On our recent visit to Japan to attend the CP+ show in Yokohama we were fortunate to be invited to tour Sigma's factory in Aizu. The Aizu factory is where all of Sigma's lenses are manufactured, including the company's impressive new 'Art' line of primes. Click through to take a virtual tour of the factory, in the company of Kazuto Yamaki, Sigma's CEO.
Stories tagged with lenses
Sony is releasing a pair of firmware updates this month that will reduce startup times when FE lenses are attached to both full-frame and APS-C bodies. The first update, available now, will make your E-mount camera get ready to shoot in less time when using five currently available FE lenses. The second update, due later this month, will do the same for Sony's a7 series, this time for the four new lenses announced today. Read more
Sony has officially announced four new conversion lenses - two for full-frame and two for APS-C - that can be screwed onto a select group of lenses. On the full-frame side there are ultra-wide and fisheye adapters for the new FE 28mm F2, which drop the focal range to 21mm and 16mm, respectively. The adapters for APS-C lenses - the 20mm F2.8 and 16mm F2.8 specifically - and reduce the focal lengths by 0.75X for the ultra-wide adapter and 0.6X for the fisheye. More details.
We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan, where Olympus is showing its new OM-D E-M5 enthusiast mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, and the 'Air' - a modular camera concept aimed at keen DIY enthusiasts and 'hackers'. As well as the two cameras, Olympus is also showing off two upcoming M43 lenses. Click through for more information, and images
We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan where Fujifilm is showing off several forthcoming lenses, previously mentioned on the company's 2015 and 2016 roadmap. We spoke to Fujifilm at the show, and got our hands on some prototypes - some working, some not - to get a sense of how they feel and operate. Click through for some images
At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas last month, we got our hands on some mockups of Sony's upcoming FE-mount lenses. Originally promised to start shipping this month, Sony has yet to announce final pricing and availability but it is showing working pre-production samples of the lenses at CP+ in Yokohama, Japan. We're there, and we wasted no time getting our hands on the new lenses - now complete with glass inside them, which is welcome change from the last time we saw them. Click through to see for yourselves
A new macro lens, a miniature standard prime and a teleconverter have been added to the Fujifilm X-Series roadmap, while a previously hinted-at lens has been given a definite focal length range in an announcement from the company’s headquarters. The chart released indicates that a 1.4x teleconverter will be the first of the new products to become available in the second half of this year. Learn more
Sony is showing mockups of four new lenses for its full frame FE series for the Alpha 7 on its stand at CES, as well as two wide angle converters. With only six FE lenses to choose from at the moment, Alpha 7 users will be pleased to see some physical evidence of these lenses that Sony initially announced on a roadmap at the Photokina show in September. Scheduled to ship this spring, click through for a closer look at the upcoming lenses
Among all of the excitement around the a7 II, Sony quietly announced a new A-mount lens last week. The 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSM II lens for A-mount offers faster AF tracking, a new Nano AR coating, and weatherproofing, and will be available in February for $1150. The company also announced the development of Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II A-mount lenses, which will arrive next Spring with similar improvements. Read more
When Olympus announced the high-end OM-D E-M1, it promised that it would be making a wideangle zoom and super-telephoto prime in its matching 'PRO' line of lenses. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO shares many design features with the current 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO, while the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4 PRO offers a 600mm equivalent angle of view. We got our hands on some pre-production samples at this year's Photo Plus Expo in New York. Click through for pictures
We were so busy playing with new Leica cameras and giant telephoto lenses at Photokina that we totally missed Sony's announcement of four upcoming full-frame E-mount lenses. Four FE lenses are coming in the first quarter of 2015, including three primes and one zoom. Sony didn't reveal too much, but you'll still get the idea by reading this
The stars of Sigma's booth at this years Photokina were two new telezoom lenses - 'C' and 'S' versions of a 150-600mm F/5-6.3 DG OS HSM aimed at enthusiasts and sports / wildlife professionals, respectively. The company was also showing off its new 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM 'C' for APS-C DSLRs. We headed to the company's stand on our final day at the show, and got our hands on the new gear (except the stuff behind glass). Click through to see more.
Fujifilm announced two cameras on the runup to Photokina - the X100T and X30. But the company is also showing off mockups of several new lenses, slated for release next year. We sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm earlier today, and got our hands on the samples. Click through to take a look at what's in store.
