DXOMark has completed their review of the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T* for both Canon and Nikon. As you would expect, this lens is an absolute gem when it comes to image quality. It easily outperforms all the 85mm lenses from both Canon & Nikon in optical tests. How that all translates in the field is up to the photographer.
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DXOMark says: “The new Otus 85mm is without question the most desirable and best performing 85mm portrait lens available but at $4,490 it’s not for those without deep pockets. It’s also rather large and bulky (although it’s remarkably well balanced on the D800 models), and it lacks the convenience of autofocus. While that may not be an issue for most enthusiasts or professionals (particularly as AF is at best difficult with f1.4 models) it’s likely to further limit its appeal, even if the real reason is obvious.”
“I set a high bar for new Canon lenses. I expect them to be excellent and generally their recent releases have been. Since this was a wide-angle zoom, though, my expectations were lowered a bit. Canon has always struggled with wide-angle zooms. The 17-40 is a good, not great lens. The 16-35 f/2.8 II is better than the Mk I replaced, but I’d consider it, at best, adequate considering its price.
The 16-35 f/4 IS changes that. It’s a superb optic — as good as anything else available. Of course, a lot of people want an f/2.8 zoom. But for many, like me, f/4 with IS is just fine for wide-angle shooting.”
Once they were done reviewing the EF 16-35 f/4L IS, they decided to take one apart. The LensRentals.com teardowns are a lot of fun, but also give us an idea of how durable the lens is going to be in real world use.
“Now that I’ve seen the insides I’m very optimistic that this lens will be less likely to deteriorate optically over time, and will be more easily corrected when it does. We won’t know for sure until we’ve got a year’s experience with it, of course, but from a design and assembly standpoint it looks really, really good.”
Bryan over at The Digital Picture has posted his review of the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG II HSM. This is the widest rectilinear lens available for full frame Canon DSLRs. If you’re looking for a lens that will give a truly unique look, this will definitely fit the bill.
Says The Digital Picture: “This lens is not without some shortcomings, but what it offers is available in no other lens. The Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG II HSM Lens is the widest angle rectilinear lens available in a Canon, Nikon, Sony or Sigma DSLR mount. This unique capability will allow you to capture images that would otherwise not be possible and the quality of Sigma 12-24 II images can be also-impressive.”
While Justin has been busy being a full-time professional photographer, he hasn’t had as much time to do reviews. That should change in the coming months as he gets his hand on more Sigma gear as well as the new Canon lenses. We don’t fault him, being a photographer full-time requires hard work and dedication.
Justin always wanted to try out the classic Canon EF 135mm f/2L, so we sent him one and he came back with the same impression most have of the lens; it’s awesome and relatively affordable.
Says Justin: “My time spent with the Canon 135 f/2 L was addictive, and I feel that I barely scratched the surface of the possibility of remarkable images I could create with such a lovely lens. Anyone looking for a fast and relatively inexpensive portrait lens that will make your images stand out should seriously consider the Canon 135 f/2 L.”
Kai from DigitalRev has completed his video review of the brand new Canon EF-S 10-18 f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens. This $299 lens for APS-C shooters seems to be getting a lot of praise, most of which is based around its extremely affordable price.
I have used the lens a couple of times and find it to be nearly as good as the EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, especially as an ultra wide angle walk around lens in cities. Pair it with an EOS Rebel SL1, and you have a pretty good light weight hiking setup as well.
Says Bryan about the new lens “Canon’s ultra-wide angle zoom lenses have long been very good performers. I have them and use them, but I was never overly excited by them – until now. The focal length range is not new and the max aperture in this range was already covered by another high quality lens. But, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM Lens adds one critical feature – image stabilization. That feature alone gives this lens a huge value to me. Equally or more exciting is the image quality being delivered by this lens. If prime-lens-grade corner-of-the-frame image quality is something you appreciate in your ultra-wide angle lens, you are going to love this lens. Add a state-of-the-art AF system and the 16-35 f/4 L IS becomes a must-have lens… read the rest of the review“
Bryan over at the-digital-picture has completed his review of the Sigma 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS lens. While Sigma has been releasing a lot of segment leaders in terms of image quality and pricing, this superzoom offers nothing the others out there already do. While it’s as good as other superzoom lenses and is priced quite well, it’s not a stellar lens optically. That being said, we’d probably take this lens over the Canon offering.
From TDP “While the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM C Lens has an excellent range of focal lengths in a small, lightweight package that doesn’t hurt the wallet, I have trouble getting excited about the image quality this lens and any of the other superzooms deliver. Everyone has their own values, and with this lens, Sigma is targeting those placing a high value on convenience and budget. The Sigma 18-200 C is one of the best choices among the APS-C superzooms.”
How it does against the rest of the ultra wide APS-C Zooms: “As you saw in the charts on this page, there are a large number of ultra-wide APS-C format zoom lenses available. Since these lenses compete strongly against each other and since no standout exists from an image quality standpoint, selecting the right model for your needs is quite challenging. I’ve already mentioned the Tokina’s focal length range disadvantage and significant max aperture advantage over all of these other lenses. The aperture advantage makes the 11-16 the definite choice for stopping action or handholding in low light (at least until the image stabilized Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens appears). The Tokina has less vignetting and less distortion than most of the rest.”
A reader of our site was lucky enough to play around with the soon-to-be-released Canon EF 16-35 f/4L IS at a Canon roadshow in Zurich recently. He was kind enough to post full resolution JPG files, as well as the RAW files.
Luigi does say “As I know that some of you are waiting for real world pictures, I have published some of the images. Don’t expect anything artistic but just pictures taken while walking around the Prime Tower building in Zurich with difficult light (strong building shadows with pieces of bright sky in the frame) and only 20 min time.”
So no need to be too critical of the images, but they do give you a great idea of corner performance, a long time weakness of the Canon wide angle zooms. You can download the RAW files from the login provided on the original thread at DPReview.
Northlight has posted their initial review of the new Canon EF-S 10-18 f/4.5.5-6 IS STM lens. As you would expect the lens appears to be a very good deal at $299, although it’s not going to set any benchmarks for optical performance. It is however, a great completement to your APS-C stills or video kit if you don’t need ultra wide angle very often. If you do, there are better and more expensive options out there.
Says Northlight: “If you’re not used to ‘shooting wide’ then this lens is a very welcome addition to Canon’s line-up. At appreciably less cost than the EF-S10-22, the 10-18mm surprised me with its build quality and optical performance. The image stabilisation adds to its general purpose usefulness and partly makes up for its relatively restricted aperture.”