Dear readers, I would like to increase the range of this blog and I am currently thinking what would be the best way to do it.

Most of the interaction with you happens through the comment section here or through our Facebook account and I am getting the feeling this is not enough, especially considering you cannot get this high quality, in-depth reviews anywhere else with so little and unobstrusive advertising on the pages.

We do have an Instagram blog account, but honestly I hate the instagram workflow. Posting via phone sucks, the desktop apps suck even more and you cannot properly paste links leading to the reviews, because Instagram wants to keep you in their system at all cost.

Is Instagram the way to go nevertheless?
Is Twitter still a thing?
Youtube videos that go along with the reviews?
A whatsapp group?
Anything else that comes to mind I didn’t think of yet?

It would be greatly appreciated if you could tell us in the comment section what would be your preferred way to communicate with us and where you would like to be informed about new posts first.

Thanks in advance, Bastian

I am amazed by the sheer amount of feedback from you guys! I may not reply to every comment but be assured I read all of them. So I will comment on some of the more common discussion points in summary here.

2nd Update:
I set up a Discord server, so you are invited to try it out with me and see if it is an useful addition.

It is now obvious that there is not one clear answer to my questions. Some people were concerned that things will change dramatically, but this is not my intention. For lens reviews I still consider an actual webpage the best solution. I hate it myself to try and gather information from video reviews, it is such a time consuming and annoying process.

The Discord option sounds interesting to me. It is not as shady as Telegram, not a part of meta and might even appeal to a younger audience. It would allow me to share bits of content with you whenever I like without getting screwed over by some questionable algorithm, which is definitely something I am interested in.

Youtube is also something I will look into further, but I need to come up with a suitable and at the same time sustainable concept first (I am saying that for years now, I know…).
I have zero interest in investing hours and hours in cutting videos and such, so only onetakes are an option for me. I am currently thinking of using OBS to create the videos, as I already know a little about its functionality and it might actually work for me.

Many people said the Comment section here does not have as much functionality as they would like. I generally agree with that. It might be possible to open up the option for you to register yourself here, in that case you would get notifications and would be able to edit your comments. For the regular readers this might be a useful addition, I will discuss with Phillip if this is possible to implement.

Guest posts/reviews come with a lot of legal and some moral issues. There is no way for me to prove the pictures in those posts are actually yours. Or if the people in the pictures are okay with having their pictures here. There is also no way for me to find out if you have been paid by someone to write that post.
That being said: if you have a great idea for a guest post or you even want to join the team (it means quite a bit of work with most of the time little reward) just contact me.
Be aware though the last times I tried to extend the team didn’t go too well, so I would be asking for a review written by yourself first (.doc/x, .pdf or other website/blog).

Forums. I am already active at Fred Miranda as well as the german DSLR-Forum and even the Leica Forum. I am not really interested in creating or trying to maintain a competitor to those.
I was shortly thinking of doing a cooperation with Fred Miranda to maybe have a dedicated section there, but it would create problems of overlap and I think the “FMers” are already readers here anyway. Welcome guys! 🙂
Admittedly: I have mostly given up on promoting my reviews on those platforms though. Promoting my own reviews like that always feels a bit like begging for attention and I don’t like that. I am really bad at self-marketing.

PS: I was never really interested in reviewing the mainstream lenses and was very happy the others took care of that, unfortunately they are mostly busy with other endeavours (work/family) these days.

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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.

82 thoughts on “Survey”

  1. Call me old-school, but I don’t like Facebook Groups at all and I hate Instagram. I actually prefer good old blogpost and comments. I do use and like Youtube and for a chat-group Telegram is not that bad.

  2. I prefer the comment section here, since this is were the reviews are. Additionally I would not mind using Twitter or Mastodon for basic interaction and the occasional picture post.

    Facebook is sucks since it always shows your posts late (I hate this “functionality”, just give me a chronological timeline without any filtering) and I Motive this days Lage.
    WhatsApp has Communities now, but I do not know if this is the way to go.
    Since I have no Instagram Account, I am against this option 😉

    (But I am more of a silent reader and comment only occasionally)

  3. Hello!

    I’d suggest using a WhatsApp or Discord server if you want to stay in touch with the audience. Discord offers more capabilities like different text channels, roles etc.

