Friday, April 11, 2014
The new Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95 II lens is now available. 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. In the UK, the lens is available for £660 from Robert White. In the USA, you can buy Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95 II from Amazon for $999.
Sigma has announced the recommended price of the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens. 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. The 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens will be available later this month for $949 in the USA. In the UK it will cost £849 with Canon and Sigma fits available in May, Nikon fit following in June, and Sony and Pentax still to be determined.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Tamron today officially announced the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro lens. Designed for dSLRs with APS-C sized sensors, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro has a 35mm focal range of 24-450mm and an optical formula comprising sixteen elements in twelve groups, plus 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 Macro has 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. Pricing has yet to be communicated.
Lensbaby has launched a 5.8mm circular fisheye lens in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. This manual lens has built-in aperture control ranging from f/3.5-22 and features an angle of view of 185°, close-focus point of 1/4 inch as well as traditional distance and DoF scales. Unlike most other Lensbaby optics, the 5.8mm Circular Fisheye is not a selective-focus lens. “Our Circular Fisheye lens, from a hardware perspective, functions just like any other manual lens,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby co-founder & Chief Creative Officer. “Simply attach it to your camera, and start shooting - no additional parts needed. Of course it wouldn't be a Lensbaby lens without something fun, different, and wacky. That’s why Circular Fisheye lets you focus on objects nearly touching the lens, while getting a 185 degree view of your surroundings. Plus, the flare this lens can produce adds a creative element to the border around the sharp circular image.” The lens is currently available for pre-order from B&H, Adorama and Amazon, priced at $299.95. Availability is slated for mid-May.
The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR is a new, stabilised superzoom lens for Nikon dSLRs with DX size sensors. Approximately 30% lighter than the existing AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR (read review), the new lens has a brand new optical formula comprising 16 elements in 12 groups, and a smaller 67mm filter thread. The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR will be available next month for £629.99 / €749.00 / $899.95.
The Lomographic Society has announced the upcoming launch of the Russar+, a rebirth of the legendary 1958 Russar MR-2 lens. With a focal length of 20mm and a maximum aperture of f/5.6, the Russar+ is compatible with all L39/Mmount analogue cameras (and nearly all CSCs when using approriate mount adapters). On a 35mm film camera, the Russar+ offers an angle of view of 94°. Going on sale in July 2014, the lens is already available for pre-order in the Lomography Online Shop, priced at €599 .
Thursday, April 3, 2014
At NAB Las Vegas 2014, LockCircle will premiere a new line of Prime Circle XM cinema lenses with manual aperture control. Available in EF- and F-mount versions, the lenses are built around high-quality Zeiss optics for extra-sharp colour-consistent images and pleasing bokeh. The PrimeCircle XM series covers nine focal lengths; 15mm, 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm and 135mm. Each lens features a cinema standard 95mm front mount and 90mm filter thread, full-frame 24x36mm coverage and "velvet-black" or "silver magic" finish.
Panasonic UK has launched a number of Lumix G promotions to offer consumers some considerable savings and free products. The company is offering a free battery and battery grip worth £300 when you purchase a DMC-GH4. Those who opt for the GH3 instead can redeem a free battery grip, battery and Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH lens. If you are interested in the rangefinder-styled GX7 (pictured), you can either buy it with the 20mm "pancake" lens and pick up a 12-32mm zoom, or purchase the camera in a kit with the 14-42mm zoom and redeem a 20mm lens. Finally, for those looking to purchase the tiny GM1, Panasonic is offering consumers £80/€100 cashback. The free products and cashback are all claimed via consumer redemption to Panasonic UK until 2nd June.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Lensbaby has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its LM-10 Sweet Spot Lens for the Apple iPhone. As Lensbaby's first add-on lens designed specifically for mobile devices, the Lensbaby LM-10 Sweet Spot Lens will be compatible with the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, and 5c models. The new optic lets iPhoneographers pick a single spot of sharp focus within the frame, and allow the rest of the image to be dominated by gradually increasing blur. “Our customers have long been requesting a Lensbaby for their mobile devices,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer. “A lens in the mobile phone market is a bit of a departure for us, hence a Kickstarter campaign. This is the first of many mobile products we have in development, and we wanted confirmation from our customers that they really do want an optical way to create a sweet spot of focus in their iPhoneography.”
Canon's new Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens has been optimised for 4K resolution, and featres a removable Digital Drive Unit for shoulder mounted operation. Available in EF- and PL-mount versions, the Canon Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens sportsa three-group inner focus system to help minimize focus breathing and provide a stable angle of view, an 11-blade iris diaphragm, support for matte boxes, follow focus and other accessories.Compliance with industry-standard camera-to-lens communication protocols helps ensure its compatibility with multiple brands and models of video cameras. When used with a Canon EOS digital SLR, lens data - including aperture setting - are displayed in the camera's viewfinder, as well as recorded in the video file as metadata along with the model name of the lens and focal length setting. The Canon Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens is expected to be available in August 2014 for a suggested list price of $33,000.
