Category: Lens Reviews

Pentax 645 as Tilt/Shift: Part 5

Resolution: Unshifted   For comparison we here include a capture at f5.6 by the Panasonic Lumix-S 20-60mm kit lens with lens profiling turned on.  

Pentax 645 as Tilt/Shift Lenses: Part 2

Light Handling & Flare There’s more to a lens than resolution, so we’ll come to that last. Light angles are actually a dominant property of the behaviour of shift lenses on both sides of the iris – especially when comparing vintage lenses with period coatings. The Olympus 35mm Shift here tested has been remounted to […]

Pentax 645 35/5 v Olympus 35/2.8: Introduction

Introduction Legacy medium format lenses have seen a recent uptick in valuation and demand, thanks largely to Fuji’s GFX system.The Pentax 645Z fraternity continues to watch with detached interest the pointless hurly-burly of the camera business while patiently going about its work much in the manner of twenty years hence – and Phase One and […]

Enlarger Lenses: FAQ

Here are a few soundbites in response to FAQs unasked: • What’s the best enlarger lens for general taking at sub-1m distance?Of the growing number of lenses thus far tested outstanding results have (unsurprisingly) been recorded by the most expensive lenses. However, several lenses with market values of around £100 have achieved an elite 90%+ […]

Enlarger Lenses: Fuji

In the mindset of US and European buyers, Fuji enlarger lenses occupy a tier below the Big Three of Nikon, Rodenstock and Schneider. Fujinar models were replaced by the Fujinon range in the early 1980s and were available as four-element Tessars, designated ES, in focal lengths from 75-135mm and apertures from f4-f4.5; and premium six-element […]

Enlarger Lenses: Nikon

This article will focus on the Nikon EL-Nikkor N range. It’s hard enough to find good examples of these relatively recent lenses without trawling through first-generation examples that require a lifetime of miraculous caretaking to still be useable in 2022. Anecdotally, it’s reported that the new versions are optically superior – with better coatings. However, […]

Enlarger Lenses: Rodenstock v Schneider

At this (comfortably ignorant) distance the commercial rivalries of our German brethren across the water seem to be civilised affairs predicated on fair play and the just reward of striving for excellence. BMW v Mercedes; Aldi v Lidl; Leica v Zeiss. May the best win, and may they receive sincere admiration from the loser. It’s […]

Enlarger Lenses: Reviewing the Reviews

Dr. Klaus Schmidt, creator of, told me in 2014: “Save your time. That has all been done multiple times.” Indeed: why compile and publish another group test of enlargers lenses? In 2022? In the October/November 1967 edition of Camera magazine Arthur Kramer “put the best through the wringer” and concluded: “Enlarger lenses are very […]

Enlarger Lenses: Choosing & Using

Some oddballs get a buzz deploying stuff intended for Job A on ‘Mission X’. To them, the common man’s planetary gear is a can-opener, coat-hook or toast-slice-holder. In their homes lamps are recycled teapots, whisky jars and welded-together-cutlery. Their toilet-roll holders are made of copper plumbing. The concept of shooting with a Sony-mount lens on […]

Old School Zooms

Nikon 28-80mm v Nikon 28-85mm v Nikon 28-105mm v Nikon 35-70mm With photographers abandoning bijou mirrorless systems for full frame SLRs, May 2020 feels like a great time to review the walkabout lenses of another century. Bored by the low-hanging fruit of optically faultless 24-120mm kit lenses, today’s image-makers crave the creativity-testing limits of zooms […]