After you purchased a new DSLR, you noticed that the photos are not as great as you hope they will be. When this occurs, it is time to look for a new full frame lens. They are available as upgrade packages and they can truly make a difference, by assisting you take much better pictures at any given moment. A good thing is the fact you can always make an upgrade which will be just perfect for your requirements.
Our Topic List:
|Types of Lenses||Product||Rating||Link|
|1. Standard lenses||
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
||CHECK BEST PRICE at Amazon|
|2. Macro lenses||AFF017N700 SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD
||CHECK BEST PRICE at AMAZON|
|3. Telephoto and Superzoom LENSES||Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM
||CHECK BEST PRICE at AMAZON|
|4. Superzoom LENSES||Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
||CHECK BEST PRICE at AMAZON|
|5. Wide angle lenses||Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR
||CHECK BEST PRICE at AMAZON|
|6. Kit lenses||Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
||CHECK BEST PRICE at Amazon|
|7. Prime lenses||Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED
||CHECK BEST PRICE at AMAZON|
|8. Zoom lenses||Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD
||CHECK BEST PRICE at AMAZON|
Why our guide is important for you?
Full frame lenses may look like simple items, but they are actually more than just complicated. New ones are capable of producing outstanding picture quality and allow you to take pictures like a professional. But, we must mention that choosing a new full frame lens isn’t an easy task! There are too many variables and too many differences between them. As such, our guide is important for you, simply due to the fact it explains all the features, factors and differences between the lenses in question.
Additionally, we will also spend some time analyzing some of the most popular brands. When it comes to choosing the best full frame lenses, features specific to a brand are needed to know.
Now is the time to reveal a few tips which are essential when it comes to choosing a new full frame lens. These factors must be considered if you are looking for the ultimate value for money and even better picture quality. So, what are the most important factors here?
Zoom versus prime
The main difference is in the focal length of the lenses. Here we have two main types as well. Zoom lenses have an adjustable focal length, usually between 14 and 70 mm. On the other hand, prime lenses have fixed focal length (usually 35 or 50mm). Both types are desirable, but for different purposes. Zoom lenses are ideal for beginners, who don’t want to change a lens all the time. They are also easier to use and make photography easier.
What about prime lenses? They are a more professional type. They are reserved for actual photographers because the photo quality is much better. Yes, they are slightly more complicated to use, but at the end of a day, they are much better in the term of quality. It shouldn’t be mentioned that they are also more expensive units.
You have heard of the zooming feature of the lenses, but do you know that there are 3 different types of zooming lenses? The first ones are standard zoom lenses. They are entry-level, but still sufficient for most of the users. Furthermore, they are the most popular type of zoom lenses at the moment.
Telephoto zoom lenses are larger than the standard ones. They allow you to get closer to the object you want to photograph. In essence, these types are reserved for intermediate users or for those who want to take photos of objects far away.
Superzoom is precisely as the name suggests. They are massive in length and they can provide zoom almost 20 times better than any other type. Obviously, only professionals and those with the need for this type of zooming will acquire them.
The level of aperture
Aperture is also one of the most important features of lenses. In simple words, it measures the amount of lens opening and the amount of light which can get it. Aperture is measured in f-stops. The higher the value (f/2.8 or f/1.8), the larger the opening will be. It means that more light will get into the lens. Keep in mind that aperture determines plenty of other aspects, such area photo quality, brightens, sharpness and etc. Top tip: Higher aperture is always a better choice.
Some models of the digital cameras have digital stabilization built into them, while others have the same feature built into the lens. As such, here we have another thing to consider before you make a decision. If your camera doesn’t have image stabilization in the main body, but rather in the lens itself, getting a new one with the system is mandatory. On the other hand, we have cameras with image stabilization in the case. They cannot be mixed with lenses which also have the same feature.
Image stabilization will allow you to take perfectly clear photos when photographing while moving. In addition, not all the systems work in the same way, but they have the same end result.
You will want to own a lightweight lens. It is important to add that some, usually older models were too heavy for providing decent maneuverability. A lightweight lens allows you to take photos which require speed and maneuverability. Heavier one doesn’t allow you that. Some of them can even make the entire DSLR annoying to carry and use.
