Camerapedia

On this page you can find a quick review of various cameras, lenses, softwares etc. I’ve used during the years.

For a more in depth review of each object just click on the corresponding link, if present.

Cameras

Busch Pressman model D (4×5″)
Pros: super duper compact, precise movements, rangefinder focusing
Cons: spring back (no Graflok back, but not a huge deal IMO: if you want to shoot medium format for the same money buy a medium format camera, not a rollfilm adapter)
Rating: ★★★★★

Canon Eos 50E
Pros:
excellent camera, light, eye AF (meaning: it focuses where you are actually looking!)
Cons:
fragile
Rating: ★★★★☆

Canon Eos 100
Pros:
excellent camera, light
Cons:
 not the most exciting way to shoot film…
Rating: ★★★★☆

Canon Eos 1n
Pros: price; performance
Cons: a 35mm camera this big hardly makes sense anymore if not for limited tasks
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Canon Eos 5D Mark II
Pros: excellent sensor and resolution; performance at high-iso; pretty much everything else
Cons: heavy compared to a mirrorless; highlight nuances have a tendency to solarize if you “massage” the files too much; slow shutter lag
Rating: ★★★★½

Canon F1 (old)
Pros:
excellent camera, pro build, nice and compact, spot metering
Cons:
a tad heavy, doesn’t feel as refined as a Nikon or Minolta of the same vintage
Rating: ★★★★½

 

Contax 137 MA Quartz
Pros: excellent camera, light, manual mode (the 137 MD is fully automatic, though), Zeiss lenses, winder
Cons:
 the sound of the shutter/motor is a bit unpleasant and loud
Rating: ★★★★☆

Contax ST
Pros: built like a tank
Cons: 
[rating:]

Fuji GS 645
Pros: amazing lens; extremely compact; great rangefinder / finder
Cons: mechanically fragile; leak-prone bellows (the original one)
Rating: ★★★★★ lens
Rating: ★★★½☆ mechanic
Full review

Fuji Finepix X100
Pros: a jewel (with the latest firmware)
Cons: manual focus (by wire) usable, but barely
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Fuji GW690
Pros: huge 6x9cm negatives; sharp; uncomplicated; light (for the format); hand-holdable
Cons: the rangefinder can be tough to focus in extremely dim light (interiors at night with no light)
Rating: ★★★★★

Fuji Instax Wide
Pros:
the film is large, the lens renders quite nicely
Cons:
piece of plastic crap, fairly slow lens, no AF, forced flash
Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Fujifilm X-Pro 2
Pros:
excellent camera, light, fast and precise AF, nice film simulations and colors, a 21th century Leica, wonderful lens lineup
Cons:
 slight tendency to blow the highlights beyond recovery over a threshold (esp. with flash), X-Trans sensor (I find the rendering too “crunchy” with natural subjects)
Rating: ★★★★☆

Hasselblad 500c & 500c/m
Pros: for me it is THE camera, period
Cons: price (but it’s worth every penny); no longer in production; digital backs are still hugely expensive (ok, not the ‘blad fault)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Holga 120FN
Pros: super-fun to use; the crazy distortions on the film plane (I love them); super-cheap
Cons: the crazy distortions on the film plane (if you don’t like it); a fair bit of DIY is often needed to fix some problem at the beginning
Rating: ★★★★☆

Intrepid 8×10″
Pros:
super lightweight 8×10″ camera, nice ground glass
Cons:
 movements not that precise, front standard could be stronger, camera not that well refined (but for the price and the weight: no cons at all)
Rating: ★★★½☆

Leica M4-P
Pros: nearly-perfect camera
Cons: pricey (compared to an M6); no meter
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Leica M6
Pros: a jewel; perfect camera (other than not being medium format…)
Cons: a bit pricey (but it’s worth every penny)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Mamiya RB67
Pros:
excellent camera, excellent glass, fairly compact for what it does (IMO! Even though it is generally considered a giant beast), usable handheld with an L grip
Cons:
 heavy, the bellows can develop light leaks (it never happened to me, though)
Rating: ★★★★½

Minolta Hi-Matic FP
Pros:  
Cons: 
[rating:]

Minolta CL-E
Pros: price; performance; size; rangefinder
Cons: doesn’t meter on manual; no longer in production; extremely well built, but not quite on par with a Leica
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Minolta SRT-101
Pros: one of the best 35mm cameras ever made; huge, extremely easy to focus finder; lenses (very good) sell for peanuts
Cons: only Manual mode, no auto-whatsoever (but for me this is a plus!)
Rating: ★★★★★

