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Boutique Third Party Brands


There are a number of small lens makers who have been developing lenses particularly for modern mirrorless cameras.  Most of these (but not all) are budget, manual focus alternatives.

January 20, 2021 Viltrox AF 33mm and 56mm F1.4 EF-M Reviews

Photography is expensive, so a lot of the gear that I end up reviewing is often outside the budget of many people.  Fortunately there has been a rise in the past 3-4 years of what I classify as “boutique third party brands”.  These are smaller startup lensmakers who don’t have a widely established rep [Read more...]

December 3, 2020 Meike 50mm F1.2L RF Review and Gallery

There’s no question that Canon has developed some very impressive lenses for their EOS R full frame cameras, and the new EOS R5 and EOS R6 cameras are also impressive.  What is also undeniable, however, is that many of the new Canon RF mount lenses are also very, very expensive.  Case in point:  I spent [&he [Read more...]

October 28, 2020 Viltrox AF 56mm F1.4 Review and Image Gallery

Chinese lens maker Viltrox has proved to be a very quick study for a new lens maker.  They started with a few manual focus lenses (typical), but, by their third lens, graduated to autofocus lenses (not typical!)  That has remained their focus, and since the AF 85mm F1.8 STM they have made nothing but autofocus [&hellip [Read more...]

August 24, 2020 Viltrox AF 23mm F1.4 Review

Viltrox has quickly established a name for themselves because, unlike most other new boutique lens makers, they have quickly (and successfully) accepted the challenge of designing autofocus lenses rather than just manual focus options.  Many other newer brands have not yet taken that plunge, but Viltrox has shown a rapid ma [Read more...]

July 20, 2020 Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM II Review

It is extremely rare to see a Mark II version of a lens only about 15 months after the release of the original lens, but that is what we have in the Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM II.  I reviewed the Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM only 13 months ago, but Viltrox has taken an […] [Read more...]

July 17, 2020 Viltrox AF 33mm F1.4 XF Review

The Fuji platform has not been a particularly open one.  The traditional major third party players like Sigma and Tamron have no Fuji XF mount lenses, and Samyang has no autofocus lenses for XF.  The only real AF series for the mount were the Zeiss Touit series that were released in 2013 for Fuji XF […] [Read more...]

July 13, 2020 Dulens APO 85mm F2 Review

As you probably know, I review a wide variety of lenses.  I’ve increasingly found myself reviewing lenses from brand-new lens makers in recent years.  It seems like the rise of mirrorless cameras in particular has triggered a lot of fresh creativity, and there are some excellent alternatives out there to the esta [Read more...]

June 15, 2020 7Artisans 55mm F1.4 Review + Image Gallery

Photography is expensive, so a lot of the gear that I end up reviewing is often outside the budget of many people.  Fortunately there has been a rise in the past 3-4 years of what I classify as “boutique third party brands”.  These are smaller startup lensmakers who don’t have a widely established rep [Read more...]