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Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 GM Lens Review

Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 GM Lens Review

Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 GM
 

Taking a step up from the exisiting very fine Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G lens, here is the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. Featuring the largest extreme aspherical element ever produced for Sony E mount lenses and a groundbreaking f/2.8 maximum aperture, there is much potential here, as well of course as a significant price tag to go with it. The concept of a fast, bright f/2.8 constant aperture ultra-wide zoom is a tempting one, so let’s couple it up with the new full-frame Sony A7 IV 33MP camera body and see how it handles and performs.

 

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Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 GM Handling and Features

Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 GM
 

This is a very well made lens, no doubt about that, and it weighs in at 847g, so not a lightweight lens. However, it does balance well on the A7 IV body. It could also be used on the APS-C bodies, where the “35mm-equivalent” field of view would be 18-36mm, but the size and weight of the lens would put it out of all proportion. It is dust and moisture-sealed, but not 100% waterproof. The front element also has a Fluorine coating that repels dust, grease and moisture. This bulbous front element is protected by a fixed petal lens hood, as usual for ultra-wide lenses. There is no provision for filters here, which would be rather impractical, but there is a gelatin filter slot at the rear of the lens. The lens cap is a large plastic clip-on type that covers the front of the lens effectively.

Immediately behind the hood is the manual focusing ring, which is compatible with all the usual Sony features such as AF, MF and DMF (Direct Manual Focus) and these are all set via the camera menu. There is also an AF/MF switch on the lens barrel, plus a focus hold button. Manual focusing is ultra-smooth and AF is fast and accurate via new upgraded XD Linear (Extreme Dynamic) motors. It is also very quiet and unobtrusive. Focusing is down to 0.28m, 0.92 feet, for a maximum magnification of 0.14x. The lens utilises floating elements to maintain performance at all focusing distances.

Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 GM

The zoom ring is also smooth, but more physical in that it moves the lens barrel forwards and backwards. The front element stays within the bounds of the petal lens hood, which is stationary at all times. There are clear markings at 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 18mm, 21mm and 24mm.

Optical construction is 17 elements in 14 groups, including 3 XD (Extreme Aspherical), 1 Aspherical, 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) and 2 Super ED. The rounded diaphragm comprises 9 blades for improved, smooth bokeh effects. Sony also uses its Nano AR coating technology to improve light transmission and reduce flare.

There is no OSS (Optical SteadyShot) in the lens, instead relying on that built into Sony camera bodies. There is also no compatibility with any of the teleconverters.

The lens mount is smooth and slick, fitting perfectly with no hint of any rotational movement when clicked into place. At the back of the lens, as mentioned, there is a baffle and a filter slot for gelatin filters.

Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 GM
 

Using ultra-wide lenses does need some care and thought, as there could be a tendency to simply shoot images that are from the usual distances, resulting in very small distant objects in the frame. This can make distant mountains, for example, extremely disappointing. The key is to get in close, then closer, to make the most of dramatic foregrounds and perspective. Interiors obviously can be photographed to advantage, making spaces look vast and spacious. Landscapes need foreground interest. Even portraits are possible though, and one of the advantages of the 12-24mm is that at the longer end we have a perfectly viable choice for reportage/street photography. This makes for an extremely versatile lens.

 

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Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8: affordable full-frame wide angle

Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8: affordable full-frame wide angle

November 18, 2021

Nikon has announced a lightweight wideangle prime for its Z system full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8. The lens can also be used on the APS-C sensor Nikon Z 50 and Nikon Z fc cameras, on which it will offer a 42mm equivalent angle of view. Indeed it was initially offered as a cosmetically reworked ‘SE’ version in a kit with the Z fc. It joins the recently announced Nikon Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 in this new strand of the firm’s lens line-up.

Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8: affordable full-frame wide angle 1

Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 on the Nikon Z 5

This compact, lightweight optic is said to be the smallest yet in the Z-mount arsenal, at 43mm in length and just 155g. It has a minimum focus distance of a mere 19cm, and accepts 52mm filters. A 7-bladed diaphragm is on board promising ‘soft, natural bokeh’.

As with other Nikon Z lenses, the manual focus ring can do double duty as a control dial for changing exposure settings such as aperture, ISO or exposure compensation. Impressively for such an affordable optic, Nikon has sealed it to provide protection against dust and water. The firm also says that the lens is ideal for video thanks to the use of a quiet stepping motor for autofocus, and reduced focus breathing.

Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8: affordable full-frame wide angle 2

The Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 measures just 43mm in length

The Nikon Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 will cost £249 and is expected to appear in the shops sometime in December.

Nikon Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 full specifications:

  • Price  £249
  • Filter Diameter  52mm
  • Lens Elements  9 (2 aspherical)
  • Groups  8
  • Diaphragm blades  7
  • Aperture  f/2.8 – f/16
  • Minimum focus  19cm
  • Length  43mm
  • Diameter  70mm
  • Weight  155g
  • Lens Mount  Nikon Z
  • Included accessories  Front and rear caps

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Nikon Unveils the Light and Compact 28mm f/2.8 Z-Mount Lens

Side profile of the nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens

Side profile of the nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens

Nikon has announced the new Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 lens for its Z-mount. Designed for both crop-sensor APS-C and full-frame mirrorless cameras, the lens promises to be fast as well as small and compact.

The 28mm f/2.8 is designed to be small and compact. It has a total length of about 1.7-inches and weighs 5.46 ounces (155 grams) which makes it the smallest and lightest among the Nikkor Z prime lenses. Nikon says that it believes the lens to be ideal for detailed photos and videos of food, DIY crafts, and fashion as well as everyday snapshots, group portraits, landscapes, and cityscapes. Basically, the lens is small, wide, and fast, which also makes it nimble and versatile for a variety of use cases.

The Nikon 28mm f/2.8 attached to a Nikon Z5, top view

Nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens top view

The lens is constructed of nine elements in eight groups, two of which are aspherical elements. It features a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.2x, a close minimum focus distance of 0.63 feet (0.19 meters) and has a maximum angle of view of 53-degrees on DX-format cameras and 75-degrees on FX-format cameras. It has an aperture range of f/2.8 through f/16 through a seven-bladed diaphragm. The lens accepts screw-on filters via its 52mm front element, features internal focusing, and supports both auto and manual focus.

The Nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens attached to a camera and held by two hands

On autofocus, Nikon says that the 28mm f/2.8 lens uses a “multi-focusing system” that realizes natural rendering across the entire shooting range as well as allows for fast and accurate autofocus control. Nikon does not specifically note what kind of autofocus motor the lens uses, however. Nikon adds that the lens was made with video recording consideration in mind, and as such promises that it has extremely quiet operation, stable exposure, and effective focus breathing compensation.

A Nikon camera and lens held up to a woman's eye

The lens is dust and “drip” resistant and functions such as aperture and exposure compensation can be assigned to the control ring. Finally, Nikon notes that the lens differs cosmetically from the previously announced NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 SE lens in that it features a “modern” black finish.

Graphic showing the weather sealing points on the 28mm lens

Below are a few sample images taken with the lens, provided by Nikon:

Environmental portrait of a woman at a rocky beach

Portrait of a woman with a large sea shell held to her ear

Top down photo of a bouquet of yellow flowers

A hand holding up a coral colored scallop shell against a blue sky background

A portrait of a person laughing with the sun behind their hair

A portrait of a woman against a reflective background

The Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 lens is scheduled to be available in December for $300, however global supply chain issues likely mean that widespread availability can vary.

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A Review of the Impressively Affordable Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens

A Review of the Impressively Affordable Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Canon has impressed us time and again with their RF lenses, which push the boundaries of design and performance. Such superlative lenses are not cheap, however, and many photographers may be looking for more reasonably priced options. The RF 16mm f/2.8 STM is one such option, and it is quite portable on top of that, and this excellent video review takes a look at the kind of performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice. 

Coming to you from Gordon Laing, this great video review takes a look at the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lens. The 16mm f/2.8 is remarkably compact, coming in at just 5.8 oz. (165 g), making it quite portable. Nonetheless, it comes with a variety of useful features, such as:

  • Single aspherical element for less distortion and better sharpness 
  • STM autofocus motor for smoother and quieter autofocus, useful for both photo and video work
  • Maximum magnification of 0.26x
  • Super Spectra Coating to reduce flares and ghosting and provide better contrast
  • Control Ring for controlling parameters like aperture and ISO
  • Rounded seven-blade diaphragm for smoother bokeh

Altogether, the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM looks like quite the practical lens, and at $299, it is one that won’t break the bank. Check out the video above for Laing’s full thoughts on the lens. 

