Wow, is it December already? Another year went by so quickly, it’s almost unreal. In retrospective, 2013 was a great year for The Phoblographer. We saw a couple of great new additions to our staff, while unfortunately we had to let go of others. But first and foremost, we saw our visitor numbers on the site as well as our facebook following grow exponentially, and for that we’re super thankful to you, our readers. Because without you, this site wouldn’t be what it is. And without you, what we do here at The Phoblographer wouldn’t have any meaning. So let’s take a look back at our ten most popular posts of 2013, which were in part responsible for our great visitor numbers this year. And if you haven’t already read them all, then we recommend you grab a cup of coffe, lean back, and enjoy!
2013 is nearly over and we’ve seen a slew of new products this year. Some may even say that this year is the one that the Photo Industry came back to full swing since the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. And for that, I think that we all have something to be thankful for. What it means in the end for the consumer is that we end up getting better products due to stronger competition.
And this year, much of what the big two have offered did not make our compilation of Editor’s Choice Award products.
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
With the holiday season coming up quickly now, we’re entering another round of gift guides that are specially curated for you, our readers. In this issue of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, we show you three entry-level mirrorless camera kits that don’t break the bank, and that might be just the right gift for the photography nut in your family.
Fujifilm’s 23mm f1.4 will render an equivalent of 35mm on Fujifilm’s APS-C X series cameras. As one of the classic focal lengths, this has been a lens that photographers have been asking for for a while. The lens features a minimum focusing distance of around 11 inches, 11 lens elements in 8 groups, an all metal build, a snap-back style focusing ring that lets you toggle between autofocus and manual focus, and overall just some seriously beautiful image quality. And there is very little to complain about with this lens.
Justifying the purchase of $899 to yourself though, will be one of the toughest things to do.
When Fujifilm first announced their Mini 90 camera, folks everywhere either gawked at the expensive price or looked at it alluringly with lust and heart palpitations. Then we tried it, and actually kind of liked it. It’s totally a hipster camera, but that doesn’t mean that you should sit there and turn your nose away from it. In fact, the Mini 90 has a couple of cool features that will force you to think within a box and put an huge emphasis on unleashing your creative side by getting rid of the technical stuff.
And more than anything, it will be a pricey learning tool.