Complete your new camera kit with these essential lenses
A portrait lens, with good background defocus (often called “bokeh”), is an essential tool for any type of photography. Photo by David Schloss
Editor’s Note: This piece first appeared in our Spring issue and reflects the products available at the time of publication. To see our coverage of new lenses, visit our Gear/Lenses and News sections.
We shoot with the Cooke miniS4/i 32mm T2.8-22 on a Sony a7S II, and the results are amazing
Have you ever wondered what a one-off cinema lens from a legendary manufacturer looks like attached to a Sony a7S II?
After visiting the Cooke Optics factory, we did, so we tried one out.
The results were lovely and left us at times amazed by the dimensionality, smooth rendering and quality. A Cooke lens of this type, the miniS4/i 32mm T2.8-22, is normally...
Gear recommendations for capturing the essence of a city at night
Read our urban night photography how-to guide
If the sun is down, it’s more than likely that I’ll be using a Sony a7S II full-frame mirrorless camera. While the sensor measures in at 12 megapixels, the pixels are very large and can pull in a ton of light. Its high-speed ISO performance is virtually unparalleled, though the Nikon D5 and Canon...
The gear you need in the field to capture the action of sports
Read our sports how-to guide
While mirrorless technologies continue to improve, the autofocus capabilities and frame rates of current DSLR cameras have made them the default choice for sports photographers, but that won’t last much longer. Nikon and Canon are the dominant players in the pro sports world. Nikon and Canon’s flagship full-frame...
The tools you need in the field to return home with spectacular landscape images
Read our landscape how-to guide
Versatility and portability are important in landscape work because you’ll often need to travel to your subject. The Nikon D810 and Canon EOS 5DS offer high resolution in compact packages. The Pentax K-1 offers features designed for outdoor work, like GPS and star tracking. The Sony a7R II packs the highest resolution...
Our gear recommendations for returning home with meaningful travel images
To capture amazing travel photography, you need the right gear, and the right techniques. With these best-in-class cameras, lenses, tripods and accessories, you can capture amazing images, wherever life takes you.
Read our travel how-to guide
There are pros who take high-quality travel pictures with an iPhone. If you want professional-quality...
Our recommendations for the best gear to level up your portraiture work.
Read our portrait how-to guide
Most pros prefer full-frame cameras for portrait work, but whether you use a full-frame or crop-framed one like APS-C or Micro Four Thirds, you have the same needs. You want good image quality, a camera that feels comfortable and that makes sense to you. I use a Canon 1D X Mark II, but honestly, if I weren’t...
It’s only natural that a camera platform as new as the Sony’s a7 series would be perceived as being a little bit short on lenses. When the first a7 shipped—only a few years ago—you could count the number of lenses that designed for its full frame sensor on one hand. The rest of Sony’s lenses were designed for their smaller APS-C sensor equipped...
This budget-based extreme telephoto lens from Nikon is one of the best bargains in photography
By David Schloss
Judging by the name and specifications alone, the new AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm ƒ/5.6E ED VR from Nikon doesn’t seem like it’s going to be an exceptional lens—with a minimum aperture of ƒ/5.6 and a street price of under $1,400, even Nikon’s own press release doesn’t talk up the power of this new super-tele zoom. While the company often praises...
Considerations when choosing a lens for flattering photos of people
By Wes Pitts
Though there’s no "perfect" lens for portraiture, it’s generally agreed that a moderate telephoto in the range of 85mm to 135mm (35mm equivalent) is a reliably good choice. For tight headshots, an even stronger telephoto in the 200mm or even 300mm range may be a better choice. A lot depends on the space in which you have to work,...
Want to try exploring the miniature worlds accessible through close-up photography? There are options for every budget, from premium lenses specially designed for macro work, to relatively inexpensive extension tubes and close-up lenses, or "diopters", that resemble optical filters and attach to the front of your lens. Here are the basics...
All-in-one zooms that can cover wide-angles to telephoto
By David Willis
Canon EF 24-105mm ƒ/4L IS USM
Over time, many pros build up an impressive arsenal of lenses for specialized use, but if you’re just starting out, superzooms are a great way to save on cost while still being able to cover most subjects. Digital lens design has mitigated the difference in image quality between zooms and prime lenses for the...