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 Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Nikon 16mm f/2.8D AF Fisheye Nikkor Lens
Since I recently declared what I thought was World's Most Beautiful Lens, I thought that it would only be fitting to share what I thought was the world's ugliest lens. Problem is ... I find all lenses beautiful, so singling out a lens for this award was challenging for me. To quickly narrow down the candidate field, I limited this award to only lenses currently available for retail purchase in new, unopened box condition.
Looking completely past performance and functionality, I'm going to pick the Nikon 16mm Fisheye Lens. There were some Tokina lenses that had my attention, but ... sorry Nikon.
The 16's gnarly (not in the good way) design elements include a short, built-in lens hood, crinkle paint finish, coarsely patterned focus and aperture rings, a part sticking out, lots of white paint (with a little yellow and orange thrown in) and an aperture ring marked in two different font sizes. The nearly $1,000 price tag really sets off this homely (by the North American definition) looking lens.
Your turn. Which lens do you think is most in need of a design modernization?
Post Date: 11/24/2015 7:50:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 19, 2015
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Lens page.
Unlike many of the new Zeiss Milvus lenses, this model has a new optical design. The difference between the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 and the previous version of this lens is dramatic! Nicely done, Zeiss!
Here are some more comparisons that you might be interested in:
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II Lens
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Lens
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Lens
Another comparison that warrants discussion is the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens. The Otus retains the lead in center of the frame performance, but ... the Milvus is sharper in the corners. Adding support to these results is the MTF comparison between these lenses. This performance combined with a price tag that is far less than half of the Otus is going drive popularity of this Milvus lens model.
B&H has the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Lens in Nikon mount in stock with the Canon mount version available for preorder.
Post Date: 11/19/2015 9:28:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 16, 2015
 Friday, November 13, 2015
Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens
Image quality results from the 1Ds III, 5Ds R and 7D Mark II have been added to the Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens page.
This beautiful lens is using the same optical design as its predecessor, the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T* Lens, with a new coating technology. Although the center was extremely sharp on the first copy we tested, I wasn't happy with the mid and outer image circle performance. The second copy of the lens, shown by default in the image quality tools, performs more evenly across the frame.
B&H has the Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens in stock.
Post Date: 11/13/2015 8:36:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 12, 2015
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Lens
The MTF Chart Comparison Tool has some fresh data from the following lenses:
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E AF-S VR Nikkor Lens
Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 Lens
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Lens
Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M Lens
There are many comparisons waiting to be made with these lenses. I'll get you started:
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 VR vs. Non-VR Lens
Zeiss Milvus 50mm f1.4 vs. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Canon 85mm f/1.2L (at f/1.2)
Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/1.4 vs. Canon 100mm f/2.8L (at f/2.8)
Also be sure to compare the new Zeiss lenses against their former models and to the Otus options.
Post Date: 11/12/2015 7:52:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens
Just posted: Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens Review.
Is this lens as similar to the Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens as expected? Read the review to find out how one similarity caused me trouble.
B&H has the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens in stock.
Post Date: 11/11/2015 7:22:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 5, 2015
Zeiss Milvus Lens
Image quality (ISO 12233 Enhanced Resolution Chart) results from the EOS 5Ds R and EOS 7D Mark II, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements have been added to the following pages:
Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens (exception: no image quality results presented at this time)
Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 Lens
Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M Lens
The Milvus 21mm image quality test results will be coming soon, along with the explanation of why these results are delayed.
Post Date: 11/5/2015 11:29:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens
Just posted: Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens Review.
Tamron is onto something with their new line of image stabilized wide aperture prime lenses, featuring great styling with image quality that challenges the field.
B&H has the Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens in stock.
Post Date: 11/3/2015 7:51:25 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, October 30, 2015
Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M Lens page.
Image sharpness, while extremely good, is not alone going to drive many upgrades from the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Macro Lens because ... it was already great. However, image sharpness is not going to impede anyone considering the purchase of this new Milvus lens as it is also a great one.
B&H has the Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M Lens in stock.
Post Date: 10/30/2015 9:19:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, October 29, 2015
General Purpose Add-Ons to Get You Over the Expedited Shipping Threshold
by Sean Setters
Has this ever happened to you?
You want to purchase something from B&H, but its value doesn't put it over the free Expedited Shipping threshold? While the item may qualify for free standard shipping, getting my newly purchased gear sooner rather than later is my personal preference (I might be a tad impatient).
With that in mind we've developed a list of relatively inexpensive items that may be less practical when purchased on their own, but instead can help push you over the Expedited Shipping threshold when bundling with other purchases.

