Pentax has been really busy this last year. First they celebrated the legacy of their K-series cameras with the K100 and K110 dSLRs, then they unleashed the powerful K10D, now they have unveiled a new line of high performance lenses called the smc Pentax-DA* series. The line debuts with two lenses: the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL[IF]SDM and the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED[IF]SDM. Pentax won't say what the SDM stands for, but the press release does say that the lenses include a supersonic motor. The samples we saw at the PMA … Read more
Why would anyone want or need three lenses, especially in a camera that uses film? According to Gadget Lab, China-based 3D World claims that its camera can produce two slides that "combine to produce an image that gives an illusion of three-dimensional depth." There's apparently a catch, though, as you need one of its viewers to make the whole thing work. But that's the best part, … Read more
A French company called Varioptic has announced two camera modules designed for mobile phones and built around an unusual liquid-lens design.
Varioptic's Arctic 416 lens combines electrically conducing water with nonconducting oil in a sealed package. Depending on how electrical voltage is applied to the package, the boundary between the oil and water changes geometry, which has the effect of focusing light passing through the liquids.
Using this "electrowetting" technology, Varioptic promises compact lenses that focus quickly, consume little power, don't need moving parts and have good transparency to visible light.
The first module, the AFCM … Read more
Newcomers to the digital SLR camera realm have no shortage of opportunities for sticker shock. Take, for example, Canon's EF 500mm F/4L IS USM lens, a 15-inch, 8.5-pound telephoto.
It costs about $5,500.
That's more than five times what I got when I sold my not-too-shabby car a while back.
But there's a reason that sticker is so high besides Canon's desire to transfer my salary to its coffers. Those suckers are expensive to make. Or at least that's the impression I got from watching an artful online propaganda video from Canon: … Read more