Canon’s highly anticipated dream lens, the 200-400mm f/4 with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter that was seen at the Olympics has been used “in the wild.” CanonRumors reports that one of its readers, Ben, got to use the likely $11,000 lens in South Africa for a bit after speaking with a product manager…
Ben’s first impressions point to a perhaps-difficult-to-use switch to flip the teleconverter into place, but that it gets easier if you have the lens on a monopod (almost a necessity anyway, wouldn’t you say?). Autofocus is supposed to be extremely quick, too.
Does this mean we could see this lens soon? Perhaps. It was also reportedly a production model — updated since the Olympics. If we do see it early next year, no doubt it’ll be in limited quantities.
The latest telephoto zoom lens from Nikon packs in the highest zoom ratio we’ve seen on an APS-C or DX lens. The Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5/6 G ED VR cranks up the zoom to 16.7X, but pairs this with the aperture range of its existing telephoto lenses, ready for some bokeh-heavy close-ups. You’ll be paying for that superzoom privilege, however, as the lens is set to arrive later this month, commanding a $1,000 premium. It’s joined by a new standard-zoom lens, the FX-compatible Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 ED VR, which also arrives later this month, priced at $600.
Pentax didn’t wait long after a rather conspicuous leak to make the details official: welcome the K-30, the company’s spiritual successor to the long-serving K-r. The camera makes its biggest numerical jump in sensor size, from 12.4 megapixels to 16, but you’re primarily shelling out for a much tougher body that’s both resistant to rain as well as to dust and temperature extremes; one of the cheapest cameras to do so, if you go by Pentax’s word. We’re slightly down on the light sensitivity being unchanged from three years ago at ISO 100 to 25,600, though you can now shoot video at a much higher 1080p at 30 frames per second — and that French catalog was wrong about a drop in burst speeds, which still top out at a healthy 6 fps. Should you be committed to the K-mount ways, stores will have the K-30 in July at $850 body-only and $900 for an 18-55mm kit. While you’re in the shop, there will also be a new 50mm f/1.8 prime lens to pick up for $250.
As powerful as they’ve become, Mirrorless camera systems can’t match the versatility of a full-size DSLR. One key component we haven’t seen is a constant-aperture lens, offering a consistent large aperture size throughout the zoom range. That changed today. Panasonic’s new Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm optic packs one incredible advantage over its compact competitors — a constant f/2.8 aperture. Because of the Micro Four Thirds system’s 2x multiplication factor, this 12-35mm lens covers the same zoom range of 24-70mm glass on a full-frame camera, in a significantly smaller package. The optic consists of 14 elements in nine groups, and includes UED and UHR lenses to increase image quality and minimize distortion, along with built-in image stabilization and Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating to reduce ghosting and lens flare. It’s also splash- and dust-resistant, and features a metal mount on the rear. Panasonic has yet to release pricing in the US, but the European price tag has been estimated at €1,100 (about $1,400) — by comparison, Canon’s equivalent optic (from a specification perspective) will run you $1,600. For its part, the 12-35mm MFT lens is expected to hit stores in August. Full PR is just past the break.
After having launched in January, Samsung’s WiFi-enabled DV300F camera officially hit the market today, according to a fresh announcement from the Korean manufacturer. As the latest addition to the DualView line, this 16 megapixel shooter features a 25mm wide angle lens with 5x optical zoom, and boasts a three-inch main LCD, along with that 1.5-inch front-facing display. The latter is specifically designed to make self-shots a bit easier to manipulate, but it also features some extra kids games in “Children Mode,” to help keep the little ones at bay. And of course, there’s onboard WiFi connectivity, allowing users to instantly upload shots to Picasa and Facebook, and an extra “Smart Face Recognition” function. According to Samsung, the device is now available on a “global basis,” for a price of ₩299,000, or about $266. For more details, check out the full, but choppily translated PR, after the break.