Minolta X-500
Pros:
really great camera, light, compact
Cons:
metallic clinking sound when pressing the shutter
Rating: ★★★½☆

Nikon F
Pros:
excellent cult camera, nice handling
Cons:
 not as refined as the following models
Rating: ★★★★☆

Nikon F4s
Pros:
“THE” camera, stable to shoot, fast, reliable
Cons:
 –
Rating: ★★★★★

Nikon FM
Pros:
excellent camera, a real workhorse, light and compact
Cons:
 the “3 dots” meter in the viewfinder (I prefer LED bars or needles)
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon L35AF
Pros:
Sonnar scheme lens, distance indicator in the finder
Cons:
 a tad loud, a tad large, no manual controls
Rating: ★★★★☆

Nikon D2x
Pros:
excellent camera, nice colors, nice files (even when printed fairly big), fast to shoot
Cons:
 a bit heavy, large size (but it incorporates a grip), hi-iso really bad for 2019
Rating: ★★★★☆

Nikon D3200
Pros: price; performance; size; weight; silent (for a DSLR)
Cons: doesn’t focus with not AF-S lenses, or meter with Ai’s; only one command dial; cheaply built; horrid LCD; can’t change aperture in Live View
Rating: ★★★★☆ for a beginner
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ for an advanced amateur
Full review

Nikon D800
Pros:
Goldilocks camera, relatively light, excellent files, excellent colors (film still beats it soundly though)
Cons:
 sometimes AF misses in low light
Rating: ★★★★★

Olympus XA
Pros:
excellent camera, super light and compact, very sharp, rangefinder focusing
Cons:
 no buil-in flash (but there is the optional A11 flash available)
Rating: ★★★★★

Olympus Mju-1
Pros: fairly sharp, super compact, nice handling
Cons: when you turn it on the flash is always active
Rating: ★★★★☆

Olympus OM1
Pros:
excellent camera, light and compact
Cons:
 it doesn’t feel super refined, weird position of the shutter times dial
Rating: ★★★★½

Olympus OM-D EM-10
Pros:
excellent camera, light and compact, amazing colors, IBIS
Cons:
 even if it is not it feels sluggish (the sound of the shutter is the main culprit)
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax Spotmatic F
Pros:
really nice camera, possibility to use M42 lenses (i.e. Pentax 50/2 or Fuji’s lineup)
Cons:
 viewfinder a tad dark but still easy to focus
Rating: ★★★★☆

Pentax ME Super
Pros:
amazing camera, light and compact, wonderful viewfinder
Cons:
 buttons instead of a dial to set the shutter speeds
Rating: ★★★★★

Pentax 645
Pros:
excellent camera, super easy to use handheld, super easy to focus (really nice viewfinder, even if a bit dim), wonderful lenses
Cons:
 a bit heavy (for the format)
Rating: ★★★★★

Pentax 6×7 & 67
Pros: price; really good hand-held; the 105/2.4
Cons: bulkiness; some of the lenses (no “spark”; many too old); no digital back options; shutter induced vibrations / shake
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Polaroid SX-70
Pros:
a piece of art and an artist brush
Cons:
 prone to break (after all these years)
Rating: ★★★★★

Polaroid Image System / Spectra
Pros:
large(r) film format
Cons:
 it is not as nice to use as an SX-70 (not by a long shot)
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Rollei 35T
Pros:
excellent camera, amazingly light and compact, very sharp
Cons:
 no buil-in flash, zone focus only, prone to break if you don’t follow the instructions
Rating: ★★★★★

Rolleicord IIb
Pros: price; really good hand-held; the Zeiss Triotar has lot of character, perfect for portraits (but landscapes too); whisper quiet; light
Cons: the original screen is unbelievably dim, replace it with a modern one from Rick Oleson or one in kind
Rating: ★★★★☆

Rolleicord III
Pros: price; really good hand-held; extremely sharp Schneider Xenar lens; whisper quiet; light
Cons: supposedly you cannot keep it on a tripod when you walk around without bending the back (never had a problem, and the same should be true for every other Rolleiflex / Rolleicord)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Rolleicord Vb
Pros: price; really good hand-held; extremely sharp Schneider Xenar lens; whisper quiet; light
Cons: focusing knob on the left (I prefer the older models, with the knob on the right)
Rating: ★★★★½