Here we have one of the essential factors. Is the lens you want compatible with your camera? First of all, some brands produce aftermarket lenses for their cameras. The compatibility can be checked for each lens and all you need is the model of the camera. But, third-party brands don’t have this advantage. You will have to consult the online manual or to contact the seller. Don’t think
this is an issue. Almost all cameras can be upgraded with aftermarket lenses.
Improving Your Photography with the right Lens
Even if you are a professional photographer, you won’t be able to take appealing photos with a low-quality lens. Have you ever wondered why professionals use only the best equipment? The answer is actually very simple. High-quality lenses take much better photos. Their quality is outstanding almost regardless of what you want to capture. They also don’t need complicated adjusting nor anything else which is mandatory when you use a low-end lens. But, with a great lens, you will improve your photography even more and here’s how.
Help you get to know your camera better
- Ne lens, with outstanding quality, is enough for most of you to assist you with complete understanding the settings on your camera. You will want to experiment and to try new settings, which is directly linked to a much better photo.
- Great lenses will forgive you if you make a small mistake with the ISO settings, color or anything else. They are designed to take the best photo at any single moment, therefore they are a much better choice, obviously.
- We all know that the best photo is the one taken at the right moment. A great lens will be capable of taking that photo in less time than a poor-quality lens. In other words, your photos are going to be much better despite the fact you are a beginner.
Understanding the types of Photography
There are several types of photography, something we will explain below. As such, you need a lens which will get the most from each situation. Cheaper units are developed for just one type of photography. More expensive or better lenses are suitable for different types of photography.
The bottom line here is that a perfect lens can make your photos almost the same as those taken by a professional. Low-end lens certainly won’t provide you this advantage. The truth is, your photo is good only as your lens!
Some of you may believe that there is just one type of photography. After all, you can grab your camera, go outside and start taking photos. Actually, this isn’t the truth! There are more than 15 different types of photography and believe or not, new types are added frequently! We will want to explain six of the types, the most popular ones.
Perhaps portrait photography is the most appealing of them all, but at the same time, it is the most demanding. First and foremost, portrait photography doesn’t apply to the face specifically. It can be body photo or close-up. When taking a photo of a face, it is crucial to keep sharp the photo as much as possible on the area around the eyes of a model. This is also important due to the fact you will capture more realistic emotions. The accent is on the face, almost at any moment, even when you try to take a photo of a body. Tip: Professional photographers always use jokes to make models smile, in order to get the best photo possible. Faking a smile isn’t an option here!
You probably considered or you still consider taking sport-based photos. As you may now, larger or extra-long lenses are ideal for this type of photography. Furthermore, high ISO is mandatory! By using this setting, you will be able to take a photo much quicker and also to get the best quality of it. The goal is to capture a photo when the movement is extra-quick. If you watch sports games, you already know that photographs use large lenses and they move around the field. Why? It is essential to be original and to take a photo from a variety of angles. The best lenses, with the best zooming capabilities, are recommended for this type of photography.
In order to become a street photographer, all you have to do is to move around a city and take a photo or two. Street photographers don’t prefer tourist destinations or special places. They are ready for each moment which can occur around them. For beginners, this may be the easiest photography possible. Still, in order to take great photos, the experience is needed. Here, we can see that each photo must tell a story from the perspective of a photographer.
Taking photos of nature is treated as landscape photography. It is also the most popular type of them all. However, in order to take a perfect photo, you will need to set the longest shutter speed. When you use it, photos of the waves and skies are just phenomenal. In addition, using a tripod can give you sharp and crystal crisp photos as well. Same as with architectural photography, you must pay attention to the lighting. The best results are always taken in the early morning or afternoon. At noon, lighting may be an issue, due to high levels of it. On the other side, taking photos at night isn’t very successful.
Taking photos of buildings and architectural wonders can be categorized as architectural photography. The main goal here is to capture the edges and the lines of an object. But, because you will have to use natural light only, it is mandatory to take a photo in perfect timing. Two, main elements here to remember are image distortion and lighting, due to just mentioned the reason. Don’t forget that indoor and outdoor photos are architectural photography products.
This type of photography was a part of the landscape and/or portrait photography, but now it is a separate type. The essence is to take a photo of an object or place as close as possible, but still to maintain the appealing perspective.
