Category: Lenses

Monday, January 12, 2015

Samyang 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The Samyang 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC is a new full-frame telephoto lens for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Pentax and Olympus/Panasonic cameras. Featuring one extra-low-dispersion (ED) element, ultra-multi-coating, an iris diaphragm with nine rounded aperture blades, and a 77mm filter thread; the Samyang 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC has a close-focus point of 2.6 feet and an angle of view of 18.8 degrees (11.7° on APS-C, 9.4° on Micro Four Thirds). The new lens can be preordered now for $549. In the UK, the Samyang 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC will be available in early February, priced at £419.99 for Nikon AE and£389.99 for Canon, Sony A, Pentax and Sony E fittings.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR DSLR lens looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR DSLR lens, including a side-by-side comparison with the previous model.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II Hands-on Photos

Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Want to see exactly what the new Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II DSLR lens looks like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II DSLR lens.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lens of the Year 2014

Mark Goldstein | Lenses, PhotographyBLOG
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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 2014.

The Lens of the Year 2014 award goes to the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R.

“The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R is a superb addition to the X-series range, offering a classic portraiture focal length and an ultra-fast aperture that produces simply beautiful background bokeh with a minimum of fuss.”

Read the Full Review

Congratulations to Fujifilm and the XF 56mm F1.2 R!

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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The AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR from Nikon is billed as the world's lightest 300mm full-frame fixed-focal-length AF lens. Almost 30% shorter and 1.5 lbs. lighter than its predecessor, the new 300mm f/4E PF boasts Phase Fresnel optical technology to  help correct chromatic aberration and reduce the overall size and weight of the lens. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR features electromagnetic aperture control - hence the E designation in the product name - a VR Sport mode, VR tripod detection as well as a Silent Wave Motor for quiet AF operation, ED glass for further controlling chromatic aberrations and Nano Crystal Coat for superior image quality. The optical formula comprises 16 elements in 10 groups and a 9-bladed iris diaphragm. The lens takes 77mm filters and offers a minimum focus distance of 1.4m.  The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR will be available in late January / early February for £1639.99 / $1,999.99.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Compact and lightweight, the new retractable-design AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II telezoom presents an affordable way to get closer to the action. The optical formula comprises 13 elements in 9 groups - including one extra-low dispersion (ED) glass element -, with Super Integrated Coating and a 7-bladed iris diaphragm. The lens takes standard 52mm filters and has a minimum focus distance of 1.1m.  The AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II will be available from 5th February, priced at £279.99 / $349.95.

Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera, Lenses
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The Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR is a weather-resistant zoom lens with a constant aperture of F2.8 across the focal lengths equivalent to 24mm at wide-angle through to 84mm at medium-telephoto.

The Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR lens will be available in the UK from February 2015 with a Suggested Retail Price of £899.99.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ricoh Showcases 4 DSLR Products at CES 2015

Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Ricoh is exhibiting four digital SLR camera reference products at the 2015 International CES, including a new APS-C DSLR camera.

Venus 60mm f/2.8 Ultra-Macro Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Venus Optics have launched the Venus 60mm f/2.8 Ultra-Macro lens, which is billed as the World's first 2:1-magnification lens with infinity focus. Users can easily adjust the reproduction ratio from 1:10 to 2:1 without installing any extension tubes. The optical construction features 9 lens elements in 7 groups and an aperture diaphragm with 14 rounded blades. The Venus 60mm f/2.8 Macro is available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony fit, at a recommended retail price of $379.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fujifilm X-T1 Globe-Trotter Case and Day Bag

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To celebrate the release of the Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver edition (read review), Fujifilm and Globe-Trotter have joined forces to create an exclusive mirrorless camera kit. Handcrafted at the Globe-Trotter workshop in Hertfordshire, England, each bespoke, 21’’ Trolley Case features a Fujifilm X-T1 camera body in Graphite Silver, a range of hand-picked Fujinon optics, dedicated accessories and an engraved Apple iPad Air 2 16GB. The set also includes a unique handmade Day Bag, featuring leather straps, plush internal dividers to protect the X-T1 and its accompanying lenses, beautifully embossed with the iconic Globe-Trotter logo. The limited edition run of 10 handmade travel cases is available exclusively at Harrods from Saturday 20th December 2014.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lensbaby Circular Fisheye Lens Now Available in New Mounts

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Lensbaby has released new versions of its 5.8mm Circular Fisheye lens. The company now offers the product in Sony A and E, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, Pentax K, Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. This all-manual lens has built-in aperture control ranging from f/3.5-22 and can focus from 1/4" in front of the lens to infinity. Thanks to its 185° angle of view, the Lensbaby Circular Fisheye lens can "look" slightly behind itself. Available now, the lens retails for $299.95.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ricoh Announces Interest-Free Credit on the Pentax 645Z

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses
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Ricoh Imaging Europe has announced details of its new interest-free credit offer on the Pentax 645Z camera and Pentax medium-format lenses. The offer is valid from now until 10 January 2015, and you can claim 12 months interest free credit when you spend a minimum of £5,000 on lenses, 18 months credit when you shell out at least £10,000, or 24 months if you spend a minimum of £15,000 on the Pentax 645Z and lenses. These offers are available exclusively at Park Cameras, Clifton Cameras, Calumet Photo and The Flash Centre (20% deposit required).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Sony has announced a new version of its A-mount 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM lens. The new Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II (SAL70300G2) promises approximately four times faster dynamic subject tracking performance, and boasts Nano Anti Reflex coating to eliminate flare and ghosts. The lens also features a dust & drip-proof construction and a close-focus point of 1.2m with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4. The optical formula comprises 16 elements in 11 groups, and a 9-bladed aperture diaphragm. The Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II lens will be available in February 2015, priced at 142,000 yen (£765) in Japan.

