In-depth reviews by Gordon Laing and friends

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Lenses

Sigma 12-24mm f4 Art review

22 Mar 2017 Thomas

The new Sigma Art AF 12-24/4.0 DG HSM is a worthy successor to Sigma's AF 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 II DG HSM model from 2011. Optical performance is very good and other aspects of the lens are also improved: The focal ratio is now a constant f4.0, AF is faster, and you get compatibility with Sigma's USB dock to fine tune various characteristics of AF…

Tamron TC-X14 / TC-X20 teleconverter review

17 Mar 2017 Thomas

With their second generation telephoto zooms Tamron also offers two new 1.4x and 2x teleconverters (dubbed TC-X14 and TC-X20) which are specifically designed to work with the SP 70-200/2.8 VC G2 and the SP 150-600/5.0-6.3 VC G2. I had the chance to extensively test the Tamron SP 70-200/2.8 VC G2 (model A025) with the TC-X14 and TC-X20. They let this zoom-lens reach…

Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC G2 review

06 Mar 2017 Thomas

Tamron's SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 is a 2.9x telephoto full-frame zoom available in Canon and Nikon DSLR mounts. It's the second generation (A025) model with closer focusing, improved AF and stabilisation, and compatibility with Tamron's USB "TAP-in" console. In his review-in-progress, Thomas finds out if it's worth spending the extra.

Canon EF 11-24mm f4L USM review

20 Feb 2017 Gordon Laing

The Canon EF 11-24mm f4L USM is a high-end ultra-wide zoom lens designed for Canon's full-frame EOS DSLRs. It's the World's widest rectilinear zoom lens, boasting minimal geometric distortion despite the extreme coverage. Ideal for shooting large buildings inside and out, expansive landscapes or simply very large group shots, find out how it performs in my Canon 11-24mm review!

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM review

06 Feb 2017 Gordon Laing

Canon's EF 50mm f1.8 STM is a low-priced standard prime lens for the EOS range of DSLRs. It's the long-awaited replacement for the EF 50mm f1.8 II, Canon's most successful lens, yet one that's 24 years old. The latest version promises smoother out-of-focus effects and a closer focusing distance. Find out why it's a no-brainer in my Canon EF 50mm…

Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art review

17 Jan 2017 Thomas

The Sigma 85mm f1.5 Art is a short telephoto prime lens designed for full-frame bodies and available in Canon EF, Nikon and Sigma mounts. It's a highly anticipated update to the previous 85mm f1.4 from Sigma and anyone following the Art series won't be disappointed as Thomas declares it the best 85mm f1.4 with autofocus he's tested!

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8E VR review

27 Dec 2016 Thomas

The 70-200mm f2.8E is Nikon's latest version of the classic, bright, telephoto zoom. Nikon's done a complete optical redesign to improve performance. They've also made some external changes, swapping the focus and zoom rings and adding extra function buttons to the lens. Find out if it's worth the extra in our Nikon 70-200mm f2.8E review!

Tamron 150-600mm G2 review

03 Nov 2016 Thomas

The Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3Di VC USD G2 (A022) is a nice upgrade of Tamron's original 150-600/5-6.3 (A011) super-telephoto zoom. It has improved optics and weather sealing, effective image stabilization, and solid build. But its price tag puts it at the top of comparable 150-600mm zooms right there with the Sigma's 150-600mm "Sports" and even above Nikon's 200-500/5.6E VR. So the question…

Leica DG 100-400mm f4-6.3 review

26 Sep 2016 Gordon Laing

The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f4-6.3 is a super telephoto zoom for Micro Four Thirds. On an Olympus or Panasonic body, it delivers an equivalent range of 200-800mm: the longest reach of any native lens in the system, ideal for wildlife and sports. Find out if it's worth paying the premium over the 100-300mm in Gordon's review!

Nikon 105mm f1.4E review

14 Sep 2016 Thomas

The Nikon 105mm f1.4E ED is a unique lens. It is the only current f1.4 105mm lens for full-frame bodies and it delivers beautiful-looking images with very attractive Bokeh and very good contrast and sharpness across the full-frame sensor, even with the aperture opened to f1.4. This performance coupled with the build-quality of a professional Nikon lens and a…

Leica DG 12mm f1.4 review

05 Sep 2016 Gordon Laing

The Leica Summilux 12mm f1.4 is a wide-angle prime lens for the Micro Four Third system. Mounted on an Olympus or Panasonic body, it delivers 24mm equivalent coverage, while the f1.4 focal ratio is the brightest for this focal length in the MFT catalogue. Find out how it compares to other 12mm options in Gordon's review!

