Lens Tag

There is no doubt that two camera makers in the current market have been most successful in embracing the concept of retro style - I should have said three, but if I used the term Lomo in the same breath as Leica and Fujifilm, I would be chased from the place. And I haven't been chaste for years...

The choice of which lens to put on the new Canon EOS R camera was an easy one for me to make - the one in the box. The kit comes with a 24-105mm f:4 lens. It is an L lens - red ring - and has an internal stabilising system. It is a second cousin to the 24-105 f:4 L IS that has been seen on any number of Canon DSLR cameras over the last decade...

Leica users have had a rough time of it in the past - they have always had access to the best of optical performance in most fields - but they may not have known it was available. The traditional Leica presentation of street photography in Germany or field photography in Africa has mostly revolved around the use of rangefinder cameras used with stand-off lenses. Unless one was using the 35mm SLR cameras, one was going to have to do a lot of hard work to get macro and close-up shots. Well, not any more. The digital revolution and the availability of live view and the LCD screen has changed all that. The Leica shooter can go in as close as people using other systems. It just needs the lenses and the determination. The Leica Macro Elmar M 90mm f:4 is one way to go. 1:2 close-up ratio and incredible resolution. You need to stack the Macro Adapter M in between the lens and the body to do it...

Climb up with me We're going to go up the Fujifilm 23mm focal length ladder this week and you can see how difficult it is to climb. Don't be afraid of a nose bleed - 23mm isn't all that high. This enquiry was sparked by the realisation that 23mm may well be the go-to focal length for the APS-C sensor when the average shooter takes a camera out. And that there are a number of ways of getting to that number. Users of other camera systems may like to look within their own catalogues or camera bags to find similar lenses - the micro 4/3 people will need to look at about 17-18mm focal length as their  nearest equivalent while the full - frame shooters will need to use 35mm lenses as their point of comparison. The thing we are achieving with a lens of this sort is very moderate wide-angle - capable of  environmental portraiture as well as general coverage and landscape work. A lens that may prove to be a worker inside or outside, and it will have the advantage of...

That sounds vaguely like a Dashiell Hammett detective novel title, but it's really just the best way to introduce the big macro lens for my favourite camera maker - Fujifilm. The lens, the Fujinon XF80mm f 1:2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro, is the newest macro from the firm - their 60mm macro has been in the range of lenses since the introduction of the X-system. It's been a stand-by for close work and very sharp in it's favoured range, but somewhat of an acquired taste. To put it bluntly, the 60mm is a slow-working lens. Like the well-known divine mills, it grinds slowly but exceeding fine. If you've got a set of subjects that can stand a close approach and immobility, it is a wonderful choice - but I was delighted to be able to see whether the new 80mm macro was going to beat it. Of course there is the question of depth of field - you'll have little enough of it with the 60mm focal length when you close in and less with the 80mm - the DOFmaster tables show...

People who read this column regularly are getting pretty used to the flights of fancy that sometimes occur. And they are more critical than you might think. So I don't think I will have any luck telling them that the lens in the heading image is the Paul Hamlyn part-work Built-Your-Own-Lens in 204 parts and that we have been faithfully buying the magazines every week for over a year now...

If you ever want to know whether something is legit in an overall sense, you should look at the things about it that you know personally - and judge the remainder accordingly. Not saying that this is strictly scientific, but you stand a better chance of getting to the bottom of something if you work with tools you know. Case in point - have you ever seen something happen that was considered news-worthy, watched the news-gathering people at work, and then read the final report? Was the report as you saw the event? Was it true? Did something get added or taken away? Was there room for genuine error? If there was, will it ever be corrected? Okay - You'll have noticed that a big US-based mail order firm has just opened a website here in Australia to sell you everything from cosmetics to books to electronic gear. There was a big brouhaha on the news. Part of the fuss was the fear that it would destroy smaller Australian retailers. You'll also have noticed in the last few years that a large New...