Lens Reviews

A History of the Xenon Lens

2235 1257 Cheyenne Morrison

In the pantheon of fast Double-Gauss lenses from the 20th century, the Sonnar, Biotar, and Planar, are well known. But there’s also a lesser-known lens that is their equal; the Xenon. This lens was invented…

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Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 – Lens Review

2400 1601 Cheyenne Morrison

Modern digital photographers looking for a more distinctive look have turned to classic manual focus lenses; and one of the most popular of these is the Soviet Helios 44-2, famed for its swirly bokeh. However,…

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Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 75mm f/1.5 – The Legendary “King of Bokeh”

2400 1600 Cheyenne Morrison

I’ve been shooting all sorts of classic lenses for many years, but for a long time I sought one legendary portrait lens above them all, the Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 75mm f/1.5. Zeiss originally dubbed this…

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Olympus Zuiko 40mm F/2 Lens Review – Maitani’s Smallest Zuiko

2800 1575 Dustin Vaughn-Luma

I’ve spent the past few months shooting a rare and interesting lens from Olympus’ glory days, the Olympus Zuiko 40mm F/2 in OM mount. This lens combines many of the things that photo geeks (past…

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Leica Elmarit-TL 18mm F/2.8 Aspherical Lens Review

2400 1350 James Tocchio

Leica has just revealed a cosmetic update to its digital mirrorless Leica CL, and this time, it’s silver. But I’ve already reviewed that camera. Can I really request a test camera based on a new…

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Nikon Nikkor 55mm F/1.2 Lens Review – The Fast and the Spurious

3000 1688 Josh Solomon

After shooting the Nikon Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 fast prime for the past month, I’m reminded of my old, high school jazz instructor. He would always tell our band, ”Speed isn’t everything.” Our problem was that…

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Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f/1.7

Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f/1.7 Leica Thread Mount Lens Review

3000 1688 Chris Cushing

My foray into the world of Voigtländer started off as a lark, and I can blame this Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f/1.7 LTM lens for that. I wanted a 35mm lens to use on my Canon…

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Rubinar 1000mm Mirror Lens Review

2400 1350 James Tocchio

In MotoGP, the world’s highest level of professional motorcycle racing, the bikes that riders ride are called liter bikes because their motors have an engine displacement of 1,000 cubic centimeters (cc). Since cubic centimeters are…

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Helios 44M 58mm F/2 Lens Review – Another Round of Russian Roulette

2400 1350 Josh Solomon

Our frequent coverage of lenses and cameras from the former Soviet Union might make us seem like ardent fans of the subgenre, but I can assure you it’s not the case (true at least for…

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Industar 61 L/D 55mm F/2.8 Soviet Rangefinder Lens Review

2400 1350 Josh Solomon

Writing for a photography website comes with some interesting side-effects. Aside from getting to shoot and own some of film photography’s greatest machines, you also end up with a few that leave you scratching your…

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Speed Isn’t Everything – Voigtländer 90mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar Review

2400 1350 Chris Cushing

The world was a confusing place in the lead-up to the year 2000. Computers and stock markets the world over were destined to crash due to two-digit date codes, though the valiant efforts of Peter…

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Ten Years Later Zeiss’ Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 Ultra-Wide for Nikon F and Canon EF Mount is Still Pretty Great

2400 1350 James Tocchio

I realized with sudden terror that I’d been yanked away from everything I loved. My family, my cappuccino, the delicious key lime tart I’d been eating just moments before raising the camera to my eye,…

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A Year with the Leitz Summicron R 50mm F/2 Lens

2200 1467 James Tocchio

Made to fit Leica’s R mount SLR cameras, Leitz R series lenses don’t enjoy the fanfare heaped on their M mount brethren. No surprise; Leica shooters skew toward rangefinders, and sticker shock keeps kids looking…

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Carl Zeiss G Mount 28mm F/2.8 Biogon Lens Review – Another Impressive Contax G Lens

2200 1238 James Tocchio

For the right photographer, recommending the Carl Zeiss 28mm Biogon in G mount is about the easiest piece of consumer advice I’ve ever written. Do you like a wide field of view and own a…

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