We recently published a look at the Lomography Petzval lens, a modern version of a 19th century portrait lens. It's a niche product and not something we typically cover, but an interesting adaptation of a classic design. Roger Cicala and the team at LensRentals went one step further - when a couple of copies rolled through the door, they subjected the lens to their usual optics tests. Why? Well, because why not?
Stories tagged with lens
Canon UK has announced the EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM, a compact telephoto zoom for the EOS M mirrorless system. Canon claims the new lens offers high-end optical performance, a 'near-silent' stepping motor and a 3.5-stop optical image stabilization system. Providing an 88-320mm equivalent range on the EOS M, it's the fourth lens in the series, priced at €389.99/£329.99 with availability (at least in Europe) in July.
Phase One has announced a new leaf shutter lens for its 645 camera platform. The new Schneider Kreuznach 40-80mm LS f/4.0-5.6 joins the existing Schneider Kreuznach 75-150mm f/4.0-5.6 leaf shutter zoom lens, and allows for flash synchronization up to 1/1000sec. Supposedly on a par with prime lenses in terms of critical image quality, the new lens is available now for $8990 / €6990. Click through for the press release
When Lensbaby launched the Kickstarter project for its 'Sweet Spot' selective focus lens at the beginning of April it was initially iPhone only. Now the company has added a pledge level for Android users, too. For $50 you can pre-order the Sweet Spot lens and the Android application for your device. Delivery is expected in October. Learn more
We all know the situation just too well. You're out shooting with your DSLR or mirrorless camera when you decide to swap lenses and have no idea where you've put the lens cap for the lens that's mounted on your camera body. Usually it's in the very last place you look for it. In the worst case scenario you never find it at all. Two Canadian designers have a solution to this problem. Learn more
Sigma has released pricing and availability information of its new 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. First announced in January at CES, the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is a completely new lens, rather than a revision of Sigma's existing 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. The lens employs the company's Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) system and has 13 elements in eight groups. It will be available for Sigma, Sony, Nikon, and Canon mounts in late April for $949. The UK RRP will be £849.99. Learn more
Designed by Lomography and manufactured in Russia by Zenit, the Russar+ is an update to the 1958 Russar MR-2 wide-angle lens. The new lens is handmade out of brass and offers a 20mm focal length. It's compatible with L39 and M mount cameras. The lens can also be used on mirrorless systems using adapter mounts. Lomography is taking pre-orders now for $649.00, or £499 in the UK. It is expected to ship in July. Learn more
Nikon has unveiled the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 ED VR (27-450mm equivalent). It doesn't replace the company's existing 18-300mm lens - rather it's 1/3-stop slower at the long end and 30% lighter, weighing 19.4 ounces. The new 18-300mm has Nikon's Vibration Reduction system, which can reduce shake by up to 4 stops. Built with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Nikon's Silent Wave Motor for quieter focusing, the 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 will be available in May for $899.95.
Canon has introduced its new compact XF205 and XF200 professional camcorders aimed at broadcast news and wedding videographers. They come equipped with a wide-angle 26.8 mm (35mm equivalent) 20x optical zoom lens and support two recording formats - MXF, a file format used by broadcast stations, and MP4. The XF205 and XF200 will be available in mid-July for $4,400 and $3,900 respectively. Learn more
Canon has announced its new Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens for shoulder-mounted application or as a traditional cinema lens. It has an ENG-style Digital Drive handgrip with zoom rocker switch and will be available in either PL- or EF-mount. Canon has also launched the HJ18ex7.6B portable HD zoom lens for broadcast news and documentary situations. Learn more
One of the drawbacks of running a company devoted to renting out photographic equipment is that it’s necessary to evaluate and service equipment just about every time it comes back. That’s why the team at LensRentals.com have just purchased and installed a massive and cumbersome looking lens calibration system. In one of the geekier unboxing articles, they show every step of the assembly of the device. Learn more
Zeiss will have its new Compact Zoom CZ.2 15-30mm T2.9 lens on display at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, April 7-10. The new lens fills the wide-angle gap in Zeiss' cine-style zoom lineup, complementing the already available CZ.2 28-80mm T2.9 and CZ.2 70-200mm T2.9 lenses. Also at the show will be a new Arri/Zeiss Master Anamorphic MA 135mm T1.9 lens. Learn more
Nikon has announced two lenses for its 1 system mirrorless cameras, in the shape of a 70-300mm ultra-telephoto zoom and a compact 10-30mm powerzoom. The 1 Nikkor VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 is designed for sports and wildlife shooting, and features optical image stabilisation to counteract camera shake; its SRP is $999.95 / £879.99. Meanwhile the 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom is a compact lens with electronic zoom control that will come in a kit with the 1 V3 camera, or be sold separately with an SRP of $299.95 / £249.99.