Sony Nex 3
Pros: really good image quality; compact
Cons: more a remote than a camera; shutter noise; LCD useless in the sun
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ interface
Rating: ★★★★☆ image quality
Full review

Sony Nex 7
Pros: exceptional image quality; compact; extremely good controls layout; quiet shutter
Cons: you can’t use a remote AND auto bracketing at the same time
Rating: ★★★★½

Sony A7r
Pros: nearly-perfect camera, with exceptional image quality; compact; nearly perfect control layout
Cons: shutter shock and noise; shutter lag; (relatively) slow AF (plenty fast for me, and not a problem with the LA-EA4); “mushy” shutter button (solvable using a sticky soft release)
Rating: ★★★★½

Sony RX100 IV
Pros:
excellent camera, super light and compact, very sharp, really nice colors
Cons:
 expensive, the retractable lens it theory could be easy to break
Rating: ★★★★½

Voigtlander Perkeo IIIE
Pros:
wonderful camera, extremely light and compact (for medium format), very sharp, rangefinder focusing (uncoupled), lens rendering (in both color& b/w)
Cons:
 the rangefinder is uncoupled, after all these years the shutter will likely need a CLA, values hard to read on the shutter
Rating: ★★★★½

Yashica FR-1
Pros: price; the only reflex I ever owned with a better viewfinder than the Minolta SRT-101, even easier to focus; it can use Zeiss and Yashica ML lenses
Cons: it’s impossible to see the needle of the galvanometer in poor light; battery-dependant
Rating: ★★★★½

Lenses for APS-c & 35mm/FF

Canon EF 24mm f/1,4 Usm I
Pros: sharp
Cons: heavy; spherochromatism at full aperture (purple fringing)
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Canon EF 24-85mm f/3,5-4,5 Usm
Pros: light; cheap; reasonably sharp at 24mm
Cons: soft at 85mm
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Full review

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II
Pros: sharpness; bokeh; cheap
Cons: lack of consistency in the autofocus at full aperture
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 STM
Pros: sharpness (my sample better than the EF v II); bokeh; cheap
Cons: you can’t focus it without turning on the camera first (might be a cons for street)
Rating: ★★★★★

Canon EF 135mm f/2 L Usm
Pros: wonderful
Cons: price; no Zeiss “spark”
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Contax Zeiss 18mm f/4 Distagon MM
Pros: compact, light; super sharp close up; quite flare resistant in most circumstances
Cons: vignetting; a bit of distortion; not super sharp at normal distances
Rating: ★★★½☆ landscapes
Rating: ★★★★½ close-up (let’s say up to 1 or 2 meters)

Contax Zeiss 25mm f/2,8 Distagon
Pros: colors
Cons: sharpness not that great
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

Contax Zeiss 28-85mm f/3,3-4 Vario-Sonnar MM
Pros: pretty darn sharp at every focal length; bokeh
Cons: fairly (but not excessively) big; 82mm filters; a tad flare-prone for a T* lens
Rating: ★★★★½

Contax Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 Distagon
Pros:
sharp; compact; colors; cheap
Cons:
 –
Rating: ★★★★½

Contax Zeiss 50mm f/1,7 Planar
Pros: sharp; compact; colors; cheap
Cons: 
Rating: ★★★★★

Contax Zeiss 60mm f/2,8 Makro S-Planar
Pros: stunning lens; 1:1
Cons: a bit heavy; hits the mirror slightly at infinity (on a Canon 5D Mark II)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review & Full review

Contax Zeiss 85mm f/2,8 Sonnar
Pros: razor-sharp; bokeh; compact
Cons: f/2,8
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Contax Zeiss 100-300mm f/4,5-5,6 Vario-Sonnar MM
Pros: stunning at every focal; compact
Cons: price; sticky aperture (but this could be my sample)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Fujinon-W 35mm f/2.8 EBC (M42)
Pros:
nice rendering
Cons:
 not the sharpest (but I use it only handheld, to be fair I should try it first on a tripod)
Rating: ★★★½☆

Fujinon 14mm f/2.8 XF R
Pros: light and compact, super sharp
Cons:
 –
Rating: ★★★★★

Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF R OIS
Pros: light and compact, super sharp, image stabilization
Cons:
 maybe a tad softer at the long end
Rating: ★★★★★

