Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

iPhone X sample gallery updated

20 Jan

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Our iPhone X camera review is nearing completion, so naturally we’ve been doing plenty of shooting with it. With the full review on the horizon, here’s a healthy dose of new sample images in the meantime.

We’ve also done plenty of Raw and Portrait mode shooting on the iPhone, so click through the gallery to see the side-by-side comparisons.

See our updated Apple iPhone X
sample gallery

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Film vs Digital: Fashion photography shootout

20 Jan

Photographer Anita Sadowska likes to set up “challenges” on her YouTube channel, and when she sent us her most recent one, we knew we’d want to share it. Unlike most of her challenges, where you get to compare different photographers, in this one you’re comparing different mediums: Anita shot with her Canon 5D Mark IV, while her challengee Alex Hutchinson shot on either a Pentax 67 or Nikon N80.

Anita shared the final shots with us (and you) for comparison, and you’ll be able to browse through them in the gallery below, but the most interesting part of the video for us was not actually the resulting images. The most interesting part was to see how differently Anita and Alex approached the shoot.

Alex—because he was shooting 120 film that cost him about 8 Euro (~$ 9.75 USD) per roll— was taking several light measurements, fixing all of the minute styling issues he could see, and snapping only a couple of shots per pose. Anita, meanwhile, had as many frames as she could possibly want, and post-processing to fall back on for all the stray hairs and other minor tweaks that might need to be done.

To mix things up, after the first round of photos, Anita covered up her LCD screen, limited herself to just 10 shots, and began shooting all manual focus as well—imposing the same challenges on her digital workflow that Alex was already dealing with shooting analog.

Here’s a look at all of the poses they shot, first on film, and then on digital:

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It really is a fascinating comparison, and one of the better shootouts we’ve seen. Check out the final video up top, scroll through the final images in the gallery above, and then let us know what you think in the comments.

Do you take the same approach as Alex, shooting film to occasionally “slow yourself down,” or do you embrace the freedom of shooting all digital all the time?

Articles: Digital Photography Review (


What I’ve learned after sharing my photos for free on Unsplash for 4 years

20 Jan
Stairs in Coimbra, Portugal?—?one of the 460 image I uploaded on Unsplash

This editorial was originally published on Medium, and is being republished in full on DPReview with express permission from Samuel Zeller. The views and opinions in this article are solely those of its author.

What is Unsplash?

Unsplash is a website where photographers can share high resolution images, making them publicly available for everyone for free even for commercial use. It was created in May 2013 by Stephanie Liverani, Mikael Cho and Luke Chesser in Montreal, Canada.

Four months after creation they hit one million total downloads, and a year after they had more than a million downloads per month. Now there are 400,000+ high resolution images hosted on Unsplash, which are shared by 65,000+ photographers from all around the world.

Last month 2,400 photographers joined Unsplash and shared 25,000 new images (not just snapshots, some really good photography).

Here are a few examples:

Visitors in the last month viewed 4 billion photos and pressed the download button 17 million times. The average Unsplash photo is viewed over 600,000 times and downloaded over 4000 times. No other social network can give you those numbers.

Unsplash is massive, and it’s (currently) one of the best place to get visibility for your work as a photographer. Some of my most appreciated images were viewed over twelve million times and downloaded a little bit more than 125’000 times.

Here are the top nine below:

I receive 21 million views per month (677’000 per day) and 93’000 downloads (3000 per day). As a result, every day there’s one or two person that credit me on Twitter for an image they’ve used. I also get emails regularly and new backlinks to my website every week.

And it’s not just for old users who’ve been sharing for a long time, here’s the stats from someone who joined Unsplash just three days ago:

In total I’ve uploaded 460 images, they’ve been viewed over 255 million times and downloaded over 1.7 million times. Of course these are just numbers, but they are much more meaningful (and larger) than the likes you can get on Instagram or Facebook.

Designers all around the world have been making album covers, posters, article headers, blog posts, adverts and billboards with my images on Unsplash. Like many photographers I chose to turn what was idle on my hard-drive into a useful resource for other creatives.