    To improve the discussion on the website itself I’d go with Disqus. What about creating a Flickr community as well?

    Just don’t go the Instagram and Twitter route.

    1. I second (some of) these suggestions. FB is a corpse, and functionally poor. Instagram is a horror show. Twitter is a different kind of horror show. Discord is a reasonable option. I don’t use it, but I considered it. It is a reasonable bet, however. Mastadon is a real pain in the butt to use, but may have a future. It needs some leadership in photography. Flickr is an odd beast; not sure it would be a good use of time there, or perhaps it would be fine. It doesn’t seem to have a strong set of conversations going on. If you can find them…

  4. Hello Bastian, of the suggestions you give I would only favor youtube videos. Not a user of any of the social media platforms. But the comments section here is fine as well!

  5. I also detest Instagram; it seems the worst possible platform for photography but it undeniably reaches a lot of people and is widely used by photographers to promote their work. It wouldn’t hurt to try it if you want to build awareness and readership.

    An RSS feed might be useful for the few people who still use newsreaders.

    You could also ask for volunteer ambassadors to link to the site on photography groups on Facebook, other blog comments, etc.

  6. Oh, and two other notes on Instagram: they added the ability to post photos from a computer a couple of years ago, so you no longer need to post from a phone, and the desktop app becomes more usable if you increase magnification to 150 or 200 percent so you don’t have to squint to see the photos.

    I still don’t like it but it’s less awful.

  7. I think Instagram is a bad platform for this for the reasons you outlined. Facebook is dead for anyone below 40y, Telegram / whatsapp groups are not as easily accessible (and almost a bit shady tbh), discord is a mystery to anyone over 30y…

    Twitter or Youtube could work well although I’m not sure how much traffic the latter actually brings to this site or whether it would just be a secondary platform (and lots of additional effort). Also not sure how much genuine interaction you get on social media at all tbh.

    Maybe a collaboration with some other photography-focused website could also increase traffic and thus interactions/comments? E.g. guest-posting some of your guides on dpreview and the like (they already have a collaboration with 35mmc for film posts for example)

  8. I subscribe to the blog through my feed reader. I am completely off social media after having been a huge user of it personally and professionally for a long time. I am a lot happier now; I have concluded as a result that all social media is toxic and harmful. If I can’t get it through RSS feeds or email, I don’t want it. The one exception is I’ll watch YouTube videos, but I will not use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc at all. My suggestion would be to use one of the available RSS-to-email services such as those offered by Mailchimp, for people who don’t use RSS feed readers.

    1. I forgot to mention, Whatsapp / Telegram / Slack etc are also right out for me. I do not want to use or belong to any private/proprietary messaging apps. Just email 🙂

  9. I think finding some way to enhance the comment section to keep the discussions alive there longer and to make it possible to get notifications when somebody replies etc. might be the best way. Otherwise it’s going to be difficult to find a separate app that a lot of readers are going to be willing to use for interactions. Personally I use Twitter (it’s very popular in Japan also among photographers here, but I think it’s not universally suitable) and YouTube (only as a viewer) but none of the others really and there are lot of regional differences on the usage overall.

      1. Discord is definitely the best way to create a live community with high engagement. I think it would be excellent with such a high quality group of contributors and commentators as you have attracted to !

    1. Yep: the lack of comment notifications kills pretty much all possible comment discussions here.

      For a more interactive community Discord suggestion is.. fine, I guess. Be aware that Discord will twist your arm backwards at some point for you to part with your phone number.
      I prefer Element/Matrix these days.

      FB and Insta in my experience are the last places for productive discussions to occur on regular basis.

