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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon 35mm product images (3 of 6)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.5

We have just shared our first impressions of the new Nikon 35mm f1.8 G, Nikon’s latest wide-angle lens for full-frame (FX format) cameras. Being only 2/3rds of a stop slower than the 35mm f1.4 G, the lens is a viable alternative for those with slightly slimmer wallets. What we’re most curious about, then, is how the more affordable full-frame 35mm in Nikon’s lens stable performs compared to its proven f1.4 sibling.

DxOMark has just put the lens under scrutiny, and thanks to the comparison tool available on their website, we get a pretty good impression of how it performs compared to the 35mm f1.4. With both lenses mounted to a Nikon D800 (we would’ve preferred to see the results with a D800E, but the 35mm f1.4 was not tested on that camera,) it becomes apparent that despite the huge difference in price, the difference in performance is only marginal.

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Helios 85mm gservo-20140602-00216

Out of the past comes the Russian-made Helios-40-2 85mm f1.5. A friend said I should try it after they found out I was looking for a Nikon 135mm f2 DC. After doing some research, I decided to take a chance. This lens, which originally dates back to the 1960s, is a passport to old school photography. We test new lenses all the time here–but in the nooks and crannies of the photography world lenses like this still exist. Let’s see why I purchased it.

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julius motal the phoblographer fujifilm xt1 review-2

Besides the great X-Trans CMOS sensor, there’s another good reason to go for Fujifilm’s X-system: the lenses. Not only has Fujifilm created a respectable amount of lenses covering all focal lengths from wide-angle to telephoto in a rather short amount of time, they also created some of the best optics currently available for any mirrorless system, including the 14mm f2.8, the 23mm f1.4, the 35mm f1.4 and the recent 56mm f1.2.

Soon, users of the system could be in for some more treats. According to Fuji Rumors, the company could soon introduce a super-fast 16mm f1.4 wide-angle lens for its X-system, translating to a 24mm-equivalent. Fujifilm’s lens roadmap indicates that in 2014 a “high speed wide angle lens” would be introduced, and this could just be it.

In addition to the 16mm f1.4, Fuju Rumors’ sources also claim that the X-system might see the addition of a 140-400mm super telephoto lens, for those who need that extra bit of reach. On the system’s APS-C sized sensors, this lens would translate to a 210-600mm, which should be sufficient for both sports and wildlife photography. Thanks to built-in optical image stabilization, it should be possible to achieve shake-free images with the lens even at its longest setting.

Finally, there will be an 18-135mm superzoom lens, an aperture range of f3.5-4.8. According to Fuji Rumors, this lens will also be weather sealed, which should go nicely with the new X-T1 camera. As for release dates, those of the 16mm and 140-400mm lenses are unknown so far, but the 18-135mm should be introduced some time in June. We’ll keep you posted when these lenses become official.

Samyang Facebook teaser 4/2014

Recently we reported that Samyang (also known under the brand names Rokinon and Bower) may have some new glass in its pipeline, and today the company teased five new lenses on its Facebook page. The lenses in question are the previously mentioned 35mm f1.4 for Canon EF-mount with AE support, a 300mm f6.3 mirror lens for DSLRs, as well as the 7.5mm T3.8, 10mm T3.1 and 12mm T2.2 cine lenses.

Complete information on these lenses must have been accidentally published by Samyang Europe as this article over at Photo Rumors suggests. However, the links leading to the alleged PDF files containing the lenses’ specifications lead nowhere, so we assume that the information has meanwhile been taken down again. However, the three cine lenses are mostly identical to their previously-announced non-cine counterparts except for the different housing.

As for details on the new 35mm f1.4 AE lens and 300mm f6.3 mirror lens, we’l just have to wait another day until the official announcement. We’ll keep you posted!

One-and-a-half years ago, when we visited photokina 2012 in Cologne, Germany, we came across a couple of prototype Micro Four Thirds lenses at the Scnhneider-Kreuznach booth. At the time, the lenses were still under development, and upon inquiry later that year Schneider quoted us a late 2013 release date. Unfortunately, it appears they had some issues with the lenses, as they were then postponed again for an unspecified 2014 release.

Now 43rumors has got word that the lenses might indeed arrive in their final form for photokina 2014, two years after they were first showcased. As a reminder, Schneider-Kreuznach has been working on a 14mm f2 Super-Angulon, a 30mm f1.4 Xenon and a 60mm f2.4 Makro-Symmar lens. The main reason for the delay, according to the 43rumors report, was that Schneider has only limited production capabilities and wanted to focus on their cine lenses first.

When their Micro Four Thirds lenses arrive, they’ll all feature autofocus just like the lenses from Panasonic, Olympus and Sigma, and unlike the Voigtländer offerings. However, with Schneider having a long history as a manufacturer of high-quality lenses for professional demands, we can assume their Micro Four Thirds lenses to be of superior optical and build quality. Whether or not there were some changes to the original designs, as 43rumors suggests, will be seen when (if) they arrive at photokina.

We’ll be covering the show in Cologne this year (again), and should the lenses truly be exhibited in their final production form, we’ll make sure to get some hands-on time with them.

Mitakon 50mm f0.95 Sample Image

A couple of months ago, we reported about an upcoming 50mm f0.95 lens by Chinese manufacturer Mitakon, made specifically for Sony’s new full-frame E-mount cameras. Back then, we didn’t know when it would appear, or what its specifications would be. A little later some first sample images popped up, which showed that the lens would be able to deliver solid image quality even wide open.

Now, finally, Sony Alpha Rumors has received word that we might actually see the lens very soon, and that it’ll come at a very reasonable price. According to an anonymous source, the first superfast aperture manual focus normal lens for Sony’s A7, A7R and new A7S cameras will be introduced this month, on April 20th 2014. As for its price, it will allegedly come in at US-$ 799, which if true would almost be a steal for a lens with these specifications.

For comparison, the only other superfast 50mm lenses capable of covering the full 35mm sensor area are the insanely expensive Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f0.95, and the less-expensive-but-still-unaffordable-for-most SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95. The former sets you back a cringeworthy $11k, while the latter comes in at an eye-watering $3000. While the Mitakon will probably not be as strong a performer as these two, it is still the most affordable option if you want a superfast 50mm for your A7(R/S). That is, if the reported price tag turns out to be true.