Category Archives: Review

Rolling Review: Voigtlander 65 mm F2 Macro APO-Lanthar

The Voigtlander 65mm F2 Macro APO-Lanthar is the second APO branded E-mount lens and promises great image qualities as well as macro capabilities in an unusual focal length. In this review I evaluate whether the high price and relatively large size are worth it.

Image Samples

You can find all images shown in this image in full resolution in this album.

update 4: minor updates about handling
update 3: added some alternatives and more sample images
update 2: new sharpness test, macro sample images
update 1: flare, sunstars, sample images

Continue reading Rolling Review: Voigtlander 65 mm F2 Macro APO-Lanthar

Review: Samyang 14mm 2.8

Introduction

samyang walimex rokinon 14mm 2.8 uwa ultra wide astrophotography distortion sony a7 a7r a7rii a7s
Sony A7rII with Metabones adapter and Samyang 14mm 2.8

Despite the release of the native E-mount 14mm 2.8 AF lens by Samyang their older – all manual – 14mm 2.8 still has a significant fan base. It is one of the very few lowcost ultra wide angle options and well suited for astrophotography. But it is also a lens known for its ridiculously high distortion and questionable build quality, so let us find out what the whole package has to offer!

Most sample shots have been taken on Nikon DSLRs as in the last years I have pretty much exclusively used this lens for astrophotography on my A7 series cameras.

Sample Images

saymang 14mm 2.8 14 review ultra wide uwa wideangle sony a7 a7r a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a72 a7m2
Nikon D800 | Samyang 14mm 2.8 MF | f/11
saymang 14mm 2.8 14 review ultra wide uwa wideangle sony a7 a7r a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a72 a7m2
Sony A7s | Samyang 14mm 2.8 MF | f/2.8
saymang 14mm 2.8 14 review ultra wide uwa wideangle sony a7 a7r a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a72 a7m2
Nikon D800 | Samyang 14mm 2.8 MF | f/8.0

Continue reading Review: Samyang 14mm 2.8

Rolling-Review: Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D for Sony FE

Introduction

laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII with Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D

The Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D is a lens I have  been waiting for eagerly since I took a few snaps with the prototype at Photokina in 2016. It is one of the very few lenses making actual use of the narrow flange distance of mirrorless cameras.
But does it only look good on paper or can it keep up with my high expectations? Find out in this review! 
This is a Rolling-Review, bits and pieces will be added as we get to know the lens better.
Last Update: Handling section updated regarding use with filter systems  (08/08/17)

Sample Images

laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/2.0
laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review architecture
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/8.0
laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/5.6

Continue reading Rolling-Review: Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D for Sony FE

Tokina Firin 20mm F2 FE Review: A good deal?

The Tokina Firin 20mm F2 is Tokina’s first lens for the E-mount and currently the fastest wide angle in the ~20mm range for the system. Read my in-depth review to decide if it could be a good addition to your camera bag.

 Image Samples
You can find all images shown in this review in full resolution in this Tokina Firin 2/20 flickr album.

Continue reading Tokina Firin 20mm F2 FE Review: A good deal?

Review: Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2

Introduction

A super fast fifty millimetre lens can be a lot of fun. But arguably it’s not the best all around type of lens to have; it’ll be bigger and heavier than a more modest speed fifty, and likely not as good stopped down. It’s more of an occasional use specialty lens. So it makes sense not to spend vast sums for a Leica Noctilux. No-one makes a modern f1.2; and if and when they do it will no doubt be extremely expensive and very big and heavy. That makes the better  legacy 50mm f1.2 lenses well worth investigating.

This review is of one of the better contenders: The OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2. It has a reputation for being usably sharp in the middle wide open, and sharpening up to decent overall performance stopped down. Does it live up to this reputation? Read on!

Sample Images

High resolution versions of the samples can be found at http://www.davidbraddonmitchell.com/Varia/Zuiko1250/

Specifications

Continue reading Review: Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2

Review: Zeiss Loxia Planar 2/50 T*

DSC09858

The Zeiss Loxia Planar 2/50 offers all the benefits of manual lens: a great focusing ring, very solid build quality and a small size but it gets rid of most disadvantages like outdated coatings, adapters and you get full exif info.
09/07/17 Update by Bastian: I have just recently been looking for a fast standard lens to use for Milkyway stitching (see this article) and compared this lens and the Sony FE 55mm 1.8 side by side. Therefore I added a few bits from these comparisons.

A German version of this review can be found on phillipreeve.de.

Sample Images

DSC00555
Zeiss Loxia 2/50 | Sony a7 | f/2 | full resolution
DSC00656
Zeiss Loxia 2/50 | Sony a7 | f/2 | full resolution

DSC00743
Zeiss Loxia 2/50 | Sony a7 | f/2

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Loxia Planar 2/50 T*

Extension Tubes for Fullframe E-mount cameras

Introduction

Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes emount e-mount macro makro zwischenring extension ring full frame fullframe fe
Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes

I do own a macro lens (Sigma 150mm 2.8) that I use for most of my product shots on this blog, but I rarely take it out for shooting as it is quite bulky and heavy. Nevertheless I like to take a close up shot from time to time so I decided to try out the Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes, to turn my Loxia 85mm 2.4 into a macro lens.

Sample Images

extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | 16mm Kenko Extension tube
extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/4.0 | 10+16mm Kenko Extension tube
extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | 16mm Kenko Extension tube

Continue reading Extension Tubes for Fullframe E-mount cameras

Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Introduction

Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E
Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E

The Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E aspherical is the second native E-Mount lens by Voigtlander and it is also the widest rectilinear lens ever produced. I am a wide angle junkie so I was eagerly awaiting this lens. Read on to find out what one can do with such a wide lens!
Update
(06/06/17): long term experiences after one year of usage added

Sample Images

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16 | higher resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | higher resolution
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E | f/8.0 | higher resolution

Continue reading Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Review: Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 RF

Introduction

nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII + Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter + Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 RF

This review covers the Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 rangefinder lens, it may be a stop slower than its faster f/1.4 brother but shares the same great build quality. Might this be the better Nikkor 50mm rangefinder lens in the end? Read on to find out!

Sample Images

nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh oof out of focus
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 | f/2.0
nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh oof out of focus
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 | f/2.0
nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh oof out of focus
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 | f/4.0

Continue reading Review: Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 RF

Review: Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar

Introduction

leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review build quality handling
Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar via Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter on Sony A7rII

Leica rangefinder lenses are very expensive? Most of them are, but the Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar in its earlier versions can be found for less than 200$ used, so what is the catch with this lens? Read on to find out…

Sample Images

leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review bokeh
Sony A7rII | Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar | f/4.0
leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review bokeh
Sony A7rII | Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar | f/4.0
leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review bokeh
Sony A7rII | Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar | f/4.0

Continue reading Review: Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar