Latest Event Updates

Leica 75 mm and 90 mm lenses

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75 mm

Leica has announced the first two lenses in a new line of high-performance Summicron-SL lenses for the Leica SL system – the APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. Both lenses seamlessly work with the SL-System’s autofocus and, as with all SL lenses, have been designed and constructed in Germany.

Leica says both the construction and design of the new lens line represent the continuing innovation in the development of lenses for the Leica SL-System. State-of-the-art, extremely precise manufacturing methods and measuring technologies were developed specifically for the production of these lenses, notes the company. The results are reflected not only in the more compact dimensions and considerably lower weight of the lenses, allowing for greater portability, but also in excellent imaging performance, it says.

The lenses feature a new, faster autofocus system, as well as a considerably shorter close focusing limit for tight portraits. The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs stepping motors with DSD (Dual Syncro Drive). Thanks to this advanced focusing drive, Leica says the entire focusing range can be fully travelled in about 250 milliseconds.

90 mm

Meticulous attention was paid to the prevention of stray light and reflections in the construction of the APO-Summicron-SL lenses, the company notes. Together with optimizing the optical and mechanical design, the application of high-quality coatings to each lens surface reduces unavoidable reflections to an absolute minimum.

To reduce chromatic aberration to a hardly perceptible minimum, both new Summicron-SL lenses are Apochromatic, or in short, APO, corrected, allowing photographers to capture photos in high contrast situations without a distracting purple or green outline along backlit subjects. Most of the 11 elements of the optical system, one of which is aspherical, feature anomalous partial dispersion and are manufactured from sensitive and specially formulated, high-quality glass.

The APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. will be available in February.

Take note: Leica says two more lenses will be available in the second half of 2018, the Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.


Nikon 180-400 mm lens

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Definitely not your average snapshooter’s lens! Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR has a name which begs explanation. This pro level FX-format lens has been updated not only with the newest lens technologies and an advanced optical formula to enhance performance and reduce weight, but it also features the company’s first ever built-in teleconverter. Ah, now the TC1.4 part of the nomenclature makes sense.

The lens delivers a constant f/4 aperture and the built-in 1.4X teleconverter allows photographers to seamlessly swap to a 252-560 mm. The teleconverter is engaged at the flick of a switch, and is easily operated with a single finger while looking through the viewfinder. When used on DX-format DSLRs, the focal length is the equivalent of 270-600 mm (378-840 mm with the teleconverter engaged).

The lens features an electromagnetic diaphragm, helping to create smooth and consistent exposures while shooting high-speed bursts of images, Nikon explains. What’s more, the AF tracking algorithm controlling the motor drive has been enhanced to increase tracking performance of fast moving subjects. When using

cameras equipped with Nikon’s advanced 153-point AF system (D5, D500, D850), the outer row of AF points are activated as cross-type sensors to significantly enhance the AF coverage throughout the frame. This feature will be available with a firmware upgrade for the D5, D850 and D500.

The lens now uses a fluorite element, which contributes to improved balance while minimizing weight. To further enhance handling and agility, the lens has adopted a new ball-bearing tripod collar ring to create a seamless transition from shooting horizontal to vertical composition. The VR mechanism offers a normal and sports mode, with up to four stops of compensation to help create sharp images, even when handheld.

The lens construction includes the use of durable magnesium alloy for weight reduction, while the lens is also sealed against dust and moisture. A fluorine coating is also used to help repel water droplets and dirt.

The optical formula of the lens uses eight Extra Low Dispersion (ED) elements, doubling the amount of ED elements used by its predecessor, the Nikkor 200-400mm. Nikon says the optics help to provide extremely sharp and detailed images and 4K video. Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat is used to effectively suppress instances of ghosting and flare, says the company.

The AF-S Nikkor 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR will be available in March for a suggested retail price of $15,549.95.

Panasonic GH5S

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There’s been a lot of buzz about this camera, and now it’s here. The Lumix GH5S single lens mirrorless camera has been designed and developed for professional filmmakers, offering what the company claims is the highest-ever image sensitivity and video image quality in the history of Lumix cameras, especially in low-light situations.

But that’s not to say photographers can’t use it / won’t want to use it.

The new 10.2-megapixel Digital MOS Sensor with Dual Native ISO Technology and Venus Engine 10 is said to faithfully reproduce even dark parts of the image, allowing high ISO capture when the use of supplemental lighting may not be possible. This sensor is a multi-aspect type with a sufficient margin for realizing the same angle of view in 4:3,17:9,16:9 and 3:2 aspect ratios. The sensor also enables photo shooting in 14-bit RAW format, providing higher flexibility for professional RAW stills development workflows.

