Sony 1.4x and 2x Teleconverters. How Good Are They?

I use the Sony 1.4x and 2.0x Teleconverters with the Sony 100-400GM Lens and share results on image quality, focus speed and focus performance while searching the Arctic for polar bears. Tested with the Sony a7RIII and Sony 100-400 GM paired with the 1.4x Tele and 2.0x Tele.https://youtu.be/A6Seehp2imkI found the optical performance of the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters when matched with the Sony 100-400 GM to be absolutely fantastic. Colors, contrast, and clarity all remain excellent. But there are drawbacks - watch the video above for the full story.Buy Links (Your use of these links supports reviews like this)Sony a7RIII: https://bhpho.to/2i7Z3F8Sony 100-400 FE f/4.5-5.6 GM: https://bhpho.to/2JIxM7FSony 70-200 f/2.8 GM: https://bhpho.to/2LfkuoTSony 1.4x FE Tele: https://bhpho.to/2JGWntMSony 2.0x FE Tele: https://bhpho.to/2Lev1APDownload RAW Photos to evaluate (For your personal use only)[gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" td_gallery_title_input="Sont Teleconverter Samples" ids="18611,18613,18612"]

Sony 1.4x & 2.0x Teleconverter Photos from the Arctic

[gallery ids="18615,18616,18617,18618,18619,18620"]

Want to see more from my arctic expedition?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyi9zkr30O0

Sigma 14-24 f/2.8 ART Review with RAW downloads

🔥🔥🔥LENS ON SALE TODAY 🔥🔥🔥

I review the Sigma 14-24 f/2.8 a fast, wide and MUCH cheaper wide angle lens than Canon 16-35 f/2.8, Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 and Sony 16-35 f2.8 competitors. What's the catch? Watch for my complete review of Sigma's newest ART series Wide Angle lens.

https://youtu.be/mj4syYDu0X0

Buy the Sigma 14-24 f/2.8 from B&H Photo $1199.00

Travel with me on awesome adventures and share your opinion while I test gear!

Sigma 14-24 f/2.8 ART Series Sample Photos

Download FULL RAW Files from Sigma

Sigma 14-24 f/2.8 ART Versus Tamron, Canon, Sony, Nikon Wide Angle Lenses

Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 VC $1099 | Buy from B&H Photo

PRO: Cheaper, Offers Stabilization (VC) and a longer range (30mm)
CON: Not as sharp, starts at 15mm (which is actually closer to 16mm) and has slightly more distortion

Sony 16-35 f/2.8 GM $2198 | Buy from B&H Photo

PRO: Noticeably lighter, accepts regular filters, covers a long range, slightly sharper in corners
CON: Not sharper in the center at f/2.8, COST!

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM $1899 | Buy from B&H Photo

PRO: Noticeably lighter, accepts regular filters, covers a long range, sharper in center
CONS: more vignetting at f/2.8, COST!

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens $1896 | Buy from B&H Photo

PROS: I struggle to come up with any compared to the Sigma
Cons: Not as sharp across the range as the Sigma, COST!

What else would you like to know?

Sigma 24-70 ART OS HSM REVIEW

Showing the Versatility of the 24-70 range on a full frame cameraThere is a reason every major Manufacturer has a version or two of the 24-70 f/2.8 lens.  24-70 is an incredibly useful focal length on full frame cameras. Wide enough to capture beautiful landscapes, starry night skies, cliche shots and everything in between. Above 50mm and at f/2.8 it becomes a fantastic portrait lens where you can really separate your subject from the background. If you want an incredibly versatile lens the 24-70 f/2.8 is one of the best options on a full frame camera- but they are typically expensive - Nikon and Canon offer options that cost around $1700-$1800. If you want a stabilized lens - Nikon’s lens is $2400 and Canon offers nothing at f/2.8 and stabilized.Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM ArtTamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USMNikon 24-70 f/2.8 VRSony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GMThis is the Sigma 24-70 ART it offers a 24-70 with a constant f/2.8 and OS, sigmas version of image stabilization. You have an AF, MF switch with MO Manual override and it's currently on sale at B&H and includes the USB dock used for fine tuning and adjustments. The front filter is 82mm.  Overall build quality continues that ART line - it feels excellent in the hand with a nice finish. PROS
But what about that Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2?  It offers everything the sigma does and is $1199 (same price but you do not get the Tamron TAP USB dock). I have not shot with the Tamron 24-70 yet, but based on my research the two are extremely similar - I think the Sigma offers slightly better bokeh and better quality control - you are more likely to get a sharp copy - this is something that Tamron has struggled with in the past on some of their lenses but the Tamron is lighter and some claim offers better VC. So while I can recommend the Sigma you should think long and hard - the Tamron may be just as good for you and a little lighter in your bag. Canon owners, if you don't care about image stabilization, the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 IS II is currently just $400 more, noticeably lighter and a bit sharper. The weight and sharpness of the Canon is hard to beat.Download RAWS to compare Sigma 24-70 OS HSM ART vs Canon 24-70 f/2.8 USM IIIf you would like to have in-depth discussions with me about which gear is right for you - consider joining the Photo Enthusiast Network - free 10 day trial at http://photorec.tv/PEN and not only can we have those discussions but you get access to HOURS of photography training videos, lightroom and photoshop tutorials and an awesome community of supportive individuals.  

