Saturday, 7 April 2007

Lens reviews on the internet

Some time ago I was asked if I knew of any web sites that had reviews of lenses. The only site that came to mind at the time was "", which deals with Canon and Canon-fit lenses - as well as bodies and accessories. Since the person who was asking was interested in Nikon lenses that wasn't much help. I had forgotten about "", which has reviews of many brands of lenses both by their own team and by users of those lenses (including a few added by me a little while ago). Some others that have quite a good selection of lenses covered and are worth a look are "PhotoZone", "Bob Atkins Photography" and "Photodo".

Of course many of the digital camera review sites have some lens reviews, but they tend not to have a good range of lenses covered. If you have any other suggestions for additions to the list feel free to contact me and I will put up a link.

Just one word of caution. Reviews are just that. Your experience with a particular lens may well be different from the reviewers, either because the lens you have is different (either worse or better due to production variations), or because you are using the lens in different circumstances or because your expectations from the lens are different. Camera manufacturers tend to have quite tight production tolerances, but even so there will be differences. Some of the third party lens makers seem to be a little more casual about tolerances. I have seen quite marked differences in Sigma lenses, but I am not suggesting that they are the only ones. My preference when buying (particularly non-Canon lenses) is to go somewhere where I can test the lens and see the results in the shop and leave with the lens that I tested. It is worth searching out retailers that allow you to do this.

Talking of lenses, the image above (Denham Village, April 2007) was taken with a lens that I will be discussing in a few weeks (it is still undergoing modifications/adjustments at the moment). It has up to 8˚of tilt in any direction and a total of 23mm of shift (also in any direction). The blur to the left and right of the image was not done in Photoshop (although the colour saturation was toned down), but in camera by setting the tilt on the lens to it's maximum (tilted to the left). More on this lens when the modifications are finished.


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