Lens reviews on the web

So once I’ve decided what type of lens I want to get, one of the next steps is to do some research.  I normally group review sites into 2 types – the ones where an individual does a detailed review, sometimes quite scientific;  and the community sites where people can contribute their own personal reviews, often a mixed bag with some praises but often reporting faults and problems.  

One thing to remember is that there can often be a range in quality of lenses that come out from the manufacturer.   Sometimes I come across quite opposing reviews, related to lens quality.   Like any community review site, it’s hard to know whether it’s the expectations or expertise of the person reviewing it, or whether they just got a bad sample.

But as a general rule of thumb, more “reputable” brands, like Nikon and Canon, probably have better quality control than some of the “cheaper” brands.   So if you do buy a lens made by Tokina, Tamron, Sigma, etc.  it’s worth trying the lens out yourself in a shop before buying it.  If that’s not possible, ensure that they have a returns policy that you can use if you think the lens is not up to scratch.

Review Sites

Detailed tests on lenses at Photozone.de

Photozone.de – http://www.photozone.de/all-tests – The reviews at Photozone are good if you’re into scientific analysis of the lenses themselves.   They publish results of tests on distortion, vignetting, MTF (resolution) and CA (chromatic aberration) that other sites don’t get into.   Many people look for “bargains” in Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses by comparing the numbers from this site.  If you’re a professional who wants quality down to the numeric level, then this site is for you.    

Solid personal reviews of lenses at KenRockwell.com
Solid personal reviews of lenses at KenRockwell.com

KenRockwell.com – Ken is a Nikon enthusiast and US photographer who runs his own personal website with lots of photography information and reviews.  His reviews are very personal, candid and he tells it as it is.  His experience with a wide range of lenses means he gives good comparisons and alternative suggestions.  http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm

Lots of detailed articles and reviews at ByThom.com
Lots of detailed articles and reviews at ByThom.com

ByThom – http://www.bythom.com/index.htm – Thomas Hogan is a nature photographer who has published many books, including many photography ones.   He has written an amazing number of articles on his website including many reviews on lenses too.  His reviews on Nikno lenses have a personal feel with good practical comments, drawbacks and positives on each lens, and again Thomas is able to draw on experience with other lenses in the Nikon range to compare them. 

Fancy scientific results of lenses at DPReview.com
Fancy scientific results of lenses at DPReview.com

DPReview.com – http://www.dpreview.com/ – I find DPReview a good site to use to keep in touch with the latest photography news.  They have good functional reviews on camera bodies, but their lens review section is fairly small.  Of the reviews that they do have, they cover the functional and physical elements of each lens, as well as tests on Sharpness, Chromatic Aberation, Distortion and Falloff.  

Community Review Sites

Lists of lenses with community reviews at FredMiranda.com
Lists of lenses with community reviews at FredMiranda.com

FredMiranda – http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/index.php – Fred has built up a great site with many good community reviews.  This is one of the ones I usually go to when I start researching lenses. 

Lens reviews at PhotographyReview.com
Lens reviews at PhotographyReview.com

PhotographyReview – http://www.photographyreview.com/reviewscrx.aspx – This site doesn’t just have lens review sections.  It covers nearly everything photography related!  They have a good number of consumer reviews on lenses.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s