Sigma gives us another behind the scenes look at their Aizu, Japan lens factory in a video released during the CP+ trade show. It's an artsy factory tour highlighting the craftsmanship and the process of how their lenses are assembled. They released a similar video during Photokina 2012 and have since gained some popularity with their higher end 35mm F1.4 DG HSM and the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM lenses. See video
SLR Magic has created the Anamorphot 1,33x – 50, an accessory lens for film makers that compresses the image horizontally by a factor of 1.33x. This allows footage to be shot for 2.35:1 widescreen projection using the standard 16:9 aspect ratio that most cameras record, without having to crop vertically and lose resolution. The lens will be available by March 2014 and cost $899.
CES 2014: Fujifilm has announced the XF 56mm F1.2 R, a fast short telephoto 'portrait' lens for its X system mirrorless cameras. With an angle of view equivalent to an 85mm lens on full frame, it uses an internal focus design for fast, silent autofocus. It has an aperture ring, but unlike the company's wide angle primes, no distance or depth of field scales. It'll be available in February, with a suggested retail price of $999.99 / £999.99.
CES 2014: Fujifilm has updated its X-system roadmap for 2014, adding five lenses to its list of upcoming releases. First up is an extended-range zoom, the XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R OIS (28-200mm equivalent). Following this will be two fast zooms, the XF 16-55mm F2.8 R OIS standard zoom, and XF 50-140 F2.8 R OIS (24-83mm and 75-210mm equivalent respectively). All three feature aperture rings and optical stabilisation. They'll be followed by a 'high speed wide angle lens' and 'super telephoto zoom lens' in late 2014 / early 2015.
Tamron has announced that its SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD telephoto zoom will go on sale on December 19th in Japan, and 17th January 2014 in the USA. The lens will feature optical image stabilization and an Ultrasonic Silent Drive autofocus motor, and be compatible with both full frame and APS-C SLRs. It will be available first in Canon mount, with Nikon and Sony versions to follow. Pricing is still to be confirmed.
A lot of equipment passes through our Seattle and London offices, everything from high-end cameras to inexpensive accessories. A lot of it gets reviewed, but we can't cover everything. In this series of short articles, DPReview staff will be highlighting their personal standout products of the year. In part 4, Richard Butler discusses the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM and what it means for APS-C shooters.
Tamron has announced the development of a 150-600mm F5-6.3 zoom lens for full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras. It will feature 20 elements in 13 groups and have a minimum focus distance of 2.7m. Tamron will also include VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) technologies. The lens will be developed for Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts.
Ricoh has announced the HD PENTAX-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 ED, the first zoom lens in its Limited series. It boasts a weather-resistant build (another Limited first) and provides an equivalent focal of length 30.5-61.5mm in 35mm terms when mounted to a Pentax K-mount DSLR body. The lens barrel, hood and cap are all made of aluminum. Click through for the full press release and details.
Ricoh has announced the PENTAX-08 WIDE ZOOM lens for Q-mount interchangeable lens cameras. The F3.7-4 ultra-wide-angle compact provides a focal length of 3.8-5.9mm (when mounted to the Pentax Q7 it provides a 35mm equivalent of 17.5-27mm). The lens is equipped with its own shutter and also comes with a built-in neutral density filter. Click through for the full press release and details.
Fujifilm has updated the firmware for many of its X-system lenses to offer full compatibility with the recently-announced X-E2. The upgrades allow the lenses to work properly with the camera's phase detection AF and, for XF optics, its Lens Modulation Optimizer function. They apply to the 14mm F2.8, 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS, 35mm F1.4, 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 OIS, 60mm F2.4 Macro, and XC 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 OIS lenses. Click through for the download link
Sigma has released updates for its SD1 and SD1 Merrill cameras - as well as for its Photo Pro software - to add support for the recently released 18-35 F1.8 DC HSM lens. On the camera side, the SD1 firmware update improves color in peripheral areas of the image when the aperture is wide open. As for software, Sigma's Photo Pro v5.5.3 is now optimized for Raw (X3F) images taken with the SD1 camera and 18-35 lens.
Buried among all of the cameras announced last week was a new 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens from Sigma. The company has announced pricing and availability for this full-frame 'Art lens', which will be available for Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and Sony mounts (in that order). You'll be able to pick one up for yourself starting next month at a retail price of $899. In the UK, the recommended retail price will be £849.99.