Sigma 100-400

A quick review of the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens.https://youtu.be/bLvwj4u7qcQSharpness - Excellent at the price pointSpeed - Very GoodAperture Range - Slight slower than more expensive lensesBuild Quality - ExcellentStabilization - Excellent

Pros - A very budget friendly lens that gets you to 400mm with excellent sharpness/quality in a travel-friendly size.Cons - No tripod collar can limit some tripod useBUY from B&H PhotoSample RAW photos for Download

Review - Sony 12-24 f/4 and SUPER WIDE NISI Filters

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw1A_-SOX1k[/embed]A review of the Sony 12-24mm f/4, an affordable ULTRA wide lens and share the setup of one of the best wide angle filter systems on the market. The NISI system offers full coverage on wide angle lenses like the Sony 12-24mm f/4 and they make additional filter system for other wide angle lenses.

 

 

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D Lens for Sony EAlternative Wide Angle: Venus Laowa 15mm f/2.0

Sample Images

SIGMA Announces 9 Art Lenses for Sony E-mount cameras

Sony FE Mount Sigma LensesSIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of interchangeable lenses for the Sony E-mount digital camera series with full-frame image sensors. SIGMA will gradually introduce the lenses as members of the Art line, which offers photographers the highest level of optical performance.

Preorders coming soon at B&H

While offering the same high-performance optical design as other lenses in the Art line, the new Sony E-mount models will feature a newly developed control algorithm that optimizes the autofocus drive and maximizes the data transmission speed. In addition, these lenses will be compatible with Sony’s Continuous AF (AF-C) and high-speed autofocus, which are not addressed by SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11. Like the converter MC-11, the lenses will be compatible with in-camera image stabilization and in-camera lens aberration correction, which includes corrections for peripheral illumination, chromatic aberrations, and distortion.The lineup will include the Art line set of seven prime lenses covering 14mm to 135mm. It will also include two models that SIGMA will be exhibiting at CP+ 2018: 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO | Art and 105mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art (launch date TBD). Further, SIGMA plans to introduce additional Sony E-mount models in the Art line going forward.Note: This product is developed, manufactured and sold based on the specifications of E-mount which was disclosed by Sony Corporation under the license agreement with Sony Corporation.【Key features】1. Autofocus tuned for each lensThanks to an autofocus drive control program tuned for each lens and high-speed data transmission,the lenses will offer high-speed autofocus at the same performance level as that of a lens designedexclusively for mirrorless cameras. In particular, in E-mount cameras offering Sony’s Fast Hybrid AF, AF-C mode will deliver exceptional subject following performance. Moreover, autofocus will remain extremely precise even in those E-mount cameras offering only contrast AF.2. Compatible with in-camera image stabilizationThe lenses will be compatible with in-camera image stabilization. The Sony E-mount camera sensesthe focal length of the lens and automatically optimizes image stabilization performance.3. Data loaded for compatibility with in-camera aberration correctionThe lenses will be fully compatible with in-camera aberration correction, which includes correctionsfor peripheral illumination, chromatic aberrations, and distortion. By matching corrections to the optical characteristics of the lens, this function takes image quality to an even higher level.4. Native mount for a more rigid and stable feelMaking the mount native to the lens makes possible a more rigid and stable feel to the lens.Featuring a special surface treatment to enhance strength, the brass bayonet mount offers a high-precision fit and exceptional durability. The mount connection area incorporates rubber sealing for dust- and splash-proof construction.5. Available Mount Conversion ServiceThis service converts the mount of SIGMA lenses to that of a different camera body, allowing photographers to continue using their favorite lenses over the long term regardless of camera system.Note 1: The Mount Conversion Service is different from a normal repair. In order to apply for the service, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA subsidiary or distributor. http://www.sigma-global.com/en/about/world-network/Note 2: This service is performed exclusively by SIGMA.