Here’s a few examples:

That’s not all, one of my first client (when I started as a freelancer in 2016) found me on Unsplash. They’re the biggest bank in Switzerland and I did four projects for them.

One included spending a night at 3,571 m (11,716 ft) at the highest observatory in Europe, the Jungfraujoch Sphinx observatory to document it (full project visible here); the second one was much lower at the Zürich airport photographing below aircraft like the Airbus A340.

The reason why they reached out to me? They were already using a few of my Unsplash images in their global database and wanted more in the same style.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I landed a new client (a design firm) and at one of the meeting they introduce me to one of their designer. The guy said after hearing my name “I know you already, I’ve been using some of your images on Unsplash, they’re great.”

The problem with social networks

People, especially the new generation, are becoming incredibly lazy. Our attention span is lower than ever, and we get stuck in nasty dopamine loops—we literally need to check our phones multiple times a day.

Social networks make us think we need to post new work often to get good engagement and get noticed, but the truth is great photographers take a year or more to publish new projects (for example Nick White “Black Dots” or Gregor Sailer “Closed cities”). Good work will always take time, and it will always get noticed.

We all fight for attention, for likes, for numbers that will not bring us anything good. We are in that aspect devaluing our own craft by over-sharing—being tricked into becoming marketing tools for brands.

The rise and fall of Instagram

What will you do once Instagram becomes old school? I don’t know if you noticed, but Facebook are ruining the whole Instagram experience by bloating the UI and releasing features for brands.

Here’s the user interface in March 2016 vs today on an iPhone 5/SE screen:

Seriously, what the heck? I can’t even see the user images anymore when I land on their profile.

Before Facebook bought it, the app was a simple, chronological photo-sharing service. Now they’re rolling out “recommended posts” from users you don’t even follow right into your feed. The suggested content will be based on what people you follow have liked (and probably on how much brands are paying to shove their ads right into your smartphone screens).

By sharing on Instagram daily as a photographer you are basically expending a ton of effort to grow a following on a network that’s taking a wrong turn. It’s like trying to build a sand castle on a moving elevator—sure, it works. but it’s not the most effective use of your time.

Not only is real engagement dropping, soon your reach will crumble unless you pay to promote your posts. I’m running an account with a little bit over 50,000 followers, and for a post that reach 25,000 people, only 170 of them will visit the account—the rest will just merely glance at the image for a second (maybe drop a like) and keep scrolling.

People create accounts on Instagram, then stop using it after some time. Truth is, many of your followers are inactive by now, and most of the ones that are active don’t care enough about your work to even comment on it.

What’s even worse is that Instagram makes photographers literally copy each other’s styles because only a few type of images can get better engagement and please the masses—think outdoorsy explorers taking pictures of forests from a drone or hanging their feet off a cliff. They’re diluting their work and style by focusing on what will grow their account.

Followers are still valuable now, but in two to three years they’ll be worthless. There’s a ton more 50k+ accounts than two years ago. Brands are now looking into accounts with 100–150k to do collaborations. Instagram is a big bubble that will blow one day, and I don’t want to have all my eggs in the same basket when it happens.

Would you take someone seriously if he told you, “I’m working on my Myspace/Flickr account every day! I got soooo many followers, I’m famous!”

I have 16,500 followers on my personal Instagram account and I could close it any day. The reason why? I also have a newsletter with over 25,000 subscribers. Guess which is more valuable and long-lasting?

Too many photographers today are forgetting that a portfolio, experience, publications and exhibitions are far more important than building up their following on a social network.

There’s still a lot of good sides to Instagram, the community aspect to start with and also the fact that there’s not yet a proper contender to replace it. It’s still (to me) the best place to discover emerging photographers and get your dose of inspiration. There’s also a great deal of photography magazines that are actively curating work on it.

The culture of the new

That’s the big problem with photography online as curator and photographer Andy Adams explains, “It’s always about the new, which inevitably means the not new drops off our radars way sooner that it should.”

Social networks like Instagram and Facebook are flawed for photographers for this particular reason. They are great for brands who can afford to hire social media managers and post regularly or sponsor content.

