The Fall Lens Scene 2019: Interchangeable lenses are what separate serious shooters from casual picture takers and smartphone junkies. They’re also big-ticket, high-margin accessories that are crucial in building customer relationships; they enhance your customers’ shooting experience as well as motivate repeat sales.
The continued popularity of mirrorless and DSLR cameras among enthusiasts and pros, along with the remarkable number of consumers using photography as a means of personal expression, has made the lens sector a reliable imaging niche.
In addition, major camera makers and lens companies have responded to increasing demand by unleashing a barrage of innovative optics of all types. They are targeted mainly at serious and emerging enthusiasts and professionals who want to expand their creative horizons. Indeed, the pace of new lenses coming onto the market has reached such a fever pitch that DIR has augmented its lens coverage!
All of this is because lenses are in the forefront of the creative process. Furthermore, lenses never go out of style. They’re “keepers” that retain their value and usefulness as shooters migrate to the next, more advanced camera body to take advantage of the latest technology. That’s also the primary reason that lenses have a higher resale value than cameras or practically any other imaging equipment—and a higher perceived value.
Moreover, the 12 lenses mentioned here reflect these trends; they place the emphasis on high performance and distinctive imaging qualities rather than on price per se. They run the gamut from long-range, midrange and wide-angle lenses to advanced high-speed primes. We hope our selection inspires you to check out the myriad other optical options that can serve your customer base. It’s hardly a coincidence that most successful imaging retailers assert that lens sales are a top-tier priority. There is simply no more reliable revenue stream out there.
Fall Lens Scene 2019
Canon RF 24–240mm f/4–6.3 IS USM
This lens is designed to complement Canon’s popular EOS R full-frame mirrorless cameras. The impressive 10x, all-in-one wide-to-telephoto zoom has a built-in optical image stabilizer and dynamic IS. It’s claimed to provide up to a 5-stop anti-shake-effect advantage in handheld still and video shooting. Delivering outstanding imaging performance over its entire range, it can focus down to 1.6 feet for compelling close-ups at the long end.
Moreover, it incorporates an advanced Nano USM AF system to provide quick, precise, nearly silent AF plus full-time manual focus control. And a handy configurable control ring adjusts exposure settings, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation values. It also features a 21-element, 15-group design with one aspherical lens and two UD (ultralow dispersion) lenses. And, a 7-blade aperture helps create gorgeous background blur. In addition, it is compatible with EF/EF-S lenses when using an optional mount adapter. $899.99.
Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art
An outstanding Sigma superspeed, wide-angle prime for full-frame cameras, it employs a unique 17-element, 12-group design. It incorporates three SLD (special low dispersion) elements and three aspheric elements (including one double-sided aspheric) to achieve nearly perfect control of spherical aberrations and distortion. As a result, the lens captures exceptionally sharp, beautifully rendered images.
Furthermore, its ultrawide f/1.2 aperture allows shooting in very low light and facilitates the artistic use of extreme selective focus techniques. In addition, a rounded 11-blade diaphragm enhances its inherently beautiful natural bokeh. Other features include: a hypersonic AF motor for swift, quiet precise AF with full-time manual focus (MF) override; a multifunction AF-lock (AFL) button; close focus of 11.8 inches (1:5.1 reproduction ratio) for dramatic close-ups; and splash-proof construction. In Leica L and Sony E mounts, $1,499.
Tamron 35–150mm f/2.8–4 Di VC OSD
A Tamron portrait lens for high-megapixel DSLR, it covers a unique wide-to-moderate telephoto range. It also provides a fast f/2.8–4 aperture in a compact, versatile, well-integrated package. It’s optimized to provide beautiful bokeh and outstanding imaging performance. In addition, the sophisticated lens employs a 19-element, 14-group design. It includes three LD and three hybrid aspheric elements to capture images of impressive sharpness, clarity and evenness of illumination at all settings. Also, a rounded 9-blade diaphragm enhances smooth natural bokeh.