Devek Gaffer Tape 1in x 10yd Black

1) Gaffer Tape
This stuff is a no-brainer. Gaffer tape is a photographer's best friend. It's strong, peels away without making a mess and is even reusable (to some degree). It comes in a variety of widths, lengths and colors and having a roll on hand can literally save a shoot. If we listed all the ways we've used gaffer tape over the years, this post would turn into a Potter-like epic.
If you don't have any gaffer tape, add some to your cart. If you already have gaffer tape, adding another roll to your inventory is still probably a good idea.

Canon E 77 II 77mm Lens Cap

2) Lens Cap/Body Cap
If it's been a while since you've purchased a new Canon lens, then you're missing out on Canon's new, very convenient center pinch lens caps. The new lens caps are a worthwhile investment especially if you typically have a lens hood mounted to your glass.
Don't want to shell out for the Canon-branded lens caps? Third-party center pinch lens caps are also available at a significantly lower cost.
And while we're on the subject of "caps," it's not a bad idea to keep extra body or rear lens caps on hand in case you lose one (I can't tell you how many times I've misplaced a body cap).

Vello ET 65III Dedicated Lens Hood

3) Third-Party Lens Hood
A lens hood is an excellent accessory to add to your kit if your lens(es) did not come with one. Not only can they prevent lens flare in your images, they can also help protect your lens's front element from impact. Typically speaking, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) lens hoods are pricey. However, as lens hoods are typically easy to design and relatively inexpensive to manufacture, purchasing a third-party lens hood makes a lot of sense. Third-party lens hoods may not fit quite as well as the OEM ones and they may lack special features (such as interior flocking), but otherwise [typically] work just as well as their more expensive counterparts.
How much can you save by purchasing a third-part lens hood? The amount varies widely, but here's a good example: the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM uses the ET-67 Lens Hood which will set you back $36.00 for the OEM version; the third-party Vello hood is only $14.95.

Vello LCD SCreen Protector Ultra

4) LCD Screen Protector
There are few things I loathe more than a scratched LCD screen; that's why nearly all my electronic devices (including cameras) have a high quality screen protector in place. I specify "high quality" because there are a lot of low quality (less durable, less clear) screen protectors out there.
I've personally used dozens of screen protectors over the years with various levels of satisfaction. My current personal favorites for camera LCD screen protectors are the Vello LCD Screen Protector Ultra series and the slightly cheaper Vello Glass LCD Screen Protectors. The former is a perfectly-sized piece of transparent optical glass while the latter has a small black frame around the edge that shows branding and the protector model number (but the frame isn't distracting in my opinion).

Sensei 62 77mm Filter Wrench Set

5) Filter Wrenches
If you've ever experienced stuck filters (especially if one of them is a circular polarizer), then you'll likely already know the true value of these inexpensive tools. Filter wrenches take up very little room in your gear bag and can save you the huge headache of dealing with filters that are stuck together while you're on a shoot. If these angst avoiding tools are not already a part of your kit, you'd be wise to bundle them with your next purchase.

Giottos Rocket Blaster Dust Removal Tool Medium

6) Rocket Blower
This is another one of those must-have tools that ranks up there with gaffer tape and a microfiber cloth – the Rocket Blower. Regular use of a Rocket Blower can help keep your sensor clean of dust and debris that may impact image quality with the result of time consuming post-processing needed to remove the distracting artifacts.
Need to create high quality product images? The Rocket Blower can help you remove dust from the items so that your images look more professional. Indeed, using a Rocket Blower is Bryan's first step when creating the product images used for this site. If a Rocket Blower is missing from your kit, bundling one with your next purchase may be a smart way to surpass the Expedited Shipping threshold.

Ruggard Desiccant Silica Gel Pack - Metal Case

7) Desiccant (Silica Gel Packs)
Keeping a desiccant (or two) with your camera gear can help prevent the growth of mold and fungus which can [understandably] degrade image quality and significantly reduce the resale value of your equipment. The most well-known and widely available type of consumer desiccant is Silica Gel which usually comes in single-use packs or reusable canisters that are reactivated by heat (usually an oven).
My suggestion - buy both. Keep the reusable desiccant with your gear stored at home and throw a couple of single-use packs in your gear bags (and replace periodically) for the ultimate in moisture protection.

