When it was launched, Canon’s EF 135mm f/2L USM became an instant hit for tight head shots among portrait photographers, but that was more than a quarter of a century ago. November 2022 finally saw the announcement of a replacement Canon RF 135mm F1.8L IS USM. The new native RF lens offers a faster aperture rating and the addition of 5.5-stop optical image stabilization, rising to 8-stop effectiveness with EOS R bodies that feature in-body stabilizers.
Rumors also surfaced of a Canon RF-S 22mm F2 STM pancake prime for 2023, effectively a remake of the popular EF-M lens with a classic effective focal length of 35mm on APS-C bodies like the EOS R7 and R10.
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In the Nikon camp, there was news of an imminent Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S, following hot on the heels of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S that was launched earlier in the year. The 600mm follows suit in featuring a built-in 1.4x teleconverter, this time giving you the choice of 600mm and 840mm focal lengths from a single lens, as well as being compatible with Nikon’s external 1.4x and 2.0x Z-system teleconverters, for an even greater stretch. For retro fans, Nikon followed up its 28mm SE lens with a Z 40mm f/2 (SE) prime, again with classic old-school Nikkor styling, and while both lenses are full-frame compatible, news of the 40mm tied in with the launch of the Nikon Z fc Black edition.
For Fuji fans, there was news of a new Fujinon XF30mm F2.8 R LM WR Macro. Ideal as a ‘standard prime’, with an effective focal length of 45mm, it works equally well as a macro lens, delivering a full 1.0x magnification at its shortest focus distance of 10cm. Sigma also made the news by making its 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN APS-C format lens available for Fujifilm X system cameras. The lens had previously been released in Sony E and Leica L mount options.
Taking a leaf out of Laowa’s book, AstrHori announced a 28mm f/13 2x Macro Probe lens, available in Sony E, Fujifilm X, Nikon Z, Nikon F, Canon RF, L-mount and PL-mount options. A fast Pergear 35mm f/1.4 lens also hit the news for full-frame Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z and Leica L mount cameras.
Not exactly lens news as such, there was nevertheless a November announcement that the Tamron Lens Utility app would ring in the changes, bringing remote focus control for the company’s compatible lenses, from Android mobiles connected via a USB-C cable.
Our November reviews kicked off with the Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8, effectively a tweaked and rebadged Tamron lens that was originally launched for Sony E-mount cameras. We were highly impressed with the original Tamron lens, equally so with the Nikon variant, giving it the same 5-star rating. We were almost as enamored with the travel-friendly Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD superzoom for Sony and Fujifilm APS-C cameras, which delivers a mighty 29-450mm effective zoom range with minimal compromise in image quality.
The TTArtisan Tilt 50mm F1.4 for Sony E and Leica L mount cameras turned out not to be the sharpest tool in the box but wooed us with its highly effective control over depth of field. We also enjoyed a hands-on trial of the Fujinon XF30mm f/2.8 R LM WR Macro.
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