The Sony 500mm f/4 G SSM (SAL500F40G) is a professional grade super-telephoto lens for A-mount SLR and SLT cameras. Billed as the longest fixed-focal-length G lens from Sony to date, the Sony G 500mm f/4 SSM includes 11 elements in 10 groups, including three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements. It’s also the first G lens from Sony to benefit from an advanced new coating process that ensures crisper, clearer images. Exclusive to Sony, the Nano AR Coating process is claimed to cut internal reflections “drastically”. The lens’ SSM (SuperSonic-wave Motor) features a new drive circuit that ensures rapid, responsive AF with significantly faster object tracking than conventional Sony lenses. Four focus hold buttons are spaced around the lens barrel for easy operation in any position. They’re complemented by a two-way DMF (Direct Manual Focus) mode button and focus range switch. Focusing ring and front/rear joints are protected by interlocking seals that ensure a high degree of protection from the elements. Built to order, the SAL500F40G super-telephoto lens from Sony is available in the UK from April 2012.
This is the first photo of Canon’s upcoming 24-70mm f/2.8L II, the followup to an extremely popular and well-regarded lens. It’ll weigh less than the first version (which is nicknamed “The Brick”) and have a 82mm filter thread (up from 77mm), but — to the dismay of Canonites everywhere — won’t have Image Stabilization. No word on availability, but Canon Rumors thinks it’ll be priced between $1,800 and $1,900 when it hits store shelves.
The new Tokina AT-X 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX full-frame wide zoom is now on sale in the United Kingdom. Available in Canon and Nikon fit, the Tokina AT-X 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX has an optical formula that comprises 13 elements arranged in 12 groups, and comes with a nine-bladed iris diaphragm. Notable features include an angle-of-view range of 103.96° -64.74°, a rubber seal around the lens mount, and Tokina’s exclusive one-tocuh focus clutch mechanism that allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the camera to focus manually. Both the Canon and the Nikon versions come with a silent, high-precision AF motor. The Tokina AT-X 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX lens is available from Kenro for £829.99.
At the CP+ trade show, Kenko Tokina will be showing a mock-up of its newest full-frame lens, the Tokina SD 70-200mm f/4 (IF) FX. This constant-aperture telephoto zoom features a ring-type ultrasonic focus motor and optical image stabilisation. Measuring 168x80mm (length x maximum diameter), the Tokina AT-X Pro SD 70-200mm f/4 (IF) FX lens is a bit thicker but nearly 5mm shorter than Canon’s popular EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM. Additionally, the Tokina lens can focus somewhat closer (its close-focus point is at a distance of 1m from the sensor plane), although its maximum magnification is unknown at the time being. The release date and MSRP have not yet been revealed either.
Source: Kenko Tokina
Intro 2020, the UK distributor of Tamron photographic equipment, is launching a new promotion on the Tamron 18-270mm PZD travelzoom (pictured). Those purchasing the lens from an authorised Tamron stockist in the UK or Ireland between tomorrow and 15th September can claim a pair of Steiner Safari 8×22 binoculars worth £99. Additionally, the company is launching an online game called Tamron Island, which allows you to put your photography skills to the test – there is a selection of prizes to win every month from now through to the end of December. For details on the promotion and the game, visit the websites below.
So you flew around the world for a photo assignment, camera bag packed full of high-end lenses, but forgot the DSLR on the kitchen counter. Not to worry! You never leave home without your iPhone 4 and its new must-have accessory: the iPhone SLR Mount. $190 $249 scores you one of these aluminum bad boys, eager to pair with your multi-thousand dollar Canon or Nikon optics, bringing “powerful depth of field” and manual focus to your smartphone’s itsy bitsy image sensor. You can reportedly use the new pricey mobile rig to capture photos with shallow depth of field, without the need to add one of those “unethical” $5 digital filter apps. The accessory is ready to ship, so you’re just 24 hours (and a couple hundred dollars) away from having this life-changing masterpiece sent straight to your door. As for us? We’re holding out a bit longer for the iPad version.