Panasonic quietly announced the development of a Leica DG SUMMILUX 15mm (30mm equiv.) F1.7 lens, which the company says will be an ideal companion to the DMC-GM1 also released today. Details are scarce at this point, but the lens will have a manual aperture ring and will ship sometime next year. Also coming in 2014 are a Leica DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm F1.2 lens, as well as a budget-friendly Lumix G 35-100mm.
Nikon has announced the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G, a premium standard prime for full frame SLRs that's designed to deliver the best possible images, even at maximum aperture. It's highly corrected for coma, meaning that point light sources are rendered correctly right across the frame, and is specifically designed to give an attractive rendition of out-of-focus regions of the image. It can also be used on Nikon's DX format SLRs, on which it will behave like a classic 85mm 'portrait' lens. This all comes with a hefty price tag, though; $1699.95 / £1599.99. It'll be on sale in selected retailers at the end of this month.
Leica has announced the Elmarit-S 45 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens for its medium format S system. With an angle of view equivalent to a 35mm lens on full frame, it offers a classic moderate wide-angle field of view. Like several of the other S lenses it'll be available in two versions, either with or without an in-lens 'Central Shutter' (that allows flash sync at shutter speeds up to 1/1000 sec). At the same time, Leica is offering firmware updates for its S, S2 and S2-P cameras to give 'optimum functionality' with the lens. The Elmarit-S 45 mm f/2.8 ASPH will be in dealers this month at a price of £4650, or £5500 for the CS model.
Mount adapters are incredibly useful for their ability to make lenses from one manufacturer usable with camera bodies from another. But do they have any impact on image quality? LensRentals' Roger Cicala, not one to take manufacturer's claims at face value, investigated. Knowing that slight mis-alignments between a lens and even its native mount can cause softness in images, the added complexity with a lens adapter in the mix seemed likely to cause more problems. His findings are indeed interesting.
Fujifilm has announced the FUJINON XF23mm F1.4 R, a premium fast wideangle lens for its X system mirrorless cameras. It offers the same moderate wideangle view as the fixed-lens X100S, but with an extra stop of brightness. The overall design approach is similar to the company's recent XF14mm F2.8 R, with distance and depth of field scales for manual focusing, and fully optical (rather than digital) correction of distortion. The 23mm F1.4 will be available in October 2013 with an SRP of $899.95 / £849.99. Click through for the full press release.
Canon has released a version of its EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 lens that uses its STM stepping motor. STM lenses are designed for movie recording, with the goal of providing smooth and silent focusing. Unlike its predecessor, the STM version of the 55-250 has internal focusing. You'll be able to pick up the 55-250 STM lens in late September for $350. It's also a safe bet that the 55-250 STM will come bundled with Canon DSLRs in the near future.
Zeiss has posted a blog article that talks about the inception and development of its latest line of lenses, led by the 55mm F1.4 that was first shown at Photokina last year. Titled 'No Compromise', it explains how the company is aiming to meet the demands of the latest high resolution sensors, to satisfy the needs of both professional photographers and ambitious hobbyists. Click through to read more, and the link to the original article.
Alongside the enthusiast-oriented DMC-GX7, Panasonic has announced the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 - the fastest autofocus lens ever created for the Micro Four Thirds system. If you're getting a sense of deja vu that's because Panasonic actually announced this lens already (sort of) at last year's Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, Germany. But what was then a dummy lens behind glass now appears to be a real product, albeit one without any firm availability date or pricing information.
Fujifilm has updated its X-mount lens roadmap to include a 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS lens as part of its more affordable 'XC' series. The 75-350mm equivalent tele-zoom joins the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 XC and the ten existing or announced high-end XF series lenses in Fujifilm's lineup. The company also highlights the three Touit lenses available or planned by Zeiss for the X-mount system. The Fujinon XC50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS appears in the fourth quarter of 2013 on the roadmap.
We've all been there - your friend Carl is over by the fridge, getting some ice, and there you are with an expensive new Carl Zeiss lens, and you're describing it to someone, and Carl keeps saying 'What? What did you say? Do you want ice?' It's confusing. No wonder then that German lens manufacturer Carl Zeiss has decided to officially drop the 'Carl' and will henceforth be known simply as ZEISS. According to the manufacturer's blog, the decision was taken to 'create consistency' across its brand communications. Click through for more details (and no more terrible Carl puns, we promise).