Lens Rentals Canada has announced that it is temporarily not accepting new orders. A brief notice on lensrentalscanada.com cites 'serious issues' with Canada Post Corporation, and states that current orders will be shipped using Purolator Courier. An email that a reddit user claims was sent to him by Lens Rentals Canada is more to the point, stating that a Canada Post employee has stolen equipment in transit. No estimated timeframe has been given as to when orders will be accepted again. Read more
Canon has officially announced a pair of new lenses. First is the EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM, an image-stabilised wideangle zoom for full frame SLRs. There's also an EF-S 10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM wideangle zoom for APS-C SLRs, which gives a 16-29mm equivalent range. The two lenses will be available next month for $1199 / £1,199 and $299 / £299, respectively.
Rumors have been flying around the Internet in the last week about a pair of new Canon lenses. The first rumored lens is an EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM model, which could be a cheaper version of the existing F2.8 lens, or a replacement for the 17-40 F4L. The other speculated lens is an EF-S 10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM which, according to the rumor mill, should be fairly inexpensive. The word on the street is that these lenses will be announced soon, so we'll keep our fingers on the keyboard just in case.
We're at the CP+ show in Japan this week, where Editor Barnaby Britton sat down with Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma, for a chat about the dp2 Quattro, as well as the challenges of the modern photography industry and what it's like being the head of a family business.
When Olympus announced the high-end OM-D E-M1, it promised that it would be making a wideangle zoom and super-telephoto prime in its matching 'PRO' line of lenses. Now it's given a few more details for those products. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO shares many design features with the current 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO, while the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4 PRO offers a 600mm equivalent angle of view. Both lenses are dust- and splash-proof, and will be available next year. Click through for more details and pictures of the lenses
Alongside the OM-D E-M10, Olympus has also announced three lenses. First up is the M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8, a relatively inexpensive fast normal prime, that looks specifically designed to complement the much-loved 45mm F1.8. Second is the 9mm F8 Fish-Eye Body Cap Lens (which Olympus technically considers an 'accessory'); this offers a 140° angle of view in a tiny plastic body. Finally there's a new 'pancake' kit zoom for the E-M10, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ, which features an electronic zoom. Learn more
Samsung added two new lenses to its NX mirrorless camera lineup, one for pros, and another designed to serve as a smaller alternative to the kit lens. Both lenses range from 16-50mm, but the first is a premium design with the 'S' designation, whose bulkier design accommodates an F2.0-F2.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. The second lens is a retractable F3.5-5.6 power zoom with OIS, which the company says offers improved performance over the 18-55mm kit lens.
In this article, we're highlighting our pick of outstanding third party lenses. We've chosen them based on their ability to offer something different to the camera manufacturers' own, in terms of either focal length range, maximum aperture, image quality or value.
Last week was incredibly busy here at dpreview, with major new cameras from Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm and Panasonic as well as new lenses from Samyang, Sony and Sigma. It was a week of late nights and early mornings, and now that the dust has settled and we've had some time to breathe, we've prepared a quick look back to last week for some highlights of what what you might have missed. Click through for a recap.
Modern lenses tend to be large and expensive, with multiple glass elements combining to minimise optical aberrations. But what if we could just use a cheap single-element lens, and remove those aberrations computationally instead? This is the question scientists at the University of British Columbia are asking, and they've come up with a way of improving images from a simple single element lens that gives pretty impressive results. Click through to read more.
Some people are happy to shoot with lenses and think only of the results, but it can also be fascinating to think about how such complex, precision pieces of engineering are made. Some insight is provided by Dave Etchells over at Imaging Resource, who has just posted a story about his visit to Sigma's factory in Aizu, Japan. However, no matter how hard you try, you can't make every lens perfect - as Lensrentals Roger Cicala explains in his recent blog post. Click through for more.
As part of its 'AW' launches, Nikon has announced the Nikkor 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 and 1 AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses. Both lenses are existing designs built into waterproof, shockproof housings and are only compatible with the Nikon 1 AW1 body. The 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 offers a 27mm equivalent field-of-view and will be sold separately for around $200/£300/€319. The Nikkor 1 AW 11-27.5mm zoom offers a rather limited 30-74mm equivalent range and will only be available as part of a kit with the camera - meaning there are no image-stabilized AW lenses yet.
Sony has announced three new E-mount lenses today for NEX system cameras: the Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar T* 16-70mm ZA F4, 18-105mm F4 G OSS power zoom, and a black version of its 50mm F1.8 OSS. All three feature Sony's Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. According to Sony, the 50mm F1.8 and 16-70mm F4 zoom will be ready to ship to consumers in September, with the 18-105mm F4 power zoom following in December. Click through for more details.
Rokinon has made available a video version of the Samyang 16mm f/2.0 prime. The 16mm T2.2 Cine lens is available for pre-order in Nikon F, Canon EF, Micro Four Thirds, Sony A, and Sony E mounts. Like other video primes, it offers focus and aperture racks for use with cinema rigs, stepless aperture control, and calibration in T-stops rather than F-stops. Rokinon's website lists compatible mounts for Pentax, Samsung NX and Fujifilm X though they aren't yet available for pre-order, and lists the lens at an MSRP of $499.
