Interchangeable lenses are high-margin accessories that also help build customer relationships. They not only enhance your customer’s shooting experience, but they also encourage repeat sales. That just a couple of the reasons why we will take a look at the Fall Lens Scene 2018.
The enduring passion for DSLRs and increasing use of mirrorless system cameras among enthusiasts and pros have bolstered the lens category. That long-term trend and the rising number of hobbyists that use photography as a means of personal expression have made lenses one of the most robust, reliable imaging niches.
Major camera makers and optical companies continue to meet demand by unleashing a slew of innovative optics. The glass is targeted mainly at serious and emerging enthusiasts and professionals who want to expand their creative horizons. In short, lenses are in the forefront as a key part of the creative process, putting a premium on high performance and far less emphasis on price.
Moreover, lenses never go out of style. They retain their value and usefulness as shooters migrate to the next, more advanced camera body. That’s why they’re a high-value proposition for shooters of any stripe.
The innovative lenses we’ve included here run the gamut from long-range, mid-range, wide-angle and advanced high-speed prime lenses. We hope you enjoy reading about the 12 fascinating lenses we’ve selected. We also hope they inspire you to check out the myriad other optical options aimed at your particular customer base. It’s hardly a coincidence that most successful photo-imaging retailers say lens sales are a top-tier priority. There is simply no more reliable revenue stream.
High-Spec Glass the Fall Lens Scene 2018 and Beyond
Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Sigma’s unique, new ultrahigh-speed medium telephoto lens is optimized for portraiture, low-light shooting and enhanced depth-of-field control. Like the other lenses in the acclaimed Art line, it delivers an impressive combination of high resolution, high contrast, rounded natural rendition and beautiful bokeh.
Moreover, to achieve outstanding image quality, it incorporates three FLD (fluorite equivalent) elements, two special low dispersion (SLD) elements and one aspheric element. Its hypersonic AF (autofocus) motor (HSM) provides fast, decisive AF. In addition, a rounded 9-bladed diaphragm enhances artistic bokeh.
The lens also features weather-sealed construction and a special protective coating on its front surface to facilitate shooting under adverse conditions. It’s furnished with a robust Arca-type tripod foot that’s easily removable for handheld shooting. The Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art is available in Sony’s full-frame E mount as well as Nikon, Canon and Sigma mounts. $1,599.
Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50–200mm f/2.8–4 Asph
Aimed at Panasonic Lumix shooters, this great, high-speed, high-performance telephoto zoom comes in the Micro Four Thirds mount. Suitable for wildlife photography, it provides 100–400mm-equivalent coverage at apertures from f/2.8 to f/16. In addition, it incorporates Panasonic’s Power optical image stabilizer (OIS) with Dual IS and Dual IS 2.0 technology for enhanced anti-shake compensation during handheld shooting.
To achieve excellent performance at all apertures over its 4x zoom range, it uses two UED elements, two ED elements, one UHR (ultrahigh refractive index) element and two aspheric elements. Other key features include: a 240-frames-per-sec AF motor for fast, precise, quiet AF when shooting stills or video; Nano Surface coating for enhanced light transmission and clarity; and splash-, dust- and freezeproof construction. $1,699.99.
Canon EF 70–200mm f/4L IS II USM
This is the second iteration of Canon’s more compact, lighter and economical f/4 version of its hefty, magnificent pro classic. This long telephoto zoom offers best-in-class imaging performance among single-focal-length lenses. It provides three-mode image stabilization (IS) for 5 stops of correction, with a panning option. Moreover, it has a fast-focusing ring-type ultrasonic USM AF motor. And it offers pro-caliber build quality at an attractive price.
The lens incorporates one fluorite and two ultra-low dispersion (UD) elements to achieve excellent chromatic aberration correction. It also features two AF ranges, one with a minimum focusing distance of 3.3 feet over the entire zoom range for capturing impressive close-ups.
Other features include: a rounded 9-bladed diaphragm for artistic bokeh; an internal zoom system for fast, precise AF that also enables a more compact form factor; and a focus range limiter. It also employs weather-sealed construction. $1,299.