Panasonic has announced the Lumix G 20mm F1.7 II ASPH, a revised version of its classic fast pancake lens for Micro Four Thirds. The H-HS020A, as Panasonic likes to call it, features a metallic exterior and slightly reduced weight, and will come in a choice of silver or black finishes. The optical design appears to be unchanged, with 7 elements in 5 groups including 2 aspheric elements; not a bad thing as its predecessor is one of our favourite lenses. The 20mm F1.7 II will be available in late July at a price of $399/£349.
Just posted: Our review of the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. In the latest of our lens reviews brought to you in partnership with DxOMark, we take a look at Canon's slimline 'pancake' prime for its APS-C and full frame SLRs. It's one of the smallest and cheapest lenses currently on the market, and includes a stepper motor for silent focusing during movie recording. But does its small size and low price result in compromised optics? Read our review to find out.
Another interesting patent has been discovered by Japanese blogger Egami, which shows a new method devised by Canon to adjust the shape of meniscus lens that seems different from the more straightforward method used by competitors. Canon's method uses the same 'electrowetting' principle as existing designs but does so to create a series of pumps, allowing faster and more precise control over the resultant lens.
Sony's RX1 fixed 35mm full frame compact has received the prestigious Camera Grand Prix 2013 title, while Sigma's 35mm F1.4 DG HSM was named lens of the year. The awards, organized by the Japanese Camera Journal Press Club have a history of recognizing what prove to be historically significant cameras. Meanwhile, the Editors Awards were given to the Canon EOS 6D and Sigma's DP Merrill series of compacts.
Panasonic has issued a firmware update for its Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS fast standard zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras (H-HS12035). Version 1.2 improves the stability of the optical image stabilisation during movie recording. It's available to download now from the LUMIX customer support site - click through for the link.
Panasonic has created the Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS, a second-generation 10x zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The lens offers a smaller, lighter, less-expensive alternative to the original G Vario HD 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 ASPH Mega OIS. The latest version features three aspheric and two ED elements and an internal focus design with linear stepper motors to make the most of the faster focus processing of the latest Micro Four Thirds bodies.
Just posted: Our hands-on preview of Fujifilm's latest telephoto zoom lens, the Fujinon 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. Designed for the company's X-system mirrorless cameras, it offers an 83-300mm equivalent angle of view, and a relatively fast maximum aperture. It also includes optical image stabilisation and two linear stepper motors for quiet focusing. Click through to read our detailed preview for more information.
Nikon has filed a patent covering the idea of a password-based security system for lenses. The patent lists the high value of lenses as a reason for the innovation - the camera would refuse to shoot with a lens unless the correct password was entered. This is an attempt by the the company to prevent resale of stolen gear. (via Nikon Rumors)
Metabones has announced the schedule for the Micro Four Thirds version of its innovative 'Speed Booster' lens adapter has slipped to the second half of 2013. Like the existing version for mounting Canon EF lenses on Sony NEX cameras, the forthcoming version will allow the use of full-frame lenses, reducing the focal length by a factor of 0.71x and increases the maximum aperture by 1 stop. The Micro Four Thirds version will give a 1.4x overall 'crop' - giving a similar field of view to APS-C stills cameras and the Super35mm video format.(via 43rumors)
NAB 2013: Canon has announced the development of a 35mm prime lens in its Cinema EOS range. It is designed to be used on movie cameras with image sensors up to 35mm full frame in size, and includes a range of features optimized for movie shooting. The company has not finalized its specifications and pricing, but says it will release further details in due course. However as the Cinema EOS primes offer T-stops that correlate closely with existing L-series primes, it seems likely the 35mm will be approximately T1.5, and of course use the EF mount.
Just posted: Our review of the Fujinon XF 14mm 1:2.8 R lens. Fujifilm has been steadily building up its X-system of rangefinder-inspired mirrorless cameras since its launch in January last year, and the 14mm F2.8 is the fifth lens in the family. It's a 21mm-equivalent ultra-wide prime that's designed to match the full field of view offered by the X-Pro1's optical viewfinder. Like the other XF primes it has an aperture ring on the lens barrel, but it also includes an improved manual focus ring with distance and depth of field scales. Fujifilm makes some grand claims for its optical performance; click through to see if it lives up to them in our detailed review.
SLR Magic has announced its Monster Lens II spotting scope for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The optic mounts directly on the camera body, allowing users to shoot distant images, commonly referred to as 'digiscoping'. The 12-36x50 ED lens gives an equivalent optical zoom range of 840-2,520mm and aims to keep image quality high with extra-low dispersion optics and multi-coated glass elements. It will be available from June 2013 at a suggested retail price of $799. Click through to to read more.