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The Team’s favorite lenses – October 2017 Edition

Half a year has passed and much has changed, not only in our camera bags. With David from Australia we have a new author (as you may have noticed already), who will support us, so that we can cover more lenses and other interesting topics.

David’s favorites

Hard to know what a favourite lens is. Is it the workhorse that gets use all the time? Is it that exotic piece that just occasionally gets used, but is thrilling and irreplaceable when it is? I guess any of these. My list will just contain three optics that I find to be very special in different ways.  Of course that’s not the same thing as three I’d necessarily recommend together as a kit.

Voigtländer Macro Apo-Lanthar 2/65

This is not a lens I’ve reviewed: Phillip reviewed it here, and that was one of the reasons I purchased it. A manual focus lens, fast but not that fast, an unusual focal length, and macro but, well, not all that macro – it focuses only to 1:2. So why is it on my list?

Simply it’s the finest production lens for the 135 format that I’ve ever used, and possibly the finest ever. It’s incredibly sharp wide open – enough so I can see aliasing at f2 on a 42 MP sensor! One stop down and it’s even better, and the corners have gone from being great to being super great. This brings with it creative possibilities: when f2 is so sharp, you can create images with a remarkably sharp subject set against a nicely blurred backdrop.

But sharpness is not even its big party trick. That’s colour correction. It has less LoCA and spherochromatism than any optic I’ve used. Those nice backgrounds seem to be full of light and space because they are so clean: the white highlights are, well, white, and it’s surprising what that can add to the image. Add to that lovely sunstars and excellent performance against the light.

It’s not even absurdly expensive. A definite pick!

Continue reading The Team’s favorite lenses – October 2017 Edition

Review: Zeiss Batis Distagon T* 25mm f2

Introduction

The Batis 25mm f2  was one of the original two Batis lenses Zeiss released; but it remains the only fixed 24mm class lens that is available in E mount. It’s not cheap, so how does it perform and is it worth the money? That’s what this review may help you decide.

Sample Images

Most of the images in this review can be seen in high resolution here

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Batis Distagon T* 25mm f2

Review: Zeiss Batis Apo Sonnar T* 135mm f2.8

Introduction

The blogosphere melted down with frustration when the 135mm Batis was announced. Too slow and too expensive was the common verdict. But it’s also much lighter than the fastest medium teles, and faster and more convenient than the smallest. So is this lens the ideal compromise, or is it stranded uselessly between the fastest and the smallest? That will depend on performance, and handling. This review looks at just those issues.


Sample Images

Images can be seen and downloaded in full resolution here.

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Batis Apo Sonnar T* 135mm f2.8

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: 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