LensHero.com is a new website built to help users of SLR cameras find their next lens based on their budget and the kind of photography they want to pursue with their new lens. Being interested in photography I decided to check out the site to see what kind of lens it would recommend I buy. I already have a Canon xsi and 60mm prime lens, which I bought a few years ago to shoot both macro and portrait photography, so I decided to enter a price and chose the style “Portrait.”
The site returned good results, the first two lenses were those that I had considered buying in the past because they are known to be great for portrait and macro photography. For each result there are some basic ratings of different qualities, however those chosen to be displayed are not all qualities that I care about when looking for a lens. The ratings also don’t make sense. I’m not sure how one would quantify if 60mm is great or terrible for a max or min focal length. It is very good for some applications and very bad for others, but isn’t something that should be quantitatively judged. This is also something that is always stated in the name of the lens, so there is no need to use up 2 of the 8 rating locations for min and max focal length. Weight might be a better item to quantify and display a rating bar, since I’d generally consider that a specification in which people would agree that lighter is better.
A way to visually display the focal lengths could be to make a horizontal scale, and indicate where (for prime), or what range (for zoom) a lens fits. This would allow for easy comparison as well when scrolling through options.
A great feature of the site is after clicking on a lens all the specifications come up, some with very nice visuals. The horizontal angle of view and 35mm equivalent are useful calculations that are not usually given. This is especially useful for those with cropped sensors since we frequently are looking for comparable lenses used by the full sensor market. The 60mm is just about a 100mm lens on a full size camera, the go-to for portrait photography.
One other thing to note, that is a bit odd, is that they pull reviews and quotes from B&H Photo Video, but don’t link back, and instead have an ad for amazon.com. This seems a bit unethical.