For this application, full frame lenses are the obvious choice. Cropped ones are better. Just in case, if you prefer full frame, you should consider some with superb zooming capabilities.
Objects, people, events and all kinds of situations can be taken without an issue.
DX vs. FX: What is what?
Both DX and FX stand for the camera’s format, more precisely to the size of the sensor. Some cameras can be used for DX only, others are fully oriented towards FX, and some can be used for DX and lenses which are FX. In plain words, DX and FX represent the size of a photo! Both have advantages and disadvantages.
- DX- These lenses are narrower, or better said they are cropped (1.5 times) compared to FX. The dimensions are standardized and it is 24x16mm. Advantages include faster photo taking and the ability to make a photo entirely focused on a specific element. These cameras are smaller, lighter and more affordable. Usually, we can see them for everyday use.
- FX- The format here represents a much larger size. Dimensions of a photo are 36x24mm, so you can see the difference. These photos come with a higher level of light, so they are brighter and usually rated as professional ones or semi-professional. Lenses are larger, heavier and they require better cameras than DX version.
Both of these camera formats are used and developed together. None of them is obsolete or reserved for beginners. It is up to you which lens you need. Once again, FX lenses are wider than DX, but they require a more professional camera.
Types of camera lenses
Nowadays, there are so many different types of lenses that it is impossible for a beginner to know which one he actually needs. As such, we must explain the most common types of them.
#1 Standard lenses
These lenses provide an almost identical wide range as the naked eye. As you may deduce, they provide the most natural photos, therefore they are common in landscape photography. The focal length is around 50mm, but there are shorter and longer models. Thanks to a wide aperture, the lighting is excellent, which allows you to take better photos when the lighting is poor.
An excellent example is Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. Thanks to image stabilization feature it is capable of capturing all sorts of actions. The aperture is f/2.8, which is one of the highest you can find. And yes, the length of it is between 17 and 55mm. Let’s not forget that the all-new AD provides great photo quality at all zoom levels.
This offers image quality on a par with Canon's highly regarded L-series lenses. It has a large maximum aperture which, combined with higher shutter speeds, can minimize subject motion blur.
- Image stabilization
- Wide aperture
- High quality
- AD and asymmetrical elements inside it
- Hype around the lens
- Dust issues
#2 Macro lenses
If you are planning to take photos of insects or small objects, macro lenses are the best alternative. As a matter of fact, they have been developed for taking photos of small objects as close as possible. Yes, you can use them for other applications as well, but the main purpose is the one we just mentioned.
Tamron AFF017N700 SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is the best choice of this type. Why? It offers outstanding bokeh capabilities and it has fluorine coating, which makes it immune dust and fingerprints. Additionally, this lens is moisture resistant and won’t collect dust after a longer period of use.
This redefines the best in advanced features and succeeds a legacy of superior optical performance. Meticulous craftsmanship is demonstrated in every detail of the exterior design of the newly transformed SP 90mm macro lens.
- VC enhanced
- Fluorine coating
- Bokeh capabilities
- Moisture resistant
- Immune to dust
- Value for money
- Loud focusing
- Low level of sharpness
#3 Telephoto and Superzoom LENSES
A telephoto lens is the most obvious one. As soon as you see it, you will know it is a member of this type. It is characterized by the extra-long focal length and superb magnifying capabilities. Photographers prefer them in situations when they need to take a photo of an object from a long distance.
One of the best examples is the Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens. As the name suggests, the focal length is 150-600mm and it comes with a hyper zooming feature, which speeds up the entire process. Splash resistance and dust resilience are included as well.
is created around the concept of maximum portability meets utmost image quality in a variable aperture hyper-telephoto zoom lens.
- Hyper-telephoto zoom
- Splash resistant
- Dust resilient
- Low maintenance
- Impractical for handheld use
#4 Superzoom LENSES
Superzoom LENSES are all about zoom. The main factor here is the range and it is the game changer. Yes, they are similar to telephoto lenses, but there are a few differences.
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS has everything you are going to need. It comes with great zoom capabilities, even better image stabilization and it is well-made. Close up magnification of this model is 0.24x.
is compact, lightweight and has a wide magnification range. It features a wide focal length range from normal to telephoto equivalent to 29-320mm in the 35mm format.