Delta 1 Gray Card 8x10in

8) Gray Card
If you're unfamiliar with what a gray card can do for you, Bryan's Gray Card review written several years ago is just as relevant today as it was then. The short version: a gray card can help you set a custom white balance in-camera (reducing post-processing) as well as assist in determining exposure values based on a meter reading off the card.
I'm finding a gray card to be indispensable when shooting Super Color IRs as getting the correct white balance in-camera makes post-processing so much easier. One really nice thing about the 8x10" gray card is that it can easily be stored in your camera bag's laptop compartment (if the bag has one) which helps protect the gray card while also allowing it to be nearby whenever you need it.

Vello RS C2II Wired Remote Switch for Select Canon 3 Pin Cameras

Third Party Wired Remote Switch
A Remote Switch is a simple tool that allows you to trigger your camera's shutter without touching the shutter button. It's not as handy as an intervalometer (an intervalometer can do everything a switch can do and much more), but if you don't need the intervalometer's additional functionality, the remote switch is a good item to have at your disposal.
The remote switch can prove especially beneficial if photographing young children by allowing you to make eye contact with the subject(s) while triggering the camera from a short distance away from the camera. The remote switch can also be helpful in bulb mode because the shutter can be locked for an indefinite period of time and released without ever having to touch the camera.

Oben Tripod Hammock

Oben Tripod Hammock
Full Disclosure: I do not actually own this product... yet. I ran across the Oben Tripod Hammock a few days ago and I thought it was a really interesting, novel piece of gear. The hammock is suspended by the legs of your tripod and can be used hold filters, lenses, microfiber clothes, or anything else you might need while shooting from a fixed location. Even if your tripod features a hook on the center column, you may even prefer to use the hammock for your ballast needs as it will be less susceptible to wind.
For those reasons, I'll be adding this item to my next B&H purchase that, without it, would not qualify for free expedited shipping. ;-)
So that's 10 general purpose add-ons you can use to help qualify for free expedited shipping. What do you think? Any additional suggestions?
 Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 Lens page.
While I gave the "Most Beautiful Lens" title to the Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens, the Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 Lens is not far behind it on my list. This lens feels at least as nice in hand as it looks in the pictures.
The Milvus update, including a new optical design, has been very good to Zeiss' 50mm f/1.4 in terms of image quality as well. Here is the new vs. old Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 comparison. While the Milvus 50 is not as crazy-good optically as the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Lens, it costs far less. And it competes well in many of the other relevant comparisons:
Zeiss Milvus 50 vs Canon 50 f/1.4
Zeiss Milvus 50 vs Tamron 45 f/1.8
Zeiss Milvus 50 vs Sigma Art f/1.4
Many more relevant comparisons exist. Build your own.
B&H has the Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 Lens in stock.
Post Date: 10/28/2015 10:13:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens on Camera
The functionality of a product must be the highest priority, but I'll argue that us photographers, by trade, appreciate design and beauty in a product more than the general public. Since it is photographers that look at and handle lenses most, it is only fitting that a lens has a beautiful styling. I am pleased that lens makers are taking style into full account with their latest releases, including Sigma's Global Vision lines, Tamron with their latest primes and now Zeiss with their new Milvus lenses.
A few of the new Zeiss Milvus lenses just arrived and product images are usually first on the evaluation to-do list. Avoiding as much of the inevitable-with-use dust and finger prints saves lots of post processing time. I had seen the Zeiss product images distributed along with the Milvus press release, but the new Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens really caught my attention immediately out of the box.
It was love at first sight. The smooth, modern, curved metal design is drop-dead gorgeous. Lenses are meant to be used for image making and ... this lens makes for a great image. Thus, I'm going to declare the Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 lens to be the new "World's Most Beautiful Lens" titleholder.
That is my opinion of course. Which lens is at the top of your most beautiful lens list?
Post Date: 10/27/2015 11:28:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens Review.
Perhaps the most in-demand comparison is the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC vs. Canon 35mm f/2 IS Lens, this one showing both lenses placed under the microscope of the Canon EOS 5Ds R. The comparison is initialized at f/2, but any apertures can be compared. EOS 1Ds Mark III results are also available, allowing direct comparison with most other lenses in our database including the Sigma 35 Art Lens.
B&H has the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens in stock.
Also just added are standardized product images for the Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens.
Lots of great comparisons can be made with these images. I'll get you started.
Post Date: 10/20/2015 9:29:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, October 19, 2015
Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens
Vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements have been added to the Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens page.
I hope to have a full review of this lens completed by midweek or early next week at the latest. Stay tuned!
B&H has the Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens in stock.
Post Date: 10/19/2015 8:08:09 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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