Tamron 28–75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD
Just announced in the Sony full-frame E mount, this high-performance wide-to-moderate telephoto zoom provides a wide f/2.8 aperture over its zoom range. It delivers outstanding imaging performance thanks to an advanced optical design. It incorporates one eXtra-low dispersion (XLD) and one LD element, as well as three aspheric elements, including a molded glass element.
Tamron’s high-transmission BBAR (broadband antireflection) and protective fluorine coatings are also employed. Moreover, its exclusive RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping drive) AF motor delivers fast, precise, quiet AF. A rounded 9-bladed diaphragm enhances artistic bokeh, and moisture-resistant construction facilitates use in adverse conditions.
Built with mirrorless in mind, its minimum focusing distance of 7.5 inches (1:2.9 at 75mm) enables compelling close-ups. In addition, the E-mount version is compatible with Sony’s direct manual focus and other Sony-based functions. In Sony E mount, $799.
Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6E ED VR
Nikon’s remarkable, full-frame (FX-format) field telephoto zoom stops down to f/32–40. It incorporates one ED element to enhance chromatic aberration correction, while Super Integrated Coating technology enhances light transmission and clarity as well as minimizes flare.
Other key features include: built-in VR (vibration reduction) image stabilization rated for up to 4.5 stops of anti-shake protection; internal focus that maintains constant length and balance; and a fast, pulse-stepping motor AF system with anytime manual focus override. The compact lens also boasts a precise, electronic auto-diaphragm system with a rounded 9-blade diaphragm for creative bokeh.
Moreover, its dust- and moisture-resistant construction allows it to be used in challenging weather. From portraiture to nature photography, the lens provides a 105–450mm focal length range on DX-format DSLRs. $599.95.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
This is a star member of Sigma’s new nine-lens Sony full-frame, E-mount Art line. The premium, high-speed wide-angle prime can also be used with APS-C sensors. The flagship lens is ideal for street shooting, low-light work and the creative control of depth of field. It delivers pro-caliber performance across the field at all apertures thanks to an advanced design. It employs one FLD element, four SLD elements, two aspheric elements and Super Multilayer Coating technology.
Furthermore, it has a quiet, precise, high-speed hypersonic AF motor with full-time manual focus override. In addition, a rounded 9-bladed diaphragm enhances its inherently attractive bokeh. The lens is constructed using Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material along with traditional metals to achieve uniform performance over a very wide temperature range.
In addition, its precision brass mount ensures accuracy and durability. It also incorporates dust- and moisture-resistant rubber seals. In Sony E/A, Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K and Sigma SA mounts, $899.
Sony FE 24–105mm f/4 G OSS
This attractive, constant-aperture wide-angle-to-short-telephoto zoom for full-frame E-mount Sony cameras delivers exceptional “G-level” imaging performance and versatility. Moreover, it does so in a commendably compact, lightweight package.
Its cutting-edge optical design incorporates four aspheric elements, three ED elements, and Nano AR coatings to achieve corner-to-corner sharpness and clarity at all focal lengths and aperture. In addition, easy-to-clean, contamination-resistant fluorine coatings are applied to the external elements.
Another notable feature is a direct-drive supersonic wave AF motor that delivers fast, precise AF performance with minimal noise. In addition, an internal focus design helps maintain a uniformly compact size along with excellent balance.
The lens is fitted with a customizable focus hold button and a positive AF/MF switch to enhance handling. Its rounded 9-bladed diaphragm also ensures artistic bokeh. Rounding out its features is dust- and moisture-resistant construction that facilitates shooting in harsh environments. $1,299.99.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40–150mm f/2.8 Pro
This Olympus pro lens features an advanced optical design. It utilizes three aspheric elements, including an ED lens, three ED elements, one HD element and a super ED element, as well as ZERO high-transmission lens coatings. The versatile telephoto zoom covers an impressive 80–300mm-equivalent focal length range on Micro Four Thirds-format cameras. It also provides a wide, constant f/2.8 aperture that’s ideal for low-light work, high-speed sports and artistic depth-of-field control.
Moreover, its dual VCM (voice coil motor) AF system delivers very fast, nearly silent autofocus when shooting stills or movies. Also, a manual focus clutch enables quick MF/AF switching on demand, while a programmable L-Fn button allows lens-based control over settings.
