A telephoto lens that is released with both a 1.4x converter and a 2x converter must be a pretty special telephoto lens. And the Panasonic 200 mm f/2.8 is. If a telephoto lens is delivered including a 1.4x converter, you wonder whether it's worth the trouble of also buying a 2x converter. But it is. Because a photo taken with a teleconverter has a higher image quality than an enlarged image, taken without one. A professional or perfectionist photographer, who wants the best possible uncompromising solution, will therefore head out with the Panasonic Leica 20 mm f/2.8 with both the 1.4x converter.
This Panasonic 2x converter probably also works well with an Olympus 40-150 mm f/2.8 or an Olympus 300 mm f/4 telephoto lens. And that's handy, because there is not yet a 2x converter from Olympus for sale for these two excellent telephoto lenses.
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Photo series from Thea van den Heuvel:

  • Havenhuis Antwerpen – Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Parkbrug Antwerpen - NEY & Partners (Architecture & Light series)
  • Alpolic Stand CS Arnhem - UN Studio (Architecture & Light series)

The PC NIKKOR 19mm F/4E ED is the newest tilt-shift lens from Nikon, and the PC NIKKOR also has the largest field of view ever. That makes it a welcome addition to the 24, 45 and 85mm tilt-shift lenses that Nikon has been offering for years. PC stands for Perspective Control. These are lenses that can be adjusted to correct perspective and to shift focal planes. These kinds of lenses are very useful in architectural and product photography. In addition, they are also used for landscape photography and portraits, for example. The tilt function, with which the focal plane can be shifted, has also been widely used in the past few years to make "miniature photographs": pictures of ordinary urban landscapes in which everything seems to have been recreated in miniature. With a tilt-shift lens, an ordinary digital 35mm camera has many of the capabilities of an old-fashioned technical camera.

PC 19 rotation shift tilt D810 2

ARCHITECTURE PHOTOGRAPHER Thea van den Heuvel

She has been one of the most sought-after architectural photographers in the Netherlands for more than twenty years and is one of the founders of DAPh, Dutch Architectural Photographers. That is a collective of renowned architectural photographers. Van den Heuvel works for architects, construction companies, developers and suppliers. Her fascination with architecture began in England, where she made a photo series of mine shafts at the time of the major mines strikes. That series traveled through England as an exhibition and provided extra income and attention for the miners. After graduating from the Fotovakschool, business photography and architecture kept her attention. The faculty of Architecture in Arnhem became one of her first clients, and she used that contact to also follow lectures in architecture. "I am very interested in space," says Van den Heuvel, "in the built environment and how it affects people.”

001 TvdH20170130 063

Photo: Thea van den Heuvel/DAPh, Interior shoot PK Bar&Kitchen Utrecht

She has been working with Nikon for years. The PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED and the AF-S NIKKOR 12-24 f/4G IF ED are her favorite lenses, which she uses with the 36-megapixel D800 and D810. "These lenses are very sharp and are useful for a wide range of subjects," says Van den Heuvel. But she was lacking an adjustable lens with more wide-angle, especially after Canon came on the market a few years ago with a 17-mm tilt-shift. "I missed a lens like that terribly," she says. "And I have bombarded Nikon with phone calls and e-mails." Last year, she was almost ready to switch when she heard that Nikon would finally be releasing a new tilt shift.

She was therefore one of the first in the Netherlands who bought the lens. "I had already had it for a week when Nikon called me to come and test one," she says. As soon as she had the lens in her hands, she was sold. "My god, what a beautiful lens this is," she thought immediately. The lens made an enormously positive impression in the first tests, and her opinion about the lens has only improved in the months since then. The PC-Nikkor 19mm does not suffer from vignetting, even at extreme adjustments, despite the large field of view. The lens is more distortion-free than, for example, the less extreme but slightly older 24mm PC-E Nikkor. That is of course a huge plus for architectural photography. The influence of newer coatings is also clearly visible. "The lens has no problem with flare at all," says Van den Heuvel: "Just 0%." She also thinks the construction is improved. The adjustments are now better locked, so you are no longer bothered by accidental adjustments. In the past months, she has already completed quite a few assignments with the 19mm, and it is now her favorite lens.