  10. Dear Bastian,
    I have subscribed your blog in my feedreader (both PC and Smartphone), and I am happy with it.
    I never was really active on Facebook, and I also dislike the Idea of being monetization fodder on Instagram (still have an account there). Same for Twitter, I abandoned my Twitter account due to the changes on the top … not sure how long this will last.
    I started looking into fediverse: It’s a deliberate choice to go on the fediverse, even if traffic might be low and there’s no Ai based content feed.
    But it’s a platform that still seems out of reach from monetization yearnings. And consider photo platforms like pixelfed. Pixelfed allows you to crosspost into your mastodon accounts but I didn’t subscribe to it yet

  11. I think enhancing the comment section (as Juha Kannisto suggested) in one way or the other would be the best option. I don’t use any of the SoMe apps except Facebook (and yes, I am no youngster).

    Regarding YouTube videos, I do see some, but only if there is no other option. I greatly prefer written reviews to videos for several reasons, including the time factor and image quality (for stills).

    In short, you won’t reach me better in any way than this site and Facebook, except perhaps if the comments section had more features like getting notification when someone responds to a comment.

  12. I like the comment section here but could imagine a telegram or signal group could enlarge the possibilities to comunicate (would prefer signal because of transperency reasons). I dort think this blog needs a Youtube channel.

  13. – Is Instagram the way to go nevertheless?
    – Not interesting for me, this site covers 99.99% of all my needs.

    – Is Twitter still a thing?
    – Never used Twitter.

    – Youtube videos that go along with the reviews?
    – Might be an option (as an addition to the article), at least you should try.

    – A whatsapp group?
    – Not using whatsapp.

    – Telegram?
    – Might be a good option, it’s pretty popular right now.

    – Anything else that comes to mind I didn’t think of yet?
    – For me, this site and your reviews are already perfect (this literally the only resource I’m reading about photography stuff). But I would really like to see more Leica M mount lens reviews and maybe even camera reviews.

    Thanks, Bastian and the whole team!

  14. After reading more comments, I have to agree that upgrading the comment section would be great. (accounts,notifications, edit function – my last post got butchered by autocorrect).

    I am using a RSS reader to get the updates. But I always check the blog to see the comment section.

  15. Hey there!

    i still believe blogposts are the best format for lens reviews.

    The importance of comment sections is often underrated. It’s a gold mine of invaluable user feedbacks and trivial facts shared by the writers, which otherwise aren’t suited for a formal review.

    Furthermore, you don’t always get searchable comments with social media platforms. And they are not indexed by search engines at all. With a blogpost however, i can just press ctrl+F and search for the keyword that i’m interested in or even google it, e.g. bokeh or field curvature.

    Regarding Youtube, i think it’s a great place for lens talks. I was fascinated by every episode. I hope this series can be revived in form of youtube videos. For example when you are talking about bokeh of a particular lens, you can show us on screen the test images from your reviews.

    Most camera gear/photography Youtubers are too superficial imo. I believe it would be a great success for you guys on YT.

    I can’t thank you enough for all the extraordinary knowledge shared on this site. If i haven’t stubbed upon your review i wouldn’t have known the VM 35 1.7. It’s fantastic.
    I’ve made most of my purchase decisions based on your reviews and they are all spot on.

    Take care and Happy New Year!

    Grüße aus NRW

  16. Using various services seems like a bad idea as one way or another you have to both rely on them and make sure your audience follows you there. As much as I like your blog, I would not sign up for Facebook to continue reading.
    Also, technically speaking, a regular website has its advantages and is much more flexible in terms of content display. Sacrificing that for the social conveniences of some of the existing services might tilt things in the wrong direction.

    I think it is better to stick with the website and improve on it. If there are no good options for improving the comment section, maybe adding a forum would do the trick.

    Or, use the social services and centralize them here.

    Personally, I am fine with RSS and the occasional comment here.

  17. I think this blog has rightly been well known for many years. I don’t know what could make him more famous, but apart from flickr I don’t use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, or WhatsApp. I also don’t waste my lifetime with Youtube, but I look here very often and always find interesting contributions.

    As far as I’m concerned, everything can stay as it is.

  18. How about something like the status quo but add the ability for users to start threads and the ability of people to post their own photos / reviews of lenses. These threads would ideally not be in the same section as the official reviews. Perhaps a new website with a different name 🙂 and when people go to it would direct them to the new site.

    1. Perhaps we would make accounts for the new site. It would also be neat for people to post their content because other platforms (Instagram especially) of sharing photos have gone to crap.

