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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.

April 12, 2021 Viltrox AF 24mm F1.8 STM FE Review

The first Viltrox lens I tested was a wide angle lens for Sony FE (full frame mirrorless).  I did that review only two years ago, but it is astounding how much has changed during that time. In a very short period Viltrox has really built a reputation.  Almost no one had heard of Viltrox when […] [Read more...]

April 9, 2021 Viltrox AF 24mm F1.8 STM Image Gallery

The first Viltrox lens I tested was a wide angle lens for Sony FE (full frame mirrorless).  I did that review only two years ago, but it is astounding how much has changed during that time. In a very short period Viltrox has really built a reputation.  Almost no one had heard of Viltrox when […] [Read more...]

February 19, 2021 7Artisans 35mm F0.95 Review and Images

I had my first experience with a 7Artisans lens not quite a year ago when I reviewed the 55mm F1.4 from them.  I had seen 7Artisans mentioned a number of times because they fill an important niche in the market.  They design affordable wide aperture manual focus lenses in a variety of mounts, giving both […] [Read more...]

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...]