Jay French has always been into the outdoors, and enjoys activities like hiking, biking, and snowboarding. After returning to New Zealand from living in London for a while, he started photographing at events and on trips that he went on.
“One day someone asked to buy one of my images. The next they were asking me to go and cover an event. Next thing I knew, my whole business model had changed to content creation! I’ve been a full-time pro-shooter for about three years now.”
Impatient readers, interested only in lens reviews to fuel their Gear Acquisition Syndrome, may like to skip to the ‘Sony 12-24mm f/4 Wide Angle Zoom’ section below. However, I think the bits of history and technology I share first are a bit more educational, and I invite you to indulge me.
When Super Goes Ultra
Photography has long had a love of wide-angle optics – those that offer a wide field of view as a result of short focal length. It was fairly easy to turn lenses used for telescopes or projectors into optics that could be used for the first cameras. So the need for lenses for portraits and still-life was met very early on. But the most popular other subject was landscape. For that, the early lenses were frustratingly narrow in field of view. That’s why the first panoramic cameras appeared as early as 1845. Things limped along for years until Paul Rudolph’s Anastigmat ground plan of 1890. It’s the grand-father of modern asymmetric wide-angle lens designs.