Lens Review

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Sony moves to address mirrorless lens shortage with four new models: 24-240 leads the way

1126138[1]One by one Sony and other mirrorless camera manufacturers have broken down the barriers to dumping a heavy DSLR and going lighter. Faster Autofocus and amazingly-good Electronic Viewfinders have been key in this effort. Just about the only remaining stumbling block for those used to the large array of lens options provided by Nikon and Canon is the limited selection of lenses for mirrorless models. Sony has quite a variety of lenses, but they come in several different mounts, and many of the best require an adapter for use on their newest mirrorless models like the excellent new Sony A7 II. Sony is working hard to address the issue, and today introduced four new lenses for its full-frame mirrorless models:


Finally! Canon replaces nearly-antique Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens

clip_image001Canon shooters who don’t want to lug a huge and expensive telephoto zoom along with them, and haven’t wanted to go third party have had only one option for the past 16 years (believe it or not, that’s how long it has been). Finally Canon has introduced a totally revamped model, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM Lens. The new lens has all the right specs:


Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC Zoom lens: It’s a Keeper!

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for Nikon CamerasLike most of you, I’m always a bit skeptical of third party lenses until I get to give them a good workout. The need for a fast, but not insanely large, zoom for my recent gorilla trekking experience led me to the (newish) Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. The specs – lighter and smaller than the Nikon version, with Vibration Compensation included – were appealing. By themselves, that wouldn’t have convinced me to try it. Coupled with its off the charts performance when tested by DxOMark with the Nikon D800e (as close as test as I could find to the Nikon D810 I’d be using it with), I was sold on the idea of using it as my go-to mid-range zoom in Africa. I wasn’t disappointed…


Alaskan Bears: One safari, one camera, one lens: Life with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens

_djc5685Every July I return to Alaska to photograph the amazing Coastal Brown (aka “Grizzly”) Bears. Over the course of 15 years I’ve used over a dozen different cameras, and at least that many lenses to capture images. Typically at least one of my lenses would be a massive telephoto (400mm f/2.8 or 200-400 f/4, or 120-300 f/2.8). This year, as part of my ongoing effort to identify lighter, less expensive alternatives to large and extremely expensive lenses, I decided to shoot for the entire two safaris with “just” a Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR lens attached to my Nikon D610. My hope was to see whether this new, sub-$3K lens could do a good job of subbing for larger, more expensive alteratives….


Lightening up your photo kit: Lenses I no longer travel with…

The Sigma 300-800 is an excellent and unique telephoto zoom, but it is huge & heavy -- no fun to travel withI’m often asked what lenses I recommend for various photo subjects – typically right before a reader or client is about to head off on a trip. What often goes without saying is what lenses I don’t travel with. In many cases, these were my “go-to” lenses for many years, but a combination of industry trends has helped me lighten up my traveling kit substantially. The changes aren’t for everyone, but they are worth considering for anyone who has begun to dread traveling with all their gear. Before I plunge in, please remember that I’m not saying these lenses aren’t still some of my favorites, or that you shouldn’t rely on them anywhere and everywhere, just that it is always worth thinking about what you are traveling with and why…