Fujinon 35mm f/2 XF R WR
Pros: light and compact, super sharp, weather resistant
Cons:
 f/2 for a 35mm lens is not that fast
Rating: ★★★★★

Fujinon 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 XF R LM OIS
Pros: relatively light and compact, really sharp, image stabilization
Cons:
 not that fast
Rating: ★★★★½

Jupiter-3 50mm f/1,5
Pros: bokeh; really compact
Cons: sample variation; mechanical build quality
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review 

Jupiter-9 85mm f/2
Pros: extremely sharp; absolutely gorgeous bokeh
Cons: sample variation; mechanical build quality
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review 

Konica AR 40 f/1.8 Hexanon Pancake
Pros: compact; very sharp from one stop down (much sharper than the 40mm M-Rokkor); renders beautifully
Cons: not so sharp wide open
Rating: ★★★★☆

Leica M Summicron-C 40mm f/2
Pros: scary-sharp; compact
Cons: bokeh not that great (on film; great on digital); often sold at crazy prices; focus ring a bit too tight
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Leica R Elmar 180mm f/4
Pros: extremely sharp; compact; nice bokeh; colors
Cons: less sharp than the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar at the borders on full frame (but still excellent)
Rating: ★★★★½

Minolta M Rokkor 28mm f/2.8 (Leica M mount)
Pros: sharper than the (2nd and 3rd gen) Elmarit; colors; price
Cons: bubbles / Schneiderite (but they are not a problem)
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Minolta M Rokkor 40mm f/2 (Leica M mount)
Pros: scary-sharp; compact; focus ring butter-smooth
Cons: bokeh not that great (on film; great on digital); often sold at crazy prices
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Minolta M Rokkor 90mm f/4 (Leica M mount)
Pros: compact; focus ring butter-smooth; beautiful tonalities; shallow DOF even if f/4
Cons: heavy field curvature at infinity (mostly noticeable shooting seascapes or “empty” horizons)
Rating: ★★★★½ on Aps-c
Rating: ★★★★★ on Sony A7r
Full review

Minolta Rokkor 24mm f/2.8 MC
Pros: a bit sharper than the Olympus OM 24; great colors
Cons: I’m getting slightly inconsistent results (possibly due shutter shock?)
Rating: ★★★★☆

Minolta Rokkor 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 MD
Pros: great colors; rendering
Cons: not the sharpest lens out there (downright soft, indeed), even considering it is a zoom
Rating: ★★★½☆

Minolta Rokkor 35mm f/1,8 MC
Pros: sharpness, bokeh, build, everything
Cons: 
Rating: ★★★★★

Minolta Rokkor 50mm f/1.2 MD
Pros: quite sharp even @ f/1.2 on the A7r, and super sharp from f/2; the best bokeh I’ve ever seen this side of a large format Symmar
Cons: the borders are not as sharp as with slower lenses, even stopped down (but are still good enough)
Rating: ★★★★★ this rating is given taking into account this is an ultra fast lens; don’t buy it for landscapes though, the borders are never great

Minolta Rokkor MD 50mm f/1,7
Pros: color rendition; bokeh
Cons: not the sharpest at full aperture
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Minolta Rokkor-PF 55mm f/1,7 MC
Pros: butter smooth focus; sharpness; bokeh (almost on par with the 50/1.2 in terms of quality)
Cons: not super sharp wide open or close-up
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Minolta Rokkor 100mm f/2,5 MD
Pros: beautiful bokeh; quite sharp
Cons: 
[rating:]

Minolta Rokkor 135mm f/3,5 MD
Pros: 
Cons: 
[rating:]

Minolta Rokkor 200mm f/4 MC
Pros: sharper than the Leica 180/4 stopped down; nice rendering and colors; compact and nicely built; super cheap
Cons: 
Rating: ★★★★☆

Tamron for Minolta AF 17-35mm f/2,8-4 Di LD IF Asph
Pros: compact and lightweight; really sharp, especially close-up, straight from f/2.8 in the center @ 17mm; at landscape apertures (i.e. f/8 and below) quite sharp on the difficult sensor of the A7r at all focal lengths; super cheap
Cons: its name does not show up in the Exif (at least with the LA-EA4); sometimes you have to disconnect the LA-EA4 from the camera for the A7r to recognize the lens
Rating: ★★★★☆

