Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero D Lens Review (D. Abbott)

Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F/2.8 Zero D Lens Review (D. Abbott)

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero D: B&H Photo | Adorama

At a glance:

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Three Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Two Aspherical Elements
  • Rectilinear Design, Low Distortion
  • Frog Eye Dust & Water-Repellent Coating
  • Manual Focus Design
  • Floating Optical Design
  • Built-In Petal-Shape Lens Hood

Reviewer and photographer Dustin Abbott posted his final review of the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero D lens. The “zero D” stays for “zero distortion”. Can he Laowa hold up to the promises?

Dustin calls the fully manual Laowa a “classic, extraordinarily well-made lens” that feels a lot like a classic Zeiss lens. Dustin’s reviews always come in two versions, you can enjoy the videos below (the first one is the full review), or you can head over to Dustin’s site and go for the written review with many sample pictures. In the conclusion he writes:

This is a very intriguing lens.  That extremely wide focal length is both challenging and yet inspiring.  Laowa has been able to engineer a lens with a fabulous build quality and compact size that I find personally very appealing.  They’ve also managed to minimize the potential optical shortcomings of such a lens and produce a very well rounded result.  The Zero D isn’t necessarily exceptional at any one thing save the incredibly low distortion, but neither is it bad in any area.

Dustin says that “the zero distortion claim pretty much holds up in real world shooting” and that the Laowa has a “good flare resistance, chromatic aberration control, and resolution”. At $949, the Laowa sounds like a winner.

Laowa 12mm f/2.8

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero D: B&H Photo | Adorama

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II review (Photozone)

Canon EF 24-105mm F/4L IS II Review (Photozone)

At a glance:

  • EF-Mount L-Series Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to 22
  • Four GMo Aspherical Elements
  • Air Sphere Coating
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Zoom Lock Switch; Fluorine Coating
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 10-Blade Diaphragm

After LensRentals’ not so exciting MTF figures on the new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II, we have another review by lens reviewing authority Photozone, which also doesn’t really praise this lens.

While Photozone confirms the good build quality of this “L” grade lens, they are pretty disappointed by the overall performance. From the conclusion:

Let’s be honest – the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS (mk I) was not the greatest lens Canon ever produced. Unfortunately neither is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS II. While there are differences on detail level, the performance is roughly similar which is a little depressing given all the years that passed by since the mk I was designed. 50 megapixels are a torture ground for all lenses but it’s too much for the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS II really. The center quality is sufficient but the corner quality just isn’t there at the extreme ends. The amount of CAs is acceptable. The lens performs, of course, much better on 21 megapixel cameras with very decent results from f/5.6 at least. However, you have to live with the outlook that the glory ends once you decide to upgrade you camera. […] The quality of the bokeh is comparatively decent for a standard zoom lens at least. Read the review…

In other words: there are no improvements over the predecessor, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, which at least has a street price of $623, compared to the $1,099 of the new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II (the price is likely to go down in the next months). Photozone clearly states they “would recommend to skip this lens”.

Price check:

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens sample pictures

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

At a glance:

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to 16
  • Two Low Dispersion Elements
  • One Aspherical Element
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • TSC Material, Brass Bayonet Mount
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

Photographer and reviewer Dustin Abbott posted a set of sample pictures shot with the new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens. The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art sells at $1,199 and can be pre-ordered: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

LensRentals publishes Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II MTF Results, and they are not so exciting

LensRentals Publishes Canon EF 24-105mm F/4L IS II MTF Results, And They Are Not So Exciting

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

At a glance:

  • EF-Mount L-Series Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to 22
  • Four GMo Aspherical Elements
  • Air Sphere Coating
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Zoom Lock Switch; Fluorine Coating
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 10-Blade Diaphragm

LensRentals posted their MTF lab test results for the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II, and while they stress that they made only a MTF test and not a real world test, the figures for the new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II are not so much superior to the figures of the lens it replaces, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS. In the conclusion, Roger Cicala writes:

[…] on the basis of MTF, the 24-105 f/4 IS II is a decent lens, but not a spectacular upgrade. Would I upgrade my old 24-105 f/4 IS? Nope. If I was in the market would I buy one? Well, I’d wait for the price to come down or for it to be available as a kit lens with a new camera. One other thing to consider is that the new 24-105mm is significantly larger than the original version, and for some people, that’s going to be a negative for a walk-around lens. Read the review…

The new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II sells for $1,099, the previous version is yours for $623.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III vs Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 VC video comparison

Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III Vs Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 VC Video Comparison

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

At a glance:

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • Three Aspherical & Two UD Elements
  • Subwavelength & Air Sphere Coatings
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Fluorine Coating on Exposed Elements
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

Interesting lens comparison by reviewer and photographer Dustin Abbott. Dustin compares the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III with the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 VC, a lens that costs half the Canon. Is the Canon worth two times the price of the Tamron?

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 at a glance:

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • XGM and LD Glass Elements
  • Vibration Compensation
  • eBAND and BBAR Coatings
  • Fluorine Coating on Front Element
  • Ultrasonic Silent Drive AF System
  • Built-In Lens Hood
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • SILKYPIX Developer Studio Software

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III review (ePhotozine)

Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III Review (ePhotozine)

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

At a glance:

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • Three Aspherical & Two UD Elements
  • Subwavelength & Air Sphere Coatings
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Fluorine Coating on Exposed Elements
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

ePhotozine posted their review of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III. a highly regarded, professional wide-angle lens. In the conclusion they write:

We have weather sealing, outstanding performance, solid construction and a very high price. We lose IS, but that may be more acceptable in wide angle lenses. Really the question is not so much is the lens worth the price, it quite probably is, but whether or not our budget can justify the large margin between it and the alternatives.

If that equation can be satisfied for the individual photographer, then certainly the lens will not disappoint. Read the review…

The reviewers praise the excellent sharpness of the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III, the very good correction  of chromatic aberrations, the absence of flare, the outstanding build quality and the weather sealing. All this goodness comes at a price, the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III sells at $2,199.