  19. Hello Bastian.

    I don’t know how difficult it is to implement in the website, but wouldn’t a good old forum on the website itself the best way to engage a little bit more with the community ?

    If every review and the messages following it could find a way to be implemented into a section of the forum as well, that could be great and it would be easier to read and find informations.


  20. A lot has been said against being ‘monetization fodder’ on Fa*ebook, Insta and the like, and I am in the same camp – even left twitter since that guy took over. Youtube is a mixed bag for me, as I rarely found content presented in such a concise way as here in the blog posts.

    The content provided here has been very valuable for me, and my thanks go to all the authors.
    Enhancing the site in my eyes could take place in a direction we see in – of course it needs wise decisions not trying to become a mere clone.

  21. I’m one of those people who strongly dislike Instagram and so I’ve abandoned it years ago. Facebook I dislike as well, but I do have some “non-personal” account that only serves me to follow photography-related groups, local ads etc. I’ve never used Twitter in my life.

    But if we neglect what I like/dislike and (don’t) use, I suppose all this social media can generate more traffic towards the blog, and it gives people chance to share posts, invite others, like posts (so others see them) and so on. I’d definitely enjoy your YT content, but I doubt that’s what you truly want to do. It takes much time to create content and posting it regularly is a must for the channel to make sense…

    I agree with what someone already said, it would be nice to have some sort of a forum (in whichever shape or form) where readers could communicate, share tips, ask questions, show their own samples with lenses, write their own reviews etc. There are such places already, but you could grow a little community of your own. There we could build a lens database perhaps, rate the lenses, add info…

    I’d also like an option to be updated about new posts (via email or WhatsApp you mentioned, etc.). I do check the blog daily, but it couldn’t hurt.

    In truth, I’m perfectly happy with the way things are. I feel nostalgic about vintage lens reviews (since 90% of my lenses are “vintage”), but things change…

  22. I would like YouTube for a summary. I still can’t believe you aren’t on Instagram. There is a huge community there and I met so many people on IG. Of course moving the site to IG makes no sense. But you could easily use it to promote new reviews. You can already post from desktop and everyone can share links in stories. It would be just a great traffic source. For discussions discord seems like the way to go.
    I’m also baffled people are still active on Facebook. Depending on country twitter would also make sense. The content should always stay here though. All the social media networks are just for bringing traffic here.

    Love your site, but I’m also a bit sad that vintage lenses aren’t the main topic anymore. That’s what got me here.

  23. I access the site through RSS and the feed always works well. RSS remains the single best method of learning about and accessing content available today.

    Facebook is dead. Instagram is a mess. Discord makes instagram look neat and tidy; I can’t understand why anyone uses it for anything. WhatsApp blah. Telegram groups can be useful but if they gain any size then I find them too overwhelming to follow effectively because it’s all just blurted in the same spot. YouTube is still a unique and quality platform that I access daily. YouTube also makes sense for a photography site. Anything in the Fediverse is still very niche though if you found the best photography instance it might gain some traction for you.

    I see a lot of comments here about “enhancing” the comments section, but nobody has yet used the word “forum.” What about a forum? You have to somehow convince people to sign up, but if you can get that then it’s the best way to generate discussion and showcase photos.

  24. Personally I have a strong preference for text content (like blog posts) over video. I use RSS to learn about new posts here. I always click through to read the articles on itself—that way I can be sure that the layout is exactly as the author intended. I really hope you will keep the RSS feed running!

    As far as social interaction goes, I’m not interested in using any closed platform like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, or Telegram. I think the comments here tend to be very good already, and maybe some improvements to the commenting system would be helpful? (I don’t usually comment, so I don’t have any specific suggestions!)

    I would be interested in chatting with other readers on fediverse services like Mastodon or Pixelfed. It’s possible to fetch posts from Mastodon and display them on the blog, as if they were blog comments, but I think this requires quite a bit of custom programming and is not something you can get “off the shelf” yet.

  25. I may be quite old-fashinoned, but for me none of the so-called social media would be particularly helpful in this case. (Nor are they in many other cases. The social media do not want to help people, they only want to make money with their data.)