There are other social networks that don’t rely on a feed but rather on search, for example Behance or EyeEm. Those are way better for photographers in the long term. They have a higher rate of discoverability.

The images I share on Unsplash don’t lose value, in fact there’s no difference at all between a year old shot and a week old shot. Their value are not based on time. I could stop uploading new images and still have a lot of visibility every day. Try not posting on Instagram for a month…

Here’s a real example, those two images below were shared on Unsplash in October 2014. Notice how they still gather a ton of views/download per month even after four years?

Leaving a mark

Last year in February I lost my dad to cancer—he was diagnosed just a month before in January. I wrote before on the concept of memory and digital data (See: the data we leave behind) but his sudden death made me realize how short life can be.

We always say “we need to enjoy every moment, life is fragile,” but it’s impossible to understand it fully until you have lost someone close. My father had bookmarked my website, my Instagram account and my Unsplash account on his laptop, he was checking them often, he was probably my biggest fan.

What’s left of him are memories but also his files on his computer—photos of him and his art (he was doing digital art and uploaded a lot of pieces on DeviantArt). I’m grateful to have all of this to remember him.

As a photographer and artist I feel like it’s a necessity for me to also leave something behind, because we never know what will happen tomorrow.

Having some of my images on Unsplash is one way to ensure that even if I’m gone my work will keep on living. Another way is through prints and books. Speaking of which, I’m finishing my first book that will be published in April by Hoxton Mini Press.

Photography isn’t about making money as a freelance photographer, it’s also a part of us, stories of where we traveled, visual tales of our singular experiences with life. I choose to share it as much as possible because I can.

There’s one last reason why I share photographs for free and Josh summed it up very nicely in one of his Medium article, here’s what he wrote:

“Beauty has always been free. It came in the box with sunlight and eyeballs. It was granted to us upon birth as we first laid eyes upon our beautiful mothers and then mother Earth. For those of us with extreme empathy and a wide-eyed approach to seeing the world, finding the beautiful all around us and capturing it is a deep and glorious honor. Yes, you can have that image at the top for free?—?perhaps not because it has no value, but because I simply want you to see what I can see. I want to share in the joy of this world’s beauty. The image, in that scenario, is only a document of our mutual appreciation for it. And maybe taking money off the table in that discussion is actually what helps it remain beautiful.”

Josh S. Rose

What’s next

I feel like Unsplash is just the beginning of a new era of photography. It’s thrilling to be able to grow with it.

I was born in 1990 just before the world wide web, and I’ve seen how technology evolved for the past twenty years. I’m afraid of how addicted we have become to it. How fast paced things have become. We need more generosity, community based efforts, human curation and less algorithms driven by the need of profit. We need to slow down.

Some projects are trying to focus more rewarding artists instead of advertisers, and Ello is one of them. I’ve made the decision to stop using my personal Instagram account and switch to their social network.

But that’s a topic for a different article.

Samuel Zeller is a freelance photographer based in Switzerland, an ambassador for Fujifilm and the editor of Fujifeed magazine. You can contact him here and follow his recent work on his website and Ello.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (


Google Clips smart camera will launch soon, appears in FCC documents

20 Jan

During its October 2017 event, Google surprised the camera world by introducing a small AI-powered lifelogging camera named Google Clips. And now, thanks to some uncovered FCC documents, it looks like we’re getting close to an official release date.

Google Clips is an interesting concept. Unlike other cameras that require a bit of input from the user, Google said Clips could analyze situations and automatically capture memorable moments, growing smarter over time—just place it on a shelf and it would ‘learn’ to capture your most important moments as they unfolded. Several months later, however, we still haven’t heard anything from Google about a release date. We know it’ll cost $ 250 USD when it launches, and the Google Clips product page offers prospective buyers the option to join a waitlist, but Google hasn’t revealed anything more.

That’s where the eagle-eyed folks at Variety come in. Earlier this week, they noticed that the camera recently passed through the FCC, indicating that a launch is imminent. In other words: if you’re holding out for the Google Clips, your wait is almost over.