Website: Sony Japan

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Official Canon EF 100-400mm Mark II Samples

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon China has posted six high-resolution sample images taken with the new Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. This super-telephoto zoom lens from Canon boasts a completely redesigned optical formula containing one Fluorite and one Super UD lens element - a combination unique to lenses in this focal range - to help deliver sharp images with high resolution and contrast. For photographers who want to work as closely as possible to their subjects, the minimum focusing distance of the lens has been reduced to just 3.2 ft. (0.98m), resulting in a maximum magnification of 0.31x. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens is scheduled to be available in December 2014 for an estimated retail price of £1,999.99 / €2,499.99 / $2,199.99.

Website: Canon China

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Canon has announced the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. This super-telephoto zoom lens features Canon L-series weather resistance and rugged magnesium housing to meet the needs of wildlife and sports photographers or photojournalists working out in the elements. The new Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM boasts a completely redesigned optical formula containing one Fluorite and one Super UD lens element - a combination unique to lenses in this focal range - to help deliver sharp images with high resolution and contrast. For photographers who want to work as closely as possible to their subjects, the minimum focusing distance of the lens has been reduced to just 3.2 ft. (0.98m), resulting in a maximum magnification of 0.31x. The original EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM was known for its push-pull zoom adjustment, but the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM uses a much more conveniet rotation-type zoom ring. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens is scheduled to be available in December 2014 for an estimated retail price of £1,999.99 / €2,499.99 / $2,199.99.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rokinon 12mm T3.1 ED AS IF NCS UMC Cine DS Fish-eye Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Rokinon (Samyang) have announced a Cine version of their new 12mm Fish-eye lens. Boasting a maximum aperture of T3.1, the Rokinon 12mm T3.1 ED AS IF NCS UMC Cine DS Fish-eye features geared focus and aperture rings, a stepless diaphragm and an optical construction comprising 12 lens elements in 8 groups. As befits a cinematography lens, the focus, aperture and depth-of-field markings are engraved on the side of the lens barrel to aid focus pullers who typically operate on the side of the camera. The Rokinon/Samyang 12mm T3.1 ED AS IF NCS UMC Cine DS Fish-eye lens is now available to pre-order for $549 in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony (A and E) mounts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6ED DC WR

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Ricoh has announced the launch of the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens for Pentax K-mount digital SLR cameras. With a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24.5-130mm, the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm f/F3.5-5.6ED DC WR features the PENTAX-exclusive HD coating to deliver sharp, clear images even in difficult  lighting conditions, an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical element to effectively compensate for chromatic aberrations; and aspherical optical elements to minimise colour bleeding. The lens is equipped with the Pentax-developed Quick-Shift Focus system, which allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system. The optical construction comprises 16 elements in 12 groups and a rounded diaphragm to produce a smooth bokeh. The lens features a weather-resistant construction with eight special seals to effectively prevent the intrusion of water into the lens interior. Available from the end of next month, the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR will sell for RRP of £599.99.

Canon Winter Cashback

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Canon UK has just launched its winter cashback offer, which enables you to receive up to £80 cashback on a selected range of Canon products including DSLRs, lenses, compact cameras, camcorders and printers. The offer runs from 29st October 2014 to 21st January 2015 for eligible products purchased from UK or Republic of Ireland retailers. Click through / scroll down for a list of all eligible cameras, lenses, printers and accessories.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tamron Produces 5 Millionth High-power Zoom Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Tamron announced that it had produced a total of 5 million high-power zoom lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras as of September 30, 2014. Ever since Tamron released the AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical, the company has continued to develop innovative high-power zoom lenses, supporting digital SLR cameras, incorporating VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanisms, and implementing the PZD (Piezo Drive) ultrasonic motor. At present, Tamron has a wide lineup of high-power zoom lenses supporting various camera formats. In particular, during 2014, the company has released the 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO (Model B016) for APS-C sized digital SLR cameras with a world-first*2 18.8x zoom, the 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD (Model A010) supporting full-frame digital SLR cameras, and the 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III (Model C001) for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Zhongyi Mitakon 42.5mm f/1.2 and 24mm f/1.7 Sample Images

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Shenyang Zhongyi Optics have released several high-resolution sample photos and a sample video captured using their new 42.5mm f/1.2 & 24mm f/1.7 lenses. Taken with a Panasonic DMC-GH4 & a Sony A7 (the latter in cropped mode), these official samples were shot at the company's Photokina booth. The company has also announced that the launch of the E and X-mount variants of the Zhongyi Mitakon 42.5mm f/1.2 has been postponed due to a "production issue" but the Micro Four Thirds version will go on sale later this month. The Mitakon 24mm f/1.7 will be available in all three mounts in late October.