Minolta AF 50mm f/1,4 RS
Pros: manual focus buttery smooth (esp. for an AF lens); blistering sharp from f/2 (and at f/1.4 very little will be in focus anyway); still usable at f/32!!!; small and compact; cheap
Cons: could be sharper at f/1.4, with less aspherical aberration (“glow”)
Rating: ★★★★½

Minolta AF 100mm f/2,8 Macro D
Pros: blistering sharp, especially from f/4; still sharp at f/22; relatively small and light; cheap
Cons: manual focus not so nice
Rating: ★★★★★

Minolta AF 100-300mm f/4,5-5,6 Apo
Pros: really compact; super sharp even @ 300mm one or two stops down; ultra cheap
Cons: it’s so lightweight that it’s fairly easy to get shutter shock on the A7r; not so sharp wide open (usable, though)
Rating: ★★★½☆

Nikon AF-S 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 DX G VR II
Pros: convenient focal range; quite sharp for a kit lens, especially at 18mm; resistance to flare
Cons: CA at 18mm; a bit slow to focus; focus sometimes hunt in low-light
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1,8 DX G
Pros: sharp (the Minolta 35/1.8 MC is sharper, though, on the A7r); beautiful rendering; cheap; it almost covers the full-frame
Cons: –
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon AF-S 55-200 mm f/4-5,6 DX VR G ED
Pros: convenient focal range
Cons: I can handheld a legacy 200mm without stabilization at the same shutter speeds; waaay too soft
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Nikon AF-S D 17-35mm f/2.8 ED
Pros: convenient focal range; nice and sharp
Cons: at times it misses focus in low light (it might be my sample); a tad bulky
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon Ai 18mm f/3,5
Pros: “smooth” highlights roll; quite sharp; compact
Cons: a bit pricey
Rating: ★★★★☆ on film
Full review

Nikon AF D 18-35mm f/3,5-4,5 IF ED
Pros: convenient focal range
Cons: sharpness; better alternatives
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

Nikon UD 20mm f/3,5
Pros: sharp; compact; nice, “old Nikkor” colors
Cons: chromatic aberration (trivial to correct in Lightroom)
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Nikon AF 20mm f/2,8
Pros: sharp; compact
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★★ on film
Full review

Nikon Nikkor-N Auto (pre-Ai) 24mm f/2,8
Pros:
Cons:
[rating:]

Nikon AF 24mm f/2,8
Pros: reasonably sharp
Cons: nothing to write home about
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

Nikon AF-S G 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 ED VR
Pros: convenient focal range; vibration reduction; really sharp (esp. at landscape apertures)
Cons: you need to turn off vibration reduction at certain speeds or it will blur the image
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon Ai 28mm f/3,5
Pros: sharp as a tack; dirty cheap
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★★ visible light & infrared
Full review

Nikon AF D 28mm f/2,8
Pros: sharp; compact; price
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★★ on film
Full review

Nikon pre-Ai 35mm f/1,4 N
Pros: sharp; compact
Cons: a bit rare to find (this first version, with the rounded aperture blades); not cheap
Rating: ★★★★½ visible light & infrared
Full review

Nikon 35mm f/2 O
Pros: price; compact; sharp; nice bokeh; close focusing; usable reversed in macro
Cons: 
Rating: ★★★★★

Nikon Ai 35mm f/2
Pros: compact; sharp
Cons: borders not great at full aperture; low contrast at full aperture
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Nikon AF 35mm f/2
Pros: f/2; center sharpness
Cons: border sharpness; worse than the Ai sibling; decentering (my sample)
Rating: ★★★☆☆ landscapes
Rating: ★★★★☆ low light & reportage
Full review

Nikon AF D 35-70mm f/2.8
Pros: convenient focal range; fast; really quite sharp (esp. at landscape apertures)
Cons: it starts at 35mm
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon Nikkor-S.C. Auto (pre-Ai) 50mm f/1.4
Pros: amazing bokeh and rendering; quite sharp
Cons: –
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon Ai 50mm f/1.8 Series E
Pros: quite sharp; really compact
Cons: –
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon pre-Ai 55mm f/3,5 Micro
Pros: superb lens; sharp; dirty cheap
Cons: without a tube it goes only to 1:2
Rating: ★★★★★ visible light
Rating: ★★★★½ infrared
Full review

