Samyang, the South Korean company whose lenses are sold under the Rokinon brand name in the US, have recently teased a new product announcement for April 28th. Thanks to a video report from the Photo & Imaging Show that has been held in Seoul over Easter, we now have a pretty good idea of what is going to be announced that day.
Besides two new cine lenses, Samyang will very likely announce a new 35mm f1.4 for Canon EF-mount which, for the first time, will sport electronic contacts that allow the use of auto-exposure modes such as program and shutter priority mode. The two other lenses that Samyang is said to announce are a cine version of the 7.5mm f3.5 fisheye lens for Micro Four Thirds, sporting a T3.8 speed rating, as well as a cine version of the recently announced 12mm f2 lens for APS-C mirrorless systems.
Unfortunately, despite many customers asking for it, Samyang will not introduce any autofocus lenses soon, according to an interview with the website DicaHub. This is mainly due to licensing issues, but also the amount of information available on each camera system’s AF. Our guess is that the major player such as Canon and Nikon won’t just give away for free all the secrets of how their respective AF systems work.
Considering the lenses mentioned above have been shown off at the P&I show recently, it is safe to assume that they’ll be officially announced soon. Whether or not one or all of these will be announced next Monday, April the 28th, remains to be seen. Stay tuned!
Via Canon Watch
The Sony RX100 Mk II, just like the original RX100, sports a lens that has a bright initial aperture of f1.8 at its widest setting, but that gets rather slow towards its tele end where the maximum aperture is a mere f4.9. This is not untypical for compact cameras, as making the aperture much wider would also result in an overall larger lens. Still, newly unearthed patents show that the next iteration of the series could sport a lens with a brighter aperture at the tele end.
Published by Egami, the patent sketches five different zoom lens designs for compact cameras sporting a 1″ sensor, and all of them are very similar to the lens inside the currect RX100 (Mk II). One design in particular looks like a potential candidate for an RX200 camera, sporting the same focal length range of 28-100mm equivalent, but a brighter aperture that goes from f1.8 at the wide-angle end to f2.8 at the tele end.
Another design is for a lens with a longer zoom range of 28-150mm, and an aperture range of f1.8-3.6, which is also relatively bright considering the longer focal length at the tele end. Both lens designs sport 12 elements, arranged into 10 groups in the shorter lens and 9 groups in the longer lens. Also discussed in the patent is the addition of a macro mode, which would allow for very short close-focusing distances.
The way we see it, both of these lens designs would make sense for a successor to the RX1oo Mk II. A brighter aperture at the tele end is something that many RX100 (Mk II) users have been calling for, so the first option would satisfy that department. But a slightly longer lens that provides extra reach could also find a liking with many customers, especially if its aperture at the telephoto end is as bright as described in the patent.
Via Sony Alpha Rumors
Some people think that when there’s a Leica badge on a lens or camera, it must be good. Others claim that anything carrying the famous red dot is really just overpriced technology from yesterday. The truth is somewhere in the middle. On one hand, Leica does invest a lot into the development of its lenses. On the other hand, its rebranded Panasonic cameras really aren’t worth the premium price by a long shot. But what about the Leica branded Micro Four Thirds lenses?
Those as well are made by Panasonic, but are officially sanctioned by Leica to bear their name. While the DG Elmarit 45mm f2.8 macro didn’t get a lot of people excited, the DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 was an instant hit. Reviewers all over the web praised for its great image quality. Just recently, DxOMark tested the new DG Summilux 15mm f1.7, and it turned out to be a rather mediocre lens despite the Leica badge.
But now they also tested the new DG Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2, and here it seems we finally have another lens deserving of the Leica branding. The Nocticron showed one of the best performances of all Micro Four Thirds lenses ever tested by DxOMark, and is seconded only by the brilliant M.Zuiko 75mm f1.8. With an initial aperture of f1.2, the Nocticron is a super-fast portrait lens, and one that begs to be shot wide open.
DxOMark’s sharpness test does indeed confirm that the Nocticron performs very well even at its widest aperture, which is what you’d expect from a lens that costs over one and a half grand. But it also fares very well in terms of distortion and vignetting, and only in chromatic aberration it is slightly behind the M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8. We would’ve loved to see how the lens holds up to the Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f0.95 in DxOMark’s comparison, but unfortunately they didn’t test that lens.
So, if you were eyeing this lens for portaiture work, don’t worry. From what it appears, you won’t regret the purchase. That is, provided you can afford the lens in the first place, without selling your family into slavery …
Did you know that one of the first digital SLRs was actually used by NASA back in 1991? Neither did we. It was in fact the very first camera that qualifies to be called a DSLR. However, back then, that meant something entirely different from what it means now. In 1991, Kodak retrofitted a Nikon F3 SLR body (yes, one of those old-school cameras that ran on this ‘film’ stuff) with a digital back that contained a tiny CCD sensor. In order to get the image information out of the camera, you needed a separate processing and storage unit that you’d carry over your shoulder.
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When Sony’s full-frame E-mount system was first launched last year, it comprised four dedicated lenses for the A7 and A7R cameras. These were the two primes, the FE 35mm f2.8 and FE 55mm f1.8, and the two zooms, the FE 24-70mm f4 and the FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6. An FE 70-200mm was also announced along the cameras, and will be available soon. While five lenses is quite a solid setup for a brand-new photographic system, these particular ones offer too little choice for demanding photographers.
The good news is, though, that Sony has been promising more lenses for the system, including a wide-angle zoom, another fast prime lens and a macro lens. Zeiss also announced that they are working on new lenses for the full-frame E-mount system, and theirs will be manual primes just like they made for various DSLR systems in the past. Another fast, manual prime lens has recently been announced by Chinese manufacturer Mitakon and should also soon be available.
Sony Alpha Rumors now heard from an anonymous source that over the course of this year, a total of fourteen lenses for Sony’s full-frame E-mount system will become available. This means that in addition to the five lens previously announced by Sony, there will be nine more coming this year including the ones from Sony and Zeiss that we mentioned above. Together with the Mitakon lens, these will make for a total of 15 lenses.
That’s actually not too bad for a system that by the end of the year will be just over a year old. Also, among these 15 lenses, there should be enough choice for most photographers that are contemplating switching to the A7, A7S or A7R. And let’s not forget, because these cameras are mirrorless E-mount cameras, you can adapt almost any full-frame lens to these cameras, and even use autofocus with some when you have the right adapter. So overall, the lens choice for these cameras is already pretty huge.
After the recent sensor debacle–as a reminder, two Canon cameras in a row scored poorly in DxOMark’s sensor tests–it appears that the brilliant marketing geniuses over at Canon World Headquarters decided that it was time for a new approach at winning new customers. Looking into the history books, they must’ve found a reference on Leica somewhere, more precisely on how Leica effectively re-launched one and the same camera over and over again for decades by making one special edition after the other.
Something like this must’ve happened for sure, as we have no other explanation for what Canon has just done: they launched a white edition EOS Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D + 18-55mm kit lens. Yes, both camera and lens are clad in exclusive Canon Polar White, which is just a little bit whiter than the white Nikon uses in their 1-series cameras. We’re joking of course. About the white, that is. Not about the white camera. That one’s real. And the lens.
If we’ve got you all excited now, better calm down and put that credit card back where it belongs: it appears the super special white Rebel SL1 will only be available on European markets. That’s too bad, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t fancy a white Rebel! Owning one of these would surely make you stand out from the crowd of DSLR users. That is, until some Japanese bloke comes along with his multi-colored Pentax…
Via Canon Watch