 XP in 2022? Let’s find out in this review.
I always think we need more Pancake lenses, but except for the Samyang 24mm 2.8 and the recently reviewed TTArtisan 50mm 2.0 we didn’t get that many options in the Sony FE world yet. The latest addition is this Brightin Star 23mm 5.6. The first odd thing to notice: it is a fixed aperture lens, so it is always f/5.6 and cannot be stopped down further.
Can it still be a viable addition to your kit? Let’s find out…
Manual Lenses | Sony Alpha | New articles every Tuesday
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