Moreover, an optimized silent drive (OSD) AF motor couples to a dual micro-processing unit (MPU) system for fast, precise, quiet autofocus down to its 17.7-inch minimum focus distance (1:3.7 max magnification). Other features include: Tamron’s VC (vibration compensation) IS system to minimize the effects of shake in handheld shooting; a fluorine coating for extra protection; BBAR (broad-band antireflection) coating to reduce ghosting/flare; and moisture-resistant construction. In Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, $799.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.4E ED
This versatile, high-speed wide-angle prime in Nikon’s FX full-frame mount is ideal for street shooting and low-light applications. The high-performance lens provides enhanced depth-of-field control by virtue of its f/1.4 maximum aperture. Its 14-element, 11-group design includes two ED (extra-low dispersion) elements to correct chromatic aberrations, yielding images of outstanding clarity and color fidelity. It also employs three aspheric elements to control spherical aberrations and minimize distortion to optimize sharpness and capture pleasing natural rendition. Moreover, Nano Crystal and Super Integrated coatings suppress flare and ghosting, and a rounded 9-blade diaphragm enhances its beautiful natural bokeh.
Other features are: a rear focusing system to maintain overall length and enhance balance; a silent wave motor for swift, precise, quiet AF plus anytime manual focus override; an electromagnetic diaphragm for greater exposure stability; and a protective fluorine coating. $1,999.95.
Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS
Sony’s medium-telephoto macro, full-frame E-mount lens has a minimum focus distance of 11 inches. Its 15-element,11-group design uses two ED elements, including one super ED element, plus an aspheric element to reduce chromatic aberrations. They also provide excellent correction for astigmatism, field curvature and coma. Also featuring Nano AR coating, the moisture-resistant lens captures crisp, flare-free, high-resolution, high-contrast images at up to 1:1 magnification. Moreover, an advanced direct drive SSM system and an internal focus design contribute to its swift, silent, decisive AF.
Built-in Optical SteadyShot (OOS) image stabilization combines with the in-body IS in select Sony cameras to provide an impressive level of shake-effect correction for handheld shooting. Other features include: a focus range limiter for faster AF at close distances; a sliding focusing ring for quick shifting from AF to manual focus; a focus hold button; and a rounded 9-blade diaphragm for natural bokeh. $999.99.
Sigma 14–24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art
Just released before press time, Sigma’s superb wide-angle zoom for full-frame mirrorless cameras employs a cutting-edge 18-element, 13-group design. It has one FLD (fluorite equivalent), five SLD and three aspheric elements, including one large-diameter lens, to reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations. The lens achieves exceptional sharpness, clarity and color accuracy over a versatile focal-length range. In addition, super multilayer and Nano Porous coatings are effective in suppressing flare, yielding high-contrast images even under challenging light.
Furthermore, a stepping AF motor ensures fast, precise, quiet AF in still and video applications. It also provides full-time manual focus and an autofocus lock (AFL). In addition, a rounded 11-blade diaphragm enhances its inherently smooth bokeh that’s especially striking at wide apertures. Other features include: a rear filter holder; weather resistance; and a brass bayonet mount to ensure precision alignment and long-term durability. In Sony E and Leica L mount, $1,399.
Tamron 17–28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD
This large aperture, ultrawide-angle zoom for E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras features a Ø67mm-filter diameter. Moreover, light weight with a length of 3.9 inches, it boasts high optical performance in a compact housing. Its 13-element, 11-group design features three aspherical lenses, two LD elements and one XLD (eXtra low dispersion) element with properties close to fluorite to suppress chromatic and other aberrations. And Tamron’s BBAR coating reduces ghosting/flare.
The lens also matches the latest high-res sensors from edge to edge throughout its zoom range. Its AF drive incorporates a sensor that detects the position of the lens while the RXD motor optimizes AF control. The result is quiet, fast, accurate AF even while shooting moving subjects or filming video. Other features include: a 7.5-inch close-up capability (1:5.2); moisture resistance; a protective fluorine compound; compatibility with advanced features specific to certain mirrorless cameras; a zoom ring; a focus ring; and a metal mount. In Sony E mount, $899.
Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10–25mm f/1.7 Asph
This Leica-designed lens is a fast, constant-aperture wide-to-normal zoom. It provides a 20–50mm-equivalent focal length range on Micro Four Thirds cameras. Further, its wide aperture facilitates low-light shooting and enhances creative use of depth of field. A sophisticated 17-element, 12-group design employs three aspheric elements, four ED elements, as well as one UHR (ultrahigh-refractive) element. As a result, the Panasonic lens achieves superlative correction and captures images of exceptional sharpness and clarity at all focal length and aperture settings.
In addition, a 240-fps AF drive pairs with an internal focus system to provide fast, decisive and quiet autofocus in still and video shooting. Moreover, a rounded 9-blade diaphragm enhances its inherently beautiful bokeh. Also, a focus clutch enables nearly instantaneous AF/MF switching on the fly. Other features include: a stepless, de-clickable aperture ring for video; suppressed focus breathing; and weather resistance. $1,799,99.
Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM
This exciting new superspeed L-class medium-telephoto lens works with full-frame Canon R mirrorless cameras. It’s great for creating art portraits when employing shallow depth-of-field techniques. It is also suitable for shooting night scenes and action in very low light. Using a state-of-the-art 13-element, 9-group design, it employs one BR (blue spectrum refractive) optic element to eliminate chromatic aberrations; one UD element; and one aspheric element to achieve exceptional sharpness and clarity with extremely low distortion. All elements feature Air Sphere Coating technology to suppress flare and ghosting even under adverse conditions.
Other features include: a ring type AF motor for fast, decisive, nearly silent AF plus full-time manual focus override; a configurable multifunction control ring to enable various lens-based exposure settings; and a rounded 9-blade diaphragm to enhance its natural bokeh. It also provides a 2.8-foot minimum focusing distance and weather-resistant construction with a fluorine coating. $2,699. http://usa.canon.com
Sony FE 24–240mm f/3.5–6.3 OSS
An audacious, new 10x all-in-one, wide-to-telephoto zoom, it works with full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. The lens uses an advanced 17-element, 12-group optical design with five aspheric elements and one ED element. The optical design achieves impressive levels of correction for spherical and chromatic aberrations and astigmatism. Furthermore, the lens delivers extremely sharp, detailed images and pleasing rendition over its range.
In addition, a rounded 7-blade diaphragm enhances its beautiful natural bokeh. Also, a linear AF motor and internal focus design provide very fast, accurate, quiet autofocus for stills and video. The lens also features: built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake and facilitate low-light photography; a 19.7-inch minimum focusing distance for stunning close-ups; and dust- and moisture-resistant construction. $949.99.
Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10–20mm f/4.5–5.6G VR
Nikon’s versatile, new ultrawide-angle compact zoom for DX-format DSLRs provides a 15–30mm-equivalent focal length range. As a result, the lens is ideal for travelers and walk-around shooters. Employing the latest 14-element, 11-group optical design, it uses three aspheric elements and Super Integrated coating to deliver sharp, detailed, flare-free images over its entire range.
Moreover, it focuses down to 8.7 inches for compelling close-ups. Other features include: built-in VR (vibration reduction) image stabilization to minimize the effects of handheld camera shake for both still capture and videos; an AF-P pulse motor and internal focusing to provide extremely smooth, fast and quiet AF for stills and video; and a rounded 7-blade diaphragm for enhanced bokeh effects. $309.95.
Sigma 45mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary
With its fashionably compact form factor, this Sigma full-frame normal prime is optimized to deliver smooth creamy bokeh with “rounded” rendition in foreground and background areas. Consequently, it produces that much-sought-after three-dimensional effect. Based on a classic 8-element, 7-group design, it also has a bokeh-enhancing rounded 7-blade diaphragm. Furthermore, it focuses down to 9.4 inches (1:4 reproduction ratio) to capture dramatic close-ups.
The lens also features a stepping-type AF motor for quick, quiet, precise AF with full-time manual focus and dust- and splash-resistant construction. Moreover, it has a durable solid brass lens mount and comes with a lens hood that minimizes flare and protects the lens. In Sony E and Leica L mounts, $549.