Category: Lenses

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lens of the Year 2015

Mark Goldstein | Lenses, PhotographyBLOG
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We're revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2015.

The Lens of the Year 2015 award goes to the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD.

“...we can heartily recommend the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD as an attractively priced, excellent quality ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for full-frame DSLR owners.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Tamron and the SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD!

We're revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2015. The Lens of the Year 2015 award goes to the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD. “...we can heartily recommend the Tamron SP 1...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Zeiss Teams Up with ExoLens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Camera Phones, Lenses

Felleowes' ExoLens brand and Zeiss have announced their collaboration in the design and development of accessory lenses for camera phones. The companies presented the first jointly developed accessory lenses at the Fellowes booth (no. 31016) at CES 2016. The first three lenses – wide-angle, telephoto and macro (pictured) – are scheduled to be launched later this year. The new lenses can be used on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus with customised mounting brackets (the companies plan on releasing brackets for more devices in future). The ExoLens bracket features a standard tripod mount (1/4”-20) as well as a cold shoe for mounting accessories. All lenses incorporate the T* anti-reflective coating from Zeiss, which minimises reflections at the glass-to-air surfaces and improves the transmission of light.

Felleowes' ExoLens brand and Zeiss have announced their collaboration in the design and development of accessory lenses for camera phones. The companies presented the first jointly developed accessory lenses at the Fellowes booth (no. 31016) at CES 2016. The first three lenses – wide-angle, telephoto and macro (pictured) – are scheduled to...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Olympus have revealed the suggested retail price and availability of their pro-grade 600mm equivalent Micro Four Thirds prime. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO lens, whose development was first announced at photokina 2014, is claimed to have the World's most powerful 6-step image stabilisation system (in combination with the matching Olympus camera models), and boasts the shortest focusing distance for telemacro photography in its class (1.4m). When mounted to an OM-D E-M1 or E-M5 Mark II, it achieves autofocus speeds of less than 300 milliseconds, while the dust-, freeze- and splashproof build makes this an ideal choice for nature and outdoor sports photographers. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO will be available in black from early March 2016 for £2199.99/€2799.00/$2499.99.

Olympus have revealed the suggested retail price and availability of their pro-grade 600mm equivalent Micro Four Thirds prime. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO lens, whose development was first announced at photokina 2014, is claimed to have the World's most powerful 6-step image stabilisation system (in combination with...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH.

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Panasonic has today introduced a new telephoto zoom lens for MFT cameras. The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH. is a 200-800mm equivalent lens featuring Power Optical Image Stabilisation (O.I.S.) and an optical formula comprising 20 elements in 13 groups plus an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades. The weather sealed telephoto lens comes with a dedicated, quick-shifting tripod mount and an integrated shift-away lens hood.

Panasonic has today introduced a new telephoto zoom lens for MFT cameras. The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH. is a 200-800mm equivalent lens featuring Power Optical Image Stabilisation (O.I.S.) and an optical formula comprising 20 elements in 13 groups plus an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded...

Panasonic LEICA DG 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Panasonic LEICA DG 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 lens looks like in the flesh?

Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Panasonic LEICA DG 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 lens.

Want to see exactly what the new Panasonic LEICA DG 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 lens looks like in the flesh? Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Panasonic LEICA DG 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 lens.

Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G (VR)

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Nikon have announced two new consumer-grade standard zooms for their digital SLR cameras featuring DX sized sensors. The AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G and AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR utilise stepping motors to drive AF for fast and quiet focusing, and boast a retractable-barrel design for enhanced portability. When shooting video footage, the stepping motor allows you to smoothly shift focus from subject to subject with practically no drive noise. These are also the first Nikon lenses to allow users to switch between auto and manual focus using the camera menu (when used on a Nikon D3300, D5300 or D5500 with the latest firmware installed). Each lens incorporates 2 aspherical glass elements to correct various types of aberration, and the VR version additionally offers up to four stops of vibration reduction. The VR function can also be turned on or off using the menu on compatible camera models. The Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G standard zoom will be available next month, priced at £149.99/€199.00. The AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR will retail for £199.99/€259.00.