Nikon AF 60mm f/2,8 Micro
Pros: sharpness
Cons: stiff focusing ring; images less pleasant than with its Ai sibling
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Nikon AF D 70-180mm f/4-5,6 IF ED Micro
Pros: sharpness
Cons: needs a rock solid tripod; limited full aperture
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Nikon AF D 80-200mm f/2,8 ED
Pros: sharpness
Cons: purple fringing in some conditions (snow etc.); no tripod collar
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Nikon AF 85mm f/1,8
Pros: biting sharp; lightweight; small; fast; cheap
Cons: ugly plastic-covered barrel (ok, not a proper con, but still…)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Nikon Ai 85mm f/2
Pros: sharp
Cons: less sharp and light than its AF sibling
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Nikon Ai Series E 100mm f/2,8
Pros: sharp; compact; price
Cons: f/2,8
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Nikon Ai 100-300mm f/5,6
Pros: compact; sharp; becomes a great macro coupled with an inverted Nikon 6T lens
Cons: way less sharp than a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar (but again, the price is and was vastly different too)
Rating: ★★★★☆
Rating: ★★★★★ in macro, coupled with an inverted 6T diopter lens

Nikon Nikkor-P Auto (pre-Ai) 105mm f/2.5
Pros: Sonnar like optical scheme; nice rendering; quite sharp
Cons: –
Rating: ★★★★☆

Nikon Ai 105mm f/4 Micro
Pros: exceptional sharpness at macro distances
Cons: soft for landscape use (at least on DX); f/4
Rating: ★★★★★ close up
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ distant subjects
Full review

Nikon Ai-S 180mm f/2,8
Pros: sharpness; bokeh; handling; easy to focus
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★★

Nikon AF D 180mm f/2,8
Pros: sharpness; bokeh
Cons: a bit pricey (compared to the 80-200/2,8)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Nikon Ai 200mm f/4
Pros: sharp (esp. from f/5,6); small; light; price
Cons: only “average” at full aperture
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Nikon Ai 300mm f/4,5 ED IF
Pros: light; quite sharp
Cons: manual focus (for sports etc.)
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Nikon TC-200 telecoverter
Pros: dirty cheap; compact; decent sharpness even wide open (with the 180/2.8 Ai-s)
Cons:
Rating: ★★★½☆

Olympus OM Digital II R M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 (m4/3)
Pros: sharp; compact; cheap
Cons: a bit weaker at 42mm but still capable enough for huge prints
Rating: ★★★★☆

Olympus OM Zuiko 24mm f/2.8
Pros: sharp; compact; cheap
Cons: build quality feels really cheap compared to all the other major brands (this is a problem shared with the 28s, the 50 and the 135 as well)
Rating: ★★★★☆

Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm f/2
Pros: excellent quality; pretty sharp from f/2 [as sharp as or sharper than the Canon EF L 24/1,4 mark I]
Cons: chromatic aberration [still a ton less than the Canon]
Rating: ★★★★½

Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm f/3,5
Pros: price; excellent quality; nice colors; zero chromatic aberration
Cons: a touch less sharp then the f/2 model; vignetting in the extreme angles
Rating: ★★★★½

Olympus OM Zuiko 35mm f/2
Pros: sharp; compact; cheap; nice rendering
Cons: build quality feels really cheap compared to all the other major brands (this is a problem shared with the 28s, the 50 and the 135 as well)
Rating: ★★★★½

Olympus OM Zuiko 35mm f/2,8 Shift
Pros: excellent quality; nice colors
Cons: not great at full aperture; resistance to flare
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-S MC “Japan” 50mm f/1,8
Pros: cheap; compact; sharp
Cons: no big improvements stopping down
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Olympus OM Zuiko 135mm f/3,5
Pros: compact; really sharp; ultra-cheap
Cons: build quality feels really cheap compared to all the other major brands (this is a problem shared with the 24, 28s, and the 50 as well)
Rating: ★★★★½

Panasonic Lumix G Asph 25mm f/1.7 (m4/3)
Pros: sharp; compact; cheap; amazing rendering and bokeh
Cons: at times it misses focus on very small subjects; a bit too much CA in certain circumstances
Rating: ★★★★★

Panasonic Lumix G Vario Asph 35-100mm f/4-5.6 Mega OIS (m4/3)
Pros: sharp; unbelievably compact; cheap; image stabilization
Cons: not that fast
Rating: ★★★★★

