We recently published a look at the Lomography Petzval lens, a modern version of a 19th century portrait lens. It's a niche product and not something we typically cover, but an interesting adaptation of a classic design. Roger Cicala and the team at LensRentals went one step further - when a couple of copies rolled through the door, they subjected the lens to their usual optics tests. Why? Well, because why not?
Stories tagged with lensrentals
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Roger Cicala of LensRentals has revealed the winners of his 'First Annual Photogeek Geek Photo Contest'. What was originally intended as a light-hearted joke ended up receiving over 400 entries from at least 20 countries, and the impressive quality of the entries caused a real headache for the judges. After a lot of deliberation, Rishi Sanyal won 'Best in Show' for his remarkable 'MacroSetUp' series. Click through to see the extraordinarily geeky winning images, and a link to the full contest gallery.
Lensrentals' Roger Cicala continues his recent run of fine satirical form with his latest blog post - a series of cynical definitions for widely-used photography terms. We're almost tempted to use it to replace our glossary, as it should be considered recommended reading before commenting on any photography or 'gear' forum. It's certainly going to make us think carefully about the terminology we use in future reviews.
Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has beaten us to testing the Nikon D610 for oil and dust accumulation - concluding it's 'certainly no worse than other cameras.' Cicala has had an initial look at 25 D610s and a further look after the first ten of them came back from being rented-out, making him uniquely well-placed to comment on the phenomenon. Click through for a link to his article.
Roger Cicala of LensRentals is man after our own hearts, never happier than when tinkering with lenses and writing about what he finds, however obscure it may turn out to be. And in celebration of this, he's launched what we'd like to think of as the ultimate photo competition: The First Annual Photogeek Geek Photo Contest. Full of entertaining categories, and with at least one hugely desirable prize on offer, it's open for entries until November 15th. It's Roger's competiton so we're not going to reveal too much here; head over to LensRentals and have a look. If nothing else, it should make you laugh.
Can cheap filters damage your expensive lenses? LensRentals' Roger Cicala decided to look into the possibility, after seeing a number of lenses returned with odd circular scratches on the front element. His investigations provide a cautionary tale against skimping on buying a new protective filter after buying an expensive lens. Click through for a link to his full article.
Mount adapters are incredibly useful for their ability to make lenses from one manufacturer usable with camera bodies from another. But do they have any impact on image quality? LensRentals' Roger Cicala, not one to take manufacturer's claims at face value, investigated. Knowing that slight mis-alignments between a lens and even its native mount can cause softness in images, the added complexity with a lens adapter in the mix seemed likely to cause more problems. His findings are indeed interesting.
LensRentals.com is now shipping the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with the Magic Lantern 'hack' pre-installed. The most notable feature gained by using Magic Lantern on the 5D Mark III is Raw video support, which offers much better video quality than on the 'stock' camera. The rest of the Magic Lantern feature set is also available, including focus peaking, an intervalometer, too many movie enhancements to list, plus the DR improvement that we reported on last month.
Which words spring to mind when you think about 70-200mm zoom lenses - solid and dependable or fragile and unreliable? Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has just published an analysis of the failure rates of the 12,000 lenses he rents out, and the results may surprise you. Even having taken into account popularity and accidental damage, five 70-200s turn up in his highest failure rate table - including the latest models from Canon and Nikon.
Now that he has his own copies of the new Zeiss Touit lenses, Roger Cicala of Lensrentals decided to crack into the Planar 32mm F1.8 lens. His mission was to see if the renowned build quality of Zeiss optics was compromised to make the lenses more affordable. His teardown detailed the Touit's polymer construction and its use of a DC motor. Click through to see what he thought.
LensRentals' Roger Cicala has published an interesting comparison of the Zeiss ZE 135mm F2 APO-Sonnar and the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens, with both optics mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. While you'd expect nothing less than excellent results from the Zeiss optic, just what advantages can the heavier and much more expensive lens offer compared to Canon's well-regarded prime lens? Click through to read Cicala's findings.
Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has published the third part of his investigation into Canon's autofocus systems, looking at what's changed behind the marketing claims. It's not unusual for manufacturers to promise that their products are 'new and improved,' but explanations about what's been changed or how much of an improvement it offers are harder to come by. Cicala has delved into Canon's patents (and taken some lenses apart), to see exactly why the EOS 5D Mark III's focus so consistently out-performs its predecessors'.
Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has just tested Canon's EF 40mm F2.8 STM pancake prime lens, with interesting results. Cicala has tested eight copies of the $199 lens, to see what compromises have been made to offer a video-optimized lens in a small package for such a low price. His initial impressions are worth reading if you're one of the people considering this lens.
Photographer Andrew Kane found himself having to report damage to the Nikon D4 he'd rented this weekend, after it was attacked by a grizzly bear. Kane had the presence of mind to document the attack, using his D700 and 70-300VR that he had slung around his neck - grabbing some impressive sharp images of the bear mauling the rented kit. LensRentals seem satisfied with his explanation - Roger Cicala has blogged that replacement gear is already on the way to Kane.
The ever-inquisitive Roger Cicala at LensRentals has dismantled a light-leak-fixed Canon EOS 5D Mark III and compared it to an unmodified version. The solution, as proposed by every tool-shed tinkerer, appears to be a piece of black electrical tape, which Cicala says successfully stops stray light reaching the camera's metering sensor. When asked if he'd send his own Mark III back to be modified, Cicala points out that he doesn't 'do long exposure night photography with autometering.' But, in the unlikely event that you do, you can rest assured that Canon can fix your camera for you.
Roger Cicala of LensRentals has written an article about why 'soft' lenses occur and how you'll know if you have one. The article summarises his experience and testing of the phenomenon and explains how the pursuit of a 'perfect' lens is a fool's errand.
Roger Cicala of LensRentals has written an article about lens and camera sample variation. The latest article builds on the several excellent pieces he's already written by subjecting a series of lenses to studio testing. As one of the few independent people in a position to test and assess sample variation with a reasonable sample size, it's well worth a read. As with all his posts, it does a good job of explaining and demonstrating the inherent variability and inconsistencies in lens behavior. It also addresses the reasonable desire (and sometimes unreasonable behavior) of photographers to get a 'good copy' of a lens.
Lens rental company Lensrentals has posted an interesting blog post on the subject of filters. Ostensibly side-stepping the issue of whether UV filters are actually beneficial, it illustrates the effect of stacks of UV filters of different qualities. Acknowledging this isn't a real-world application, it does show that, if you are going to use filters, you probably shouldn't try to skimp on them. The post also shows exactly why you should never be tempted to stack more than 49 filters on the front of your lens.
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