Nikon have announced two new consumer-grade standard zooms for their digital SLR cameras featuring DX sized sensors. The AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G and AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR utilise stepping motors to drive AF for fast and quiet focusing, and...

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tokina AT-X PRO SD 14-20mm F2 (IF) DX

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Kenko Tokina have officially announced the availability of their AT-X14-20mm F2 PRO DX lens for digital SLR cameras with APS-C sized sensors. Featuring a constant maximum aperture of f/2, this brand new wide zoom is equivalent to a 21-30mm lens in 35mm terms. The optical formula comprises 13 lens elements in 11 groups including 2 super-low-dispersion aspherical glass elements. Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF/MF simply by sliding the focus ring, while the 9 bladed near-circular aperture diaphragm allows for a natural bokeh rendering - especially when the lens is set to its minimum focus distance of 28cm. The Tokina AT-X PRO SD 14-20mm F2 (IF) DX wide zoom has an 82mm filter thread, weighs in at 725 grams, and comes in Canon & Nikon fit. The Canon variant is scheduled to be available in February, with the Nikon version coming in March. In Japan, the price of the lens will be around 130,000 yen (£730/$1080).

Kenko Tokina have officially announced the availability of their AT-X14-20mm F2 PRO DX lens for digital SLR cameras with APS-C sized sensors. Featuring a constant maximum aperture of f/2, this brand new wide zoom is equivalent to a 21-30mm lens in 35mm terms. The optical formula comprises 13...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dual IS Firmware Upgrade Announced for 5 Panasonic Lenses

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Panasonic has issued  a firmware upgrade for five of its Micro Four Thirds lenses. Version 1.1 for the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 Macro ASPH Mega OIS, Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS, Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS and Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS, as well as version 1.2 for the Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS add compatibility with the new Dual I.S technology introduced in the Panasonic Lumix GX8 compact system camera.

Panasonic has issued  a firmware upgrade for five of its Micro Four Thirds lenses. Version 1.1 for the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 Macro ASPH Mega OIS, Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS, Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS and...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sigma Unveils its Black Friday Savings

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sigma Corporation of America has announced its Black Friday deals on five of the company’s most popular lenses. During the promotion, which starts today and ends on Cyber Monday, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is available for $849 instead of $949. The Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM can be yours for $299 (originally $549), the 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM now sells for $419 (instead of $669), the 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM can be had for $1,149 (originally $1,399), and the Sigma 105mm F2.8 Macro EX DG OS HSM is being offered for $669 (regular price: $969).

Sigma Corporation of America has announced its Black Friday deals on five of the company’s most popular lenses. During the promotion, which starts today and ends on Cyber Monday, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is available for $849 instead of $949. The Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pentax 35mm F3.5AL[IF] Now Available in US

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The HD PENTAX-D FA645 35mm F3.5AL[IF] lens is now available in the US. The 27.5mm-equivalent prime adds a new wide-angle option to the Pentax 645 digitalmedium-format camera system, and combines a newly designed, high-grade glass-moulded aspherical element with a high refractive index low-dispersion glass element plus a hybrid aspherical element to effectively compensate for chromatic and spherical aberrations. An inner-focus mechanism keeps the lens’s total length the same during focusing, which allows the photographer to maintain stability during handheld shooting. The HD PENTAX-D FA645 35mm F3.5AL[IF] lens is available now for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,599.99.

The HD PENTAX-D FA645 35mm F3.5AL[IF] lens is now available in the US. The 27.5mm-equivalent prime adds a new wide-angle option to the Pentax 645 digitalmedium-format camera system, and combines a newly designed, high-grade glass-moulded aspherical element with a high refractive index low-dispersion glass element plus a hybrid aspherical...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

HD PENTAX-D FA645 35mm F3.5AL[IF]

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Ricoh has announced a new wide-angle lens for the Pentax medium-format DSLR camera system. The 27.5mm-equivalent HD PENTAX-D FA645 35mm F3.5AL[IF] combines a newly designed, high-grade glass-moulded aspherical element with a high refractive index low dispersion glass element and a hybrid aspherical element to effectively compensate for chromatic and spherical aberrations. The lens coating and reflective material used for the interior of the lens barrel are optimised for the distinctive characteristics of digital imaging, and promise to minimise flare and ghosting. This lens features a nine-blade, rounded diaphragm to produce a smooth, beautiful bokeh effect. Available from mid-December, the lens will retail for £1,549.99.

