Orquid "Phoenix"

Orquid "Phoenix"

by ceinmart

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Is there any website that can help me to choose the best lens?

I would like to find a website where I can specify a range of minimum focus distance, a range of maximum focus distance, range of aperture, number of elements/groups, compatibility to bayonetes(mounts), etc. to search the lens that fit to my criteria.

A website with additional samples of photos on different focus+aperture would be useful.

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Do you care about reviews (as implied by "best"), or are technical specs sufficient? –  mattdm Apr 13 '11 at 11:03
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You should also check this question: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/1520/lens-review-sites –  asalamon74 Apr 13 '11 at 11:06
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@mattdm I hope I can find reviews after I get a list of available lenses that I'm interesting in. –  Genius Apr 13 '11 at 11:17
    
@asalamon74 Thanks! Didn't see this question before –  Genius Apr 13 '11 at 11:19
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How important is minimum focus distance instead of magnification? And how about number of elements/groups? My site (Neocamera) offers other criteria and many more, as someone already mentioned, but I did not think those were important enough to crowd the interface. –  Itai Apr 13 '11 at 19:20
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8 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You should try www.lenshero.com. You can select your camera and then narrow down lens choices based on aperture, focal length, etc. I've not used it much myself but it sounds like exactly what you're after.

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Thanks, it helped me in the tedious search! This doesn't give me possibility to narrow the results as I wanted (and described in my question), but a descriptive design helped me even better. –  Genius Apr 14 '11 at 7:59
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I would like to add CameraLabs to the list too. It offers some great reviews on cameras and lenses too.

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Why do you care about number of elements and groups? I wouldn't use that as a criterion for deciding on a lens.

I'd start out by deciding what focal length or range you need.

Then, look at lenses with favorable reviews. Compare to your budget.

I'd start with the user reviews here:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/

I find a strong correlation between my own experience and that of the others in this group. If a lens is rated over 9 (out of 10), I'll most likely like it.

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I just stumbled on Lens Hawk, which does not sell lenses, but does allow fast searching based on compatibility and other criteria: type, aperture, focal length, etc.

It does not have my particular camera listed (Nikon N80), but it is a neat tool.

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DPReview.com has just launched rather nice Camera and Lens feature search tools.

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Cool! I saw something about that on their front page but didn't follow up. That's pretty slick. –  mattdm Apr 13 '11 at 14:39
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I think the lens search by specifications at Neocamera suits the most of your needs.

You can specify the following criteria:

  • Brand
  • Mount
  • Min crop factor
  • Wides focal length
  • Longest focal length
  • Widest aperture
  • Min focus distance
  • Magnification
  • Filter thread size
  • Zoom
  • Lens length
  • Lens diameter
  • Lens weight
  • Hood type
  • Focus (internal/external)
  • Focus motor
  • Focus drive
  • Tilt (yes/no)
  • Shift (yes/no)
  • Discontinued (yes/no)
  • Image stabilization (yes/no)
  • Weatherproof (yes/no)
  • Perspective
    • Rectilinear
    • Fisheye
    • Stereoscopic (3D)

And if the results look too overwhelming, you could rather easily refine your search by just clicking more filters. Or if the search page looks too overwhelming, you could try the lens search by features page on the same site.

No reviews or sample images though. But it helps you to narrow down the options and to decide what lenses you should search the reviews and samples from.

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And, it's from one of our friends here ;-) –  ysap Apr 13 '11 at 16:18
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You can check http://www.the-digital-picture.com/ This site provides almost all I need and is really helpful. They have a long list of reviews and I found them more or less non-biased in their opinions.

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The big online camera/electronics stores offer searches that encompass some of this:

This isn't quite as specific as you might like, but it's pretty good. Some things you mention, like number of elements, can't be searched on easily, but you can find those in the listing for each individual lens.

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