The Dual Native ISO Technology suppresses noise to produce cleaner footage. Both videographers and photographers can now enjoy the same diagonal field of view across all aspect ratios with the True “Multi-Aspect Ratio” Function. This feature means you can easily swap between difference aspect ratios, says Panasonic, giving you the accuracy you want from your lenses, and making the process easier while producing and editing in post-production.

The GH5S is compatible with Time Code IN and OUT – as found in pro camcorders – which is said to be easy to set using the flash sync terminal and bundled conversion cable for a standard BNC terminal. This is especially important for “lip synch” when using multiple cameras.

The GH5S can be used as Time Code generator for other GH5S cameras and professional camcorders. The Time Code IN/OUT functionality provides synchronization for both video and audio devices used on multi-cam productions.

While the GH5 achieves 4KUHD 60p video recording, the GH5S realizes the world’s first 4K 60p video recording in Cinema 4K (4096×2160), capable of internal 4:2:2 10-bit video recording up to Cinema 4K30p and internal 4:2:0 8-bit Cinema 4K60p. This is a colour subsampling commonly used for film production, for even more faithful color reproduction.

The GH5S also records 4:2:2 10-bit 400-Mbps All-Intra in 4K 30p/25p/24p and 200- Mbps All-Intra in Full-HD.

There is no time limit for both Full-HD and 4K video recording. The GH5S complies with 4K HDR video with Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) mode in Photo Style. A low-bit-rate recording mode – 4K HEVC for HLG – is available. This enables playback on AV equipment compatible with the HLG Display format.

The VFR (Variable Frame Rate) function lets users record overcranked (time-lapse) and undercranked (slo-mo) video in C4K/4K (60 fps, maximum 2.5x slower) and FHD (240 fps, maximum 10x slower). A V-LogL and Rec.709 LUT (Look Up Table) are pre-installed in the camera, so users can play videos recorded in V-LogL without having to separately purchase a Software Upgrade Key. Four additional LUTs can be installed using the Panasonic Varicam (.VLT) file format.

DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and ultra-high-speed digital signal processing achieve fast auto focusing of approximately 0.07 sec6 with 12 fps (AFS) / 8 fps (AFC) in 12- bit RAW and 10 (AFS) / 7 (AFC) fps in 14-bit RAW high-speed burst shooting. In addition to a total of 225 focus areas, options for Face/Eye Recognition, Tracking AF, 1-area AF and Pinpoint AF are available for precise focusing. The 4K PHOTO enables 60 fps high-speed capture in approximately 8-megapixel equivalent resolution.

The camera boasts -5EV luminance detection performance with Low Light AF thanks to the higher sensitivity and optimized tuning of the sensor. Live Boost is another practical feature that makes it possible to check the composition even in total darkness, by boosting the sensitivity just for Live View. The magnification ratio in MF assist is increased from conventional 10x to 20x, which is convenient especially for astronomical photography. An AF Point Scope function and Night mode are also integrated.

To make the GH5S tough enough to withstand even heavy field use, it is composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front, rear and top frame that is not only splashproof and dustproof but also freezeproof down to -10C. The camera is equipped with a double SD Memory Card slot, compatible with UHS-II and Video Speed Class 90. Users can flexibly choose the recording method from Relay Recording, Backup Recording or Allocation Recording. The HDMI Type A terminal is provided, along with the USB-C Gen1 interface.

The GH5S has a large LVF (Live View Finder) with a high magnification ratio of approximately 1.52x/0.76x (35 mm camera equivalent) providing smooth display at 120 fps. A high-precision, high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display features 3,680K-dot resolution and 100 percent field of view. In addition to dual dials, an omni-directional joystick enables more intuitive and flexible operation.

The camera includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. For Wi-Fi, 5 GHz (IEEE802.11ac) can be selected in addition to the conventional 2.4 GHz (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) for an even more secure and stable connection.

For extended battery life and a more stable hold, a new battery grip is available. An XLR Microphone Adaptor allows high-res sound recording with an external XLR microphone.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5s is scheduled to be available by the end of February.

Sony 18-135 mm lens

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Sony has unveiled a new E-mount lens for its APS-C cameras. It’s a 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 model with Optical SteadyShot stabilization.

The lens measures 2.75 x 3.5 inches and weighs 11.5 oz.

It is the equivalent of 27-202.5 mm in full frame.

The company says the lens produces “outstanding” corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the entire zoom range thanks to its design featuring one aspherical lens and two extra-low dispersion glass elements that minimize aberrations. Maximum magnification ratio is 0.29x and minimum focus distance is 1.48 ft.

The lens is said to offer fast, precise, quiet AF performance thanks to a linear motor.

The Sony E 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS APS-C lens will ship in February and will be sold for about $780.

Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm lens

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The name conjurs up memories from the mid-70s of using the Noctilux 50 mm f/0.95 (and that’s no typo), a big lens on an M-series Leica camera, a lens we jokingly said was for shooting black cats in coal bins. Now, there’s a companion lens, the Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. which, because of its focal length, delivers what the company delightfully calls “gossamer-thin” depth of focus.

