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. 
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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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Many photographers like to head out with a 50mm fixed focal length. I don’t. Just give me a 24mm and an 85 mm lens. A set of these two fixed focal lengths has stolen my heart. Compact, not too heavy and usable in many situations. Shots made with a wide-angle lens or a short telephoto lens stand out more, to my mind.
I am probably not the only one who thinks that way, since the first two AF lenses that Zeiss has designed especially for Sony system cameras are a bright 25mm f/2 and an 85mm f/1.8. We tested both lenses on a Sony A7 R II. Perfect combinations in terms of hand fit and image quality, partly thanks to shockingly accurate AF. Recently, an 18mm f/2.8 Batis came to market. To make the choice even more difficult. Which Batis will you choose to go with your 85mm f/1.8?

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There are two zoom lenses that every professional photographer has: an f/2.8 telephoto zoom with a field of view that corresponds with 70-200mm on a full-frame camera and an f/2.8 standard zoom with a 24-70mm field of view (full-frame equivalent). With a micro-43 camera, the crop factor on an f/2.8 standard zoom yields a zoom range of 12-35mm—or in the case of Olympus, 12-40mm. With a metal lens body, extra sealing against dust and splashwater. In comparison with professional SLR zoom lenses, remarkably light and compact, while the image quality starting at full aperture is of a professional level. 
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If you want to do serious nature photography with an SLR camera, then you soon end up with a lens with a 600mm focal length. And a sturdy tripod and a cart for hauling around the tripod and telephoto lens. Photographing 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 a larger focal depth. The high brightness of f/4 is unchanged, so that you have a short shutter time even in low light. The image quality is very high starting at full aperture. And the image stabilization is super. That combination means that you can often use a low ISO value with this lens, so that the eventual 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 don’t think 300mm is long enough, then you can combine this lens with the Olympus 1.4x converter, while retaining AF.

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A few years ago, Leica had a hard time financially. They kept their heads above water by making/designing lenses for others. There were many more Panasonic cameras sold with a Leica lens than the original Leica lenses. Worringly more. For Leica, anyway.
At the time, Panasonic wanted to have an extreme wide-angle zoom lens for their new series of Lumix micro-43 cameras. Those kinds of lenses are very difficult to design.
I could be wrong, but I imagine that a representative from Panasonic, relaxing after dinner, asked: "If we keep it a secret that you came up with the lens, would you design a 7-14mm zoom lens for us, with a length of 8 cm and a weight of 3 ounces?" The designers from Leica burst out laughing.

"We’ll pay you well for it, and you don’t have to worry too much about traces of lateral chromatic aberration, vignetting or distortion in the design. Any traces of lens errors,” confided the guy from Panasonic to the designers from Leica, "we correct with software in the camera. " Today, many camera manufacturers do that, but at the time, it was a daring choice.

This fabelhafte challenged appealed to the hearts of the Leica designers. Not only because at the time it looked like Leica had missed the boat of digital photography (which has fortunately been rectified), but mostly because this was a unique project. Entirely "out of the box", as he familiar German saying goes, designing a product that is revolutionarily new. And that’s how it happened. The Leica designers indulged themselves, with this Panasonic 7-14mm as the result.

I could be completely wrong. And I might be selling the designers from Panasonic horribly short. My apologies.
But I don’t have another explanation for a nearly legendary, extremely compact, extremely light and simultaneously strikingly good super-wide angle zoom lens.

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Not everything can be captured in words or figures. A lens can look very good in a test, while you still get the feeling that the review does not properly express how special that lens is. Fortunately, it only happens sporadically, since otherwise we would be testing the wrong things. But it happens.

The Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 ASPH LEICA DG SUMMILUX is an example of a lens with which I had the feeling after all the tests were done that the shots had “something extra”. For that reason, based on intuition, I chose the Panasonic Leica 15mm f/1.7 over the Olympus 12mm f/2 (which in my eyes has a better field of view) or the Panasonic 17mm f/1.7 and the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 (which are both less expensive and more compact). Perhaps you can see it in the shots above, which have been reduced in size in order to tax your internet connection as little as possible.

 
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Reliability and sturdiness are never trendy, or hip, but always in fashion.

Many professional photographers choose equipment that not only delivers flawless image quality, but is also built like a tank. For that, they’re at the right place with the Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO FX SD. Not only does the image quality of this all-round workhorse compete for the crown among its 24-70 mm f/2.8 colleagues from other brands—the sharpness of this lens on a modern camera is phenomenal—but the build quality is a level of solid that you rarely find anymore. And the price is also sharp. If we had to name a minus point—to the extent that you can talk about one in this case—it would be that it’s a pity that the lens is only available with a Nikon mount.

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