There has been lots of talk about Sigma’s new 50mm f1.4 Art lens. Early reports have shown that it is about on par with Zeiss’s 55mm f1.4 Otus lens–and Sony themselves have created one heck of a 50mm f1.4 lens. Based on mostly the same formula (at least on the outside) as the company’s very successful 35mm f1.4 lens, it only makes sense that there is a ton of hype about this lens.
We got to play with a pre-production unit recently–and it seems every bit as beautiful as it seems.
Sony announced its 16-70mm f4 lens for E Mount a while back. The lens is co-branded with Zeiss and is one of the company’s first zoom lenses for the E mount to have the moniker attached. And with a name like that, one can only expect the absolute best. With 12 lens groups and 16 elements inside, the optic has what seems like a metal construction on the outside. Overall, it also somehow or another ends up staying quite compact–which complements the E mount bodies very well. Designed for APS-C sensors, it also makes us wonder why the company only went with an f4 aperture and why not go any faster.
With today’s news of the Sony A7 and A7r suffering from light leaks, we decided to answer the question about what exactly they are without totally confusing everyone. First off, light leaks are little white tinges that you see on an image which was significantly more common when photography was primarily done by shooting film. What they often look like is just like what you see above. Photographer John Angelone said that this happened when he was shooting with his Fuji GW690III + Fuji Pro 160S film. Typically, light leaks were often seen to be unacceptable and that they tainted image quality until it started to happen in such a way that it appeared beautiful to some artists.
Today, we often think about it being associated with Hipster trends. But for what it’s worth neither VSCO, Instagram or Hisptamatic give you light leaks as a filter or modification option. The only way to actually accomplish them though post-production is through Photoshop Touch. But you can still get them through the camera.
Light leaks occur when seals on the lens or between the lens and camera body aren’t properly closed. This is a bigger problem due to the construction of digital sensors but it wasn’t as horrifying when it came to shooting film. When a camera takes a picture, it only sees the light that comes in from its eye: which is essentially the sensor. Everyone’s eyes have a lens, which is represented by the lens of a camera. When the lens isn’t working correctly, it starts to get blurry and sometimes the world may be too bright in certain areas–this is a common complaint amongst many folks who suffer from extreme astigmatisms.
What I also found out later on while using film is that sometimes, light leaks can occur when the back of the camera isn’t closing correctly too. This is far more rare and more than often the images just end up completely washed out, but it’s still an interesting problem to have. This won’t happen with digital cameras at all.
We thought the Sony A7 and A7r were impeccable cameras giving us full frame shooting versatility in a mirrorless package. But it seems some users are experiencing light leak problems coming from the lens mount. Some A7 and A7r owners speculate that the problem comes from a gap between the silver flange on the lens mount and the orange ring that protrudes from the camera’s body.
The problem becomes especially apparent when taking long exposures. Documented photos on Sony’s forums showing a noticeable light crescent leak, which appears on the upper right quadrant of the image. Now Sony is finally acknowledging the problem and provided the following statement.
“Sony is aware of and acknowledges this light leak problem with the A7 and A7r and our engineering department is currently researching a solution. We will release a notice to the owners once a resolution is found.”
Sony did not elaborate on how it would fix the problem since it’s a fault of the hardware and not something that easily fixed with a software patch. Perhaps Sony will provide a similar solution as Nikon to fix the oily shutter problem on Nikon D600 by replacing them with D610 models.
Until Sony comes up with an official solution, A7 and A7r owners have taken fixing the light leak problem into their own hands. One user suggests applying gaffers tape between the flange and orange ring. Meanwhile, Ferrell McCollough has a non-adhesive fix that suggests photographers should close the gap using a hair tie.
With everyone and their mother trying to make the move to 4K right now, it was only a matter of time until reports of Sony coming out with a 4K DSLR style camera emerged. Since Canon released the C Cinema style cameras, we’re sure that companies like Sony have been looking at the success and now want to get into the game themselves. Sony Alpha Rumors is reporting that the company may be launching one sooner or later–which makes perfect sense since this year is also a Photokina year.
However, Sony may be announcing it a bit before NAB 2014–which means very soon. The camera is said to have an FZ mount; which an adaptable system that lets you put PL, A or E mount lenses on. Even further is that the camera may have 2 axis stabilization–which borrows from the technology in the Sony A99.
Recently, Sony hasn’t been making huge waves in the pro video scene. It’s been all about Canon and ARRI instead. Years ago though, everyone loved Sony’s offerings and this may be the company’s way of trying to push back at everyone else. One of the biggest complaints that videographers and editors have though is the company’s codec and the versatility of the files.
What we’re also wondering though is when 4K video may come to their regular DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
Alongside the Sony A6000, the Japanese camera company also updated parts of its superzoom Bridge Camera lineup as well as two new Point and Shoots at CP+. Heading up the new additions is the Sony DSC-H400, a bridge camera that breaches 60x optical superzoom barrier. With a 63x zoom lens, the H400 has a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 24.5-1550mm. Thus far the highest zoom bridge camera we’ve seen was the 60x Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70. Along with the long reach of the lens, the H400 sports a 20.1MP sensor that can take 720p video at 30fps. The Sony H400 will be available $320.