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On June 28 I published an extensive article looking at the comparative performance of the Leica SL3 and SL2
with three challenging wide angle rangefinder lenses

On May 30 I published an extensive article looking at studio tests of the Fuji X100VI. This is, in essence, a
"double feature" combining the studio tests I normally do for cameras with those I usually do for lenses.
The tests also look at the Fuji's start-up speed, AF speed and raw buffer.

On April 30 I published a full field and studio test of the Sigma 35/1.4 DG DN Art  tested on the Leica SL3.

On April 20 I published a full field and studio test of the Leica SL 35/2.0 Summicron ASPH tested on the
Leica SL3 and SL2.

On March 17 I published a studio comparison test of the Leica SL2 and SL3 that looks at color rendering,
performance at various ISO levels, highlight headroom and other aspects.

On March 7 I published my review of the Leica SL3. It is the first in a new series looking at the SL3 and several
L mount lenses. Next up will be a studio comparison test of the Leica SL2 and SL3 that looks at color rendering,
performance at various ISO levels, highlight headroom and more. Following that will be full reviews of the
Leica SL 35/2.0 Summicron, Sigma 35/1.4 DG DN Art and Sigma 24/1.4 DG DN Art. There will also be
side by side tests of the SL2 and SL3 with various rangefinder lenses.

On February 21 I published an article that looks at the ways in which digital perspective correction
changes the way a picture is rendered. The source cameras for the test raw files were the Fuji GFX100 II
and the Leica M11 Monochrom.

On February 20 I published an article about my first impressions of a pre-production Fuji X100 VI.

On February 5 I published studio tests that look at the color rendering, ISO performance, highlight headroom
and estimated native ISO of Fuji GFX 100 II.

On January 31 I published a review of the Fuji GFX100 II.

On January 10, 2024 I published an article that looks at Leica's "Perspective Control" feature and various workflow
options for using it. Next up in this series we'll look at the effects of  digital perspective 
correction interpolation
on resolution (for the Fuji GFX100 II and Leica M11 Monochrom).

On December 13 I published an article that looks at optical vs. digital approaches to dealing with vantage point
and perspective challenges. This is the first article in a series about the Fuji GFX 100 II and Fujinon TS
lenses but its core question is why one might choose to use tilt/shift lenses at a time when digital perspective
corrections are widely available.

On November 10 I published studio tests that look at the highlight headroom and estimated native ISO
of the Fuji X-T5 and X-T4.

On October 20 I published a full field and studio test of the Pentax HD FA 43/1.9 Limited.

On September 27 I published Part Two of my  review of the Pentax K3 III Monochrome.

On September 16 I published Part One of an extensive two-part review of the Pentax K3 III Monochrome.

On August 9 I published a full field and studio test of the Pentax HD FA 31/1.8 Limited.

On July 31 I published an article that looks at how the Leica M11M and M10M respond to color filters
which are used to change tonality.

July 18 I published
studio tests that look at the Leica Q3's highlight headroom and estimated native ISO.

On June 16 I published a studio comparison test of the Leica Q2 and Q3 which looks at color rendering
and performance at various ISO levels. It also compares the Q3's large and medium size DNGs. 

On June 1 I published an article based on studio tests which compare the Leica Q2 and Q3
in terms of resolution, vignetting and color drift.

On May 25 I published a full field review of the Leica Q3. This is the first in a series of articles
about the new camera.

On May 17 I published an article that looks at the highlight headroom and estimated native ISO of
the Leica M11 Monochrom.

On May 12 I published an article covering side by side studio tests -- of the M11M, M10M and M11 --
that look at resolution and vignetting with a challenging 21 mm and a challenging 28 mm lens.

On April 28 I published an article covering side by side studio tests -- of the M11M, M10M and M11 --
that look at resolution and vignetting with two 35 mm rangefinder lenses.

On April 14 I published an article covering side by side studio tests -- of the M11M, M10M and M11 --
which look at
spectral sensitivity and overall rendering as well as noise at various ISO levels
(and file dimensions). Next up will be tests of resolution and vignetting, for all three cameras, with
four rangefinder lenses. In a separate article, I'll also be testing highlight headroom and apparent
native ISO. Other articles in the series will look at high ISO theater photography with the M11M and
the camera's tonal response to external color filters.

