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How to Research Lenses Online Before Buying

It’s nice when you have several choices for a given lens, but it can be really hard to choose the right one.

For example, most wildlife and sports photographers start with a 70-300mm f/4-f/5.6 lens. But, Canon and Nikon each make several different varieties, and third-parties (including Sigma and Tamron) make their versions, too.

While nothing replaces hands-on experience, that would require me to buy/rent/borrow several different lenses and then spend about a full day shooting with them and analyzing the results. In just a few minutes, I can look through DxOMark’s sharpness measurements and at least narrow down the playing field.

Finding Lenses

First, I browsed DxOMark to identify all the lenses in the 70-300 range for the Nikon platform that they had tested. It’s also a good idea to search at Amazon and B&H to see what else might turn up:

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Zhongyi Mitakon 50mm f/0.95 Speedmaster Review

After about 8 months of real-world use, we’re finally publishing a review of¬†our favorite and most hated lens: the Mitakon 50mm f0.95.

It’s a manual focus, full-frame lens that ONLY fits Sony full-frame bodies. You could technically put it on a Sony APS-C body like an a6000, but then it¬†becomes more of a portrait lens (75mm f/1.4 equivalent), and it loses much of its great qualities. Plus, at $900, it costs more than a used Sony a7, so you might as well upgrade the body first.

It can do this:

DSC02228

 

Check out that crazy background blur and vignetting! It looks like someone overdid it with Instagram filters, but it’s real, genuine,¬†and fun.

But first,¬†this lens has a HUGE¬†flaw, and it’s the same flaw that many of the world’s most loved lenses have, including the world’s¬†sharpest lens, the Zeiss Otus 85mm:¬†It’s manual focus with a shallow depth-of-field.

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Canon 5DS-R DxOMark Scores: Why you Shouldn’t Care

DxOMark published their objective measurements of our favorite camera in¬†the world, the Canon 5DS-R. As usual, the media has taken the (largely meaningless) “Overall Score” measurement and used that to rank the camera. Here’s a headline from a page I like, SonyAlphaRumors:

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