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Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens Review

Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens Review

Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
Claimed as a first in its class to sport a constant f/2.8 aperture, Tamron introduce a new wide-angle zoom lens for Sony APS-C format cameras, a “35mm-equivalent” field of view of 16.5-30mm. This makes for a very useful ultra-wide to wide standard lens that partners well with the matching 17-70mm lens already released. We now have a close look at how the new lens handles and performs, coupling it up with the 24MP Sony A5100 body and see whether it could be the ideal travelling companion.

 

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Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Handling and Features

Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
 

We might expect an f/2.8 wide-angle zoom to be quite bulky and heavy, but in fact, the new lens weighs in at a surprisingly light 335g. Clearly, there is extensive use of plastics, but this is not a negative observation and the lens appears to be nicely put together.

There is a provided petal lens hood and this bayonets positively onto the front of the lens. Within this bayonet, fit is a conventional 67mm filter thread, the same size as Tamron’s matching 17-70mm lens. The objective here has been to produce a set of light lenses for those who wish to travel light. The front element has a Fluorine coating to repel dust, grease and moisture and the lens is weather-sealed, a boon for the travel photographer.

The manual focusing ring is electronic and, as usual, impeccably smooth in operation. It supports the usual Sony focusing methods, including AF, DMF (Direct Manual Focusing) and MF. DMF enables manual focus tweaks to be made to the focus position whilst AF is still active. All focusing options are controlled from the camera body.

 

Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
 

AF is driven by a stepping motor, the RXD designation deriving from “Rapid eXtra silent stepping Drive”. This results in fast and accurate AF that is virtually silent. The system is compatible with Sony’s Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF.

Focusing is down to a MOD (Minimum Object Distance) as follows:

  • Wide 0.15m, 5.9 inches, maximum magnification 1:4
  • Tele 0.24m, 9.4 inches, maximum magnification 1:7.6

This is really the opposite of the ideal, as a closer focus with the tele setting rather than the wide one would give a better working distance. The closest wide setting also shows quite a bit of field curvature, so the edges fall out of the sharp plane of focus. This will work much better with 3D subjects rather than flat documents or test targets.

Optical construction is 12 elements in 10 groups, including 2 glass moulded aspherical, 2 LD (Low Dispersion) and 1 XLD (Extra-Low Dispersion). The diaphragm comprises 7 blades.

Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
 

The zoom ring is the only other control on the lens and this does extend the length as we zoom towards 11mm. There are clear and accurate indications at 11mm, 14mm, 16mm, 18mm and 20mm. The action of the zoom ring is just right, not too loose and not too firm.

Mounted on the A5100 the lens is chunky, but not out of place in that it is light and handles well. The combination would need a large jacket pocket but in any event, the lens is certainly unobtrusive to handle. It can also be mounted on full-frame Sony cameras, but will not cover the full-frame area so will need to be used in crop mode.

Either with or without the matching 17-70mm lens this is potentially an excellent travel option – light and fast to use. It has no OSS (Optical SteadyShot) which is a shame, but the saving grace may be that this is less critical with ultra-wide lenses rather than with longer telephotos.

Let’s have a close look now at the performance.

 

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Is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD Lens Another Hit for the Company?

Is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD Lens Another Hit for the Company?

One of the most commercially successful lenses in recent years was the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, which offered an impressive blend of performance, image quality, and portability all at a very affordable price, particularly when compared to other 24-70mm f/2.8 options. The second iteration of the lens is here, and it brings with it a range of improvements. This great video review takes a look at the lens and the kind of image quality and performance you can expect from it in the real world. 

Coming to you from Chris Turner Photographer, this video review takes a look at the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD lens. The original version was one of the most popular lenses we have seen in recent years and led to Tamron’s expanded lineup of f/2.8 professional zooms, all of which are quite respected. Like other 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses, it offers a versatile focal length range for everything from events and wedding coverage to lifestyle and landscape photography. However, unlike most other options, it does so at a much more affordable price — cheap enough, in fact, that you can pair it with the 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD or 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD for a total price that is about the same as a single first-party 24-70mm f/2.8. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Turner. 

