Wednesday, September 19, 2012
German accessories manufacturer Novoflex has introduced a newly designed tilt- and shift bellows system for compact system cameras. Comprising the Castbal-T/S bellows attachment (€299) and the Castel-Q macro focussing rack, the new system is claimed to offer “an easy and inexpensive way to dive even deeper into macro photography and perspectives control.” The bellows attachment is simply put into the quick release mount of the Castel-Q and is ready for use. For perspective control purposes the lens panel of the Castbal-T/S can be adjusted 25° to the left or right side. For focus control it can be shifted within the quick release mount of the focusing rack. (The amount of shift/rise/fall achievable with the system is unspecified.) The system is compatible with a wide variety of Novoflex adapters. Additionally, a Schneider Kreuznach UNI-APO-DIGI 90mm f/4.5 lens is offered as an optional accessory for €759.
At Photokina 2012, Schneider Kreuznach has presented its first filter designed specifically for lenses on mobile devices. The B+W Smart-Pro is a circular polarising filter that can be mounted on all current iPhones and iPads as well as other smartphones and tablet PCs with a maximum lens diameter of 8mm. The filter system is “clicked” onto a small magnetic ring that is first fitted around the lens on the smartphone or tablet. The filter can then be attached and aligned quickly and easily as required. The B+W Smart-Pro will be available from winter 2012, with pricing to be confirmed.
Click through / scroll down for a video demonstration.
Carl Zeiss has introduced a new family of autofocus lenses for compact system cameras (CSCs). Initially comprising a 12mm f/2.8, a 32mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/2.8 macro lens - equivalent to 18mm, 48mm and 75mm respectively -, this new range of Zeiss AF lenses will be available for Sony E-bayonet (Sony NEX cameras) and for Fujifilm X-bayonet (Fujifilm X cameras). The X-mount lenses will come equipped with manual aperture rings. Zeiss says it uses several “different types of glass” for the lens elements and “a mix of materials” - which include, but are not limited to, metals - for the mechanical parts. Exact pricing for the Carl Zeiss CSC lenses has yet to be communicated but the company says they will be “around the €1,000 mark” each.
Source: Carl Zeiss Camera Lens Blog
Google has acquired Nik Software, a company noted for its U-point technology, various Photoshop plug-ins and Snapseed, a mobile and desktop image editing & sharing application for iOS, Mac and Windows. Nik Software has earned many accolades for its products - including Apple’s iPad App of the Year 2011 for Snapseed and our own Software of the Year 2011 award for Silver Efex Pro 2 - but the main drive behind Google’s move was probably the financial success of Snapseed, which has attracted a large following despite being a paid application. Further details of the deal have not been disclosed.
We spent a little time yesterday shooting with the new Olympus E-PL5 compact system camera
Here are 42 full-size sample JPEG photos and a movie taken with the E-PL5, using the standard 14-42mm lens and the new 60mm macro lens, including the full ISO range.
We spent a little time yesterday shooting with the new Olympus E-PM2 compact system camera
Here are 32 full-size sample JPEG photos and a movie taken with the E-PM2, using the standard 14-42mm lens and including the full ISO range.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Day One of the Photokina 2012 trade show has turned out to be just as busy as Day Zero, so once again don’t blame yourself if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, wondering if you’ve read everything that may be of interest to you. In order to help you find your way around all the announcements, hands-on previews and sample galleries, we have collected all the relevant info on one page, with links to the detailed articles.
Schneider Kreuznach has announced four new SLR lenses, including two Xenons, a Makro-Symmar and a Super-Angulon tilt-shift lens. The Xenon 35mm f/1.4 and Xenon 50mm f/1.4 are the fastest lenses in the line-up, while the Makro-Symmar 85mm f/2.4 provides outstanding resolving power to match the resolution of 30+ megapixel image sensors. The Super-Angulon 28mm f/4.5 Aspheric tilt-shift lens (pictured) offers 12mm of shift and 8 degrees of tilt, and an oversized image circle with a diameter of 72mm. According to the company, “[t]he advanced technology of the mechanics allows for movements independent of each other without degrading the image quality in resolution or in distortion which makes extreme displacements possible up to the edge of the coverage.” All lenses are available with bayonet mounts for Canon EOS, Nikon F, Sony Alpha and Pentax K series SLR cameras.
Schneider Kreuznach has unveiled a new range of lenses especially for video applications with full-format single-lens reflex cameras. The new series includes three fixed focal lengths: T2.1/75mm, T2.1/50mm and T2.1/25mm. The main feature of this new series is the precise manual focus ring, which means that the lenses can be used with professional accessories such as follow focus mechanisms. As with all Schneider-Kreuznach lenses, they are robust enough to withstand intensive daily use without any problems. All lenses are available with Canon or Nikon mount.
Want to see exactly what the new Panasonic Lumix GH3 compact system camera looks like in the flesh? We have compiled a hands-on gallery for your perusal. Updated and expanded!
Want to see exactly what the new Samsung NX lenses look like in the flesh? We have compiled a hands-on gallery for your perusal.
