lens review Tag
While primarily aimed at sports and wildlife photographers, the 300mm f/2.8 VR II is also a wonderful lens for portraiture and press photography. This latest version by Nikon is an update on an already tried and tested design, but it has been brought up to date with the additions of the latest VR II technology among other things. Tom Mason takes a closer look.
Tamron have given photographers another choice to consider when looking at a standard zoom. But can its specifications on paper live up to the hype and be a viable alternative to the industry standard 24-70mm zooms out there whilst maintaining a similar size and weight and all at a very competitive price point? That’s a tall order.
Like all the Pen lenses the 40-150mm is tiny, light and perfect for travelling. Optical performance is great for such a tiddler and belies the crash diet it has been on to achieve its travel weight.
This diminutive lens was launched with the last generation of Pens, and aside from its 100 degree wide field of view the big news then was that this is an MSC (Movie-Still-Compatible) lens. That plainly means that it’s optimised for movies and stills… and translated that means it’s fast, smooth and silent when focusing.
I was half expecting the 150mm to be a slightly more grown up version of Sigma’s 105mm macro that I tried last year. This, however, is a very different beast; modern, slick and smooth.
I had always thought of the Canon EF 200mm f/2.0 L IS USM as a bit of a unicorn – you hear tales about it and it’s magical qualities, but I very much doubted I would ever have the privilege of shooting with one myself. That all changed the moment the doorbell rang.
After spending forever carting lenses that weigh 4kg and upwards around, what an absolute breath of fresh air it was to just go out shooting with the Sigma! It’s so much lighter, making it far more portable, and when paired up to a crop sensor camera it offers an incredible amount of reach.
The lens is extremely well built. On mounting it to my Canon 5D Mark II for the first time I noticed this straight away. The metal gives it a tank like feeling and it will easily deal with the knocks and bumps of daily life.
So is it the perfect travel lens? It certainly crams in all you’d normally need – with some icing on top as it has more than excellent reach – 300mm equivalent used to be ‘long’ so the 405mm the Tamron offers is a very useful bonus.