- New micro motor
- 4 stops
- Image stabilization
- 18-200mm of focal length
- The front part is heavy
#5 Wide angle lenses
All lenses of this type have one thing in common. All of them are capable of taking photos from a wide point of view. Some new systems can even photograph 1801 degrees, which is phenomenal. Their main purpose is for landscape photography and for smaller, cramped places.
We must point out that the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens is an appealing choice here. It is useful due to superior lighting feature and a low price. Still, the quality is worthy of Canon!
A Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens provides ultra wide-angle coverage to the EOS 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D and Digital Rebel SLRs. Equivalent to a 16-35mm zoom, it offers excellent performance and optics designed from the ground-up for digital SLR use.
- 5 inches of close focusing
- Circular aperture
- Manual focus (full-time)
- Noise focus
- Annoying manual
#6 Kit lenses
These lenses are usually obtained when you purchase a camera. They are also called starter lenses. As you would expect, the quality is poor and they are generally cheap. However, they are just perfect for beginners, who want to experiment with their new camera and to discover new possibilities. In addition, some cameras come with 2 starter lenses in the package.
Although a member of a starter lenses, the Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS isn’t as simple as you may believe. It comes with a filter of 58mm, 14 elements (10 groups) and with the angle of view between 76.5 and 29.
this single versatile zoom featuring a maximum aperture of F2.8 and a broad focal length range from 27mm* wide angle to 84mm* telephoto, the photographer can respond to a variety of scenes.
- Decent photo quality
- 58mm filter
- Angle of view between 76.5 and 29
- Compatible with many cameras
- Isn’t very affordable
- Issues with the crispness of photos
#7 Prime lenses
All prime lenses have a fixed focal length. They come without zoom feature and they are ideal for professionals. As a matter of fact, most professional photographers use these lenses. They are also better in conditions when the light is low. Just to add, they are a completely opposite type than zoom lenses (we will mention them below). It is advised to choose these lenses according to the level of expertise you have.
Thanks to the FX format support and internal focus, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED Lens is one of the best choices of all prime lenses. The aperture ranges between f/1.4 and f/16; it comes with nano crystal coating and a 9-blade diaphragm. If you are a professional, this lens is for you.
A new standard by which all short telephoto lenses will be measured against, the world's first full-frame 105mm with an f/1.4 aperture. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED Lens is a marvel of optical precision, distortion correction and craftsmanship.
- Superb photo quality
- Aperture levels
- Internal focus
- Supports FX format
- 9-blade diaphragm
- Nano crystal coating
- Will require long time to get used to it
- Body is made from plastic
#8 Zoom lenses
As the name suggests, the main accent here is the zoom feature. Zoom lenses are capable of taking photos from a long distance and they still provide a superb quality. Photographers for aerial, landscape and architectural photography prefer them.
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom Lens should be mentioned here. There are 17 elements in 12 groups, 84° 30′ – 18° 25′ angle of view and above the average quality. Still, the lens in question is treated as an affordable model!
a standard zoom lens sets a new standard for everyday photography on APS-C sensors. With a focal length range equivalent to 24-136mm in 35mm format, image stabilization and high-precision optics, this lens offers stellar performance from wide-angle through to telephoto.
- Value for money
- View angle
- Aperture of f/3.5
- Rare model
Things to understand about the lenses
Browsing some of the best lens manufacturer websites, you came across to dozens of factors, facts and everything else you still don’t know what it stands for. Lens manufacturers think each person is a professional, so there is no explanation which is user-friendly. There is no other way to overcome this issue than to learn all about the main elements of a lens. Once you are done, you will be capable of making a perfect choice at any given moment. Here are all the things you must understand before purchasing a new lens.
You saw that almost all lens manufacturers list aperture at the beginning of the description. There is a simple explanation for that. Aperture is one of the main elements of a lens. In simple words, it defines how much light can penetrate a lens. Wider aperture will allow for a higher amount of light to get in, allowing you to take better photos, especially indoor or when the lighting situation isn’t ideal.
