*Sony brings two new, sexy ultrawide zooms to the Full Frame party. JUST ANNOUNCED!!!

We’ve heard whispers of the Sony FE 16-35mm GM lens bandied about, and perhaps those in the know have also been hearing about an even wider option, but the FE 12-24 f/4 lens just caught me by surprise!

While pre-orders won’t be taken until this Friday, you can submit to have an email alert once they are available via these links which you can see more about these lenses, their specs and will take you directly to B&H:

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM HERE

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G HERE

B&H lists the specs of the 16-35 f/2.8 lens as follows:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Two Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Three Aspherical and Two XA Elements
  • Nano AR and Fluorine Coatings
  • Two Direct Drive SSM AF Groups
  • Focus Hold Button, AF/MF Switch
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Eleven-Blade Circular Diaphragm

…And the 12-24 f/4 lens is listed at B&H as such:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22
  • Four Aspherical Elements
  • One Super ED and Three ED Elements
  • Nano AR Coating
  • Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor
  • Focus Hold Button, AF/MF Switch
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Seven-Bladed Rounded Diaphragm

Obviously, the B&H site has mis-listed the max aperture on the 12-24, but both of these lenses look really, really good on paper.  How they test out optically is yet to be seen, but I’d imagine it won’t take long for us to get many comprehensive reviews very soon.  These are going to be two popular lenses.

The 16-35 looks very nice, and I’m sure will be an extremely popular UWA zoom for pro use, the price is very high in my opinion.  Reminds me of the Canon debate between their EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L and EF 17-40mm f/4 L lenses where the extra stop costs nearly twice as much.  For me personally, I use an ultra wide zoom for interiors and landscapes which usually see me stop down to f/8- f/11 or so, and will be shot on a tripod.  That made the decision for me an easy one.  I see a similar situation here with Sony’s offerings.  The 12-24mm lens looks pretty damn intriguing, and while the price is still very steep, by comparison to the 16-35, for my UWA use, I’d be opting for the wider, slower zoom myself, assuming these both test well optically.

Both are dust and moisture resistant meaning they should do well to hold up in inclement weather for outdoor shooting, as we should expect for lenses like these, targeted and priced for professional use.

Anyhoo, keep an eye out for these bad boys.  Should go some way in helping round out Sony’s full frame lens game for those serious, and deep pocketed shooters.

Cheers, and happy shooting,

Tyson

*Olympus m.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens, a user review w/ @getolympus

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Ultra wide angle options for every system, tend to be expensive and/or compromised.  It can be difficult to optically correct and transfer light onto these digital sensors which are far less forgiving than film ever was, especially outside of the center frame.  Add to that, with various “crop” formats, the physical focal length needed to achieve these angles of view has to be remarkably short which provides other engineering challenges.  Panasonic saw the need for an ultra wide angle zoom lens from the very early stages of the Micro 4/3 format, and has offered a very solid 7-14mm f/4 lens for years, but many system shooters wanted both a faster option, along with one that was environmentally sealed for outdoor work.  Olympus answered that call with the m.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens.  A substantial, weather sealed, tank like 14-28mm f/2.8 equivalent lens (in light gathering you FF fanatic naysayers, you) that costs a pretty penny, especially considering the Panasonic Lumix option at close to half the price, it’s not necessarily one for the budget minded shooter.  It is however, a pretty damn stellar performer.  I have had this lens for the better part of the year, and I’ve just returned from a trip to Portugal and Holland where I used this lens on the GX8 for my travel documentation needs.  I have some other shots sprinkled in, but I want to give a bit of perspective when using this lens as a travel companion. C’mon in for some shots and thoughts…

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@Lensbaby Twist 60, rebirth of a classic, quirky, beautiful optic w/@SeeInANewWay

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Lensbaby’s optical engineers have done it again.  After moving away from the toy camera replication type lenses into more complicatedly designed optics with lenses like the Sweet 35 and 50, Edge 50 and 80 and the Velvet 56, they’ve replicated the swirly vortex of the old Joseph Petzval designed optic from 174 years ago with this new Twist 60.  Don’t dismiss this lens as pure kitsch, as it is remarkably sharp where you’d want it for a portrait lens (middle frame) and while, wide open you’ll see some pretty severe vignetting to go along with the twirly bokeh, this adds to its charm and vintage qualities.  Portrait painters of yesteryear used many different brushes to create their renditions, and this can certainly be seen as a wonderfully specialized brush for the portrait photographer, along with those looking to add some fun to shots of any kind. 