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Panasonic DC-GH5S added to buying guides

19 Jan

Now that we’ve spent some time with Panasonic’s video-centric Lumix DC-GH5S, we’ve added it to our ‘Best Cameras for Video’ and ‘Best Cameras over $ 2000’ buying guides. When our review of the GH5S is complete – and if we think it’s the best camera in one or both of those groups – the guides will be updated again.

Read our Best Cameras for Video
buying guide

Read our Best Cameras
over $ 2000 buying guide

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Tether Tools unveils TetherPro line of USB-C cables

19 Jan

Tether Tools, a manufacturer of wired and wireless equipment for camera tethering, has introduced its line of TetherPro USB-C cables for photographers shooting tethered with cameras or computers that feature a USB-C connection.

With faster data-transfer rates and the ability to insert connectors in any direction, USB-C is a great improvement over previous versions of the USB-standard. However, the variety of existing cables and connectors means that photographers using USB-C cameras or laptops often have to revert to using adapters, hubs or dongles to connect devices.

The TetherPro line has been designed to eliminate the need for all those adapter solutions. It features 12 cables, all available in either black or orange and purely intended for data transfer—meaning they are not suitable for powering USB-C devices. Tether Tools says its cables are constructed to the highest possible USB specifications, allowing for fast and reliable data transfer.

“Our goal is to provide photographers with the optimal cable to meet their unique needs for tethered photography, without the use of dongles, whether they have a USB-C port on their camera, computer, or both,” said Josh Simons, Tether Tools CEO. “We’ve worked diligently to optimize the performance and are excited to bring TetherPro USB-C cables to the market after extensive development and testing.”

The line includes USB-C to USB-C versions and USB-C to USB-A cables for those using USB-C Cameras, such as the Hasselblad H6 or X series, Panasonic GH5 or Sony a7R III. There are also TetherPro USB-C cables for photographers using USB-C computers with USB 2.0 or 3.0 cameras. And if you’d like a longer cable, the 15-foot USB-C to USB-A adapter might be worth a closer look.

All of the cables all retail for between $ 25 and $ 57 depending on configuration and length. For more information or specific pricing, visit the Tether Tools website.

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Video: Watch a YouTuber disassemble his Canon 1D X Mark II to see what’s inside

19 Jan

Photographer and filmmaker Peter McKinnon’s Canon 1DX Mark II recently took a tumble while he was out on an ATV ride. But rather than let this obviously traumatic experience scar him, he decided to use it as an opportunity. Before sending his camera to Canon for repair, he decided to disassembled the $ 6,000 DSLR himself… on video.

The teardown takes viewers through the careful process of removing the camera’s front and back, something McKinnon at one point describes as potentially “the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.” Not to put too fine a point on it, because we like Peter, but we totally agree with him.

Fortunately, everything ultimately ends well. McKinnon successfully disassembles and then reassembles the 1DX Mark II before sending it to Canon for repair. The camera maker even provided McKinnon with a loaner unit to use while his own camera was in the shop.

It’s a neat video that gives you a peek inside the very expensive and advanced DSLR, but we definitely don’t suggest you ever try this at home. As McKinnon notes in the video, disassembling a camera like this voids whatever warranties are covering it. In other words, if you’re curious to see what’s inside, watch this video… don’t try it yourself.

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Meike’s new battery grip for the Sony a9 and a7R lll comes with a wireless remote

19 Jan

Accessories manufacturer Meike has released details of a new grip it will be selling for the Sony a9 and a7R lll bodies that can hold two batteries and double as a remote control.

The Meike MK-A9 Pro Battery Grip is designed to make vertical shooting more comfortable, and comes fitted with a shutter release, two custom buttons, an AF button, a joystick and two control wheels as well as its own on/off button. In addition though, the grip functions as a wireless radio remote receiver when it’s used with the remote controller that comes with the kit.

Operating on 2.4GHz radio signals, the grip can be instructed from a distance of up to 100m, and offers functions beyond simple triggering. The unit can also work as a timer, an intervalometer, and as a Bulb trigger for extended exposures.