Perhaps it is confusing but the lower the f/ number is, the wider the aperture is. If you are looking for the best lens, you must remember that a wider (low) aperture is the best option. Yes, they are more expensive, but the photo quality these lenses provide is stunning no less. Almost all professionals use lenses with a wide aperture.
In addition, wider aperture allows you to use a faster shutter option. Correspondingly, this allows you to capture moving objects without any distortion.
This factor determines the overall length of a lens. Longer ones have better zooming capabilities, they are heavier and usually more expensive than those with a lower focal length. These lenses are ideal for individuals who are trying to take photos of small objects, distant objects and etc.
Focal length can also be divided as permanent or adjustable. Prime lenses have a permanent focal length (they cannot extend) while zoom lenses can. Nowadays, there are thousands of lenses on the market with different focal lengths, therefore finding the one you need isn’t a complicated task.
The factor in question determines the percentage of edge trimming on a photo. Almost all lenses have a crop factor of 1.5x, but it cannot be generalized. Is this factor important you may wonder? Actually, it is. Crop factor allows for the lens to simulate a longer focal length than it actually has. To calculate the accurate result, always multiply the real focal length of the camera with the crop factor. For example, if a camera has a focal length of 50 mm and a crop factor of 1.5x, you should get a 75mm result.
Inside a lens, there is a smaller sensor, which creates this illusion. It is common for more affordable cameras developed for beginners or occasional photographers.
Focusing stands for focus-mechanism. It is components inside a lens and it behaves similarly as the auto-focus. As a matter of fact, focusing is commonly defined as autofocus, but there is one difference. Focusing is a manual operation, allowing to each photographer to choose the level of focus he actually needs.
Focusing creates sound, which isn’t a big deal unless you are using the lens for a macro photography. Any noise can disturb a subject and cause severe issues with the photo. There is a solution though. Silent focusing is invented for this application. It is available in lenses specifically built in for macro photography and it won’t make any sound at all.
Image stabilization does precisely what the name suggests. It is a complicated feature with a simple result. While moving a camera, a system inside will apply counter-effect movement technique, allowing you to take a photo like when you use a tripod. However, not all image stabilization systems are the same. Some are superb, others are less effective and some don’t even work!
In the recent years, we noticed the increase of lenses with adjustable image stabilization. It means that you have 4-5 settings at your disposal. Low values are reserved for minor movement elimination, while higher is used when a camera moves significantly.
There is no need to explain this factor. All cameras have some type of a mechanism used to be attached to a lens. Some use screws, other bayonet-modules, and some use friction attachment system. All manufacturers have similar systems implemented in their cameras, but they are not the same. It means that a specific lens won’t fit all cameras! To get the answer, you will have to compare the compatibility of a lens, before you make a purchase. It can be checked on the official website of a brand. Important: Some of attaching systems look almost the same, but they are not!
Size and weight
Maybe it sounds simple and almost irrelevant, but these two factors are more than just important. Larger lenses, those with a longer focal length are heavier. They are not perfect for handheld photography, so be prepared to use a tripod. Smaller ones are lighter, obviously, so they offer a bit better maneuverability. Don’t forget that the type of a photography you will use will determine the main type of a lens. Taking close-up photos or fast-moving objects with a lens with a long focal length isn’t even possible.
Size is something which we don’t have to explain, due to obvious reasons. However, keep in mind that it is an important factor while traveling. This can make a difference in carrying a smaller or larger bag! Usually, size and weight are both determined by the focal length. If you are planning to take photos of distant objects, where zooming and long focal length are mandatory, space and high weight are something to get used to it.
High levels of magnification allow you to take photos from a larger distance, without having to come close to an object or a subject. Higher values are common for telephoto lenses. Yes, it is possible to find other types of lenses with the same feature, but you probably won’t get the same levels of magnification as with telephoto lenses.
Magnification is expressed in times, so the higher the value, the more times of better magnification will be. More expensive models are an exception when it comes to this and they will truly make a difference.
Autofocus is a similar feature as focusing. It allows for the lens to adjust the focus automatically in order to provide the best possible photo quality. It is important to mention that not all cameras have this feature. Furthermore, some of them have it implemented into the camera itself, while others have it in the lens. These two types don’t work together. You can choose between a camera with autofocus and a lens without it, or vice versa.
