Lens News

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Josh Miller  |  Jun 19, 2015  |  0 comments

If I had to choose a single lens to use for the rest of my mountain life, without question it would be a wide-angle zoom. In my case, it would be Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR wide-angle zoom lens. (But anything similar would probably do the trick as well.) I would choose this over a fixed lens, which would be slightly sharper, because it offers versatility to shoot both landscapes and action with more focal lengths.

Cynthia Boylan  |  Jun 16, 2015  |  0 comments

Zeiss has just introduced the Batis 25mm F/2 and 85mm F/1.8 lenses for Sony's A7 series mirroless cameras. The lenses, which are formally known as the Zeiss Batis 2/25 and Batis 1.8/85, are equipped with OLED displays and autofocus.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Jun 08, 2015  |  0 comments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: everyone has their favorite lens and in my pack, you will always find one in the 400mm variety. To wit, I have Nikon’s newer Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR, the 200-400mm f/4 G ED VR and the standard-bearer of them all: the prime Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 AF-S lens. Before that, I had a few of the pre-set, manual focus 400’s but when the Nikon F4 was introduced, the game really changed, especially when it came to wildlife or other land moving objects. I was hooked.

Dan Havlik  |  Jun 02, 2015  |  0 comments

Phase One just unveiled a major overhaul of its medium format camera system. Called the Phase One XF Camera System, the new medium format platform features several key upgrades, revamps, and additions including “robust, aerial-grade mechanics, advanced electronics, a new autofocus platform, new modularity options, new software and customizable touch controls,” according to Phase One.

Dan Havlik  |  May 27, 2015  |  0 comments

I got a lot of feedback – mostly positive but with a few spirited rejoiners – to last month’s editorial “Smartphones (Still) Can’t Compete with Great Camera Gear,” that I feel I should “double down.” Again, this isn’t a knock against using smartphones for shooting images. As I mentioned last month, I do it all the time with some pretty decent results. And many serious photographers are constantly turning to that little phone in their pockets and have produced many spectacular photos.

Henry Posner  |  May 21, 2015  |  1 comments

It’s been my experience that there are a handful of special objects in the world that have developed cachet or “mojo” and are emotionally appealing to people in various fields. Some of these unique items engage our interest because they’re otherwise unassuming objects which have become associated with unusual people or events. I think of the track shoes Roger Bannister wore on May 6, 1954 when he ran the world’s first sub-4 minute mile. I think of “Brownie” and “Blackie,” two of Eric Clapton’s Fender Stratocasters. The console Sam Phillips used in Sun Studios to record Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison must drip with “mojo,” as does Pete Seeger’s banjo, no doubt.

Jack Neubart  |  May 20, 2015  |  0 comments

There was a time when I’d avoid a zoom lens as much as I’d avoid a swarm of midges. But in the digital age, the zoom lens has taken on new purpose, at least for me. Midges, however, are still a pest that is best avoided—especially when you’re changing lenses. And if you’re out in a marsh shooting spectacular scenic views, the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens gives you the needed range of focal lengths so you can reign supreme over any landscape, as you avoid changing lenses while sidestepping concern that those midges will infiltrate your camera.

Cynthia Boylan  |  May 18, 2015  |  0 comments

Fujiflim has introduced the new compact Fujinon XF90mm F2 R LM WR, a weather-resistant, fast-aperture prime lens designed to  deliver sharp images with rich bokeh, at all aperture settings. The Fujinon XF90mm F2 R LM WR (137mm in 35mm format equivalent) uses an optical construction of 11 elements in 8 groups (including 3 ED glass elements) that minimizes vignetting and creates bokeh thanks to the rounded diaphragm.

Jack Neubart  |  May 13, 2015  |  0 comments

I thought that Tamron had outdone itself first with its 70-300mm lens and then with the 24-70mm f/2.8  and 90mm f/2.8 Macro lenses: all bearing the SP (super performance), VC (vibration compensation), Di (digitally integrated primarily for full-frame sensors), and USD (ultrasonic silent drive) monikers. There are of course other noteworthy lenses in the lineup, but these are the ones I tested for Shutterbug. Now comes the impressive Tamron SP15-30mm f/2.8 Di FC USD, which the company first previewed way back at photokina 2014. With this lens Tamron has created a near-flawless masterpiece in optics that simply blew me away!

Cynthia Boylan  |  May 12, 2015  |  0 comments

Olympus has introduced two new premium M.ZUIKO Digital PRO lenses: the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens (an ultra-wide-angle zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 14-28mm) and the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm Fisheye PRO lens, (f/1.8 aperture, with a minimum working distance of just 2.5cm).

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO is ideal for wide-angle shooting in any weather condition. It includes weather sealing in 11 locations, enabling use in rain and snow or even on the beach—facing the hazards of ocean spray and dust. At just under 19 ounces, the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO is about 45 percent lighter than similar lenses.

Dan Havlik  |  May 11, 2015  |  0 comments

Canon made some unexpected lens news overnight: the company introduced the lightweight and compact Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM standard lens. This fixed focal length lens is designed for advanced amateur photographers and has an effective focal length of 80mm when paired with an APS-C sensor-based EOS camera such as the Canon Rebel T6i.

Joe Farace  |  May 06, 2015  |  0 comments

I’ve been writing about and playing with—emphasis on play—Lensbaby lenses since they were introduced in 2004 and ten years later they’re still coming up with new ideas. All their products, including the Medium Format 3G with "Marvin the Martian"-like antennae, have been interesting and the new Lensbaby Velvet 56 portrait lens not only looks like fun but appears to be the most practical Lensbaby product ever.

Joe Farace  |  May 01, 2015  |  0 comments

The reality is you can make portraits using any lens but most photographers will tell you the ideal portrait lens has a focal length in the range of 85-135mm. The first dedicated portrait lens was the 150mm f/3.3 Petzval developed in 1840, which had a 30-degree angle of view and was considerably faster than lenses of the period. It was so legendary that Lomography recently produced a new version for Canon EF- and Nikon F-mount cameras that costs $599.

Cynthia Boylan  |  Apr 30, 2015  |  0 comments

Lomo introduced the retro-style but new Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens this morning. This unique lens features the original optics from the Lomo LC-A and is compatible with many analogue and digital cameras.

Dan Havlik  |  Apr 27, 2015  |  0 comments

Massive, exotic telephoto lenses are always fun to imagine shooting with and here’s one giant piece of glass that’s actually designed to capture rockets launches. According to the seller on eBay, the Jonel 100 2540mm F/8 Mirror Lens was used for capturing Saturn V and other similar rockets as they were launched into space.

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