Sigma & Tamron Announce Sony FE Lenses

Tamron has announced the development of a 28-75 f/2.8 lens for FE mount cameras.  A moisture resistant lens with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture that is noticeably smaller and lighter than the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM lens is very appealing.  The RXD motor will provide a smooth and quiet focusing system for video.  This may turn out to be a fantastic travel lens for those that need or want f/2.8.

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Constant f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
  • RXD Stepping AF Motor
  • Fluorine-Coated Front Element
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction

Preorder soon at B&H Photo Still rumors at this point but it looks like Sigma is getting VERY close to announcing FE mount Sigma lenses. First up -Sigma 105mm f/1.4 ART lens. Hopefully, more of the ART series line will be announced in FE mounts soon. 

IRIX 11mm f/4 - Affordable Ultra Wide & Rear Filters Suck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWgyzovz_gc&feature=youtu.be

A review of the ultra wide-angle 11mm f/4 lens from Irix. This fully manual lens delivers impressive results for the cost but those rear filters SUCK.

The IRIX 11mm f/4 Blackstone lens is a great deal for those wanting to shoot wide angle. As with the 15mm IRIX we reviewed last year it comes in the metal built Blackstone version and plastic Firefly. Optically they are the same lens, you'll just get a better build quality with Blackstone. For the price point, it's a great lens, the corners look great wide open at F/4 for distortion and there's very little chromatic aberration. It's nice to use with a handy stop for infinity built into the focus ring, which you'll be using frequently with a lens this wide. The only complaint so far is the rear filters, which we recommend you picking up a set of Nisi filters instead. The IRIX 11mm f/4 Blackstone is a manual focus lens, but for the price, it's the best option at the moment.Irix 11mm f/4.0Buy the IRIX 11mm f/4: https://bhpho.to/2ojJbSV  IRIX 15mm f/2.4Buy the IRIX 15mm f/2.4: https://bhpho.to/2occZkZWatch the Irix 15mm f/2.4 ReviewIrix Edge Gelatin Filter SetRear Filters from IRIX: https://storeeu.irixlens.com 

Sigma Announces 14-24mm F/2.8 Art Full-frame Lens

SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ArtWe're 2/3rds of the way through the lens trinity with Sigma announcing the new Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens. A full-frame design, this should be an excellent lens for shooting landscapes, interiors, and stars. Designed to work with 50MP cameras. Near zero distortion (less than 1%) and minimal chromatic aberration is the claim. The Sigma ART line has impressed photographers for several years now and I expect this lens to be a serious winner.With the recently released 24-70 Art, we're just waiting on a 70-200mm lens at this point. The 14-24mm lens currently only available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma SA mounts, Sony owners must use an adapter like the Sigma MC-11 adapter for now.  There are strong rumors that in just a few months Sigma will announce FE mount versions of many of their lenses.SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ArtThe Sigma 14-24 Art features Sigma's Sports line of dust and splash proofing with a seal at the mount. Build for high-speed, high accuracy autofocus. This should be a great option for those wanting to capture close up sports and action shots.Another exciting announcement is the introduction of the front mount conversion service for the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 which allows the lens to be used in multicam productions, e.g., VR rigs. The exclusive front round component minimizes the risk of interfering with other cameras and eliminates undesired shadows in the content.We're one step closer to the lens trinity from the Sigma Art line and this likely represents an excellent option for Canon photographers and Nikon user looking to save over the current Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 that costs nearly $1900.

Preorder Coming Soon at B&H

Canon Mount | Nikon Mount

Sample Images

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Specifications

Lens Construction
17 Elements in 11 Groups
Angle of View
114.2°-84.1°
Number of Diaphragm Blades
9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum Aperture
F/22
Minimum Focusing Distance
26 - 28 cm10.2-11.0 in
Maximum Magnifications
1:5.4
Dimensions (Diameter x Length)
ø96.4mm x 135.1mm3.8in. x 5.3in.
Weight
1,150g/40.6oz.
Mounts
Canon, Nikon, Sigma
Price
TBA

Sigma Black Friday Sales

Sigma is offering Black Friday deals on all their ART Series lenses. I love the Sigma ART series lenses and these discounts make already excellent values even better!My Sigma Favorites!

