Reviewing Lenses isn’t really worth it

Excuse me for the usage of such a clickbait title. As you may have noticed, lately some big photography related websites went out of business. Others are so loaded with advertising these days, it is barely possible to spot the actual content anymore. Some also opted for membership programs like Patreon. We on the other hand always financed this blog exclusively through unobtrusive affiliate links. This is only possible because it is a passion project by people with actual jobs that just happen to love photography.

Don’t worry: we have no intention to add annoying adverts or introducing a membership/Patreon/Onlyfans system, as I have always been an advocate of free internet and freely accessible information. I also don’t want to push junk software with high margins that I would never want to use myself.

That being said there are many articles here that generate zero income: for example the Analogue Adventures and everything from the Technical Knowledge category, as these are not really about a product that could be bought by you. Same is also true for the reviews of simply bad lenses. Why would you buy them through affiliate links if I told you they suck?

Affiliate links also don’t work for everyone and every item. If you are not from Canada or the US, B&H is surely less attractive. Many people from Germany don’t like ordering directly from Asia because of import duties and some items may also not be available through our affiliate partners at all.

If you find yourself in one of these categories – or if you simply want to support us without using affiliate links – you can do that now by using this Paypal donate button under our articles:

via Paypal

The money you donate will go directly to the author of that article.

PS: In my case any money would be used to track down and review further exotic lenses that you cannot find really useful information on elsewhere (like e.g. the Zeiss Hologon 16mm 8.0 or the Olympus OM 180mm 2.0).

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My name is Bastian and I am your expert here when it comes to ultra wide angle lenses, super fast portrait lenses (ranging from a 50mm f/0.95 to a 200mm f/1.8) and I also have reviewed way too many 35mm lenses. Don't ask me anything about macro or wildlife shooting though.

11 thoughts on “Reviewing Lenses isn’t really worth it”

  1. Hi Bastian. You might want to consider a very low price subscription. I do this for Luminous Landscape, and have kept it going for several years despite there being not a lot of posts. Usually worth reading but often not as good as yours. I know this always seems a big step for many people but if it came to it I would happily subscribe. I also promise to send some PayPal next time I have some money on it. Keep up the good work

  2. Yeah I understand why you wouldn’t want a paywall, but a Patreon or whatever sub could just be a supplement (early access, random Discord perk, etc.) rather than something that blocks off information… This site is one of the few where I’d pony up for that, but otherwise I’ll send a few bucks via PayPal once a year and/or when I read a review of interest (as I have with Cameralabs in the past, idk how Gordon does it tbh).

  3. Thanks for providing this easy to use donate button! I’ve send some bucks and intend to do so again in the future.

  4. I have just donated with pleasure – I just hope this site will not die like DPreview for example. Modern world with its instagram and smartphone has pushed real photography into the tight corner, so I am really happy I can come back here and read the “nerdy reviews” ;-). Your in-depth articles, excellent sample pictures and fun-to-read texts have helped me get some really worthy gear and enjoy slow manual focusing. Keep on!

  5. Hi Bastian,

    I’m glad you will stand by the labour of love of reviewing manual focus lenses and sharing your adventures in photography. You have created a valuable resource for photographers, beginners and experienced, which is well worth returning to. I always learn and discover something new on each visit.

    Thinking about lens reviews that might provide some revenue and spur the interest of readers, I think Voigtlander’s SL lenses for Nikon F-mount are quite interesting. They are more affordable than Voigtlander’s E-mount lenses, equally well built and even more compact (https://www.cosina.co.jp/voigtlander/en/slr-mount/). The latest addition to the SL line-up, the Nokton 55mm f/1.2, is a very interesting proposition (https://www.cosina.co.jp/voigtlander/en/slr-mount/nokton-55mm-f1-2-sl-iis/).

    Another lens line-up I consider interesting and overlooked, are the discontinued Zeiss Classic ZF lenses (with aperture ring). Compared to their Milvus overhaul, which added a ton of lens elements for correction of chromatic aberrations, akward form factor–arguably to cater to videographers–, size, weight and disappointing rubberized focus rings–let alone prize–, they are a more compelling alternative for photographers. Some of them can of course be found in their previous Contax Yashica versions, but the Classics are arguably better built and feature newer coatings.

    Both lens line-ups mentioned are SLR lenses, so they don’t have the problem of M-mount lenses, which perform suboptimally on E-mount due to ray angle, without inelegant tweaks and hacks when wider than 50mm.

    I would also love your take on Asahi Super Takumar lenses and some interesting TOPCORs. I think there’s still a ton of great legacy MF glass out there just waiting to be discovered and revived.

    Keep up the generous and excellent work

    Rawiri

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback!

      I have already been thinking of reviewing the Cosina SL lenses.
      Problem is, that if I do, I will most likely end up buying an FM2 or FM3a to get along with them.
      For the time being I tried to avoid that because of financial reasons 🙂

  6. That was my first thought too, but I already have a Novoflex adapter for F-mount lenses to E-mount cameras for my Nikkor 105mm f/1.8 and 135mm f/2.8 Ai-s lenses. The adapter is rather long, but quickly forgotten as you get used to it. It’s not longet than the Novoflex C/Y adapter for E-mount.

  7. With your help, I bought my first f1.2 vintage lens and I love it. You’re all the best at what you do. I find deep joy in reading your work, and you’ve made me awe photography from new, beautiful perspective. I donated a bit to say thanks, I hope you’re all able to continue doing this ❤️

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