CP+ 2016 (pt.2)

Continued from Part 1…

There you are. I have split this blog post into two parts so that people one mobile devices will not have a hard time scrolling and loading everything as well as to give me some time to pause and take a rest (I’m only human. Flesh and blood, I’m made…)


Oh,boy! You guys are going to like the new Tamron lenses! Just check these out…

The Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is the only lens in it’s class. It is the world’s first fast 85mm for the 135 format to have VC. That thing (VC) actually works! The focusing is very fast as you can see in my video above.

HAW_4017It is also sharp wide open and contrast looks just about right. Some lenses of this class will exhibit low contrast when shot wide open with boatloads of chromatic aberration but this lens showed none in this picture. The rendering is pleasant to me and I actually like this better than Nikon’s new 85mm f/1.8G. The Nikon lens is considered by many to be one of the best 85mm’s available in the market.

HAW_4017crop.jpgHere it is cropped to 1:1. Now, just imagine the detail that you can from a 24MP sensor! I was shooting at a higher ISO number that I am used to so some detail might be lost.

HAW_4025A simple sample of how it renders out of focus details (Sorry, I only have a blank wall to shoot as sample).

Vignetting is high wide open but should not matter in real use. This is typical for lenses of this class.

HAW_4028And now for some flare and ghost samples. The flaring is slight and it is not obvious when shot wide open…

HAW_4029But stop it down a bit and the ghost / flare starts to take shape. It is not obvious in the pic but it is there (just a bit). I have to underexpose a bit to let you see it. The coatings on this lens really works, good job!

Next is the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 MACRO. This is Tamron’s latest version of their popular and venerable 90mm class of macro lenses. All of Tamron’s 90mm lenses are great and are considered to be classics by many people and this lens is no exception!

The fast autofocus (check my video) is very welcome because it opens up new avenues for this lens outside of the usual macro role. This is now a viable lens for action photography!

HAW_4031Shot wide open, the lens shows pleasing colour rendition and contrast. The details are also beautiful and the out-of-focus details look painterly and organic. The field is also very flat as you can see in the image.

HAW_4031crop.jpgJust check out the detail on this thing!

HAW_4033I would definitely recommend this lens to anybody who is looking to buy a new macro lens. If it looks this good wide open, then it is going to be awesome when stopped down by 1-2 more stops.

It is also worth mentioning that Tamron has followed Sigma’s footsteps by introducing it’s own USB dock when you need to adjust the focusing parameters of their new line of lenses as well as to update their firmware when the big brands decide to brick your 3rd party lens.


Sigma has launched an unexpected lens this winter in the form of the 50-100mm f/1.8 lens. It is commendable that Sigma has pioneered a new class of lenses for the APS market as the big name brands has all but abandoned their APS lens line.

This lens is the first of it’s kind, a fast (f/1.8!) normal to tele lens aimed at portraiture and sports. Some people might argue that Sigma is just showing off by making these oddball lenses but there is a niche market for these like videographers and astrophotography. I will also add that the focusing ring on these lenses feel really smooth and close to how it should feel on a real manual focus lens.

Focusing is moderately fast as you can see in my video. This lens is actually mounted on an entry level Canon Rebel by the way so please put that into consideration.

IMG_2358This lens is HUGE! Just take a look at that thing…

IMG_2356And here it is with the hood.

IMG_2357The Sigma MC-11 is also a welcome addition for Sony users. It can adapt Sigma lenses for use with Sony’s E-mount cameras while maintaining full functionality.

Laowa (Venus Optics):

And finally, from this year’s CP+’s newcomer – a company called “Laowa”. Laowa’s name literally means “old frog” in Chinese, why it is named that way is anybody’s guess…

HAW_4040.jpgThis is a picture from their latest 12mm Zero-D lens. It is a distortion-free 12mm manual focus lens. I shot this to demonstrate how the lines are kept straight by this lens. This new 12mm has a lot of potential in architectural photography and videography.

These images are taken with their new 105mm STF f/2 lens (click to enlarge). This lens has a gimmick wherein you can change the characteristics of the bokeh by turning a ring in the lens. This reminds me of Nikon’s Defocus Control or “DC” and if it works the same way then I smell a lawsuit because the tech behind “DC” is patented.

I apologise for the poor image samples but the lens performs great wide open. In my hands on test I did find the focus to be stiff as evident to the mis-focused sample pictures. I use manual focus lenses everyday and I prefer a lighter focusing lens.

Overall the new Laowa (Venus Optics) lenses are built very well. They are a bit heavy and the metal alloy that they have used feels more like a type of stainless steel alloy compared to Nikon’s use of aluminium alloys. There is only one thing that I think would make these lenses perfect and that is if they added an Ai interface to their aperture ring! It is a simple thing to do but they got lazy and did away with it. I am comfortable at guessing exposure or checking the LCD for the built-in meter but not having this just makes things a lot harder. Maybe they will add one in the future, who knows?


IMG_2335.JPGThis year, CP+ incorporated a used camera and lenses bazaar for the first time and it was a big hit! They also have a small outlet portion where you can buy from camera accessories distributors at a discounted price. I usually skip CP+ because it feels the same every year but having the bazaar alone will make me want to visit every year.

IMG_2331And this, ladies and gents is my acquisition from the bazaar. This PK version of the 55mm f/3.5 has been elusive and I finally got it for a fair price! Yes, you just cannot own too many of these little gems.


I hope that you guys enjoyed this post. I tried to muster all the energy left in my body to write this for all of my dear readers. It was a tiring day but reporting from the front is my duty! You guys saw it first here! With love, Ric.

Help Support this Blog:

Maintaining this blog requires money to operate. If you think that this site has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the upkeep of this site, you can simple make a small donation to my paypal.com account (richardHaw888@gmail.com). Money is not my prime motivation for this blog and I believe that I have enough to run this but you can help me make this site (and the companion facebook page) grow.

Helping support this site will ensure that this will be kept going as long as I have the time and energy for this. I would appreciate it if you just leave out your name or details like your country and other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous it is at all possible. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: CP+ 2016 (pt.1) | Richard Haw's Classic Nikkor Maintenance Site
  2. James Howard
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 13:20:27

    Thank you ,Rico


  3. Chan
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 16:36:11

    Very good definition. Thanks s lot.


  4. Jim Fairchild
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 05:06:16

    Loved your report. Both entertaining and informative.


  5. Trackback: Articles Index | Richard Haw's Classic Nikkor Maintenance Site

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