We have been incredibly busy during the last few months, working on building our very own Lens Database. As of today, the database contains 400 lenses and we are continuously working on adding more lenses from different manufacturers. You might be wondering about why there is a need to have our own database at Photography Life, when there are plenty of them on the Internet. After I went through a dozen different sites about a year ago, I realized that most sites contain very little information about lenses. While manufacturer specifications are mostly there, such important data as lens construction and MTF charts is typically missing. On top of that, very few sites provide image samples from lenses – images are often too small to look at even on a mobile device.
Thus, we decided to create our own bigger and better lens database, with all the information we can find and provide. We handle a lot of gear every day, so having our own little place where we can place our short reviews and ratings before we start working on big multi-page reviews can be valuable for our readers. In addition, we want the database to grow and expand overtime and at one point we will start inviting you, our readers to post your opinions on lenses you use for your photography needs.
Take a look at a complete lens, the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G, for example. On top of the page you will find an image of the lens and a “Lens Summary”, which will also contain star rating from our lens reviews. Next, you will see a quick description of the lens from the manufacturer, followed by our review summary, with a link to the full review. Next, there is a big table with full lens specifications. After that, you will see a full rating table, followed by images of lens construction and MTF. Lastly, you will see image samples from the lens and purchase links. As you can see, there is a lot of information here.
Obviously, not all 400 published lenses have such depth of detail today. But as we test and use more lenses, we will be adding a lot more information to the database. This idea does not stop with lenses – at some point in the future, we will also add a camera database and possibly even more sections.
As of today, we have most of the lenses from the following manufacturers published:
Within the next 3 months, we will have more lenses in our database from:
As you can see, this will be a very large lens database with hundreds of lenses – from mirrorless to large format.
With the lens database, we are able to categorize and catalog lenses with specific criteria. For example, from the main Lens Database page, you can browse lenses by brand, format, lens type, focus, price range and level, as shown in the screenshot below:
We have not developed methods to search and browse the database by multiple criteria yet, but advanced search functionality will be added to the database in the future. We have other ideas, like being able to sort all lenses by their rating, price, etc.
The lens database is still in beta, so if you find any errors or problems, please report them to us via the Contact Us page. If you have any questions or feedback, please use the form below. Your feedback is always greatly appreciated!