While perhaps not an effect to suit everyone’s taste, it is one that has found a place for certain portrait and fine art photographers looking to add in camera effects to visibly differentiate their look.  With other companies seeing the value in chasing this corner of the market with lenses like the Kickstarter Petzval clone and the Trioplan Soap bokeh lenses that are looking to be launched on the market, it’s obvious that there is some demand for these newer versions of throwback optical designs.  The question though, is how much are photographers looking for these optical effects willing to pay?

Priced at a very modest $280 for the Twist 60 Lens (optic and non-tilting metal lens body housing) available in Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony E mount, or $180 for the optic solely, the Twist 60 is certainly worth a look.  You can find it at Adorama HERE, B&H HERE or directly through Lensbaby HERE.

C’mon in for more example shots, some technical mumbo jumbo and my thoughts on this lens…

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*GX8 Shutter Shock test. Mechanical and Electronic both with and without IBIS…

IMG_9722I had never, ever noticed any issue with shutter shock personally.  This goes for my experience with the GX8, the OMD EM5 years back that many claimed to have had issues, and any other camera I’ve owned and shot with.    This isn’t to say that my cameras didn’t suffer from this issue, I’m just saying that I’ve never noticed it.  That may be that I’ve not been a huge pixel peeper (except when doing these types of tests for these articles) or perhaps I’ve just been easily able to excuse any softness for whatever reason.

That said, I have received a few emails over the last couple months asking specifically about the shutter shock issue with the GX8 and so I thought it might be handy to run a test to satisfy my own curiosity, and better equip myself when attempting to answer these types of inquiries.  C’mon in to see the results…

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*ZY Optics, Zhong Yi Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95 lens for Micro 4/3 user review

ZY Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95

Small, sharp, fast, relatively light and comparably inexpensive.  All things I love in a lens.  ZY Optics has produced yet another ultra fast option for micro 4/3 shooters, but a first option available in a dedicated mount, faster than f/1.4, new for under $400. 

The question now stands, how does this fit in with all the other standard/normal lens offerings within the micro 4/3 landscape?  Well, more easily than you might think.  While not perfect, it definitely has enough going for it to justify a look.  C’mon in for my thoughts and some tests against the Pana-Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux…

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*Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Lens on the Sony a7II and Canon 5DII, a user review w/ @adorama

 

Sigma Art EF 20mm f/1.4 Lens review

Happy new year! I’ve been having a wonderful holiday season, largely thanks to Adorama for lending me this beaut of a lens.  The Sigma Art 20mm f/1.4 is the widest, f/1.4 full frame lens, and is the newest addition to the much vaunted line of f/1.4 Sigma Art Primes available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma mounts.  In this article, we’ll explore a bit of the more measurable aspects as well as the more touchy, feely parts of interacting with this lens.  I shot this lens on both the Canon EOS 5D mkII and the Sony a7II via the EF>FE Metabones MkIV smart adapter, and it performed equally as solid on both cameras.  Is this a viable option for full frame system shooters for fast, ultra wide applications?  Well, seeing as there has never been a full frame compatible lens this wide, this fast, it’s forging new ground for many shooters, and that is pretty rare in this day and age.  C’mon in to see some example images and read my rambling thoughts…

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*The Panasonic Lumix GX8 vs GX7 showdown. How much of an upgrade is it, really? Well… w/ @LumixUSA

gx7 vs gx8

Well, my friends, I have been enjoying the comparison between these two great cameras, and in this article I would like to present my opinions and findings regarding how they directly compare to each other in regards to performance and file output, once and for all (for my purposes, anyway).  Here’s my disclaimer… I don’t work for Panasonic.  I’ve always researched and purchased my own gear, and do these tests in an attempt to help others like myself see what I wish that I could have seen in cases before buying stuff.  Enjoy and I hope this shows you something you’ve not yet seen.

I’ve been looking at the comparison from the angle of one who is curious about replacing my historically favorite micro 4/3 camera in the GX7, with it’s intended upgrade in the GX8.  I’ve now had the GX8 for a couple months and have shot a few thousand images with it, so I have been able to get a good feel for how it handles, performs and how the files look when digging into them.  With the GX8, Panasonic has given us an increase in size, resolution and features, which have all looked good on paper, and I’m now wanting to really see that come through in practice, which in most cases, it has.

Here is what I’ve seen, and what I’ve found…

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