Monday, February 24, 2014
Japanese camera and imaging blog Egami has spotted Olympus patent applications for two 12mm f/1 and two 14mm f/1 AF lenses. The Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system already offers an assortment of f/0.95 lenses, courtesy of Cosina and SLRmagic - but these are all manual-focus lenses, whereas the patent-pending Olympus designs would allow for the incorporation of auto focus. Filed on 19 August 2012 and published on 20 February 2014, these patent applications include elaborate technical drawings that reveal some extremely complex optical designs, prompting Egami to speculate that software correction might be necessary to elminate chromatic aberrations and geometric distortions. In addition to the two 12mm and two 14mm MFT lens designs, Olympus has also filed patent applications for similarly fast lenses intended for smaller-sensor cameras - a 9mm f/1 lens covering an 1" sensor and a 5.46mm f/0.95 lens matching a 1/1.7" imager.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Fujifilm has posted firmware updates for three Fujinon lenses. Version 1.11 for the Fujinon XF55-200mm f3.5-48 R LM OIS, version 1.12 for the Fujinon XC16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OIS (pictured) and version 3.11 for the Fujinon XF18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS improve the effectiveness of the optical image stabiliser when shooting stills or movies. Additionally, the upgrades for the 18-55mm and 55-200mm improve auto focus response when the lenses are used in combination with the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-E2 compact system cameras.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Japanese optics manufacturer Kowa has unveiled three new 'Prominar' lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system. The Kowa Prominar 8.5mm f/2.8 MFT is a 17mm equivalent rectilinear lens with a surprisingly low amount of geometric distortion (0.12% barrelling). The Kowa Prominar 12mm f/1.8 MFT is a fast 24mm equivalent wide-angle lens, whilst the Kowa Prominar 25mm f/1.8 MFT is a 50mm equivalent "normal" prime. All three lenses have proper distance scales and aperture rings. Availability is slated for Summer 2014.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Cosina is set to release an updated version of the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0l95 Micro Four Thirds lens. This revised edition benefits from a new aperture control mechanism which allows the user to switch between "clicked" and stepless operation as required, just like the Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 and Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95. Otherwise unchanged from the previous version, the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95 II is a manual-focus lens with an optical formula comprising 11 elements in 8 groups and a 10-bladed iris diaphragm. The new lens will go on sale in March 2014, priced at 105,000 yen.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Sigma has announced the release of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM lens in Pentax and Sony mounts. With an optical formula comprising nine elements in eight groups and an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades (and no “EX” designation in the name), this lens features a completely different design to the older Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM, which was introducedback in 2005. It also has a shorter close-focusing distance of 30cm and a higher maximum reproduction ratio of 1:6.8. The filter attachment size is unchanged at 62mm, as is the 30mm focal length that translates into 45mm on Pentax and Sony cameras with APS-C size image sensors. As part of the manufacturer’s ‘Art’ line, the new 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM is compatible with Sigma’s separately sold USB dock accessory and Sigma Optimisation Pro software.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Olympus has announced it is developing a 7-14mm (14-28mm eq.) f/2.8 and a 300mm (600mm eq.) f/4 lens for Micro Four Thirds. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO will compete directly with Panasonic's 7-14mm f/4 lens, while offering a full stop faster maximum aperture; and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4 PRO will be the first dedicated AF prime in the Micro Four Thirds sytem to offer 600mm equivalent telephoto reach. Both lenses will have a splash- and dustproof construction for use in adverse weather conditions and dusty locales. Mock-ups of the lenses will be shown at the Camera & Photo Imaging Show CP+ starting this Thursday.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
SLR Magic has launched its Anamorphot 1.33x 50 anamorphic adapter for indie filmmakers. Developed with the help of EOSHD, the Anamorphot 1.33x 50 (£749 / €899 is designed to improve image quality in widescreen formats, while creating special horizontal flare effects, commonly referred to as anamorphic streaks when pointed toward a light source. In addition to the Anamorphot 1.33x 50, SLR Magic has also launched a 77mm Achromatic Dioptre Set (£249 / €299), designed for use with the anamorphic adapter. Both products will be available late March 2014.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Ricoh is planning to exhibit four new reference products at CP+ 2014. Among these is a completely new medium-format DSLR camera - tentatively named the Pentax 645D 2014 - boasting the "latest, super-high-resolution CMOS image sensor" and an articulated LCD screen; a new medium-format ultra-wide zoom lens; a Q-mount telemacro lens and an interesting film duplicator that "produces digital duplicates of silver-halide-film images in combination with a digital SLR camera and a dedicated flash unit." Judging by the product shot - see gallery after the jump - this essentially means a focusing rail combined with a macro bellows, film holder and diffusor screen
Ricoh has announced a new AF teleconverter for Pentax K-mount interchangeable-lens cameras. The HD Pentax DA AF 1.4X AW rear converter has been engineered to maintain the auto focus functionality while working seamlessly with both camera-driven as well as lens-driven AF systems. Composed of four elements in three groups, the HD Pentax DA AF 1.4X AW Rear Converter incorporates the Pentax-developed HD coating to minimise reflectance inside the converter while optimising light transmittance. The converter will be available in March 2014 for a price of £379.99 / $599.95.