    This is one of the things I love most about your website: It is a real website, no vlogger influencer click-bait nonsense, you do not beg me for likes etc., you really have to offer content, real content. That’s great and getting more and more rare today.

    So IMHO Insta, Facebook and Twitter would not be helpful. Maybe YouTube videos, yes, but personally I prefer your text reviews to any YouTuber video reviews – text and sample photos are much more exact and helpful than all these bla bla bla reviews showing some guy holding a camera or lens.

    So from all mentioned things either Discord or some old-fashioned forum would IMHO be the most useful solution. Or just keep the comments section.

  26. Honestly I have zero interest for these ‘social’ forms of communication. It ends up always to be fragmented, incomplete, immediate but not deep, often irritating and generally useless.
    Have you noticed that whatever of significance happens say now on Instagram or Twitter, will appear no later than a day later – if significant – on a good web site.
    And I do not need to spend my time to throw away or filter the abundant junk (and this is an understatement) that was published on the social media in the meantime.

    Anything else that comes to mind I didn’t think of yet?
    – Yes, it seems that lately you have developed a knack for the testing of obscure and – sorry, honestly – not very impressive lenses. Yes, those are bizarre and maybe even exotic (but, mind you, exotic doesn’t mean sexy, of high quality or even useful!) I fail to see why you seem to have a recent allergy for testing modern, well built and good quality lenses? Is there anything so glamorous going around with an obscure, manual, not very sharp lens that I miss with taking my pictures?
    Don’t get me wrong, very often I like your articles and reviews and I find them informative, but why should I buy an obscure, generally low quality, never heard-before lens for getting result no better than what I can get with my bottom-of-the-drawer, almost-forgotten Nikon (or whatever) lens and an adapter for my Sony camera?
    Best wishes!

    1. As already said here there is little reason for me to review lenses where already 20 reviews have been published before the lens has even been released.
      Apparently it is also already obvious these are “well built and good quality” lenses, so what does anyone need my reviews for here?

      1. Aha, perhaps this is where your self-criticisms is too severe. I do indeed like to read good and independent reviews and I still think this blog is among the very best. Yes, there are many (perhaps 20, as you say) reviews of popular lenses around, but many are manufacturer paid, others (no names here) are apparently in bed with just one manufacturer or brand and a large number are frankly not very objective or too qualitative (i.e. little support of serious measurements or numbers). So, I believe your blog could add useful and well respected information and I would prefer to read a review from your blog after you have done some serious comparison rather than accepting blindly the judgement of the site that has published pre-distribution data (most likely out of the manufacturer flyer).

  27. My answer is not very useful either. I use a RSS reader for new posts. I don’t use social media.

    If you want to be in social media, TikTok seems to be the place.

  28. I would be very excited about a forum added to the website – but this may have the function of deepening the engagement of those like me who are already fans, rather than casting a wider net to bring in new people.

    That said, if your forum develops into a deep repository of the collected knowledge of people who like to analyze lenses as you do, that itself would boost SEO. That’s how I found the site — just looking for info on my Minolta MD 50mm f1.7. Add a forum, and I’ll pay it back by detailing the specific performance of a 40mm f1.9 pulled from a broken Canon AF35ML adapted to a Sony A7. Maybe someone is searching for that.

    I also kind of like Discord even though it feels like it isn’t quite intended for this elder millennial.

  29. A site like this now would always be the best. Maybe a little better organized with comment sections and a little fresher look.

    From all other options I would say telegram is the best.

  30. These are difficult questions. I, personally, use very few services, and have serious issues with almost everything I try.

    For what you do, something like Substack (which I use), Medium, or one of the other up and coming similar offerings, might be a good use of your time. You inherit a decent comments functionality on some of those, at least some. 😉

    Private services like Slack are also a possibility. I don’t know how well Slack behaves with a high number of users, but I used it at work and found it fluid and useful. I would like to use it now that I’m retired, but would have the same issue I have with my Substack: driving people to read it. I don’t have much skill or inclination to do that. It feels awkward to me, too.

