Thursday, April 16, 2015
Zhongyi Optics have announced the full-frame Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2, an ultra-bright short telephoto lens ideal for portraiture. Available in Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony FE mounts (with the Sony A and Pentax K editions coming later this year), the Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2 has a circular aperture with 11 diaphragm blades, and incorporates 9 elements in 6 groups, including 2 extra-low-dispersion elements and 4 high-refractive-index elements. "Manual focus design and a click-less, silent aperture ring promote smooth handling and are especially well-suited to video applications," the company says. The lens weighs 921 grams, takes 77mm filters, and focuses down to 1m. The Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2 is available for $799.
Nikon has posted a service advisory concerning the Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR telephoto lens. The company has confirmed that when the lens is used with the D800, D800E or D810 cameras, images captured at shutter speeds of around 1/125 s with the VR (NORMAL or SPORT) function enabled sometimes exhibit noticeable blur. To reduce the occurrence of this, Nikon will offer a service for updating the lens firmware. D800, D800E and D810 users who are concerned about this issue may take or send their lens to an Nikon Service Centre, where their lens firmware will be updated free of charge. Note that firmware for lenses with a serial number of 205101 or later have already been updated.
Fujifilm officially announced the availability of the Fujinon XF16mm f/1.4 R WR (Weather Resistant) lens, which first appeared on the X-mount lens roadmap in July 2014. Equivalent to a 24mm lens in a 35mm system, the Fujinon XF16mm f/1.4 R WR features 13 lens elements in 11 groups, including two ED and two aspherical elements, and an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades. The lens itself will be available from mid-May, priced at £729.99. A premium-quality metal lens hood (LH-X16, optional) will be released in September.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Canon USA has reduced the MSRPs of over 30 EF lenses and teleconverters. "It’s a great time to expand your creative reach, because we’ve just made 33 of our high-performance EF lenses more affordable," the company says. "With an exciting selection of our best lenses to choose from, the right lens at the right new price awaits!" Click through / scroll down to see the updated price list.
Zhongyi Optics have launched a teaser campaign for a new SLR lens. The soon-to-be-released lens will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A and Pentax K mounts and will be officially announced in the coming days. Via its Facebook fan page, the company said that the new product has similar specifications to a Canon lens that is currently available from B&H for $2,099. This description fits the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM and 14mm f/2.8L II USM lenses, so we expect that the new Zhongyi Mitakon will be eaither a bright, short telephoto lens or an ultra-wide prime.
Lensbaby has announced the UK RRPs of the Velvet 56, a new 56mm lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 and maximum aperture of f/1.6. Boasting an all-metal construction, the Lensbaby Velvet 56 is available in two colours, black and silver. The black version sells for £419 and the silver edition (pictured) retails for £499.
Friday, April 10, 2015
The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) member magazines recently convened for their General Assembly to vote for the best photo and imaging products launched by the industry in the last 12 months. Among the winners are the Canon EOS 7D Mark II (Best Digital SLR Expert), the Fujifilm X100T (Best Premium Camera), the Fujifilm X30 (Best Expert Compact Camera), the Leica T (Best Design), the Lytro Illum (Best Imaging Innovation), the Nikon Coolpix P610 (Best Superzoom Camera), the Nikon D5500 (Best Digital SLR Entry Level), the Nikon D810 (Best Digital SLR Professional), the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark ll (Best CSC Expert), the Panasonic LX100 (Best Photo/Video Camera Expert), the Panasonic FT6 (Best Rugged Camera), the Panasonic GM5 (Best CSC Advanced), the Pentax 645Z (Best Medium Format Camera), the Pentax K-2 (Best Digital SLR Advanced), the Ricoh WG-M1 (Best ActionCam, pictured), the Samsung NX1 (Best CSC Professional), the Sony A5100 (Best CSC Entry Level) and the Sony A7S (Best Photo/Video Camera Professional).
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Lensbaby today announced the Velvet 56, a new 56mm lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 and maximum aperture of f/1.6. According to the company this lens "delivers a velvety, glowing, ethereal look at brighter apertures, and beautifully sharp but subtly unique images as you stop down." Velvet 56 enables photographers to move seamlessly from shooting an environmental portrait to capturing details in a subject's clothing or jewelry. Nature and macro photographers will also find it highly usable thanks to its excellent close-up capabilities. Boasting an all-metal construction, the Lensbaby Velvet 56 will be available in two colours, black and silver. As seen in the photo above, the silver edition features a clear-anodised finish with engraved aperture and focus markings. Velvet 56 retails for $499.95 (black variant) and $599.95 (silver edition). The lenses will be available in Canon, Nikon, Sony A and Pentax mounts beginning13th April at lensbaby.com, B&H, Adorama, and from select specialty photo stores worldwide. Mirrorless mounts including Micro 4/3rds, Sony E, Samsung NX and Fuji X will be available in early May. Click through / scroll down for a gallery of web-resolution sample images taken by Caroline Jensen, Pauline Putt, Rachel Schomsky and Victoria Hederer Bell.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Samyang has revealed a new full-frame telemacro lens. The Samyang 100mm f:2.8 ED UMC Macro is a manual focus lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1 and a working distance of 307mm. The optical construction comprises 15 elements in 12 groups including a high refractive index (HR) lens and extra low dispersion element (ED) to minimise colour aberration and unnecessary light dispersion in order to offer high resolution throughout the frame. The company's Ultra Multi Coating (UMC) and the included petal shaped hoodminimises ghosting and flare. The Samyang 100mm f:2.8 ED UMC Macro lens has a nearly circular, nine-bladed iris diaphragm for a pleasing bokeh. The lens will be available in 10 camera mounts: Canon EOS, Nikon AE, Pentax K, Sony A, Canon M, Fujifilm X, Samsung NX, Sony E, Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Samyang has posted a mysterious picture on its Facebook fan page, accompanied by the words, "With immense focus and unparalleled features, Samyang Optics will introduce the latest product. Stay tuned." Reprinted above, the image depicts what looks like a new telephoto or standard zoom lens featuring both a focus ring and a zoom ring, as well as a lens hood.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Sony are showcasing the new FE 28mm F2, FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS, Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA at this year's Photography Show. We grabbed some hands-on shots of the three new lenses (there wasn't a 90mm sample) and the two convertor lenses for the 28mm lens that were also recently announced.