Ricoh has announced a new wide-angle lens for the Pentax medium-format DSLR camera system. The 27.5mm-equivalent HD PENTAX-D FA645 35mm F3.5AL[IF] combines a newly designed, high-grade glass-moulded aspherical element with a high refractive index low dispersion glass element and a hybrid aspherical element to effectively compensate for chromatic...

Canon CJ20ex7.8B Portable 4K Broadcast Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon U.S.A. has announced the CJ20ex7.8B portable 4K broadcast lens for use with broadcast cameras featuring 2/3"-type sensors. Featuring With a focal range of 7.8-156mm, the lens features a 20x zoom range, while a built-in 2x extender allows more telephoto operation without sacrificing 4K image quality. A 20-pin connector, capable of reading out the high-precision position information of the zoom, focus and iris are provided as a standard feature. Coming standard with another two 20-pin connectors for zoom and focus control, virtual operations are possible in the full-servo mode, and use of a 16-bit absolute value encoder in the digital drive unit helps eliminate the need for any initialisation, meaning users can simply turn on the camera and begin shooting. The CJ20ex7.8B portable broadcast lens is scheduled to be available in June 2016.

Canon U.S.A. has announced the CJ20ex7.8B portable 4K broadcast lens for use with broadcast cameras featuring 2/3"-type sensors. Featuring With a focal range of 7.8-156mm, the lens features a 20x zoom range, while a built-in 2x extender allows more telephoto operation without sacrificing 4K image...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

MPL Macro Lens for Smartphones

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Camera Phones, Lenses
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Inventor Thomas Larson has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a highly portable stick-on macro lens for cell phones. Available in two versions, offering 4x and 8x magnification, the MPL Macro conversion lens comes in a convenient coin-sized case, and enables users to take compelling close-up shots with their smartphone's built-in camera. Compatible with nearly all phones and tablets, the universal MPL Macro lens attaches to your smart device without any adhesives. "This is a project I started as an undergrad two years ago, and have been able to finance solely through crowdfunding and direct sales (no investors or grants)," Thomas says. "I use the extra funds from crowdfunding and sales to work on less commercially viable mobile microscopes that I hope will have an impact on education and world health." Interested readers are encouraged to pay a visit to the project's Kickstarter page.

Inventor Thomas Larson has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a highly portable stick-on macro lens for cell phones. Available in two versions, offering 4x and 8x magnification, the MPL Macro conversion lens comes in a convenient coin-sized case, and enables users to take compelling close-up shots with...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 lens looks like in the flesh?

Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 lens.

Want to see exactly what the new Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 lens looks like in the flesh? Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 lens.

Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens look like in the flesh?

Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens.

Want to see exactly what the new Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens look like in the flesh? Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens.

Ricoh Announces Extended Service Programme for Pentax 645Z Camera

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Ricoh Imaging Americas has announced the Medium Format by PENTAX Advantage Programme for the Pentax 645Z medium-format digital camera system. Designed to provide professional photographers with continuous access to gear in the event of a camera system failure, the programme provides three years of extended service and support from date of purchase plus loaner camera bodies and lenses, and a dedicated toll-free support number. The Medium Format by Pentax Advantage Programme packages can be purchased now at authorised Pentax dealers for $849.95 (Pentax Advantage Gold Service) and (Pentax Advantage Platinum Service).

