Menu Close

Category / Mirror-less

Helios 44 M – Lens Review

Helios 44 M Lens Review (2 of 8)

[Today we have our first contribution from Emil Berth, a photo geek and all-around cool guy from Denmark, whose occasional contributing articles we hope you’ll all enjoy. Let’s welcome him. – James]

The recent surge in popularity of mirror-less cameras coupled with affordable lens adapters has effectively elevated a handful of mostly-forgotten legacy lenses to a new level of popularity that they’ve not enjoyed in decades. One such lens bears the name Helios, and the Helios 44 models in particular are regarded by many photo geeks as being among the greatest legacy lenses to come from the long-departed U.S.S.R.

But why does this lens enjoy such cult status these days? What makes it so desirable compared to its German and Japanese contemporaries? Is it especially lightweight? Does it produce exceptional sharpness?

We wanted to know, so I took the lens for a little walk around Copenhagen to see what it could do. Continue Reading

What’s a Prime Lens and Why You Need One (or Five)

Nikkor 20mm 3.5 1

Prime lenses are amazing marvels of optical wonder. And even though they’ve been around for as long as photography itself, there are still people out there who don’t shoot them, and may not even know what they are. If this sounds like you, worry not! We’re here to tell you what prime lenses are all about and why you need to be shooting them.

Whether you’re a new photographer or a seasoned shooter, and whether you’re shooting a classic film machine or the most advanced digital camera, shooting prime lenses can help improve your technique and aid in the creation of exceptional images.

These single focal length lenses provide unmatched performance over their zoom counterparts. And while they ask a little more of the user, the benefits to shooting primes far outweigh the drawbacks. In fact, we’re hard pressed to think of any substantive drawbacks at all!

So, let’s get to it. Here are a few simple reasons you need to shoot primes.

Continue Reading

Minolta MD 50mm ƒ/1.4 – The Ultimate Standard Legacy Lens?

With the runaway success of today’s mirror-less digital cameras has come another photo gear boom. And while the products in question are neither new nor novel, they’re essential and seem almost tailor-made to the mirror-less machine. We’re talking about legacy lenses. With impressive performance and value, legacy lenses have become a real passion for more and more in-the-know shooters.

And it’s easy to see why. Cameras like Sony’s A7 and Fujifilm’s X-Series have never looked better than when fitted with a classic, manual-focus lens. These modern, mirror-less marvels provide a perfect platform for the stylish and technically masterful lenses of yesteryear.

But with so many brands and models stretching back more than fifty years, which is the lens to choose? Especially in the standard 50mm focal length, the sheer quantity of available glass can be pretty overwhelming.

So, today we’ll make a case for what may just be the very best standard, 50mm legacy lens. With an ideally balanced combination of performance, build quality, versatility, and price, this lens is the perfect complement to your new mirror-less camera or classic film SLR.

It’s Minolta’s MD 50mm ƒ/1.4, and if you’ve been looking for the best legacy fifty, you may have met your match.

Continue Reading

Olympus Zuiko Auto-W 28mm ƒ/2.8 – Lens Review

Olympus OM System Auto-W Zuiko 28mm 2.8 19 (1)

We’re back with another lens review, and this time we’re taking a look at a sleeper lens from Olympus. The OM-System Zuiko Auto-W 28mm ƒ/2.8 doesn’t look like much on paper, but its fun-factor, price, and versatility set it apart from many higher-spec lenses.

This lens, when shot within its limits, is capable of creating some really incredible images. It’s sharp, well-corrected in normal shooting situations, and offers a nearly unbeatable value for the money. Equally at home on a mirror-less camera, DSLR, or classic film machine, it’s a lens that any shooter can enjoy.

To find out if this little lens packs enough punch to earn a spot in your camera bag, read on.

Continue Reading

Noteworthy Lenses – Canon FD 28mm ƒ/2.8

DSCF5956 (1)

For a lens to be remarkable it doesn’t always have to be exceptionally gorgeous, have the highest specification, or cost as much as a small, used car. Sometimes the best lenses are modestly specced and modestly priced. These lenses quietly go about their business, never being lauded with high praise or photographed for Instagram camera-porn.

Canon’s 28mm ƒ/2.8 FDn is just such a lens, and we’ve spent the past week putting this quiet contender through its paces. Shot on a classic film body and on today’s mirror-less machines, we’ve found this little FDn to be an excellent wide-angle offering with just a few minor drawbacks. While these issues may be deal-breakers for some, for many others this just might be the perfect wide-angle lens.

For full specs, pricing, and notes on practical use, read on. Hey, we may just give this thing a chance to pose for a center-fold!

Continue Reading

Older Posts
%d bloggers like this: