All posts by Phillip Reeve

I have two hobbies: Photography and photographic gear. Both are related only to a small degree.

Review: Samyang AF 35/1.4 FE – High Performance with Issues

The Samyang AF 35/1.4 FE is the most affordable in the croweded field of fast 35mm AF E-mount lenses. I this review I try to answer the question if it is a smart buy.

Samyang AF 35/1.4 FE Review

Most images in this review can be found in full resolution in my Samyang AF 35/1.4 FE flickr set. There you can also browse samples in a very high quality browser.


Continue reading Review: Samyang AF 35/1.4 FE – High Performance with Issues

New year’s reflection

Before we really begin 2020 on the blog I would like to take some time to reflect the last year, offer my thanks to the many people who made the blog what it is and write a few words on where I think we are headed.

Personally I finalized my education and started into my first real job which brought with it moving to a place with much better access to nature so I spend more time in nature and took more images which really improves quality of life for me. I also found and a little more time for the blog but most of the content came from the team and I don’t expect that to change.

I am really grateful for having the team I have. I think it is rare that one starts a project and is then joined by a few like minded people who are driven by the same passion and who bring the project forward with so little friction and good spirit. When I have my focus elsewhere and not on this hobby project I can be sure that the blog is in good hands so it never feels like a liability to me. Thanks guys!

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Review: Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar

The Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar has been highly anticipated because of the reputation built by its APO-cousins the mighty 2/65 macro and 2.5/110 Macro. So can the much compact 2/50 APO match or even surpass those lenses performance?

You can find most images in this review in full resolution on flickr where you can also browse them in high quality.

Continue reading Review: Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar

Review: Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

After the success of their compact and affordable f/2.8 zooms Tamron has released a pair of f/2.8 primes: A 2.8/24 and 2.8/35. In this review I check, if the 2.8/24 is another big hit.

Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Review

Most images in this review can be found in full resolution here.

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Beginner’s Guide to Manual Lenses on the Sony a7

Okay, everybody is talking about how manual lenses work so well on the Sony a7 series but how does it actually work? And which results can you expect? Read on if you want to know.DSC00720

Manual Lenses on the Sony a7/a7II/a7III

Zeiss Distagon 2.8/28  ~ $250
Olympus OM 2.8/100 ~ $100
 Minolta MC 1.4/50 ~ $60

Why should I use manual lenses?

    • They can be very cheap, you can get a great 1.4/50 lens for $50. For most applications such a lens will give you 90% of the performance of a $1000 Zeiss 1.8/55 FE. For the $1000 you would have to pay for that Zeiss you can buy an excellent set of five lenses from 20 to 300mm.
    • You have a huge choice between thousands of lenses ranging from exotic ones with lots of “character” to some of the very best lenses available.
    • There are 30-year-old primes with better image quality than many modern lenses. Of course progress has happened in recent years but still affordable primes are often sharper than very expensive modern zooms.
    • Old lenses are usually beautifully built from nothing but metal and glass which makes it a joy to handle them. They can last a lot longer than modern lenses which are full of electronics and very complex designs, both of which make them more likely to fail.
    • They also hold their value much better than modern lenses. With some patience you can sell most manual lenses without a loss but with new lenses you can expect to lose 30% in the first year.
    • Manual focusing can be very enjoyable. This certainly depends on application but personally I enjoy working with fully manual lenses a lot more than with any AF lens and I would choose a good manual focus lens over an AF lens (almost) any time. Check out our manual photographers series to read other photographers stories who feel similar about this.
Minolta MD 2/50 ~$25

Why shouldn’t I use manual lenses?

Continue reading Beginner’s Guide to Manual Lenses on the Sony a7