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The Canon EOS 77D is lightweight and easy to use. At the same time, it also offers great ease of use, and the camera is also interesting for advanced users. This is an SLR camera with a compact and light body and the simplicity of a camera like the EOS 800D. In terms of price, it's just above that.

The Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 is a bright portrait lens for SLR cameras from Nikon and Canon. On APS-C models, the focal length approximately corresponds with that of a 135mm. Many photographers swear for portraits by a bright, short telephoto lens like an 85mm, and the selection for these kinds of lenses is great. The Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8, however, has something that lenses from Nikon and Canon in this brightness do not have: VC. That stands for "Vibration Control." The Tamron thus has image stabilization. That's nice to have for portraits, because you can then comfortably work with a bit longer shutter times. You also don't have to worry at shutter times of 1/60 or 1/125 about motion blur, which can occur with unstabilized lenses with this focal length. If you use this lens on an APS-C or DX camera, then that image stabilization is really indispensible.
The Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 is further completely sealed to exclude moisture and dust, and with Tamron’s TapIn Console, it can be provided with new firmware. Tamron claims an outstanding bokeh for the SP 85mm F/1.8. Of course we are going to test to see whether the lens really offers a beautiful background blur at full aperture.

We published a complete Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 review on CameraStuffReview. Here is a sampling of the optical quality that you can expect from the Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8.

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Among professional photographers, 400mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/2.8 lenses for cameras with a full-frame sensor are both loved and feared. Loved, because of the high image quality, the high brightness (read: the usability in low light and the ability to choose fast shutter speeds, without resorting to high ISO values), not to mention the beautiful background blur. Feared, because of the high weight (a full-frame 300mm f/2.8 already weighs 2.5 kg, the 400mm ......), the hefty dimensions and - last but not least - a high price (5,000 euro for 300mm f/2.8 and the 400mm more than 10,000 euros, both prices excluding any 1.4x converter).
As far as the field of view ("what appears in the picture") is concerned, a 200mm f/2.8 lens on a micro-43 camera comes close to all the benefits (high brightness and image quality), while the disadvantages (weight, dimensions and price) are considerably more favorable. With a suggested retail price of just under 3,000 euros (including 1.4x converter), the Panasonic LEICA DG ELMARIT 200mm f/2.8 POWER OIS is still not available to everyone. Nonetheless, a length of less than 15 cm, built-in image stabilization, dust-, splash water- and cold-resistance, accurate and fast AF in low light, and a weight of 1200 grams ensure that you can shoot pictures for a long time under the most extreme conditions, which you wouldn't have thought possible for less than 5,000 euros.
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The Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 is a bright portrait lens for SLR cameras from Nikon and Canon. On APS-C models, the focal length approximately corresponds with that of a 135mm. Many photographers swear for portraits by a bright, short telephoto lens like an 85mm, and the selection for these kinds of lenses is great. The Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8, however, has something that lenses from Nikon and Canon in this brightness do not have: VC. That stands for "Vibration Control." The Tamron thus has image stabilization. That's nice to have for portraits, because you can then comfortably work with a bit longer shutter times. You also don't have to worry at shutter times of 1/60 or 1/125 about motion blur, which can occur with unstabilized lenses with this focal length. If you use this lens on an APS-C or DX camera, then that image stabilization is really indispensible.
The Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 is further completely sealed to exclude moisture and dust, and with Tamron’s TapIn Console, it can be provided with new firmware. Tamron claims an outstanding bokeh for the SP 85mm F/1.8. Of course we are going to test to see whether the lens really offers a beautiful background blur at full aperture.

We recently published a Tamron 85mm f/1.8 @ APSC / DX review and a complete Tamron 85mm @ full-frame review on CameraStuffReview. Here is a sampling of the optical quality that you can expect from the Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8.