On April 13 I published a full field review of the new Leica M11 Monochrom. This is the first in a series
of articles about the new camera. 

On March 29 I published a full field and studio test review of the Canon 35/2.8 LTM lens tested on the
Leica M10 Monochrom and M (Typ 240).

On March 16 I published an article which is part review and part essay. It looks at the performance
and rendering of the Canon 28/2.8, on the Leica M10 Monochrom and Leica M (Typ 240), in the context
of a larger discussion of lens drawing and of this particular lens' influence on the look of many photographs
made by Garry Winogrand.

On February 15  I published an essay about seeing and focusing the subject with a rangefinder camera.

On February 3 I published a very extensive article based on side by side studio tests of the Fuji X-T5
and X-T4. This is the first time that I have done formal tests of Fuji's 40 MP APS-C sensor and the
results were quite interesting.

On January 19 I published a full review of the Fujifilm XF 30/2.8 LM WR Macro based on field and studio
tests done using the Fujifilm X-T5. Some of the studio comparison tests were also done using a Fujifilm
XF 33/1.4 as a reference lens.

On January 10, 2023 I published my review of the Fuji X-T5. I've simultaneously been working on two
companion articles which are coming up next. The first is a review of the Fuji XF 30/2.8 Macro and the
second is based on side-by-side studio tests of the 40 MP X-T5 and 26 MP X-T4. Those tests will look at
resolution, color rendering, noise at various ISO levels and moire.

"I wanted to send a groggy note of thanks for your incredible website—examining your reviews has become my late night guilty pleasure. I’d been researching new cameras (unsuccessfully) for months until I found you. Love at first site. Thanks, Sean."

Katy Grannan
Photographer & Filmmaker

"I have to say that I am in awe of your thoughtfulness and intelligence as they're reflected in what you've done. I'm sorry I hadn't come across your work before."

- Tod  Papageorge
Former Director Of Graduate Studies In Photography
Yale University School Of Art

"You are an exceptional writer and photographer but what is most important is that I have never found any bias in anything you have written about. That says a lot in this day and age."

- Elliot Stern
Founder and Director
Blue Ridge Workshops

"In the din of the Internet's noise, Sean Reid is one of a handful of voices worth listening to."

- Kent Phelan

"The best and most detailed account (of the Leica M8) I've yet read from a photographer's point of view is on the Reid Reviews site."

- Peter Marshall
Photography Guide,

"Reviewing photographic equipment isn't as easy as it looks. Not only does it take writing skill, and a critical sensibility, but for the review to carry weight and have value its author must have significant experience with similar and previous equipment.  Sean Reid has written equipment reviews for The Luminous Landscape for the past two years, and unfailingly they have been well-researched and comprehensive.  Sean writes with both style and insight, and bases his opinions on his years as a photographer, and not simply from the perspective of a technologist, as is too frequently found on the Net.  His site is free of advertising, and well worth your support. I was particularly taken by his article "On Small Sensor Cameras". It is a unique perspective on how different digital formats are redrawing the face of photography."

- Michael Reichmann, Publisher
The Luminous Landscape

Welcome to, an on-line magazine of reviews and essays by photographer and writer Sean Reid.  Each year, there will be at least twelve new articles about the tools and practice of photography added to this site. As of early 2022 there are over 570 articles on the site - most of them very extensive. There are no press releases, news summaries or the like but only reviews, essays and other writing about photography.

Every writer naturally brings his or her own experience and perspective to the articles he or she writes.  My writing is heavily influenced by my experience working as a professional photographer for more than thirty-five years.  I'm primarily interested in cameras and lenses as tools for drawing, as I believe that photography really is a branch of drawing.  As the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said in an interview, "My photography is just an instant drawing...I never quit drawing. The camera is a way of drawing."