The grip comes with a two-battery insert, but not the batteries themselves. It will begin shipping on January 31st, and will cost £95/$ 120 on Amazon. For more information, see the Meike website.

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Apple will stop automatically slowing down your iPhone, will let you decide

18 Jan
Photo by Suganth

Apple’s iPhone slowdown controversy has reached what seems like its final stage last night, when Tim Cook announced in an exclusive interview with ABC News that the company would give users the option to keep their older iPhones running at full speed, even once the battery had become, in Cook’s words, ‘unhealthy.’

The controversy began a few weeks ago when several iPhone users online shared benchmarks that showed older phones—iPhone 6 and 6s models—were being slowed down to less than half their original CPU performance. This led to wild speculation about so-called ‘planned obsolescence’: the idea that Apple was slowing down phones to encourage users to upgrade to newer models.

Apple admitted to releasing an update that slowed down iPhones whose batteries had become older, but the company was vehement that it was done in the users best interest—a way to prevent unexpected restarts. Cook reiterated this point in last night’s interview with ABC News.

“When we did put [the update] out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention and maybe we should have been clearer as well,” says Cook, explaining that Apple did notify users, probably in the update release notes. “And so we deeply apologize to anybody that thinks we had some other kind of motivation.”

In the short cut of the interview above, this apology is all that’s mentioned, but a longer version of the interview also revealed another very interesting tidbit: Apple’s forthcoming battery update will let users choose whether or not their phones are slowed down once the battery becomes ‘unhealthy.’

As MacRumors quotes from a longer cut they were able to embed:

We’re also going to… first in a developer release that happens next month, we’re going to give people the visibility of the health of their battery.


…we will tell someone we’re reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart. And if you don’t want it, you can turn it off. Now we don’t recommend it, because we think people’s iPhones are really important to them, and you never can tell when something is so urgent. Our actions were all in service of the user. I can’t stress that enough.

Whether or not these changes—and the discounted battery replacements announced a couple of weeks ago—will be enough to get Apple out of a few of the lawsuits currently being pursued against the company is yet to be seen. But for users who wanted more transparency from the company, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

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Review: The Handevision Iberit 35mm F2.4 is a budget option for Leica users

18 Jan

Handevision Iberit 35mm F2.4 (Leica M-mount)
$ 640 (~$ 600 in Fujifilm X / Sony E-mount)

I’ve been curious about Handevision’s small range of Iberit primes since Dan and I saw them in person at last year’s CP+ show in Yokohama. Street prices for the lenses range between $ 640-800 for 24mm, 35mm, 75mm, and 90mm primes in Leica M-mount, and a little less for Fujifilm X and Sony E-mount versions, making them relatively affordable by the standards of all three systems.

Designed in Germany and made in China (‘Handevision’ is a portmanteau term – ‘Han’ signifies ‘China’ in Mandarin, while the following two letters ‘De’ represent the first two letters of ‘Deutschland’) the Iberit line is intended to be a low-cost alternative to ‘own-brand’ lenses and established third-party primes, for photographers dipping their toes into manual focus photography.

Key specifications:

  • Focal length: 35mm
  • Format: Full-frame (Leica M, Fujifilm X, Sony E-mount)
  • Manual focus
  • Aperture range: F2.4-16 (In 1/2 stops)
  • Filter thread: 49mm
  • Close focus: 0.7m (0.35m for E/X-mount versions)
  • Hood: Included, bayonet
  • Length / Diameter: 35 / 58mm (1.4 / 2.3in)
  • Weight: 220g (7.7oz)
  • Optical construction: 6 elements in 6 groups

Since I tend to shoot mostly at 35mm, I was most interested in the Iberit 35mm F2.4. So when I found a used copy in Leica M mount in my local camera store recently I decided to take a chance and buy it, mostly out of curiosity. If it turned out to be really good, maybe it would find a place in my permanent camera kit. If it ended up being a dud, I had 30 days to return it for a refund.