    What you have works pretty well. If what you need is more engagement, then I think you are stuck with having to fit one or the other social platforms, and from what I’ve observed, there’s nothing that fits a photography blog better than a blog, at least for the time being. I may not be good at it myself, but it seems to me that you are best off with a strong, functional core and work elsewhere to get engagement by feeding whatever fits that ‘elsewhere’ in particular. Many social tools just won’t be suitable for photography, it seems to me; I’ve been thinking about that very topic.

    I don’t use the comments section of your pages very much because of the lack of better editing tools, notifications, etc. I suspect that using one or another of the social content platforms (Substack et al) and driving traffic to that on other platforms is your most efficient option. Things like Zendesk and Slack have their place, but are usually a better fit for a service provider rather than a blog (they are strongly oriented to tech support, that is).

  31. Maybe a forum a la EOSHD or Gafpa Gear? Might take a while to build up community, however.
    Just wanted to also add that I have become absolutely addicted to the lens reviews of this site. Not many outlets still focus on manual focus lenses with the level head that this one does.

  32. I agree with most the comments that FB and IG is a date and take more time and energy then the return you get. I think Telegram could be a boost for you and is on a grouch path. YouTube right now seems to still have a good reach to various uses and would move your site up on the search page but you need to map out how much content to create and when would you post it. Some on YT do a post every few weeks and other very few days. That is a lot of effort unless you have staff to help with creating content and up load the post. Another thought would be to send emails to various sites that have large following like Sonyalphareviews about a new post of yours they may want to repost or link to. This should help bring traffic to you and expand your following without creating tons of effort. I do think some “how to” videos you could post to both YT and Telegrame would be good maybe every 2 weeks

  33. I vote for Youtube videos. Would be cool to hear your perspective that way.

    I love your lens reviews but what I’m hungry for now is more perspective pieces like your manual photographers series. Maybe you could also do annotated galleries which focus more on the artistic elements of each photo and how they were conceived or achieved.

  34. Maybe you could consider YouTube. Some ads could compensate for your efforts (and give you the budget/excuse to acquire more gear)

  35. Your reviews, just as they are, are the best.
    If you wish to review an item or explain a topic verbally, I suggest YouTube.
    Please keep up your wonderful work, which is much appreciated!

  36. I am not overly fond of any of the sites Bastian is considering. The website, is excellent in itself; just add another section to the sections list at the top of the website.

  37. I’d like to see your photos on IG, it’s a easy platform to grow. I was getting 1-2 follower per day just posting 2-3 photos per day, and I am nobody😅. More with film photography, but also digital, just pay attention to caption and hashtags. I don’t understand the difficulty with posting on that, just airdrop your picture to your phone and put them on IG. Don’t need to put links in the caption, just link this website in bio and it’s more then enough.
    I’d love to see YouTube content as well, maybe once a week a walk around shooting different lenses. Something like Eduardo Pavez Goye or Thomas Heaton or Robbie Maynard or Nick Carver or Willem Werbeek, just to say my favorites😬
    My two cents

  38. Disqus for comments, or keep as is.
    Please, not Instagram/Facebook or other social media.
    Much prefer to read rather than watch videos, and this is one of the main reasons I appreciate your site so much.
    More ads with relevant content that help to support the site could be a good trade-off.

  39. Stick with a well written blog post on a website like it is now, and if you want to increase a little revenue for yourself – do some good edited YouTube video reviews. That’s it. Youi do a really good job.

  40. I’d second some of the suggestions to keep it simple: it takes time and effort to properly maintain each of the publishing platforms and I’d say that it’s better to have one great blog than many semi-functional SM mirrors. Maybe a telegram channel mostly serving to give links to original blog posts + open comments could be an easy yet useful addition (many people nowadays don’t know what RSS is and use telegram instead). If you really want to change things globally, then video/youtube are definitively the way to go, but please don’t do it half-hearted!

