Web sites for lens reviews

Canon lenses
Canon lenses, which one is best?

Photo lens reviewsIt 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.
Dyxum Sony, Minolta 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.
AlphaMountWorld.com Sony, Minolta 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.
The-Digital-Picture.com Canon zoom lenses
Canon 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.


10 responses to “Web sites for lens reviews”

  1. Yves Roumazeilles Avatar

    I just added AlphaMountWorld.com and Photo.net to the initial list. I hope it will make it even more useful.

    Feel free to mention some ressource I may have missed.

  2. Yves Roumazeilles Avatar

    Some people in love with the oldest Nikon glass may want to look at the database of old Nikon lenses from Photosythesis.

  3. Yves Roumazeilles Avatar

    I just added the Sony/Minolta tests from NewCameraReview.

  4. Yves Roumazeilles Avatar

    Addition of NaturePixel. A relatively small list of tests, but interesting ones for Canon lenses.

  5. Yves Roumazeilles Avatar

    I just found the MomentCorporation web site (by Fredrik A. Rasmussen) which has a nice little list of lens tests for Nikon glass. Quite well done and very readable.

  6. Yves Roumazeilles Avatar

    The web site from Kurt Munger was a good surprise: Sony-only, but very well done.

  7. Yves Roumazeilles Avatar

    Better tagging of the post will help find it later.

    Addition of the Bob Atkins web site. I don’t know how I could have missed it up to now.

  8. Ali Avatar

    Waoo! this is a great list which will help me choose my next Nikon lens.