Lens Database Updates

We have been working hard on building the lens database during the last few weeks, so I would like to apologize for not being able to provide updates, reviews and new articles on the site. We want to make the lens database as comprehensive and as useful as possible for our readers, which is why we have been putting a lot of our effort into it. Thanks to your valuable feedback from our announcement, we have made significant changes to the database and added a few great features:

Photography Life Lens Database
  1. We added close to 100 new lenses to the database (Leica, Samyang, Kenko, Voigtlander, Zeiss)
  2. We now have a separate rating for infrared performance of many brand and third party lenses (Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Olympus, Panasonic, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss). When looking at most of these lenses, you will now see a separate line that says “Infrared Rating”. For now, we only have three rating categories: Good, Mixed and Poor. We might expand on this in the future, if we start testing for IR performance of lenses. Big thanks to Bob Vishneski for this idea. Many of the lens ratings are based on Bob’s feedback and research.
  3. The main “Lens Database” page now has some filtering options. You can filter lenses by Brand, Mount, Lens Type, Format, Price, Title, Focal Length and Release Date. We do not have advanced search capabilities yet, but that will be coming soon.
  4. Lenses are now listed by focal length instead of title.
  5. We created a comprehensive “Lens Index” that shows a listing of all lenses in the database.
  6. Our lens reviews have not been fully integrated into the database yet, but a number of lenses have been changed with sample images and our rating. Once we complete this, we will enable the feature to sort by lens rating.
  7. We had some issues with data on a number of lenses. Thanks to your feedback, we were able to fix them all.

Now we are asking for your help! We really need to make sure that the lens data we are presenting is accurate and contains as much information as possible. It would be great if you could go through the lenses you own in our database and let us know if there are any issues/errors. This is a one time exercise, since we only need to fix issues once, but it will be extremely helpful for all future visitors of the site. While we have gone through many of the lenses and verified their data, we know we might have missed some. Also, if you think there is a better way to present data or provide additional data, please let us know and we will work on it!

Once we get everything cleaned up, we will continue adding lenses to the database. Our goal is to do this in two phases – the first one is nearly complete (once we add all the currently available lenses) and the second one will be to add old / discontinued lenses.


  1. 1) Peng
    May 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Super cool Nasim! Thanks to you and your team for the great effort.

  2. 2) Mads
    May 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I second that – thank you so much for your effort! Your site is a truly amazing source of information, analysis, and insight.

  3. May 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    What a great resource, thank you.


  4. 4) Tzotz
    May 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    With respect to Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR-

    How do you reconcile:

    Built-in Focus Motor No
    Silent Wave / Ultrasonic Motor Yes

    Thanks for your valuable work on the database

    • May 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Thanks for catching that! We added the field “built-in focus motor” at a later point of time and did not update lenses that were already in the database. I fixed the issue, now going through the rest of the lenses :)

  5. May 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    A discontinued Nikon lens for your database.
    AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm 1:2.8D
    Pro level as it has the ‘gold band’
    The owner manual states, in part:
    AF-S Zoom-Nikkor
    ED 17-35mm
    f/2.8D IF
    D-Type AF-S
    13 elements in 10 groups
    Aperture scale; f2.8-f22
    Fully automatic diaphragm
    Manual zoom ring
    Filter; 77 mm
    weight; 745 g (26.3 ounces)

    This lens is bomb proof and I use it a lot. I will never sell it, as I think it is a great lens.

  6. 6) Flores
    May 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Hello Nasim.

    I’m another one, like Tzotz, a bit unsure about what you mean by “Built-in Focus Motor”.

    Do you mean built in the camera body or built in the lens?

    I would also like to ask you how you prefer our help correcting details with lenses we own/know. Is it better to leave a comment on the lens page or in this post?

    Thank you again for your hard work, I’m sure the lens database will become very popular.

    All the best,


    • May 27, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Flores, we are fixing that particular issue, looks like a number of lenses that were already in the database were impacted. Built-in AF means that autofocus is built into the lens itself. All modern AF-S / G-type lenses have built-in focus motors. Thank you for your feedback.

      • 6.1.1) Flores
        May 28, 2013 at 7:35 am

        Thanks Nasim.

        I’m looking at lenses I know in the database and the Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro does not accept rear filters (at least not the Sony Alpha version I own). That was the reason why I was asking if you prefer our comments on the lens post itself or in this post.

        I’m also thinking of writing some short reviews of the lenses I own, namely for variable aperture zooms at which focal length does maximum aperture changes. Do you think that might be useful?

        Best regards,


        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          May 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

          Flores, please leave comments on what needs to be fixed directly under lenses – that way we know exactly which lens needs attention :) I am fixing the lens you pointed out, thank you so much for your feedback!

          As for short reviews, that would be great! Please leave those under each lens you own/used as well. Thanks :)

  7. May 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks Nasim, hard work and very much appreciated.


  8. 8) Rick
    May 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Hi. Your Voigtlander lens listings all say made in Austria when it should be Japan. Thanks for making the great effort!

    • May 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Rick, I am fixing that now, thanks for letting me know :)

  9. 9) dinpin
    May 28, 2013 at 9:26 am


    You are lacking a Nikon lens I own. The 50mm f/1.8 AF (not D) sold in 1990. Mine does not have the little window, unlike the 1986 version. As far as I can figure it does not have multicoating and naturally lacks the D function introduced in the 2002 model. I do not know if it has optical differences to the D version or the 1986 one.

    It is quite sharp at close focus and not so fantastic on infinite. It is sensitive to flare and ghosting, which is on demand from the video people. It does not have the colours and contrast of recent Nikon lenses but it renders skin tones very well. Super accurate and snappy autofocus, much more accurate than my DX 35mm1.8. It is still my pet fifty lens.

    As added information I can tell you it came with an Nikon F-801 purchased in Macau in 1990.

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