It is often difficult to group lens reviews in order to compare/evaluate a little more than their mere physical characteristics (focal length, aperture/diaphragm, or even number of individual lenses). But how would you evaluate/review optical quality? When I see the really impressive differences between two lenses, I would be prepared to judge from their price, but a cheap wide-angle lens is not always worse than a slightly more expensive one (well… if the price difference is really large, it’s not only an accident and quality explains a lot).
So, where should we go?
I collected the addresses of some web sites appearing quite able to provide this kind of quality reviews/comparisons/evaluations/tests (I try to be systematic, with your help, while telling what I believe are the strengths or the weaknesses of each one).
|Site||Canon lenses||Nikon lenses||Sony lenses||All the reviews/tests|
|SLR gear||Canon lens||Nikon lens||Sony, Minolta||Lens reviews||In-depth, but a lot of lenses are still not reviewed (only a mere characteristics list)|
|Photozone||Canon EOS (APS-C)||Nikon (APS-C)||Sony Alpha (APS-C)||All reviews||In-depth reviews. There are few older lenses (it would be useful on the second-hand market).|
|Fred Miranda||Canon||Nikon||All reviews||
Canon, Nikon, that’s all.|
Tests are done by the users/visitors. So, quality of the reviews is… uneven, at best.
Sony, Minolta, Konica, only.|
Tests are done by the users/visitors. So, quality of the reviews is… uneven.
|Photodo||All lens reviews||In-depth analysis, but only sorted by date|
|dpreview||Lens reviews||Not many reviews yet, but an obvious professionalism|
|PopPhoto||Camera lenses||Precision of the analysis stays questionable (never very far from re-writing the characteristics list from the manufacturer)|
|lightrules||Lens reviews||A bit confusing to read, but there are systematic images that you can use to make your own opinion|
|Optyczne||Canon||Nikkor||Sony||Search engine||Beware, this is in Polish|
|16-9.net||Lens reviews by date||Many more comparisons than individual reviews|
|Bjørn Rørslett||–||Nikon ‘F’ Mount||–||–||Purely qualitative opinions, but coming from a pro-photographer really obsessed with image quality (Nikon-only)|
|Le Monde de la Photo||Tous les tests||Still not many reviews, but very in-depth. In French.|
|Pictchallenge||Actualités et tests||The site is nearly impossible to browse (too confusing), but the level of details is definitely interesting for those reading a little French.|
Reviews for Sony, Minolta, only. Not all lenses, though.|
Usually no figures, but some samples images and detailed advice.
|Photo.net||Canon||Nikon||Sony||All incl. Tamron, Sigma, Pentax, Olympus, Leica, Mamiya||The list is impressive, but many listed lenses only have “Reader comments” and no “review“.|
|NewCameraReview||Sony, Minolta||Reviews for Sony, Minolta, only. But the tests are full of details with many sample images along with the individual tests.|
|NaturePixel||Essais objectifs et boîtiers (in French)||Only Canon, a few lenses only, but clean pictures, a neat work and a very readable conclusion.|
Canon zoom lenses|
Canon EF-S lenses
All Canon and Canon-compatible equipment reviews
|Only Canon, but commendable analysis.|
|MomentCorporation||Lens Reviews (both AF and manual focus lenses)||Nikon lenses (and less than 10 other lenses). A few accessories and Nikon cameras, too.|
|Photography Review||Canon lenses||Nikon lenses||Sony lenses||All lens user reviews||Those are mostly user reviews, so they lack details and precision, but they are worth reading anyway.|
|Kurt Munger||Sony & compatible lenses||Only Sony, but the analysis is very well detailed and the advice is always precise.|
|LensPlay reviews (Bob Atkins)||Canon Database||Only for Canon, the web site is a little hard to use.|
|SUBJECTIVE Lens Evaluations (Mostly Nikkors), by David Ruether||Nikkor subjective evaluations||Only for Nikon, terse on details.|
|Pentax Forums lens review database||All Pentax lenses ever produced||Pentax, only Pentax, all Pentax.|
|Bojidar Dimitrov’s Pentax K-Mount Page||Measured resolution on Pentax lenses||Pentax: Including the synthesis of measurement work done by Yoshihiko Takinami and Frederick Wasti, two renowned analysts from the Pentax world.|
|fotopolis||Lens tests, in publication order||Tests in Polish. Many of them, but finding the lens you’re interested into is not always easy, for lack of organized presentation.|
From here, I invite you to an orgy of lens reviews, lens tests, lens comparisons, lens evaluations. And remember to shoot some photos, too. It’s not only the lens which does the photo. Some are shot by telephones, if the photographer is an artist.