Which words spring to mind when you think about 70-200mm zoom lenses - solid and dependable or fragile and unreliable? Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has just published an analysis of the failure rates of the 12,000 lenses he rents out, and the results may surprise you. Even having taken into account popularity and accidental damage, five 70-200s turn up in his highest failure rate table - including the latest models from Canon and Nikon.
Lomography's campaign to raise funds to bring the centuries-old Petzval lens back into production via Kickstarter has now raised more than $1 million - ten times the original target. The 'New Petzval' lens looks and functions much like the originals, with a brass exterior, and the aim is to produce it in both Canon EF- and Nikon F- mounts. The lens is expected to be available next spring.
Legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick pushed the boundaries of moviemaking in many ways, and was responsible for some of the most enduring visuals in cinema. When he made Barry Lyndon in 1975, Kubrick shot with two ultra-rare Carl Zeiss primes, originally created for NASA. Using the 50mm and 35mm f/0.7 lenses, Kubrick was able to film some scenes purely by candlelight. Now, Germany-based company P+S Technik has announced that they've modified a PS-Cam X35 HD camera to be able to accept Kubrick's primes, and the whole package is available to rent. Click through for more details.
Sigma has announced a 'Mount Conversion Service' for any of its recent 'Global Vision' lenses - a paid-for service designed to reduce the uncertainty of changing camera systems. The company says it will charge between $80 and $250, plus shipping costs, depending on the specific lens. The Global Vision range currently includes seven lenses - from the huge 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS Sport for full-frame DSLRs, down to the 19mm F2.8 DN Art for Micro Four Thirds. The company has also extended the warranties on all new products to four years (USA only).
The people at Lomography have built a business around promoting and selling lo-fi cameras and accessories. What's (really) old is new again in their latest Kickstarter campaign, an effort to bring the centuries-old Petzval lens back into production. The 'New Petzval' lenses look and function much like the originals with a brass exterior, and would be produced in both Canon EF- and Nikon F- mounts. Click through and read more about the project.
Nikon has released distortion correction data v1.009, adding support for additional lenses for the D4, D90, D600, D800, D800E, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D5200, D7000 and D7100. The latest update means these cameras can now correct distortion in 107 Nikkor lenses. The latest update includes recent launches such as the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED and can be downloaded from Nikon's global website.
Now that he has his own copies of the new Zeiss Touit lenses, Roger Cicala of Lensrentals decided to crack into the Planar 32mm F1.8 lens. His mission was to see if the renowned build quality of Zeiss optics was compromised to make the lenses more affordable. His teardown detailed the Touit's polymer construction and its use of a DC motor. Click through to see what he thought.
Tokina has announced a US price of $599 for its AT-X 12-28mm F4 Pro DX lens. Soon to be available in both Canon and Nikon mounts for APS-C bodies, this lens was announced at the CP+ tradeshow back in January and will replace the company's existing 12-24mm F4 wideangle zoom for APS-C cameras.
Roger Cicala of Lensrentals has published a blog post in which he gives his first impressions of the new Carl Zeiss 32mm F1.8 'Touit' lens, in Sony E-mount. Unlike Roger's normal approach, where he exhaustively tests multiple samples of the same lens, he was only able to look at a single example of the 32mm F1.8 on the Sony NEX-7. Click through for some details of his findings, and a link to the full article at the lensrentals blog.
Zeiss has announced more detail on two forthcoming lenses for Sony NEX and Fujifilm X-mount APS-C cameras - the 12mm F2.8 and 32mm F1.8 lenses it unveiled at Photokina last year. The announcement came via the Zeiss blog, which went into detail on how they came to the name for the new series, 'Touit.' Pronounced like the English 'do it,' the new lenses are named after a Latin American band-tailed parrot, which Zeiss describes as 'small and agile,' much like mirrorless cameras are meant to be. Click for more on the new lenses.
DxO Labs has tested 85 lenses on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and analysed the results, looking at its two proprietary measures: 'Perceptual Megapixels' for lens sharpness, and the overall DxOMark score. In the first section of a multi-part series, it makes comparisons against both the EOS 5D Mark II and the Nikon D800, with results that may be surprising. Click through for a link to the full article.
Canon Singapore has launched a 'Try and Buy' lens scheme allowing customers to borrow more than seventy of the company's EF and EF-S lenses at a fee for 48 hours. While a similar service is currently available globally to Canon Professional Services (CPS) members, Canon Singapore has opened this up for non-members as well. The service will start from March 28, 2013.
