Photography News 81 WEB

Independent lenses



of the latest high-resolution cameras. Prices of Milvus lenses start at £1135 for the 35mm f/2 with the most pricey being the £2575 15mm f/2.8. For even better performance, there’s the Otus range, but these premium lenses are priced accordingly with, for example, the 55mm f/1.4 costing £3300 and the 28mm f/1.4 at £4000. Mirrorless camera owners have not been forgotten by Zeiss either, with autofocus Batis lenses for Sony full-frame E-mount, manual focus Loxia lenses for the same fitting and autofocus Touit for Sony-E APS-C and Fujifilm X Mount.

One of the most established independent lens brands, Tamron offers a massive choice of lenses (39, according to its website) from fast primes to telephoto macros and long zooms. Its SP (or Super Performance) collection is especially respected and models include the SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 and SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD. Many of its lenses feature cutting-edge technologies to deliver uncompromising performance. Most notable are the VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabiliser to cut down camera shake, USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) for fast, smooth autofocus and advanced lens coatings, which include eBand, AX (Anti-Reflection eXpand) and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) to help deliver flare-free, high-contrast images. Its latest introduction is the 28-200mm f/2.8- 5.6 Di III RXD, a superzoom with f/2.8 at the 28mm end, the first lens of this type to have such a fast aperture. This is available in Sony E-mount, one of several lenses launched in that fitting recently. Many current Tamrons can also be used on Canon EOS R and Nikon Z cameras via the relevant adapter with a firmware update. Tamron services can help here or you can do it yourself using the Tamron TAP-in console, a device that costs £75 and allows you to fine-tune lens performance, as well as install updates.

Zeiss has been making lenses for discerning image makers since 1890 and its current line-up comprises lenses for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, movie cameras and rangefinders. For Canon and Nikon SLR users, there’s the option of Classic lenses, the Milvus family or the flagship Otus range, depending on what focal length you desire as well as your budget, and all are manual focus primes. Twelve products make up the Milvus family, covering a range from 15mm f/2.8 to 135mm f/2, taking in a fast 25mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 along the way. These beautifully made lenses make the most


variety of fittings, including Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony E fittings. Canon EOS R system owners have not been forgotten and recently we have seen the introduction of the AF 14mm f/2.8 and AF 85mm f/1.4, priced at £524 and £599 respectively.

There’s no lack of choice in Samyang’s range, with manual and autofocus lenses available. There are two manual focus families, the standard collection and the XP Premium series. In the standard series of manual focus lenses, the range is impressively sizable and lenses for most camera mounts and formats are available, with fixed focal lengths from 8mm f/3.5 fisheye and 14mm f/2.8 ultra wide to 85mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2. Also in this range sits the 24mm f/3.5 tilt-shift lens, which is available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax, Sony A and Sony E-mount fittings, priced from £689. There are fewer options in the XP Premium manual focus series. There’s the XP 10mm f/3.5, XP 14mm f/2.4, XP 35mm f/1.2, XP 50mm f/1.2 and XP 85mm f/1.2, all available for full- frame Canon EF, with just two, the 10mm and 14mm, for Nikon F. Initially, Samyang focused on producing manual focus lenses, but autofocus is now high on its agenda. Popular lenses include the full-frame AF 14mm f/2.8, AF 75mm f/1.8 and AF 85mm f/1.4, which are available in a


Tokina is a well-established Japanese lens brand with several photo lens families under its brand umbrella. The Opera group features two lenses at the moment, designed to help you get the most from the latest full-frame DSLRs. The £699 16-28mm f/2.8 and £879 50mm f/1.4 FF, both are full-frame autofocus lenses available in Canon EF and Nikon F fittings. Also with the aim of making the most of resolution, but designed for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, is the Firin range, currently featuring the £579 100mm f/2.8 FE Macro and the 20mm f/2 FE, available in autofocus or manual focus priced at £729 and £409 respectively. Recently launched is the ATX-M range, again for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, and while it has just one member at the moment, the 85mm f/1.8 FE (shown above), this will undoubtedly grow in time as this fitting continues to increase in popularity. Tokina’s largest family is the AT-X Pro (AT-X stands for Advanced Technology-X). Nine lenses are available with eight zooms and one prime, the full-frame 100mm f/2.8 Pro D Macro. Four of the AT-X family are dedicated APS-C format lenses, including the 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX II and 11-20mm f/2.8 Pro DX ultra-wide zooms.


Voigtländer is one of the oldest names in the optics industry and is renowned for its high quality, great value and classically designed manual focus lenses. Optics are available for Canon EF, Nikon F, Leica M, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mounts. In Voigtländer’s range there are five offerings for the Micro Four Thirds mount and they all sport a maximum aperture of f/0.95, so if you enjoy shooting in low light or you’re looking for shallow depth- of-field effects, these are lenses well worth a serious look. There’s the 10.5mm f/0.95 MFT Nokton at £1019 for scenic, urban

Hyper Wide Heliar Aspherical, the world’s first rectilinear lens of this focal length, to the 110mm f/2.5 Macro Apo-Lanther at £899. If a high-speed lens appeals, look at the £810 40mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical or the £943 50mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical.

shooting and interiors, while the £810 42.5mm f/0.95 MFT Nokton and the £1049 60mm f/0.95 MFT Nokton will appeal to people photographers. For Sony E-mount owners, Voigtländer offers lenses from the £799 10mm f/5.6

18 Photography News | Issue 81

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