A lightweight standard zoom kit lens for Pentax DSLR cameras.The smc Pentax-DA L 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6AL lens supplied for us to review with the K-m camera body was not quite the same as the lens that is sold as a stand-alone item and shown on Pentax’s website. There was no green band on the review lens and no focus markings in front of the focusing ring and, although the dimensions of the review lens matched those of the lens listed on the Pentax website, it appeared to be less refined.
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 versatile, but quite expensive, 5x standard zoom lens that covers a popular focal length range for general photography.Announced in mid-September 2010, the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR is an update to the popular 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 VR that features a constant f/4 maximum aperture across the focal length range. Designed for Nikon’s FX (36 x 24 mm sensor) cameras, it is also usable with the company’s DX models, where it covers a focal length range equivalent to 36-180mm.
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.
An extended range zoom for Nikon APS-C camera owners who want a single lens that covers most popular focal lengths.The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR II is a minor redesign of a previous lens. It features a new zoom mechanism for reducing zoom creep (the lens slides forward when tilted). A new zoom lock switch has been added and the multi-layer Super Integrated Coating (SIC) has been improved to provide better image quality and contrast. Otherwise, it’s identical to the original Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens.
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 new 7.5x standard zoom lens that automatically selects the optimum Image Stabiliser mode. Announced at the beginning of September, this new Canon standard zoom lens was designed to complement the EOS 7D body on which we tested it. Providing a focal length range equivalent to 29-216mm in 35mm format, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS covers both wide enough angles for landscape photography and is narrow enough for portraiture and sports photography. It’s an excellent step-up from the standard kit lens for buyers who would like a longer zoom range.
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.