The smallest of Nikon’s super-fast telephoto lenses.Nikon’s huge AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR lens is so big it comes in its own special suitcase. At almost $13,000 its price tag is beyond the reach of even the most serious enthusiasts but, when we were offered it for review we felt it would be interesting to road test a lens that only a very specialised cohort of professional photographers would use – primarily sports photographers.
A compact macro lens with superb performance for 1:1 close-ups, copying work and general photography.The AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 G ED is the latest in a long line of macro lenses from Nikon. Capable of true 1:1 reproduction, it features internal focusing, which provides faster, smoother autofocusing and also eliminates barrel length changes. And, because the front element doesn’t rotate, users can fit angle-critical filters, such as polarisers.
A budget-priced tele-zoom lens with built-in image stabilisation.Canon’s new EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS is designed specifically for cameras with ‘APS-C’ sized sensors and combines light weight with a very low price tag for an optically-stabilised lens. On the EOS 400D and 40D cameras we used for our tests, its focal length range is equivalent to 88-400mm on a 35mm camera. It’s a fairly slow lens – and this is apparent in the viewfinder when you’re shooting.
A first-rate wide-angle zoom for DSLRs with ‘APS-C’ sized imagers.The ‘EF-S’ designation is Canon’s way of labelling lenses with Short Back Focus, which indicates the distance between the sensor plane and the rear element of the lens is shorter than in an EF lens. Such lenses are designed exclusively for EOS cameras with ‘APS-C-sized’ sensors and cannot be used on Canon’s 35mm SLR cameras – or on the EOS 5D. The new EF-S 10-22mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens covers fields of view equivalent to 16-35mm in 135mm format. An excellent partner to the EOS 400D we used for our tests, its wide angle of view is great for landscape and architectural photography, especially indoor shots.
A high-performance zoom lens that covers a popular focal length range and provides up to four f-stops of stabilisation plus attractive bokeh.Canon announced the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, on 26 August, 2010 in the lead-in to September’s Photokina Trade Show. Targeted at professionals and advanced amateur photographers it’s surprisingly compact for its specifications and usable with all of the company’s DLSR cameras. The 4.3x zoom range of 70-300mm on the ‘full frame’ models (112-480mm with ‘APS-C sensors), with a variable aperture of f/4-5.6.
A compact, high-magnification zoom lens with few aberrations and effective image stabilisation.The EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM is Canon’s second lens with three-layer type Diffractive Optics (DO). It can be used with both ‘APS-C’ (where it covers angles of view equivalent to 112mm to 480mm) and 35mm-sized image sensors. Using three layers of diffraction gratings enables lens designers to almost completely cancel out chromatic aberration and subdue spherical aberration to a near-negligible point. The resulting lenses are smaller and lighter and can out-perform other zoom lenses with equivalent focal lengths and aperture ranges that use fluorite, ED or aspherical glass elements to controls these aberrations.
A high-performing lens for general photography.A superb general-purpose lens, Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM is equally at home on the EOS 400D and the ‘full frame’ EOS 5D cameras, giving a focal length range equivalent to 38.4 to 168mm on the former. Compact for its specifications, it is relatively light and comfortable to use as well as being very well built. The lens barrel carries switches for IS (on/off) and AF/MF (Autofocus/Manual Focus). They are recessed into the lens barrel itself, which means you’re less likely to re-set them inadvertently.
A high-quality, fast medium-range zoom lens that will suit fashion, wedding and portrait photographers.Built like a tank and ultra-responsive, Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens is a great tool for fashion, wedding, portrait and event photographers and a good match for full frame DSLRs like the EOS-1Ds Mark II and EOS 5D. The addition of Canon’s second-generation image stabilisation technology adds $1,180 to its price tag but gives photographers up to three stops of exposure compensation, which is useful when flash is not permitted.
A high-performance ultra-wide-angle lens with remarkable flatness of field.Canon’s EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens replaces an existing lens with similar specifications. Designed for professional photographers and usable on both ‘full frame’ DSLRs and models with smaller (‘APS-C sized’) image sensors, it has many of the same specifications as the lens it replaces. However, it’s somewhat cheaper.