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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.

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...]

May 27, 2020 Pergear 35mm F1.6 Image Gallery & Review

Pergear has delivered another ultra-cheap lens to follow up on the Pergear 25mm F1.8, that I reviewed earlier this year.  That lens roughly corresponded to a traditional 35mm focal length on full frame (37.5mm), while the new lens, the Pergear 35mm F1.6, has an 52.5mm equivalent focal length, making it a “normal” [Read more...]

May 13, 2020 TTArtisan 11mm F2.8 Fisheye Review and Gallery

Fisheye lenses are out on the extremes of photography.  Whereas often I’m evaluating lenses and critiquing if they have distortion, fisheye lenses are really all about embracing the distortion and using it in creative ways.  It’s not for beginners, and certainly can be used poorly, but there are also a lot [Read more...]

February 25, 2020 Pergear 25mm F1.8 Image Gallery

I’ve been interacting with Pergear for a couple of years now as a distributor of other brands, then a retailer of those brands, but now they have gotten their feet wet with actually producing a Pergear branded lens…and at a serious bargain!  The Pergear 25mm F1.8 sells for only $68 USD, making it perhaps the [&h [Read more...]