Tag Archives: lens tests

Backyard Shootout: Nikon 500 f/4 VR vs. 200-500 f/5.6 VR

Can a $1400 zoom compete with a $8000 prime telephoto lens?

That’s the $64k question, isn’t it? When I saw that the new Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E VR was announced at under $1400 (check price here), I figured that either: a) I read that wrong, or b) it must be a compromise. Seeing as how I own the 500mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor, I figured I’d do the obligatory comparison, so here’s my backyard shootout:

[youtube_sc url=”https://youtu.be/OCZT26N_FT0″ title=”Backyard%20Lens%20Shootout:%20Nikon%20500mm%20f%2F4%20versus%20200-500mm%20f%2F5.6″ autohide=”1″] Continue reading Backyard Shootout: Nikon 500 f/4 VR vs. 200-500 f/5.6 VR

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Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G: Example Images

The Milky Way stretches over Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. You can see the Andromeda galaxy at center right (click to enlarge).
The Milky Way stretches over Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. You can see the Andromeda galaxy at center right (click to enlarge).

I spent last  weekend leading a photography workshop to one of my favorite places, Carhenge. We specifically set out to shoot star trails and the Milky Way, and I thought it would be a great test for the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor lens. Here are some example images. After looking at my files, I’m exceptionally pleased with the performance of this lens. And for less than $800, it’s a great value, in my opinion.

More samples after the jump… Continue reading Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G: Example Images

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Fujifilm 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Hands-on Review

Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak captured with the Fuji 18-135mm OIS lens.
Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak captured with the Fuji 18-135mm OIS lens.

After spending a lot of time using my Fuji X-T1 body this past spring and summer, I decided to purchase the recently released 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Fujinon lens. This lens is the first offering from Fujifilm to include weather-sealing, in the form of a gasket around the lens mount. In this post, I’ll attempt to answer the most common questions you might have regarding this lens, especially as it relates to the existing 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS kit lens. Scroll to the bottom for my video review of these two lenses.

Basics

The 18-135mm Fujinon is a solidly constructed zoom lens that is larger and heavier than the 18-55mm. It weighs just over one pound (490g) and is just slightly smaller than the 55-200mm Fujinon. Its focal length range is equivalent to using a 27-206mm lens on a 35mm format camera.  It uses a 67mm front filter thread and includes a petal-shaped bayonet lens hood. The lens is weather-sealed via a rubber gasket on the lens mount. Continue reading Fujifilm 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Hands-on Review

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Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor: Chromatic Aberration

After yesterday’s post, I got some requests about how well the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor lens handles chromatic aberration (CA). For the record, when I test a lens, I try not to obsess about lab benchmarks and instead focus on just using the lens. I haven’t been able to go out to use this new lens in a real situation yet, but so far I’ve seen nothing to suggest that this lens isn’t an excellent addition to the Nikkor line.

So, a quick CA test for all the pixel-peepers after the jump. Continue reading Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor: Chromatic Aberration

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Infrared Photography with the Nikon 1 System: Wide-angle lens testing

"Standing Tall" Nikon 1 V1 converted to infrared, 10-30mm 1-Nikkor zoom at 13.1mm.
“Standing Tall”
Nikon 1 V1 converted to infrared, 10-30mm 1-Nikkor zoom at 13.1mm. Image processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4.

I recently converted my Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera to “super-color” infrared. I’ve been having fun with the camera, but I did notice that wider shots seemed very soft in the corners. According to the team at Life Pixel, wide-angle lenses are notoriously problematic with infrared cameras. Lens distortions tend to be exaggerated and softness is common. The primary culprit, it seems, is the fancy optical coatings on your lenses, which help reduce distortion and aberrations. The coatings are optimized for visible light, not IR wavelengths.

As much as I hate taking pictures of brick walls, I also want to understand the limitations of my gear. I decided to test three of my 1-Nikkor lenses to see how well they performed with infrared. Continue reading Infrared Photography with the Nikon 1 System: Wide-angle lens testing

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