Samyang 135mm f2 review

08 Aug 2016 Thomas

The Samyang 135mm f2.0 ED UMC is a top-performing lens. It delivers beautiful-looking images with excellent contrast and sharpness on a high resolution full-frame camera, even with the aperture opened to f2.0. In addition it has the very low longitudinal CAs of an apochromatic lens and offers a beautiful background Bokeh. And this all at a low price of…

Zeiss Apo Sonnar 135mm f2 review

01 Aug 2016 Thomas

The Zeiss 135mm f2.0 Apo Sonnar is one of the best 135/2.0 lenses available. It delivers beautiful-looking images with crisp contrast and very fine resolution across the board, even with the aperture opened to f2.0. And this performance is coupled with a tank-like build-quality. But the price-tag of 1800 USD/EUR means that any negative aspects of this lens come under…

Tamron 85mm f1.8 VC review

20 Apr 2016 Thomas

The Tamron SP 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD is the first and only stabilized large aperture 85mm lens for owners of Canon or Nikon DSLRs. So this gives the lens a pretty unique position. With its f1.8 focal ratio plus image stabilization you can shoot static subjects for longer under challenging light conditions than with a non-stabilized f1.4 lens. My…

Tamron 90mm f2.8 VC II review

22 Mar 2016 Thomas

The Tamron SP 90mm f2.8 Di Macro VC ii (model F017) is the second iteration of an already well respected macro lens. So things could only get better compared to the original model F004, couldn't they? Yes, indeed: the new model F017 is the improved version of its older self. Although to be honest, the improvements over its predecessor…

Zeiss Otus 28mm f1.4 review

16 Feb 2016 Thomas

The Zeiss 28mm f1.4 Otus is a unique lens. It is the only current f1.4 28mm lens for full-frame bodies and it delivers beautiful-looking images and superb quality across the board, even with the aperture opened to f1.4. This performance coupled with the tank-like build-quality and new design support Zeiss' claim to have developed and manufactured the best wide-angle…

Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM sample images

12 Feb 2016 Gordon Laing

Sony's FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM is a new standard zoom lens for its full-frame mirrorless cameras. The wide to short telephoto range and bright f2.8 focal ratio make it ideal for portraits and wedding photography, along with general-purpose use. The FE 24-70mm f2.8 also becomes one of Sony's first G-Master, or GM, lenses, boasting the company's best optical quality to…

Sony FE 85mm f1.4 GM sample images

08 Feb 2016 Gordon Laing

Sony's FE 85mm f1.4 GM is a new prime lens for its mirrorless cameras. The short telephoto focal length and bright f1.4 focal ratio make it ideal for portraits and the de-clickable aperture ring also makes it great for video work. The FE 85mm f1.4 also becomes one of Sony's first G-Master, or GM, lenses, boasting the company's best optical…

Fujifilm XF 90mm f2 review

25 Jan 2016 Gordon Laing

The Fujifilm XF 90mm f2 is yet another superb quality lens for the X-system: a bright telephoto prime that delivered excellent results across the board in my tests. Most commonly the 135mm equivalent focal length will be used for portraiture, at which the XF 90mm excels, capturing crisp and fine details of the subject with lovingly-rendered blurred backgrounds and…

Sigma 24-35mm f2 Art review

18 Jan 2016 Thomas

The Sigma 24-35mm f2.0 DG HSM Art is a one-of-a-kind lens: It simply is the largest aperture full-frame zoom lens around and it also delivers very good image quality. As such the new zoom is a very compelling addition to Sigma's catalogue. Add Sigma's build-quality of the "Art" series and the option to swap the lens-mount should you change…

Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 review

11 Jan 2016 Gordon Laing

The Fujinon XF 35mm f2 is a compact prime lens with standard coverage that performs much better than you might expect. With its tapered design and f2 aperture, you might assume the XF 35mm f2 plays second fiddle to the more serious-looking XF 35mm f1.4 which helped launch the system almost four years earlier - a simpler option perhaps,…

Samyang 24mm f1.4 review

07 Jan 2016 Thomas

The Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED is a mixed bag: It can deliver resolution right up there with the best, it has little coma and low longitudinal CAs plus a smooth Bokeh - albeit with freckled specular highlights. But on the other side it offers no auto-focus and in all but the Nikon version it has no communication with the…

Nikon 24mm f1.4G review

29 Dec 2015 Thomas

The AF-S Nikkor 24mm f1.4G ED is the widest lens in Nikon's lineup of professional f1.4 primes. It is also its most expensive. For that price you get a lens that delivers good to very good sharpness, moderate distortions, and a good Bokeh - at least for a 24mm lens. For an optical design that dates from 2010 the lens…

Sigma 20mm f1.4 Art review

16 Dec 2015 Thomas

The Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG HSM Art is a one-of-a-kind lens: It simply is the widest full-frame f1.4 lens around and it also delivers very good image quality. As such the new Sigma is a very compelling addition to the catalogue of large aperture wide-angle lenses. Add Sigma's build-quality of the "Art" series and the option to swap the…

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