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The Zeiss Loxia series is a series of lenses for the connaisseur. They do not have autofocus and are not terribly bright. But they are beautifully made. And the previous models, of which there are four, are fantastic optically. The manual focus is wonderful to work with, and the aperture can be adjusted without stops. Perfect for video! That aperture can also only be adjusted in the old-fashioned way, with an aperture ring. The Loxia 2.4/85mm is the latest in a series of four. It is fairly long, but a slim lens. It weighs more than you would think at first glance. Everything about the Loxia breathes quality, and we are very curious about the performance of this 85mm Loxia.

We will soon publish the complete review on CameraStuffReview. Here is a sampling of the optical quality that you can expect from the Zeiss Loxia 2.4/85.

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The new AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED is Nikon's first fisheye zoom lens. Nikon has had various fisheye lenses with a fixed focal length over the decades. For fullframe, there was the 16mm f/2.8. For DX, there was a 10.5mm fisheye. Both lenses gave a field of view of 180 degrees measured over the diagonal, if you used them with the sensors for which they were intended. The new AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm replaces both. In the 15mm mode, it is a field-filling fisheye for fullframe you can easily zoom out a bit until the edges of the circle no longer appear in frame. On fullframe in the 8mm mode, the lens can also give a completely circular image. That means it should also be possible with these two lenses and two full-frame cameras to create a complete 360-degree image for virtual reality.

The lens is also, in contrast with what we thought at the introduction, delivered with a lens hood. This is not usable on fullframe, but depending on the zoom mode, it does stay outside the frame when you use the lens on DX. The AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm is a unique lens for special creative applications. We will soon publish the complete review on CameraStuffReview. Here is a sampling of the quality that you can expect from the AF-S Fisheye 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED.

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The Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm F4.5-5.6G VR is a great budget alternative for the more expensive Nikon AF-S 10-24 mm. The lens has a slightly smaller zoom range and a mount of high-quality plastic instead of metal. That's in exchange for a lower price tag and a lower weight. And just like its more expensive sibling, it offers a real ultra-wide angle that corresponds with 15mm in 35mm equivalent. The range is ideal for architecture, landscape and documentary photography. The autofocus is fast and quiet, and the lens also has image stabilization. That ensures that even in low light with fairly long shutter times, you can shoot by hand.

Soon we will publish the complete review on CameraStuffReview. Here is a taster of the quality that you can expect from the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm.

The great thing about extreme wide-angle lenses is that not only do you have a big field of view and thus "get a whole lot in your picture." You can also play with it for a unique perspective and let unwanted backgrounds disappear. A 14-24mm zoom is the ultimate addition to a 24-70mm & 70-200mm set. The Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8G ED, for example, is neither light nor small. As far as build and image quality are concerned, this full-frame lens is not a toy.

Exceptionally wide field of view

The shot of the interior of the Rotterdam Markthal requires some extra explanation. An architectural icon, not only because of the gigantic glass facades on both sides, but also because of the painted ceiling. The wide-angle lens (a 14-24 mm Nikkor zoom) enabled us to capture the entire painting. On a full-frame camera like the Nikon D800 used here, you already have a field of view of nearly 90 degrees on the short side: from horizon level to the vertical. But in this case, that was close but no cigar, so the photo was put together in Photoshop from a couple of shots.
But this is the exception to the rule. As a rule, you have more than enough at 14mm on a full-frame camera to get everything in the shot. In many cases, you are happy to have the option of zooming out to 24mm.

The cameras of the Sony A7 series are smaller and lighter than SLR cameras with a full-frame sensor. And you then preferably choose a lens that matches in terms of size and image quality. The Batis 25mm f/2 pairs the highest possible image quality with low weight and dimensions that fit beautifully with an A7. That makes a Batis 25 mm f/2 a dream partner for any camera from the Sony A7 series.

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If you want to do serious nature photography with an SLR camera, then you will soon be wanting a lens with a 600mm focal length. And a sturdy tripod and a cart to transport your tripod and telephoto lens. Shooting by hand with 600mm is really not an option.