Design and handling

Of course, when it comes to lenses, things aren’t that simple. Most lenses shine in some situations and fail in others. Few are stunning at every aperture at every focal distance, and even fewer can shine in every environment in which they could possibly be used – lens design, after all, is an exercise in compromise. And while I was very curious about the Iberit 35mm F2.4 after handling the roughly-machined prototypes at CP+ last year, I will admit that my expectations were modest.

The Iberit 35mm F2.4 can be 6-bit coded to be read as whatever lens you like, with the addition of some dabs of black and white paint into the pre-engraved spaces on the lens mount.

It’s up to you how (or if) you choose to code the Iberit but the Leica Summarit 35mm F2.5 is closest in terms of specification. The 6-bit code is 101011 (1 = black, 0 = white) when the code is positioned at 12 o’clock.

Here I’ve filled in the black spots with craft paint, as an example. The chrome of the lens mount stands in for white because I’m lazy.

Cosmetically, the Iberit 35mm F2.4 (or my copy, at least) is a lot better than those early prototypes. The focus helicoid operates with an impressive smoothness – not quite up there with a new Leica or Zeiss prime but nicely-damped and with no wobble. An integrated focus tab is a welcome addition to the M-mount version of the lens.

The Iberit’s aperture dial is a little dry and could use stiffer detents at its 1/2 stop settings, but it moves between apertures positively enough that I can tell what I’m doing when operating it with my eye to the viewfinder. The lens coatings are bright and even, and nothing rattles when the lens is shaken.

This image shows the view through the Leica M10’s finder with the Iberit at its close focus position. As you can see, it intrudes considerably on the lower-right of the scene, even without a hood.

As you can also see, Carey is a man who enjoys his lunch.

Considering its relatively modest maximum aperture this is a big lens though, (especially by the standards of M-mount primes) and while nicely balanced on an M10, it does block a portion of the camera’s viewfinder – even without the hood attached. Obviously this won’t be a problem with the mirrorless versions.

I didn’t experience any problems with focus accuracy or focus shift – at least none that I can blame on the lens

Despite its low cost and fairly light (220g) weight, there is some brass inside the 35mm. This is most visually obvious in the focusing cam, which communicates focus distance mechanically to the camera’s rangefinder. My sample of the Iberit is perfectly calibrated on our M10 (ie., the camera’s rangefinder and lens’s markings agree at infinity). Throughout my shooting with this lens, I didn’t experience any problems with focus accuracy or focus shift – at least none that I can blame on the lens.

The mirrorless versions doesn’t need the complicated and precisely-calibrated mechanical focus cam mechanism, which probably explains their slightly lower cost.

Image quality

Optically, the Iberit 35mm F2.4 pleasantly surprised me. At F5.6 and F8, this lens is at least as sharp as anything else I regularly shoot with on the M10. There is some very modest vignetting at F2.4-2.8 but it’s barely noticeable in normal photography, even with no lens profile assigned. Barrel distortion can be found if you go looking for it, but it’s unlikely to trouble you except in close-up images of flat planes (i.e., test charts).

The M10’s built-in 35mm F2 (pre-ASPH) profile applies little or no noticeable distortion correction, so this image (shot at F4) is essentially ‘uncorrected’. As you can see, with a medium-distance subject, there’s virtually no distortion to correct.

For the sake of convenience, I manually assigned a 35mm F2 pre-aspherical profile in-camera (the v4 ‘bokeh king’ to be specific), so I could organize my files more easily in Lightroom, but if you want to, you can paint in whatever 6-bit code you like (see the table above for how to do that).

Barrel distortion is trivial to correct manually in Photoshop or Lightroom

The closest lens to the Iberit’s specification in Leica’s current lineup is the Summarit 35mm F2.5 and painting in this 6-bit code leads to effective correction of the Iberit’s close-range barrel distortion when the M10’s lens profiling setting is left on ‘Auto’. If you don’t want to go that route (and I would probably recommend you don’t, given the lack of distortion at normal subject distances), the barreling is trivial to correct manually in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Handevision Iberit 35mm F2.4: Sample Images

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Central sharpness at infinity is decent at F2.4, and good by F2.8, becoming more even at F4, before reaching its full potential at F5.6, with good consistency across the frame and more than enough resolving power to create moiré in fine textures. Wide open though, there’s a significant dip in sharpness about two-thirds of the way across the frame, which suggests either complex field curvature or significant astigmatism in that region. At close focusing distances of less than ~1m the Iberit is still capable of resolving plenty of detail wide open, but contrast drops. If you’ve ever shot arm’s length portraits on a Fujifilm X100-series camera you’ll be familiar with the effect.