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Is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2 Lens Even Better Than the Original?

Is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2 Lens Even Better Than the Original?

There are numerous genres out there in which a 24-70mm f/2.8 is the bread and butter lens, offering a focal length range that allows for wide angle coverage on to portraits and more, paired with a wide maximum aperture. However, such lenses are rarely affordable, though Tamron’s 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2 bucks that trends and offers a lot of performance for not a lot of money. This great video review takes a look at the sort of image quality and performance you can expect from it. 

Coming to you from DPReview TV, this awesome video review takes a look at the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD lens. The first generation of this lens was wildly popular, offering a lot of smart compromises to create a lens that was impressively affordable but still offered the sort of versatility, performance, and image quality that professionals generally demand from such an option. The one compromise that might bother some is the loss of 4mm on the wide end of the lens, but it never bothered me much when I reviewed it, and given its price, you can easily grab the 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD to round things out while still only spending about as much as you would on a traditional first-party 24-70mm f/2.8. Check out the video above for the full rundown on the lens. 

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Is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD One of the Best Bargains Out There?

Is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD One of the Best Bargains Out There?

Tamron has reinvented itself in recent years, making smart compromises to create lenses that are highly practical but that do not break the bank. The 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III was a runaway hit for the company, offering impressive image quality and performance at a price that significantly undercut comparable options. The second generation of the lens is here, and this excellent video review takes a look at the performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice. 

Coming to you from Dustin Abbott, this great video review takes a look at the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD lens. The original version of this lens was one of the most popular to come to the market in some time, and I was especially impressed by it. The 4mm you lose at the long end might bother you depending on what you shoot, but the lens’ price-to-performance ratio can’t be beat, and if you want that extra capability at the wide end, it is worth noting that you can get both its companion lens, the 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, and the 28-75mm f/2.8 for a combined price that is about the same as a first-party 24-70mm f/2.8. Check out the video above for Abbott’s full thoughts on the lens. 

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Portable and Affordable: A Review of the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Portable and Affordable: A Review of the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Canon’s RF lenses have been mostly both spectacular and expensive, which is what makes the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM rather unique, as it comes in at an impressively affordable price and is quite portable on top of that. This excellent video review takes a look at the lens and the kind of performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice. 

Coming to you from Kamil Pekala, this great video review takes a look at the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lens. At just 5.8 oz. (165 g), the 16mm f/2.8 is impressively portable but still comes with a variety of great features, including:

  • One aspherical element for reduced distortion and increased sharpness 
  • STM autofocus motor for smooth and quiet autofocus suitable for both photo and video work
  • 5.1-inch minimum focusing distance (maximum magnification of 0.26x)
  • Super Spectra Coating for reduced flares and ghosting and increased contrast 
  • Customizable Control Ring for adjusting aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation
  • Rounded seven-blade diaphragm

At $299, the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM looks like a very functional lens that you can keep in your bag at all times without dealing with any significant heft. Check out the video above for Pekalas’ full thoughts on the lens. 

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A Look at the Versatile and Affordable Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2 Lens

A Look at the Versatile and Affordable Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2 Lens

A 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is the workhorse of choice for a wide variety of genres, offering a useful focal length range in tandem with a wide maximum aperture. However, most such lenses are quite expensive. Tamron’s 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2 is about half the price of first-party options, and this excellent video review takes a look at the kind of performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice. 

Coming to you from Stefan Malloch, this great video review takes a look at the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III G2 RXD lens. I was a big fan of the original version of this lens when I reviewed it. It really exemplifies Tamron’s new philosophy of making smart compromises to produce lenses that are functional, versatile, portable, and most importantly, affordable. Of course, the most obvious compromise you will see in this particular lens is the loss of 4mm on the wide end. Certainly, there are situations where you might miss that, but it’s worth remembering that you can get the 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD to complement the 28-75mm, and the total price of the two will only be about the price of a single first-party 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Check out the video above for Malloch’s full thoughts on the lens. 

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