Tokina has announced it will be shipping the AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX lens from April 2013 in Nikon mount, and June 2013 for the Canon version. Announced at the CP+ tradeshow, the lens is a replacement for the company's existing 12-24mm F4 wideangle zoom for APS-C cameras. But rather than making the lens wider to match its competitors, Tokina has chosen to extend it further into the 'normal' range, to give an 18-42mm equivalent zoom. The Japanese RRP of ¥90,000 is the same as that for the existing AT-X Pro DX 12-24mm F4 II lens. (via DCWatch)
DxOMark has tested 61 lenses on the Nikon D800, and drawn some conclusions about the results. So far it has published two sections of an eventual four-part article: the first discusses how much benefit the D800's 36MP sensor really offers over the 24MP chips in cameras such as the D3X and D600, while the second looks at which lenses in the 50-100mm range come out with the best DxOMark scores. Further parts later this month will look at telephoto and wideangle lenses. Click through for the link.
Pentax US has announced mail-in rebates on its 645D medium-format DSLR and select Limited series lenses when purchased with the K-5 IIs DSLR. Buyers of the 645D body will receive a free D-FA 55mm lens and $500 rebate on the purchase of the D-FA 25mm and HD 90mm lens. Those buying the K-5IIs camera body will receive a $250 rebate on the purchase of FA 31mm, 43mm and 77mm lenses. The rebates can be claimed from March 11th through March 31st 2013 and will be paid in the form of a Visa gift card.
Nikon has offered a behind-the-scenes look at its lens manufacturing process. The YouTube video follows the process from creating the glass through to final assembly and has been posted to celebrate the 80th anniversary of its Nikkor lenses. The company has also listed out few milestones of the brand's history, which started with the Aero-Nikkor aerial photography lenses in 1933. Click through to watch the video.
CP+ 2013: Nikon has several samples of its 18-35mm F3.5-4.5G ED consumer-level wide-angle full-frame zoom on show, while Sigma has re-designed and re-worked several of its most interesting lenses, which are being shown in prototype form at its stand. This includes a new version of its 30mm F1.4 for APS-C DSLRs. And, while none are available to shoot with yet, we got a chance to handle them, along with the portrait-friendly Sigma DP3 Merrill.
CP+ 2013: Tamron is showing off its newly-announced 14-150mm F3.5-5.8 Di III VC stabilized superzoom lens for Micro Four Thirds, while Olympus has a revised version of its 75-300mm F4.8-6.7. Though Tamron hasn't yet announced the price or availability of the 14-150mm, the prototype it has on display is working and the company gave us a hint about how much it will charge.
Sony has announced it plans to release several firmware updates for A-mount and E-mount systems on February 4, 2013. Updates to Alpha and NEX bodies relate mostly to lenses, including the addition of Dual-AF support for 11 lenses on the A99, and Fast Hybrid AF support for six E-mount lenses on the NEX-5R and NEX-6, among others. Three E-mount lenses also get updates to enable Fast Hybrid AF support. See table below for more detail on which bodies and lenses will get updates.
Tokina has announced it will be exhibiting two soon-to-be-released lenses at the CP+ trade show in Japan. The AT-X 70-200 F4 PRO FX VCM-S is a telephoto zoom that's designed for use on both full frame and APS-C SLRs, and features both optical image stabilisation and a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor with full-time manual override. Meanwhile the AT-X 12-28 F4 PRO DX is a replacement for the company's existing 12-24mm F4 wideangle zoom for APS-C cameras. But rather than making the lens wider to match its competitors, Tokina has chosen to extend it further into the 'normal' range, to give an 18-42mm equivalent zoom.
Canon has announced two additions to its range of Cinema EOS prime lenses, a 14mm T3.1 and 135mm T2.2. The CN-E14mm T3.1 L F and CN-E135mm T2.2 L F are both designed to be used on movie cameras with image sensors up to 35mm full frame in size, and include a range of features optimized for movie shooting. These include geared focus and aperture rings with markings designed to be read from the side of the camera, 11-bladed circular aperture diaphragms, and all-metal weather-resistant construction. The 14mm T3.1 will be available from April 2013 at an estimated retail price of $5,500, while the 135mm T2.2 will appear in May for $5,200.
DxOMark has introduced a new metric of lens sharpness that it's calling the 'Perceptual MegaPixel'. This is designed to give a simple, easily-understandable indication of how a lens impacts on the resolution of the camera with which it's paired. The measurement is based on standard MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) testing, but also takes into account the sensitivity of the human visual system to detail. The data can be explored over at the DxOMark website.