Update: The folks at Photojojo wrote in to let us know that the $190 price provided earlier today was incorrect — the iPhone 4 mount will actually set you back a cool $249.
Sony announced the successor to its NEX-3 digital camera earlier this week, so we decided to take a post-E3 road trip down to the electronics maker’s US headquarters in San Diego to check out the $599 NEX-C3 for ourselves. We’ll analyze the new sensor’s image quality in a full review before the camera hits stores later this summer, but from our initial impressions, the new cam appears to offer fairly minor tweaks compared to its predecessor. It’s incredibly small for a camera with an APS-C sensor — perhaps even awkwardly so, when paired with the comparatively massive 18-55mm kit lens or Sony’s enormous 18-200mm optic — but not small enough to be any less functional than the previous iteration. Like the NEX-3, the camera was designed to be held by resting the lens on your left palm, rather than by the grip, so size isn’t likely to be an issue. Cosmetic changes include a magnesium alloy top panel, front microphone positioning, and a more efficient display hinge, which helped reduce the camera’s thickness. We’ll be posting a full review in several weeks, but jump past the break for more observations, and a hands-on video from Sony HQ.
We’ve been (impatiently) waiting for Sony to update its NEX line of digital cameras since the NEX-3 was discontinued earlier this year, and it looks like a worthy successor has finally been named. Announced today, the NEX-C3 appears identical to the model leaked in April, and uses the same format APS-C image sensor as its predecessor, bumping resolution to 16.2 megapixels in a camera body smaller than the NEX-5. Sony says the new entry-level cam is designed to fill the gap between point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras, and is the smallest body to pack an APS-C sensor, offering DSLR-level image quality — the same 16.2 MP chip is also included in its new full-size Alpha A35, which replaces the A33. Both cameras can shoot at up to 5.5 fps (the A35 adds a 7 fps mode at 8.4 megapixels), and include 3-inch LCDs, with the NEX keeping its hallmark tilt display, and the A35 adding Sony’s Translucent Mirror live-view mode, and an electronic viewfinder. We have plenty more to share, including a new lens and flash, along with pricing and availability for all, so jump past the break for the juicy details.
In line with Sony’s goal of improving the user experience for beginners, the NEX-C3′s Photo Creativity interface simplifies the process of adjusting advanced settings, to help grow the skills of those new to DSLR shooting. Both models include new Picture Effects (like the retro look you get with those novelty smartphone apps), which will also be available for previous generation cameras via a firmware update on June 20th. The NEX-C3 ships in late July or August, and will be offered with those familiar 18-55mm and 16mm kit lenses for $649 and $599, respectively. Bodies paired with the zoom will be available in black, pink, and silver, while the camera in the fixed-lens kit will only ship in black. The A35 will hit stores in August for $699 with an 18-55mm kit lens, or $599 for the body. There’s also a new 30mm f/3.5 macro lens ($249, October) and a larger external flash ($149, August) for the NEX series. You’ll have to wait a month or two to pick up a C3 of your own, but check back for our hands-on preview later this week.
We generally prefer to do our movie viewing in our own home theaters, but when we succumb to the temptation of public moviehouses we often choose digital projection hoping for a flawless viewing experience. Unfortunately, this report by The Boston Globe indicates that may not be the case. It is alleged by unnamed theater employees that theaters are leaving the 3D lens adapters on their Sony 4K digital projectors even when showing 2D. Just like viewing 3D, this cuts the light output and it’s worse for 2D films not made with that in mind, but theaters do it because removing the lenses is overly complex and many moviegoers don’t seem to notice or complain. The Globe suggests checking the digital projector yourself — if you see two beams of light from on high at a 2D flick then something is rotten in Denmark. Check the article at the source link for a rundown of many of the chains using these types of projectors and why that’s the case (money), but after this and Liemax premium VOD is starting to sound better and better.