There aren’t any breaks on the Canon Patent train. Egami spotted a new slew of patents suggesting the Japanese camera company is looking into image stabilized macro lenses. If the patents ring true, image stabilization could come to the 100mm f2.8 L (a new version), 180mm f3.5, 200mm f3.5, and 300 f 3.5 macro lenses. On top of adding a set of motion sensors to detect vibrations during exposures the 180mm f3.5 could get a lot heftier with 18 elements in 14 groups.
In another set of patents spotted by Egami, Canon could have plans to produce new f2.8 versions of the popular 16-35mm and 17-40mm wide-angle zoom lenses. Canon already has a Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM Lens, but for the 17-40mm f4 L it could be a serious aperture upgrade letting it bring in a one full stop of light. Of course both lenses, wide open speaking, still won’t be able to hold a candle to the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8.
With its new educational video series, “Nikon Behind the Scenes,” Nikon wants you to learn from professional photographers, and take your personal technique to the next level. To that goal, the company has teamed up with its ambassadors Joe McNally and Corey Rich, as well as professional photographer Tamara Lackey, to create a series of videos where these photographer share some of their secrets with you. Want to know how to effectively light a subject? Keen on learning how to shoot action video? Wondering how to get your nephew to smile for a portrait? All of this and more will be revealed in the new series, which is hosted on YouTube and Google+.
The first video of the series features Joe McNally talking about the use of ambient light, how to combine it with flash, and how to achieve a dramatic effect with your speedlight. How does all that fit into three minutes? By showing Joe McNally using the technique live in front of the camera, including the results. For example, McNally shows how to bounce your flash off a wall for a more ambient quality to the light–a technique that we here at The Phoblographer have been propagatingtime and again.
New videos in the series will be posted to YouTube and Google+ every couple of weeks. Next up is Corey Rich, who throughout the series will be talking about portraits, time lapse, action stills and video while in the Sierra Nevada mountains. His video will go live on March 20, after which Tamara Lackey will be featured in her first video on family photography, which is scheduled to appear on April 1st. For more, check out Nikon’s Google+ page and YouTube channel.
ONA is one of the original modern manufacturers of beautiful camera bags and accessories–and if you aren’t familiar with who they are you might be after looking at their latest camera bag. It’s called the Berlin–and is a collaboration with Leica. It was created in celebration of the company’s 100th year anniversary. It’s designed to hold an M system camera and a couple of lenses in the main compartment. But you can also tote along an iPad, and other personal items inside.
The bag is made of full grain leather, antique brass buckles, and is handcrafted.
Want one? You’ll need to shell out $369 for this beauty.
If you like to shoot with telephoto lenses there will come a time where you want to work with a gimbal tripod head. There are a lot of options , some expensive, some even more expensive. Then there is the Manfrotto 393 . It is not brand new, it is not fancy. It is a Heavy Duty Gimbal, the answer to a few of my new needs. As seen in some of my reviews, I have been working with big telephoto lenses. I have also begun to like shooting with my camera low to the ground . I needed a tool to attack both these task and after much searching , this was it.
There has been lots of talk about Sigma’s new 50mm f1.4 Art lens. Early reports have shown that it is about on par with Zeiss’s 55mm f1.4 Otus lens–and Sony themselves have created one heck of a 50mm f1.4 lens. Based on mostly the same formula (at least on the outside) as the company’s very successful 35mm f1.4 lens, it only makes sense that there is a ton of hype about this lens.
We got to play with a pre-production unit recently–and it seems every bit as beautiful as it seems.
Bad news for fans of Sigma lenses: the company has just lost a trial before the Tokyo District Court, where it was sentenced to a payment of $14.5 million in compensation to Nikon. Sigma was found guilty of infringing on Nikon’s patented VR image stabilization technology, part of which it has allegedly been using in a number of optically stabilized lenses. Nikon had originally filed the lawsuit back in May 2011, after the two companies failed to come to an arrangement outside of court. Back then, Nikon sought $120 million in compenation from Sigma.
Strangely enough, though, the Tokyo District Court originally dismissed the lawsuit back in January 2013. We have no idea what happened in the meantime, but apparently the case was taken up again. Now, does this mean that Sigma won’t make optically stabilized lenses anymore in the future? That is most unlikely, as image stabilization is so commonplace today that a reputed lens maker such a Sigma can hardly justify building lenses without it.
The way we see it, Sigma has two possibilities now. They could pay the compensation to Nikon, continue to use the image stabilization technology patented by Nikon, and continue to pay royalties for all future lenses using the technology. This of course would mean that Sigma lenses will become more expensive. Alternatively, the company could research other stabilization technologies, which would probably cost money as well and will also lead to its lenses becoming more expensive.
We can’t say whether or not an appeal is a possible third option, as we are unfamiliar with the Japanese legal system. But if it is, Sigma will most likely challenge the ruling in order to try and avert having to pay the huge amount of compensation (and possible future royalties) to Nikon.