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On February 3 I published a review of the Sony A7S II. I'm still recovering from a shoulder injury but I'm getting
On January 27 I published a very extensive review of the Sony A7R II based on field testing and studio tests
done side by side with the Sony A7S II and Leica SL. An injury to my shoulder significantly slowed my working
pace this month and I thank readers for their patience. Things are gradually coming back up to speed.
On December 23 I significantly updated my test of the CV Super Wide Heliar 15/4.5 Aspherical
CV 21/4.0 Color Skopar P (on the Leica M and SL) after processing CV 15 II files using Adobe's "Flat Field"
plug-in for Lightroom.
On December 22 I published an article based on side by side testing of the Leica SL and Leica M-240 using two
ultra-wide rangefinder lenses: the CV Super Wide Heliar 15/4.5 Aspherical II and CV 21/4.0 Color Skopar P.
On December 17 I published a set of field pictures made using the Leitz Wetzlar 50/1.4 Summilux R and
Leitz Canada 50/2.0 Summicron R on the Leica SL.
On December 16 I published an article based on side by side testing of the Leica SL and Leica M-240 using two
50 mm Leica R mount lenses: the Leitz Wetzlar 50/1.4 Summilux R and Leitz Canada 50/2.0 Summicron R.
On December 1 I published a set of field pictures made using the Leica M and Cosina Voigtlander 50/2.5 Skopar.
On November 25 I published an article based on side by side testing of the Leica SL and Leica M-240 using two
50 mm rangefinder lenses: the CV 50/2.5 Skopar and the CV 50/1.5 Nokton.
On November 16 I published an article based on side by side studio testing of the Leica SL and Leica M-240 using
two Leica SLR lenses, the Leica 35/1.4 Summilux R and the Leitz Wetzlar 28/2.8 Elmarit R. As a sister piece, I also
published an article showing three sets of field pictures made with these lenses.
On November 5 I published an article based on side by side studio testing of the Leica SL and Leica M-240 using
two compact 28 mm rangefinder lenses -- the Leica 28/2.8 Elmarit Aspherical and the Cosina Voigtlander 28/2.8
Color Skopar — as well as one larger fast 28 mm RF lens: the Leica 28/1.4 Summilux ASPH.
On October 26 I published an article based on side by side testing of the Leica SL and Leica M-240 using two
fairly compact 35 mm rangefinder lenses: the Leica 35/2.0 M Summicron ASPH and the CV 35/2.5 Skopar.
On October 20 I published a very detailed review of the new Leica SL with over 100 illustration. I have been
testing the camera since August and this review includes field tests as well as detailed studio tests comparing
the SL to the Leica M-246.
On October 20 I published an introductory article that looks at using M and R lenses on the Leica SL and M-240.
On September 10 I published the results of studio tests comparing the Leica S (Typ 007), Leica S (Typ 006) and
Leica M (Typ 240).
On August 31 I published a set of field pictures made with the Leica S (Typ 007) at the Caledonia Fair.
On August 27 I published an extensive review of the Leica S (Typ 007).
On August 23 and 24 I published a review of the Sigma SD1 Merrill and a small set of landscape pictures made
with it. This is a unique camera and worth knowing about, even if it is not a new introduction.
On August 13 I published a review of the Sigma DP0 Quattro which looks, in particular, at lens performance.
On July 27 - 28 I published a follow-up article based on doing even more field work with the Leica M-246
Monochrom. This article, and its linked sub-articles, include many illustrations.
On July 22 I published an article that looks at using the Leica Q in its 35 mm (EFOV) frameline mode.
On July 7 I published an article that looks at using the Leica M-246 Monochrom with three different color filters which
change its tonal rendering.
On June 28 I published Part Two of my Leica Q review. In addition to presenting new field work, this section looks
at chromatic aberration, overal contrast/flare resistance, distortion, software distortion correction and the effects of
the latter on resolution.
On June 10 I published a complete long-term review of the Leica Q which I have been testing since December
of 2014. It includes various side-by-side tests comparing the new camera to the Sony RX1R and Leica M-246.
I also published two new articles based on field work done with the Q in Florida and Vermont.
On May 26 I published an extensive review of the Zeiss ZM 28/2.8 Biogon T.
On May 19 - 20 I published three sets of field pictures made with the CV 50/1.5 Nokton Aspherical M.
On May 18 I published an extensive review of the Cosina Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton Aspherical M.