Autofocus is a time-consuming process. Earlier models had long focusing time, which made them impractical for moving objects or for anything that requires less than 1 second to photograph. Newer models are much better. Their focusing time is significantly reduced. At the end, we should add that yes, all photographers need the auto focusing feature.back to menu ↑
What is a 35mm lens?
Of all lenses we have today, 35mm ones are the most common. They have been among us since the 80s and the original application was press photography. Obviously, over the years they have gone a variety of changes and improvements, so today, we have 35mm lenses which are superb in any way possible. Just to add, these lenses are defined as equivalent to the focal length and they determine the view angle. It may be confusing to know that a 50mm lens has a lower view angle than a 35mm one. This is actually one of the main reasons why so many photographers prefer them.
A 35mm lens is similar when it comes to the view angle as the human eye. Therefore, they are essential for face photos and for taking photos of people in general. The mentioned advantage makes the photos more realistic and more natural. Nowadays, it may be the safest choice, to begin with a lens of this type.
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What is an E Mount Full Frame Lenses System?
E mount lens systems are common today, but you still cannot find a decent explanation regarding their functionality! To explain, E-mount system has been developed by Sony, for their ILCE and NEX cameras. The main goal of the system is to maintain all the advantages of the 35mm sensor, but to reduce the size of a camera. At the moment, it is believed that this system is one of the best of this type and it is more than just appreciated by professional photographers. AN E-mount system incorporates three elements in order to provide this advantage. It:
- Eliminates the manual aperture and focus drive in order to reduce the size of the internal components
- A flange local distance is reduced to 18mm
- Flange radius is reduced as well
As we mentioned, the E-mount system is reserved for cameras made by Sony. The entire system is compatible only with the latest cameras made by the mentioned brand, so there are plenty of limitations if you don’t use a camera made by Sony. When it comes to the system itself, it is a high-quality one and it is more than just appreciated.
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Can you use full frame lenses with aps-c cameras?
The answer to this question is simple. Yes, you can use these lenses for the aps-c cameras. APS-C sensors are much smaller than full frame ones. They are desirable due to a smaller dimension which also makes a camera smaller. But, because they are not full frame devices, a full frame lens must be added.
A full frame lens can extend the field of view on a camera. It also must act as a crop feature and a multiplication module. For example, if you use a camera with a lens of 100mm and you use a full frame lens with a 1.6x cropping factor, you get a focal length equivalent to the 160mm.
The bottom line here is to understand a full frame lens is preferable with APS-C cameras. They are less effective without the lens we mentioned and it is something that can allow you take professional photos anytime and anywhere!
Brand reviews: The best lens manufacturers explained
In the world of photography, some names repeat frequently. They are the names of the brands which are treated as the best manufacturer of photography equipment. Let’s reveal something more about them.
Sigma full frame lenses
Perhaps this name isn’t known to you, but in the world of lenses and cameras, it is one of the best. Sigma is a corporation from Japan, Fukushima. The founder is Michihiro Yamaki and he started the company back in 1961. An interesting fact is that he stayed as the CEO until his death in 2012. Today, the company is known for the high-quality lenses. Yes, they produce cameras and flashes as well, alongside other accessories and equipment related to photography.
Besides the fact they make lenses for their own cameras, they also produce lenses for other brands such as Panasonic, Nikon, Sony and etc. We must add that those lenses are among some of the best on the planet. Each lens is properly tested and it is made in a small factory where only 1.135 employees work.
In the terms of cameras, Sigma isn’t always the first choice. On the other hand, in the case of lenses, it is among the best of the best. One, appealing fat is the ability for users to send an old or damaged lens to local Sigma store. They will send it back to Japan and fix it, calibrate it and etc. All of this isn’t expensive as you may believe.
Since 2013, Sigma offers Global Vision lenses. They come with letters A (for art photography), C (contemporary lenses) and those with S (for sports photography). Besides them, the brand also produces lenses of different types, including macro, telephoto, standard and etc. Due to the professionality, Sigma incorporates and the overall capabilities of their lenses, we must recommend them to professionals. They are great for beginners as well but keep in mind that their prices are not exactly the most affordable.