It is with the Olympus 300mm f/4.

Thanks to the crop factor of the micro-43 sensor, the field of view of this 300mm lens is equal to the field of view of a 600mm lens on an SLR camera with a full-frame sensor. Thanks to the shorter focal length, you benefit from greater focal depth. The high brightness of f/4 remains unchanged, so that even in low light you have a short shutter time. The image quality is very high from full aperture. And the image stabilization is super. That combination means that with this lens you can use a low ISO value more often, so that the ultimate image quality (signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range and resolution) comes very close to that of the much more expensive and larger telephoto lenses on SLR cameras. And if you do not think 300mm is long enough, then you can combine this lens with the Olympus 1.4x converter, while retaining auto focus.

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The Panasonic Leica Vario Elmar 100-400mm is a telephoto zoom that keeps amazing me. This telephoto lens focuses fastest, on both an Olympus and on a Panasonic camera, from infinity to 1.5 meters of all the telephoto lenses that we have reviewed. You do not need to stop down this telephoto zoom, because the sharpness at full aperture is already maximum. And that’s a good thing, because telephoto lenses are often used to freeze motion, and you need a short shutter time for that. Thanks to the built-in image stabilization, you have a quiet viewfinder image even when shooting by hand and are less likely to get motion blur in low light. The image stabilization also worked perfectly with the GX80 for video. The robust construction and extra sealing against dust and splashwater make this super-telephoto zoom perfect for use under the most extreme conditions. For a telephoto zoom with which you can bring a subject in so close (the field of view corresponds with an 800mm lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor), this telephoto zoom is unbelievably light, so that you will be happy to take it along on a trip, without it becoming a burden. 
Our review of a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art (Canon mount) on a Sony A7R mk2 will appear soon. Thanks to the Sigma MC11 converter, it is possible to use lenses with a Sigma or Canon mount on a Sony E-mount camera. One point of attention for cameras with extremely high resolution, like the Sony A7R mk2, is the attachment of a lens on the camera. A small bit of play can have disastrous consequences on (the evenness of) the sharpness. And an extra converter between lens and camera brings along an extra attachment and thus an extra risk. The mounts of both lens and converter are so solidly built that the image quality of the Sigma Art lenses remains solid. The image quality of Sigma Art lenses on a Sony E-mount camera is exemplary. This is a taster. The Sigma MC11 works on both Sony E-mount APS-C cameras (Sony A6XXX series) and on Sony E-mount full-frame cameras (Sony A7 series). On the Sigma Benelux site, there is a complete list of compatible cameras and Sigma Art, Sports and Contemporary lenses. That is incidentally not to say that the Sigma MC11 cannot be used with older Sigma lenses or Canon lenses. In those cases, you will first have to try to see whether your lens can be combined with the Sigma MC11.
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Our review of a Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art (Canon mount) on a Sony A7R mk2 will appear soon. Thanks to the Sigma MC11 converter, it’s possible to use lenses with a Sigma or Canon mount on a Sony E-mount camera. The Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art is a lens I find especially interesting, because there is no Sony or Zeiss lens with the same brightness and focal length. One point of attention with cameras that have extremely high resolution, like the Sony A7R mk2, is the attachment of a lens to the camera. A tiny bit of play can have disastrous consequences on the (consistency of) sharpness. And an extra converter between lens and camera brings along an extra attachment and thus an extra risk. The mounts of both lens and converter are so solidly built that the image quality of the Sigma Art lenses remains solid. The image quality of Sigma Art lenses on a Sony E-mount camera is exemplary. This is a taster. The Sigma MC11 works on both Sony E-mount APS-C cameras (Sony A6XXX series) and on Sony E-mount full-frame cameras (Sony A7 series). On the Sigma Benelux site, there is a complete list of compatible cameras and Sigma Art, Sports and Contemporary lenses. That is not to say that the Sigma MC11 cannot be used with older Sigma lenses or Canon lenses. In those cases, you will first have to just try it to see whether your lens can be combined with the Sigma MC11. 
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