Additional Sigma Lenses on Sale:Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art $799 (Reg $899)Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art $749 (Reg $849)Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art $449 (Reg $499)Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art $799 (Reg $899)Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art $1499 (Reg $1,599)Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art $899 (Reg $999)Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art $999 (Reg $1,099)Many of these lenses can be used on Sony with the MC-11 Adapter.

Sony 24-104 f/4 Hands-on & Sample Images

Sony has announced a 24-104 f/4 G lens. After a few hours of shooting with it on the new Sony a7R III, I can tell you it is very sharp. Some might be disappointed it is not a G Master lens but Sony has created a lens that is extremely sharp across the range and remains lightweight and travel-friendly.The lens uses a Direct Drive SSM focus motor that Sony claims it has a more direct feel similar to a mechanical focus ring, useful for videographers. It is dust and moisture resistant. Nine circular aperture blades create a smooth bokeh.

  • Image stab: Yes
  • Focus Hold/Customizable Button: Yes
  • Max aperture: F4
  • Min aperture: F22
  • Filter size: 77mm (Recommended CPL filter: Hoya CPL | ND Filter: B+W 6 stop)
  • Min focus: 0.38 m (14.96″)
  • Max magnification: 0.31×
  • Weight: 663 g (1.46 lb)
  • Length: 113 mm (4.45″)
The only bummer - it's a good bit more expensive than other 24-105 lenses, almost $1,300 but it is also far sharper and lighter. Although an expensive combination the Sony 24-105 G and the A7R III with a total cost $4,496 is arguably one of the highest quality combos while remaining travel-friendly (size and weight).Price: $1,298.00 - Preorder from B&H Photo | Preorder from Amazon  Ships Nov 30th.Sample Photos

A New Lightweight 24-105mm f/4 Lens From Sony

FE 24-105mm F4 G OSSAlong with the Sony a7R III, more on that here, we've also got a new 24-105mm lens this week from Sony. The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens is a nice addition to the current lineup in sharpness, focus, and weight. We'll have more on this lens and the Sony A7R III as Toby is on location with it in New York so keep an eye out for more info.The lightest among the 24-105 lenses out, it's a great wide to mid-telephoto range for photography and perfect for travel, weighing 23.4oz (663 g). Compared to Canon and Nikon it's MTF chart shows a large improvement vs the competition with great corner to corner sharpness. Multiple extra-low dispersion and aspherical glass elements, with a Nano AR coating as well cut down on distortion and reducing flaring while boosting sharpness.Silent and fast featuring DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM), benfits photographers AND videographers. It can handle slow speeds fine with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to create crisp photos at low speeds. Dust and moisture-resistant design.Preorders start today on the Sony 24-105mm lens for $1,298.00 and the a7R III. If you have been thinking of switching to Sony now is the time. Great performance with a small size should be good on the go for traveling or just as a convenient zoom lens.

Sample Photos

[gallery ids="16364,16365,16366,16367,16368,16369"]

Specifications

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens

  • Mount: Sony E-mount
  • Format: 35 mm full frame
  • Focal Length: 24-105mm
  • 35mm EquivFocal focal Length (APS-C): 36-157.5
  • Lens Groups / Elements: 14-17
  • Angle of View on APS-C: 61°-15°2
  • Angle of View on Full Frame 84°-23°
  • Aperture Range: F/4 - 22
  • Aperture Blades: 9
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.25ft (0.38 m)
  • Filter Size: 77mm
  • Image Stabilization: Optical SteadyShot
  • Size: 3-3/8 x 4-1/2 in (83.4 x 113.3 mm)
  • Weight: 23.4 oz (663 g)