The Samsung 12-24mm wide-angle will be launched in October for £479, and the 45mm macro f1.8 in 2012 at £229, bringing the range of Samsung NX system lenses up to 11 in total. Both the NX 12-24mm and 45mm have Samsung’s unique i-Function control and will only be available in black.
Want to see exactly what the new, raw-capable Casio Exilim ZR1000 digital travel-zoom camera looks like in the flesh? We have compiled a hands-on gallery for your perusal.
Want to see exactly what the new Casio Exilim EX-H50 digital travel-zoom camera looks like in the flesh? We have compiled a hands-on gallery for your perusal.
At Photokina 2012, Panasonic are showcasing mock-ups of their 43mm f/1.2 and 150mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses, which they plan to launch sometime in 2013 or 2014. They are on display behind glass in a rather poorly-lit area of the Panasonic booth.
Schneider Kreuznach has introduced its first-ever lenses designed for the Micro Four Thirds system. The first lens in the series, the 28mm equivalent Super-Angulon 14mm f/2 wide-angle lens, will be available by the third quarter of 2013. In the fourth quarter, it will be followed by the Xenon 30mm f/1.4 “universal” prime and the Makro-Symmar 60mm f/2.4 macro lens. The Super-Angulon 14mm f/2 features 10 elements with 4 aspherical surfaces, the Xenon 30mm f/1.4 has 7 elements with 1 aspherical surface, while the Makro-Symmar is an 8-element lens. Unusually for Schneider Kreuznach, these lenses will offer auto focus capabilities as well as diaphragm control via the camera body. Pricing and exact availability to be confirmed.
The Casio EX-ZR1000 is the new, raw-capable flagship model in the manufacturer’s High Speed Exilim line-up, featuring a 24-300mm equivalent lens and newly designed user interface that includes a function ring and a hinged rear display. Powered by the Exilim Engine HS, the Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000 boasts performance indicators such as a start-up time of 0.99 second, auto focus lag of 0.15 second and a minimum shot-to-shot time of 0.26 second. Users can operate a Step Zoom with nine settings in addition to the regular zoom by rotating the function ring mounted around the lens. The function ring also allows them to set the exposure value (EV) shift, shutter speed, manual focus, and white balance. The maximum continuous shooting speed of the EX-ZR1000 camera is 30fps (up to 6fps with auto focus). A fixed-focus “snapshot” mode allows users to take “decisive-moment” photographs with no focus lag at all. Pricing has yet to be announced.
The Casio Exilim EX-H50 is a new, sixteen-megapixel travelzoom camera with 24x optical zoom and CCD-shift image stabilisation. This high-zoom, compact digital camera features a wide-angle 25-600mm equivalent zoom lens and a wide-screen 3.0-inch monitor, all packed into a slim body that fits easily in the hand. The new camera also comes with a silent mode, which instantly changes the camera’s settings to avoid disturbing others nearby. This includes silencing all sounds, disabling the flash, and deactivating the self-timer and AF Assist Lamp. The silent mode is especially helpful when taking pictures in places like museums, aquariums, and restaurants. The Casio Exilim EX-H50 is available in three colours: black, white and red. Pricing has yet to be communicated.
Canon Japan has posted a number of full-resolution sample images and two sample videos shot with the new Canon EOS 6D full-frame digital SLR camera. There are eight photos in total, although half of them - mostly the high-ISO ones - are currently marked as “coming soon.” In addition to the full-resolution stills, there are two reduced-resolution (960x640-pixel) sample movies. One of them is entitled “Deep Green,” while the other is an accompanying “behind-the-scenes” video also shot on the Canon 6D. There are two more movies on the page, currently marked as “coming soon.” You can download the Canon EOS 6D sample photos from, and watch the sample videos on the website below.
Want to see exactly what the new Spark from Lensbaby looks like in the flesh? We have compiled a hands-on gallery for your perusal.
The Lensbaby Spark is a more affordable return to the company’s roots, costing £79 in the UK and $80 in the US. It’s also much easier to use for beginners than the more expensive Lensbaby models because it can’t be moved outside the field of view of an APS-C sensor. With a constant f/5.6 aperture, 50mm focal length and manual focusing, we think the cheap and very cheerful Lensbaby Spark will find a place in quite a lot of stockings come Christmas…
Lensbaby has released the Lensbaby Spark, a new selective-focus lens geared toward young photo enthusiasts who are “looking for a creative spark to help break out of the box of traditional photography.” Like most other Lensbabies, the Spark is a manual-focus lens with a sweet spot of focus that users can move around the frame by bending the lens. Unlike its more expensive stablemates, the $80 Lensbaby Spark doesnt’t come with interchangeable aperture disks but makes do with a fixed f/5.6 aperture - meaning the size of the sweet spot cannot be controlled, and depth of field is dependent solely on camera-to-subject distance. It also lacks the Lensbaby Composer’s convenient focus ring - photographers squeeze to focus, and tilt to move the sweet spot around the image. The Spark is available now.