Chinese manufacturer Yongnuo had been hitting headlines with its high-performance yet reasonably priced prime lenses for full-frame cameras. The Yongnuo YN12-35mm F/2.8-4 MFT AutoFocus landed on our news desk in March, packing aspherical, low dispersion, and high refractive index glass elements along with Nano Surface Coatings into a conveniently compact and lightweight package, at a very competitive price point.
And speaking of standard zooms, Canon hinted that it might be serving up yet another option for EOS R system users, in a world-first RF 24-105mm F2.8 lens. There were also rumours of two new Tilt & Shift lenses, namely the Canon TS-R 14mm f/4L and the Canon TS-R 24mm f/3.5L.
In the wide-angle camp, we brought news of two Venus Optics Laowa announcements. First up was the Laowa 28mm F1.2 for full-frame cameras, followed by an additional Leica M-mount version of the Laowa 15mm F2 Zero-D.
March was a busy month in our lab, as we tested and reviewed a veritable barrage of lenses. The latest offerings included the dinky little Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 – a true pancake lens that’s less than an inch thick, and a hands-on review of the much larger Canon RF 135mm F1.8L IS USM, a practically perfect portrait lens.
We were less impressed by the trio of Tokina SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF, Tokina SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF and Tokina SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF Reflex (or mirror) lenses. Sure they pack big telephoto reach into relatively small builds but image quality proved to be unsatisfying.
For a bit of nostalgia, we ran a review of the veteran Fujifilm Fujinon XF14mm F2.8 R and Fujifilm Fujinon XF55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lenses. Over in the Pentax camp, we tested the HD Pentax-DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED, Pentax DA★ 55mm F1.4 SDM and HD Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited lenses.
In a money-no-object moment, we reviewed the Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2 and found it to be a real gem. We also tested the more reasonably priced Lensbaby Double Glass II Optic, as reported in our previous month’s news.