Press Release

Sony Expands Full-Frame Lens Lineup with New Compact, Lightweight FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Covering Wide-angle to Mid-telephoto rangeNew E-mount FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Delivers Serious Still and Video Performance with Compact Design  NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced the latest addition to their expanding full-frame E-mount lens lineup, the FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom (model SEL24105G).The new full-frame lens covers the commonly used 24 to 105mm focal length range, delivering outstanding G Lens™ imaging performance with the most lightweight design in its class1, maximizing its versatility and usability.  Therefore, the FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS can be used for versatile shooting such as landscape, portrait, wedding and so on.  This lens also features fast, precise and quiet autofocus capabilities in both still and video shooting, making it an ideal complement for Sony’s extensive lineup of E-mount cameras.High Optical Performance and Outstanding Resolution             Sony’s new FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens delivers excellent corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the entirety of its zoom range, while also producing beautifully rendered ‘bokeh’ or background defocus at all focal lengths.This high image quality is made possible thanks to its advanced optical design featuring four aspherical lens elements, two of which are high precision AA (advanced aspherical) lenses.  There are also three strategically located ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that work in combination with the aforementioned aspherical lens elements to minimize chromatic aberration and ensure the ultimate resolution is captured.The lens also has Sony’s original Nano AR coating to minimize flare and ghosting, and utilizes a circular aperture to ensure it delivers high quality bokeh that is consistent for all Sony’s G series.Compact, Lightweight Design and Shooting Flexibility            The new FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens weighs in at approximately 663 grams (23.4 oz), making it the lightest lens in its class1.  When combined with one of Sony’s compact E-mount bodies, it gives photographers and videographers a far more mobile, manageable camera system that greatly increases their shooting flexibility.In addition to the compact design and versatile 24-105mm focal length, the new lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.25ft, allowing for impressive close up detail.  It also includes built-in optical image stabilization to make it easier to produce sharp, blur-free images when shooting handheld.Highly Advanced and Accurate AutoFocusIn order to keep up with fast-moving subjects, the new standard zoom lens features a DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) system that is capable of rapid positioning of the lens’ focus groups with high accuracy and very minimal noise.  This advanced system combined with a constant F4 aperture at all focal lengths makes the SEL24105G an excellent choice for both still and video shooting.Further adding to its versatility, the new standard zoom lens also features a customizable focus hold button, a dust and moisture resistant design2 and a fluorine coating on the front element to help minimize dust, water, oil and other contaminants.Pricing and AvailabilityThe new FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Lens will ship this November for about $1,300 US and $1,700 CA.1. Compared to currently available full-frame 24-105mm F4 standard zoom lenses (October 25th, 2017, Sony research)2. Compared to currently available full-frame 24-105mm F4 standard zoom lenses (October 25th, 2017, Sony research)2. Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof

Sigma Announces the 16mm f/1.4 DN - Better Lenses for Sony a6300/a6500

Mixing a comfortable wide-angle design with an ultra-fast maximum aperture, this 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens from Sigma is a 24mm-equivalent prime for APS-C-format Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras like the a6300 and a6500. With a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture, this lens is well suited for low-light conditions and also affords increased control over depth of field. With a 9-bladed aperture design for smooth background blur. This lens also sports a stepping AF motor for quick, quiet, and smooth focusing performance that suits both still photography as well as video applications. Additionally, a weather-sealed, durable construction enables this 16mm f/1.4 to excel in inclement weather conditions.Suitable for the stars or landscape work as well as an excellent focal length for general walk around photography. Available in Sony and Micro 4/3 mounts.[gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="16358,16359,16310"]

  • E-Mount Lens/APS-C Format
  • 24mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • 3 FLD, 2 SLD, and 2 Aspherical Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Stepping AF Motor
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Weather-Sealed TSC Construction

Preorder Links at B&H Photo

Tamron 18-400 Review: Hands-on

The Tamron 18-400 is an incredibly versatile lens crop sensor lens. In this video, I take it whale watching with San Juan Safaris in Friday Harbor and compare it against the Sigma 24-105 and the Sigma 100-400 telephoto lens.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNZEVT0edkQ 

Tamron 18-400 Lens Specs

  • APS-C Format
  • 28.8-640mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/40
  • Three LD and Three Aspherical Elements
  • HLD Autofocus Motor
  • VC Image Stabilization
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm
  • Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm
  • Compatible with TAP-in Console
Sample RAW files (For Personal Use Only)

Best Canon Lenses on SALE!

