Author: Dawn Gilfillan

Professional photographer, writer, and lover of all things photography-related! I live in Durham, in the northeast of England.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G is a prime lens that is especially suited for portrait and wedding photographers, but also works well for food and landscape photography. Many photographers relied heavily on the old Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D lens, which was legendary for the amazing bokeh it produced as well as extreme sharpness and great color rendition. The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G is the replacement for this much-loved lens and boasts newer technological innovations. We’ll look at the specs of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G as well as how it performs in real life. We’ll also take a look…

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The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR is a telephoto zoom that covers a decent focal range. It will appeal to all kinds of photographers from portrait shooters through to landscape and sports, but the slow f/4 maximum aperture may limit its usefulness for some photographers. When you’re looking for a good, solid general-purpose zoom like this, you want to know that it does a good job before you part with your hard-earned dollars. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR isn’t a budget lens by any means, so we’re going to take a good, hard look at…

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If you’re looking for a different perspective on things, then the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye might be the perfect lens for you. If you tire of the straight lines afforded by longer focal length lenses, yet don’t want to produce completely circular images, the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG is a good compromise between ‘normal’ images provided by standard lenses and the total roundness that the Sigma 4.5mm f/.8 Circular Fisheye lens creates. The Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye isn’t an everyday lens, and it’s not great for portraits unless you’re going for some distorted…

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The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens has a name almost as long as its maximum focal length, but is it worth dropping some of your hard-earned dollars on? Sigma has a lot of experience in making long focal length zoom lenses, and the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM is one of the smallest and lightest lenses in its class. It’s also a fairly low-priced option for a lens of this focal range, which will make it an easy choice for a lot of sports, wildlife, and nature photographers. This lens comes in Sigma SA mount, Nikon…

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Are you on the hunt for wide-angle lenses that won’t break the bank? Well, we have a sweet selection of the best Tamron ultra wide-angle lenses under $500. Tamron is a third-party lens manufacturer that has a reputation for making good lenses with durable weather sealing, which is a big bonus if you are a landscape, wildlife, or travel photographer. A lens is classed as ultra wide-angle if the shortest focal length is under 24mm, and this applies to both prime lenses and zooms. Distortion can be a problem with ultra wide-angle lenses, but this can usually be fixed in…

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Tamron had an ambitious goal with the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC, promising both wide-angle and telephoto focal lengths in a compact package for mirrorless cameras. It also comes with Tamron’s brilliant Vibration Compensation (VC) system and fast stepping AF motor. It’s not a fast lens by any stretch, with f/3.5 being the maximum aperture, and it’s not all that cheap, either, although Sony’s own equivalent 18-200mm lens is more expensive. The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC comes in Sony E-mount for NEX and Canon EOS M mount, and is designed to be an all-in-one lens that goes…

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The Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a prime standard focal length 45mm lens that’s available in Canon and Nikon mounts. This is a great lens for low-light photography due to the fast f/1.8 aperture and the Vibration Compensation (VC) image stabilization. Tamron threw everything it had into the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD to make it superior to other standard prime lenses, including special coatings on the lens, weather-sealing, and the Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) AF motor. Does this lens live up to the hype about it? Let us take a more detailed look. Design…

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The Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Art lens is part of the mirrorless range of Sigma Art lenses, identified by the ‘DN’ specification. It used to come in either a Sony E-mount or Micro Four-Thirds mount, but the Sony E-mount version has been discontinued. The equivalent focal length on micro four-thirds is 120mm, and on Sony E-mount, it’s 90mm. This puts the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Art into the medium telephoto lens bracket which is a useful focal length for portraiture, landscape, and general photography. It comes in either a silver or black finish. The Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Art is…

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Each year the stakes get higher in the smartphone market. The LG G5 was a game-changer when it was released back in 2016, but is it still as good four years on? Technology changes so fast that today’s hot ticket becomes tomorrow’s obsolete tech. The LG G5 comes with modular capabilities, meaning you can gain extra functionality through buying add-ons. This was its USP back in the day, but the modular design never really took off with this phone, although it pushed the smartphone market in new directions. This phone was top of the game in 2016, and although it’s…