Other features include: a rounded 9-bladed diaphragm that enhances its attractive natural bokeh; and dust-, freeze- and splashproof construction with 11 weather seals. The lens is bundled with a rotating, removable tripod collar and a collapsible lens hood. It’s also compatible with the optional M.Zuiko Digital MC-14 1.4x teleconverter. $1,399.99.
Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD
This impressive entry in the full-frame ultra-telephoto zoom class features three LD elements to achieve excellent correction at its longest focal lengths. Moreover, Tamron’s proprietary VC (vibration compensation) image stabilization minimizes the effects of camera shake in handheld shooting with 4 stops of correction. Its ultrasonic silent drive motor (USD) delivers swift, silent AF and fast tracking for moving subjects as close as 4.9 feet. It also offers full-time manual focus override.
Notably, a dual micro-processing unit enhances rapid performance in both AF and VC systems. Other key features include: eBand (extended bandwidth & angular-dependency) coating to maximize light transmission; fluorine coating on outer elements to resist dirt and facilitate cleaning; and dust- and moisture-resistant construction.
The lens is compatible with an optional rotating tripod collar and TAP-in Console accessory for fine-tuning focus adjustments and updating software. $799.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR
Just announced, this amazing, superspeed, high-performance telephoto lens is built for Fujifilm’s popular X-mount (APS-C format) mirrorless line. It provides an impressive 305mm-equivalent focal length and an ultrawide f/2.0 aperture. They vastly expand its shooting range for high-speed still and video subjects in low light. Also facilitated is the creative use of shallow depth of field.
The lens employs one large-diameter super ED element and two large-diameter ED elements to minimize chromatic aberration. Plus, special High-precision Polishing technology achieves outstanding imaging performance and beautiful bokeh. In addition, a new focus preset function instantly changes the focus to a preset position. This enables the capture of moving subjects without having to refocus. A built-in OIS system provides a 5-stop anti-shake-effect advantage in handheld shooting, and a linear AF motor ensures fast, quiet, autofocus.
Other features include: a rounded 9-bladed diaphragm; weather sealing; and a smudge-resistant fluorine coating on its front surface. It comes as a kit with the XF1.4x TC F2 WR teleconverter that transforms it into a sharp 427mm f/2.8 lens. $5,999.95.
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art
Widely regarded as one of the best-performing lenses in its class, this fast, moderate Sigma tele macro was just released in the full-frame Sony E mount. To achieve outstanding correction and definition throughout, it incorporates two FLD elements, two SLD elements, additional LD and aspheric elements, as well as Super Multilayer Coating tech.
Its wide f/2.8 aperture facilitates artistic portrait and pictorial effects using limited depth of field. It also has a rounded 9-bladed diaphragm to enhance its inherently smooth, natural bokeh.
The lens focuses down to 1:1 (life-size on sensor) with a minimum focusing distance of 10.2 inches for capturing compelling close-ups. Moreover, it employs an advanced coreless DC AF motor with full-time manual override for fast, precise, quiet autofocus. It also offers excellent tracking performance when shooting stills and video. The lens has comprehensive weather sealing as well as an extremely durable precision brass lens mount. In Sony E, Canon EF and Sigma SA mounts, $569.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM
Canon’s superspeed portrait telephoto lens lives up to its L-series designation by delivering outstanding imaging performance—even at its widest apertures. Optimized for portraiture and low-light shooting, it includes one glass-molded aspheric element (GMo) to greatly reduce spherical aberration and distortion and enhance sharpness and clarity. Furthermore, it large f/1.4 aperture produces a shallow depth of field for beautiful background blur.
It also features Canon’s proprietary antireflective Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to minimize flare and ghosting as well as yield images of greater contrast and clarity, even under adverse conditions. Built-in image stabilization provides a 4-stop advantage in minimizing the effects of camera shake. In addition, a ring-type ultrasonic motor (USM) provides fast, precise, quiet autofocus with full-time manual focus override for fine tuning.
The premium lens also features dust- and weather-resistant construction and a smudge-resistant fluorine coating on its outer elements. $1,599.