In photography, lenses are crucial for capturing the light from a scene and transmitting it onto a small piece of film or a digital sensor. It's a trick of physics and, as you might suppose, there is the potential for many aberrations to affect the quality of the image so derived. The quality of the lens, then, and how it bends/transmits light, will have a dramatic effect on the quality of photographs.

For this reason, you often hear seasoned photographers suggesting that one should invest in "good glass" in preference to a highly-spec'ed camera body. As the resolution of digital sensors has increased substantially in the megapixel race that seems to drive both camera manufacturers and sales, the need for excellent lenses that can keep up with the resolving power of the sensors has never been greater.

In terms of the images a lens may produce, there are a lot more factors than just sharpness to consider. Here at Thoreau Photography, then, it seems only reasonable that some space should be devoted to the lenses we use to look at the world.

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Enter the category for this item: Canon
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Canon 24-70 vs 24-105: There is probably no more frequently asked question on photography forums than what is the better lens when comparing Canon's two professional mid-range zooms. Read more...
Enter the category for this item: Canon
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Canon 70-300 DO Lens: Good Concept, Shame about the Contradiction: A portable telephoto is pretty much an oxymoron: an inevitable compromise between two contradictory concepts. For moving about, typically smaller and lighter are better. For image quality in a 300 mm lens, usually larger is better, with more glass correlating with better light gathering ability. Read more...
Enter the category for this item: Leica, Four-Thirds
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Leica D Summilux 25mm f1.4 – Review: This is a remarkably squat, unexpectedly heavy lens. If it were a member of a rugby team, there is no doubt that it would be a front-row prop. But this is no thick-necked thug capable of doing only a single job. Defying its build, it shows more of the finesse of a ballet dancer. Read more...
Enter the category for this item: Olympus, Four-Thirds
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Olympus 25 mm f2.8 pancake lens review: small really is beautiful: I love pancakes. There is no better breakfast. But surely there have to be much better lenses than the flattened and presumably optically compromised pancake lenses that the likes of Pentax and Olympus are serving up? Read more...
Enter the category for this item: Canon, Tokina
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Superwides: Canon 10-22 vs Tokina 12-24: For landscape photography, a really wide lens can often give a dramatic perspective – especially if there is something close to camera in the foreground to give the image depth. Even for nature photography, where telephoto lenses are prized for their ability to draw a subject closer, a wide angle lens can be useful for setting animals or plants within their environment. And, for some photographers, the wider the better. Read more...