Canon RebatesCanon has a new batch of rebates including their top L grade lenses you can buy. The Canon 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses are excellent and versatile pieces of glass - sharp, excellent in low light and a pair of lenses coveted by wedding, event and portrait photographers. The Canon 100mm Macro is a close-up dream lens for macro shots such as rings, product photography, and can still do portraits if you're in a pinch. Check the B&H rebates page out, Canon has deals on these lenses and more!

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM LensCanon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM LensInstant Savings: $200.00

The Best Lenses for Photographing the Stars & Milkyway

Star Photography

Full Frame Prime Lens Options

★ Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Watch my video review - $1599.00 (autofocus)

Good
  • Widest aperture lens at this focal length (allows for shorter exposures and or exposures with low ISO shooting the stars, Milky Way and Aurora Borealis
  • Sharp, minimal distortion
  • Autofocus (versatile during the daytime)

Bad

  • Expensive
  • Some Coma on brighter stars, wide open
  • Heavy with bulbous front end

Despite some Coma wide open, this is the BEST lens you can buy for shooting the stars - nothing else is this sharp, this fast. Watch my video review for more information and sample images. 

★ Irix Firefly 15mm f/2.4Watch my video review - $400 (manual focus)

  • Sharp, minimal distortion
  • Locking focus ring
  • Glowing Lens markings for night time shooting
  • Focus click at infinity
  • Customizable focus

Bad

  • Uses 95mm filters

I struggle to come up with anything bad to say about this lens. Sure it uses 95mm Filters and all but the thinnest filters will add some vignetting but it is one of the only lenses on this list that even takes screw on filters. It is very easy to work with in the dark, the locking focus ring and the click stop at infinity focus are helpful when shooting the stars. It is as sharp as the Sigma too! All of this for just $400!

★ Rokinon 24mm f/1.4$429 (Manual Focus) 

Good
  • Faster Aperture
  • Full Frame compatible
  • Takes Filters
  • Lovely walk around focal length for general photography

Bad

  • On crop 24 = 36mm, less exciting for wide starry skies
  • Manual focus only

On a full frame, 24mm is often plenty wide enough for a nice starry sky or milky way shot. At f/1.4 this is a fast lens, is useful for daytime landscape shots with a normal filter size of 77mm but manual focus only does limit the versatility of this lens and it isn't the sharpest option here.

Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS Lens$429 (Best Option for Crop DSLRs)

Good
  • 16mm on Crop - nice and wide

Bad

  • Crop Only
  • No filter threads - Costly filter system for daytime use

The widest & best option for crop users on the list (I don't love the fisheye look for stars or milky way photos) This small, light and affordable lens is hard to beat but the slightly faster IRIX firefly is sharper and offer some nice features that make it worth the sacrifice of a few mm.

★ Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 HD Fisheye Lens with Removable Hood$232 - $299

Good
  • This lens is VERY wide with the typical fisheye look
  • Very affordable.

Bad

  • Crop Only
  • No filters
  • f/3.5
  • Fisheye even more limited in use.

I don't love the look from a fisheye lens for the stars or milky way shots but if you do this would be the lens to grab.  The good news, it is super affordable!

★ Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS$299 - $399 (Best for Mirrorless APS-C or smaller)

Good
  • Very portable
  • Takes filters
  • Fast f/2.0

Bad

This tiny lens is great for mirrorless crop sensor photographers shooting Sony, Fuji, Panasonic or Olympus. It takes filters, is very affordable and lightweight, not quite as sharp and offers a little more distortion than the IRIX or Sigma but excellent still.

Ultra Wide Angle Zooms

(see linked video below)

★ Tokina 11-16 f/2.8$430 Best value ultra wide angle zoom for crop sensors

Good
  • Versatile lens
  • Excellent Value
  • Accepts 77mm Filters

Bad

  • Some distortion and Chromatic abberation
  • Not as sharp as the primes listed

The Tokina 11-16 for Canon and Nikon is one of the best value lenses on this list. It's not the sharpest and certainly has more distortion than the primes but it is a versatile lens with a good range and offer autofocus along with filter use making it possible to tackle a variety of situations.

