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It’s been a while since Lensbaby announced anything new; but now it seems like they’re going for the extreme end of things–and by that we mean extremely wide. The company announced a brand new 5.8mm f3.5 fisheye lens for APS-C Canon and Nikon DSLRs. However, it can be used on full frame DSLRs too. In terms of design, the lens looks like an old Nikon optic. The 5.8mm f3.5 has a fully manual aperture ring, manual focus, and something totally different too! This lens isn’t compatible with the Optic Swap system–and that sort of makes sense. The Optic Swap system is supposed to allow users to swap optics on their camera and tilt-shift their lenses. But the benefits of tilt-shift is some glorious bokeh. Unfortunately, you can’t really get any bokeh with something this wide.

We’re in the process of calling one in for review, but in the meantime you can pick one up from Adorama for $299.95.


Image by Bernard Dery. Used with permission

Bernard Déry sent us a link to a 360 panoramic image shot with the Sony A7r and a Sigma 15mm fisheye lens. The stitching is of the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal at Place d’Armes. When you click the link and zoom in on the details, you’ll see that the sensor and lens are capable of doing something quite remarkable together. Bernard has pointed out that at the current moment, no Canon sensor in a camera currently on the market is currently capable of resolving 36MP; though the A7r surely can do so while using Canon glass.

Head on over to this link to check out the image in its full glory.

Toda Seiko 12mm f7.4 Diagonal Fisheye Lens

Japanese optics manufacturer Toda Seiko has announced a new 12mm f7.4 diagonal fisheye lens for both the Fuji X-system as well as Sony’s NEX cameras. The lens has both a fixed aperture and fixed focus, with everything inbetween 20″ and infinity being approximately in focus. So while specs-wise this lens isn’t really special, what might make this lens interesting to some is the fact that it’s actually made in Japan–and not it China, Taiwan, Thailand or elsewhere.

Back in the good old days of film SLRs, the “Made in Japan” branding hat quite a significance in the photographic world; today, one rarely sees it printed onto products. Is that a reason to buy this lens, though? Probably not. While it does have multi-coated lenses, its specs really don’t make it very desirable, especially considering that there are alternatives such as the Samyang (Rokinon) 8mm f/2.8 fisheye lens.

Still, it’s always good to have choice. So if this lens speaks to you, it can be yours for JPY 25,000–about US-$ 245. Not quite a steal, but hey, it says “Made in Japan!”

Via Imaging Resource

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Micro Four Thirds lenses (5 of 6)

In keeping with all things quirky, Lomography is announcing today a couple of new lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Specifically there are three lenses: a fisheye, a 12mm f8 and a 24mm f8. Due to the small aperture, we’re going to assume that these lenses are also made from plastic.

The official name for all three lenses in a bundle together is called the Experimental Exposure kit. According to their press release, “The Experimental Lens Kit is the first lens kit in the world which allows you to take optical multiple exposures using a digital camera. By using the built-in mechanic N/B shutter on each lens, you can take multiple exposures with ease (without having to merge photos together using post-production techniques).” Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras have had a multiple exposure setting for a while built into them, but we’re intrigued as to how the kit works.

Even more quirky are the color filters that they’re adding which seemingly place a gel in the lens.

More details and images are after the jump and more info can also be found on Lomography’s website.

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Felix Esser The Phoblographer Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6 Review

Wide-angle photography is one of the master disciplines of photography. It’s not something you just do, it’s something that needs a lot of thought, as proper composition is crucial in wide-angle photography. And just like mastering the artistical aspect of it, the construction of a great wide-angle lens is anything but a routine job for a lens designer. In order to honor some of the greatest achievements in the history of wide-angle lens design, here’s The Phoblographer’s list of the top five most extreme wide-angle lenses ever built.

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Circular fisheye lenses are a rare breed in general, there just aren’t that many of them out there. These types of lenses are highly specialized and as such, not everyone is going to have a use for them, but for those that do, this is a reasonably viable option for creating some pretty wild images. I had a chance to spend a few weeks with this lens which presented a whole new set of challenges for me.

Head on past the break for our full review of the Sigma 8mm f3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye (whew, that’s a mouthful!).

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