There is a syndrome that many beginning photographers get infected with–and unfortunately none of them ever find the cure for it. That 50mm f1.8 lens that you’ve got: yes, it’s nice. In fact, it can be great. But how many times have you read or heard someone just talk about bokeh. When I used to work in a store, I heard folks talk over and over about bokeh. Yes, it’s beautiful for sure.
But eventually all of your images end up looking the exact same: subject in focus (probably centered) and a super blurry background. But as great as bokeh can be, it can lead you into a big trap. Eventually you’ll become so obsessed with just getting bokeh in your images that you’ll throw composition and other elements of your image out the window (and totally out of the frame.)
Now let me inform you about a little bit of truth: many of the world’s best and most iconic images don’t have bokeh. Yes, it’s totally true. Shooting images over and over again with just lots and lots of bokeh won’t necessarily give you a better image. Sometimes you’ll need to stop the lens down in order to get more of a scene in focus to tell a story or give the viewer more information about what you’re shooting. By doing this, all of your images also don’t look the same.
So with that said, we challenge you to stop your lenses down and shoot at f8 for a week or so. Try to go out there and create better images based on composition, subject matter, through pure creativity. Don’t get sucked into the bokeh trap.
The company that really seems to be stealing the show at Photokina 2014 is Panasonic. Today, the company made a surprise announcement that they’re getting back into the cell phone game–sort of. The new CM1 is an Android smartphone with a 10.2mmm f2.8 Leica lens that comes out to an approximately 28mm field of view. Plus said lens has full manual control over aperture, ISO and shutter speed. But beyond that, the company has packed a 1 inch sensor into the camera.
The camera phone can also capture 4k video. And according to their specs page, it runs Android 4.4, has four processors with 2.3 GHz, and a 4.7 inch display. The sample images are also beautiful.
A demo video is after the jump.
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In the continued support that Sony is trying to create for their full frame E mount system, the company is announcing today their 16-35mm f4 lens. To complement the A7 series of cameras, this lens is moisture and dust resistant. This lens sports 12 elements in 10 groups with 5 aspherical elements and 3 ED glass elements. It also has a 7-blade aperture, with a minimum focusing at 0.28 meters–which means that that may be the only place where you actually really get any bokeh.
More interestingly, the lens incorporates Optical Steady Shot technology–which is nice for shooting video.
Coming in at $1,349 you of course shouldn’t expect it to be super affordable but it surely isn’t so badly priced. That’s about all the information that we have on the lens so far, but we’re surely looking forward to our review.
It’s been rumored for a very long time, and today Panasonic and the Micro Four Thirds world have launched their direct competitor to the large sensor point and shoots. The Panasonic LX100 is not only directly squared against the other high end point and shoots out there, but it is also the company’s dueling sword to Fujifilm’s X100T.
At its heart is a Micro Four Thirds size sensor (the same 12.8MP sensor in the GX7) with a lens that starts at f1.7 (24mm) and ends at f2.8 (75mm) in its zoom range. The lens has Power OIS too–which is very typical for Panasonic. The camera has has the same processing engine as the GH4–which makes is truly a composite camera.
We got to spend some time with the LX100 at Panasonic’s New Jersey headquarters earlier this month. And trust us, it’s a reason to get hyped.
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Before you even get into reading this piece, know that we’re talking about an actual lens focal length, not equivalent to field of view. Look at it this way: you like taking photos with a 50mm lens, right? Let’s say you’re working with Micro Four Thirds camera options. In order to get a 50mm field of view, you need to slap a 25mm lens on your camera. But guess what? That 25mm lens will still act like a 25mm lens. It will be just as distorted and even though you’re still using the center area of the lens more or less you’ll still get all the problems that a lens like that faces. To get rid of that distortion, you’ll need a longer focal length. I found this out the hard way when working with a subject of larger stature. Though I felt the images looked great, she didn’t–and the only thing that really could have helped would have been a longer lens.
To eliminate that distortion to begin with, you’ll need to work with longer focal lengths. The generally accepted portrait focal length is an 85mm or longer. Now again, I’m not talking about an 85mm equivalent field of view on Micro Four Thirds. I’m saying that I need at least an 85mm focal length. Yes, the M43 coalition does a great job with making sure that their lenses are superb, but if you’re going to do portraits then you should eliminate any sort of distortion problems from the start.
Moving up to larger formats like APS-C or Full Frame, we think that the 85mm to the 135mm range is a great area to start working. Remember, the main thing that you’ll need to do is keep the distortion down to begin with.
This lens features 18 elements in 13 groups, aspherical elements, low dispersion elements, an ultrasonic silent drive motor, vibration compensation with three ceramic ball bearings, and a new eBAND coating. According to them, the new coating is “A nano-structured layer (1nm = 1/1,000,000mm), with dimensions smaller than the wavelengths of visible rays of light, is deployed on top of multiple coating layers to maximize efficiency.”
“Reflections occur at the interface between the lens and the air because of the difference in refractive indices of the two substances. The nano-structure of the eBAND Coating renders an extremely low refractive index by minimizing the differential with that of air while actively inducing air to its own structure, thus significantly suppressing the extent and degree of reflections.”
More tech specs are after the jump. We also have no word yet on pricing.
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