The depth of focus of the 75 mm lens is even shallower than that of the 50 mm lens, allowing even more precise isolation of subjects. The close focusing distance is 0.85 m, and the reproduction ratio is 1:8.8, with 11 blades of its iris producing a “soft and harmonious” bokeh in out of focus areas.

The nine elements in six groups that make up its optical design are manufactured from glasses with high anomalous partial dispersion and low chromatic dispersion. Two of the elements are asphericals and reduce other potential aberrations to a hardly detectable minimum, notes the company. A floating element is used within the focusing mechanism to guarantees what Leica says is a constantly high level of imaging performance throughout the entire focusing range of the lens.

In addition to the typical focusing and aperture setting rings, the lens also features an integrated lens hood which can be extended or retracted by a simple twist action. The lens is supplied with a tripod adapter.

Leica says it always was, and still is, unnecessary to stop down a Leica Noctilux-M lens to achieve a great imaging performance.

The company also says the two Noctilux lenses are co-founders of a new family of lenses.

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. will be on sale at the beginning of 2018. While no Canadian pricing has been announced, the suggested price in the U.S. is north of US$12,000.

Leica CL

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With new 18 mm lens

Leica has expanded its APS-C system portfolio with a new camera bearing a name from the past, the Leica CL. (Back in the early ‘70s, Leica and Minolta brought out twin 35 mm rangefinder cameras, the Leica CL and Minolta CLE. Delightful cameras. Now, in a digital era, Leica returns the CL designation.)

One of the features of the Leica CL is its electronic viewfinder with EyeRes technology developed by Leica especially for this camera. With a latency time below the threshold of perception and a resolution of 2.36 million pixels, the final image is visible in the viewfinder before the shutter release is pressed.

In combination with the 24-megapixel APS-C format sensor, a Maestro II series processor and fast autofocus with 49 metering points care claimed to guarantee maximum picture quality in all photographic situations. Video is up to 4K at 30 frames per second.

The CL also equipped with an integrated Wi-Fi module. Pictures and videos can be sent by a wireless connection to smartphones, tablets or computers and quickly and easily shared using the Leica CL App for iOS or Android. In addition to this, the remote function of the app lets mobile devices be used as an off-camera viewfinder or for altering exposure parameters – for example when shooting with the self-timer function or from unusual angles.

All essential controls are located on its top plate. In addition to the electronic viewfinder, there are two dials for setting the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation. Leica says everything is so conveniently located that photographs can be made without taking the camera from the eye. An additional display on the top plate provides information about all relevant settings and exposure parameters.

The camera accepts all TL lenses. SL lenses can also be used without an adapter on the CL and the TL2. Appropriate adapters are also available for using Leica M and R lenses.

Also new, and seen in the photo above, is the Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens. This is available not only in black, but also in a silver anodised version.

The black version of the Leica CL will be available at the end of November.

Panasonic Lumix G9

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The newest flagship camera in Panasonic’s Lumix line is the G9. Evolving from the GH5, the G9 is said to achieve the highest-ever image quality in photo shooting by elevating resolution, gradation and colour reproduction with its 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without low-pass filter. A High Resolution mode is also added that provides 80-megapixel equivalent images in JPEG /RAW formats in the camera. The Venus Engine image processor renders high-precision yet natural images with its Multipixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing, says the company.

The Body I.S. (image stabilizer) in the G9 apparently is dramatically improved, making it possible to use 6.5-stop slower shutter speeds. This is achieved by a more accurate calculation of shake in various shooting conditions, utilizing information of angular velocity and motion vector acquired not only from the gyro-sensor but also from the image sensor and accelerometer sensor.

Combining B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis) and O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 in the camera compensates for larger movements that had been uncontrollable.

The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 works for both photo and motion picture recording, including 4K video.

The high-speed, high-precision AF with Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology is claimed to be the world’s fastest, with AF speed of 0.04 sec, which is said to be the fastest in the industry.

The G9 also boasts the fastest-in-class 20 fps (AFC) / 60 fps (AFS) in 20.3-megapixel full resolution.

The G9 also has the largest-in-class LVF (Live View Finder), says Panasonic, and no blackouts occur even in high-speed burst shooting. Night mode and an AF Point Scope function are also integrated.

Adoption of OLED for the LVF achieves smooth display at 120 fps and high speed response with minimum lag of less than 0.005 sec as well as 10,000:1 high contrast for exceptional visibility, notes Panasonic.

To withstand heavy field use, the camera is constructed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front / rear frame and is not only splash proof and dustproof but also freezeproof down to -10C. Panasonic also points to what is says is the largest-in-class Status LCD on the top. The rear monitor is a 3.0-inch free-angle LCD in 3:2 aspect. The G9 has a double SD Memory Card slot, compatible with UHS-II.