Tamron full frame lenses
Tamron makes average and above the average lenses, but they cannot be compared to lenses made by Sigma and Nikon. Overall, they are great for beginners and amateurs, but surprisingly some models are suitable for professional photographers as well. Think of this brand as a golden middle. The prices are affordable, overall quality is decent, and the end result will be appealing no less.
The company was founded in Japan and it stays located in the Saitama City. The year of foundation is 1950, so it is one of older brands. 2 years after foundation, the capital of the company was 2 million Yen. They started as camera manufacturers, but over the years they perfected the craft of lenses, optical components, and industrial optics. It is believed that in the industry, this brand has some of the highest success rates among the equivalent manufacturers.
Additional facts you should know is that Sony holds around 12% of the shares and there were plenty of projects where both brands worked together. This produced some of the best lenses company ever made. Since 1979, the company has been opening branches all around the globe. We have them in New York, UK, France, China, and India (the latest branch). The main company in Japan hires 5.800 employees and it is expected that they will soon increase the number.
Users like the lenses made by Tamron, simply due to the fact they provide a great value for money. There are plenty of different models, suitable for different purposes. Should you use a lens made by Tamron? Definitely yes. For beginners, they are the main choice, for intermediates, they are also a decent alternative, but for amateurs, they are just right. As most other products that were made in Japan, the overall quality is something that shouldn’t be mentioned.
In the recent months, we were able to speak with several users of the Tamron, telephoto lenses. They claim that the quality and the sharpness of the photos are actually equivalent to other brands.
Tokina full frame lenses
Tokina is another lens company from Japan. It is also founded in the 50s and nowadays, it is one of smaller brands. Some individuals believe that Tokina was founded by former engineers of Nikon, but this isn’t the truth. Founders actually didn’t have any relations with Nikon. Their lenses are the favorite choice of many photographers. They offer a decent quality and even better photo quality.
Recently, the brand got an award for the innovative design, which increases the accent on the simplicity of usage and makes their lenses suitable for those who are not proficient. Another, important benefit these lenses have is associated with the one touch clutch mechanism. It may be the simplest alternative of them all, but it may be problematic for some users. Nevertheless, it is a unique feature and probably the main difference between these and other lenses. We liked this fact and so should you.
Two main types this brand manufacturer are prime and zoom lenses. Both of them are treated as average-quality units, but they come at a low price. Users reported that they prefer the speed of the lens and the clarity when the lighting conditions are perfect. For zoom lenses, they offer decent zooming capabilities. Not the best ones obviously, but still satisfactory for most of you.
At the end, we can only summarize that Tokina is an unknown brand for most of you, but it should be on your list of potential lens makers. Photo quality, great value for money and aforementioned clutch system are the main advantages here. Don’t forget that this brand is mostly focused on prime and zoom lenses!
Sony full frame lenses
Should we even say something about this brand? Anyway, Sony is one of the top leaders of the lenses, cameras and other devices. They make smartphones, TVs, computers and almost anything that uses electricity to operate. It is the biggest name in the industry and it is one of the most desirable ones.
The history begins in 1946, during the World War II. Masaru Ibuka opened a small electronic shop in Tokyo and in the same year, he and Akio Morita opened the first company, known as the origin of Sony. The name of that company was Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. In 1958, they changed the name to Sony, something we all know today. An interesting fact was that they made the first tape recorder on the planet. At the moment, the revenue of Sony is 7.6 trillion Yen!
When it comes to lenses, Sony is known for some of the best models available to the general public. Besides lenses, their cameras are also appreciated. Almost all of them can be categorized into two groups, those for amateurs and those for professionals. Although, those for amateurs are more common to see. Lenses, on the other hand, are more focused on professionals. They offer extraordinary quality and performance, something which is essential in photography.
Konica Minolta, once a separate company is now controlled and operated by Sony. The name doesn’t exist anymore, but Alpha Line models are based on this brand. They are highly appealing, but still less than some other models with the Sony badge on them. Just to add, Konica Minolta was acquired by Sony in 2006. This was their way to enter into the business with digital single-lens reflex cameras. We should add that they are a bit special.
