SAMU's homepage


About Me
Digital Darkroom
Motorsport photos
Audio & Video

Photo Equipment Reviews

I'm doing some lens reviews and possibly other equipment as well, since I have had quite much trouble finding information what I would like to know about photography equipment in the past. For example it's quite easy to find reviews of lenses which show MTF charts and other easily measured values. I have been more interested things, which are not easy to measure but will make difference on the actual photographs. So my reviews concentrate on properties what I think are the most important deciding factors - which are typically not much more than mentioned in side sentences:

  • 3D-look / plasticity [From Wikipedia (before they changed the page):The representation in the two-dimensional that gives the impression of solidity/three-dimensionality.]
  • acutance [From Wikipedia: ...the amplitude of the derivative of brightness with respect to space.]
  • bokeh [From Wikipedia:is a photographic term referring to out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens.

And I quarantee - no brickwalls or newspapers taped to wall on my reviews ;-)

I have been planning quite long time for these reviews, but haven't done them earlier since didn't have full frame camera. Of course I have evaluated my lenses from prints & screen and made my own conclusions. Typically I don't carry with me multiple lenses of same focal length when traveling, due to this taking photos to reviews can only be done when I'm in Finland. Since I travel >200 days every year, sometimes the progress of reviews might be quite slow...For same reason I make the reviews incrementally and not at once. I will update the front page when there are updates to any of the reviews.

Planned reviews

Actual reviews you can see on the left side menu but here is what I have planned to review:

  • Short Tele lenses
    One of my most used focal lengths tested first. Mainly concentrating to compate Canon EF 85 f/1.2 L USM Mk II and Leica Elmarit-R 90 f/2.8, but also including Canon EF 85 f/1.8 USM and EF 100 f/2.8 USM macro.
  • Canon Short&Medium Teles
    Comparison of Canon EF 85 f/1.2 L USM Mk II, EF 135 f/2.0 L USM and EF 200 f/2.8 L USM Mk II. Naturally these are different focal lengths and therefore not ever replacing each another, but I still feel like these are worth comparing.
  • 50mm lenses
    Comparison of Canon EF 50 f/1.4 USM, EF 50 f/1.8, EF 50 f/2.5 CM and Leica Summicron-R 50 f/2.0. Mainly concentrating to compate 1.4 and Leica, so all tests will not include other lenses.
  • 28mm lenses
    Testing Contax Distagon T* 28mm f/2.8, Canon EF 17-40 f/4 L USM and Nikon PC-Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 on landscapes and other stuff I do with 28mm.
  • 135L and 1.4x vs 180L vs 200L
    There has been always a lot debate is it worth to buy the EF 200 f/2.8 since EF 135 f/2.0 with 1.4x can do the same with 1.4x. Typically this is argued between people who own only one of the lenses. To me this is no-brainer since 200mm plasticity and acutance are better than in 135mm without no extender on 135mm...In addition I think it's worth the effort to throw in the 180L as well since it has about the same focal length and there have been also many discussions "I have 180L should I buy 200L for landscapes etc." and personally I tried and tried to find information "is 180L also very high quality tele lens or is it too optimized for macro and "normal" tele shots do not have good image quality?" but could not get reliable information about the subject. This review is naturally only concentrating image quality, I'm not concerned AF-speed etc. since I don't even use AF for 99% of my photography...


Couple things to remember when reading the reviews:

  • Reviews are based on my personal preferences
  • Reviews are based on copies of equipment I have in my possession
  • I do not care if somebody disagrees with my review results - however you are welcome to send comments and critisism - I read them and try to reflect comments in the reviews if I see necessary

Huuhaakuukausi 2nd, 2008