Holiday Gift Guide – The best and strangest new lenses of 2022

Dec 13, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Dec 13, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s December again, which means lots of us are sitting there wondering what to buy for ourselves or the photographer in our lives this holiday season. We’ve been saving up all year to get that something special, but we don’t want to deal with in-store queues – or maybe we’ve just slacked on our Christmas shopping this year. We want to stay at home where it’s nice and warm and see what we can find online that gets delivered straight to our door!

So, this means it’s time for the 2022 DIYP Holiday Gift Guides. It’s Day 2 today, so that means lenses. These are some of our favourite lenses that have been released over the last year. Keep visiting back this week as we release our other guides, including cameras, lighting, tripods, sliders & gimbals, and accessories and gadgets.

Note: It’s worth pointing out that the prices shown here are the MSRP prices. Some of these items are currently on sale and will be priced differently at different retailers throughout December, so be sure to check all links for the best price!

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens (Amazon / B&H) – $549

One of the biggest pieces of lens news over the last couple of years is Fuji finally opening up its lens mount to third parties. This means that Sigma has jumped on the chance to expand their DC DN APS-C mirrorless lenses to include this mount. The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN was released last year, but the Fuji version was announced just last month. It joins Sigma’s 16mm, 30mm and 56mm f/1.4 primes in the DC DN Contemporary Lineup – which are also available for Sony E and Leica L.

Sony FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 “Hybrid” lens – (Amazon / B&H) – $1,198

Sony released this lens back in March as a “Hybrid” lens, offering some great capabilities for both stills and video shooters. The “PZ” part of its name means that it’s a “Power Zoom” lens, allowing you to zoom the lens from one end of its range to the other without having to twist the ring and your focus doesn’t shift as it’s doing so. This opens up a lot of filming possibilities, especially for remote filming with electronic control.

7Artisans Photoelectric 4mm f/2.8 Circular Fisheye (B&H) – $149

This APS-C lens is available for use with Canon EF-M, Fuji X, Sony E and Micro Four Thirds, offering a massive 225° angle of view. This means it can pretty much see behind itself. A pair of these on identical cameras would allow you to produce some great 180° VR footage or even 360° footage with two cameras back-to-back. Its low 210g weight also means that it’s ideally suited to being used on drones, too.

Canon 1200mm f/8L IS RF – (B&H) – $19,999

Canon busted out the big guns this year with a new 1200mm monster of a lens. The Canon RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM is a super-telephoto lens with extreme reach. It was released along with the Canon RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM, which costs a slightly more amenable $16,999. Still outside the budgets of many, but if you’re a sports or wildlife photographer that needs this sort of length, this time of year is a great excuse to treat yourself!

Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S (Amazon / B&H) – $15,496.95

Canon isn’t the only one who’s been going long this year. Nikon has also released their Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S. While not quite as long as Canon’s 1200mm f/8 above, the new Nikon lens features a built-in 1.4x teleconverter, turning this lens into an 840mm f/5.6 lens at the literal flick of a switch. If your budget can’t quite reach this high, there’s also the slightly slower Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S released in April for $6,496.95.

AstrHori 28mm f/13 2x Probe Macro Lens – (Amazon) – $739

Well, let’s bring things back down a reasonable budget, shall we? This is the AstrHori 28mm f/13 2x Probe Macro lens. As you can probably tell, it looks a lot like Laowa’s 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe Lens, but at a significantly lower price. In fact, it pretty much cuts the price in half. This full-frame lens is available for Sony E, Leica L, Nikon Z, Canon RF, Fuji X and PL mounts to cover a wide range of different camera systems and photo/filming possibilities.

Funleader Caplens 18mm f/8 Pro  (Funleader) – $139

Let’s make things a little bit more fun with the Funleader Caplens 18mm f/8.0. This full-frame fixed aperture lens offers a very wide angle of view in a teeny tiny package with a set range of focus distances. It’s designed to be small, lightweight, unobtrusive and not intimidating when out shooting things like street photography. Its fixed f/8 aperture means you’re not going to be doing much nighttime photography with this one, but at this price, it makes for a good stocking filler for Sony E and Fuji X shooters!

NiSi 9mm f/2.8 APS-C/MFT (NiSi) – $459

The manual focus 9mm f/2.8 is the second lens from popular filter manufacturer NiSi. Their first was the 15mm f/4 for full-frame Sony E mount cameras. This one, though, is an ultra-wide rectilinear lens for APS-C and is available in Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z, Fuji X and Micro Four Thirds mount options. You can read our full review of the lens here, but this has become one of my favourite ultra-wides for Micro Four Thirds over the last few months.

Sirui Jupiter T2 full-frame macro cine lens set (Amazon / B&H) – $2,799

Sirui completed its Jupiter T2 full-frame macro cine lens lineup this year. The set of three lenses includes 24mm T2, 35mm T2 and 50mm T2 lenses for Canon EF mount – which can be adapted to pretty much anything – and PL mount. This low-budget cine lens set uses 0.8 MOD industry-standard focus and iris gears, compatible with just about every follow focus unit and gimbal focus motor available. The ideal starter set for the video shooter in your life.

TTArtisan 50mm f/1.4 Tilt Lens (Amazon / B&H) – $229

Time for another low-budget lens. This time, it’s the recently announced TTArtisan 50mm f/1.4 Tilt lens. It’s a full-frame manual focus lens and it’s available in Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony E, Leica L, and Fuji X mounts. Unlike other 50mm f/1.4 lenses, though, this one includes a special feature. It comes with tilt capability, allowing you to shift your plane of focus to be able to turn the world miniature or simply provide you with a plane of focus that better matches your subject to keep it all sharp.

Meike Canon EF/EF-S to Nikon Z autofocus adapter (Amazon / B&H) – $159.99

Despite the demise of DSLRs, there are still an awful lot of Canon EF lenses being produced. The Sirui Jupiter Cine Lens set above is a perfect example. There are also many autofocus EF mount lenses out there on the used market. The MK-EFTZ-B adapter from Meike lets you use those Canon EF mount lenses on Nikon Z mirrorless bodies while retaining full communication for autofocus and EXIF data. It even lets you make use of lens stabilisation when available.

Overview

So this is our lenses list for this year. It’s been a tough one to pick this year with so many weird and wonderful lenses being released in 2022, and it certainly seems to have been a year for them! I can’t wait to see what comes in 2023!

What’s been your favourite new lens in 2022? What are you hoping to see next year?

We’ve already released our camera gift guide, so be sure to check that out. Also, keep an eye out for upcoming guides coming over the next couple of days covering lighting, tripods, sliders & gimbals, as well as gadgets and accessories!

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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