I'm also guided by the photographer Andre Kertesz's observation, "I see the thing, I feel the thing, I make the thing".  So when I review a camera or a lens, I look primarily at how it presents the world to the photographer (via the finder), how it works as a tool in the hands, and how it draws the kind of picture we call a photograph.



There are at least two kinds of review content on this web site.  There are reviews of cameras and lenses that are receiving wide attention from many photographers (and reviewers) as well as reviews of equipment that is of great interest to more specialized groups of photographers.  I have written quite a bit about rangefinder cameras and lenses and that equipment will continue to be an important focus of this site.  I also give a lot of attention to compact cameras that are designed for serious photography. There are also essays and other types of articles to be found here that are not necessarily about equipment per se.

I did my first professional photography work in 1984. While I am primarily a "fine art photographer" (a strange and clumsy term that suggests one makes pictures of paintings, sculptures and the like) I also do professional architectural and documentary wedding photography.  So I sometimes look at the performance of cameras and lenses in those contexts.  I obviously can't write about every piece of photographic equipment and so my focus is really on tools that, I think, deserve some attention from serious photographers, professional or amateur.  Sometimes they are fairly new to the market, other times they might be quite old and found only as used equipment.  In either case, if I decide to write about a lens or camera, it's because I believe it's worth reading about. I was a film photographer for two decades (and a B&W exhibition printer for a few years) but I now work entirely with digital capture. As such, almost all of my camera reviews are of digital models. The individual reviews obviously discuss specific cameras and/or lenses but all of the reviews also look at more general aspects of photography that can be relevant no matter what camera and/or lens a photographer uses.

My own photography frequently illustrates the articles on Reid Reviews and  the site sometimes features articles about my own photographic projects. I am primarily a black and white photographer (except for a few projects and certain work that I do for clients) and so many of the general (as opposed to technical) illustrations on this site are in BW.

My bio:

Sean Reid has been a commercial and fine art photographer for more than thirty-five years. He studied photography at Bard College under Stephen Shore and Ben Lifson. In the late 1980s he worked as an exhibition printer for Wendy Ewald and other fine art photographers. In 1989, he was the first American photographer to receive an artist-in-residence grant from the Irish Arts Council in Dublin, Ireland and his work is held in their collection. That same year he gave a guest lecture at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art in Dublin. In the early 1990s Sean met occasionally with Helen Levitt to discuss and edit pictures he was making in the subways of Budapest and New York City. These were exhibited in New York in conjunction with performances by Jens Nygaard's Jupiter Symphony.

Sean's work for clients is often of weddings and architecture. His editorial work has appeared in magazines such as Motorcyclist, Rider and The Robb Report. His personal work is primarily of people in public places -- especially in rural New England where he resides.

In 2004, Sean began reviewing cameras and lenses for Luminous Landscape. The following year he began Reid Reviews,  a site that accepts no advertising and is paid for entirely by subscribers. Sean also serves as an unpaid consultant, advisor and sometimes beta tester for several camera and lens manufacturers.


"Quite simply, I think your sections on 'drawing' and and on 'sunny day lenses' are the best writing about photographic lenses that I have read - whether in magazines, journals, books or the various sources online. Few professional writers about photography ever attempt such a full consideration of the range of lens performance characteristics and the different ways in which they are photographically significant. Some discussions in photographic communities online circle around the subject, but don't achieve the focus, rigour and articulacy that you have managed here. Your article is what all writing about photographic lenses ought to be like, yet it's astonishing that next to none of it is. Interesting though Irwin Puts Leica lens book is, it would have been so much more interesting, and so much more appropriate to its subject matter, if it had been written as you have written here...I found the article incredibly useful and interesting. A great help in clarifying and firming up what I have experienced and half-understood about how different lenses work."

- Simon Pulman-Jones, England

"We all owe you a vote of thanks for such a massive and thorough piece of work. What a concept-- a "lens test" that is really about the pictorial effect of how lenses draw their images. Lines per millimeter and MTF graphs have their place, but your article really gets to the heart of the matter in the way that photographers can relate to instantly."