  41. The problem is that you are asking the people who already are engaged (mostly via old-tech feed readers, it seems), when you actually need to know about those not yet engaged. I’m staying with me feed aggregator, but I think there are people out there who don’t know what that is and don’t want to. So here are a few thoughts about reader engagement, even if that wasn’t your actual question:

    The nature of your content limits the size of your readership. I.e., even if discoverability is perfect, you will have to change your content to engage more readers at some point.
    Having lots of readers requires popular content. If you write about a subject only N people care about, it will be impossible to truly engage more than N. E.g., reviewing MS Optics lenses will not get you more readers unless the lenses trend on TikTok (then your servers will go down).
    There’s also the fact that bad news about equipment is not popular. You’re reviewing a lot of primarily bad lenses. Plus, many of the lenses you review perform better on cameras your readers don’t own (Leica M or Kolari UT mod) than on those they do own. Some people might not want to know.
    Both the “exotic lens” reviews and the direct Sony to Leica-M comparisons are cases of unique and valuable content that will still not engage more readers. A problem.
    The “fan” problem is similar. Debunking myths about wildly popular lenses (e.g., Tomioka 1.4/55) is IMO good content, but the people who only wanted their opinion confirmed are not going to stay.

    My layman’s recommendations:
    – Throw in a current mainstream lens once in a while to engage people not (yet) interested in adapted or exotic lenses.
    – Popular lenses might also work (e.g., Canon FD 1.4/24 or the old Noct Nikkor).
    – Youtube seems a must. You need a way for people not using feed readers to follow you.
    – Get other sites to link to your content. E.g., if you’re one of the first to review a new Laowa lens, to use a concrete example, I would expect to read about that on the usual rumors and news sites of all the supported mounts. I never see anyone linking to your reviews.
    – Have a presence at the competition, e.g., follow the adapted lens forum on dpreview (just to use one example) and comment there if you have content about a lens under discussion. Better yet, be on the brand forums, and comment there whenever you publish content for a lens available in that mount.
    – Enhance your content for new readers. Refresh your introductory articles and always link to them from reviews. Make the experience more positive – people come here to read about a lens they are considering buying, so if you can’t recommend the lens (and you review a lot of lenses you can’t recommend in good faith), point out the alternatives. I know you already do that: you have a full section in each review dedicated to it. But I think the order is wrong – shouldn’t alternatives come after the conclusion, especially if it turned out not to be so good? Especially if people with little time or inclination to read a long review jump directly to the conclusion, they’re going to miss the alternatives section and leave disappointed.
    – Have the same navigation in each article. The articles are long and exhaustive, which is a good thing, but readers must be able to jump to the sections they are interested in. In articles without navigation, impatient readers might leave because they tire of finding the relevant-for-them bits by scrolling.
    – If you’re serious about this, engage a business consultant and marketing firm – a real one, not a single-person SEO shack.

  42. I’d second many of my predecessors. First of all, thank you, your Website is wonderful and I like, no, love it as it is! Unobstrusive, clean, timeless and with excellent content, un-biased reviews and outstanding photos. Reliable in every way. Thank you!

    What for do you want to increase the reach?

    You are already at instagram, facebook and flickr. Maybe youtube would be a good medium, but to keep the high standards of this blog on youtube this would be very time-consuming I guess.

    If it is about money, what I can perfectly understand, maybe it is useful to keep all affiliated links up to date at all times. Because also older blogposts are still being read and sometimes alternatives etc. are not linked.

    You could also ask on a prominent place but in a trustworthy way for a donation. I guess, that some of the elder and not-social-media-keen readers here would do that. I would do that because I really love that this place has no ads and no trackers etc.

    Maybe it is also the “MANUAL” in the name, that keeps some readers away, but on the other hand, maybe the potential of readers is just tapped?

    I don’t think that more discussion with more people is always good. I like the comments here and like that they are searchable. Many other comment sections on the web, also on photo sites are just hate and misbehave.
    I got here from sonayalpharumors years ago but it would be useful if your blog appears more often on such websites.

    Maybe you could also ask the readers for lenses they may lend you to review.
    And maybe the other authors could also contribute more again and spread through their social media, but as a young father I know how it is.

  43. This site is excellent and the only reason I’ve interacted only a few times is because information usually are clear enough so I don’t have questions. In general I hate social platforms and think that every site should manage its own feedback, so comments as a way to interact are perfectly fine to me.

