Category: 35mm Lenses

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 […]

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 v Sigma 14-24mm f2.8

Le Roi est Mort! Yes, Roy is dead. For many years the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 reigned over wide angles. For some months after its launch, the review we wrote back in 2007 was attached to the wall in Nikon’s R&D HQ in which we demonstrated its superiority over the erstwhile wide champion, the Zeiss 21mm […]

Samyang 10mm f3.5

What can I compare you to? Shall I compare thee to a Samyang 14mm? Thou art more panoramic and more divergent. Shall I compare thee to a fishes eye? Thou art commensurately wide, yet in fashion rectilinear.  Like a woman dressed as a man in a forest, I find myself musing “Can one desire too […]

Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6

Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS Review There is much speculation about how this lens performs compared with the Canon 70-200mm f4 L, and of course everybody still really really wants a Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS, but Canon knows that if such a fantastically useful and high quality lens existed, far fewer of its other (more […]

Zeiss 21mm v Canon 17-40mm

Contax Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon v Canon 17-40mm f4 L [first published 2002] Lens comparison made at 21mm / f11. Exposure 4 seconds on a Canon 1Ds Mark I mounted on a view camera head on Manfrotto 155 legs, locked and braced, on a concrete floor. Multiple frames were shot, with fractionally different focusing – […]

35mm Group Test

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 DI v Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX v Contax Zeiss 35mm f2.8 [published 2004] The motivation for this test was to establish whether a zoom could replace the 35mm Distagon f2.8 I commonly use for architectural shoots. Trolling about on location, the perfectly convenient lens for shooting exteriors would be a 35-70mm zoom […]

Zeiss 35-70mm f3.4

Zeiss Contax 35m f2.8 Distagon v Zeiss Contax 35-70mm f3.4 v Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Zeiss Contax 35-70mm f3.4 v Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG v Canon 50mm f2.5 Macro [published 2003] The real point of this test is to determine the substance of the claim made by many that the Zeiss 35-70mm zoom […]

Leica 21-35mm v Zeiss 21mm

Leica 21-35mm v Contax Zeiss 21mm Distagon Following a two day shoot solely using the Leica 21-35mm Vario Elmar f3.5-4 and Canon 1Ds II, using the CameraQuest adaptor, I ran some controlled tests on a familiar target, because I was sure the Leica was going soft on me at the wide end. The obvious benchmark […]

18mm Group Test (2004)

Olympus 18mm f4 v Contax Zeiss 18mm f4 v Canon 16-35mm f2.8 [Test by Mike Hatam, published 2004] All images shot with a Canon 1Ds Mark II in RAW, processed in 8 bit via Raw Shooter Essential and converted for web with BoxTop Pro. Centre Frame Crops (100%) Olympus 18mm at f11 Contax Zeiss 18mm […]

Zeiss 18mm v Nikon 17-35mm

Contax Zeiss 18mm f4 v Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f2.8 [published 2004] Further to the apparent narrow victory of the Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f2.8 in the 21mm play-offs for second place to the Zeiss 21mm, the natural next step was to assess its performance against the Contax Zeiss 18mm f4 Distagon. While nowhere considered the equal […]