I know, I know. I said I was happy with the Maxxum 50/1.7. But I’ve had a few people comment on that post on how the 50mm f/1.4 is a much sharper lens. The trouble is that a fast prime is often more expensive, but I got a good deal on this one, so who was I to say no? And you know, this lens lives up to everything that folks say about the glass. It’s a clean and professional with nothing overly special about it and delivers quality no matter what situation or aperture you throw its way, plus it behaves much better thanRead More →

We’re used to modern multi-element, multi-group lenses regarding optics. But it hasn’t always been that way; some of the earliest cameras used only a single element. But this often caused quality issues, so adding a second element limited the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. The earliest applications of these Achromat lenses were in telescopes that trace back to the 18th Century. But Charles Chevalier’s (a noted name in early photographic optics) creation of his Daguerrotype Achromat lens changed the face of photography in those pioneering days. While Chevalier’s lenses are still sought by modern wet and dry plate photographers for us who shoot film,Read More →

In the world of speciality lenses, there is nothing more specialized than perspective-control or tilt-shift lenses. The idea was to give 35mm photographers some movement control that large and medium format photographers used to adjust perspective. While the level of control could never be as discrete as with a large format camera, a perspective-control or PC lens provided some form of tilt and shift to grant a photographer a way to recompose an image without moving the camera body itself. Nikon’s original release in 1962 as part of the Nikon F system presented the world with the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5, a relatively simple lens withRead More →

Minolta certainly got right if there is one thing the number of sleeper lenses in their initial autofocus offerings. Mostly among these sleeper lenses are the zoom lenses, and one of the best is the 35-70mm f/4. Without breaking the bank, a lens with little fanfare or flare can certainly deliver quality images. This lens was my first experience with Maxxum glass, first on a Maxxum 5000 and then again on the 7000. And while this lens looks proper on those two cameras, it is dwarfed on the Maxxum 9, but it doesn’t matter as the image quality is superb. Lens Specifications Make: Minolta Model:Read More →

If there is one type of lens that many photographers look for in a good street photography camera or any compact camera body is a good pancake lens. And while Nikon is not known for producing many ‘pancake’ style lenses, they did have a couple of winners. One of these lenses is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, a real winner. In contrast, there have been many versions of this lens, including a long-nose version, the 50mm f/1.8 is a solid performer for the smaller form-factor camera bodies (think FM, FE) and while it may look like a Series E, it is all Nikkor. Lens Specifications Make:Read More →

When it comes to fast Nikon Zooms, the modern trinity is the 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G and 70-200/2.8G (although I’m sure these have all been updated to the new E-Type lenses by this posting). However, a pair of these lenses have older versions; while the focal lengths are different, the constant f/2.8 aperture is the same. Now in my own lens catalogue I have only a pair of the G-Type in the trinity, the 14-24 and 70-200, but the cost of the 24-70 plus the word being it doesn’t work too well with film (I’ll have to test that) kept me from purchasing the lens. But theRead More →

I’m a sucker for wide-angle lenses. And when it comes to it, sometimes the wider, the better, and while the 28mm is an excellent lens to work with, sometimes you want something that little bit extra. The trouble is that the wider and faster the lens is, the more expensive it is on the used market. And some lenses have a cult following around them, which drives up the price. So often have to compromise on focal length, speed, image quality, or cost. Well, I can certainly say that by going with some of the less expensive lenses in the Nikon manual focus catalogue, IRead More →

Throughout these reviews, I have shied away from third-party lens makers. But I have a long history with third-party lenses and often with good results. My favourite lenses are from my first SLR system, the Minolta SR-T 102, a Kiron 70-150mm f/4 lens and a Vivitar 75-210mm f/3.5. Although that Vivitar is different from today, the Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 in many ways. The biggest is the size and function; the Series 1 is a beast and a lens that surprised me that they even released the lens in an OM-Mount. Lens Specifications Make: Kiron Model: Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm 1:3.5 Macro Focusing Auto ZoomRead More →

When it comes to a 50mm lens, they are often overshadowed by faster fifties, the f/1.4 and f/1.2 and even crazier f/0.95. But sometimes, all you need is something at f/1.8, and the Olympus F.Zuiko, 50mm f/1.8, is a spectacular choice for your OM-System. While the lens has gone through several changes since its inception, this chrome nose version fits in nicely next to my 50mm f/1.4 chrome nose and is a tack sharp option for the more budget-minded Olympus user. Lens Specifications Make: Olympus Model: OM-System Auto-S F.Zuiko 1:1,8 f=50mm Focal Length: 50mm Focal Range: ∞ – 0.45m Aperture: f/1.8 – f/16, 6 BladesRead More →

When it comes to wide-angle lenses, you don’t always need the fastest lens in the bunch. While an f/2.8 28mm or 24mm is a nice addition to any kit, they often come with a steeper price tag. But what if you only needed something that would get you that 28mm and were not as concerned with speed and could get away with something not as fast but the same performance. Enter the lens that opened my eyes to the more bargain focused wide-angle lens, the Nikkor 28mm f/3.5. This lens actually helped me decide to add the Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 lens for my Olympus kit.Read More →