As my love for photography has increased over time, so has my love for manual focus lenses. Lenses such as the Samyang 135mm f2 provide unsurpassed sharpness and image quality, at a price much lower than its autofocus counterparts. Often you also save weight and size when switching to a manual lens. I switched my Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART for a Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f1.7, and got a lens that was just a fraction of the weight and size while maintaining comparable image quality and low light performance. Not to mention the joy when using manual lenses – the fact that you are forced to pause for 2-3 seconds whenever you take a photo, forcing you to consider the composition for a moment, often with better photos as a result.
A 50mm lens is probably the first lens most of us bought after we got the camera. They are generally affordable, especially if you go for a f/1.8. But if you’re on a really tight budget, or just want to satisfy your gear acquisition syndrome without guilt: Kai Wong has a video for you.
In this video, he suggests five great 50mm lenses that cost well under $100. So if you’re looking for your first or for another 50mm lens, check out Kai’s suggestions.
If you’ve ever wondered what effect a specific Lensbaby lens has or if you’ve ever wondered how that compares to other lensbaby lenses or even standard lenses then this article is for you.
I took the same image of a model using a wide variety of Lensbaby lenses as well as standard prime lenses and compared the results. All images were taken with flash with an ISO 100 at 1/125 second and all at f4. You should notice that the model stays a similar size in the frame when using a variety of focal length lenses, that was to create ‘real-life’ look to the test. I have taken the images as I would do normally regardless of focal length and they all appear here completely un-cropped.
Ryan Connolly of Film Riot recently gave us an example of a neat-looking video shot on a smartphone. Of course, if you’re limited only to the smartphone, it’s possible to shoot a movie, but there are certain challenges you’ll need to face.
In this video, Ryan gives you a few suggestions for improving your smartphone moviemaking with some additional accessories. They won’t only make the footage quality better, but they’ll make the shooting easier and less frustrating.
Last year, Yongnuo launched a budget 100mm f/2 lens for Canon mount. There was a word then that Nikon version would come soon – and it seems the time for that has finally come. Not only they will soon present us with the 100mm f/2 lens for Nikon, but they’ll also introduce a pancake 40mm f/2.8. Both lenses will be for Nikon F-mount, aimed primarily at full frame cameras.
After getting one’s first camera and kit lens, the first question that inevitably follows is “What lens should I buy next?”. For any given manufacturer, there’s such a huge variety. And that’s before you even consider the 3rd parties who produce lenses for that system. And, barring speciality glass like fisheye, macro and tilt shift, they generally fall into two categories. Zoom or prime.
Understanding the advantages that each has over the other can help you to make a more informed decision. This video from Craig Roberts at e6 Vlogs goes over those differences. What advantages they offer over zooms, as well as their pitfalls. With this information, it should help you narrow down your choices to at least a type of lens.
Generally speaking, different lenses have different purposes. For example, a 50mm or an 85mm are often used for portraits, while wider lenses like 24mm are best for landscapes, architecture and interiors. However, there are times when you can (and should) break the unwritten rules and rethink the purpose of your lenses. Guys from Mango Street give you some examples and ideas how to do it.
When Sigma announced last September that it was to produce cinema lenses more than a few eyebrows were raised. With Sigma’s recent improvements and high standard of Art series photography lenses, it people got quite excited, too. The first to be released were the 18-35mm and 50-100mm T2 zooms for Super 35mm (APS-C) sized sensors. This was followed up in April with five full frame 35mm primes.
Now their initial 8 lens lineup is complete, now that the Sigma 24-35mm T2.2 has been announced. It’s a full frame lens available in both Sony E and Canon EF mounts designed for shooting 6K and 8K footage. As a cinema lens it offers a long focus ring rotation of 180 degrees with manual iris control. It also contains all the necessary connections to pass information along for the camera’s metadata.
Three new wide lenses have been announced by Nikon today. Two for full frame, the 28mm f/1.4E ED and 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Fisheye and one DX lens, the 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR. A useful set of additions to the Nikkor lineup.
The 28mm f/1.4E speaks for itself, extending Nikon’s line of high quality f/1.4 primes, but it certainly doesn’t come cheap. The 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Fisheye will also be welcome to many hoping to add a fisheye to their kit. But what intrigues me most is the new 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 VR for DX bodies.
Every day I see the same question being posted across forums and social media. “What lens should I buy?”. The simple answer is “We’ve no idea”. We don’t know what kind of look you’re going for, or even what subject you’re shooting We also don’t know what lenses you already have, and why they’re not giving you what you want. And much of the time, it turns out lenses they already have will do the job just fine. They just haven’t really experimented with them.
And that’s the key. Experimenting with what you have, and testing its limits. Whether you’re shooting stills or video, lens choice is a very personal thing. It’ll depend a lot on the scene you’re looking at and your own personal tastes. Filmmaker Darious Britt goes over the differences between various lenses in this video. And how to experiment with your lenses to let you make your own choices about what to use or buy next.