Pentax K 28mm f/3.5 M
Pros: cheap; compact; excellent lens
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax M 40mm f/2,8 Pancake
Pros: compact; reasonably sharp
Cons: you can find better and cheaper lenses for a couple of mm more length (Pentax M 50mm f/1,7 etc.)
Rating: ★★★★☆ on film
Rating: ★★★½☆ on digital (full frame and APS-C)
Full review

Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm f/1,4 (8 elements design)
Pros: stunning lens
Cons: “grazes” slightly the mirror just at the infinity stop (on a Canon 5D Mark II); a bit rare to find
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review & Full review

Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50mm f/1,4 (7 elements design)
Pros: cheap; excellent lens
Cons: borders not that great
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Pentax K 50mm f/1.7 M
Pros: cheap; compact; excellent lens
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax Takumar 50mm f/2 (m42)
Pros: cheap; excellent lens; amazing rendering
Cons: radioactive
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax M 50mm f/4 Macro
Pros: cheap; excellent lens; compact
Cons: requires a (simple) modification to work on Canon full-frame [like every other Pentax K lens]; f/4; only 1:2
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Pentax 105mm f/2,8 Super-Takumar
Pros: cheap; excellent bokeh
Cons: not that sharp, and quite soft at f/2,8
Rating: ★★★½☆

Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5,6 DC HSM
Pros: reasonably priced; useful focal range
Cons: border sharpness only so-so; APS-C only
Rating: ★★★½☆ visible light
Rating: ★★★★☆ infrared
Full review

Sigma 30mm f/2,8 EX DN
Pros:
 reasonably priced; useful focal length; quite sharp; almost covers full frame (or at least a large 1.2 crop, especially if you remove the rear baffle)
Cons: cheaply built; manual focus implementation; APS-C only; slow maximum aperture
Rating: ★★★★☆

Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 HSM DG (for Nikon)
Pros: excellent lens; sharp even wide open
Cons: expensive; large and heavy
Rating: ★★★★½

Tokina RMC 500mm f/8
Pros: cheap; sharp; compact; nice colors
Cons: the usual ugly bokeh of catadioptric lenses; not that much depth of field
Rating: ★★★★½ on Canon 5D Mark II
Rating: ★★½☆☆ on Sony A7r and Nex 7

Voigtlander 15mm f/4,5 Super-Wide Heliar (Leica m39/M mount)
Pros: really sharp; extremely compact
Cons: magenta / purple coloration at the borders; no filter thread (v 1)
Rating: ★★★★½ on Aps-c
Rating: ★★★★☆ on Sony A7r
Full review

Yashica ML 28-85mm f/3,5-4,5
Pros: cheap; colors; sharpness
Cons: flare; minimum focus distance (if not in macro mode)
Rating: ★★★★☆
Rating: ★★★★½ on Sony A7r
Full review

Yashica ML 28mm f/2,8
Pros: sharp; cheap; great colors
Cons: field curvature; not that sharp @ f/2.8
Rating: ★★★★½

Yashica ML 50mm f/1,7
Pros: cheap; beautiful colors; sharp
Cons: not so sharp on the A7r (still plenty good, though, just not exceptional)
Rating: ★★★★½

Yashica ML 80-200mm f/4
Pros: cheap; colors; sharpness
Cons: way less sharp than the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar (but I paid for it 1/600 of the price: 1€ vs 600€!), still very competent
Rating: ★★★½☆

Zenitar 16mm f/2,8 fish-eye
Pros: cheap; colors; sharpness; resistance to flare
Cons: sample variation; special front cap; not razor-sharp wide open
Rating: ★★★★☆

Zhonggi Lens Turbo II for Nikon lenses on Fuji bodies
Pros: compact; excellent results with the vast majority of Nikon lenses I tried
Cons: not super cheap like other focal reducers (but it’s wort it)
Rating: ★★★★½

Lenses for medium & large format

Fujinon W S 250mm f/6.7 (8×10″)
Pros:
amazing rendering, very sharp, decently compact
Cons:
 –
Rating: ★★★★★

Hasselblad Zeiss 50mm f/4 Distagon C T*
Pros: 3D; ultra-sharp; one of my all-time favorite lenses
Cons: heavy
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Hasselblad Zeiss 80mm f/2,8 Planar C T* & CF
Pros: 3D; compact; one of the best lenses I ever used
Cons: 
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Hasselblad Zeiss 150mm f/4 Sonnar C T* & CF
Pros: 
Cons: 
[rating:]

