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Digital Camera World
Digital Camera World
Matthew Richards

12 lenses of Christmas: February 2023 begged the question, “What price a pancake?”

7Artisans 18mm F6.3 II Ultra-thin.

We’ve seen some interesting lenses from 7Artisans but this one is particularly intriguing. The 7Artisans 18 mm F6.3 Mark II Ultra Thin was launched in February, in a range of mount options for APS-C and MFT cameras. It’s probably the thinnest and cheapest pancake lens that we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen quite a few. So beat the winter blues without blowing your budget. The tiny 7artisans 18 mm F6.3 Mark II Ultra Thin weighs in at just 58g, is barely bigger than a camera body cap and only costs around $59 / £49 / AU$85.

It’s no pancake lens but another downsized delight was announced in the diminutive form of the Canon RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM. And speaking of RF mount, Cosina stated that its new Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1 would be the fastest lens for Canon cameras.

With its retractable design, the Canon RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM is very compact and lightweight for a full-frame compatible standard zoom, and makes a great travel companion. (Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

We’ve always been impressed with Sigma’s 50mm Art lenses so it was good news that a new edition for mirrorless cameras was on the way, in the shape of the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN Art in Sony E and Leica L mount. And speaking of impressive, Leica bolstered its SL System range with the announcement of the Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH and a Summicron-SL 50mm f/2 ASPH. Meanwhile, Sony tempted us with the launch of its new 50mm F1.4 G Master lens.

Out with the old, in with the new. The Sony 50mm F1.4 G Master replaces the Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA. (Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

There was big news that Sigma was finally making lenses in Nikon Z mount. In the detail though, they turned out to be a trio of APS-C format 16mm, 30mm and 56mm f/1.4 Contemporary lenses that had already been released in other mount options. And if the devil is in the detail, the OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS Pro will certainly seek him out. With a bit of trickery, you can get up to 8x effective macro magnification.

The OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS Pro gives a native 2x macro magnification. The MFT crop factor multiplies that to 4x. Add a 2.0x teleconverter and you’ll get an incredible 8x effective magnification. (Image credit: OM System)

Good news for Fujifilm X system shooters was that new lenses were on the horizon, in the shapes of the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD and the Samyang/Rokinon 75mm f/1.8 AF. On a more bizarre note, we brought new of a new Lensbaby Double Glass II Optic that comes with drop-in shaped apertures for creative effects.

February’s reviews kicked off with a brace of budget-friendly Canon wide-angle lenses, namely the Canon RF 15-30mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM and Canon RF 24mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM. For a more standard perspective, we tested the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN Art and Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM that we’d dovered in news, earlier in the month. We also reviewed the Leica 28mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH. and, for movie buffs, the Irix Cine 150mm T3.0 Tele.

The Canon RF 15-30mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM gives seriously wide viewing angles at a comparatively affordable price, complete with 5.5-stop optical stabilization. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)
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