New Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f2 Macro Lens Can Achieve 4.5x Magnification

Zhongyi Optics (ZY Optics) has just launched Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f2 macro lens which they claimed to be able to produce high magnification ratio up to 4.5 times the real size. Its optical construction consists of 6 elements in 4 groups of lenses. According to the product descriptions, the lens is designed to be compact at 6 cm and weighing 0.5 lbs (230g), while the enclosure of the lens is made of metal for better durability. Also, the minimum focusing distance is 20mm, measured from the subject to the front element of the glass. The recommended retail price of the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f2 is USD199 and the lens is available for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Fuji X mounts.  Continue reading…

How to Use Macro Close Up Filters

Video thumbnail for youtube video How to Use Macro Close Up Filters - The Phoblographer

If you don’t own a Macro lens, one option that is often more affordable and can do somewhat of the same job are Macro Close Up Filters. What these filters do is act like a magnifying glass while working in conjunction with your lens and sensor. Years ago, they weren’t such great quality but over the years they’ve become better and better. To use them, you simply take the filters and screw them onto the front of your lens. The cool part is that they come in different magnifications and can be stacked one on top of the other for an even closer zooming effect. It will take a whole lot of them to get into a 1:1 ratio with many lenses, but the filters are also meant to be a more affordable alternative to a macro lens.

Photographer Mike Brown demonstrates this and how they’re used in his video after the jump. Mike shows us just how close in one can get when trying to focus on a very small and detailed subject. When he stacks of the filters on top of one another, he finds that he can’t even see the subject that he purposely placed in back of his main subject.

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Review: Samsung 60mm f2.8 Macro Lens (NX Mount)

Samsung 60mm 2.8gservo-2326140425

What we have here is the Samsung 60mm f2.8 Macro. I love macro photography so I was intrigued when I found out I was going to get to test this. There were initial doubts about it because I never believe that many lenses are going to live up to their DSLR cousins. Macro lenses have even more to live up to because of the nature of the work involved not only with reviewing them but in real life use.

Until recently, I thought I could only get good macro lenses with DSLRs, but I could finally be proven wrong.

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Schneider-Kreuznach Micro Four Thirds Lenses May Finally Arrive for Photokina 2014

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.

Three Essential Lenses for the Beginning Micro Four Thirds User

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Micro Four Thirds High ISO comparison (4 of 4)ISO 1251-30 sec at f - 5.6

The Micro Four Thirds system is all about great image quality in a small package. That was evident pretty much from the start, when Olympus introduced the legendary E-P1 camera with its minuscule 17mm f2.8 pancake kit lens. When buying a new Micro Four Thirds camera today, you’ll probably end up with one of the kit zooms from Olympus and Panasonic, ranging in focal length between 12mm and 50mm. While these may be a great entry into the system and provide some versatility and image quality, you will at some point want to upgrade to more specialized and higher-end glass. Here’s our list of three essential Micro Four Thirds lenses that provide great image quality and don’t break the bank.

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Lens Announcement: HD Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90mm f2.8 ED AW SR … Whoa, That’s a LONG Name!

Together with a bunch of other new lenses, ranging from the teeny-tiny 06 Telephoto Zoom lens for the Q system via an all-purpose zoom lens for K-mount and a super-telephoto for the same, Pentax also announces the latest addition to its 645 medium format system, a 90mm f2.8 macro lens. As with all of Pentax’ 645 lenses, this one can be used on film as well as digital bodies. On the former it renders an image with an angle-of-view of 42.5°, while on the latter it produces a 34° a-o-v, comparable to that of a 71mm lens on 35mm full-frame. It is the third lens expicitly developed for the digital 645D medium format camera, after the 55mm f2.8 normal lens and the 25mm f4 wide angle lens.

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Review: Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro for Nikon

I’ve always liked macro lenses. They can be a great amount of fun, and they can put the world in an interesting perspective that we don’t generally see everyday. Macro lenses can also be very versatile, as they can function well as mid-telephoto lenses and are often fantastic for portraits as well.

I first got my hands on the Tamron 60mm f/2 macro a couple weeks ago, and had a lot of fun shooting with it, despite some frustrating shortfalls. I’ve now had some more time with it, so click past the break for my full review.


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First Impressions: Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro (Nikon F Mount Version)

When presented with the opportunity to test the Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro lens, I jumped on it. I’ve been really interested in finding a good, reasonably fast 85-90mm equivalent for my Nikon D7000, as I’ve been looking for something to use primarily for portraits. The Tamron 60mm seemed like an excellent and affordable solution, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I will be doing a few different write-ups on this lens, and using it in different scenarios, but first I’d like to go over my first impressions and show some sample macro shots.

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