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The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a 35mm third-party prime lens that features Tamron’s cutting-edge Vibration Compensation (VC) system, which has consistently been one of the best image stabilization systems since it was introduced. When you’re looking for a prime lens, you often need to choose between a fast aperture or some form of image stabilization, and you can’t get much better than Tamron’s VC system. Most photographers would like a good 35mm prime in their lens collections as it’s a flexible focal length that’s suited to landscape, street photography, group portraits, and other general-purpose photography uses.…

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The Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a standard 50mm prime lens for Nikon’s Z-mount mirrorless. A 50mm lens is one of the great prime focal lengths because the ‘nifty fifty’ is a versatile portrait, landscape, and general-purpose lens. Nikon’s Z-mount mirrorless system is a benchmark because it is built to potentially increase image quality by shortening the distance between the lens flange and the image sensor to just 16mm. This means that there is less distance for light to travel to the sensor and gives more room for a larger rear lens element, which in theory should give…

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The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary is part of Sigma’s Contemporary range which aims to offer compact and lightweight general-purpose lenses that are also high performance. This range produces consumer lenses rather than professional ones, and the affordable prices are reflected in that. This particular lens is made for Sony E-mount, Canon EF-M mount, Micro Four Thirds, and Leica L-mount cameras and that is what the ‘DN’ in the name signifies. The ‘DC’ part of the name means the lens is designed for APS-C sensor cameras. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary offers a very natural perspective, while…

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Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at the professional-grade Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, and see if the performance matches its good looks. You could go with your camera brand and buy their 24mm lenses, or you could look at the usually cheaper but often just as good third-party lenses such as this Art series lens. Many photographers will decide at some point that they want a 24mm lens in their collection, but which one should they choose? 24mm is a good focal length for wide-angle landscape photography, but it can also be used for wedding photography,…

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The Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AF is a full-frame lens made for a variety of camera mounts. It comes as an autofocus version, which is a welcome addition by Rokinon as previous versions were manual focus only. Rokinon has always been known for manual focus lenses, but it’s trying to establish itself as a reliable budget brand with its new autofocus technology. While the 85mm f/1.4 certainly isn’t going to rival any of the major heavy hitters in the 85mm range, the price for the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AF reflects that. An 85mm is a classic portrait prime lens length and…

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The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG MACRO Art lens is the first prime macro of Sigma’s Art range, built for optical quality which is an Art Series priority instead of autofocus speed or image stabilization. This lens comes in Sigma L-mount, Canon EF, and Sony E-mounts. Strangely, Sigma has left Nikon out of this party, at least for now. This lens certainly lives up to the optical quality label as it is extremely sharp across the range, but we’re going to find out whether that’s enough to justify spending on a dedicated macro lens by looking at the design, build quality,…

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The Laowa 105mm f/2 STF is a bit of a quirky one from a fairly new lens manufacturer, and it’s interesting enough to catch our attention. This lens is a fully manual Smooth Transition Focus (STF) lens, so it may take those used to autofocus a while to get to grips with the workings. It functions brilliantly as a medium-telephoto portrait lens. One of the interesting features of this lens is that it uses an apodization element that allows the lens to create fantastic bokeh while giving a super-sharp subject. The Laowa 105mm f/2 STF is currently made to fit…

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The Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM lens replaces the discontinued Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM lens, but does it have what it takes to fill those legendary shoes? This is a professional lens, and it comes with a professional price tag, as well as a host of features and top-class optics. Though this is a medium telephoto prime lens that is perhaps not massively versatile, it is fantastic for those who want to use it for capturing fast-action sports, portraits with beautiful background separation, wildlife, and weddings. Let’s see how this Canon heavyweight stacks up in design, handling, and…