The G9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption. For Wi-Fi, 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) can be selected in addition to the conventional 2.4GHz (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) for an even more secure and stable connection.

The Panasonic Lumix G9 will be available in January.

Panasonic 200 mm lens

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Panasonic says its new Leica DG Elmarit 200 mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S. (the equivalent of 400 mm), boasts the sharpest-ever corner to corner image quality in Lumix G camera history. The bundled 1.4x teleconverter increases the focal length to an equivalent 560 mm.

The lens consists of 15 elements in 13 groups, featuring two UED (Ultra Extra-low Dispersion) lenses. The use of UED lenses and other optical technology is said to help achieve high resolution, high contrast corner to corner images while suppressing distortion and chromatic aberration.

Incorporating a triple linear motor system and maximum 240 fps sensor drive, the lens achieves high-speed, high-precision AF in both photo and video recording. In addition, the micro-step drive system as part of the aperture control helps the camera to smoothly manage brightness changes while panning.

The lens boasts a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and is freeze-proof up to -10C.

The Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200 mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S. will go on sale in December.

Tamron 100-400 mm

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With optional tripod mount

Announced a couple of months ago, Tamron’s 100-400 mm f//4.5-6.3 Di VC USD, for full-frame Canon and Nikon DSLRs, is now scheduled for mid-November availability.

The lens is said to deliver fast and precise AF performance and consistently powerful VC (Vibration Compensation) 4 stop benefits thanks to the high-speed Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) control system.

The optical design includes three LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements for aberration reduction and Tamron’s original eBAND Coating for anti-reflection performance.

At 1,115g (39.3 oz), the new lens is claimed to be the lightest in its class and features magnesium alloy in key areas of the lens barrel to ensure weight reduction, and improve strength and portability.

The lens is compatible with Tamron’s 1.4X tele converter and the Tamron TAP-in Console that enables lens customizations for focus adjustments, VC mechanism adjustments and more.

Additionally, an Arca Swiss compatible tripod mount is available as an optional accessory.

Olympus 17 mm & 45 mm lenses

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Olympus has expanded its M.Zuiko prime lens lineup with the new Digital ED 17 mm f/1.2 PRO (34 mm focal length equivalent) and the Digital ED 45 mm f/1.2 PRO (90 mm equivalent).

A newly developed ED-DSA lens, which possesses the characteristics of both an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens element and a DSA (Dual Super Aspherical) lens element, is incorporated in the 17 mm lens. The ED-DSA lens compensates for common wide-angle lens issues, including chromatic aberrations, distortion and colour bleeding on the image periphery.

The two new lenses feature compact, lightweight construction and a dustproof, splashproof, freezeproof (to 14°F/-10°C) design.

Both lenses deliver feathered bokeh to provide an ultra smooth transition from the sharp to the defocused areas of the image, creating an overall softer background. This results in a subject that stands out with lifelike dimensionality, says Olympus.

In the 17 mm lens there are 15 elements in 11 groups, including specialized lens elements like the newly developed ED-DSA lens. The 45 mm lens contains three optimally placed and bonded lens elements, including one ED lens, which compensate for typical problems on wide-aperture lenses like out-of-focus colour bleeding (axial chromatic aberration) and peripheral colour bleeding (magnification chromatic aberration). The extensive use of special lenses incorporated into 14 elements in 10 groups results in what the company describes as “superb” optical performance and feathered bokeh effects, even at the widest aperture setting.

Both lenses use the same Z Coating Nano technology as the Digital ED 25 mm f/1.2 PRO for sharp, clear image quality that significantly reduces ghosts and flares that tend to occur in backlit images.

Both lenses are equipped with the MSC (Movie- and Still-Compatible) autofocus mechanism that provides virtually silent and smooth high-speed focusing performance, even when using the maximum aperture. Additionally, there are no AF point limitations, even at the widest aperture, due to the On-Chip AF system in all Olympus OM-D and Pen cameras.

A uniform lens filter diameter across the three f/1.2 lenses allows for use of the same lens filters.

The 17 mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of 20 cm and a maximum image magnification of 0.15x (35 mm equivalent: 0.3x), while the 45 mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of 50 cm and a maximum image magnification of 0.1x (35 mm equivalent: 0.2x).

Olympus says each lens was designed with the professional photographer in mind. The focusing ring placed at the front of the lens makes focusing easier when paired with the large grip of the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera. The L-Fn Button is located on a gently curving surface to make it comfortable to access. The MF Clutch mechanism allows the photographer to instantly switch between auto and manual focusing mode by pulling the focusing ring toward the camera body.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 45 mm f/1.2 PRO will be available late November, while the M.Zuiko Digital ED 17 mm f/1.2 PRO will be available late January. Both lenses will have an estimated street price of $1,499.99.