Ricoh Imaging Americas has announced the Medium Format by PENTAX Advantage Programme for the Pentax 645Z medium-format digital camera system. Designed to provide professional photographers with continuous access to gear in the event of a camera system failure, the programme provides three years of extended service and support from date...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lensbaby Composer Pro II With Edge 50 Optic

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Lenses
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Lensbaby has announced the new Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic. Introduced at PhotoPlus Expo 2015, the Lesnbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic is a high-quality, 50mm f/3.2 upgraded metal-bodied tilt lens providing a sharp slice of focus bordered by silky, smooth blur. The lens body swivels and tilts on a smooth metal ball and socket design, and is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System, allowing users to swap optics in and out of the Composer Pro II lens body to change effect and focal length. The Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic retails for $424.95 and is available for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Pentax K, Fuji X, Sony Alpha E, Micro 4/3rds, and Samsung NX.

Lensbaby has announced the new Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic. Introduced at PhotoPlus Expo 2015, the Lesnbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic is a high-quality, 50mm f/3.2 upgraded metal-bodied tilt lens providing a sharp slice of focus bordered by silky, smooth blur. The lens body swivels and tilts...

New Schneider Kreuznach Lenses Now Available

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Schneider Kreuznach's newest leaf shutter lenses are now available to purchase through Phase One photography partners worldwide. Like the 35mm and 120mm lenses introduced simultaneously with the Phase One XF System, these Schneider Kreuznach lenses - including the 55mm LS f/2.8, the 80mm LS f/2.8 and the 150mm LS f/3.5 - are built to a new and more robust quality standard. The new lenses feature a metal focusing ring and AF/MF selector ring of precision milled aluminium and a new metal lens hood with anti-skid rubber edging. The 55mm LS f/2.8 lens is available for €3.990 / $4,990, the 80mm LS f/2.8 costs €2.490 / $3,290, while the 150mm LS f/3.5 (pictured) sells for €4.490 / $5,990.
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Schneider Kreuznach's newest leaf shutter lenses are now available to purchase through Phase One photography partners worldwide. Like the 35mm and 120mm lenses introduced simultaneously with the Phase One XF System, these Schneider Kreuznach lenses - including the 55mm LS f/2.8, the 80mm LS f/2.8 and the 150mm LS...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fujinon XF35mm f/2 R WR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Fujifilm have announced a new, weather- and dust-resistant standard prime for the company's X-series compact system cameras. The Fujinon XF35mm f/2 R WR features 9 elements in 6 groups, including 2 aspherical lens elements, and an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades for a pleasing bokeh. At just 45.9mm in length and with a diameter of 60mm, the slim and stylish design allows comfortable operation and draws minimum attention to the photographer; whilst the all-metal construction of the lens exterior ensures it is durable enough for a wide variety of shooting situations. An inner focusing system, which moves the lens elements, is combined with a stepping motor to produce quiet, accurate and fast autofocus capable of locking on to the subject in as little as 0.08s. The lens will be available from November for £299.

Fujifilm have announced a new, weather- and dust-resistant standard prime for the company's X-series compact system cameras. The Fujinon XF35mm f/2 R WR features 9 elements in 6 groups, including 2 aspherical lens elements, and an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades for a pleasing bokeh. At just 45.9mm in length...

Fujinon XF1.4x TC WR Teleconverter

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, Lenses
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Fujifilm have announced a new weather-resistant teleconverter for their X-mount compact system cameras. The Fujinon XF1.4x TC WR is capable of multiplying the focal length of compatible lensesby 1.4x. When mounted, the teleconverter reduces the lens’ brightness by one f-stop, however its optical design constructed of 7 elements in 3 groups maintains the optical performance of the original lens. The camera’s auto focus performance is unaffected by the addition of the teleconverter. The Fujinon XF1.4x TC WR will go on sale next month, priced at £329.

Fujifilm have announced a new weather-resistant teleconverter for their X-mount compact system cameras. The Fujinon XF1.4x TC WR is capable of multiplying the focal length of compatible lensesby 1.4x. When mounted, the teleconverter reduces the lens’ brightness by one f-stop, however its optical design constructed of 7 elements in 3...