On April 30 I published a very extensive review of the new Leica M-246 Monochrom which I tested in both the field
and the studio, comparing it side by side with the Leica M9 Monochrom, the Leica M-240 and the Sigma SD1
On April 20 I published an extensive review of the Cosina Voigtlander 35/1.2 Nokton Aspherical II.
On April 10 I published the second part of my Sigma DP3 Quattro review and it looks at lens performance.
On April 7 I published a review of the Sigma LVF-01 eye level screen magnifier for Sigma DP Quattro cameras.
On March 23 I published a review of the Sigma DP3 Quattro.
On March 3 I published an article that looks at the pros and cons of lenses that are designed to have their
distortion corrected in software.
On March 2 I published an article that looks at the far focus performance of five lenses on the Leica M (240).
On February 24 I expanded my reviews of the Zeiss Loxia 35/2.0 and 50/2.0 lenses with tests of their resolution at
On February 11 I published an extensive review of the Cosina Voigtlander 40/2.8 Heliar lens tested on the
Sony A7R and A7S.
On February 1 I published an extensive review of the Zeiss Loxia 50/2.0 lens tested on the Sony A7R and A7S.
On January 24 I published an extensive review of the Zeiss Loxia 35/2.0 lens tested on the Sony A7R and A7S.
On January 10 I published an article about sensor glass coating corrosion in Leica M9 series cameras.
On January 6 I published a review of a Think Tank bag designed to carry cameras, lenses and a 17" laptop.
writer naturally brings his or her own experience and perspective to
the articles he or she writes. My writing is heavily
influenced by my experience working as a professional photographer for more than twenty-five
years. I'm primarily interested in cameras and
lenses as tools for drawing, as I believe that photography really is a
branch of drawing. As the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said in an interview, "My photography is just an instant drawing...I never quit drawing. The camera is a way of drawing."
I'm also guided by the photographer Andre Kertesz's observation, "I see the thing, I feel the thing, I make the thing". So when I review a camera or a lens, I look primarily at how it presents the world to the photographer (via the finder), how it works as a tool in the hands, and how it draws the kind of picture we call a photograph.
"Quite simply, I think your sections on 'drawing' and and on 'sunny day lenses' are the best writing about photographic lenses that I have read - whether in magazines, journals, books or the various sources online. Few professional writers about photography ever attempt such a full consideration of the range of lens performance characteristics and the different ways in which they are photographically significant. Some discussions in photographic communities online circle around the subject, but don't achieve the focus, rigour and articulacy that you have managed here. Your article is what all writing about photographic lenses ought to be like, yet it's astonishing that next to none of it is. Interesting though Irwin Puts Leica lens book is, it would have been so much more interesting, and so much more appropriate to its subject matter, if it had been written as you have written here...I found the article incredibly useful and interesting. A great help in clarifying and firming up what I have experienced and half-understood about how different lenses work."
- Simon Pulman-Jones, England
"We all owe you a vote of thanks for such a massive and thorough piece of work. What a concept-- a "lens test" that is really about the pictorial effect of how lenses draw their images. Lines per millimeter and MTF graphs have their place, but your article really gets to the heart of the matter in the way that photographers can relate to instantly."
- Peter Klein, USA
- Jim Watts, USA
"I read your substantial paper with great interest. I am an amateur enthusiast in photography and optics. Your concept first surprised me, because I have had an impression that few photographers in North America and possibly in Europe like to discuss lens characters as expression tools. Among Japanese photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, there is a long tradition of interest or even addiction in appreciating various image characters of optics. For instance, Shoji Ohtake, one of the most influential photographers in Japan writes a regular column titled Lens Physiognomy for a major camera journal. He says that for each of his representation he selects the right lens from his huge collection. I was impressed by your pragmatic and well-organised approach in reviewing the lenses. Your observation is keen and relevant to essential aspects of photographic imagery. Your rhetoric is straight, logical, and free from jargon. These are rarely met in review papers on similar tests, which tend to be too technical or too subjective. I should also tell you that I myself have evaluated lenses mostly in B&W for the same reason as in your reviews. Few people have understood me. All in all, it is a marvelous paper. My applause."
- Mikiro Mori, Japan
"...a very informative, even enlightening, work. It not only provides visual evidence of comparative lenses' performance, it also gets right to the most important factor of lens evaluation - how the image looks to the photographer. Long ago I stopped reading test charts of lenses since none of my clients ever published any. It is always the look of the finished image that counts."
- Richard Weisgrau, USA
"I hope your tests become a benchmark for other reviewers to pay more attention to the real needs of photographers..."
- Phil Fogle, USA
- Bill Marshall, USA
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