- Peter Klein, USA

"This is a really excellent in depth review. I particularly like how you guide the reader not to look for winners, but to use it as a reference for their own needs. I think it may turn out to be a reference classic for working photographers seeking how to judge lenses in real world use.. I for one will be returning to it."

- Jim Watts, USA

"I read your substantial paper with great interest. I am an amateur enthusiast in photography and optics.
Your concept first surprised me, because I have had an impression that few photographers in North America and possibly in Europe like to discuss lens characters as expression tools. Among Japanese photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, there is a long tradition of interest or even addiction in appreciating various image characters of optics. For instance, Shoji Ohtake, one of the most influential photographers in Japan writes a regular column titled Lens Physiognomy for a major camera journal. He says that for each of his representation he selects the right lens from his huge collection.  I was impressed by your pragmatic and well-organised approach in reviewing the lenses. Your observation is keen and relevant to essential aspects of photographic imagery. Your rhetoric is straight, logical, and free from jargon. These are rarely met in review papers on similar tests, which tend to be too technical or too subjective. I should also tell you that I myself have evaluated lenses mostly in B&W for the same reason as in your reviews. Few people have understood me. All in all, it is a marvelous paper. My applause."

- Mikiro Mori, Japan

"...a very informative, even enlightening, work. It not only provides visual evidence of comparative lenses' performance, it also gets right to the most important factor of lens evaluation - how the image looks to the photographer. Long ago I stopped reading test charts of lenses since none of my clients ever published any. It is always the look of the finished image that counts."

- Richard Weisgrau, USA

"I hope your tests become a benchmark for other reviewers to pay more attention to the real needs of photographers..."

- Phil Fogle, USA

"I think that your approach is what photographers have been asking for. Your article was spectacularly successful. I didn't think a review could be any better than yours on wide angles for the R-D1, but you topped it with this one. Thank you for all the hard work that went into it!"

- Bill Marshall, USA



Example Articles accepts no advertising.  A subscription is currently $49.95 per year. To get a sense of my writing style and approach you may want to read any of the freely accessible articles linked in the Read Without A Subscription section of our article index.  And, of course, that index includes every article on RR so you'll be able to see just what content can be found here. As of late November, 2017 there were over 450 articles on the site, most of them quite extensive. All of them are reviews or essays.

Current Articles

A list of current articles on Reid Reviews can be found at the site's article index.


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As many readers know, RR has always been an independent site in many senses of that word. We hope that our readers can appreciate the value of this approach. As a society, we are barraged with advertising (on the web, on televison, on radio, on buses, streets, etc.). Reading Reid Reviews is, we hope, an oasis from that. We have never accepted advertising and we never will. We also have never taken sales commission from any business. The Reid Reviews system is simple: we create the content and our readers,  and only our readers, pay for it.

The purpose of advertising, ultimately, is to convince us that we need to buy whatever product a manufacturer or other business wants to sell us. Advertising in photography has long perpetuated the myth that owning certain brands and certain products will magically make one a better photographer. But we all know, of course, how false that myth is.

For a humorous, but also very perceptive, take on where the line between journalism and advertising seems to be heading, for some publications at least, see this John Oliver video. I highly recommend watching it.

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Useful tips on using the Reid Reviews site can be found here. That page is worth reading and will be updated from time to time.


The one-year subscription rate for the site is $49.95.  Once your username and password have been issued, the subscription amount is not refundable.  The best way to sample my work (to decide if you'd want to be a subscriber) is to read the freely accessible articles linked in the Read Without A Subscription section of our article index Pay Pal customers can pay for their subscriptions using their Pay Pal accounts and people who are not Pay Pal customers may make a one-time credit card payment to Reid Reviews via PayPal.  To make a payment by check please follow the instructions listed on the "subscribe" page which is linked below.

Reid Reviews' normal business hours are 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) and any problems with subscriptions, responses to e-mail, etc. are normally handled during those business hours. I am, however, sometimes away for medical appointments during those hours and appreciate your patience if you need to wait for a response to your e-mail.  If subscribing, please be sure that the full name you provide exactly matches the name on your PayPal account. If they don't match there's a good chance the system will not be able to start your subscription automatically.

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