Lenstip claims the Samyang 135mm f/1.8 is the better choice over the Sony GM version

Lenstip reviewed both lenses and came to the following surprising conclusion:

The summary of this test should consist of superlatives only. Let’s face it, Samyang offers you an excellent lens. It’s a device that is able to rival on equal terms with the Sony model and, additionally, in many categories it prevails. Mind you, its price is two times lower than the price of the Sony. You have to admit in such a situation it would be difficult not to recommend the new Samyang.

Samyang 135mm f/1.8 at Bhphoto, Amazon US/EU, Adorama.

Samyang 85mm F1.4 AF II review at SonyAlphaBlog: “very good lens, but the Sigma beats it”

The new Samyang at BHphoto.

SonyAlphaBlog tested the new updated Samyang lens and concluded:

The Samyang 85mm F1.4 AF II (800 euros) is overall a very good lens and will give very good results for portraits : very good to excellent sharpness, very smooth background blur, very good AF in most situations, good ergonomics with a focusing ring than can be set to an aperture ring.

Versus the V1 , it had mainly the mode button that allow to turn the Focus ring into an aperture ring, but surprisingly the sharpness was a little bit less good (certainly due to variation of the quality from one sample to another one) which is a pity

The main competitor is the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art (1099 euros) which is a superlative lens in all domains: optical performances, artistic rendering , AF performance, ergonomics , build quality but also size and weight and price. Considering the price difference between the Sigma and the new Samyang , I would prefer to invest this 300 euros more to get an outstanding lens instead of a very good lens. If you are on a budget then lenses like the Sony FE85mm F1.8 (500 euros) , the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 PFU RMBH STM (380 euros), the Yongnuo YN85mm F1.8S DF DSM (380 euros) or the Meike 85mm F1.8 STM (200$) will do the job on a 24/33Mpix/42Mpix cameras

Not recommended manly due to price vs performances

Petapixel says the Kiboko City Commuter Camera Backpack is the “Best Day-Use Backpack for Photographers”

You have 12 days left to order the new Kiboko City Commuter Camera Backpack on Kickstarter (Click here). According to PetaPixel tested the bag is the “Best Day-Use Backpack for Photographers”:

The “day-use” backpack is perhaps the most difficult to sift through as it is the most popular style and therefore the most manufacturers compete to earn your attention. It is also the category where the most concessions are made to appeal to the widest group of photographers, making it very difficult to find one bag that does everything right for every possible use case. For years, the best choice was Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 despite numerous issues with it because it was able to be the most for the most people. That finally changes with Gura Gear’s Kiboko City backpack, which does everything the Everyday Backpack does better — and more.

Gura Gear managed to make a smaller backpack that can actually carry more equipment. While it’s not deep enough to hold a larger camera like a Nikon Z9 or a Canon 1DX, it easily holds other cameras like any from Sony, the Canon R5, or the Nikon Z7 II. It features a roll-top so it can expand to carry soft items like a sweatshirt or jacket, has multiple pockets all around the bag for various accessories, and has a properly divided interior that holds a variety of lenses and other camera equipment.

The material and build quality of the Kiboko City is top notch and while the bag isn’t waterproof, everything but the zippers will repel water thanks to being fully encased in X-pac fabric.

Beyond those basics, the Kiboko City has side panel camera access, a magnetic hiding water bottle side pocket, a center channel tripod holder, high-quality shoulder straps, and Fidlock magnetic fasteners. The bag is a little bit more expensive than Peak Design’s backpack, but you get your money’s worth.

Other solid picks include the aforementioned Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2, the WANDRD PRVKE, or the LowePro ProTactic.

Private question: What’s the best hiking camera bag?

I have to buy two new camera bags. One for serious hiking and one for city-light travel. I did some “research” and those are my favorites yet. But I am asking the experts out there if those bags would be really ok or if there is one bag I missed out and that I absolutely have to try:

1) Hiking camera bag (one camera, two compact zoom and one bigger zoom lens, one day hiking tours, freezing temperature, wet):

2) City-compact travel camera bag (one camera, one fixed lens and one zoom, with laptop):

For now the Shimoda and the Peak Design are on top of my list…

Sony E 11mm f/1.8 Review by Opticallimits: “nothing short of a bargain in this class”

11mm f/1.8 at BHphoto. Adorama. Amazon. FocusCamera. FotoKoch DE. FotoErhardt DE. Calumet DE. WexUK.

Opticallimits tested the Sony 11mm lens and concluded:

If you believe the hype around the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 over on YouTube, it has to be the best lens ever since sliced bread. Well, YouTube videos tend to be a little -say- overenthusiastic at times. The Sony lens is undoubtedly very good, but there are reasons why Sony didn’t classify this lens with a “G” in the name. In terms of sharpness, the E 11mm f/1.8 leaves little to be desired. It produces a very consistent performance from f/1.8 all the way up to f/8. The center quality is generally excellent, combined with a good to very good outer image field. You can’t expect much more from a lens of this focal length class, but it’s not standing out either except for its speed. The lens relies heavily on image auto-correction, especially to handle the massive native barrel distortions. These are tamed down nicely, but it is a lossy correction that also costs a bit of sharpness potential. The original vignetting is also heavy. Once again, auto-correction comes to the rescue, although some vignetting remains at large aperture settings. Flare is well controlled for such a lens. We haven’t formally tested the bokeh but based on the sample images that we have taken, it is surprisingly smooth for an ultra-wide lens.

It may not be a designated professional lens, but the mechanical quality is actually pretty solid despite the extremely low weight. Sony incorporated decent-quality plastics into the barrel based on a metal mount. Nothing wobbles, and the focus ring operates smoothly. Sealing against dust and moisture as well as an inner focusing system provides reasonable protection against the elements. The dual linear AF motor is fast and silent. If you are into vlogging, the lens is certainly capable of keeping you in focus while moving around. The minimal focus breathing is also a plus when it comes to videos.

One of the most surprising aspects of the lens is certainly its price tag. At “just” $550/550EUR, it’s nothing short of a bargain in this class. Third-party options aren’t really any cheaper, and the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 is the obvious choice if you are in the market for an APS-C ultra-wide prime lens.