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I want to check reviews when deciding to buy a lens. There are so many factors beyond what is written in the name. Where can I find such reviews? What information does each site cover? Which reviews are most comprehensive? Which sites do the most meticulous scientific measurement, and conversely, which sites cover important subjective factors which are hard to put a number to?

Note that in general, comparing between mounts is not a good idea. (Even comparing lenses on a different shared mount than your own is a bit better.)

This is a "community wiki" post, where answers do not have individual ownership. Please use the answers to rate and comment on each site.

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Good initative! Question about mainaining the list; should edit your original post or simply post each new site suggestion in a separate answer? Not sure which one would be best. If we post one site per answer people can use the voting mechanism to indicate "quality" of the site (it doesn't affect rep points since it's community wiki anyway). –  Fredrik Mörk Jul 27 '10 at 14:15
    
I'd say one site/post, because it does still take some rep to edit community wiki posts, and for the voting as you described. –  Edd Jul 27 '10 at 14:21
    
I envisioned one wiki post, but voting and individual comments on each site is pretty valuable as well and I like that idea. –  Eruditass Jul 27 '10 at 17:41
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@Eruditass: I actually think they can be combined. We could have the original post link to the individual answers. That way there is an "index" that is easy to navigate, and there is also a "rating mechanism". –  Fredrik Mörk Jul 27 '10 at 21:37
    
You could make each lens site a comment so that we could upvote the site/comment. This is a very useful resource. Thanks Eruditass –  labnut Feb 10 '11 at 20:21
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17 Answers

Photodo has a collection of lens reviews.

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Nikonians has got a collection of reviews on various Nikon lenses.

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The Digital Picture has good reviews of lenses for Canon bodies - pretty much every lens I've looked for has been there. They also do reviews of some lenses for Nikon bodies, of Canon bodies and of some accessories. When I've been looking for Canon lens reviews that's where I seem to end up.

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+1 for The Digital Picture. It should be noted that he has started doing Nikon reviews now as well, so it is no longer just for Canon (although there is definitely more canon stuff there.) –  jrista Jul 27 '10 at 20:13
    
+1 for The Digital Picture –  JamWheel Feb 10 '11 at 21:25
    
@jrista: Can you point me to one Nikon review on his site (that doesn't say that content provided is part of a bulk upload)? Because I surely can't find any. But he's surely marvellous at Canon gear. +1 –  Robert Koritnik Apr 15 '11 at 9:50
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My favorite is dpreview, which has a Lens Review Widget that is pretty cool. They don't have a whole lot of lenses available in the widget, but you really get a good feel for the quality of the ones they have added.

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I like the ability to easily compare lenses in their Lens Review Widget. I wish they would review new lenses as they come out, like they do with DLSRs. –  Jan Goyvaerts Sep 8 '10 at 12:51
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Thom Hogan specializes in reviewing Nikon gear. I always check his site when I am checking out some new gear.

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+1. Thom's reviews are superb. He talks a lot about what a lens is really like and how it can (or can't) be useful to you in real use, rather than spewing tons of numbers. –  Reid Jul 27 '10 at 20:25
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Ken Rockwell does reviews as well, though I will avoid waiting for the comment from Reid and point out that some folks think he is insane... :-)

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Ha! Didn't realize I had acquired such a reputation. :) –  Reid Jan 29 '11 at 0:07
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It's worth noting that he sometimes reviews gear based on the specifications alone without ever actually using it... –  Matt Grum Feb 10 '11 at 17:49
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I have read 3 of his so called reviews now and actually found myself laughing out loud while reading them. –  JamWheel Feb 10 '11 at 21:27
    
not insane, just insanely self centered :) –  jwenting Jun 1 '11 at 5:21
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On Ken Rockwell and reliability: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/10980/… –  mattdm Nov 10 '11 at 20:29
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DxOMark give a quantitative rating on how well a lens works on a given camera model based on the data they collect for the lens correction tool in their DxO Optics Pro application.

It's another data point to use in addition to a hands-on review.

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Pixel-Peeper is a great site if you want to look at pictures that other people have created with the lens. It shows all the EXIF information with the picture, as well as the size in megapixels. Unfortunately, some flickr pictures have been removed. The best part, however, is you can get a history of the lens's prices from ebay, which is filterable by location and convertible in currency.

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It isn't a lens review site per se, but lenshero.com is a great tool for comparing lens options.

Like Snapsort for cameras, they've got a lens comparison tool. The front page features a walk-through find-me-a-lens thing, which I find slick but not so useful if you've got some idea to start with. More usefully, the search/sort page lets you drill down based on specific needs, for example Pentax K Prime Lenses for less than $500.

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It is not a review site, but http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/specs.html may be of interest to Nikon users, since it lists the specs (from max and min aperture to physical size and weight) for every Nikon lens; linked pages even include information like the serial number ranges for each lens model.

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Lens Tip is a lens review site that is more detailed than Photozone. They haven't reviewed as many lenses, but I've found the reviews to be very detailed.

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For anybody who cares about Minolta/Sony equipment, there are a few sites worth noting:

  1. Dyxum.com is has a large lens database and many member-written reviews. Like most enthusiast reviews, ratings tend toward the high side.
  2. Kurt Munger has a chart of Minolta/Sony equipment and quite a few equipment (especially lens) reviews. Lens testing is based on real-world subjects, not charts.
  3. Michael Hohner has a few equipment reviews, and a large equipment database with links to other reviews.
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I believe fredmiranda has the most comprehensive user generated reviews for canon nikon mounts

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Canon and Nikon-mounts only, as far as I can see.... –  mattdm Jun 1 '11 at 18:56
    
But they have different brands like sigma for canon fredmiranda.com/reviews/index.php?cat=46 (Sigma for canon) –  chrisjlee Jun 1 '11 at 20:22
    
Yep. It is a good and useful site. –  mattdm Jun 1 '11 at 20:41
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LensTip.com has got good reviews, more you can find on Optyczne.pl but this site is in polish.

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Bjorn Rorslett has been reviewing lenses for Nikon for many years and has a great website. He employs a scientific approach to lens analysis, even rating their use for IR and UV photography.

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Let's not forget the reviews on lensrentals.com. While it's not a dedicated review site, it may as well be. There's lots of great information in there from people who've been using the lenses for years.

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Where are the reviews? I picked a few lenses at random and looked around for reviews, didn't see any, unless you mean the overview given by lensrental staff? –  MikeW Mar 11 '13 at 0:24
    
    
And unlike almost any other lens review sites, they often test dozens of samples... Very cool. –  mattdm Mar 11 '13 at 1:22
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DxOMark have already been recommended so I am going to add lens reviews on DPreview at DPreview Lens Review/Preview.

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Also already listed, actually. –  mattdm Oct 28 '13 at 11:14
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