TIPA 2016 Winners—Best Lens Category

 

Recently, the members of the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) unveiled the awards for the best photo and imaging products launched over the last 12 months. While the voting took place on 1 April in San Francisco, USA, the announcement was made on 18 April 2016. Better Photography, the only Indian member of TIPA, was represented by Deputy Editor—Technical, Shridhar Kunte. The trophies for the 26th year of TIPA Awards will be presented to the winning companies during Photokina in Cologne, Germany on 20th September. Here are the nine winners of the Best Lens Category:

Best Entry Level Lens

Best Entry Level DSLR Lens: Tamron 18–200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC

Best Entry Level DSLR Lens: Tamron 18–200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC

When entry-level photographers start to look beyond their kit lens, or purchase a lens with their camera body, they will be excited to own a lens that offers a wide range of focal length options, and the Tamron 18-200mm fits the bill. Constructed with 16 elements in 14 groups, this lens for APS-C format cameras yields a 35mm equivalent of 28-310mm.

It is compact: an average of 95mm (3.8 inches) in its various mounts and is said to be the world’s lightest (400g, 14.1 oz) in its class. Vibration reduction helps users get steady pictures, particularly at the longer focal length ranges.

Best Telephoto Zoom Lens

Best DSLR Telephoto Zoom Lens: Sigma 50–100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art

Best DSLR Telephoto Zoom Lens: Sigma 50–100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art

This constant aperture APS-C zoom lens offers an effective focal length of 75–150mm. It is constructed with 3 FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) and 1 SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements (21 elements in 15 groups in total) and contains an updated (slimmer) Hyper Sonic Motor for accurate and fast AF performance.

The lens has a 9-blade, rounded diaphragm and has a close-focusing distance of approximately 1 metre. As with all SIGMA SGV lenses, each lens unit is individually tested prior to shipping and works with the SIGMA USB DOCK to allow firmware updates and focus calibration in the future.

Best Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Best DSLR Wide Angle Zoom Lens: Sigma 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art

Best DSLR Wide Angle Zoom Lens: Sigma 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art

Having the distinction of being the world’s first full-frame f/2 (constant aperture) zoom lens, the SIGMA 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art is constructed with 18 elements in 13 groups, has a 9-blade, rounded diaphragm, and premium FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and 7 SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements of which two are aspherical lenses.

The minimum aperture is f/16 and the close focusing distance is 28cm (11 inches). An updated AF algorithm delivers smooth, accurate and fast AF plus the Super Multi-Layer Coating controls flare and ghosting. Filter diameter is 82mm, yet the lens is surprisingly compact at 87.6mm x 122.7mm (3.4 x 4.8-inches).

Best Prime Lens

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Best DSLR Prime Lens: Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

At approximately 80mm long and between 450g and 480g in weight (depending on camera system), the full-frame Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 is constructed with 10 elements in 9 groups. It utilizes two moulded glass aspherical elements with one LD (low dispersion) and one XLD (extra low dispersion) element, which greatly reduces chromatic aberration.

The lens has excellent resolution from corner to corner, no vignetting even at full aperture, a minimum focusing distance of 0.2 metres and Tamron’s VC (vibration compensation) system (except on the Sony mount version). Full time manual focus override is always available, a great aid when doing close-ups.

Best Professional Lens

Best Professional DSLR Lens: Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Best Professional DSLR Lens: Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

The full frame SIGMA 20mm f/1.4 lens was designed to bring out the full potential of high megapixel DSLRs. It incorporates two FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and five SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements (15 elements in 11 groups). The design minimizes transverse and axial chromatic aberration and, with Super Multi-Layer Coating, diminishes the effect of strong backlighting.

It has an optimized AF algorithm for accurate and smooth AF functioning, and incorporates Thermally Stable Composite compound material that adds to its extreme temperature performance. The lens has a 9-blade, rounded diaphragm, and a brass bayonet mount for long term performance.

Best CSC Entry Level Lens

Best CSC Entry Level Lens: Panasonic LUMIX G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

Best CSC Entry Level Lens: Panasonic LUMIX G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH

The Panasonic LUMIX G f/1.7 25mm is a fast, Micro Four Thirds lens (50mm equivalent) that supports high speed digital signal exchange at 240 fps and works smoothly with the LUMIX G’s contrast detection AF system and DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology.

It offers a close-focusing distance of 0.25 metres (9.8 inches) and has seven aperture blades plus uses two aspherical lenses and an Ultra-High Refractive Index lens. The lens joins the family of impressive f/1.7 primes from the company that include 20mm, 15mm and 42.5mm focal lengths.

Best CSC Telephoto Zoom Lens

Best CSC Telephoto Zoom Lens: Fujinon XF 100–400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Best CSC Telephoto Zoom Lens: Fujinon XF 100–400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Yielding an equivalent 152–609mm focal length range, this lens is constructed with 21 elements in 14 groups and includes 5 ED lenses and one Super ED lens. It is water and dust resistant; a fluorine coating has been added for further protection in outdoor shooting conditions.

The FUJINON XF 100-400 is designed for handheld shooting with a 5-stop image stabilization system and twin linear motors for fast AF. It features a rounded 9-blade aperture and is compatible with the XF1.4X TC WR teleconverter.

Best CSC Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Best CSC Wide Angle Zoom Lens: Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7–14mm 1:2.8 PRO

Best CSC Wide Angle Zoom Lens: Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7–14mm 1:2.8 PRO

The Olympus ED 7–14mm PRO (35mm equivalent: 14-28mm) is a lightweight lens (534g-under 19 oz) constructed with three Super ED lenses, one ED lens and two EDA (aspherical) lenses to minimize peripheral chromatic aberration. This constant aperture zoom is weather sealed in 11 areas, which allows its use in rain, in snow and at the beach.

The lens has an L-Fn button with 27 assignable functions and a Manual Focus Clutch with a built-in Hyper Focal Scale. Those who enjoy close-up photography will enjoy the 20cm (slightly less than 8 inches) close focusing capability and the creative freedom an f/2.8 aperture affords.

Best CSC Prime Lens 

Best CSC Prime Lens: Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

Best CSC Prime Lens: Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

The full-frame Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM lens has a new XA (extreme aspherical) element plus three ED (extra low-dispersion) elements that can provide a fascinating combination of extremely high resolution of focused areas with a pleasing, soft bokeh in the background.

The lens has a circular aperture with 11 blades plus Sony’s Nano AR coating, to reduce ghosting and flare. It contains a ring drive SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) to drive focusing and two position sensors for enhanced focus control. Constructed with 11 elements in 8 groups, the lens is dust and moisture resistant.

Tags: Shridhar Kunte, Lens, better photography, Professional Lens, winners, TIPA Awards 2016, Best Lens Category, Entry Level Lens, Expert Lens, CSC Lens, photokina 2016