Hasselblad Zeiss 250mm f/5,6 Sonnar C T* & CF
Pros: 
Cons: 
[rating:]

Kodak Ektar 127mm f/4.7 (4×5″)
Pros:
beautiful rendering, very sharp, super compact
Cons:
 not a ton of coverage (but more than enough for landscapes)
Rating: ★★★★½

Mamiya RB67 127mm f/3.5 K/L
Pros:
beautiful modern rendering, very sharp, decently compact, fast
Cons:
 –
Rating: ★★★★★

Pentax 645 45mm f/2.8
Pros: compact; reasonably priced; nice rendering
Cons: –
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax 645 75mm f/2.8
Pros: compact; reasonably priced; really beautiful rendering
Cons: –
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax 67 45mm f/4
Pros: compact; reasonably priced
Cons: not that sharp, with poor borders
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

Pentax 645 55mm f/3.5
Pros: 
Cons:
[rating:]

Pentax 645 105mm f/2.4
Pros: amazing rendering (it is worth buying a Pentax 67 system even just for this lens, especially for portraiture)
Cons: –
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax 67 165mm f/2,8
Pros: sharpness; bokeh
Cons: lacks a Zeiss “spark”
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Softwares

Adobe PhotoShop CS 5 & 6 as a raw converter
Pros: the industry standard; average quality; options
Cons: price
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Adobe PhotoShop Lightroom 3 raw converter
Pros: streamlined workflow; average quality
Cons: depending on your settings the modifications to your images can exist only in its database
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Adobe PhotoShop Lightroom 5 / 6 raw converter
Pros: streamlined workflow; really good quality
Cons: depending on your settings the modifications to your images can exist only in its database
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Apple Mac Os X Lion (7.1)
Pros: fast; new features
Cons: gray sidebar
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Apple Preview as a raw converter
Pros: great quality (Canon 5D Mark II); decent quality (Sony Nex 7)
Cons: limited for “creative” interpretations
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

Capture One Pro 6.3.5 raw converter
Pros: decent quality (Canon 5D Mark II); great quality (Sony Nex 7)
Cons: pricey; confusing interface; litters the file system
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Full review

Core Image Fun House raw converter
Pros: free; great quality (Canon 5D Mark II); a lot of functions
Cons: no batch processing
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

Corel AfterShot Pro 1.0.1 raw converter
Pros: nice interface
Cons: better options out there, and free
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Digital Photo Professional 3.11.4 raw converter
Pros: free
Cons: limited conversion options; quality not that great
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

DXO Optics Pro 7 raw converter
Pros: (if your camera/lens combo is supported) automatic corrections
Cons: pricey; not that great; I had better results with other softwares (with a supported combo)
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

Gimp 2.6.12 as a raw converter
Pros: free; levels; a lot of functions
Cons: no 16bit; messy interface
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Full review

Magic Lantern alternative firmware for Canon
Pros: adds a ton of useful functions
Cons: camera takes 1 second more to start; increased battery drain; can brick your camera
Rating: ★★★★☆
Read the full review

Pocket Light Meter for iPhone
Pros: perfect app; free / cheap
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

PerfectRaw 0.6 raw converter
Pros:
Cons: surpassed
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Full review

RawDeveloper 1.9.4 raw converter
Pros: pretty good results
Cons: lacks an histogram; pricey
Rating: ★★★★☆
Full review

Rawker 2.3.4 raw converter
Pros: fast; free; excellent quality (Canon 5D Mark II)
Cons: “barebone” interface
Rating: ★★★★½
Full review

RawTherapee 4.0.8 raw converter
Pros: excellent quality; a ton of options; excellent interface; free
Cons:
Rating: ★★★★★
Full review

RawPhotoProcessor 4.5 64bit raw converter
Pros: great quality (Canon 5D Mark II); exceptional quality (Sony Nex 7) ; free / donationware
Cons: quality not up to par with Rawker and Preview (Canon 5D Mark II)
Rating: ★★★★☆ Canon 5D Mark II
Rating: ★★★★★ Sony Nex 7
Full review

UFraw raw converter (stand alone)
Pros: free; nice interface
Cons: better options out there (unless you are on Linux)
Rating: ★★★½☆
Full review

Extras

iFoco 2x Auto Teleconverter (for Pentax M-42 screw)
Pros:
Cons: everything
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Full review

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