  44. I’ve been a regular visitor of this website for many years and it still is my goto source for ubiased reviews. Although we dont see many 1st/3rd party lens reviews anymore and it has somewhat shifted towards rangefinder/MF-lens, i still do greatly admire your work @BastianK and feel very inspired by the photography shared here.
    I think many here have actually two hobbies, one is gear the other is photography, and while i like diving into the technical details of lens design here, i do kind of miss more insights into the photography workflow (i know the existing past articles).
    So what i would love to see more is:
    – more content on Instagram, not because its great for photography, but because its a good way to stay in touch with news about lens reviews/announcements, also i think its the best and easiest way for you to achieve more reach.
    – YT videos would be great, why not do a livestream/onetake of your review-findings (maybe in a powerpoint presentation) where you can explain some of the technical aspects and show the lens charateristics in images to us on your screen.
    – YT videos about the photographic process, maybe you return from a trip and youve collected images, just make a video sharing your experience there with the lenses you’ve used and why you brought them. I would love to see that, since i find it very relatable.
    – i did like the lens talks podcasts but i think its lacking the visual aspect that is so present with the subject. Maybe just make the same thing but make it a teams meeting where you show off photos and discuss them. That would be lovely.

    1. oh yeah and Jannik Peters is quite active on Insta and i do enjoy looking at his his work there. Maybe we can get him to make a video about his experiences getting into wildlife photography. That would be great.

  45. There’s a social network plugin for WordPress, installs with a click… (and then needs maintenance…) Might be an option.

  46. I’m also on the Discord bandwagon on this one. Really flexible and powerful platform.
    although it is banned in china, but sadly nearly all of the viable options are. People find a way to reach it if they want.
    Also chinese internet bans are not extended to hong kong.

  47. Might be late to add my input on this post, but I prefer reading on here since all posts are consolidated in one site. Creating a community on discord would allow users to share their thoughts on lenses and gear, as well as share works of their own. I think YouTube videos would be great as well to see all of your creative processes and testing procedures. Obviously, you all have personal lives so it would really suck the time away from you, but I’m sure most of the readers will enjoy that.

  48. For information about new posts I would recommend a newsletter. Many others do exactly that and it works very well. Maybe old-fashioned, but I like newsletters.
    Additionally or as an alternative I would find Mastodon great. Without advertising, without algorithm and without “recommendations”.
    Discord is well suited for discussion.
    I don’t like Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp and Telegram.
    Youtube videos would be nice, of course, but that would be a lot of effort.
    The easiest, fastest to implement, free and effective option is

    Translated with (free version)

  49. For me all those social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok are just about the present time – now. It is tedious to lookup a history of posts/news with comments. Also those platforms often lack any categorization.

    For me a message board/forum feels way better. It has a clear structure of topics and sub-topics of posts with a functional search mode.

    For instance, brings a very modern and sleek user experience.

  50. As a long time reader and lurker, I say please keep going just like you’ve done. This place is an oasis among all the gear-oriented web sites, blogs and discussion forums. Compared to the other places, it’s always a relief to come here.

    Recently, I’ve bought the Cobalt profile pack because of a review on this site. Don’t underestimate what you do – I’m sure I’m not the only one who looks to this site for practical advice.

  51. Lieber Bastian!
    This is THE blog I read for quality reviews.
    The fact that you like wide angle lenses, and have the same appreciation for the Laowa 9mm as I do, is a pure coincidence.…
    I follow the posts via netvibes and the RSS links produced each time a new post is available.
    I am no fan of any other way as I do not wish to subscribe to “social” networks.
    Thank you again for the wonderful work produced, it is irreplaceable.
    Now for the important part of this message, alles Gute zum Neuen Jahr !!
    All the best

  52. Dear All,
    I prefer my computer over the phone and do not use Instagram, Facebook, etc; Telegram is the exception, as I can use the computer just as well.
    I suggest more guest blogs.
    Baba (bye in Viennese dialect)

  53. 40 year old Discord user and avid reader of the site, I know the platform skews younger but it’s really powerful and flexible. I’d been busy since the start of the year and hadn’t noticed this but I’ll throw you guys a server boost soon as I join.

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