Tamron is developing a new 11.zx ultrazoom lens for 35mm full-frame dSLRs. The Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD features a Piezo Drive auto focus motor, Tamron's exclusive Vibration Compensation technology and an optical formula comprising 19 elements in 15 groups. Equipped with a petal-shaped lens hood, the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD has a 67mm filter thread, a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.5, and a minimum focus distance of 0.49m. A prototype of the lens will be on display at the Tamron booth at the CP+ 2014 trade show, taking place from 13-16 February 2014 in Yokohama, Japan.
The Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is a new, 24-450mm equivalent ultrazoom lens for dSLRs with APS-C sized sensors. Currently in development, the lens will have an optical formula comprising sixteen elements in twelve groups and an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades. Shipping with a petal-shaped lens hood, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD will have a 67mm filter thread, 39cm minimum focus distance and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.9. The lens incorporates a PZD (Piezo Drive) focus motor and Tamron’s exclusive VC (Vibration Compensation) technology to combat motion blur resulting from shaky hands. A prototype will be on display at the Tamron booth at the CP+ 2014, which will be held from 13-16 February in Yokohama.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
The new Zeiss Touit 2.8/50M is a macro lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1. Designed for compact system cameras with APS-C sized imagers, the Zeiss Touit 2.8/50M is equivalent to a 75mm lens in a 35mm system. The optical formula comprises 14 elements arranged in 11 groups and an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades. The Touit 2.8/50M with Sony E and Fuji X mount will be available worldwide in March 2014. The recommended retail price is €755/$999.
Olympus Japan has announced a special OM-D E-M5 Black Elite Pro Lens Kit. Comprising an Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera body and M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, this Japan-only special edition features a leather-like finish on the outside of the body including the right-hand grip, plus redesigned main and sub command dials. This Black Elite edition comes with Firmware Version 2.0 as standard. Availability is slated for March.
Source: Olympus Japan
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ is billed as the world's most compact pancake zoom lens. Scheduled for release in late February, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 is only 22.5mm thick when retracted. The optical formula incorporates 8 elements in 7 groups, including 1 Super HR, 1 ED and 3 aspherical elements. Weighing in at only 93 grams, the lens is compatible with the separately sold LC-37C automatically closing lens cap, which is an industry first for an interchangeable lens. The M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ will be available for £299.99.The automatically closing lens cap is priced at £39.99.
The M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 is a new normal prime for the Micro Four Thirds system. Equivalent to a 50mm lens in 35mm terms, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 features a diagonal angle of view of 47 degrees, a silent auto focus motor and an optical formula that comprises 9 elements in 7 groups, including 2 aspherical lens elements. Other highlights include an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades, a close-focus point of 0.25m, a 46mm filter thread and Olympus-original ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to reduce flare and ghosts. The Olympus 25mm f/1.8 lens will be available from March, priced at £369.99/$399.00.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Sigma UK has announced the recommended retail price (RRP) of its new 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens. The Canon version of the lens will be available in February at an RRP of £349.99 including VAT. The Nikon variant will follow in March with the Sony and Pentax editions (both without an optical stabiliser) being available in May.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
This week we’re revealing our favourite products from last year in our annual awards, looking back at the essential photography kit that helped to define 2013.
The Lens of the Year 2013 award goes to the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM.
“...we can whole-heartedly recommend the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM as a fast, well-built prime lens that delivers superb results.”
Congratulations to Sigma and the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM!
Nikon has announced that total production of Nikkor and 1 Nikkor lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras has surpassed the 85-million mark. As the 80 millionth interchangeable Nikkor lens was manufactured in June, this means that Nikon produced no less than 5 million interchangeable lenses in a bit more than half a year. In August 2013, Nikon announced the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens, a versatile 7.8x high-power zoom lens compatible with DX-format DSLR cameras, while in November, Nikon introduced the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G, a fast FX-format offering capable of elite low-light performance, earning accolades for its ability to minimize sagittal coma flare. Also introduced was another addition to Nikon’s f/1.8 lens lineup, the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G for FX and film cameras. Additionally, Nikon has released the world’s first waterproof and shockproof 1 Nikkor lenses, the 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 (read review) and the 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8, alongside the Nikon 1 AW1 camera.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
As part of its "Art" line, Sigma has added a new 50mm lens to its product portfolio. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM has an optical formula featuring 13 elements in 8 groups and an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades. The lens incorporates a floating system that adjusts the distance between lens groups while focusing, thereby reducing the amount of lens movement required. A Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) enables fast and quiet auto focus operation. Availability and pricing have yet to be confirmed.
Sigma has announced a new version of its 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 superzoom lens as part of its "Contemporary" product line. The new lens is smaller and lighter than its predecessor and bears the "Macro" designation to reflect its maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3. The close-focus distance is 39cm, which translates into a minimum working distance of less than 15cm. This lens incorporates SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements that have a high refractive index, and corrects chromatic aberration at the telephoto-end very well, the company claims. As before, the Canon, Nikon and Sigma versions have an Optical Stabiliser on board, while the Pentax and Sony variants come without this feature. Availability and pricing have yet to be communicated.