News and Views from Dave Wilson

Lens Review Web Sites

by on Dec.11, 2010, under Photography

If you are in the market for a new lens, the web is a fabulous place to do your research. I’ve long been a fan of the lens reviews at DPReview. They are detailed, technical and extremely helpful for the analytical types out there who really want all the data on sharpness at all possible apertures and zoom settings. Their graphical displays are superb but figuring them out initially can be rather daunting and, unless you are a real techie, the information they provide may not mean a whole lot to you. Aside from the technical nature of the data (which I consider a major plus), the one real downside to the DPReview lens review site is that they only cover a fairly small number of the available lenses out there (currently 66 by my count) and I frequently find that they have no data on lenses I am trying to compare.

This week, however, a new site offering a similar service appeared. LensHero offers a simpler-to-use alternative and already boasts data on 639 lenses covering all the major camera and third party lens manufacturers. The user interface is very clean and easy to use and the data provided, although a lot less detailed than the DPReview results, is easy to understand and allows straightforward side-by-side comparison of the different lenses.

The site allows you to query lenses based on your answers to a series of questions – Which camera do you use? What is your budget? What kind of lens are you looking for – wide angle, telephoto? What kind of photography do you want to do – sport, portraiture, landscape, etc?

Overall, the experience of using LensHero is a lot less daunting than many other review sites which assume you understand (and are even interested in) the technicalities. For the beginner photographer, the site offers a great way to compare lenses they may be interested in adding to their gear collection and for the seasoned professional or serious amateur, the breadth of reviews makes this a great place to start when shopping for new glass. Take a look and see what you think.

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