May 4, 2015 Donald Scarinci

Sigma has stepped up its game with the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. Arguably one of the best lof its kind on the market, the fast standard-length prime lens delivers outstanding images for every type of professional photography, including portrait photography, landscape photography, studio photography and street photography. For Sigma fans, the new lens is a completely reengineered version of the existing Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. Below is a brief summary of the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art’s key features: Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16 Hyper Sonic AF Motor 13 elements in 8 groups…

February 9, 2015 Donald Scarinci

The new Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, is not just another lens. It utilizes a new technology that allows a sharp, professional level long lens to be hand held and used without a lens collar on a tripod. The fixed focal length telephoto lens, which is marketed as the lightest on the market, is also a good value for professionals and serious enthusiasts at $2,000. It was introduced at CES last month with fanfare. While not yet on the market, the innovative lens is currently available for pre-order.According to Nikon, its latest lens not only weighs approximately…

July 28, 2014 Donald Scarinci

The ProOptic 500mm f/6.3 is a good quality 500 mirror lens alternative for photographers who do not regularly shoot at this range. At only $160, its drawbacks are not that significant. In the category of mirror lenses, this one is undoubtedly the best. The ProOptic only weighs 1.5 pounds and reaches less than 4.5 inches long when racked out. It balances nicely on most cameras and is easy to shoot handheld. It is at its best with wildlife and street photography provided you are good with manual focus. The most obvious drawback to the ProOptic is that it does not…

June 30, 2014 Donald Scarinci

Nikon recently unveiled the Nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens. While it is considerably lighter than its predecessor, it comes with a hefty price tag of $11,999.95. In its product release, Nikon touted the new lens as the natural companion for its new Nikon AF-S TC-14E III teleconverter. It retails for $499.95 and will also be available in August. “The new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR has been evolved to meet the needs of today’s sports, wildlife and multi-media photographers, well beyond the premier precision optics; it is much lighter, and has well thought-out controls and…

June 2, 2014 Donald Scarinci

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Nikon would announce the lenses they plan to make for the year at one time?  That would certainly remove the anxiety from some purchase decisions and allow photographers to budget and plan their expenses for the year. Now that Sigma and Tamron are making lenses competitive to Nikon in quality, perhaps Nikon should revisit its marketing strategy.  An annual announcement of all new lenses for the year might cause sales of older model lenses to decline, but it would certainly help keep Nikon lenses with Nikon cameras and help prevent Nikon owners from straying. The…

May 5, 2014 Donald Scarinci 1Comment

Sigma did it again!  On the heels of its success with the Sigma 35mm f./1.4 lens, the early reviews place the Sigma 50mm f./1.4 in a lofty category as a first class optic suitable for any professional or serious amateur use. Early reviews seem to support Sigma’s claims that its new 50mm f/1.4 lens surpass Nikon and Canon as competitors and take on the incontrovertibly outstanding $4000 ZEISS 55mm f/1.4 Otus lens. The only question now is whether brand conscious photographers will buy the Sigma over the Otus lens or the Nikon lens. To view the specs of the Sigma…

March 10, 2014 Donald Scarinci 2Comment

The three Nikkor FX lenses that need a refresh the most include two of Nikon’s biggest sellers and an old Nikkor lens that competes with a better Sigma alternative. Probably Nikon’s best selling lens is the second of what is known as the “holy trinity” of lenses for professional photographers, the Nikkor 24-70 f./2.8G ED.  This lens was first produced in 2007 and is priced at about $1900.  It is remains a great lens and a favorite “standard” lens for professionals, but it does not offer vibration reduction. Tamron introduced a strong competitor with its SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC…

January 13, 2014 Donald Scarinci

Whether you want to take portraits or nature shots, Nikon is known for its superior camera lenses. The company added several new products to its repertoire in 2013, and they did not disappoint. Below are some of the top picks from the Nikkor line: Wide-angle zoom lens: For landscape or architectural photography, it is essential to have a wide-angle lens. Weighing in at only 385g (13.6 oz), the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is a light and compact choice. The lens is also relatively affordable, selling for around $750. It is designed for use on Nikon’s FX (full-frame) SLRs….

June 10, 2013 Donald Scarinci

The Big Three Nikon Lenses for Vacation Travel   When photography is not the main purpose of a trip, lenses compete for space in carry on luggage with other essential items like books, food, a laptop and spare clothes in case the packed luggage gets lost in flight. Just as there is a “big three” for professional photographers who use Nikon FX cameras—Nikkor 14-24 f./2.8; Nikkor 24-70 f./2.8; and the Nikkor 70-200 f./2.8 VR, there should be a “big three’ for travel photographers who want good pictures with their FX Nikon as well as a happy family vacation.  For me,…

August 27, 2012 Donald Scarinci

I love my Nikkor 70-200 f./2.8 VR2 but let’s face it, the lens takes up a lot of weight and space in the carry-on luggage when you are traveling.  On trips when photography is not the main objective or when traveling with a carry-on only, there is room for the camera with one lens attached and maybe a flash.  In those situations, the Nikkor 18-300 f./3.5-5.6 VR2 is the lens. I tested this lens under extreme conditions on a sailboat.  I could only take one lens because of packing considerations and because changing lenses at sea always involves risk to…