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January 17 I published a very extensive review of four 50 mm L lenses tested on the Leica SL2, Leica SL and
Panasonic S1R. This 25 page article is based on field & studio testing and includes over 270 illustrations.

December 9 I published a set of studio and field tests that look at how the tonalities rendered by the
Leica Q2 Monochrom & M10 Monochrom change when using yellow, orange and green color filters.

On November 11 I published a set of studio vignetting and resolution tests which compare the Leica Q2M to the
Leica Q2 and Leica M10 Monochrom (with M 28/1.4). This is the second article in a four-part series.

On November 10 I published a review of the Leica Q2 Monochrom including studio tests which compare
it to the  Leica Q2 and Leica M10 Monochrom. This is the first article in a four-part series.

On October 31 I published a 75 mm studio lens test of resolution, color drift and vignetting comparing
Leica M10-R to the M10 Monochrom, M (Typ 240) and SL2.

On October 20 I published a review of the Fuji X-T4.

On October 6 I published Fuji Fast Fifties. This is a review of Fujifilm's new XF 50/1.0 WR as compared
(in full studio tests) to the XF 50/2.0 WR and XF 56/1.2 R. It is an extensive article with over one hundred

On September 17 I published a 50 mm studio lens test of resolution, color drift and vignetting comparing
Leica M10-R to the M10 Monochrom, M (Typ 240) and SL2.

On August 31 I published a 35 mm studio lens test of resolution, color drift and vignetting comparing
Leica M10-R to the M10 Monochrom, M (Typ 240) and SL2.

On August 13 I published a 21 mm studio lens test of resolution, color drift and vignetting comparing the
Leica M10-P, M10-R and M10 Monochrom.

On July 30 I published an extensive 28 mm studio lens test of resolution, color drift and vignetting comparing
the Leica Q2 with the Leica M10-P, M10-R, M10 Monochrom and SL2. This article covers a lot of ground.

On July 24 I published a color studio comparison test of the Leica M10R and SL2.

On July 18 I published a B&W studio comparison test of the Leica M10R, M10M, M10P and Q2. 

On July 16 I published a color studio comparison test of the Leica M10R, M10P and Q2. There will be eight
more articles coming up in this series which compare the M10R to, in various combinations, the M10M, SL2
M-240, M10P and Q2. Included will be a series of lens tests looking at comparative resolution and vignetting
for these cameras paired with various lenses.

On July 16 I published a review of the Leica M10R. 

On June 30 I published a review of two older Nikkor manual focus lenses, the AIS 28/2.8 and AI 28/3.5,
which were tested on the Nikon Z7.

On June 11 I published a studio comparison test of the Cosina Voigtlander 21/4.0 Color-Skopar lens on the
Leica SL2, Leica SL, Leica M (Typ 240) and Panasonic S1R. The CV 21/4.0 is an excellent "litmus test" lens
that can give us a good sense of how each of these cameras performs (especially off-axis) with challenging
rangefinder lenses.

On May 20 I published a full review of the Pentax HD 21/3.2 DA Limited as tested, in the studio and
in the field, on the Pentax KP.

On May 12 I published a test of the Nikon Z7 paired with the Cosina Voigtlander 21/4.0 Color Skopar.
This is an excellent "litmus test" lens to see how well a given camera body might perform with a wide
range of challenging rangefinder lenses. Coming up next will be tests that look at how well three other
cameras perform with this lens: the Leica SL2, Leica SL and Panasonic S1R.

On May 8 I published the results of my studio tests of the Nikon Z7. These tests look at rendering, color
accuracy and noise levels at various ISO settings.

On May 1 I published a detailed review of the Leica APO-Summicron SL 35/2.0 ASPH and
Sigma L 35/1.2 DG DN Art lenses tested on the Leica SL, Leica SL2 and Panasonic S1R. This extensive
article, which is based on both studio and field tests, includes more than 120 illustrations.

On April 15 I published Framed: The Leica Q2, One Year Later. This article, part field report and part essay,
is based on my field testing of the Q2 in 2019 and 2020 but also looks at the broader subject of framing and
at some of the ways in which the edges of a picture affect the way it is structured (composed) in drawing,
painting and photography.

On April 3 I published a review of the Acer BM320 which is a 32" 4K monitor designed for photographers
and other visual professionals.

On March 31 I published an extensive field report on the Leica M10M, Fuji X100V and Fuji X-Pro-3 which I
tested side by side at Daytona Bike Week earlier this month.

On February 29 I published a test of the Nikon Z7 paired with a Leica M 35/2.0 Summicron ASPH.

On February 26 I published Into the Shadows: Leica M10 Monochrom which that looks at that camera's
shadow recovery noise levels at ISO 160 and ISO 320.

On February 10 I published an article that looks at the highlight headroom and estimated native ISO of
the Leica M10 Monochrom and M Monochrom (Typ 246). This article might also be interesting to
photographers who are hoping to see other monochrome camera models reach the market in the future.

On February 5 I published side by side lens tests of the Fuji X100F and a late pre-production Fuji X100V
running firmware 1.oo.

On February 4 I published side by side studio tests of the Fuji X100F and a late pre-production Fuji X100V
running firmware 1.oo.

On February 4 I published an in-depth review of a late pre-production Fuji X100V running firmware 1.oo.

On January 18 I published an article which looks at side by side studio resolution tests of the M10 Monochrom
and the M Monochrom (Typ 246) with two challenging rangefinder lenses and
side by side studio vignetting
tests of those two cameras with four rangefinder lenses.

On January 17, 2020 I published a review of the Leica M10 Monochrom and an article which looks at
side by side studio tests of the M10 Monochrom and the M Monochrom (Typ 246).

On December 18 I published a very detailed review of the Fujifilm X-Pro 3.

On December 3 I published my review of the Panasonic S1R.

On November 22 I published the results of studio and field tests of the Sigma 45/2.8 DG DN on the Leica SL2.
For simplicity, these test results have been added (as new pages) to my earlier review of the Sigma 45.

On November 14 I published a studio comparison test of the Leica M 28/2.8 ASPH (Pre-2016) lens on the
Leica SL2, Leica SL, Leica M (Typ 240) and Panasonic S1R.

On November 10 my Leica SL2 Field Report was expanded with a table that shows approximate auto-focus
speeds for seven L mount lenses tested on the SL2, SL and
Panasonic S1R.

On November 10 I published side-by-side studio tests of the Leica SL, SL2 and Panasonic S1R. These look at
converted raw file quality, color rendering, noise levels at various ISO settings and color moire.

On November 6 I published the first of several articles I will be writing about the Leica SL2. This first story
looks at my impressions of the camera having worked with it in the field this fall.

"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 2020 there are over five hundred 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 $39.95 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.


Our Policy On Advertising

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 $39.95.  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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