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Are you looking for medium telephoto third-party lenses for Canon systems, or do you prefer Canon’s own lenses? It’s worth shopping around for third-party lenses these days as the quality is much higher than it used to be and you can usually get them at a fraction of the price of the big brands. Most photographers will want to add at least one medium telephoto lens to their camera collection sooner or later, but what are they good for, and how do you choose? Medium telephoto lenses tend to fall into the 70-200mm range, and this makes them a handy…

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The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM was launched to replace the rather elderly Mark I version that was first released in 1998. The EF 35mm Mark II shares a lot of main specs with the Mark I, and key features are very similar. Underneath the surface, though, is where Canon’s quest for excellence is very much in evidence. The Mark II is bigger, heavier, and harder on your bank account, but is it worth the extra cost? Let’s take a closer look at how this lens performs when in action. Design The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens…

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Drones are the new must-have technology, and make an ideal gift for teenagers (or born-again teenagers!). But if you’re looking for a drone as a birthday gift then it can be confusing if you don’t know much about drones. There’s just so many to choose from. The great news is that we have done all of the hard work for you and compiled some of the best options. We’ve looked at the various features and different price points so there’s sure to be a drone that suits your teenager (and your pocket!). Let’s take a look at the best drone…

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The Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM was created for use in Canon’s compact system cameras. It’s a standard zoom lens that has an equivalent focal length of 29-88mm on a full-frame camera, so it’s pretty versatile. This lens features a stepping motor (STM) for smooth continuous autofocus while in live view or shooting video. It also packs a four-stop optical Image Stabilizer (IS) and Dynamic IS for video. While not a macro lens, the Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM gives a pretty decent closest focusing distance of 25cm, and those who want to use circular filters will be…

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The Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens came out in 2004, so it’s been around for a while. Most photographers like to have at least one zoom lens in their kit, and the EF-S 17-85mm covers a good range of view from wide-angle to telephoto. It also boasts Canon’s second-generation optical image stabilizer (IS). This feature lets you hand-hold the camera at slower shutter speeds than you are used to, as it reduces the dreaded camera shake by up to three stops. The EF-S 17-85mm will only fit Canon’s APS-C DSLRs (crop sensor). This gives you an equivalent range…

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There are many image editing programs out there, but Capture One has always appealed to the professional user for several reasons. It’s an all-in-one package that offers tethered shooting for image capture, powerful photo organizing, and very detailed image editing. There is nothing quite like Capture One on the market, and even the closest rival, Adobe’s Lightroom Classic doesn’t come anywhere near in terms of the number of editing options you get with Capture One. As a regular user of Capture One, I know it’s packed with every editing feature you could wish for, but there are some niggles and…

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No matter how much gear we like to acquire, most photographers don’t have a tilt-shift lens in their collection. Many new (and even some experienced) photographers aren’t even aware of what a tilt-shift lens can do, but we’re here to help. A tilt-shift lens is popularly known for making life-sized things look like miniatures. However, tilt-shift lenses are used frequently in architectural photography. They fix the dreaded converging of vertical lines in an image of a building, correct perspective, and help to emphasize or reduce depth of field in an image. Tilt-shift lenses are also used to create panoramic photos…

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The Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens is one of two lenses created for the Canon EOS M mirrorless camera. The EF-M 22mm isn’t compatible with other Canon camera bodies, so DSLR owners will have to give this pancake lens a miss. It’s a fast prime lens featuring a constant aperture of f/2, along with a stepping motor (STM) for smooth continuous AF while shooting video (and in Live View mode). Because it’s made for the EOS M camera, the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM prime has a near equivalence of a 35mm lens on a full-frame camera. It’s a…

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Entry-level DSLRs are now ten a penny, but the Canon EOS Rebel T7i (EOS 800D outside the US) still stays top of the tree in Canon’s entry-level DSLR range. This version is an update to the EOS Rebel T6i (EOS 750D), which was released in 2015, and it comes with some extra features like an improved Digic 7 sensor for superior noise handling and an impressive 6fps for continuous burst shooting. While mirrorless cameras are taking the photography world by storm, there are still solid reasons why you would choose a DSLR like the Canon EOS Rebel T7i instead –…

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