Shot almost straight into the sun without a hood at F5.6, this image demonstrates the Iberit’s impressive resistance to flare. The lens’s simple 6-bladed aperture creates pretty boring specular highlights (take a look at the sunlight sparkling on the water in the foreground) but CA and fringing are practically non-existent.

Flare is well-controlled, and bokeh wide open is reasonably smooth in the center, although things can get pretty busy and distracting depending on what’s in the background, especially towards the edges of the frame. The Iberit’s simple 6-bladed aperture is more or less circular until around F3.5 before becoming more angular when stopped down. Sunstars are (unsurprisingly given there are only six aperture blades) not among the lens’ strengths.


In summary, the Handevision Iberit 35mm F2.4 is a good lens, which offers solid performance on the Leica M10. It’s relatively sharp in the middle and at the edges of the frame wide open, but not to the point you’d expect from even cheap modern lenses with even faster apertures like the Nikon full-frame 35mm F1.8G. Modern lens design has moved optics forward, naturally. But the Iberit is still a pleasant surprise for non bokeh-fanatics.

It’s very sharp across the frame by F5.6. Vignetting is negligible, distortion is simple and easy to deal with, and I can’t see lateral CA anywhere in my test shots, even with all profiling turned off. There’s a tiny bit of longitudinal CA that shows up as green and purple fringing wide open, but it’s never distracting. Flare was a non-issue in my shooting, which made me happy, because I don’t much like the Iberit’s bulky bayonet-mount hood.

By the standards of lenses made natively for the Leica M mount, the Iberit is something of a bargain

In terms of performance, by the standards of lenses made natively for the Leica M mount, the Iberit is something of a bargain, provided you can live with its size. This is my only serious complaint. For a rangefinder lens, the Iberit is big, with a large 49mm threaded filter ring. In fact while markedly lighter, it’s not that much smaller than Leica’s 35mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH FLE and only about a filter’s height shorter than the 28mm F2 ASPH. Considering it can be picked up new for a fraction of those lens’ MSRP though, I can live with it.

Shot from about 1m away, wide-open, this image demonstrates the Iberit’s rather busy bokeh. Specular highlights get progressively less circular, further away from the center of the image.

The value proposition on mirrorless is rather different. $ 600 is a lot to pay for a manual focus lens from a fairly obscure third-party manufacturer, when so many other options for X-mount and E-mount exist. Canon’s 35mm F2 IS, for example, is easily adaptable to Sony E-mount without significant penalty, and actually costs a little less than the Iberit (not including the cost of a smart adapter, of course…). Sony also makes an FE 35mm F2.8 that will set you back $ 599 and an E 35mm F1.8 OSS for $ 450, while Fujifilm’s 35mm F2 is available for under $ 400.

Ultimately, for photographers putting together an M-mount lens collection on a film or digital rangefinder body, the Iberit 35mm F2.4 is worth a serious look. I found mine used and in good condition for less than $ 300. It’s hard to find any (functional) M-mount glass for that price, even second-hand. For mirrorless ILC photographers though, better value options exist.

What we like:

  • Good standard of construction
  • Pre-milled 6-bit coding pattern
  • Decent central sharpness wide open (becoming excellent across the frame at F5.6-8)
  • Practically no vignetting and CA, minimal distortion at normal subject distances
  • Resistant to flare

What we don’t

  • Large (for an M-mount 35mm lens): partially blocks M10’s viewfinder
  • Soft off-axis wide open (before sharpening up again towards the edges)
  • Busy bokeh at wide apertures (especially towards the edges of the frame)
  • Distortion at close distances
  • Slight softness at close distances

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