Canon today announced a portable HD zoom lens with a built-in 2x extender. Designed with broadcast news gathering in mind, the HJ18ex7.6B lens has a focal range of 7.6mm to 137mm and a minimum object distance of 0.56m. A new design for the Digital Drive Unit provides additional advantages including a more comfortable hand grip, simple display-based operations for improved operability, greater digital precision for integration with virtual studio systems, and reduced power consumption. The Canon HJ18ex7.6B portable HD zoom lens is expected to be available in July 2014 for a suggested retail price of $20,700.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Samsung UK has today announced a major trade-up promotion across selected models of its Smart camera and NX lens range. Running until 31 at participating retailers both in-store and online, the promotion enables anyone that purchases a new Samsung camera or lens included within the offer and trades in their old digital camera (in working condition) to claim up to £200/€240. To claim the reward, all people need to do is buy a qualifying Samsung camera or lens from an eligible retailer, either in-store or online, and fill out an online claim form on Samsung.com within 14 days of making the purchase. They will then receive a pre-paid postage label within two days via email. Customers in the Republic of Ireland will be emailed the freepost address to send back their camera. Once this has arrived, they must simply pack and return their old digital camera within 30 days of purchase. Qualifying claims will then be fulfilled via direct bank transfer.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Zeiss will launch the Compact Zoom CZ.2 15-30/T2.9 at this year’s NAB Show. Offering full-frame coverage, the CZ.2 15-30/T2.9 complements the manufacturer's already available CZ.2 28-80/T2.9 and CZ.2 70-200/T2.9 lenses. It does not only offer extreme angles of view, but also fulfills all the requirements for motion picture zooms, the company says. The Zeiss Compact Zoom CZ.2 15-30/T2.9 lens will be available from August for €17,900 / $23,900.
The Arri / Zeiss Master Anamorphic MA 135/T1.9 is the 7th cine lens that completes the successful Master Anamorphic family. The lens, which will be exhibited at the NAB 2014 show hled in Los Angeles from 5-10 April 2014, offers a perfect combination of compact size, minimal weight, very high speed and exceptional optical quality. In addition to showing their latest cine lenses, Zeiss are bringing two experienced DoPs to the NAB show to serve as application specialists: August Bradley from the US and Den Lennie from the UK. Visitors are welcome to pose their questions and share their experiences with them, whether those experiences concern Zeiss lenses, the photography business in general, or how to gain a foothold in the film industry.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Zeiss has posted a firmware update for two of its X-mount Touit lenses (Touit 1.8/32 and Touit 2.8/12). Version 1.03 adds support for "higher camera auto focus speeds" and adds compatibility with the ‘Phase Detection AF’ function. You can download the firmware upgrade from the website below.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Panasonic has unveiled a new Micro Four Thirds lens, called the Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH. Equivalent to a 30mm lens on a 35mm camera, the new Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Asph. features 9 elements in 7 groups, including 3 aspherical elements. Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating technology is adopted to minimise reflections. The lens will be available separately for £549.99, or in a kit with the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 compact system camera, priced at £999.99. Availability is slated for June.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
In our second Saturday Spotlight feature, we take a look at using Canon EF lenses on the Sony A7 / A7R compact system cameras - yes, it really is possible...
Friday, March 21, 2014
Samyang have announced a new, wide-angle 12mm lens designed for compact system cameras with APS-C sized (or smaller) sensors. This is a rectilinear, manual-focus lens with a diagonal angle of view of 98.9° (when mounted on a camera with an APS-C sized imager) and an optical formula that comprises a dozen elements arranged in ten groups. These include 1 aspherical, 1 hybrid aspherical and 3 extra-low dispersion lens elements. Nano-crystal anti-reflective coating is applied to the elements to improve contrast, reduce reflections and enhance light transmission. The product comes with a removable lens hood and 67 mm filter mount. Availability and pricing have yet to be confirmed.
Samyang has announced the new Samyang 8mm T3.1 UMC Fish-eye II V-DSLR lens. Also sold under the Rokinon brand name, the Samyang 8mm T3.1 UMC Fish-eye II is an updated, faster version of the Samyang 8mm T3.8 UMC Fish-eye CS II. The new lens features 11 elements in 8 groups (as opposed to 10 in 7 in the older version) courtesy of an extra aspherical lens element; and is available in Canon M, Fujifilm X, Samsung NX and Sony E mounts.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Want to see exactly what the new Kodak S-1 compact system camera looks like in the flesh?
Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Kodak S-1 compact system camera, including the black and white versions and the three new lenses (12-45mm, 42.5-160mm and 400mm fieldscope).