Most of you will want to compare Sony with Nikon and Canon, at least their lens decisions. The truth is, Sony is one of the best lens manufacturers, but it is located under Canon and Nikon. These two brands are synonyms for the best type of photography, the best cameras, and the best lenses. Still, the differences are only noticeable in the eyes of professionals or addict photographers.
We will also add that Sony launched E-mount cameras back in 2010. Some of the lenses, for these cameras, are developed closely with Carl Zeiss. Sony also has A-mount systems. They are fully compatible with Konica Minolta cameras, at least those which are based on the mentioned base.
Canon full frame lenses
Here we have mighty Canon. We said mighty due to the fact it is one of the biggest manufacturers of cameras and lenses. They hire more than 190.000 employees. The company is located in Japan and it has been among us since 1937. This also means that it is one of the oldest companies of this kind. Over the decades, many models were released and most of them are known as premium models. Chances are low that you will find a cheap Canon camera or a lens! The revenue of the company is 3.800 trillion Yen!
Canon and Nikon are commonly rated as the main rivals. Still, there are plenty of differences among them. At the moment, we will stay focused on Canon specifically. According to the survey, which included owners of digital cameras and lenses, Canon makes some of the best LCDs and the most durable cameras. The same applies to the lenses. In addition, most owners reported that the quality of photos is superb.
When it comes solely to the reliability, Canon is the best. Only 5.4% of owners reported malfunction 3 years after purchase. All other brands have a rating of 6.4% or higher. Almost 90% of the owners are perfectly satisfied with their cameras and lenses, and they don’t have a need to switch to another brand. One, an interesting fact is that Canon lenses and cameras are not rated as easiest to use. As a matter of fact, they are among some of the most complicated to operate with. Interesting: Kodak and Pentax are easiest to use. Olympus is also one of the most complicated lenses and cameras.
Canon is the best when it comes to LCD screens and image quality. It is above the average with flash, shutter speed, and video quality. Keep in mind that above the average is an accomplishment here. Warranty is one of the best and most owners rated it as the best among all other brands.
The bottom line is that Canon makes the most reliable and durable lenses and cameras. They are also the most resistant to the damages or potential issues, which made them desirable for travelers and adventurous photographers.
Nikon full frame lenses
Nikon is one of the absolute leaders on the market, alongside Canon. These two brands have been in an ever-lasting struggle to make a better camera and a better lens. If you are an amateur and you are looking for the best product of this type, Nikon is a brand to look for.
Being one of the oldest brands actually, has plenty of advantages. The company started in Japan, as Nippon Kōgaku Tōkyō K.K in 1917. They never stopped operating, not even during the World War II, during which they produced binoculars, bomb signs and etc. for the Japanese army. Nowadays, the revenue is 857.5 trillion Yen. And yes, they are present in all corners of the world.
The same survey which was used for information regarding the Canon revealed some interesting facts about Nikon. Almost all users reported that they were impressed with the shutter speed, quality of the photos and LCDs found on their cameras. There is another advantage Nikon products have to offer. Owners reported better video quality compared to Canon and other brands. The only brand equivalent is Panasonic, but it is lower in other aspects.
Reliability is under Canon, but still higher than other brands has to offer. Users reported above the average ratings in terms of any severe problem, the problem on arrival and similar issues. When we are talking about downsides, we must add that these cameras and lenses are the most complicated to use, alongside Fujifilm and Olympus. Interesting: The most reliable cameras make Panasonic.
Nikon is one of the most appealing choices. These lenses and Canon ones have been the most durable ones, with only 2.5% users reported their issues within 3 years of purchase. Photo quality is always the best and we cannot find a lens made by Nikon which won’t provide superb quality at all times.
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The final thought
Before anything else, you will have to determine which type of photography you are interested in. For example, if you prefer macro, stick to macro lenses. Other types are useless with it. On the other hand, if you are interested in multiple photography types, then you will need multiple lenses. Here we must add that each lens must be factory compatible with a camera model you use, so check this factor before making any decision.
How to choose the best lens? Once you have determined in which type of photography you are interested, pay attention to the conditions and situations when you are going to use it. Then, look for the features which are essential for those conditions. And yes, pay close attention to the brand. The mentioned ones here are recommended.
- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- Best Full Frame Lenses For Popular DSLRs
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