Cameras are nice, but to me, lenses are where the rubber meets the road, and Olympus has been turning out some very nice Micro Four Thirds lenses these days. At Photokina, the company is showing off a new moderately priced 60mm f2.8 macro, odd 15mm f8 body-cap lens, a black limited edition version of its 12mm f2, and announced development of a new 17mm f1.8
Say goodbye to burned cookies with the f/60 Lens Kitchen Timer. Resembling a typical kit zoom lens, this nifty contraption can keep time for up to 60 minutes.
Operation is easy. Simply twist on the knurled "zoom ring" of the lens and the ring of a bell will alert you when the countdown is complete. The device is fully mechanical and does not require batteries to run. … Read more
Compared with typical lens holsters -- which are basically small nylon bags that carry a single lens -- the Quikdraw system allows shutterbugs to quickly swap between multiple lenses.
All you need to do is to strap on a belt and you'll be able to hang several lenses from your waist. The lenses are mounted on the Quikdraw units and dismounted with a twist-and-lock motion, just like what you do when mounting lenses on a camera body. … Read more
If you shelled out for the Fujifilm FinePix X-Pro1 ILC and have been waiting patiently for some new lenses to arrive, your wait is almost over. According to the company's official new road map, you can expect a couple of new ones this fall and the rest in 2013. No prices yet, of course.
Actually, the new official road map is much different than the original one available at the time of launch at CES 2012. For instance, the company had initially expected to release a 14mm and 18-72mm f4 IS this year, followed by four more next year: 28mm f2.8 pancake, 23mm f2, 70-200 f4 IS, and 12-24mm f4 IS.
However, the 18-72mm is history, replaced by a more traditional (but faster than usual, as befits its class) 18-55mm f2.8-f4 OIS. The 18-72mm f4 zoom always seemed an odd choice to me; it would probably have been cheap, but not very desirable. This year's 14mm will be f2.8. And next year promises three primes -- a 56mm f1.4 lens, 27mm f2.8 pancake, and 23mm F1.4 -- and two OIS zooms, a 55mm-200mm f3.5-F4.8 and 10mm-24mm f4.
All of the lenses seem to follow the same design and feature conventions as the already-shipping lenses.… Read more
There's not a lot to say here, except that this lens, with its effective focal length of 150mm on the Micro Four Thirds system and a fast aperture of f1.8, sounds like a great addition to the pool of MFT lenses.
Olympus doesn't currently have any fast telephotos in its MFT lineup -- just some really clunky, slow zooms, and Panasonic's best equivalent only goes as low as f2.8 (for about the same $899.99 price). Olympus' 45mm f1.8 is one of my favorite MFT lenses, and this looks pretty similar. I can't wait to give it a shot, so to speak.… Read more
With the announcement of a new 12-35mm f2.8 lens in its X series of Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses, I am now officially confused by Panasonic's lens marketing. The X series lenses do seem to have a slightly better build quality and design than the plain old Lumix G models, composed of more metal and less plastic, but all the usual markers that manufacturers use to differentiate between classes of lenses -- coatings, wide apertures, features -- are absent.
When Panasonic first announced the X series, I had though that X would be defined by the power zoom or video-optimized quieter stepping motor (designated by an HD), but there are non-X HD lenses (like the veteran 14-140 f4-5.8), and the new 12-35mm lacks power zoom. There are non-X lenses with Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating plus low-dispersion (UED) and high refraction (UHR) lenses, like its Leica-produced DG Summilux 25mm f1.4. And Panasonic doesn't have enough lenses in its lineup to use price as a discriminator. … Read more
In addition to introducing its latest entry-level dSLR today, Nikon also debuted a new lens targeted at video shooters and D800 adopters. The fast, midrange 28mm f1.8 lens incorporates the company's Nano Crystal Coat, and Nikon claims it's designed to resolve on high-resolution sensors. Although the press release didn't mention how many aperture blades it has, I think we can assume that it's got a round iris.
The lens is slated to ship at the end of May for $699.95.
Those looking to buy the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA lens may have a hard time finding it for sale anytime soon.
In an announcement today, the Japanese company informed consumers that it cannot keep up with demand for the popular E-mount lens, which starts at around $999. The shortage situation is on the path to a resolution, as the Sony notice says that "we are working diligently in order to meet the needs of customers as much as possible."
Why is this lens so popular? "It's fast (wide aperture), sharp, and bright with nice bokeh, plus it has a good feel and comfortable manual focusing," says CNET Senior Editor Lori Grunin. Read her review of the most current cameras that use the lens, the Sony NEX-7 or NEX-5N, at CNET Reviews. … Read more
Lensbaby adds another yummy--and better-designed--optic to its tilting lens system.
When Lensbaby originally debuted its swappable-optic lens system, it was a somewhat offputting, complicated device with a laudable concept: a housing, frequently tiltable, in which you could slip different types of lenses. The latest optic in the Lensbaby system, the $300 Edge 80, shows the Lensbaby evolved to the most user-friendly and streamlined it's ever been. I tested the Edge 80 in the Composer Pro on a Canon EOS 7D.
Steve "The Spherical Audiophiliac" Guttenberg makes his first 2012 appearance on the show this morning and adds some more descriptors to his middle name.
He brings in a few noise-canceling earbuds and headphones into the studio for a head-to-head, and we'll confer about which modern artists have the talent to stick around another 30 years.
Finally, we'll end the show with a talk about Paul McCartney pulling his tracks from Spotify! These stories and more on today's 404 Podcast.… Read more