Additional Lenses to Consider - 

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens - Sharp, fast and relatively little distortion for an ultra-wide zoom lens and accepts regular filters AND is travel-friendly. - B&H Photo for $1,999.00Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD - One of the few ultra wide full frame lenses that offer stabilization. If you are careful you can handhold this at almost a second exposure. Not really helpful for stars/Milkyway but still useful. More distortion and not as sharp as the Canon listed above or the Nikon listed below but still a versatile lens . though be aware it's HEAVY - B&H Photo for $1,099.00Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens - The gold standard for ultra wide angle zooms.Incredibly sharp and useful though it is big and heavy - B&H Photo for $1,896.95

 

Related Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8An3dzcgCWE

Affordable Ultra Wide Angle Zooms for Crop Cameras

Canon 10-18 vs Canon 10-22 vs Tokina 11-16Learn more about the Tokina 11-16 vs the Canon 10-18 and Canon 10-22

Wide Angle Prime Lenses for Canon & Nikon

https://youtu.be/8An3dzcgCWE Download Full Raw Images from All three lenses. Sigma 14mm ART Samples, Irix 15mm Blackstone Samples and Rokinon/Samyang 14mm f/2.8 Sample RAW Images. (images for personal comparison only)Buy the IRIX 15mm LensBuy the SIgma 14mm LensBuy the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm LensEdited Sample Images[gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" td_gallery_title_input="Sigma 14mm Sample Images" ids="15953,15954,15955,15956"]Additional Sigma 14mm Samples Shot by Steve Scurich Photography[gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="15959,15960,15961,15962,15963,15964,15965,15966"]IRIX Blackstone 15mm Sample Shots[gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="15967,15968,15969,15970"]

 

Sigma 135mm f1.8 A Fantastic Portrait Lens

 https://youtu.be/Zbc7P9NQh14 Before we get into the specifics of this lens let’s chat for a minute about portrait lenses. Some of you might be thinking - I thought the 50mm lens was the best for portraits. And some of you might be thinking - I thought the 85mm was best for portraits, and those focal lengths are really nice, along with the 24, 35, 200 and, the 135mm. Generally, it is accepted that longer focal lengths provide a more flattering look for people. Some of you might not like that over simplification because truthfully it is the distance from subject to the camera that really impacts the look you get. SO a better way to describe this- a lens like the 135mm allows you to fill the frame with your subject and be at a distance that gives very pleasing results. That coupled with the fact that Sigma 135mm ART offers f/1.8, is exceptionally sharp wide open AND is weather sealed. And like the other Sigma lenses in the ART series is well built, has no issues with flaring or chromatic aberration. I also found autofocus to be snappy. The Sigma 135mm ART is also relatively affordable at $1400 which leads me back to my original statement - this is quite possibly the best portrait lens for outdoor photographers who own Canon or Nikon cameras.

this is quite possibly the best portrait lens FOR OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO OWN Canon or Nikon CAMERAS.

Inside I think you will find yourself running out of space except for the tightest headshots, unless you have a larger studio space. And while I did mostly shoot and test this lens on a Sony a7Rii using the Sigma MC-11 adapter, I can’t recommend it, Eye AF works but it is slow and autofocus, in general, is slow with more hunting than I would like. My MC-11 firmware is up to date with the Sigma 135 on the compatible list but it seems to need more work. On Canon or Nikon you will be just fine though it's possible you will need to do some micro focus adjustments and or use the Sigma dock that this lens is compatible with. While I have not personally compared the Sigma 135 f/1.8 to the Canon 135mm f/2 I know from reviewers I trust that the Sigma is sharper, especially at the edges and doesn’t have issues with chromatic aberration that you do see in the Canon. And the Canon 135L is not weather sealed.Buy the Sigma 135mm ART from B&H Photo $1,399Full Raw Downloads
Outdoor portrait photographers who like to shoot backlit or get shots with wonderfully creamy bokeh that are rich in colors and contrast - this lens is awesome, however, If you are a Sony user hoping to use this with the MC-11 adapter, I can’t recommend it at this time.What’s your favorite portrait lens?My Favorite Portrait LensesBuy the Sigma 135mm ART from B&H Photo $1,399 (your use of these links supports our work here - we could not do this without you!)

Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Best lens for APS-C Cameras

The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 remains my pick for BEST crop (APS-C) sensor. Pairs well with Canon and Nikon. It is also possible to use the Sigma 18-35 on Micro 4/3 cameras, like the Panasonic GH4 and GH5 with Metabones Speed Booster Ultra (Canon EF-mount). Using the speed booster gives you an extra stop of aperture!Buy the Sigma 18-35 from B&H Photo Canon | NikonWant more zoom? The Sigma 50-100 is heavy but also fantastichttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWo3y7_8vcA