Category Archives: Review

Guest Review: Pentax SMC FA 31mm f1.8 Limited

11/15/2020:  “Alternatives” and “Conclusion” and “Notes” sections has been updated in light of new releases, and a few more sample images have been added.

The Pentax 31mm f1.8 Limited is a fast moderate wide angle lens released in 2001. It’s designated as one of Pentax’s “Limited” series, denoting its high status within the Pentax catalogue. Since its release, the 31 Ltd has been beloved, especially within the Pentax community. I picked up my first copy in pursuit of a fast, decently priced alternative to the Sony RX1. Sony hasn’t provided shooters with a native fast 35mm f1.8 or f2 option. The 31 Ltd was a highly praised lens upon release, but optics have come along way recently, and it’s getting long in the tooth. Let’s see how it holds up 17 years after it’s release, and what type of images we can expect.


The 31mm focal length is an oddity, being near but noticeably different from the more conventional 28mm or 35mm focal lengths. The 31 ltd functions as versatile jack-of-trades lens with its 31 FL. The lens is still in production by Pentax/Ricoh, coming in either silver or black.

To view larger versions of the photos in this review, follow this link to my Pentax 31 ltd album on flickr

 

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Review: Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX – Still worth getting in 2020?

Introduction

sigma 50mm 1.4 ex dh hsm sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX with Sigma MC-11 adapter on Sony A7rII

Back in 2008 the Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX was the biggest and most expensive 50mm f/1.4 lens with AF for DSLRs. Now, 12 years later, it looks reasonably sized compared to its modern competitors and can be found used for bargain prices.
But is it a lens still worth considering in 2020? Let us find out in this review!

Sample Images

sigma 50mm 1.4 ex dh hsm sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7III | Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX | f/1.4
sigma 50mm 1.4 ex dh hsm sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7III | Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX | f/1.4
sigma 50mm 1.4 ex dh hsm sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7III | Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX | f/1.4

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Review: Laowa 15mm 4.5 Zero-D Shift

Introduction

laowa 15mm 4. 5 shift tilt ts-e pc-e comparison review venus optics wide angle ultra wide angle sharpness uwa resolution contrast 42mp 61mp a7riv a7rii a7riii
Laowa 15mm 4.5 Shift with metabones adapter on Sony A7rII

For 11 years the Canon TS-E 17mm 4.0L was the widest shift lens available and now it is not Nikon but Laowa who challenges them with their 15mm 4.5 Shift. May this be the new king for wide angle architectural photography?

Sample Images

laowa 15mm 4. 5 shift tilt ts-e pc-e comparison review venus optics wide angle ultra wide angle sharpness uwa resolution contrast 42mp 61mp a7riv a7rii a7riii
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 4.5 Shift | f/11 | shifted up | higher resolution
laowa 15mm 4. 5 shift tilt ts-e pc-e comparison review venus optics wide angle ultra wide angle sharpness uwa resolution contrast 42mp 61mp a7riv a7rii a7riii
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 4.5 Shift | f/11 | shifted up
laowa 15mm 4. 5 shift tilt ts-e pc-e comparison review venus optics wide angle ultra wide angle sharpness uwa resolution contrast 42mp 61mp a7riv a7rii a7riii
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 4.5 Shift | f/11 | shift pano
laowa 15mm 4. 5 shift tilt ts-e pc-e comparison review venus optics wide angle ultra wide angle sharpness uwa resolution contrast 42mp 61mp a7riv a7rii a7riii
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 4.5 Shift | f/11 | shifted up

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Review: TTArtisan 50mm 1.4

Introduction

TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 on Sony A7rII

To my surprise – shortly after the 50mm 0.95 – TTArtisan also released a more reasonable 50mm 1.4 lens. The optical design looks very interesting on paper: a longer focal length double gauss with a “speedbooster-like” rear group. This is similar to Cosina’s latest designs for the fast Voigtlander lenses, is this a good sign? Let us find out in this review!
This lens will be reviewed on the 42mp Sony A7rII and the 24mp Leica M10.

Sample Images

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

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Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5: A review

Introduction

The Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 is a very small but rather slow tele lens which can be found quite cheap nowadays. Is it still good value for money in these days when used on high megapixel cameras?

Sony A7RIII | Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 | f/3.5
Sony A7RIII | Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 | f/5.6
Sony A7RIII | Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 | f/3.5

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