Panasonic are showing samples of the brand new Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 and 30mm f/2.8 Macro lenses to the press at The Photography Show. The Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 in particular has to be seen to be believed - it really is a tiny prime lens that's perfectly matched to the GM-series of cameras.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
The new Zeiss Education Programme is targeted to US-based students, educators, plus accredited institutions and workshops teaching photography and film-making. Developed in response to numerous requests especially from students, the Zeiss Education Programme is a purchase incentive plan that enables pre-approved students, accredited schools and photo educators to purchase Zeiss camera lenses at a fixed, discounted price. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a certificate that entitles you for the student discount. The discount can be claimed with an authorised Zeiss dealer.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
UK Optics have been nominated as the exclusive UK distributors of lenses manufactured by Venus Optics including their new brand Laowa (formerly branded Venus). This includes the recently announced Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Macro 2:1 lens. End users will be able to purchase the Laowa 60mm Macro lens direct from the UK in a range of mounts including Canon, Nikon, Sony A and Pentax. The suggested retail price is £299. The 60mm f/2.8 Macro will be available to view and try at the forthcoming Photography Show 2015, 21st-24th March on stand F134. For more information, visit the website below.
Website: UK Optics
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Sony today announced the launch of the four full-frame E-mount lenses that were first shown at Photokina 2014. These include the Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS ($1100), FE 28mm F2 ($450), FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS ($1000) and Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA ($1600). In addition, the company has unveiled the SEL057FEC Dedicated Fisheye Converter ($300) and SEL075UWC Ultra-wide Converter ($250) for full-frame cameras, plus the VCL-ECU2/VCL-ECF2 Ultra Wide & Fisheye converters ($160/$180) for E-mount cameras with APS-C sensors. Click through / read on for the details.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Sigma UK today revealed the recommended retail prices and availability of their 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art and 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C lenses. The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A lens will have an RRP of £799.99 and be available in March in Canon and Sigma fit, with the Nikon version arriving in April. The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C lens will have an RRP of £1,199.99, becoming available in March in Sigma mount. The Canon variant will go on sale in April, with the Nikon version being launched in May.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Panasonic has unveiled two new Micro Four Thirds lenses. The Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 Power O.I.S. is an 85mm equivalent short telephoto lens with optical image stabilisation and 240fps Drive Auto Focus. The lens will become available in May in black and silver versions. The Panasonic Lumix G 30mm f/2.8 Macro Mega O.I.S. (pictured), whose development was announced back in 2014, is a stabilised macro lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1. This lens will also go on sale in May. Pricing - for both lenses - has yet to be communicated.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Schneider Kreuznach has announced the launch of the Xenon Full Frame Prime lenses in the United Kingdom. Each Schneider Kreuznach Xenon full-frame prime lens features an M95 filter thread, a focus ring with a 300° angle of rotation, robust cine-style lens mechanics, a maximum aperture of T2.1, a circular aperture with 14 diaphragm blades and an exchangeable bayonet interface. The Xenon FF-Prime lens family will eventually include an 18mm T2.4, 25mm T2.1, 35mm T2.1, 50mm T2.1, and 100mm T2.1 focal lengths.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Ricoh has unveiled updated versions of its lens roadmaps for Pentax K, Q and 645 medium-format optics. For K-mount cameras, the company is planning to release a DA wide zoom, a D-FA large-diameter standard zoom, another D-FA standard zoom and a D-FA large-diameter wide zoom this year (or later). For the Pentax Q series, Ricoh will introduce a telemacro lens, and the line-up of Pentax 645 lenses will be expanded with a standard zoom and a telezoom. The actual focal ranges of these zooms have not been specified, but from the charts it looks like the DA wide zoom might be a 14-35mm, the D-FA arge-diameter zoom is likely to be a 24-70mm, the D-FA standard zoom could be a 28-100mm, and the D-FA large-diameter wide zoom may be a 18-36mm. The Q-mount telemacro lens could be anywhere between 85mm and 105mm, whereas the Pentax 645 series standard zoom and telezoom lenses appear to be 45-85mm and 95-180mm, respectively.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
The FUJIFILM Xseries Japan Facebook page has published a photo of all the new XF lenses. Shown in the image are the XF 16mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2, 90mm f/2, 120mm f/2.8 Macro, 100-400m (apertures tbc), and the 1.4x tele-convertor. The photo confirms that the 16mm, 35mm and 120mm lenses will all be weather-resistant (but not the 90mm).